30 Style Essentials for All Chic Girls in Their 30s

Know this: Louise Redknapp and Emma Thatcher of A Style Album are clever women. They've taught us about how to wear pink like a grown-up, the way to choose chic workout gear, and how to do the graphic tee trend without looking like a teenager. Their advice is always useful and always stylish. So, when they offered to guide us through ultimate things you need to own by the time you're 30, we didn't hesitate.

In this shopping list of shopping lists, the duo has covered everything you could possibly ever think of. From the wardrobe staples, such as a leather jacket, LBD and a piece of Chanel, to the makeup essentials, which includes knowing what shade of foundation you should be wearing as well as finding a signature scent. For that and more, keep scrolling for all the 30 things you need to invest in when you hit your 30s.

1. Underwear You'd Be Proud Of

Photo:

Courtesy of Lou and Em

Throw away the holey old knickers—no matter how comfortable, they need to go. We can no longer suffer thongs, so we buy good old M&S Brazilian knickers. Love Stories does gorgeous mix-and-match sets, and Anine Bing's lace bras are a must for a bra-on-show look.

2. The All-Important LBD

Yep, you've heard this time and time again: Invest in an LBD. We've often resisted—not wanting to give into the realisation that we don't have anything unique to wear—but there have been times where we've had just a few minutes to get ready and wished we'd had that reliable dress. We've searched for some cool options—throw one on, add a slick of red lippy, and you're good to go.

3. Anything From Chanel

Photo:

Courtesy of Lou and Em

Yes, we know this is not realistic for all budgets, but if you want a special forever piece, buy Chanel. For friends' 30ths, we've often all chipped in and bought Chanel pearls or a brooch, or for something really special, we go to Susan Caplan, who sources vintage jewellery. How thoughtful would a Chanel necklace from the year you were born be?

4. A Timeless Bag

Photo:

Courtesy of Lou and Em

Now, with such good high-street finds, we often have a multitude of bags to choose from. However, there comes a point when it's most economical to go back to basics and invest in a good-quality, go-to leather bag. Big enough to hold all of your grown-up stuff.

5. A Classic Blazer

Photo:

Courtesy of Lou and Em

Not just for the office. We team our blazers with denim and trainers for a dressed-down look for the day and a cami/black trouser combo layered with plenty of necklaces for an evening. Worth investing in a quality, well-cut blazer for maximum wear. Blaze Milano is pricey, but it's the best.

6. Chic Loungewear

The first thing we do when we get home from a busy day is put on our "comfy clothes." Time to ditch the old, scruffy tracksuits, and buy into some luxurious separates that you'll feel good in even after a tough day.

7. Perfect-Fit Jeans

Photo:

Courtesy of Lou and Em

By the time you hit your 30s, you should know which shape best suits you. Topshop has a huge variety of styles; take the time to go in and try on the ones that suit your shape. Generally, the more expensive the jean, the more hold they have, for classic designer denim, Rag & Bone and Frame are our go-to. Donna Ida is the Denim Queen; if you’re based in London, it’s worth popping into her London store to see what shape is right for you, or visit her online denim clinic.

8. A Throw-On Leather Jacket

Photo:

Courtesy of Lou and Em

A huge part of our day-to-day style uniform. A good biker jacket looks effortlessly cool every time you throw it on. Whatever your age we promise you can wear one of these with ease.

9. Black Court Shoes

Photo:

Courtesy of Lou and Em

We have invested in Manolo Blahnik—the designer made famous by Carrie Bradshaw. Manolo's BB90 (named after another icon: Brigitte Bardot) are a classic style that never dates. Simple pumps like these are so versatile and so as long as you keep them repaired and taken care of, they will last.

10. A Quality Watch

We prefer the look of an oversize men's watch over a delicate women's style. Larsson & Jennings has some classic styles, and if you're looking for a forever piece, look no further than a Rolex Daytona.

11. An Alternative Ear Piercing

Photo:

Courtesy of Lou and Em

You know you're approaching your midlife point when you opt for a "crisis" piercing! No need to do something you'd regret though—there are plenty of piercings that are perfectly acceptable. Maria Tash has set up shop in Liberty, so we'd suggest heading there for an über-cool ear makeover. And if you can't make it to London, simply get some inspo from her Instagram account.

12. High-Spec Sunglasses

Photo:

Courtesy of Lou and Em

To hide a multitude of sins and to prevent the inevitable crow's-feet, an oversize pair of sunglasses is a must for any woman. Whether it's to cover up late nights out partying (or late nights up with the baby), you'll be grateful you bought a pair you like wearing… a lot.

