How To Dress In Your 30s 0
in Style

How To Dress In Your 30s

How to dress in your 30s. I’m always fascinated by topics like this because I kind of think that you should be able to wear whatever you want if it makes you feel good. That being said, however, I think there is a clear distinction between wearing whatever you want and actually looking sophisticated and age appropriate. So while that ultra cute, embroidered dress may have been great in your early 20s, now it most likely looks too childish.  On the flip side, the conservative outfit that will look fabulous when you are in your 50s makes you look a little stuffy right now. The 30s are a tough transition point because you are going from a certain youthful freedom to a more mature stage in your life and this is when you want to start refining your style.

how to dress in your 30s


Fast fashion. I was in the mall the other day looking for some tees and as I looked around, I observed a wide range of ages shopping in the same stores. This got me thinking that past a certain point, you really shouldn’t be buying a lot of cheap clothing. For one, it never really fits well and that should be reason enough, but if you need another one then do you really still want to be dressing like the 20 year old in the changing room next to you? For items like tees and some very trendy pieces that you might wear only a few times it’s fine, but for everything else, check out the nicer shops.

Animal tee. There are some exceptions to this, but if the t-shirt has a big kitten or puppy or horse (or any other kind of animal on it) just keep walking. You are not 5. Okay fine, you can wear it around the house or to bed, but it should never see real daylight. Instead of the animal on your shirt, choose an edgy animal print and wear it on your shoes, on a bag, on a scarf or even on a structured blazer. I’m not against a printed tee, but I would say to look for a really great graphic print that you are happy to show off.

Super low cut jeans. I don’t know if these ever looked good on anyone. They were kind of trashy right from the beginning and honestly, I’ve probably seen more bikini/g-string underwear on more random women then I’d ever want to see. Nobody is saying that you need to opt for just high waisted pants (although they do look pretty fabulous and polished), but look for the most flattering cut because they’ve got to give you a great shape that you are proud to show off.  Yes, you can definitely wear a skinny jean as long as you are still proportional, or why not take out the leg lengthening boot cut jeans you have way in the back of your closet for a spin? Better yet, pair them with a pretty blouse for a polished, age appropriate look.

Super short shorts. I write this as I’m cutting up a pair of jeans, but to be fair, I’m very conscious of the length. Look, short is fine if you are physically fit, have great legs and want to show them off. For everyone else, a couple of inches longer will be a better choice. Let me be perfectly clear that when I say fit, I don’t necessarily mean skinny because that’s not always great either. It’s not about weight, but rather about muscle tone and that can be at any size. Rather than opting for really short shorts, take them down an inch or two and look for a super cool pair in leather or suede or another interesting fabric.

Super short minis. Where are you going that you have to wear a skirt that leaves nothing to the imagination? A fun, flirty skirt that covers a little more (an inch or two longer will do), but suggests a lot is so much better and when paired with a really fabulous pair of heels that you would never buy in your 20s, makes it that much better. To be honest, I’m all for a mini if you love one, but there is a fine line between slutty and chic and this is the time in your life when you definitely want to opt for the latter.

Tulle skirts. Being a huge ballet fan and having a secret love for all things girlie, I love the idea of a tulle skirt and while a little bit might be okay in very specific circumstances, as much as it pains me to say it, tulle in your 30s… Pass. If you absolutely can’t live without it,  then put it on (maybe pair it with your animal t-shirt), dance around in the privacy of your own home to get it out of your system. Instead, wear a circle skirt in a pretty pink or a soft grey.

Anything too skimpy or too tight. I might be taking this point out the next time a heat wave hits, but for real, there comes a time (unless you are a celebrity or a model) to say goodbye to the extremes. Choose your best asset and flaunt it instead. Have a beautiful back that you’ve spent hours sculpting at the gym? Show it off with a backless dress. Have gorgeous shapely legs? There’s nothing better than a sexy slit. Beautiful arms and shoulders? Then by all means, go strapless. There are so many great choices and instead of looking trashy, you can look uber chic.

