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Fashion For Amitious Ladies

How not to Look Frumpy in Your 30s & Beyond

Wondering whether you have started looking frumpy in your daily outfits since you have turned 30 or want a solution to fix your frumpy looks now that you have a more mature perspective about your style. In this post I am sharing some reasons why you feel frumpy and how to fix them so you can rock amazing style in your 30s and beyond. 

This post is not shaming anyone for their outfits. Clothes don’t own us, we own them. Everyone’s personality is different and we all look different in the same outfit, that is the beauty of style. I am sharing some tips to fix styling mistakes that might be making you feel not so great in your own clothes or feel less confident everyday. So, when you are taking notes, use this to enhance your style and not feel bad about yourself because believe it or not, I have been there myself and being upset does not help.

Now that is out the door, let’s begin.

What does FRUMPY mean?

Let’s checkout how the dictionary defines this word before we can just make assumptions ourselves.

While I am a bit amazed by the fact that this word is specifically created for women, the meaning is exactly what we feel sometimes. Frumpy is defined as a look that is no longer in fashion or does not appear to look more flattering on someone.

But while it is easy to generalize this concept, this word is a very subjective term like any other adjective in the English language. Its a feeling that arises when we look at our or maybe someone else’s outfit that does not give us a pleasant appearance. So, clearly has nothing to do with whether you are wearing current trends or are upto date in your fashion sense.

What makes us feel FRUMPY in our 30s mostly?

Not all of us probably feel this way when we get to our 30s, but I have realized that a majority of us feel this way and there are a few reasons why. 

  • In our 20s, we always experiment with a lot of different styles and looks because our body and our time permits it. Also because we have not fully discovered ourselves and realized what we like or what we don’t. So, our 20s we probably never think of this at all. Though again, this might not be the case for all, it most certainly was not for me. Want to know more about me, check this page. 
  • In our 30s is when we probably are more settled in life with a job or career aspiration, with a family or a location. Most of us by now probably have gotten really busy with adulthood compared to in our twenties. So, the clothes that we used to enjoy in our 20s might not feel the best in our 30s. 
  • Our body also changes as we age (mine sure did) and sometimes the clothes that we usually rocked in our 20s might not look flattering on us anymore.
  • Our tastes have clearly changed. I remember, loving figure hugging clothings in my 20s, but now, I just look at clothes that enhance my body and not just show off. My preferences have clearly changed. 

Obviously, there could be numerous reasons for the change to happen, and everyone’s situation is different. But the most important part to consider and understand is that we change.

Also Read:  What To Wear To Hide Muffin Top Without Baggy Clothes

And the best course is to accept that and enjoy life to the fullest without worrying about why I no longer look the way I used to.

Now that we have started to understand that aspect and are ready to move on to really fix the mistakes that might be making us feel frumpy, let’s get to how you can fix them.

Change Your Mentality about Dressing?

There are two extreme aspects to this and I am going to cover both here because I am sure we all fall under one or the other bucket.

Though clothes are not the most important thing in the world and there is clearly no need to spend ton of money on them in order to look stylish and nice, the thought that wearing anything to cover your body is ok and this way people will treat you as an intellect is something that I have encountered far too often to ignore. 

You have to think that there is not a time in your entire day, when you are not wearing clothes except probably when you are showering. So, whenever someone sees you, your clothes are the first thing they notice because they are like your skin. So, technically your clothes define your personality, so its really important to be dressed properly, don’t you think. 

Sometimes, over dressing might also be the culprit, and honestly I was in this side of the spectrum in my early 20s. Even though your body has not changed much, but as you reach a more mature side of your life where you are more settled and sure in your life, you should also change the way you dress to adapt the new ways. 

This not only makes you feel closer to how you want to be, it also affects you mentally. I used to think fitted clothes and cocktail dresses should be worn to every friend hangout which probably was ok in my 20s, but now, I prefer wearing clothes that are appropriate for an occasion rather how great I look in one. I will be diving a bit deeper into this soon.

Updating Your Hairstyle

This is the easiest way, you can change your whole look. And I am sure you have noticed it too. Even if your outfit is on point, your hair just does not do it for the whole look. 

And just swapping your hairstyle can make the biggest difference to your look. I was obsessed with long hair in 20s, so I would just leave it to grow out as much as possible. But it didn’t look all that groomed and nice when I would try to create an outfit. When I got a haircut and styled my hair properly, I instantly looked smarter and nicer.

This is actually the first step to grooming and applies to both men and women. No matter how amazing your hair quality is, if it does not flatter your face, it won’t look good on you. 

You don’t have to get a fancy hair color or anything, just going to the salon and picking a hair style that suits your personality will make the biggest difference.

