35 Things a Stylish Woman Should Have in her 30s

Feb 24, 2014

2.24.14

“A woman, till five-and-thirty, is only looked upon as a raw girl, and can possibly make no noise in the world till about forty.”Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762) English poet, essayist, letter writer. excerpt from a letter to Lady Rich, (20 September 1716), Letters, 1767

My twenties were a whirlwind of fact-finding, exploration and recognizing insecurities, and now that I am at the mid-way point of my thirties, I can say with certainty, it only gets better. My five years as a trigenarian have been far richer (primarily experientially) and more fulfilling, yet this is not to say without struggles and challenges. In fact, I can safely say that the challenges have proven themselves to be more difficult than in my twenties. However, the gained wisdom from these lessons learned made it much easier to navigate, and I have no doubt with such wisdom helped me to avoid unnecessary frustrations.

At the end of this week, I will be celebrating my 35th birthday, so if indeed Mary Wortley Montagu is correct and 35 is the end of being a girl, I say I’m ready and preparing to make some worthwhile noise, and I hear it only gets better.

Today I wanted to share 35 things I have found to be beneficial to attain – whether an actual physical item or particular knowledge – as we all navigate this transitional decade of a woman’s life.

1. a classic shoe (be it a flat, boot or pump that fits your signature style)

2. a quality timepiece

3. a complementary lip color

4. a work uniform that is appropriate and stylish 

5. a signature perfume

6. a preferred flower (or one for each season)

7. jewelry that is stunning and irreplaceable 

8. original art that is priceless to you

9. an investment tote that could last your lifetime 

10. a quality, chic winter coat

11. a black dress that is indispensable 

12. a hair style that reveals you’re a woman who knows her unique beauty

13. regular access to knowledge and information about the world

14. a growing retirement account

15. the strength to say no

16. the knowledge to know when to exercise this ability and when to set her fears aside and say yes instead

17. the courage to take a risk on her dreams

18. an understanding of good health: more water, less pop, more regular exercise, less body loathing, more real food, less quick processed food

19. the ability to cook a meal to impress anyone she wishes

20. the self-respect that having said cooking abilities means she isn’t obligated to do so simply because she is a woman

21. her own definition for a contented life 

22. how to fall in love without losing herself in the process

23. respect for her body – physically (a fitness regimen), objectively (savvy to fawning charm from outsiders who might only see a woman’s body and nothing else) and mentally (eating well to nourish not diminish the brain’s abilities)

24. signature stationery and the knowledge of how to craft a lovely Thank You

25. a small handful of trusted confidants 

26. at least one tremendous risk that she is unapologetically proud of 

27. a broken heart that has rebounded and stepped forward from the past

28. rejection or challenges that have made her appreciate the success that followed

29. the knowledge of common grammar rules (i.e. How are you doing? I’m doing (good) well.)

30. nourishing, rich night and/or eye cream

31. an understanding that drama should be reserved for film, the theater and television, not one’s form of daily entertainment and conversation

32. time or financial support (no matter how much or how little) given to causes she is passionate about

33. to have read at least one of these books (I’m still making my way through the list)

34. an aesthetician she trusts for her beauty needs – waxing, massage, facial, nails

35. a passport and evidence of the beginning of a well-traveled life

While I still have a half a decade to go, I am eager to see what the future has in store and confident that while I will make continued mistakes along the way, gems of wisdom will be the parting gift to help make each year richer and more wonderful than the past years.

I want to extend the invitation for you to share in the comments what you’ve learned whether you’re currently in your thirties, have experienced your thirties or will eventually be in your thirties and want to comment on what previous decades have taught you. I am all ears and I know fellow readers would love to hear as well. Have a wonderful week.

~SIMILAR POSTS FROM THE ARCHIVES YOU MIGHT ENJOY:

~10 Steps to Becoming the Woman You’ve Always Wanted to Be

~Why Not . . . Be a Modern Lady?

~33 Lessons Learned

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31 thoughts on “35 Things a Stylish Woman Should Have in her 30s

  1. In many ways the thirties are indeed the time we change from girls to women. I remember my thirties as being somewhat stressful because I hadn’t yet learned to march to the beat of my own drum. My forties were the time I really became my own person and my fifties are consolidating that.

