11 wardrobe staples every woman should own in her 30s.

A killer frock. Sandals that aren’t Havaianas. A bag that won’t fall apart. These are just some of the wardrobe staples to sartorially get you through adulthood. Don’t worry, it’s not all leather conditioning spray and twinsets (AS IF), read on for permission to splurge on the fun stuff.

1. A bag that won’t fall apart.

Handbags are the workhorses of our wardrobes. Think about all the stuff you carry around everyday: make-up, phones, tablets, hairbands, bobby pins, keys, tampons, pens, gum, 17 lipsticks, tissues, receipts, and if you have kids, possibly a stray dummy or packet of Tiny Teddys too. It’s no wonder the bags that aren’t of good quality begin to disintegrate. Invest in a bag – it doesn’t have to be a designer – with quality stitching, and it’ll withstand even the biggest hoarders among us.

SHOP: YSL Leather tote, buy here.

2. Timeless sunnies.

Sunglasses are like bobby pins, somehow you sacrifice them to the fashion gods immediately after buying them. If this keeps happening to you, I’m definitely not going to recommend you spend big on a designer pair. And good quality pair doesn’t need to cost hundreds of dollars, but know what suits your face shape, whether it’s rectangular shades like Wayfarers or round Jackie O styles.

SHOP: Prada sunglasses, buy here.

3. A trench coat.

Trenches have been going through a style revival for the last few seasons, but choose wisely and it’ll never go out of style. Opt for a classic 3/4 length (think Burberry) over a peacoat length in a clean light beige colour.

SHOP: Yes Style Beige trench coat, buy here. 

4. A killer frock.

Since you can’t plan for the times your boss will ask you to present to a client at the last minute, or step in to be your friend’s plus one. Having a killer go-to frock hanging in your wardrobe, will avoid those stressful last-minute panic shops that rarely ever end well.

SHOP: Shopbop open back black dress, buy here.

5. An heirloom piece.

This sounds fancier than I mean it to be – one of the things I wanted most from my mum’s closet growing up was the vintage check coat she wore for most of the 1970s. By heirloom piece, I mean something that speaks of you. For example a monogrammed wallet, a worn vintage leather satchel, or a pair of diamond solitaire earrings.

SHOP: Bauble Bar initial bracelet, buy here.

6. Summer sandals that aren’t Havaianas.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with wearing Havaianas in summer, nor am I saying you can’t don a pair over the age of 30 (god forbid) but some events call for something fancier for your toes. Invest in a good quality pair of tan or metallic sandals (one you’ll want to resole year after year) that you can wear with everything from ripped jeans to a garden party frock.


SHOP: K Jacques St Tropez sandals, buy here.

7. Wear-with-anything white shirt.

You’ve probably already got one or two of these hanging in your closet already, but I think it’s a piece worthwhile updating every few years. Think about the style you wore in 90s, the collar’s probably too wide, and the cut too tight. Witchery is one store that continually do excellent quality, well priced white shirts.

SHOP: Witchery open drape shirt, buy here.

8. Leather boots.

A bevvy of new boot styles are released every winter but there’s just one boot you actually need in your wardrobe. An ankle boot. It’s versatile enough to wear with skirt, pants, jeans.

SHOP: J Crew Aggie Boots, buy here.

9. A job interview-worthy blazer.

The average Australian no longer stays in the same job for decades, by the time you’ve hit 30 you’ve probably changed careers a couple of times and maybe even retrained in an entirely different field. Keep a well-cut black blazer in your closet for those times your first impression counts the most.

SHOP: Zara Black Blazer, buy here.

10. Something totally unnecessary that you love.

Landed a job promotion? Just gone through a particularly bad break-up? Treat yo’self. Whether it’s glitter Miu Miu sunglasses or shiny silver brogues, this is your permission to buy something completely frivolous that you love.

SHOP: Miu Miu Glitter leather pumps, buy here.

11. A go-to lipstick.

You’ve probably experimented with enough brown lipsticks in the 90s/00s to know they don’t suit you but what about one that does? Hit the make-up counter (I’d recommend MAC or Bobbi Brown) and find a killer shade that suits you. And buy several just in case it gets discontinued.

SHOP: MAC lipcolor, buy here.


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