'The 3 rules I'm following for a better wardrobe in 2024.'

Like most people, my year starts with goals and resolutions.

In 2024, I’m hoping to eat better (no more coffee on an empty stomach), work out more and, the one that I consider the most important, consume mindfully.

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Now, I’m not saying my resolutions are going to make it past January - to be honest, the first two have been a resolution every year since I turned 18 - but the last one is something I’ve been practising for a year and a half, and hopefully, with time, I’ll double down on it.

Believe it or not, I’m not a huge shopper. I rarely buy new clothes, only bring home accessories after thinking 20 times about it, and my collection of shoes is relatively small. Now that I’ve mentioned it, you’ll notice it more when I style clothes because I rotate the same pieces over and over again.

But it wasn’t always that way. A few years ago I would receive packages every week, filled with clothes that I’ve bought out of impulse. That would then result in my wardrobe quite literally spilling out from every corner, and me feeling overwhelmed at all the choices I had (and not liking any of them).


I spent money on fast fashion that would last one wash cycle, and I didn’t have a personal sense of style, so buying into trends that I would get bored with after one week was becoming the norm.

I’m not proud of it, but I also know that it’s a part of growing up. 

Now that I’m 28 going on 29, I’m more conscious about what I buy, and ask myself, “Am I actually going to wear this? Or am I buying it for the short-lived dopamine hit?”

The answer to that question either results in me bringing something home, or hanging it back up on the rack. Up till now, this strategy has never failed me. 

Every year I spend New Year's Day the same way: Recovering from the lack of sleep and cleaning out my wardrobe. 

This year, I noticed there were a lot fewer clothes going into the donate pile, because, surprisingly, I loved everything I owned.

So, I thought it would be a good idea to share what I’ve learned over the years, and how I’m planning to take it a step further in 2024. 

If I want to buy a variation of something I already own, then I have to get rid of the similar item first.

In 2024, we're no longer hoarding the same type of clothes. Image: Instagram: @basmahqazi.


We’ve all been there. We’re in a store or browsing online and we come across an item that we just cannot stop thinking about. The problem is, we already own something similar.

Now, the old Basmah would buy it anyway, and end up hoarding 10 pairs of the same piece. The new Basmah however is going to donate the version she already owns before buying anything new. 

The reason I want to put this into practice is because not only does it help keep my wardrobe compact, but it forces me to style the items I already spent my money on. For example, if I want to buy new white trousers, I’m going to see if I can make the ones I own work. Often we just want something because it’s *new and shiny*, but classic pieces like trousers can be freshened up when we learn what to pair them with.


Of course, if you really want the new pair then buy it. My other rule is, that if you can’t stop thinking about it after a week, you deserve to treat yourself.

Invest in quality, not quantity (and always think of the ROI).

The Shona Joy dress I bought back in 2021. Catch me wearing it again this year! Image: Instagram @basmahqazi.


Do you know how much money I’ve saved now that I’m not buying new clothes every week? A lot. 

This means I have more disposable income to spend on quality clothing, which, yes, is more expensive than fast fashion, but lasts me years as opposed to weeks and months.

I understand however that dropping money on fashion isn’t exactly at the top of everyone’s list of priorities in this economy, but allow me to explain how I justify it.

I think about the return on investment (ROI). In 2021 I spent $250 on a Shona Joy dress. It wasn’t an impulse purchase, in fact, it was something I thought about - more than usual actually because the price was so high.

But since 2021, I’ve washed and worn it every week of spring and summer for the last two years, and I plan on doing the same in 2024.

So, let’s do the math.

There are approximately 26 weeks of spring and summer each year, and I’ve worn it for two years now, so multiply 26 by two, and you get 52.

In total, I’ve worn it about 52 times, so if I divide $250 by 52 the price per wear is around $5.

Yes, the dress cost me more upfront, but when I was buying fast fashion and only wearing it three times before binning it, the price per wear was far higher despite me paying less at the till.


You can apply the same rule with anything you’re planning on buying, especially if it’s more of an investment item. If you’re only going to wear a $250 dress twice, then it’s probably best to save your coin. But if you see yourself in it often, then it might be time to take the plunge.

Read the labels.

Knowing how to read labels is important - that way, you always know what you're paying for. Image: Instagram @basmahqazi.


This is something I want to be more conscious of after coming across videos from TikTok creator, Jennifer Wang.

Wang teaches her followers how to read clothing labels so they know exactly what they’re paying for. Many times you might think you’re buying a coat made from 100% wool, but really, most of it is made of polyester.

Not only are you paying an extortionate amount of money thinking it's pure wool, but you’re also investing in something that will not last a lifetime.

@wangjenniferr Replying to @Sara my top 3 tips for buying summer clothes! S/o to my follower Michelle who I bumped into at the Eaton Centre, thanks for your support and for saying hi! ☺️ #clubmonaco #summerwardrobe #summerclothes #summeroutfits #summerwardrobestaples ♬ original sound - Jennifer Wang | @wangjenniferr

Thanks to Wang, I've also realised that price doesn't always reflect quality. There are plenty of options you can find at stores such as COS that are made from the best type of fibres, as opposed to a luxury label that is charging you for the name instead of the composition.

I’ll admit, I haven’t started doing this, but I want to get into the habit of deciphering labels this year, so I can buy less but buy better.

The environmental impact of buying fast fashion is immense, so in 2024, here’s to being more conscious about what we consume. I’m certainly not perfect, and you won’t be either, but hey, at least we’re trying right?

Feature Image: Supplied.

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