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How to Dress at 30 – Fashion Advice

Up until they hit 30, many people dress in a very youthful style. The 30s are when many people start to see themselves as grown ups for the first time. Or, if they already saw themselves that way, they start to realize that their style has to evolve from the way they dressed in their teens or early 20s to a new, more sophisticated clothing style.

Skirts

Miniskirts are generally not considered something appropriate for the wardrobe of someone in their 30s. The exact age that this is true varies, but many believe that by 30 to 35 they should no longer be worn. Skirt should go to the knee or below it and not too much thigh should be shown if the woman is sitting down. To get a flirtier look out of a longer skirt, many women wear skirts with a long slit instead of a short hemline.

Pants

For anyone who is 30, man or woman, the time for the torn-up jeans is over. Ripped jeans worn on a 20-something can make them look like a rebel. Ripped jeans worn on a 30-something person can make them looks homeless. Clothing should generally be in good condition and a more coordinated, sophisticated look is generally called for. The jeans should be more classic and less trendy. Instead of wearing the latest fad jeans, invest in a few jeans that have a more classic style.

Getting a few pairs of khaki pants will mean that you always have a nice, casual pair of pants when you need them. If you like to wear skirts, have a few pairs that are pencil-skirt style because of their classic shape. A maxi skirt looks good on some people, but it may be considered too trendy for 30-somethings.

Shirts

The message t-shirts and casual, old vintage t-shirts are no longer appropriate for those in their 30s. Like ripped pants, they have a much different statement when worn by someone in their 20s than by someone in their 30s. A vintage t-shirt on a college student looks like an ironic statement about their own unique style. On a 30-something person, it looks like an ancient t-shirt that you’ve kept around in your wardrobe for far too long. T-shirts are great for any age group, but they should be in good condition and not too trendy in your 30s. They should fit together with your other classic pieces in order to form a more cohesive wardrobe.

While most trendy clothing may be a little too youthful for those in their 30s, the key to a great outfit at this age is wearing great accessories. The accessories you wear can generally be as trendy as you like in order to make your classic wardrobe look more individualized and stylish. Many 30-somethings like to express themselves through their sunglasses and their jewelry. Handbags are another big style point for women in their

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49 Comments

  1. Micheal · February 11, 2009

    Great tips, but I don’t think every see themselves as adults at 30, some people never grow up!

  2. artistgirl · March 23, 2009

    I do not think someone should abandone mini skirt just because she is 30, 30 something, it rather depends on how old she is looking. Look at many celebs who wear mini skirts and mini dresses in their 30′s :)

  3. Gillian · April 7, 2009

    I’d say this is better advice for dressing at 40 or even 50.

    In this day and age, 40 is the new 30 I think.

    What with college expenses being higher, more people going part time, and grad school becoming more and more the norm for the ever elusive “good jobs” out there, more and more 30 year olds are still in grad school, hence the college appropriate clothing.

  4. lily · April 26, 2009

    this is a bit silly – it really depends on how you wear an outfit, not your age. If you are 40 and can pull off a dress that’s 2 inches abover your knee b.c you have great toned legs and are classy and aging well – why wouldn’t you! You don’t have to lose your sense of style and become a big frump just because you’re over 30. There are plenty of ways to be youthful and trendy without being slutty in your 30s. Just don’t shop at teen stores otr in the jr dept.

  5. elle · September 15, 2009

    Lily is right. I dislike advice like this because it presumes that everyone in their 30s is the same. Boring and bland, apparently. Nobody wants to dress in your uniform of what 30 should look like.

    I’m well over 30 and I can say its enough to avoid super trendy things in general from head to toe worn as someone in their 20s or 30s might wear them, shopping in juniors or teens, or dressing like a hooker. Cover up what isn’t attractive, and beyond that, wear what you like and is suited to the situation.

  6. Grace · February 3, 2010

    Lil and Elle are right. I think that it all depends on the person, their personality, their jobs, their lives. I am 30, but most people think I am not even 21 yet. I look really young and I should not have to dress down so much just because of one more birthday. My lifestyle is active and I am comfortable with how I dress. You can meet a 20 something who looks horrible in cargo pants and a tank then you can meet that artist in her 50′s in a cargo and tank and she looks fab. Lets talk about how to not dress trashy that would be a much better use of internet space. Like pajamas in public.