13. Beautiful Flats

Photo:

Courtesy of Lou and Em

Because who really wants to totter around in heels all day? Loafers are fully in fashion, and we’re embracing the sensible trend. Gucci led the way, and the high street has come up with many affordable alternatives.

14. Swimwear

Photo:

Courtesy of Lou and Em

We do believe in paying a little more for swimwear—better quality fabrics and fit are all too important when you want something that lasts and makes you feel at your most confidence.

15. Personality-Driven Accessories

Photo:

Courtesy of Lou and Em

Accessories can make an outfit. Be it a belt, jewellery or a scarf. When you go into your 30s, try to stop buying throwaway accessories, and opt for forever pieces that you will never tire of. It's all about ensuring you locate the items that really speak to you: If boho jewellery, for example, isn't your thing, don't feel like that's the answer!

16. Khaki Jacket 

Photo:

Courtesy of Lou and Em

This one simple item can take you from the school run to Glastonbury. Everyone should have a khaki jacket in their wardrobe, as it's also perfect for the unpredictable British weather.

17. The Right Foundation and Concealer

Photo:

Courtesy of Lou and Em

You’d be surprised to hear how many people wear the wrong type and shade for their skin tone. Always go a shade lighter than your skin tone to avoid looking overdone. Take the time out to get matched—your skin changes so much by the time you reach your 30s; it may be worth a makeup overhaul.

18. Manicured Nails

Photo:

Courtesy of Lou and Em

We love a good mani-pedi. Don't feel like you have to go classic: We're always experimenting so much with colours, and now we have our go-to shades. OPI Big Apple Red (£12) and Smith & Cult The Graduate (£19) are current favourites.

19. Flowers and Candles

Photo:

Courtesy of Lou and Em

We love filling our home with fresh flowers and will travel that bit further to visit our favourite florists: Scarlet & Violet, Wild & Heart, and Flower Bx. A candle is a lovely little luxury; the perfect way to unwind in the bath after a busy day.

20. An electric toothbrush

Look after your teeth now, and save yourself a fortune in the long run! Electric toothbrushes are a necessity and something that shouldn't be an afterthought.

21. Cared-For Hair

Photo:

Courtesy of Lou and Em

It's super important to maintain your hair in between hair appointments. Oribe is great to put some much-needed nutrition back into our hair after it's left damaged from all the heat styling. Em swears by Redken Blonde Idol to keep the yellow away, and Olaplex is a must to maintain the condition.

22. Luxurious Sheets

Photo:

Courtesy of Lou and Em

You spend half your life in them so why not treat yourself to nice ones? The White Company and La Redoute sheets are our favourites. Sleep is more important now than ever. All this work/life/family juggling is tiring!

23. A Selection of Good Books

Photo:

Courtesy of Lou and Em

Step away from your phone, and read a good book! It's a simple pleasure that's often overlooked in this crazy, switched-on world. Coffee table books are a great decorative accessory for your home too. Win-win.

24. An Advanced Moisturiser

A good skincare routine can make you look radiant and refreshed even if you don’t feel it. Try out different brands to find out what works for your skin—grab some testers as you go along. As you get older, it's all about the active ingredients: The Ordinary has been applauded for the excellent ingredients for low prices. Look after your skin; it's your best accessory!

25. Vitamins

We've just started on a course of Lumity—an anti-ageing food supplement—and are super excited to see the results. Beauty & Go's drinks are also something we drink daily; they taste great and contain collagen and hyaluronic acid so are brilliant for our skin. Talk to your local health food store about what's right for you.

26. Every-Occasion Lipstick

Find your colour, and always have one handy—lipstick can empower you.

27. A Passport

Photo:

Courtesy of Lou and Em

The older we get, the more places we want to see, and travelling has become a priority for us. We've recently ticked Tulum of our hit list, but a Californian road trip, Cuba and Mykonos are all up next. Grab a copy of Condé Nast Traveller Chic Stays (£46) for some inspiration.

28. Posh Hand Cream

Photo:

Courtesy of Lou and Em

It's super-handy (get it?) and very grown-up to carry around a hand cream. We hate the feeling of dry hands, so this is a little daily luxury you can justify and enjoy. Speaking of our hands, an Aesop handwash is always available in our home too.

29. A Signature Scent

Photo:

Courtesy of Lou and Em

We love having our signature scents: Lou favours Escentric Molecules, while Em goes for Le Labo Santal 33. Stay away from anything too overpowering, a nice subtle fragrance is all that's needed.

30. Good Friends

Photo:

Courtesy of Lou and Em

Well, that quote says it all!