Platform and ultra chunky heels. Thigh high, lace up boots and super chunky heels. Yup, that describes my style about (or what feels like) 100 years ago. Then I realised the power of stiletto and just how fabulous my legs look in a stylish heel. The problem with very chunky heels is that they look juvenile and the problem with shoes that have a really big platform is that they just aren’t pretty. The keyword here is going to be timeless, whether that’s a sandal, a pump or even a flat, look for shoes that will last.

Cheap jewelry. I’m not saying that you need to buy only high end pieces, or even that they need to be real silver or gold because some costume jewelry can be absolutely stunning. There is, however, a difference between pieces that your little niece is wearing and the pieces that you should be reaching for.

how to dress in your 30s

All of this being said, don’t go too far into the I-have-to-cover-everything-up-and-can’t-show-off-my-body territory. This is a time for new discoveries, a great time to reinvent yourself and cement your style (for this decade at least). You should always have fun with your clothes and test out new styles because you never know what will look amazing on you.
Your focus should be on getting noticed for your beauty, for your class and style and not because everyone is secretly thinking that you need a major wardrobe overhaul. Read: How To Determine Your Body Shape

Do you have any pieces that you secretly love but don’t wear anymore?

Continue the conversation on BLOGLOVIN and INSTAGRAM



images courtesy of PhotoDollarClub



Caroline has worked with international designers in fashion retail and completed professional makeup courses when working in the beauty industry. Her love of writing, photography and film inspired her to work at the Canadian Film Center and then to earn a BFA in Screenwriting. In addition to her blog, Style On The Side, you can see her work in Huffington Post Canada and other international websites.

Latest posts by caroline (see all)

You Might Also Like

When It’s Too Hot To Pick An Outfit

How To Wear Ankle Boots

How To Buy Pearls

How To Dress Just For You

How To Shop For investment Pieces

How to Walk in Heels In Style

Best Accessories For Fall

Best Gifts For The Fashion Lover

Statement Earrings Guest Post

Portland Shopping Garnish Apparel

How To Dress An Hourglass Shape

Jewelry: Salt Spring Island Style

How To Dress For Summer

10 Creative Ways To Style Up Your Office Outfit

How To Take Your Wardrobe From Winter To Spring

British MODE December Issue

Must Have Coats For Fall

What To Wear At The Pool

How To Dress Up A Boring Outfit

How To Wear Plaid For Fall

Top Summer Essentials 2014

How To Add Prints To Your Wardrobe

Sidewalk Sale Shopping in Style

How To Layer Clothes For Fall

How Where You Live Influences Your Style

How To Dress In Your 40s

Dance Inspired Wardrobe

Designer Spotlight Standfor Shoes

Links I Love

Consulting For Online Success

Date Night Essentials

Monogram Jewelry In Style

Beret: A Hat For All Seasons

Navy Heels With A Touch Of Gold

Fashion Picks For November 2014

Best Hat For Your Face Shape

Summer Solstice In Style

On Our Radar March 2015

9 Accessories Every Woman Should Own

One Dress Three Weddings

Your Shoe Wearing Guide

How To Wear Summer Whites

Style For Research: Fascinator

How To Style A T-Shirt

Crystals For Winter In Style

How To Find The Perfect Party Dress

Pre-Loved: A Treasure Hunt At Holy Rags

How To Make Heels Comfortable

Fashion And Architecture

British Mode June Edition

Best shoes for traveling in Europe

Black… And the Colour is Gone…

How To Add 50s Style To Your Wardrobe

How To Travel In Style

Designer Spotlight Talk To My Shoes

How To Wear Flowers In Your Hair

New Year: A Wonderful 2014 To All

British Fashion: How Do You Define It?