  7. Tammy · February 16, 2010

    The mini skirt can be worn in your 30s! I have great legs and I’m short. If I wear something at my knees it makes me look 50!

  8. mich · February 21, 2010

    I’m 36 and no one ever gets my age right. I’m starting to get 27/28 when I tell people I’m older than I look! I think I can pull off a mini, thanks very much.

  9. Jessica · March 20, 2010

    OMG!! I just turned 30…I disagree with alot of the stuff you said. Kaki…come on!! I might as well buy sweat pant and buy a minivan so the world knows I give up!!

  10. ali · March 21, 2010

    Wow!! I am about to turn 30 in august and when I hit 25 I was like OMG how am I suppose to dress now??!!?!? It was pure torture until I pulled myself together to realize I have great fashion sense and I’ll figure it out. So as my birthday is approaching I thought I would see what is considered “acceptable” attire to clothe my almost 30 year old bod. Boy!! I am surprised that you say no trendy jeans, t’s, cargos, etc. I am a fan of select denim designers and would never give up my denim as it is a HUGE part of my wardrobe. I could go on and on and on about all the things that disappointed me in this article.

  11. Skeemer118 · April 6, 2010

    LAME! I’m 30 & I dress like I’m 16.

  12. Cosmin · April 24, 2010

    very interestind, I’m close to 30, and I’m beginnig to chose my clothes carefully. Thank you for this article

  13. Adler Kenwood · May 24, 2010

    I think you have some basic tips here that are good.
    However, Frumpie at 30 is also not a good look!

  14. Elisa · June 23, 2010

    Wow, what a depressing article.

  15. Mary · July 4, 2010

    WOW! Im 30 and i look in my 20s! I wear ripped jeans and some tees that have words on them! I dont look like a bum! I look great! Women in their 30s can dress with style! We are still young! Times have changed! 30 is like the new 20! I dont dress trashy but i still dress youthful because i am! I dont like this article! I think its for SQUARES!

  16. Gretchen · July 10, 2010

    At thirty, I think the proper thing to aspire to is “tailored.”

    A woman in her thirties can wear trendy, ironic or unusual pieces as long as she doesn’t look like she’s been rooting around in the bargain bin at the Salvation Army Thrift Store. Good grooming and high quality, well fitted, well maintained clothing are appropriate at any age and in any circumstance but especially as one begins to advance in age and achieve in one’s profession.

    A thirtieth birthday is NOT equivalent to fashion death – neither is a fortieth or fiftieth birthday, for that matter.

  17. Yad · July 15, 2010

    This article made me feel like an old and ugly woman just because I’m 33.
    You know what? I really think that you can wear whatever you want and makes you happy. I consider myself as a modern mom and I definitely will not take your advice! Thanks :D

  18. Fiona · July 22, 2010

    I think that this article is a bit extreme. I am just over 30. It has taken me til now to be comfortable with what I wear. I have always dressed “older” to compensate for the fact that I had kids young. I am finally comfortable with myself and therefore what I wear. People should wear what looks good (some high fashion is not a good look whatever the age!) on them and what suits their life style. People certainly should NOT let other people dictate what they should and should not do. I understand that people seek guidelines and suggestions on what to wear, and that is fine. Maybe these people should try dressing for their figure rather than their age. It’s only a number after all!

  19. Stephanie · July 27, 2010

    I think this article had some decent points. For someone who is going to turn 30, i was just looking for some tips and basics. I look at my clothes and think, almost everything looks to young. I still get carded at the movies and bars. If i had enough money i’d ditch it all and get a whole new wardrobe.

  20. vtguru · August 2, 2010

    i will never let my amazing collection of band t shirts go sorry i will wear them even when i’m 80!!!!!!!!! and sorry but any vintage tee looks wicked awesome with a pair of wayfares and a well fit pair of rock and republics and a kicken jimmy choo bag so screw off with the vintage tee remark i really took offense

  21. Dee-Dee · September 2, 2010

    I thought this article would be interesting because my husband is over 30 and he still dresses like he is 19, but I have to say that I am very disappointed with much of the tips about how “30 somethings” are supposed to dress. Many of the viewers are on point that you should dress according to how you feel and look. Nowadays many of us are very concerned about how we look and our bodies. We have reality shows dedicated to older women and their style because getting older doesn’t mean you are OLD. Even though sophistication and class is a plus; being comfortable with yourself is just as important. Overall this article wasn’t very helpful.

