5 Wardrobe Essentials for Men in Their 30s

wardrobe essentials men 30s

In this article, you’ll find five must-have wardrobe essentials for men who are 30 years old and above.

Many men get the sudden urge to upgrade their wardrobes when they reach certain milestones in life. One of those milestones is when they reach 30 years old.

Even if you’re a fairly stylish guy, odds are you might have spent at least a portion of your 20s keeping things pretty casual. There tends to be a lingering tendency to keep things simple following high school and/or college — which is to say you may well live in jeans all winter and flip-flops all summer.

There’s nothing wrong with that per se. But once you’ve grown a little older, moved along with your career, and hopefully made a little money, there’s something to be said for making that upgrade. In doing so, there are a few absolute essentials a man in his 30s should own.

Wardrobe Essentials for Men Over 30

Here are five fashion must-haves in your wardrobe.

1. Chinos

The comments we made in the introduction above were not meant to slight jeans. In fact, you should absolutely have some high-quality jeans in your wardrobe into your 30s.

But chinos make for slightly more formal and “grown-up” options that you can still dress down casually if you need to. Provided they fit you well, you can get away with these pants whether you’re heading to a ballgame with friends or meeting your girlfriend’s parents for brunch.

For that matter, they’re even suitable for some working environments. They’re the perfect pants for this age range all things considered — and on top of everything, they come in different colors that tend to work well with a range of styles and outfits.

2. Athleisure

The word “athleisure” refers to athletic clothes that you can also lounge around in.

Those are great to have (if you’re a man resisting the Lululemon phenomenon we’d urge you to reconsider). But what we really mean here is that you should invest in quality workout clothes, as standout athleisure items tend to be.

Once you pass 30, it’s a little harder to get away with working out in a “gym shirt” you’ve been pouring sweat into for years. Instead, consider investing a bit so that you look stylish and mature even when you’re out for a run or hitting the gym.

A more specific tip: emulate tennis star Federer. In all seriousness, whether or not you’re into tennis, the guy has always made style look easy, particularly in athletic garb.

Furthermore, he continued to look just as sharp after transitioning from Nike to the somewhat less prestigious Uniqlo — which is to say he’s a nice example of the fact that finding the right fit and style is more important than simply hurling money at expensive items.

The bottom line is you should take some pride in your athletic wear!

3. A Luxury Watch

Sure, not too many people use a watch to tell time anymore. That job has been passed along to our smartphones.

Really though, this has only made a nice watch even more of a fashion statement.

Wearing a watch used to be a functional decision; now it says that you’re conscious of your appearance and you can make an accessory look good!

Lest you think of this as too pricey a move for what is essentially a fashion prop, we’d remind you that entry-level luxury watches aren’t always that expensive.

You can get a very nice piece anywhere in the $700 to $5,000 range, which is to say you don’t have to splurge on a Rolex or Patek-Philippe to look good.

And trust us when we say that once you find the right watch, it’ll be one of your favorite possessions.

4. A Tailored Tux

When you’re in your 20s and friends are starting to get married, you’ll often buy an affordable suit at the last minute, or else rent a designated one if you’re in the wedding party.

As you become a bit more of an adult though, it’s time to consider having your own, tailored tux.

As with the Federer note above, we have a specific note here: Go the 007 route (Daniel Craig edition specifically).

Craig’s Casino Royale outfit remains a gold standard, worthy of the famous line “there are dinner jackets and there are dinner jackets; this is the latter.” Now, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend wearing the tux for the same purpose as Bond.

Casino fashion has gotten decidedly more casual over the years and with so many digital alternatives today, the bulk of the modern cards scene amounts to poker between friends online. Show up to a Vegas casino in the 007 tux and you’ll look less like a suave guy in his 30s and more like you’re cosplaying a Hollywood fantasy.

But the suit itself, or one like it, is still an essential part of your wardrobe. Having a go-to option for weddings and other formal events is simply a classy move — not to mention there are few things men look better in than high-quality, custom-tailored suits.

5. Luggage

Another pro tip for men in their 30s is that the wardrobe isn’t just about clothing and accessories.

Luggage counts too, one you reach a certain age. Odds are you made it through college and a good chunk of your 20s with some combination of hand-me-down suitcases from family and duffel bags of various sizes.

These are perfectly fine options from a practical standpoint, but at a certain point your luggage becomes an extension of your personal style.

That’s arguably more true today than ever before, with certain bags becoming trendy brand and even sparking social media enthusiasm for their general appeal. That’s not to say you have to pick the most “Insta-worthy” suitcase out there to make a statement.

But do keep in mind that a quality set of luggage of your own choosing will typically make you look better than a lumpy duffel you’ve been toting around since your graduation beach trip.

There is of course more to a modern man’s wardrobe than these five items. But the rest is easy enough to figure out. The items above represent specific upgrades appropriate for your 30s, and they can help set the tone for your style in a broader sense.