7 Style Choices That Prove You're a Grownup

At one point or other, buying the cheap polyester blend dress just won't be an option anymore.

7 Style Choices That Prove You're a Grownup

Becoming an adult doesn't only revolve around paying for rent and having to scrounge your own groceries. You realize you've become a grownup when you look at your wardrobe, too. There are certain style choices that come hand-in-hand with adulthood that go against every principle of being a kid. Some things that come to mind are spending a week's worth of grocery money on a pair of boots because they'll last you years, or giving up that trendy clutch because you know it's shelf-life won't last in your wardrobe. When you catch yourself making these seven style choices when out shopping, you know you've made that scary (and exciting!) cross into being a grown woman. 

1. You Don't Buy Something Just Because It's On Sale

7 Style Choices That Prove You're a Grownup

When the red signs come up in a store window and prices get slashed, it can be easy to walk into a store and abandon all logic. Who cares that you almost never wear skirts? You just bought yourself two pencil skirts because they were 50% off. Or what's it to you that you've never felt comfortable in an edgier look? You're currently running to the cash register with a leather jacket with studded shoulder pads because it would only cost you a cool $20. 

When you find yourself in the midst of a sale section and catch yourself thinking, 
"But do I really need this?" or "Where can I actually wear this to?" you know you've made it: This is adulthood. 

How does it feel, kid?

2. You Check Out The Material First

That dress may be tempting to buy what with its adorable print and it's super affordable price tag, but you know you've wised up and entered adulthood territory when you first stop and inspect the material. Will it pill the second your butt makes contact with a bus seat? Will it turn threadbare in the wash? Does it look like it has a shelf-life of three months? If so, you put it back and move on.

Back in your younger years, fast fashion materials were bought and played in because 1) your paychecks weren't the biggest and that was all you could afford and 2) your style was ever-changing and you would retire a dress before it even had the chance to fall apart on you.

But now that you're a grownup, you need something with longevity. That's why the tag gets checked before you ever make it into the changing room. 

3. You Opt To Buy The More Expensive Item

7 Style Choices That Prove You're a Grownup

This goes hand-in-hand with the materials point: You know that even though a piece may cost four times more than what you're comfortable spending, if it'll be a staple in your wardrobe it'll be worth it. The adage of "you get what you pay for" is very true, and you know that if you buy jeans for $20 you'll just be shopping for another pair in a matter of months. 

If you're okay shelling out some big dollars for wardrobe staples because you know, in the long run, it'll be cheaper. And less of a headache. 

4. You Begin To Go For Timelessness, Not Fads

7 Style Choices That Prove You're a Grownup

A suede mini is adorable, as are those high-waisted bell bottoms everyone is obsessed with currently, but that doesn't mean you're rushing to the store and buying them. If you find yourself gravitating towards pieces that build a solid, long-lasting wardrobe (no matter how much the fads and trends change) you've got your first hint that you're a grownup. It's not a bad idea to dabble in a fun trend or two, but your wardrobe is no longer made out of hot pieces that'll fizzle out in a matter of months. Instead, you have cardigans and dresses that'll last you decades if you want them to. 

5. You No Longer Subscribe To Vanity Sizing

You know you're a grownup when you buy the size that feels comfortable around your waist, not the size you think you should be. Who likes having to lay down on their bed just to close their fly, or dance around the room in a struggle to get their jeans around their waist? When you've hit adulthood, the prospect of that sounds ridiculous.

First of all, that kind of tight waist just sounds plain uncomfortable and, secondly, you've finally wised up that a number on a tiny tag doesn't define you. Who cares if you're a size 16 or a size eight? You have the body you have, and you'll dress it the way it needs to be dressed. 

6. You No Longer Get 14 Of The Same Piece

7 Style Choices That Prove You're a Grownup

You know when you were younger and you had eight floral dresses, about 12 different purses, and four ill-fitting denim jackets? You know you're an adult when you, instead, streamline your closet and invest in one to two items of a style and call it a day. Whereas before you were indecisive, now you know which cuts and colors work, and you know (money-wise) it's not the best move to get the same piece 10 times over - how much different can each one really be from the other? You're a smart shopper now, and buy to invest, not buy to spend. 

7. You Wear What You Love

Say you always felt like you were teetering on stilts when walking in heels, or always felt slightly foolish in a mini bandage dress. You know you're a grownup when you realize you don't actually have to wear those things and just opt to wear what makes you comfortable. Just because you're wearing an evening dress doesn't mean you need stilettos (those cute flats will most definitely do) and who says you can't look just as hot in tweed pants on a Saturday night rather than a teeny mini? You know wearing what you love is what makes your style beautiful, and you've learned (probably the hard way) that you don't need to follow any fashion rules you don't want to. Adulthood could be liberating that way!

Marlen Komar is a writer living in Chicago with a penchant for mom jeans and kimchi tacos, and primarily writes about fashion history. She has bylines in Bustle, CNN Style, Racked, Allure, Curbed, and Apartment Therapy, and rarely stays in one place too long as she travels for most of the year. Website: marlenkomar.com