What Do I Wear to Rock My 30's?
Anything you want. Duh.
As of today, approximately at noon, I joined the distinguished group of adults that survived their 20's. I used to be swayed by online and print articles telling me to go crazy and take risks in my 20's in fashion and life because your free pass expires sooner than you think. Certain clothes will be banned and these rules are ironclad. Now I know this isn't true. Just like how being carded is a compliment now instead of a nuisance. These rules can't be enforced by the unofficial fashion police, unless you are famous. Anyone telling you what to wear who doesn't know you doesn't get to. Terrible office and school dress codes being the exception which I urge you to fight if they are too strict and militant.
The solution presented in these articles and magazines is throw out everything you have accumulated over the years and start over with your new age dictating how you dress. Make sure not to take your body, budget or other unique circumstances into account because having an appropriate wardrobe for your age is all that matters.
Do you throw out your whole wardrobe? Nope. You can trim it and get rid of clothes that no longer serve you in fit or taste. That's a given at any age.
I used to admire, still do, women who wore streamlined and minimalist clothes and idealized this as a responsible adult uniform. So I accumulated some boring clothes I never wore. I gave these away when I realized I would never wear them or they didn't fit. Your style can change but don't let this be solely on how old you are.
Everyone hammers away at the idea of basics. Make sure you have basics. Spend extra for super basic basics. But if you don't enjoy wearing them for whatever reason ignore this advice. Basics can be different for different people.
My idea of basics is lots of black, white and stripes with some color but nothing crazy. I usually save the punches of color for accessories and this makes mixing and matching pieces to create outfits easier. If you love color these basics would not work for you. Walking into a sea of black and white in your closet might make you nauseous. A red pair of pants might be a great basic for you if that is your favorite color and you will get a lot of wear out of them. For me I'm dipping my toes into the trending all red outfits bursting out of New York Fashion Week but I'm not ready to go full Red Queen yet.
Long ago when I worked retail in the junior's section I would spy adults, not teens!, or twenty year olds shopping this section. I silently judged them while being delightfully helpful if needed. They came for a myriad of reasons. The women's department clothes were too boring, expensive or not what they wanted. I realized after helping one woman over multiple visits if she could fit into our clothes and they looked flattering, notoriously small since they are made for teens, she should wear them and not be shamed because she happens to fall out of our designated demographic.
Back to What You Are Allowed to Wear at this Age lists, at best these can help people floundering for something appropriate to wear. I think the reason these lists were dreamed up is because someone asked the question, “What do I wear now that I am insert number?” They probably just wanted some general advice but what has spawned from that is throw out certain things because now you can't wear them.
At worst this is thinly veiled ageism that encourages women, older than a certain age, to stay out of the spotlight and stop trying to compete with the younger females who get all the attention no matter what. Here's a news flash, I've seen some of the best outlandish (in a good way), creative and unexpected outfits from people older than me. Instagram and the democratization of fashion lets anyone with a platform and camera express themselves to the masses.
Here are the updated rules for anyone who is curious:
Don't be naked. Caveats: you are at home, at the doctor or a nudist colony or beach.
Wear something you like that fits your body. Fit is subjective so make sure you can breathe and walk in it, preferably.
Maybe subscribe to applicable dress codes if you must but subvert them whenever you can and try to change them.
Creating new outfits from my closet is something I really enjoy concocting the night before or in the morning. Sometimes it is the only way I get to express myself creatively until I come home from work. I know this isn't a priority for everyone but make sure at the very least you own and buy clothes that fit your body, lifestyle and how you express yourself. It might be enough to make any day start out better. Cheers to throwing out old, antiquated style rules and wearing what we want!