Transitioning in to our thirties can be difficult. I have found that 16, 18, 21, 30 and 50 appear to be the most “dramatic” times in our lives as women. They, for many, mark major transitions in our lives and while 16, 18 and 21 are marked with exciting new endeavors, 30 and 50, are often marred with negative connotations. I know for myself, a few years ago, when my cousin had the audacity to say that I was turning 30 in the next year (having not yet turned 29 in that current year), I had an immediate and visceral denial that was involuntary. I have never thought that I would go gracefully in to old age. I have my anti-aging creams and I stay on the tops of trends but I did not realize how challenging moving into my 30s would be mentally. I so didn’t think I was that girl.
But 30s do mark change and once place is definitely our fashion. The carefree, just thrown together look (though really they are thought out) of our 20s and somewhat experimental appearance should and often does give way to a more sophisticated and defined sense of style. That by no means frumpy, matronly, and uncool. It’s just adaptive.
First and foremost, from this point on, do not look to the teenagers in your life for fashion advice.
The style of the teen and the style of the now very adult woman, often a mother by this decade, are very different. While your teenage niece may be able to rock leggings with a t-shirt and flip flops, you might want to look at a different approach such as leggings with a long boyfriend cardigan, boots and longer t-shirt and pair it with a sophisticated purse and jewelry. No matter how hot your body or how fit it might be, fashion, styles and trends for teenagers are also designed around a teenager’s still developing body and at 30, you are full woman and their fashion just isn’t designed for your very grown woman’s body.
Remember you can wear anything…with sophistication.
Grunge is probably not the most appropriate look for a 30s something woman. Nor are hot pants, belly shirts, crop tops without something underneath. Shorter shorts are still your friend, depending on your legs, but instead of cut-offs opt for a more tailored short like a hemmed jean short or a khaki. Tailoring is the key.
While you may have gotten away with experimenting with trends in your 20s, I suggest being a little more selective when you move into your thirties. The last thing you want to do is look like you are trying too hard. We have all seen the moms that look like fashion victims rather than fashion icons. They went to the store, bought every trend that season and threw them in to one outfit! If the trend does not fit your body shape and your sense of style and your life style, jettison it for one that does.
For example, I love, love, love high heels and am super in love with the platform heels of today because it gives my short 5’6” frame some much needed height but my life style doesn’t warrant wearing them every day. So they reside in my closet for my professional occasions and special occasions. My mom on-the-go life style warrants the cool Tommy and Keds trends that are so in right now. And despite my love of leggings and skinny jeans, my hips and thighs don’t warrant all the awesome ways people are wearing them, so I edit to my body. My personal sense of style leans toward 1940s styled elegance and simplicity of cut. So right now I am loving and embracing the Hollywood glamour trends that we are seeing so much of. But when 80s elements were “the thing” not so long ago, I flaunted the colors of the trend but not much else. Embrace trends as they fit you, modify them or adjust them to your personal style and either adapt or reject those that don’t work in to your life.
I am not talking about breaking the bank but I am talking about taking clothing to the next level. Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe should not be your go to stores any longer. Not only are they not really age appropriate but they are geared toward the disposable side of fashion. Start looking at brands and stores like MaxStudio, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Anne Klein, etc. for more age appropriate AND quality appropriate fashion. Continue investing in classics but start expanding in to wide ranges of color. A cashmere sweater in red, blue, teal, green or yellow will most likely stand the test of time even if the color isn’t in this season. It’s time to move beyond the rut of classics in neutrals only. Low maintenance ladies would do well to find one or two styles of a basic piece like a cashmere sweater, pencil skirt, button up blouse and get it in multiple colors. Wardrobes then become less complicated.
Fashion doesn’t have to cost a lot of money either. You can get quality pieces at discount prices by shopping TJMaxx, Marshalls, Ross and others. Just remember that you will need to be open when you shop. If you can’t find it there, don’t be afraid to visit a department store and invest in quality pieces. Remember, a discount deal on a shirt that you have to replace annually may end up costing you more than one quality piece that lasts for years!
Mix It Up.
You are still of an age where you can wear just about anything…I said just about anything. So just because you have hit your 30s doesn’t mean that the rocker chick persona or vintage glamour style you love has to go away. Platform pumps sporting studs or a modern twist on the t-strap are such an easy way to express your personal inner DIVA without going overboard and are more than appropriate for your style. This is the perfect way for medium and high maintenance fashionistas to express themselves. Remember Accessories are our friends!
Let’s face it; the body of a teenager can defy gravity. The body of a 30 year old, especially if she has had a kid or two, needs a little antigravity help. Making sure you have body and size appropriate undergarments are key. Spanx may need to make an appearance in your closet but if not, remember that an ill fitted bra or saggy granny panties or VPL (Visible Panty Line) can ruin even the best put together ensemble.
Lastly, embrace the still sexy you!
I happen to believe every woman, regardless of age, can and is sexy. It’s all in how she expresses it. You may be in your 30s, you may have had a child or two, and you may spend your days working to come home to more work or your husband gets home to bring you more work but, remember you still got it. It’s okay to show a little skin still…arms, legs, décolleté, some tasteful cleavage, backs, etc.
Hope you are enjoying the series. As a reminder all the fashion looks I have put together come from items pulled together on www.polyvore.com create link. Try it and have some fun!