How To Style Sneakers

Classic Pieces Every Woman Should Own

What Your Sunglasses Say About You

How To Wear Brown

Granville Island Artists

How To Wear Red 2013

How To Wear Sequins For Day

How To Wear Purple 2013

How To Choose The Right Accessories

Summer Road Trip In Style

Fedora: Traveling In Style

Best Summer Bag For Everyday 2014

Make 2016 Your Most Stylish Year

How To Be Modern Boho

How to Wear Mint

Style Habits That Make You Look Older

Designer Spotlight SYCAMAW

Cocktail Fashion: Drink, Dress and Ring

Stay Healthy And In Style In Las Vegas

Your Go To Outfits At Any Age

How To Wear And Care For Velvet

How To Be Elegant Every Day

Best outfits for winter travel

How To Be Modern Gothic and Rocker Chic

How To Travel With Your Jewelry

How To Add Colour To Your Wardrobe

How To Dress A Pear Shape

How To Store Winter Clothing

Style Picks For February 2015

How To Look Effortlessly Chic

How To Wear Pink

How To Love Your Clothes When You Don’t

What Your Bag Says About You

How To Choose The Perfect Heels

How To Succeed Online Part 1

Why You Should Dress For Yourself

Look great this summer without being a hot mess

How To Pack For A Weekend Getaway

Where To Shop For Vintage And Designer Apparel

How To Dress Vintage Modern

Odd Pears Why Socks Matter

Essential Wardrobe Checklist For Men

How To Wear Mixed Metal Jewelry

Makeup Pouches In Style

How To Shop For Vintage Clothing And Bags

How To Take Great Photographs For Bloggers

Best Sweater For Your Body Type

How To Make Your Legs Look Longer

How To Style Jewelry

Your 8 Rules To Shopping

Designer Spotlight Femi Pleasure

Designer Spotlight Darylynn Eyewear

How To Wear A Tshirt

How To Wear Gold Jewelry

How To Add The 60s To Your Style

Must Have Accessories For Fall

How To Dress For Canada Day

What To Wear When You Have Nothing To Wear

How To Update Your Wardrobe

Must Have Statement Jewelry Fall 2014

How To Dress A Ruler Shape

Best Bags For Summer Sightseeing

How To Dress An Inverted Triangle

Blogging And Living Abroad

Designer Spotlight Best of 2014

Gift Guide For The Fashionista

How To Wear Yellow

Must Have Statement Pieces

Sunday Musings In Style

Where to find Modern Artisan Jewelry

Be Stylish Not Fashionable Or Trendy

How To Wear Pastels Spring 2015

How To Wear Cufflinks

This Ain’t California: Skateboarding Fashion

Fashion Must Haves For January 2015

Best Beauty Products For Spring 2015

Buying Jewellery: Must Read Tips

Shopping In Portland Accessory Style

How To Pull Off Hats

The Truth About Heels

How To Wear Pink For Fall

Fashion Flashback Styles of 2013

Contemporary Fashion Georgie And Elaine

Long Evening Dresses

Ultimate Accessories Guide For Major Social Events

How To Dress When You Work From Home

I Want To Be Her: Book Review

My Story In Brief

Style: Lazy Summer Days

What To Pack For A Mini Getaway

Must Have Spring Accessories

How I Lost My Style

How To Wear Black

Essential Accessories For Men

Designer Spotlight Work Wonders

Style Stories Louboutin Heels

How To Dress For Winter

Glasses: Blink and you’ll See!

