How to dress well in your 30s

Man About Town

Patrick McLoughney

Reporter:

Patrick McLoughney

How to dress well in your 30s

BY the time they hit their 30's most guys will know what they like and what suits them when it comes to clothing.
In most cases, we'll spend our teens and our 20's experimenting with our personal style but the flirty thirties are when we really lock it down.
The key to dressing in your 30's is in establishing a list of labels that suit your body and your personal aesthetic.
Buy well and buy in bulk because as you move into your fourth decade on this earth your priorities will inevitably change from things like fresh kicks and sick fades to things like career advancement and starting a family.
And while T-shirts, jeans and trainers will still feature heavily on weekends, suits will become increasingly important this decade. Even if you work in a job with a strict uniform or a trade, your diary will be filled with words like ‘wedding' and ‘christening' so it's in your best interests to suit up and suit up well.
It's not all grown up doom and gloom however because your 30's is also the decade where you start giving back to yourself.
You should have the basics down by now, so use your thirties to invest in the occasional luxury item that's going to last you years– and look damn good doing it.
Quality leather jackets and designer trainers are great additions to any man's wardrobe, but make sure you also set some funds aside for classics: a beautifully made bag for work, a go-anywhere overcoat or an umbrella that doesn't look like it was previously owned by a circus clown.
To cut a long story short, it's time to grow up – literally and in terms of your style. But this isn't bad news and here are a few handy tips to help you along the way...

End The Experiments
Fashions change, your style remains. Following trends is a lot less risky when you're 25. It's also easier to brush off any embarrassment in your 20's. The time for dabbling in single-season trends has passed and now is the time for cultivating a stock of staples that you know will work for you.
Come up with a core selection of brands and shops that stock staples that suit your style and fit without any need for alteration– whether that's T-shirts from Zara or jeans from Selected. Buy in bulk so you always have enough on hand. If you get to know your style and fit then you can skip the shops and order online straight to your door.

Invest In Standout Items
Your 30s is the time to start investing in items that are going to last you a lifetime. Start out with things that you're going to use frequently and invest in the best you can buy. I'm talking about the kind of items that you only really need one of, such as bags (whether that be for your laptop or for a weekend away), a wear-everywhere overcoat, silver cufflinks, a good umbrella or a leather wallet. This is also a good time to pick up timeless classics that never go out of style such as a quality leather jacket or a pair of designer sunglasses.

Cut Out Skinny Fit
If you've managed to ward off the dreaded dadbod, then you should still be able to pull off slim fit. But irrespective of the logistics, there's something that screams ‘denial' about skinny fit clothing past a certain age. Embrace the maturity of straight fit and tapered fit jeans, wider lapels and tailored jackets that actually cover your bum. Not only do they make you look like a grown man, but you won't grow out of them either.
Unless of course, you start to expand! So it's worth noting that one of the most effective things you can do for your style as you grow older is to stay in shape.
I'm not trying to body shame anyone, nor do you have to look like The Rock but the reality is that most stylish men you see in the public eye are trim and their clothes look good on them.
David Beckham wouldn't be seen on as many red carpets if he couldn't fit into his tux.

Expand Your Suiting Wardrobe
In your 20's you probably bought your first decent suit for a race day or a family event but there was a clear divide between your tailoring and the rest of your clothes. Now is the time to get a few more options in.
Invest in good-quality navy, grey and black suits at the very minimum, then expand into a few bolder colours, materials or patterns as well as different weights and materials for winter and summer.
While this might sound like a lot of suits, remember you are no longer buying a suit to wear around the office, there will be weddings (lots of weddings), christenings, communions and social functions that you'll need to suit up for.
Make sure each item is tailored so it works in its own right as a suit is not just a suit, it is also a blazer and trousers that can be split up and worn casually with jeans, chinos and T-shirts, not to mention jackets or trousers from other suits.

Get Comfortable With Casual Friday
Casual Friday can be a bit of a dilemma for some: you don't want to turn up to work looking like you came from the pub, but equally, you don't want to be overdressed when everyone else is dressing down. As a rule, avoid wearing a suit at all costs: with smart shoes, it will look like you've forgotten your tie, with a T-shirt it will look too casual. The answer lies in finding some well-fitted separates – smart jeans or chinos, an unstructured blazer, an unbuttoned button-down (with V-neck jumper if it's cold) and a pair of smart shoes Start with that, then jazz things up with your accessories, such as Happy Socks or a colourful pocket square.