  2. The thirties are such a diverse decade for women. I was 6 months pregnant on my 30th birthday, had two sons in rapid succession (second at 31), had to come to terms with with my eldest son’s cerebral palsy diagnosis at 33, then launched my own business that same year. It was a whirlwind of juggling! It was only in my forties, with the children firmly established in primary school, that I had a chance to draw breath. I am in my mid-forties, and am adoring this decade, in a completely different way to my thirties You are so right, Shannon, that life gets better and better. Even though I am ten years older than you I relate to so much of what you write, as I am sure much younger women do. It’s all about our personal journey, and where we are on our pathway, not not the number attached to how long we have been on the planet.

  3. Inspirational & stylish as always SHaron!
    I would like to add to this list:
    Education & Well Being
    – learn to speak one foreign language
    – learn one new handy skill (sewing, knitting, scrap-booking…)
    Health & Fitness
    – have a reliable gynecologists & go to regular check ups
    – drink more water every day
    – try (and learn) one new sport for fun
    Beauty & Health
    – have a couple of sets of high quality underwear & bras
    – have a pair of high quality sun glasses to protect your eyes

  4. Happy Birthday….!
    Thank you so much for this post. I will be turning 30 this year and I am newley single. I hate to admit but I have little bouts of fear that I have past my prime but you are reminding me of what I have to look forward to. After reading your wonderfully written post and gained insight from friends I welcome my thirties and look forward to what this decade has in store.

    1. I want to encourage you, Jamie, that you are not past your prime! I am in my mid-forties (divorced) and am enjoying a fulfilling life as a single woman. I can relate to what Rose said about my forties being the time when I am becoming my own person. If you can do that in your thirties, then you will have more time in your life to enjoy just being who you are! Life really does get better and better!

  5. Hi Shannon,
    I am fairly new to your blog and enjoy your posts, especially the style ones! Happy early birthday. I am in my early 40’s and yes it does only get better each decade! In my early 30’s, I decided I wanted to travel the world. Now over 10 years & 6 continents later (and countless countries visited) I am still enjoying my wanderlust. Along the way I met Mr. M and together we are enjoying our travels and living the simply luxurious life. My only advice is you don’t need to plan everything or need a lot of lists. Just keep on living TSLL & let serendipity happen. Enjoy the rest of your 30’s. It will be fabulous!

  6. Beautiful post Shannon, there is no doubt you put a lot of time into crafting this list. Thank you!
    PS I always feel my vocabulary grows each time I read your posts.

  7. I particularly admire your inclusion of #32; I feel it is very important to understand the value of charitable donations (particularly volunteering your time). I am glad that as you reach this milestone birthday you are moved to create a list that includes items that create a whole and well-rounded person.
    May I gently point out though that one rides a stationary bicycle, but writes thank you notes on stationery).

  8. Happy birthday, Shannon!
    Now in my mid-30s, I learned the value of hard-earned money that I mistakenly took for granted in my 20s. But I believe that it is NEVER too late to begin again.

    The biggest blessing I have now is the stability that a family has given me. Being a mother in my late 20s has paved the way for a selfless and compassionate 30s. It has changed my life upside down but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    All the best for you!

    Kité

  9. A most beautiful birthday Shannon.
    As I was going about my day in the bustling Melbourne, I was thinking of you and praying you had day full of laughter, love and friendship.
    I am a bit of a way off my thirties, but to me you are an inspiration and beacon of all that a woman can and should be. Thank you x

  10. Happy birthday! I hope that your day is filled with happiness and joy. I love your blog. I am in my 50’s and I relate to all that you are writing about. There is no age limit to living TSLL !

  11. Happy Birthday!!! I hope today is filled with all the things that bring you joy….
    What a lovely post. Thanks for sharing this list with us. I just turned 30 in October and as I look back on my 20s, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished thus far. I took risks that mattered to me- significantly altering the course of my life in terms of my career and I’m thankful I did. My partner was supportive all along the way, which was an added bonus. I’m proud to say I checked off quite a few of the items on your list but I also would add a couple of items: a regular meditation schedule, yearly trips with my big brother to explore some place new, learning my family history….

