The first time I ever read about the idea of dressing for your age was in a magazine, and I was probably too young to even make it into the youngest age bracket. I can remember advice like “choose a longer skirt length,” “invest in classic tailoring,” and “embrace a bold accessory” but never quite at whom those remarks were directed. I was interested in the concept—and knowing me, impatient to be old enough to understand it—but didn’t take much of it to heart. Cut to now, at 31, I’m actually pretty pleased to report that hasn’t changed. No, what I’ve learned instead is much more valuable.
I didn’t feel a huge internal shift when I first entered my 30s—maybe relief that I could finally stop taking about it?—but the clichés are true. Getting older allows you time to truly know yourself. It’s this consciousness that makes me very aware of things I probably knew all along, such as the fact that I never liked super-low-rise jeans in high school no matter how much I told my mom I did, or I’m not the person who avoids the elephant in the room. In fact, I’m probably the one pointing to it.
Despite having seen a few decades of fashion trends, going through times where I’ve struggled to feel comfortable in any clothes, and having worked for almost a decade in the fashion industry, I think now I understand dressing for my age better than ever. Not because I’m doing anything drastically different or enforcing any rules, but because at this point in my life, I feel like I’m dressing the truest to who I am.
Here are a few more lessons—learned over time and not from a glossy spread—that I probably could have benefited from before entering my 30s. But who’s counting?
In the spirit of trying new things, take a look at the trend I didn’t think I’d be on board with but am: hot pink.