9 Style Lessons Fashion Insiders Learned Post-30

Whether you've passed the milestone of turning 30 or have it to look forward to, you're probably aware that there are some mental and sartorial shifts that inevitably occur. Some of us look forward to that shift while others meet it with a sizable dose of apprehension. Oftentimes, the only way to prepare ourselves for something, or reflect upon something that's already happened, is to hear others' experiences. Which is exactly why we reached out to nine powerful women in the fashion industry who happen to be post–age 30. Their wisdom on the subject of how their style changed upon reaching 30 and what they've learned since then is a must-read for anyone who is approaching the big 3-0 or who just wants to compare their experience to other stylish women.

Read on to find out what nine fashion industry insiders have to say about what they've learned since turning 30, and shop pieces to have in your wardrobe by age 30 at the end.


"Funnily enough, even though I only turned 30 earlier this year, I feel like my styling has changed exponentially. I really felt a need to tone down silhouettes and keep things a little simpler, a little more classic. The things I loved haven't changed—interestingly, cut dresses from Magda Butrym, Ellery, and Alessandra Rich among others—but my 'go-to' pieces have become more, well, go-to. I wear a blazer with skinny black legging trousers and a low-heeled boot or mule, and big earrings, most days. I have more of a uniform now, and that suits me. As I hit 30 and my interests coalesce in areas other than fashion (my main job is currently a news and pop-culture podcast I co-host called The High Low), I feel less of a need to buy "cult" things, to share pics of what I am wearing on Instagram and, being totally honest, I'm much less invested in what others are wearing. This distance and perspective has been really refreshing for me. It allows me to engage less with fashion, per se, and more with personal style—the thing I always cared about in the first place." — Pandora Sykes


"Comfort is a huge a priority of mine—especially now that I'm a mom. I know what styles look good on me and stick to the basics, keeping my look easy and feminine. There's nothing like a pair of vintage jeans and that perfect tee paired with a leather jacket for day or night." — Yael Aflalo 


"Dress your mind not your age. Wear what makes you feel good. Invest in quality items rather than trend items. Always carry the perfect red lipstick in your purse." — Tiffany Hsu


"Honestly, I learned that nothing matters if you are just true to yourself. If you feel like wearing it, it doesn't matter if you're 67 or 37—that confidence will look right. There are certain pieces that will always look cool no matter who puts them on—a leather jacket, a denim jacket, a bomber—they just have that vibe, like magic, that if you put it on, it works. But the older you get, the more confident you become in wearing whatever it is that you like. There are no rules to being you." — Anine Bing


"Post-30 taught me that appreciating and loving my body, for everything it does, makes wearing fashion way more fun, that by choosing quality and sustainability, style can be an extension of my values, and that literally nothing beats a great tailor." — Rachael Wang


"You can pretty much wear the same thing every day. Have fun with your accessories, have fun with your hair, but as far as the clothes go, find something that works for you and just buy different versions of it. People will not think you're boring. They'll think you have a point of view." — Lisa Mayock


"1. Dress to flatter your figure first—trends follow. 2. Get clothes tailored. It makes the world of difference! 3. Uncomfortable shoes are not worth it. 4. Have less clothes, but purchase pieces that will last and that have a timeless quality. 5. Know where my clothing is coming from. Opting for environmentally conscious and socially aware brands that have transparent practices is paramount to anything else. We (especially the fashion industry) are doing horrible damage to our planet, and we have the option not to. 6. Buy some 'real,' special jewelry that you treasure and will wear daily, whether it's a ring or a bracelet or a beautiful watch." — Anita Patrickson 


"By the time you're 30, you know who you are and what makes you feel good. Because of that, I think your tolerance for things that don't fit well or function in your everyday life fall by the wayside. The majority of my wardrobe is great vintage jeans, the softest sweaters, button-down shirts, easy flats; the kinds of staples I want to put on every single day. And all of it is well-made, well-fitting, and makes me feel great. In your 30s, less is more." — Jenni Kayne


"Turning 30 meant a major style evolution for me. I used to always want to look 'on trend' and have what I was wearing be the focus and topic of conversation. As my career grew and I also matured, I started wanting to feel more pulled together, where my clothes were a complement to me and my personality, not the main event. I still invest heavily in luxury items, but I now tend to go toward ones that are not the 'It' shoe or bag of the season and ones that can carry me through many seasons. In terms of clothing, I try to buy fewer super-trendy pieces that have a limited shelf life and more versatile (but equally well-made and beautiful) pieces that can take me to meetings, are good for travel, can be dressed up or down, and have longevity in them." — Stephanie Mark 

Shop Pieces to Invest In by Age 30:

A Flattering LBD:

Comfortable Heels:

Timeless Denim:

A Perfect Leather Jacket:

Quality Undergarments:

A Classic Camel Coat:

Good Luggage:

Wear-Everywhere Ankle Boots:

Everyday Fine Jewelry:

Versatile Special-Occasion Dresses:

An Investment Bag:

A Favorite T-Shirt:

Next up, find out which five shoe styles successful women swear by.

Opening Image: Sandra Semburg

Allyson Payer
Senior Editor

Allyson is a senior editor for Who What Wear. She joined the company in 2014 as co-founder Katherine Power's executive assistant and over the years has written hundreds of stories for Who What Wear. Prior to her career in fashion, Allyson worked in the entertainment industry at companies such as Sony Pictures Television. Allyson is now based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She holds a BFA in theater. Her path to fashion may not have been linear, but based on the number of fashion magazines she collected as a child and young adult, it was meant to be.