Although your style does not need to change with the decade, your 30th birthday is a perfect time to go over your wardrobe. You might not notice how much clothes you are barely wearing any more. You could be standing on the brink of an age full of new colours, textures and shapes. Read on to find out how you can give your wardrobe a makeover!
Do: leather and boots
Leather -or faux eco-leather- can be your best ally if used sparingly. It's dressy, formal and youthful at the same time. But we don't want you to ditch your whole wardrobe for it. It's just good advice: as you age, you should find clothes that suit your lifestyle better. If your job or other activities call for trousers and heels, throwing a leather jacket on can be the key to achieving a an informal look with attitude and presence.
Don't: jeans with absurd wear and tear marks
Your teens are long gone, and your torn jeans and jackets should be, too. When starting your fourth decade, your personality will have changed a lot, and you should find a style that compliments it. Purposely torn jeans simply don't look as well on older people, and they look worse of all when worn to formal occasions on high heels. Say "no" to this horrendous trend and stick to plain or stone-washed jeans.
Do: three pieces that will stand out
A dress just above the knee can be used to either formal and informal situations, depending on how you complete the look. To accentuate your femininity, your character and your taste, you can wear a straight fleece jacket on your shoulders and matching shoes to wrap it up. The same dress look perfect with ankle-heigh boots and denim shirts. A multifunctional piece for a decade chock-full of accomplishments and success.
Don't: Channel mini-skirts
Mini-skirts are uncomfortable to wear and even more so if they are made with stiff fabric. It's best to use skirts just above the knee, in dark colours and in fabrics that suit your taste. The classic "Channel" look can be very stylish, modern and iconic ... but it grows old too fast. These garments are usually made with wool, combined with complementary tops and gold chains, a signature style but very lacking in sensuality and youth.
Do: Long jersey dress
Long dresses ceased to be synonymous with parties, cocktails, glitter or glamour long ago, and now have taken over any activity, during the day or at night. And at 30, you'll look better than ever in them: you might not have had the opportunity to wear them while in your 20s, and they don't even require a specific kind of footwear, since they go with everything from high-top trainers to heels. Throw on a leather jacket, and you'll have yet another great look!
Don't: Subcultural teen
Please: leave bold colour combinations for fashion design students looking for their own style. And remember: when dressing at 30, not everything goes. Your choice in colour might be right, but this particular skort combined with male shoes is simply wrong. Age isn't something to shrug off, but a sign of maturity, and that weighs in on your image, a lot. Stay away from childish looks and pick what to wear with assertion.
Do: bring out your curves
Take advantage of your curvaceous, harmonious and feminine silhouette, whatever your size. Show your body has never been as important as it is now. The time for modesty is long gone and no one should tell you what to wear or which parts of your body you should reveal or keep covered. Try on a red dress like this, but one that does not exaggerate your breasts or hips. There's no need to overdo it, as the tone is striking by itself. The dress only needs to fit you well, and compliment the colour of your skin. The rest will just fall right into place.
Don't: mix different textures
Combining layers of fabrics of different colours and textures is never good. Why? It gives the impression that you didn't really know what to wear, or that you are simply trying too hard. Not to mention that it's never a great idea to wear matching skirt and shoes! It might look good on a mannequin in the shop, to display the designer's collection, but it's not the best choice for you. It's better to wear monochrome jackets in classic cuts with some texture, but without exaggerating.
Do: informal sweatshirt and boots
Feeling young is the key to go into a new decade with the best attitude. Over time, some clothes should lose their place in your wardrobe, while you will love others forever. A neutral-coloured jersey, with embroidered or screen-printed motifs, and wear it over shirts, short dresses and short boots. By mixing and matching, you will achieve a youthful look while keeping it casual.
Don't: beachwear in the city
Leave beachwear for the place it takes its name from: the beach. Walking through the city wearing skimpy bathing clothes isn't a pretty sight, no matter how old you are. And some additional advice: any get-up that reveals your mid-section should cover your legs and chest. As a rule of thumb, you should only reveal one part of your body at a time. Not only will you feel more comfortable, but you will make others feel comfortable around you, too.
The writer is a fashion designer graduate and has launched her own fashion label, "What To Wear."