New Castle News

October 3, 2012

Sarah Stright on Fashion: Hitting the Big 3-0 and how to wear denim

Sarah Stright
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Q: I'm turning 30. Is that the cut-off age for being able to shop in the Junior's department?

A: Since I am currently staring down the barrel of turning 30, this is definitely something that has been on my mind. I'll admit, I've recently been feeling a little lost while out shopping. I ventured into one of my longtime favorite stores over the weekend and walked around feeling a bit too old for most of the clothing. I feel like there should be a middle ground between 20-something and full-blown adult. And that gap should be called "Thirty Year Old." I'm no longer at the age where I want to wear the more junior clothing like graphic tees, pattern denim, or mini skirts all the time. But I'm also not at a point in my life where I want to (or need to) dress in a full suit, or be covered up head to toe.

Luckily, it seems that there are some stores out there catering to this "young professional" demographic. They offer all the fun of the junior's department but in the silhouettes of an adult body. I personally like Gap, Banana Republic, New York & Company and Loft. All of these stores stick with the new trends, but offer them in a more "adult" way. But if you're out shopping and you see a great shirt in the Junior's department, don't turn away from it because you think you're "too old" for it. Just find a way to make it more sophisticated. Accessories can make all the difference.

Top off a cute graphic tee with a blazer or leather vest. Add sophisticated heels to a pair of pattern denim. Wear an oversized chunky sweater and tights with a mini skirt. All of these options take the look from "cute" to "chic." I've created a few of these looks over to the right. Remember, just because you're turning 30, doesn't mean that you have to stop having fun with your wardrobe. The one thing to always keep in mind is the appropriate factor. And also, if you can picture your 9-year-old niece wearing the item, perhaps that's a clue that you shouldn't.

Q: I just got a denim jacket.Other than wearing it with dresses, I'm not sure what else to wear it with. Suggestions?

A: Denim jackets are one of those classic pieces that everyone should own. They last season after season and can be worn from summertime through winter. But to keep from getting bored with it, here are a few suggestions (look to the right for outfit inspiration):

•Try wearing it as a layering piece. Wear a cozy sweater and layer it with a denim jacket. Top the jacket off with a faux fur vest. These vests resurface every fall and they make these outfits look so chic. A pair of flare leg jeans are very popular now and make this outfit great for running errands or a lunch date.

•Try wearing it as a top. This might feel a little strange at first, but it's such a cool way to think of this classic item. Find a flare skirt and tuck it into the waist band. Or wear a belt at the waist to create this look. Add tights, cool booties and you're ready to go!

•Try wearing it as a blazer alternative. This might not work for all office environments. But if you need to be a bit more professional looking, try wearing the jacket over a dressy top and trousers. This will add a casual flare to your look and is perfect for a meeting at your kids' school or a more casual dinner date.

Just remember to think outside the box. If you want to try your denim jacket with something unexpected, do it! A denim jacket is almost like a neutral piece. It can be worn with just about everything to give it a casual look.

(Have a fashion question for me? Email me at And be sure to check out my personal style blog: