How to Dress in Your 30’s

Ah, they’re here—your thirties. You’re still young, but leaving your 20’s and entering the new decade brings a new sense of adulthood. You’re more stable and secure in important aspects of your life. Whether it’s education, career, or family one thing is for sure: by the time you get to your 30’s, you’re more confident in who you are. Most people consider your 20’s to be the era of change and experimentation. If that’s so, then your 30’s are the era of solidification. You’re done with fads, now you know what you like. It’s time to apply it and step up your style. Here are some core items I think every man going into his 30’s needs for an up to date wardrobe and tips on how to step into this newfound maturity.


Tips and tricks:

Man sitting on a blue cube wearing a blue suit, unbuttoned patterned dress shirt, heather blue tee, and white sneakers on a blue and white background


Fit is Key

The most important aspect of dressing nicely is making sure all your clothing actually fits properly. Your body may have changed since your 20’s! You need to go to a tailor and get accurate measurements. This is the time in your life to develop a relationship with a tailor. You ideally want to use the same one for all of your clothing adjustment needs so spend some time shopping around and settle down with one that you like. 

Develop a Personal Style

Your personality is more solidified in your 30’s. Growing up means a stronger sense of self, and you want to reflect that sentiment with your appearance. Use what you have learned about yourself over the years to establish a sense of personal style. Buy a few statement pieces that you can wear over and over again to develop a signature look. It’s also important to remind yourself that having a personal style is different than having a “work” style. I suggest owning business professional clothing separate from your “going out” clothes so that you can maintain a personal life separate from work life. 



Invest In Quality Products

Stop buying cheap clothing! Instead, buy higher quality clothing that is made to last. Don’t be afraid to spend a little more on items if you know you can get good use out of them. Jeans and shoes are the most important to invest in since you wear them more frequently and consistently than the rest of your clothing. 

Choose More Timeless Pieces 

When buying items you intend to keep for a long time, consider styles that are more timeless than trendy. Trends come and go, and you don’t want to be stuck wearing last year’s items and risk appearing outdated or out of fashion. You also spend more money constantly recycling your closet rather than just sticking to the tried and true. Buying classic looks enables you to wear those pieces for years to come.


Closet essentials:

Multi Colored blazers hanging on a rack


1. A Tailored Suit

As you progress from your 20’s into your 30’s you’re likely moving into higher levels of education or career. It’s time to get a suit! Not just a department store suit either—I’m talking about a fitted, interview ready suit. This is the time in your life when you start to really encounter opportunities to dress sharp. You may already own one, but you’re going to need a formal AND a casual suit. A casual suit is one you wouldn’t wear to a business meeting but is still classy enough for special occasions or nights out. Your suit jacket can double as a blazer or sports coat. This is also a great way to elevate a t-shirt and jeans. Needless to say, a tailored suit is the best way to spice up your style.

Flat lay of 3 folded patterned dress shirts

2. Dress Shirts

Stock up on a few good dress shirts. They’re staples in the business professional world, and you’re going to need some here and there. Not to be confused with a typical button up, they typically are made of a more luxurious fabric and have stiffer collars that add an air of refinement. Make sure you have some solid basics like white, black, and blue, and add in a few patterned shirts to add pops of color when layering. Dress shirts are great under sweaters and jackets for an easy pulled-together look.


Different kinds of boots scattered on a light gray background


3. Shoes For Every Occasion

Maintaining a wide shoe collection that you can mix and match with your clothing is such a simple way to expand your closet and get the most out of every look. Every man should own at least three different colors in dress shoes and casual shoes. Start with basic colors like black, brown, and gray, then venture out to different shades and textures to add some variety. It’s smart to branch out because you never know what might look good on you!


Close up of a man’s wrist with multiple watches


4. More Than One Watch 

This is another sure way to trick everyone into thinking you put a lot of time into your look. Accessorizing is a fast way to add style to an otherwise plain outfit. Add a nice watch matched to the outfit and it instantly adds some chicness. A general rule of thumb when it comes to accessories is to always complement each other. For example, if you’re wearing brown shoes, wear a brown or gold watch. If you’re wearing black, don a black or silver one. 

The main takeaway is to use your 30’s as an opportunity to build your personal brand. It’s one of your first major steps into adulthood, and your wardrobe should represent that life change. Always have a work style separate from your personal style. Find easy ways to throw together sophisticated looks that take minimal effort. Most of all, have fun and be yourself!






Lola Meade
Stately stylist, writer, and designer based in Los Angeles, CA