Also Read:  3 Ways To Tie Your Espadrilles That Stays

Creating a Balance

There is just one principle I follow and this really makes the biggest difference in all my outfits. They look effortless as well as more put together. 

Balancing the proportion of the clothing pieces you are pairing together. If you are wearing something oversize on top, pair it with something fitted and structured in your bottom and the other way around. 

You can apply this rule to any of your outfits and come up with so many different outfits that looks chic and stylish. 

Refrain from wearing all skin tight or all oversized clothes. While it might look great, its really does not look more sophisticated and structured as you want to be in your 30s and beyond.

Dressing for Your Body Type

This is the biggest reason you might feel frumpy in your outfits. You are really not dressing for your body type. I have always felt that clothes have a power to enhance our shape and highlight the best parts of our body. 

Just wearing something pretty which is not doing anything to enhance your body in fact its doing just the opposite is what makes you feel not so great and hence the frumpy feeling. 

Lets, get some scenarios, 

  • If you have a straight figure, wearing a body con dress might not look the best. You might be better off with a fit and flare dress.
  • Even if you have an hour glass figure, if you have a visible tummy, again wearing a body con dress might make you feel uncomfortable and frumpy. Opting for fit and flare or smock dresses might look more flattering and highlight your curves in a better way. 
  • If you have a short torso and longer legs, wearing high waisted jeans that highlights your legs would look much better.

There will be a new post about dressing for your body type that is coming up soon, So, don’t forget to to join the newsletter, so you get notified about that. 

Dressing Appropriately for the Occasion

You might be excited to wearing that gorgeous cocktail dress, but think of what kind of event or occasion it is to wear it to. A casual gathering might not be the best place for it. 

This is something, I really started following in my 30s, and I really noticed a huge difference in my confidence and the way I look and feel around other people. 

There is not much to it, other than thinking of whether the occasion calls for dressing up or dressing down. And even if you have to dress down, you can still look cute and nice in a pair of jeans and T shirt.

Timeless not Trendy

While it is absolutely fun to experiment with latest fashion trends, you should not always wear trendy pieces. Trends are short lived always, and often times, they don’t really go with a lot of other pieces in your closet. 

Now, I am not saying to not at all indulge in trends, you should pick trends that will work well with other pieces in your closet so that your outfits don’t feel out of place. 

This is what leads to frumpy outfits in the future, because you suddenly have a closet full of trendy clothes that are not so flattering the next year. Instead go for timeless styles that will work for you for years to come. These are not basic pieces, these are items that looks amazing on you and reflects your style well. 

Also Read:  How to Match The Right Handbag With Your Outfits: Style Guide

Wondering how you can achieve that, checkout my 5 steps guide to build your dream wardrobe below.


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Investing in Structured Pieces

With the business casual dress code at work rising, I feel like we somehow feel like nothing in our closet should be structured. I literally used to feel this way till I realized the power of a good Blazer and now I am obsessed. 

Investing in some structured pieces like a good relaxed blazer, a pair of tailored trousers, a pleated skirt and etc will help you build outfits that look flattering and these pieces are not just for work, all of them can be worn outside or in special occasions as well.

Your closet should have a mix of structured and relaxed pieces that you can pair together to create smart casuals and other styles effortlessly and this will help you to get out of the style rut.

Color Theme

This is an easy trick that I use to make my outfits look effortless and still so put together and stylish. And if you follow this, no matter how old your clothes are you can still create new stylish looks with them.

You don’t have to match everything in your outfit to the same color, but pick a few pieces in a particular color, you can have different shades in them. And accessorize keeping that in mind. 

I have a post about colorful capsule wardrobe, if you are interested check it out. 

Right Accessories

I always like to keep my accessories minimal. But picking out right accessories like jewelries or handbags that work well with what you are wearing also completes your look and helps you feel more confident in what you are wearing.

I usually keep my jewelries in balance, if I have a heavy earring, I won’t wear a necklace. If my necklace is heavy, I won’t wearing a long earring, I would choose a stud instead. 

If I am wearing a casual outfit, a crossbody bag would look good. But for something dressier, a smaller handbag might be more appropriate. 

Right Makeup

Less always looks way better than more. But sometimes, you need to get makeup done for a special occasion, but even then, I love to create a balance instead of going overboard with my makeup.

In our 30s, most of us probably are more comfortable with what we have instead of trying to be someone else. And your makeup should enhance who you are instead of completely changing you. 

I hope this post was helpful in identifying the key mistakes that you might be making everyday that is causing the frumpiness. I would love to know if you have any tips that you would like to share. And what’s the first thing you are going to change about your style now?



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Hi, I am Suchi the Founder, Editor-in-Chief of Pink April Diary.

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