While leaving a comment on this post over on Styling You, I remarked that I hadn’t owned a full length gown since my Year 12 formal.
“You never know when you might find yourself on the end of a formal invite, Sonia…” Nikki replied.
And you know what? She’s right!
It got me thinking about the other possible gaps in my wardrobe. The classic investment pieces that I’ll wear and own for years to come. So I’ve come up with 9 items every woman in her 30s (and beyond) should own…
The 30-Something Wardrobe Edit
1. The Tailored Blazer
Oh how I love me a blazer!
Not only does it look brilliant in a corporate environment, a blazer can elevate even the most basic jeans and tee combo to Princess Kate levels of sophistication.
The effect of a well-tailored blazer is elegant and timeless, and in my opinion, you should have an entire section of your wardrobe devoted to it in multiple colours and prints to call upon for any outfit, occasion or season.
My Pick: Forever New ‘Shae’ Panel Blazer (in Navy) $99.99
2. The Crisp White Shirt
The white shirt is the quintessential piece for every woman’s wardrobe.
It’s the once piece that can create a polished and pulled-together look in one easy manoeuvre, whether paired casually with jeans or a ladylike pencil skirt.
When wearing your white shirt with a pair of pants or jeans, try the half-tuck to create an effortlessly cool vibe. To dress it up, button the shirt all the way up and add a huge statement necklace for the ultimate wow factor.
My Pick: Oxford ‘Angel’ French Cuff Shirt $74.50 (on sale)
3. The Leather Jacket
So we all rocked our denim jacket in spring and summer through our teenage years and into our 20s… and probably still do! For winter and our 30+ years, it’s time to up our fashion game with a (real) leather jacket.
A leather jacket amps up the cool factor of any outfit with a hint of edginess and plenty of style. Wear it with jeans to dress it down or over a dress to play up the pretty/tough factor. Choose a style that suits you and make sure it fits well through the shoulders.
If real leather isn’t your thing, buy the very best quality vegan leather alternative you can afford to achieve the same look.
My Pick: Forever New ‘Jessie’ Quilted Biker Jacket $269.99
4. The Cashmere Sweater
As much as I love my countless (faded and pilled) hoodies and sweatshirts, they really only see daylight at home. A step above – and out the front door – means investing in a the ultimate jumper: the cashmere sweater.
The sophisticated older sister, a cashmere sweater is super versatile. It looks just as smart with a pair of jeans and flats on the weekend as it does with a pencil skirt and heels at the office or out to dinner. It’s also a great piece to wear when travelling.
My Pick: UNIQLO Cashmere Round Neck Sweater $109.90
5. The Trench Coat
There’s something inherently chic and classic about a trench coat, don’t you think?
Movie stars and fashionistas of all generations have worn a trench coat and just like the icons of film and fashion, it never goes out of style. Another versatile piece that looks equally as amazing with a weekend denim ensemble as it does over a dress.
Your first trench coat should be in classic camel with great tailoring. A friend of mine indulged in a Burberry trench some eight years ago and still wears it to this day – and it still looks brand new. Now that’s a sound investment!
My Pick: Sportscraft ‘Miranda’ Classic Trench $299.95
6. The Long Gown
Now to Nikki’s suggestion – the long gown.
Remember all the weddings you attended in your 20s? Still attending weddings in your 30s… and 40s… and 50s…? Of course you are! You’re probably also buying expensive tickets to swanky gala balls with strict black tie dress codes. This is when you need a beautiful and classic long gown to call upon.
For the initial purchase, I’d be inclined to go for black due to its versatility, but if black’s not your bag, opt for a colour you love and know you will get a lot of wear out. Also important to consider is fit. Make sure the gown fits you comfortably through the body and invest in tailoring to ensure it is the perfect length. You don’t want to be dragging that expensive gown along the ground!
My Pick: Forever New ‘Maddy’ Embellished Silk Drape Dress ($189.99)
7. The Wool Coat
The women that never fail to turn my head – in appreciation – in winter are the ones in a fabulous coat.
A wool coat with exquisite tailoring in a works-with-everything hue (which doesn’t have to be black) will be your winter saviour. It’s the perfect piece to complete your cold weather outfits with plenty of polish and sophistication.
My Pick: Review Australia ‘Theadora’ Wool Blend Coat $319.99
8. The Perfect Pant
By now we all should have nailed down the jeans that suit us best and so it’s time to do the same with pants.
The key is to find the most flattering cut for your body. I truly believe you can’t go past a slim leg trouser with a bit of stretch. It suits practically everyone. And once you’ve found your perfect pant, for goodness sake, buy thousands! Well, at least two pairs.
And don’t forget the golden pant rule – if they’re too long, have them altered.
My Pick: Forever New ‘Audrey’ Pull On Skinny Pant $69.99
9. The Ultimate Dress
To quote the great philosopher, Beyoncé: “…time to impress. Pull out your freakum dress.”
According to the Urban Dictionary, a ‘freakum dress’ is similar to the Little Black Dress, but demands one’s attention.
It’s the dress you can pull out of your wardrobe and look amazing in a moment’s notice. For everything from an important meeting to a spontaneous date night, it’s the dress that flatters your figure, makes a personal fashion statement and – most importantly – it’s the dress you feel 100% confident in.
Choose your favourite colour or print and the right cut and length for you.
My Pick: Keepsake The Label ‘Such Great Heights’ Dress $159.95