As I am fully into my 30’s now, have gone through a pregnancy and now have my first child, I am realizing a lot has changed in the way I shop and dress myself. While my style is ever-evolving as I experiment with different trends and shapes, the core of how I actually style myself and view my body, has changed. Regardless of what your personal aesthetic is or how much money or time you spend on dressing yourself, here are a few of my styling tips for how to dress in your 30s and beyond!
Style in your 30s: 3 Tips
#1 Buy one size larger than you used to
This is probably the biggest change I have made in my shopping habits. In my twenties and pre-pregnancy, I bought and wore, size XS. Even though the number on the scale didn’t change much from ages 25-32, things started to fit me differently as I aged. I was even working out more and eating better once I started working from home, yet still those XS items weren’t as comfortable. Clearly although my weight was the same, the distribution of weight was different. I found that I was still buying my old size out of an inability to admit I had grown, as I had always been an XS, and couldn’t fathom the possibility of that changing. However, it wasn’t until having Marina that my mindset shifted, and I started buying a size larger. Sure, I know I still have baby weight, but that’s not what it’s about. It’s about the acceptance that my body has changed, and the realization that I want to be comfortable in my clothing instead of squeezing into it.
From a styling perspective, it’s revolutionary. When you buy one size larger, everything looks a little cooler. Your tees and jackets drape with a nonchalance instead of pulling over your breasts. A tie waist dress makes your waist look even smaller because it’s balanced against the added volume everywhere else. Jeans have a worn-in look instead of a worn-out look (trust me, there’s a difference), and the best part, you are more comfortable. Sure, you may have to hem a few more things, but you will feel and look much better! And you should probably learn how to hem your clothing anyway…. but that’s the sewist in me talking ;)
#2 Embrace the Midi- Heel and Length
In my twenties I just could not get on board with anything ‘midi’ or ‘tea length’. I found it to be incredibly dowdy, and style-wise, neither here nor there. Now I completely disagree! To me now, a maxi dress looks completely sloppy, and reminds me of drunken wine tours and tacky spring breaks. A midi length looks so much more put-together, doesn’t get dirty on said wine tours, and shows off your heels that you spent time picking out, right? And maybe those heels are a midi height too? Because a mid-heel is fresh, great for daytime activities (why does wine tasting continue to come up in my references….? You can see what I’m jonesing for clearly…) and balances with a midi length skirt or dress.
#3 Highlight the waist, not show it
A key styling note to rocking those midi dresses and midi heels is making sure they highlight the waist. Actually, this is imperative. I can’t really think of any other style (empire waist, tent, drop waist) that would look good with a midi length, so although some rules are made to be broken, I don’t recommend experimenting with this one! In our twenties we would rock crop tops, a lot of empire waist tops (to help emphasize the ladies and de-emphasize our beer bellies) and a lot of loose ‘going out tops’. Ladies, we have moved on to the world of high rise jeans and waist belts. When styling separates, pick a blouse or tee that can be tucked in to your jeans or skirt, or belt a loose dress to give it some shape. I promise that even if you think you are ‘hiding something’ with that loose top, you are not. Even a partially tucked in top, to remind us that you have a waist, is a great casual styling trick! Keep in mind that I fully embrace fitted dresses on women of all ages (show that body!) and a loose dress in a beach/coverup type setting is always appropriate. But if you are looking to raise your style game at work, for ladies night out or just for weekend activities, then give us a little waist!