  22. nesh · September 15, 2010

    Not sure

  23. Leah · September 18, 2010

    I’m 31 and I have 3 kids (12, 10 and 5) and there are literally no clothes for me that I feel are appropriate! Being tiny (5’0 and 100 pounds) the women’s petites are still too big and shaped completely wrong, but the junior section is making me feel uncomfortable. I don’t want to be wearing the same clothes as my kids! The clothing industry needs to realize that we don’t all fit into 2 groups, namely teenie bopper and grannie. I want to feel pretty but not like a tramp!

  24. kaci · October 13, 2010

    i think you should wear what ever you feel comfortable in and if ya can pull it off then why not? im 30 and still wear short skirts and i feel comfortable in them, i always say age is only a number a number as to how long you been living on this earth nothing more nothing less :)

  25. janeo · June 25, 2011

    this article blows!
    i am 30 but look 21 if i dressed like this in the article everyone would think im some boring nerd!

  26. LynLy · July 11, 2011

    This is a very interesting article, it made me laugh though. I found some stuff useful, but I’m not going to take it all in. Age is just a number.. If you don’t look like your age and actually look way younger. Then, this article really doesn’t apply much. But if you are in great shape and is in your 30 or over, I still think you can pull off a young look. As long as you’re not dressing trashy. For me, I look way too young for my age of 27. I actually want to look much older, so this article will help me somewhat. Haha.. I’m also not much of a jewlry person, but I guess that can be a start. Once in awhile. So, thanks.

  27. Mela · August 5, 2011

    I just needed a little advise… i dont want to take away the spice.I want to add to it.

  28. Mela · August 5, 2011

    I just needed a little advice… i didnt want to take away the spice.I want to add to it.

  29. Tom · September 2, 2011

    It depends on how someone looks. Hopefully people will make their own choices and you will be left to endure the mockery and derision you deserve.

  30. Forever Young · September 11, 2011

    Lemme give some serious opinion here : 30 to 35 is still a young age and one can wear very much trendy and stylish clothes. Btw, shouldnt we wear youthful clothes to look youthful even in our 30s but yeah just dont go for teenage looks. I am still in my 20s but i would never wear dull and your suggested kind of clothes when ill be in 30s. ILL still wear stylish trendy hippy grungy and classic all sorts of looks but yeah in certain limits.

  31. Lesya · September 27, 2011

    When you reach 30 your clothing should be of a better quality. No more polyester anything. It’s feasible though only if you got substential income. I would recommend a book to any girl “Parisan chic” by Innes de la Fresange. Be stylish, be yourself.

  32. jennifer · October 31, 2011

    First of all the the person who wrote the article said generally mini skirts are not age appropriate. Thats great if you still think you can pull off the mini skirt…but in all reality if you have a family or carrier your not gonna be wearing a mini skirt. Usually at 30 there is no where you would really wear that unless you are still hanging in the clubs. And that explains it all. Most people at 30 are really concerned how they are representing their families and lives. I think the advice given was good. So if your still hanging on 2 skirts that are up your butt and jeans that have holes all over them….Heres my advice!!! Let it go you are now an adult. The 80′s are gone!

  33. Dr j · November 3, 2011

    Where what you want.. More importantly where what you can…. There are many 25 year olds that are obese that should dress like there 40 but they don’t (at the expense of making a fool of themselves) and many 30 something’s that can rock a miniskirt better than alot of 20 year olds. If you eat right and work out show it off!

  34. Nicole · November 24, 2011

    just came across this article as im turning 30 next month. What a load of rubbish. So if im to follow this ive to go from wearing trendy clothes to looking like 50 year old overnight. Such a silly article. 30 somethings can definitely dress trendy. Khaki will not be part of my wardrobe for at least 20 years!!!

