Style in Your 30s | Tips & Lookbook
TIPS FOR BUILDING AN EFFECTIVE WARDROBE
- Invest in quality: Needless to say, the better the quality, the longer your clothes will last you. Consider the ‘cost per wear’ before buying an item. A high-quality pair of jeans costing €150 are a bargain if you wear them 100 times.
- Natural fabrics: Look for clothes that consist predominantly of natural fabrics such as cotton, silk or wool. I don’t mind a certain percentage of synthetic fabric (e.g. elastine) but I always ensure that the percentage of natural fabric outweigh the synthetic (read the care label for fabric details and percentages).
- Match your lifestyle: Our 30s can herald many lifestyle changes so make sure you adapt your wardrobe to reflect your current circumstances. If you have been promoted at work, you may require more formal pieces. If you have small children, you will need clothes that you can move in and that can be washed and ironed easily etc.
- Minimal colours and patterns: I recommend that you build your wardrobe around your favourite 5 colours (1 dark neutral, 1 light neutral and 3 brighter colours); this way your clothes will be very easy to mix and match. I also suggest that you opt for understated patterns – again so that you can mix and match easily.
- Accessorise: Introduce fun, personality and vitality into your outfits with colourful, beautiful accessories such as beautiful beaded necklaces, statement earrings, eye-catching shoes etc.
- Be stylish, not trendy: It’s no harm to incorporate a trend influence into your outfit, but don’t wear the latest fashion fads from top to toe as you may look like a ‘fashion victim’ or, worse still, mutton dressed as lamb. Not to mind the fact that it can be very costly to keep on top of the trends!
- Find flattering fits: As we age our bodies naturally change shape. Often in our 30s we find that we gather more weight around the middle/lower tummy and we can lose muscle definition (the upper arms is a notorious area for this). Buy clothes that will; (a) support and camouflage as necessary, and (b) deflect attention towards your best features e.g. if your tummy is broader than in your 20s, wear dresses/tops with ruching across that area which will hide any wobbliness. Similarly, wear a statement necklace or embellished neckline which will draw attention upwards and away from your tummy.
- Mix and match: Each piece in your wardrobe should match with 3 others; this is the key to a high functioning wardrobe e.g. the cream blouse above can be worn over the jeans, trousers, skirt and under the dress, both cardigans and jacket.
- Read care labels: What are the manufacturer’s instructions regarding washing and ironing? Nowadays I only buy items that can be washed and ironed easily!
Click on each photo to enlarge.
1. Dress | Diva Catwalk ‘Joy’ dress, £115 [buy]
2. Trousers | Clemens en August straight-leg trousers, €93.70 [buy]
3. Jeans | Salsa push in ‘Secret’ Jeans, €120 [buy]
4. Skirt | Orla Kiely for People Tree, alpine skirt, €94.99 [buy]
5. Blouse | Oasis cowl-back top, €40.00 [buy]
6. Top | Macy ‘Swallows’ top, €44.99 [buy]
7. Cardigan | Karen Millen belted cardigan, €156.11 [buy]
8. Sweater | J Crew cashmere long-sleeve top, €196.04 [buy]
9. Cardigan | Mint Velvet drawstring cardigan, £59.00 [buy]
10. Jacket | Mint Velvet zip peplum jacket, £99.00 [buy]
11. Scarf | Mint Velvet shell-pink gauzy scarf, £29.00 [buy]
12. Shoes | LK Bennett, ‘Shilo’ taupe patent, £170 [buy]
13. Shoes | Penneys, €8
14. Belt | Oasis ‘Poppy’ belt, £45 [buy]
15. Bag | Oasis fold-over bag, €47.51 [buy]
16. Bag | Asos aztec embroidery purse, €20.36 [buy]
17. Necklace | J Crew flower lattice necklace, €237.76 [buy]
18. Necklace | Salsa necklace, €15.00 [buy]
19. Bracelet | Venessa Arizaga gold-plated charm bracelet, €127.91 [buy]