One of the questions I get asked most frequently is what fashion items (shoes, clothes, etc.) are essentials or must-haves. I think this does depend on your age and “life stage”; but there are certain fashion pieces that every woman should have in her closet by age 30. Today I decided to round up the 10 items every woman should have. I’ve talked a bit about each below, and have given options at various price points if you are still in the market for any of these 10 must haves!
LINKS UPDATED: Fall 2021
Don’t get me wrong, I love an fun, lasts-only-a-season bag. But; by the time you hit 30 you need at least one well made handbag. For many women this may mean a designer staple – like the Prada Saffiano or Louis Vuitton Neverfull – but it can also be a more affordable option that is made with materials that stand the test of time. My personal recommendations for affordable brands would be Tory Burch and Michael Kors. I have had my Michael Kors Zip Top Jet Set bag for 5 years and the straps are just starting to show their wear and tear.
If you do love and want to pull the trigger on a more luxury designer handbag though, you don’t need to pay full price! Since these handbags do hold up so well over time, you can usually find second hand designer bags in perfect condition. My favorite places to hunt for designer bags are Trendlee and The Real Real.
Here are some of my top picks for must-have well made handbags:
Every woman in her thirties needs a good watch. Again, this does not need to be expensive; though there are some beautiful designer watches out there. While we live in a tech society and many of us, myself included, don’t wear a watch daily, it is still an important piece to own. It can polish off any work day look; and you never know when you’re going to be in a situation where you can’t have your cell phone out (conferences, meetings, etc.) so having a watch on those days is essential.
I’ve linked my current favorites below. I’ll also link my current favorite Apple Watch bands for those who have an Apple Watch! They range in price from $25 – $220. Happy shopping!
Show of hands; how many of us walked (hobbled) through our twenties in ridiculously uncomfortable high heels?! 🙋🙋 By age 30 let’s just be done with discomfort and opt for comfortable heels. They do exist! If you’ve never seen it; be sure to check out my Guide to the Most Comfortable Heels. In the guide I round-up classic pumps for work at every price point.
Below I’ve linked up some recent finds as far as comfortable black heels go.
Every woman (at every age) needs a little black dress that makes them feel beautiful and can be dressed up or down. By age 30 you should have at least one LBD in your closet that you always have on standby for any last minute events. An LBD will never let you down! Some black dresses I am currently loving are:
A simple pearl stud is a classic piece of jewelry that every woman should own by age 30. A simple cream pearl stud is timeless and looks great on everyone. Pearls can definitely be affordable – depending where you buy them. I highly recommend shopping around or, if you are going on vacation to a tropical destination, keep your eyes out for pearl earrings there! Often you can find real pearls for far cheaper in local jewelers than what we can get it North America.
I have three pairs of pearl studs (different colors) that I got when I was in Samoa. Pearls are so common there, and these real pearl studs cost me $25 each. I couldn’t believe it!
A tan/neutral trench coat goes with jeans, work wear, and even dresses. A good trench coat may be one of the most versatile pieces you will ever own. If, like me, you live somewhere where it rains 99% of the year (only a slight exaggeration) then a waterproof trench will become your best friend! Some of my current favorite trenches on the market are:
Throwing your things for a weekend away in a million different bags, is definitely a great habit to end by age 30. Investing in a good weekender bag is a must. Not only will your packing be so much simpler and easier, but you can look stylish when you are spending a night away; be it for a work trip or a fun weekend with friends.
I have the Sole Society weekenders’ that is shown below. I highly recommend it! They are durable and quite spacious bags. I’ve also linked up some other weekender bags available right now.
I’ve talked before about the importance of investing in quality materials, when it comes to items that are wardrobe staples. I love to grab affordable trendy items from places like SheIn or Forever 21, but for pieces that will carry you from season to season it is important that you invest in good fabrics that are well made. A cashmere sweater goes with everything and there are so many great colors and styles to choose from so you can find one that best suits your personality.
UNIQLO is the number one place I recommend to get affordable cashmere sweaters. UNIQLO is known for their basics and they always have 100% cashmere sweaters in a slew of colors. Check them out!
Now that I’ve covered the basics of a well made handbag and a weekender bag, a fun crossbody is also a must have piece for every woman. A fun or colorful crossbody bag is a great way to showcase your personality. Every woman should have one crossbody bag that just makes them smile whenever they look at it. Below are my personal favorites right now:
While I am die-hard heel lover; every woman needs a good pair of white trainers / running shoes in her closet by age 30. These are a must-have to look chic while running errands or going about your daily life when heels are just not working for ya. Find a pair of white trainers with a bit of flare or personality and you will find yourself grabbing them from your shoe closet every chance you get. My personal favorites are the Adidas Sam Smith’s and the Adidas Superstars‘. These and my other favorites are below!