  35. Donna · November 25, 2011

    I disagree with almost everything stated in this article! Minis can be worn by anyone that looks the part…no matter what age. Whomever wrote this article certainly lived during the 50′s & 60′s and was too old to wear a mini by the 70′s…need new writers apparently here, as my grandmother completely agrees with you. :) We should be worried about what all of the pre-teens & teens are wearing these days, not mature, responsible adults.

  36. Nathan Lee · December 9, 2011

    That hot 46 year old chick from Weeds could wear torn jeans and logo shirts with no problem.

    I don’t think the age matters as much as attitude and body composition. If you’re just 30 and look like a fat slob and badly damaged skin, then no, trendy clothing will not look good on you.

  37. Sheena · December 18, 2011

    I found your article perfectly correct. I have read the comments on here and I can’t help but laugh! How desprate you all must look as you certainly sound that way! The writer is trying to explain how to look classic and tasteful, not frumpy. When did dressy like a lady become frumpy. I am 30, I would never be seen out in ripped clothes and tacky statement tees! And certainly not a mini skirt! But I’m a lady, unafraid of getting older. Still sexy, classy, and TASTEFUL! guess what GIRLS, men find the look refreshing! ;)

  38. Sassyg · December 27, 2011

    NO MINISKIRTS!!!!

  39. Amy · January 3, 2012

    Im 30 and this article is crazy. I wanted to see what i should be dressing like but it shouldnt matter to me im my own person!! I love my ripped jeans and i will change when i look bad in them or they are out of style.

  40. Ang · January 7, 2012

    This is unreal. Dress how YOU want to dress.
    What makes you feel like a MILLION BUCKS!
    I think it’s all about confidence; the more you have the better you feel about your-self.
    I won’t listen to this advice. I’m 31, and Love jeans with tears and rips in the knee. Care what YOU think, NOT others. You will be happiest that way. :) Happy 2012!

  41. anna · January 15, 2012

    Age is irrelevant. Its all about the shape someone is in. Wear what you want and forget stupid stereotypes.

  42. Ashe · January 18, 2012

    I don’t beileve the word ‘trendy’ should be used, as it is not a sin to look ‘fashionable’ at 30

  43. Kelly · March 2, 2012

    Well why bother looking up something like this if your going to comment we are all individuals. It’s a guide!!

  44. Kelly · March 2, 2012

    Well why bother looking up something like this if your going to comment we are all individuals. It’s a guide!! Skeemer are you single or working the streets??

  45. thirtysome girl · March 7, 2012

    How depressing. Since when does turning 30 turn into becoming an old conservative maid!

  46. Marly · March 20, 2012

    Well this sure did not help! I’m turning 30 and freaking out this sure did not help! Just a little too nervous about it about the change in age group.

  47. Nicole · April 10, 2012

    Being a 30 year old myself I totally agree with Mary on this one….30 isn’t the end of trendy and stylish. I feel much more my age in ripped jeans and t shirts then I would feel in anything labeled as classy. I’ll be ready for classy in my 50′s…..maybe :)

  48. Lea · October 1, 2012

    Wow, this is how to dress if you are about 65! I have perfect legs and a perfect butt, and will therefore of course wear short skirts! My best friend is close to 60 and looks amazing in her old Beatles shirts, totally classy! She still loves them and will always look cool in her bohemian style.
    And Khaki pants? Please shoot me in the face right now!

  49. audra · November 30, 2012

    I don’t think just because you reach a certain age that you automatically need to alter your wardrobe. I’m 31 and look no different then when I was 25-26, and feel only slightly more responsible than when i was 23! I am not tossing out my distressed jeans anytime soon and if you have the bod to pull it off some 30-40 year olds look better than some 20 year olds. my husband just turned 40 this summer and is still mistaken for a 28 year old! he is awesome at the “guess my age” carny games, he wins every time :) I think dressing “age appropriately” is something that young teens & early 20 somethings and 45+ people care about… I can tell you when I was a teen I was cocky and judgmental until my mid 20s. that all went away and i realized that there is no magical rule that kicks in at certain ages (with the exception of dependency and being responsible; which BTW I have met 50 year olds that are horrible irresponsible)

    Life is difficult enough and goes by way too fast to really care about the small trivial things. now granted i know a woman in her 50s that still wears mini skirts and tanks to work! yeah creepy… now she could benefit from this article. but in general i don’t think that us women need to put pressure on ourselves…

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