And then there are the stores I call the "Middle Management Stores" or "Mom Stores". They seem to be aimed at a demographic that... is much older, and much more matronly than I am. They're conservative, stuffy, and look like our mom's work clothes.
I have no desire to shop, look, or dress like a 20-year-old.
But I also don't want to look boring, super conservative and corporate, or like I'm already menopausal.
What do those of us who have outgrown Forever 21, but are way too young for Chico's, supposed to wear? (No offense to either of those stores, I personally have shopped at both in the past 6 months). We are in that inbetween phase of our lives, where we're definitely not as young as we used to be, but aren't really feeling old yet either.
Well, I can't tell you where to shop, but here's how to find quality items in ANY store, and at any price point.
This is my list of 3 Easy Fashion Essentials for 30+ Year Old Women!
1. The Nude Pump
I think a skin-tone colored shoe does wonders to elongate your legs. Look at how fabulously leggy Kate Middleton looks in hers. It creates one long, uninterrupted line, that make your legs go on for miles. And, if you happen to be short like me, this is a huge perk.
Skin-tone always matches everything. EVERYTHING. It's your skin color, after all. Your skin does not clash with anything, ever. Just like you can wear whatever colors you like regardless of your skin color (and anyone who tells you otherwise gets a huge eyeroll from me), you can wear skin-tone shoes with anything you already have in your closet. This is going to be a very versatile option, especially if you are traveling, limited on space, or have a capsule wardrobe.
Now, the reason I specified pumps, as opposed to any other type of shoe, like flats or open toes shoes, is that pumps do have a heel which help elongate your legs further that flats do not, and secondly, a closed-toe pump can be worn year-round, whereas an open toe can not. That's a summer shoe. You get a free pass for open-toes if you live by the equator, because winter is like, what, 70 degrees still?
Note: We aren't 20 year olds with fake IDs hitting up the club, so keep the heel height reasonable. I'd ditch the 5" platforms personally. If you want these to really be versatile, think about your ability to walk or work in them. I think 2-3 inches is perfect, though a kitten heel is really great for those who like flats. Also, at this point in our lives, we are definitely allowed to invest in ourselves! We are on our feet a lot, whether we are career women or have kids, or both. Buy a quality pair that will last.
2. Leopard Print Accessories
I specified accessories because that's a great place to have a little more fun, in a way that doesn't scream for attention or feel too trendy and young. Leopard print is very classic, as long as you don't go full-on-head-to-toe (though some women can get away with that look! Know your limits and what you feel comfortable in!)
I own a leopard print wallet that I also use a clutch and it's a great way for me to jazz up an other wise lackluster outfit. Other ways to incorporate that same style element can be with a handbag, scarf, or a pair of shoes.
Unless you are really confident, love your animal prints, and are okay with attention, I'd steer clear of wearing too much of it on your own body, though if you do find a great piece you love (like my silver and black leopard top I wore recently in THIS BLOG POST), tone down the other pieces in your outfit. Wear it with solids. They can even be bright, colorful solids, but try to not have too many competing patterns. If you really want to pattern-mix, aim for a pattern that is larger-scale and simple, like stripes.
3. Statement-Making Sunglasses
This is a much easier way to look like you're still fashion-forward without chasing every trend that hits the shelves in Forever 21.
If you noticed that none of these Fashion Essentials are CLOTHES, that was intentional. I think that, especially moving forward with my #NoBuy365 challenge it is ACCESSORIES that can breathe new life into an outfit. You don't have to go buy a whole bunch of new clothes to be fashionable. You can just do little tweaks here and there. As a woman who is about to turn 35, my wardrobe is not a revolving door anymore where I am going to cycle things in and out at a break-neck pace; I'll leave that to the 20-year-old Instagram models!
My approach to fashion is going to a little more real, a little more sensible, and have a little more longevity. After all, I do have kids and a mortgage, so blowing money on a new set of clothes each season is just not happening.
I've noticed an uptick in my blog-viewers, and I want to welcome you to my little corner of the internet, by the way! On the side bar (you'll have to scroll down) I have tabs for different categories that you can browse through, or go through the archives by date. Thanks for stopping by and I'm always excited to see (kind of) new faces! Take care, and see you tomorrow!