Last week a friend and I were commiserating about the horrors of clothes shopping, and she said something that surprised me: she confessed to finding fashion for her thirty-something years to be hard. Crazy hard.
The problem, she explained, was twofold. First, it’s a lot harder to find clothes that are comfortable and flattering than it was when she was in her twenties. She’s a mother of twins, and that does certain things to your body. So does having four children, in my own experience. (We laughed about Jennifer Garner and her “baby bump.”)
(I think my friend looks fantastic; she says that’s because she’s careful with her clothing choices.)
The post-twins body dismayed my friend, but didn’t surprise her. The real surprise was this: her sense of personal style, which she thought she’d nailed down years ago, is shifting. A lot. She thought she had it figured out at thirty, but it’s changed.
She asked what I thought, and all I could say was I thought it was just me.
And not just for low-rise jeans factor: my thirty-something self doesn’t go near those anymore, even though my pairs from ten years ago still technically “fit.”
My sense of style has changed quite a bit in the past few years. A few months back, I stopped to notice just how much my wardrobe has changed in the past year or two: my clothing is now a little crisper, a little more functional, more uniform-y. The color palette has shifted.
My wardrobe is a lot more streamlined than it used to be. It serves my needs quite well. My hypothesis went something like this: as I’ve gotten clearer on what I want and need from life, I’ve gotten clearer on what I want and need from my clothes, and I know what kind of clothes I feel comfortable in (which boils down to pretty much the same thing as what I actually look good in).
I thought it was just me. But as I ask around to my thirty-something friends, their experiences echo my own: my style has changed, they say. So much!
Maybe my relationship with low-rise jeans is over, but I wouldn’t want to go back to my twenties. The thirty-something years aren’t without their problems (this is real life, after all) but I’m so much more comfortable in my skin than I used to be. So many women say they hit their stride in their thirties; I count myself among them.
As it goes with life, so it goes with clothes. By your thirties, you and your wardrobe are finally hitting your stride. You’ve had decades to experiment with what flatters. You know what you need to wear and what you like to wear. You’ve learned who you are, and how to dress accordingly. Sometimes you dress to impress, but mostly, you dress to feel like yourself. A good version of yourself, but yourself all the same.
Or at least that’s the theory. I have a few more years to see where the thirties takes me—and my wardrobe.
How has your style shifted over the years? What’s your experience with thirty-something fashion? As always, tips, tricks, resources, and entertaining stories welcome in comments.