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Conscious Fashion 2024: A Guide To A Minimalist Wardrobe

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at KCL chapter.

In 2024 I’m focusing on how to start making more conscious and environmentally friendly fashion choices. In this journey, one of the options that keeps coming up a lot on social media is the minimalist wardrobe. As the name suggests, this is where you take conscious steps to diminish the number of items in your wardrobe, allowing you to keep only key pieces that you truly love and that you will wear on a regular basis. I’m currently in the process of building a minimalist wardrobe, and this is what I’ve learned so far:

What is minimalism? Minimalism first started as a social and artistic movement that aims to encourage people to only own things that they truly love and cherish. Because of that, it also criticises the capitalist and workaholic system in which we live today, as people are always after more when it comes to their lives and achievements: a bigger house, a better car, a more extravagant vacation, etc. This isn’t to say that minimalism doesn’t support people going after their dreams and goals, but instead, it encourages us to be more grateful for and mindful of the things we already have. This mindfulness about what we have achieved also helps us diminish the anxiety and stress that may come from societal pressures to always overachieve.

Benefits of a minimalist wardrobe: When it comes to fashion and your own wardrobe, minimalism can help you to declutter the items that you don’t need. That way, you can focus on maintaining items that 1) you wear on a regular basis and 2) match one another so you can combine them to create several different outfits.

Debunking the minimalist myth: Before, I wasn’t really a fan of minimalism because I’ve always heard that a minimalist wardrobe only focused on items of neutral colours – white, grey, and black. This sounded awful to me because those colours don’t suit me at all, and I love wearing colourful jumpers and tops. Plus, my only contact with minimalist fashion was from influencers who took it to the extreme – and limited their entire wardrobes to 10 or 15 pieces only. But that couldn’t be further from the truth! A minimalist wardrobe looks different for each person, as it depends on your style, your routine, and even the weather where you live.

So, if limiting your wardrobe to only 10 pieces doesn’t work for you, you can still adopt some of these tips to clean up your wardrobe:

  1. Donate/re-sell any items you don’t like – the first step is crucial: for you to go through every single item in your wardrobe and think about whether you really like it or wear it often. For me, my rule of thumb is if I haven’t worn it for the last 6 months – time to say goodbye!
  2. Think about your style – what you truly love to wear. When deciding whether to keep an item or not, it is important to think about whether it really matches other items in your wardrobe and if it’s weather-appropriate… if the answer to most of those is a yes, then that means that it can be a key functional piece for your wardrobe. If it’s a no, then you already know what you need to do!
  3. What about making new purchases? Fashion minimalism doesn’t mean that you can never buy anything ever again. Whether you’re thinking about buying something or came across an item that you like in a shop, first step is to ask yourself whether you really need it, and if yes, whether it works with the rest of your wardrobe. Lastly, also ask yourself whether it brings you joy: are you buying it because you actually like it, and it fits your style or because it is part of an online trend? One thing that I always try to do is to wait at least a day since I found that item to think about these questions before buying it. And I guarantee you, by using this trick all of my purchases from this year have been conscious decisions – no more impulse buying!

These tips are guaranteed to set you on the path towards creating a minimalist wardrobe. For me, I found out that going through this process has been a great way to help me identify my style! It made me focus on only wearing what brings me joy, and to stop impulse buying every time I had an event. Because of that, it also made me more confident – having fewer options on what to wear actually brought me more peace when deciding my outfit. Also, it made me really think hard about the different outfits that I can create with what I already have, and that forced me to create combinations that I never had done before. So, even though I have fewer pieces, it feels like my wardrobe multiplied after going through this process!

And constructing a minimalist wardrobe doesn’t only have personal gains. Being more mindful about your fashion choices is a great way to diminish the amount of waste we produce due the disposal of clothes we don’t like or wear. This, alongside prioritising thrift stores instead of fast fashion ones when I shop, has been a habit that is helping me diminish my ecological footprint.

Finally, don’t take minimalism as a boring set of rules that you need to follow. Minimalism can leave room for you to experiment, create different combinations with the clothes you already have, and encourage you to be mindful about the way that you want to present yourself to the world. So, you should definitely give it a try.

Brenda is a Style correspondent at Her Campus at the King’s College London (KCL) Chapter, and has a true passion for creating beauty and style content that is inclusive and body-positive. Brenda is currently in her second year of undergraduate study at King's College London studying International Relations. Despite this being her first year writing for Her Campus, she has had a love for journalism and content creation since her early teens, which led to her attending a Harvard University programme for Journalism and Media and writing for teenage magazines in Brazil. Besides writing, Brenda’ interests include going to the gym and travelling. Also, exploring all the different restaurants and cuisines that London has to offer :)