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You are no longer in your 20s and can't dress like a college guy anymore, but you are also not yet in your 40s so middle age hasn't caught up with you. You are in the middle years, the prime of your life, and need to figure out how to dress in your 30's. If you dress like you are in your 20s, you may not be taken seriously. You'll be seen as immature or inexperienced. Conversely, if you dress like you are much older than you are, you may be seen as past your prime…. This article is intended to help you find that perfect line between a young man and middle-aged, to teach you how to dress in your 30's.
Do you know what doesn't impress anyone? The guy with the one stupid fedora he wears everywhere, no matter what the rest of his outfit is. The guy who always wears suspenders, even with a belt. That guy. And, less unique but equally unvaried, there's always the guy who just wears jeans and a non-descript shirt and sneakers whenever he's not required to dress up. Don't be any of those guys. The quickest way to impress people with your look is to vary it.
If you've never done much stylish dressing, your wardrobe is probably based on some simple staples right now.
Let's take a look at those staples — and at some alternatives, you can wear that fill the same role, but add a little style. Make the upgrades you need to, a little bit at a time. It doesn't have to be an overnight transformation. Remember, it may feel like a huge change to youbut the odds are no one is even going to comment if you show up for work one day in a pair of dark brown chinos rather than blue jeans.
He does, obviously. But if you're looking for a good starting place, here are some timeless staples that are never going to be a bad choice when you're figuring out how to dress in your 30's. Your top layer, these tend to define your look at a distance, since they're the most prominent feature people see:. Remember what we said about variety? It's true, and it's especially true about pants. Here are some great options:. Don't underestimate the power of a small shirt upgrade when discovering how to dress in your 30's.
Just having a decent dress shirt with a light pattern shows people that you're thinking about your look, rather than wearing the most effort-free option. Here are some good starting places:. There are a whole lot of options for your shirts, so don't be afraid to do some mixing and matching, and exploring beyond these examples.
Just steer clear of looks that are obviously for younger guys, especially T-shirts with graphics of any sort yes, even the indie art ones from brands like American. Never underestimate the transformative power of footwear.
A guy in dark jeans and a tight white T-shirt wearing sneakers is an aging jock. The same guy in the same jeans 30 something male looking T-shirt with a pair of dark leather work shoes is a style icon. If there's one underrated wardrobe upgrade every aspiring dresser should work on, it's the shoes. One last note on footwear: if you're in your thirties, you're old enough to have stopped listening to jokes about how only women own multiple pairs of shoes.
Any guy needs at least three or four, and most of us can put twice that to good use. Get over it. A very simple core wardrobe can turn into a distinctive personal style with the use of a few small accent pieces. Think about our earlier example of a guy in dark jeans and a white T-shirt. Add a broad brown leather belt with a rodeo buckle, and you've got a very different look than if you added a slim black leather belt with a narrow, rectangular buckle, now don't you? Find the accents that work for you and start building a collection:. At this point, you've got the outline of a pretty comprehensive wardrobe.
You don't need to own every single item that we listed — but owning most of them won't hurt. Putting them together is its own separate skill. Fortunately, it's a skill you can master pretty quickly once you discover how to dress in your 30's. Just think about the standards or dress code if any of the setting you're planning for, and then about the look, you want to project. If you've climbed your way into a position of some respect or authority in your work life, it may be time to break out the business suits.
When you are in your 30's, you are presumably more experienced than others in their 20's, and are working your way steadily up the ladder. Not all men are going to end up in a job that requires these. In fact, the majority won't. But if you are a man of the suit-wearing class, don't be one of the ones in the same two off-the-rack suits from Men's Wearhouse. At the point where you're wearing a suit multiple days each week, go ahead and save up to get two or three nice, tailored ones.
Go made-to-measure if you can't afford true bespoke, or keep an eye for traveling two-day-tailoring events where you can score a bargain. You have a lot of flexibility in a business casual setting. Make the most of it. Just because khakis and a blue button-down meets the dress code, for example, doesn't mean you can't throw on gray wool slacks and a dress shirt with a sports jacket some days. Try to look a little sharper than the younger men at work, if there are any.
You should probably be wearing jackets more often than not, and always a stylish pair of leather shoes. You can even throw a necktie on from time to time assuming they're not requiredjust to exceed expectations a little. This outfit is essential when figuring out how to dress in your 30's to separate you from the younger men in the office.
Not everyone works in an office. If you've got a traveling job or a hands-on job like factory work or home construction, do you need to think about your look during work hours? The answer is a qualified yes. Dress with safety and function in mind first!
But within that framework, it's not a bad idea for a man to make his work clothes clean and fairly sharp-looking. Be thinking in business terms. Customers are going to be more impressed by a guy in brown cotton pants and a polo than a guy in jeans and a T-shirt especially if he holds a clipboard and looks busy while he's talking to them. If it's worth your while to make that extra impression, do it.
A big part of the reason to upgrade your wardrobe is so that you look your best when there isn't a specific event demanding it. You never know whom you're going to run into — and there's a certain amount of pleasure in the respect you get when you're dressed better than most of the men around you, too. For the man discovering how to dress in his 30s, a style that's relaxed but a touch dressy makes a good off-hours outfit.
Stay away from anything sloppy or careless-looking especially anything with a loose, slouched fit. Trim jeans, 30 something male looking lightweight sweaters, and casual collared shirts all work well, as do casual jackets. Going out at night, you want to look a little sharper and a little more dressed-up than you do during the day. In fact, it's better to be wearing regular old jeans and a T-shirt in most social settings than it is to be wearing a business suit and tie.
While there are certainly some higher-formality events where men do wear ties in the evening, the basic rule of thumb is that you take it off once you leave work, and only put it back on if you're going somewhere that expects it like the symphony or the theater — and even there, plenty of men go without neckties these days. Casual evening suits are something of a rarity these days, but if you have one and if it isn't an awful s polyester lounge suitsocial events at night are the time to wear it.
Slacks or dark jeans and a casual jacket work well too. Here's where your look can get a little funkier — a T-shirt under a suit jacket or a pair of canvas sneakers with nice wool trousers aren't out of the question, though you want to be careful not to overdo it. Turns out the things you wear to look nice for a date are just about the same things you wear when you're looking for someone to date! Or at least, they are if you're representing yourself honestly.
When learning how to dress in your 30's, a lot of guys on the 30 something male looking scene — and a lot of married or otherwise committed guys — have let their standards slip a bit. Try to stay out of that trap. Dress like the other person's opinion matters to you, because if it doesn't, you really shouldn't be pursuing them. If anything, strive to be a little on the minimalist side.
Understated elegance is very attractive especially in a tailored fit. Follow these simple rules to master how to dress in your 30's and you will conquer your prime years. Ready to earn more money and command respect with the right clothing? Want to start dressing sharp today? our free Newsletter and get style advice and new content updates sent straight to your inbox!30 something male looking
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