5 Things You Could Have by 30

OCTOBER 8, 2014

Photo by Liz Teich

First, a confession: I consume more online fashion/lifestyle content than is probably healthy both for my psyche and my eyes. I love online mags, have my favorite fashion and home décor blogs and fall-down-the-Pinterest-timesuck rabbit hole all too quickly. That being said, I’m very bothered by most of the content I’ve seen lately regarding material things women should have by a certain age.

What bothers me the most is the wording, “12 Home décor items that every woman should have by the time they’re 30”. Should. This word seems to creep into many articles and essays about the 25-34 bracket. What should we achieve or own by a certain age? Some women want a family by 27, others an advanced degree or promotion, others all three. We often forget that the greatest gift that our generation has received is that we get to write our own story and design our own track.

Though publications think I should have a splurge-worthy statement bag by now (and yes, I can tell you exactly which one I’ve fantasized about purchasing too many times), I know that the money I could spend on that would look a lot better in my 401k than it would hanging from my shoulder. This is a personal choice that is different for everyone. There is no “should,” because much like your life choices, spending choices are different for everyone and there is no right or wrong answer. You are not a lesser 30 year old because you opted not to go for the cashmere throw blanket and you’re not shallow if you decided to splurge on it. It was YOUR decision.

So here is my list. 5 things that you could own by 30:


  • A pair of jeans that fits YOU. Think about what you’re comfortable in and what flatters your own body. Buy an extra pair when they go on sale. Having an hourglass figure and what Johnny Drama on Entourage would call a “Top Tall” torso – My favorites are the rag & bone Highwaisted Heritage and Gap highrise skinny jeans.
  • Heels that don’t make you hate yourself at the end of the night. Gone are the nights of being 22 and debating a 3AM walk home barefoot because you’re in so much pain (THANK GOODNESS). This does not mean sacrificing style! It just means doing a big Zappos order and finding something that fits. I highly recommend Loeffler Randall Tamsin’s pumps.
  • A go-to interview outfit. If a recruiter calls you with an interview for your dream job tomorrow, you want to be thinking about what you’re going to say not when you’re going to have time to squeeze in panic trip to Bloomingdales.
  • An end-of-the-day-pick-me-up routine. You’ve got a small window between work/class/dates/family/what have you, and you just need to feel a bit brighter at the end of a long day. Mine is Neutrogena Under Eye brightener -> Nars Bronzer -> Carmex Chapstick. Look recharged, (start to) feel recharged. Use whatever makes you feel brighter and try and make sure you’ve got an extra set in your bag.
  • Something special that you can wear when you need a pick-me up. I’m talking sentimental special, not bling special (although bling many fall into the sentimental category for some women). A bracelet from your grandmother, earring from your best friend, something that’s a personal “I’ve got someone on my side” good luck charm.

What’s on your list? Tell us in the Comments.


  • Breanna 3 years ago

    I completely agree about how we shouldn’t be using the word “should”. I personally feel like it is setting us up to feel inadequate if we cannot achieve a certain standard of living by a certain age. Not to mention, as you point out, we get to write our own story. Who says we even WANT these things anyways? Great article!