This post has truly been a labor of love. I wanted to curate a selection of pieces that are truly versatile and can be mixed and matched with ease. I wouldn’t go as far as to call this a capsule wardrobe as different lifestyles may require additional workwear or casual pieces. However, these are 15 wardrobe basics you should own by age 30.
Wardrobe Basics You Should Own by Age 30
There are endless ways to mix and match these pieces. For example, pair the little black dress, with black heels and a cashmere wrap. Or layer on a blazer for the office. Style the jeans with a cozy sweater and tall boots. Or swap out the sweater and boots for a layering tee, sneakers and top with the trench. The options are truly endless. All of these items are available at a variety of price points. I always suggest investing in a great bag, but beyond that all of these pieces can be found on a budget.
So let’s dive in…
A Little Black Dress
Find a little black dress that makes you feel confident and beautiful. I love a simpler style that can be worn to multiple occasions and updated with accessories.
Dark or Medium Wash Skinnies That Make You Feel Like $1,000,000
Denim is the foundation of my wardrobe and I own way to many pairs of jeans. But everyone should own a skinny jean in a darker wash. Flattering and versatile, a pair of dark wash jeans can take you from day to night and pair with almost every other item on this list. I’ve been loving American Eagle denim lately. They have a great selection of rises and washes, fit great and don’t break the bank.
A Tall Boot in a Neutral Shade
Boots styles come and go but a classic tall leather boot is always in style. I tend to gravitate toward taller, over the knee styles. Again, a tall boot can be worn with jeans, leggings and dresses and can be worn casually or dressed up.
A Quality Tote Bag
Of these wardrobe basics you should own by age 30, a tote is definitely a bag worth investing in as you can carry it for years. Madewell has some beautiful options, but look for a bag with room for all of your essentials and one that has good organization.
Black Leggings That Make You Feel Great
Ok, everyone now: “leggings are pants!” I know you mamas can relate. I’m living this #legginglife and loving every minute of it. When it comes to leggings, I love Aerie and Zella, but my Spanx faux leather leggings are by far my most reached for. They really are worth every penny. I dress them up with over the knee boots and dress them down with sneakers and a sweatshirt. And they last forever. Another worthy investment in of these wardrobe basics you should own by age 30.
A Basic Trench
There is something about a classic trench that elevates any outfit and gives it a bit of a Parisian vibe that I just love. The most important thing to watch out for when selecting a trench is fit. A tailored fit is the most flattering and can easily be dressed up or down. You can also find a great trench at a variety of price points but make sure to take it to the tailor if the fit isn’t perfect.
A Black Pump That Doesn’t Kill Your Feet
I have to be honest…I do not own a pair of black pumps, but I would say that a nude pump is a great alternative here. But this studded pair is seriously calling my name! They are so fun and edgy and would look fab with anything from a little black dress to a simple jeans and tee outfit.
Classic Sweaters that are Anything but Basic
Of these wardrobe basics you should own by age 30, sweaters and knitwear is an area you can save on. H&M has beautiful high-quality sweaters that are an excellent value. And if you’re looking to invest in a cashmere sweater, simply shop off season and snag one on sale! When it comes to sweaters, I typically gravitate toward neutrals but love to add a fun color block pullover or cardigan or a pastel or jewel tone option as well.
Several Layering Tees
I have to admit I have more than a few layering tees because I wear them nearly every dang day! I don’t typically spend a ton of money on these basics, as I like to switch them out each year. But Old Navy, Target and even Amazon (I swear by the Daily Ritual brand!) are great places to shop for this essential wardrobe building block. Stripes, solids, neutrals…layering tees are a must!
Sneakers to Take You from the Gym to Errands and Beyond
I have quite the collection of sneakers. These days sneakers aren’t just relegated to the gym, but are a busy woman’s best friend. Practical and fun, don’t be afraid to break out of the mold here! I love a classic black and white pair, but am equally smitten with a pair in a fun shade of pink or lilac.
A Classic Blazer
A tailored blazer is a must for the office but is also an incredibly versatile piece. It’s also a classic wardrobe staple that will never go out of style. Pair it with a LBD and heels for work or jeans, a striped tee and loafers. It’s another worthy investment in of these wardrobe basics you should own by age 30, because you can keep it for years!
Even more so than heels, every girl needs a good pair of flats. I’m definitely more drawn to them. I love pairing flats with jeans for a dressier look, which as a busy, working mom is sometimes all I have time to do to spruce up an outfit! I love a pointed flat and lately have been obsessed with mules for their ease and comfort. Here are some of my faves.
A Cozy Cashmere Wrap
I was late to the party on this but trust, a wrap scarf is a must. Like a wearable blanket, a cashmere or cashmere blend wrap scarf can be worn multiple different ways and is a lifesaver when traveling, at chilly restaurants, for the office, I could go on and on. Grab one in a neutral grey, beige or black. You won’t believe how much use you get out of a cozy cashmere wrap.
Sunglasses that Flatter Your Face
Sunglasses are by far my favorite accessory. I have way too many pairs but always come back to this pair and this pair, because they flatter my face. One budget friendly and one on the pricy side, I don’t believe you have to spend a ton to get a truly great pair of sunglasses. This is a great dupe for my more expensive faves that I also own and love. Amazon has an amazing selection of sunglasses at really great price points. And Le Specs and Quay are great mid-priced options that can be found at Nordstrom (free shipping!!) Nordstrom also has a really cool tool where you can filter by your face shape!
Last but certainly not least, classic jewelry that you can mix and layer is a great way to change out or elevate a look. And while you don’t need to spend a lot on jewelry, you do get what you pay for. But if you’re looking for budget-friendly pieces that won’t break the bank, but will stand the test of time, I recommend BaubleBar for both classic and trendy pieces. For investment pieces, look no further than David Yurman. I have a number of his pieces on my wish list!
What would you add to this list of wardrobe basics you should own by age 30?
Want more? Check out my winter wardrobe essentials HERE.