There are certain things we all wore in our 20s that should never see the light of day again. For me, this includes the little (I mean, little) black dress I swore was wedding appropriate, the bandage skirt that I wore to parties, the deconstructed jeans that became destroyed over the time—not to mention all those Halloween costumes. While I have many great memories in these items, I was happy to finally let them go and free up closet space for staple items that are both stylish and age-appropriate. Because after all, grown-ass women have grown-ass responsibilities, and it’s been shown that, even if we are unaware of it, we take on some of the characteristics of the clothes we’re wearing (hence the power suit).
If you’re looking to rework your wardrobe, keep scrolling for the items every woman should have in her closet by the time she turns 30. It’s never too early to start building a collection that makes you feel fabulous regardless of age.
A white button down
Let’s start with the obvious: There are few items you’ll lean on more than a white button-down. A shirt like this adds an element of sophistication to any look, whether it’s tucked in for an early morning meeting or hanging loose for Sunday brunch. Just be sure it has a tailored shape, like this slim-fitted, cotton shirt from J.Crew.
A party dress
Everyone deserves a dress that makes them feel like a knockout—and doesn’t require them to stress-shop every time they’re invited to a fancy event. Consider this your permission to splurge on something versatile, like a timeless LBD. As the saying goes, “One is never overdressed or underdressed with a little black dress.”
A quality pair of jeans
We’re not saying you have to ditch the trendy deconstructed or detailed denim, but invest in at least one trusty pair, whether for you that’s a skinny silhouette, boot cut or flared hem. Your butt deserves them.
A good handbag
Your purse is the one thing you likely never leave the house without. Most of us live out of our bags, which are stuffed with on-the-go essentials, work files, gym clothes, cosmetics and more, so now is the time to get one that reflects your professional style and is sturdy enough to hold all your stuff. (While you’re at it, pledge to clean out the gum wrappers and receipts at least once a week.) We recommend this drawstring leather transport tote by Madewell.
A well-fitted bra
A bra fitting may seem like an unnecessary expense, but you’ll be thankful when your boobs look their best ever. A professional can help lead you to a bra that lifts and supports your specific size and shape. If you don’t have the time or the money for a fitting, use these pro tips to size yourself for a bra at home.
A power suit
Even if your job allows you wear jeans to work, don’t underestimate the power of a power suit. It conveys authority, determination, experience, age, and you never know when you may need it. No matter your body shape, keep in mind that it should be slim-fitting and tailored. We like this Windsor jacket and skinny trouser from Rag & Bone. Pair it with your trusty white button down for the boardroom, or with a silky camisole for date night.
A signature piece of jewelry
Be it a signet ring, a delicate bracelet or a pair of diamond studs, invest in something that you’ll want to wear every day and cherish for years to come.
A travel bag
For work or for play, you’ll likely be logging more sky miles in the years to come. So, consider the days of stuffing everything into a beat-up bag from college over. Treat yourself to something that you’ll be excited to pull out from the overhead bin, like this one hard-shell carry-on from Away, which comes with two inside compartments and a built-in phone charger.
A structured blazer
Whether you choose to style it with a t-shirt or silk blouse, a blazer has a way of tying any look together. Go for a neutral color in a long-line, tailored silhouette, like the Etiennette Blazer by Theory, and you can toss it on without thinking twice.
A sexy set of lingerie
Is there anything more confident boosting than a sexy set of undergarments? Wear them under your dress during a dinner date or under your power suit during a meeting. Check out these pretty pieces by Le Petit Trou.
A silk scarf
Not only should you own a silk scarf (whether or not you go for Hermes is your choice), but you should also educate yourself in the many ways to tie it. You can use it as a headband, a belt, a necktie, or to cover up cleavage in a pinch.