8 Tips For Packing Light

How To Add Colour To Your Fall Wardrobe

Jewelry Every Woman Should Own

Best 2016 Runway Shoe Trends

Is It Okay To Wear Nude Tights

Top 5 Style Posts Of 2015

Am I Too Old To Wear That

How To Wear White

Style On The Road

Patches of Denim

How To Succeed Online Part 3

How To Make Clothes Look Expensive

What Clothes You Should Splurge On

Summer Dresses In Style

How To Dress For A Work Party

Fashion Of Anime Cosplay

British MODE: Haute Couture

Designer Spotlight Konplott Jewellery

What Your Hat Says About You

How To Be Comfortable And Stylish

Shopping FAQ In Style

Summer Dressing Guide

Best Way To Wear Sweaters This Fall

The Color Guide

Best Sunglasses For Your Face Shape

How To Wear Scarves In Style

What To Wear To An Interview

How To Find Your Style

How To Wear Silver Jewelry In Style

Travel Style And Life

Best Coats For Spring 2015

Hair Accessories: Hair Raising Tale

How To Style Hats For Fall 2014

European Style And Travel

What Your Jewelry Says About You

What Your Watch Says About You

Summer Office Style

Military Inspired Style For Spring 2015

How To Wear Navy In Style

How To Wear Green 2013

How To Wear Gray

Best Dresses For Summer At Fine Finds

Coach Bag Is Art: Style

Best Pants For Your Body Type

7 Bags Every Woman Should Own

December Style Picks 2014

Why Is Style So Important

Effortless Style And Beauty

Best Shoes For Travel

How To Buy Pants That Fit

What To Pack For A Long Flight

How To Look Good In Tights

Stories From The Road in Style

Best Winter Accessories

How To Succeed Online Part 2

Dresses Every Woman Should Own

How To Wear An Oversized Tshirt

How To Look Less Frumpy

Easy Rules To Looking Your Best

Designer Spotlight Perfect Black Leggings

Vintage Bags In Style

How To Grow Your Blog With Pinterest

Why You Have Nothing To Wear

What To Wear On A Boat

October Fashion Beauty And Fitness Picks

Branding And Images

How To Style A Polka Dot Dress

Fly And Fierce Boutique

Polette Parisian Eyewear

Style Shopping at Fine Finds

How To Wear A Summer Scarf

How To Look Chic At The Office

Ultimate Guide To Layering

Photography For Bloggers Composition

Interior Design: Style On The Side

How To Wear Green For Spring 2015

Off Duty Style

Vintage Shopping In Berlin

Luxury in Style: September Celebrations

Which Type Of Tourist Are You

How To Wear Dresses For Fall

Must Have Hats For Fall 2014

How To Take Your Look From Day To Night

How To Add The 70s To Your Style

The Bespoke Tailor: A History Of Style

Today We Wear Black

How To Style Flats

Clothing Tips Every Woman Should Know

What Is The Deal With Loving Your Body

How To Keep Your Clothes Looking New

Designer Spotlight EverywhereUR

Fall Outfits That Will Always Work

How To Wear Athleisure

Wedding Sparkle in Style

How To Determine Your Body Shape

How To Choose The Bag For You

How To Mix Prints In Style

How To Wear White After Labour Day

The Eternity of Diamonds

British MODE: January Issue

Are Sandals Bad For Your Feet

Designer Spotlight Blackbird London

Unique Jewelry Fabulous Accessories

How To Style A Denim Jacket

Fashion Rings For Style

How To Wear A Moto Jacket

Best Jewelry For Summer 2014

Arm Candy Show Off Your Bracelets

Your Ultimate Wardrobe Color Guide

How To Wear Fringe For Fall 2014

Style: London Fashion Week

Fashion Is Art In Portland

Ankle Boots Were Made For Walking

White For Fall In Style

How To Dress An Apple Shape

Designer Spotlight Quinoa Paris

Best Jeans For Your Body Type

Style: British MODE

Shopping For Court Shoes

How To Add 40s Style To Your Wardrobe

November Favourites

How To Wear Hats In Fall 2016

Packing For Two Weeks In Europe

How To Effortlessly Reinvent Your Style

Shoe Shopping In Madrid

Styling Tricks Every Woman Should Know

How To Style Chunky Sweaters

Everyday Bag Essentials

Shoes Every Woman Should Own

Eyeglasses For Everyone: Warby Parker

National Hat Day 2014

How To Feel Good About Your Style

How To Wear Sneakers With A Skirt

Womens Essential Checklist

How To Wear Orange Spring 2014

How To Make An Old Coat New Again

Should You Have A Minimalist Wardrobe


  1. love this, so many good tips!

    1. Thank you!!! I’m working on a series so hopefully it will help lots of women.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.