    Thanks for taking the time to reflect and encouraging all of us to do the same. I am excited for the decade ahead.

    -Heather

  12. Dear Shannon,
    A Very Happy Birthday to you!! I will be turning 35 this July and the same thoughts were running through my head on how to have no regrets and how to live a life that is fulfilling at the same time inspirational. I have 8 year old daughter who looks up to me in many ways and I find it that living a simply luxurious life is an example for her to see and carve out a simple but elegant life of her own. There are a lot of things I found on your blog which were oh so inspirational that I have changed for the better. Keep up the good work as you always do and thank you for setting a good example to all the women of our generation!

  13. A very happy birthday! I’m 57 and this is my best decade by far. The wisdom, joy and contentment is well worth the aging and body changes. I look forward to the years to come, even as I know I will eventually lose friends and likely my husband before me to death. My heart grows deeper, broader, richer with the passing years.

  14. A beautiful list! What a refreshing read… I’ve spent the day researching breast cancer.

    #19 still on your list still eludes me… Like Anderson Cooper I could eat the same thing every day for every meal. Food is a pause in my otherwise forward driven day.

    I adore your blog so much and frequently forward it on. Thank you for doing what you do the way you do it! xx

  15. Happy Birthday, Shannon. A very happy and healthy year ahead. Thank you for all the time and care you put into TSLL. It’s beautiful and uplifting for women at any age.

  16. My thirties were certainly better than my twenties. (My husband says the same.) in my twenties, I experienced a tremendous amount of growth — a good thing, but not easy. In my thirties, I found the person that I would become. Now, half way through my 50’s, I can say that it only gets better. You learn how to experience life ON YOUR OWN TERMS. Something, we, as women, can find challenging. Happy Birthday, Shannon. Enjoy the lifetime ahead of you!

  17. Thank you! I loved this list. I don’t have older sisters or a mother so I’ve had no one but my SO to guide me in this journey to womanhood (he’s 20 years older). I lot of the things you listed he’s already told me about but many more he probably has no clue about like numbers 3,12, and 34 and definitely not the added comment about a great gyno!! These things are important for a woman who’s out in the world making her own way with little to no female guidance. Thank you again!

  18. this was a wonderful list. I’m 29 and often feel like a child… I hope to gain more control over my life and explore being a grownup.

  19. Thank you Shannon for this list. I am 31, and a new single mom to a beautiful 3 month young girl. There are days I feel so fearful of the future because I have wasted so much time in my past losing myself in two separate and draining codependent relationships. I never had positive role models male or female to look up to so I’ve always been looking for love in all the wrong places.
    Loving yourself and doing what makes you happy is what I’m learning to do and am so much of a better person for it. I’d add this to the list along with getting quality rest, consuming quality nutrition and thinking quality thoughts focused as much as possible in the Now. These are all things I’m practicing doing and is keeping me sane as I transition to a woman and a new mother. Having faith and believing in yourself, your intuition and spirit is my driving force to being better and doing better with the wisdom I’ve gained. I hope to be a fine role model for my girl as I watch her grow into a beautiful woman herself.

  20. The list is wonderful. I’m 55 and I can relate to the post by Mrs. M. The list will carry through future decades. Each decade brings a new understanding of life and of ourselves. Although you wrote the list for 30 – somethings, we must continue to work on all of those issues through your 40’s and 50’s.

    Finding a personal style that evolves through the decades is rather difficult. It’s my on-going mission.

    1. Ileana, Thank you for your comment. You are absolutely correct, finding our personal style is an ongoing process, but I must admit fun when we can hone in our our assists and walk past those ideas that do not work for our tastes and body types. Much like a puzzle, when we find the right pieces, it is a tremendously satisfying feeling. Thank you for stopping by.

  21. I’ll be 34 at the end of October and I’ve found that my 30s have been so much better than my 20s. I revel being a woman in her 30s because you’re wiser and one has the life more together than some one in their 20s. Life is more sophisticated in your 30s. I love it!!!!

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