20 Wardrobe Updates to Make by Age 30


(Image credit: Style du Monde)

Our 20s can totally change our perspective on life. Everything about your worldview may shift during this critical period of time, and your style evolves along with it. While much of this evolution happens naturally, we all have those wardrobe pieces we stubbornly cling to, even though we probably never wear them or have figuratively outgrown them.

And as always, we’re here to help, because when it comes to clothes, every woman can use an occasional nudge toward adulthood from time to time. (After all, as Olivia Wilde put it in her open letter for Glamour on the eve of her birthday, 30 is the year that officially opens the "go be awesome” stage of life.) So without further ado, scroll for 20 style upgrades you should make by age 30.

1. Replace Low Rise-Jeans With Wide-Leg Jeans


(Image credit: @kristenmarienichols)

We all remember the days of Britney Spears–inspired low-rise jeans. They had their moment in the sun, but now, you may lean toward a silhouette with a more classic, less-trend-driven fit. We suggest a pair of classic high-waisted trousers or slouchy, loose-fit jeans.

2. Replace Basic Pantsuits With Trousers and Pretty Blouses


(Image credit: @alyssainthecity)

Right out of college, it’s not uncommon to buy your first serious, professional suit. It’s only later on that you might realize "professional” attire doesn’t need to be so one-note. By 30, whether in a job you love or not, give yourselves some room to be a bit more relaxed and creative when it comes to office attire. A relaxed staple, such as high-waisted trousers, is a great place to start.

3. Invest in Sleek Shoes

Saddle shoes and flat Mary Janes tend to skew a bit young. If you love them, don’t toss them, but we also suggest looking into a sleek pair of slip-on flats. They’ll be just as playful but also a bit more polished.

4. Skip Tube Tops and Buy Camisoles

Tube tops have a time and place, sure, but for everyday layering, we think a slinky tank is a more elevated choice.

5. Invest in Midi Lengths


(Image credit: @gabifresh)

It’s not that we don’t love a short hem, but we prefer keeping a wardrobe of multifunction, multi-occasion pieces, and super-short denim skirts are not usually that.

6. Replace Body-Con Dresses With Backless Dresses

We find a cocktail dress with a low back and a high hem even more interesting if you want to turn up the va-va-voom for a night on the town.

7. Donate Your Unworn Fast-Fashion Items and Invest in Quality Basics


(Image credit: @fitzpatrickerin)

In building a wardrobe that lasts, we wouldn’t rely heavily on mass-produced pieces that only survive a season or two. If you have items in your closet from the fast-fashion mega-stores of the world and never wear them, donate them.

8. Avoid Jewelry That Would Turn Your Skin Green

We have nothing against inexpensive jewelry. Just make sure you’re buying it from a trusted brand that won’t negatively impact your skin. Avoid plastic jewelry coated in silver or gold paint; these are the worst offenders.

9. Avoid Poorly Fitting Clothes and Invest in a Tailor 

We all have items in our closets we can’t quite get into or that don’t exactly fit as well as we’d like. Trust us: A quick trip to the tailor can change everything. Adjusting a tiny bit at the hip or tweaking a hemline at the ankle can salvage a beloved piece and make any item look so much more expensive than it is.

10. Skip Festive Tights and Wear Sheer Tights


(Image credit: @camillecharriere)

Save them for a special occasion, but reach for a simpler decorative print if you’re looking for something a bit more timeless.

11. Avoid Reversible Pieces

While we very much appreciate the practicality behind pieces that can be worn inside out, they tend to be a bit too cheesy. You deserve more.

12. Skip Novelty Headbands and Try Scrunchies

Anything that can be misconstrued as a piece of a costume might feel dated quite quickly.

13. Replace Tutu Skirts With Wrap Skirts

As much as we love the Carrie Bradshaw piece, we think a fun circle skirt in an on-trend neutral or sky blue instead feels more au courant.

14. Invest in Suede Pumps

Shoe trends come and go. A pair of classic pointed-toe pumps lasts forever.

15. Ditch Ultra-Chunky Shoes


(Image credit: @elizagracehuber)

A little bit of chunk is fine, but if you go too far with this theme, it may be cumbersome. Opt instead for a pair of sleek sandals that happen to have a chunky heel.

16. Get Rid of Old, Tattered Sneakers


(Image credit: @champagnemani)

We get it. Your busted, old sneakers have been with you through thick and thin, and you have a soft spot in your heart for them. But they’re probably falling apart to a point of no return. Upgrade to a sleek pair of sneakers that can be worn with everything in your closet.

17. Skip Cheesy Prints and Sayings

Cats have a special place in our hearts. But in our everyday work wardrobes, we prefer something a bit more artful and elevated.

18. Replace Sorority Shirts With Collegiate-Style Pieces

By all means, don’t throw them away. But if you’ve amassed a good eight to 10 years between yourself and your sorority days, chances are that old sweatshirt should be a wear-at-home kind of piece.

19. Throw Away Underwear and Socks

Plain and simple: If they have holes in them, toss them and get yourself a shiny, lacy, bold new set. It can make a world of difference in your wardrobe.

20. Skip Festival-Season Clichés


(Image credit: @spicy.mayo)

We like to avoid going over the top with festival trends like fringe. We fully support sleek slip dresses for concerts instead. 

This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated. Next, Five Winter Trends We're Over and Five We're Buying Instead 

Meghan Blalock
Managing Editor

Hailing from the heart of the South and cutting her teeth on the mean streets of New York, Meghan has six years of experience covering fashion, style, celebrities, culture, and human behavior. A longtime devotee of rap music, tacos, and generally perfect weather, she is excited to put down roots in Los Angeles. Her top three style staples are a good pair of cutoff shorts, virtually any kind of colorful digi-print, and a solid set of shades.