How To Dress For Your 30s: Age Appropriate Staples - THE STYLE INSIDER

Let’s start by saying – our advice to anyone wondering how to dress in their 30s would be exactly the same as to anyone wondering how to dress in their 20s, 40s, 50s or even 60s for that matter.

Simply, we’d say, whatever your age: “Dress as you please. Wear what makes you feel confident and happy,” so in theory, you could stop reading here. But that advice is only really useful if you’re feeling confident and happy, isn’t it?

Have you’ve lost your way? Are you not quite sure what suits you anymore? What if – regardless of what we say – you feel that some things you may have once worn just don’t seem appropriate anymore?  

These thoughts are perhaps most likely to first strike in your mid to late 30s. Perhaps when you look around your office and suddenly realise half of your colleagues were born when you were preparing to leave secondary school. A sobering thought.

For many women the feeling may be intensified by having had children in their late 20s and early 30s. For a period money was perhaps tight, your body was changing, fashion may have temporarily become a luxury you didn’t have time or money for.

Then, all of a sudden, your children are gaining in independence, but you’ve forgotten who you are a little bit and you suddenly wonder if you even know what suits you anymore. What should you be buying?


Perhaps the key here is that if a particular item makes you feel uncomfortable then maybe it’s not the thing to buy.

A short, glitzy backless dress that you may have dived on in your 20s may just feel too revealing or like you’ll run the risk of that horrid ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ phrase pinging around your mind.

The real question is not ‘What should I be wearing,’ but ‘What looks good on me?’ and ‘What makes me feel great?’ It’s the same question anyone of any age might like to consider.

French Connection Edda Sparkle Tear Drop Bodycon Dress

Don’t let it be a question of age. Let it be a question of style, class and personal preference. You may like to consider what body shape you have – remember it may have changed. You might like to think anew about what garments are most likely to accentuate your best features and tone down those parts you’re less happy with.

Perhaps, all things considered, you’ll decide that, for now, you’ll feel more confident in a less revealing style, but don’t write off that original dress for any reason other than because you prefer to wear something different and your tastes have changed.

Remember, Kate Moss is 44 and still considered the ultimate style icon by many. Kylie Minogue looked amazing posing last year (2018) in a figure-hugging, backless jumpsuit, aged 49. She was in her 30s when she wore tiny gold hot pants in her Spinning Around music video and looked better than ever. Davina McCall is 51 and Cheryl, 35! Can you really imagine Cheryl discarding a dress because of a high leg slit?

Class and good taste have nothing to do with age and you shouldn’t feel any specific items are now off-limits. A bit of consideration of what to team certain items with may make them feel accessible once more.


Not sure if you can still pull off a leather mini skirt? You won’t be surprised to hear that we think you can! How about teaming it with opaque tights and a high neck top – a great timeless look, whatever your age.

If you still don’t feel comfortable – don’t wear it! There are so many other options. How about going for an equally gorgeous longer length skirt? Or try a mini in a cord, jean or cotton? But do it because you prefer the other option, because you’ve changed, not because you feel you’ve reached some unwritten milestone that prevents you having all the choice you’ve always had.

Barbour International Aragan Knit
Boss Casual  
Badany Skirt
Boss Casual Badany Skirt

Ted Baker Kaara Top Stitch Detail Pencil Skirt

There are so many beautiful clothes out there, so many looks and styles to experiment with, whatever your age, so go for it. That slinky jumpsuit your 21-year-old colleague wore to the Christmas party? You can absolutely carry it off just as beautifully.

Great Plains Bow Detail Jumpsuit (front)


And any 30-plus men out there wondering ‘Can I wear a skinny jean? – the answer is yes, absolutely! Please scroll to the top and read from the beginning! Our advice is the same to you as it is for women – wear what you love and what makes you feel good.