Say goodbye to the clean girl aesthetic – fashion in 2024 is all about chaos

From new beginnings for archive fashion to the rise of wearing nothing at all, this is what you can expect from 2024.

Sayonara blokecore! It’s time to step into 2024’s fashion forecast: simplicity takes centre stage, with nods to 90s minimalism and goodbyes to everything low-rise. Amidst all the nostalgia, there’s a hint of rebellion too: in the coming year we’re going to be celebrating messy vibes and boldly embracing our birthday suits. These trends hint at a craving for authenticity and a rejection of the “perfect” and “clean girl” aesthetics that have dominated previous years.

Minimal archive fashion

It’s more than likely you’ve seen a fair few influencers talking about the “capsule wardrobe” they’re planning on creating in the coming year. While to them that probably means zipping down to Zara for a few neutral toned blazers, in the world of archive fashion our desire for less will manifest as an increased demand for more stripped back vintage pieces. In previous years, the articles that would wrack up the highest prices on Vestiaire Collective and 1st Dibs were outlandish designs by Jean Paul Gaultier and Mugler: think Kim Kardashian in cyberdots and Cardi B decked out in monogrammed Dior. In 2024, that’s set to change. “I think we are going to see a move away from Y2K maximalism and exhibitionalism towards late 90s minimalism” Christelle McCracken of My Runway Archive tells HUNGER. 

So it will be out with pieces emblazoned with patterns or characteristic design details that signify whatever designer they’re from, and in with understated silhouettes. Designs from Tom Ford’s time at Gucci will find their way onto not only celebs – Bella Hadid, Adwoa Aboah and Taylor Russell have already slipped into some of his pieces – but the average joe too. We’ll also see people scouring eBay for the minimalist stylings of 90s pieces from designers like Calvin Klein, Jil Sander, Ann Demeulemeester, Helmut Lang, and Plein Sud. “I have also seen a lot more Armani on the red carpet recently and think we are going to see a resurgence in interest for vintage pieces the brand. It represents a kind of quiet luxury” adds Christelle. “I also think with the launch of the new Phoebe Philo collection we are going to see a surge in demand for clothing from when she was creative director for Chloé and Celine”. 

The name of the game is getting your hands on vintage designer pieces that transcend being worn to a single event or for the purpose of an Instagram post. Rather, it’s about investing in classic designs that can be worn on a day to day basis. If anything, that’s now a must. Just this week it was announced that the Tory government is taxing any money you make on clothes re-selling platforms, so it’s not like you’ll want to be popping that 1997 Gucci dress on Depop after a few wears. 

2010s nostalgia

Styles from the 90s are omnipresent. We’ve re-lived y2k. It was only a matter of time before we dredged up the dubious fashion trends of the 2010s. There have already been hints that this might happen: in 2023, what was dubbed “bella swan core” – Abercrombie style henley tops and faded bootcut jeans – tapped into a desire for the styles popular around the time of Twilight’s release in 2008. Ironically, the young Gen Z-ers practising the vampire inspired micro trend weren’t really around (or at least that conscious) when the styles were first on the scene. What that suggests is that the 2010s aesthetics which will dominate in 2024 aren’t so much born from genuine nostalgia, but that we’re simply running out of things to reference and cannibalise. 

Of course, 2010s nostalgia doesn’t have to mean popping on the clothes you would have got during a Bluewater trip with your mum. We’ll see people dipping into the archives to pluck out the creme de la creme pieces of the era.  Influencer Devon Lee Carlson recently posted a picture to Instagram of her wearing the iconic Bart Simpson dress from Jeremy Scott’s AW 2012 show. And despite looking like something straight off our Tumblr page, Addison Rae’s recent Instagram of the semi-ironic “It” girl in a fur coat and high waisted denim shorts looked… Well, surprisingly good. Rae’s post is even a testament to the fact that our love for the 2010s will transcend just fashion alone. Note her use of one of the old Instagram filters. Mark our words: it’s all coming back. 

Bye bye low rise

Those that have remained too scared to take on the belly-baring low rise trend rejoice: in 2024, it’s waving goodbye. Over the coming year, it will really be about anything other than the styles popular in the early 00s. In line with the “corpcore” looks from towards the end of 2023 – think the Fall/Winter 2023 collection from BOSS and practically every outfit worn by Kendall Jenner during PFW – we’ll flock towards workwear with a characteristically high waist. Think skirts straight off a 90s Prada runway and trousers that offer up a more wearable version of the extreme silhouettes shown off by Loewe back in 2022. 2024 is taking cues from trends from way before that too. Look no further than Prada’s FW2023 show to see how the femme fatale tailoring of the 1940s is on full display. Essentially, cinching is back on the menu, and somewhere in the UK Gok Wan is having an absolute field day. 

There’ll also be an influx of people taking the drop waist trend a step further with dresses that (in true mod style) erase your waistline entirely. While Gok might not want to, you only have to peruse the newest Sandy Liang designs – all sailor-esque and childlike – to see that that’s the case. 

Mess

Rat girl core. Feral season. Goblin mode. In 2024, it’s all taking these kinds of ideas to a ten. Most importantly, it’s about doing it in such a way that transcends that of contrived microtrends. 2024 is going to be the antithesis of microtrends, in fact. It’s a step away from “clean girls” and a big step towards pure, organic mess. It’s, in essence, a big cathartic scream in the face of a hyper-aware, self conscious existence that can be diluted into a single hashtag. 

We’re not just plucking this out of thin air. There’s been big ol’ hints that we’ve all had enough. From as early as 2021, the idea that our designer handbags should be used and verging on destroyed (a-la Mary-Kate Olsen) rather than being kept pristine gained some traction. There was Balenciaga’s “The Mud Show”.  More recently, it was seen in the overfilled bags that went down the catwalk at Miu Miu’s Spring 2024 show. And how about the AVAVAV SS23 show where the clothes broke and were torn off as models descended the runway? 

While the idea of mess and letting go should, in theory, be the most achievable of the trends on this list, we have a sneaking suspicion it might actually be the most difficult. Relinquishing the way in which we hyper-curate what we wear and do is no easy feat, and we reckon people will put a whole lot of effort into appearing effortless. On our 2024 bingo cards? An influencer dropping a tutorial on how to make your $20,000 Birkin look “perfectly” wrecked. 

Nothing at all

And a step further than chaos is wearing nothing at all. We’ve all heard of “naked dresses”. The kind that went viral before going viral was a thing (Rose McGowan iconic VMAs dress) and those that warrant a whole Daily Mail article when Emily Ratajkowski dares to wear one. We’re not talking about those, though. We’re talking about taking naked dressing to its most extreme and literal form. It’s the look surmised by the photos of Bianca Cesori that are making the rounds at the moment. It’s pretty much anything that she wears for that matter. It’s the metal bikini that Julia Fox sported when she turned up to the Naomi Campbell x PrettyLittleThing runway show. If those examples feel unconvincing and you still don’t believe that wearing your birthday suit is for us regular folk, just look at the hordes upon hordes of sheer fabric spotted on SS24 runways. 

What’s the deal with nakedness? While we can’t speak for everyone, we reckon that for its celebrity proponents it’s a kind of wealth symbol. What better signals that you’re aeons above the riffraff of a normal existence than turning up to the club with nothing more than a stuffed cat

  • Writer Amber Rawlings
  • Banner Image Credit Miu Miu / Zoë Ghertner

Related Content