27 Wardrobe Basics You Need in Your 30s, From Someone Who Knows

Wardrobe staples for women in 30s: Sylvie Mus wearing blue jeans and a tan wool coat

Photo:

@sylviemus_

I'm going to turn 38 at the end of the year, and while I have curated my wardrobe staples over the years, I think I've finally settled on a capsule of the below 27 items. Now, well into my 30s, I think it's safe to say I'm happy with these pieces and I would never switch any of them out for anything else. Yes, newer additions come and go, but these are the ones I wear regularly. I've not included items like skirts or wedding-guest dresses because as I've mentioned, this is about getting dressed daily, rather than for those special events. 

This list isn't about items that are nice to have. This list isn't about trends, either. This list is all about pieces that will last in your wardrobe, and whenever you wear them, they will make you feel good and look stylish when paired together. I own all the items I've featured below (and where that wasn't possible, I've found something very similar), and they are my fail-safe options when it comes to getting dressed quickly and chicly. They enable me to get ready without having to think about it—a life hack that can never be underestimated.

Wardrobe staples for women in 30s: Elinor Block wearing a black jacket, white shirt and blue jeans

Photo:

WHO WHAT WEAR 

Of course, that's not to say that anyone outside of their 30s can't have all these items in their wardrobe and rely on them as much as I do, but I've definitely gotten to a point where having classic outfits I can reach for every morning is my preferred way to function. So keep scrolling to see the items I've selected. Even if you just had these to wear over and over again, you'd be very happy. Trust me on this. 

1. White T-Shirt

Photo:

@kpfusion

I've never met a plain white T-shirt I didn't like. My personal preference is a loose-fit soft tee that doesn't feel too stiff. It needs to feel like you've worn it forever, and it's like your second skin. I found the perfect white tee from Monki about six years ago, and I still wear it today. 

Arket is also a go-to for a great white tee. 

2. Black T-Shirt

Another colour I swear by is the black T-shirt. While I don't usually like V-neck tees, I make an exception when it's black. I like that you can tuck it into a pair of high-waisted jeans, throw on some gold jewellery and a blazer, and you've got yourself a perfect outfit for going out, work or even a date. 

Can't beat king of classics, COS, for its T-shirt edit.

3. White Shirt

Photo:

@dwfashion

I'm a big advocate for shopping in the men's section, and a few months ago, I found the ideal white shirt from Arket. It's just the right loose fit, and the material is thick but not too heavy. 

A premium iteration will last for years and years to come. 

4. Vest

Photo:

@claire_most

Whether you're wearing this with a pair of joggers or jeans, this top will get endless outings. 

5. Oversize Jumper

You know when you just want to feel warm but don't want to look totally slobby? This is the jumper you need. I can personally vouch for COS's knitwear as being great for the high street, but if your budget can stretch, take a look at brands such as &Daughter. 

6. Smart Jumper

The opposite of the slouchy, oversize jumper, the smart jumper is what you have to put on when you're working, having a meeting or going out and you want to stay warm. 

The knit texture is really polished. 

7. Cardigan

I can't survive without cardigans. Despite the fact that they've seen soaring popularity over the past few years, this item has been a constant in my wardrobe. 

& Other Stories is always a go-to for knitwear. 

8. Black Roll-Neck

By itself or as a vital layering piece, this is one item that I can't stress enough will save you again and again when it's freezing. 

Marks and Spencer's has an impressive knitwear collection.

9. Smart Trousers

Chuck these on with loafers, boots or trainers, and you'll look chic. 

Wear relaxed with a tee or elevate with a tailored shirt. 

10. Smart Joggers

Just because you're lounging or working from home doesn't mean you have to wear your tattiest trousers. Invest in some smarter joggers you can wear outside the house. 

11. Blue Jeans

I can't stress enough how important finding the right blue jeans is. I discovered a great pair from Uniqlo last year, and they're easily one of the best I've ever worn. Smart, reliable and chic when paired with any of the above tops.

12. Loose Jeans

Photo:

@greceghanem

Controversial, in a way, as not everyone likes wearing looser jeans, but sometimes straight-leg just won't do. Best for wearing in the summer. 

13. Leggings

According to Who What Wear Editor in Chief Hannah Almassi, these leggings are the ultimate black leggings. If you want to mix up your look a bit, try a pair with stirrups or side slits. 

A split-hem pair will also work for evening. 

14. Black Ankle Boots With Heels

Black boots with a heel are the kind of boots that never go out of style and are great for working or going out. 

15. Stomper Boots

Now think back to all those walks when you needed great boots to keep your feet warm and comfy. Time to invest in a pair of stomper boots that tick off being both practical and stylish.

16. Sneakers

Photo:

@chasemarieee

I love trainers, and finding a pair that's cool and looks great with everything in your wardrobe is key. 

17. Sandals

Photo:

@thedailydeb

I'm very easy when it comes to sandals. I like them fairly chunky and black, preferably with two straps as well. This formula means they magically go with everything in my wardrobe. 

18. Gold Necklace

Photo:

@leatngu

The way to add instant polish to your outfit is to add a necklace. Anything gold, in my opinion. 

19. Gold Earrings

Similarly, you'll suddenly look super chic with gold earrings. 

20. Black Blazer

The oldest trick in the styling book. If in doubt, add a black jacket to give your outfit some sophistication. Well, it works for the French. 

This boxy silhouette is just right. 

21. Puffer

Photo:

@dolcecurvy

While puffers haven't always been cool among the fashion crowd, there's no denying they're the best for keeping us warm. These past few years have proven that everyone needs a decent version of this coat in their wardrobe. 

Also comes in three other colours. 

22. Wool Coat

And when you're done with the puffer and just want to look smarter, the wool coat is always a vital staple to keep on hand. 

23. Floral Dress 

Photo:

@erica_davies

Perhaps the most "outrageous" item on this list, the floral dress just makes the cut as being a wardrobe basic. Pull it out for weddings, summer events or wearing over the top of a roll-neck and boots in the winter. 

24. Black Dress

Photo:

@kat.shearer

It doesn't have to be an LBD to make the cut. But a black dress that you truly love is such a great thing to have in your wardrobe. It will save you on so many occasions when you just don't know what to wear. 

25. Perfect Knickers 

Our underwear is just as important as our outerwear. Find the knickers you love and stick to them. It will make you feel great. 

This style is perfect for full coverage. 

26. Comfortable Bra

Photo:

@gabifresh

Trust me on this: Paying a bit more for your bra will be one of the best decisions you'll ever make. If you can't get fitted right now, try out our bra-size calculator

Wacoal is a go-to for non-padded styles. 

27. Hat

Not everyone is a hat person; I recognise that. But I recently found a leopard-print bucket hat that I can't seem to stop wearing. And it makes me feel fancy every time I put it on. 

Next up, the biggest spring/summer 2022 fashion trends to know to know right now. 

This piece was published at an earlier date and has since been updated. 

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