Start 2024 in sustainable style

Quiet luxury brings subtle elegance, while rugbycore blends sportiness and glamour. But this year’s coolest move is falling back on old favourites

Hafsa Lodi January 2024 fashion trends
In a more moderate approach to fashion, some people are investing in a few key pieces and styling them for each season with existing wardrobe items. Photos by Aitor Rosas Sune/WWD, Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho and Jacopo Raule; all via Getty Images (left to right)

So, another year begins and with it come new trend cycles. Yet, 2024’s key looks don’t seem to be diverging dramatically from those of the previous year. Smart, tailored silhouettes and sporty separates remain essential for the day, while daring partywear in unexpected colours reigns after hours. Micro-trends include preppy polo necklines, fringed, feathery embellishments, oversized totes and slingback shoes.  

The offerings in stores continue to change at pace, but as consumers, young Muslims have become more conscious of what they are buying. Between the brands we’re boycotting, the fast fashion we’re avoiding and the sustainability we’re striving for, dressing to impress seems to hold less importance than it once did. 

That doesn’t mean that trends have been thrown out of the window. A growing number of people are simply taking a more moderate approach to fashion, investing in a few key pieces and styling them for each season with items from their existing wardrobes. 

Summer slip dresses are being paired with streamlined blazers, while old, oversized jumpers are looking brand new again when teamed with satin skirts. Savvy styling, combined with a conscious, creative outlook, is helping us all to nail trending looks without needing to spend on piles of new clothing.  

With micro minis, transparent skirts and no-trouser looks dominating recent fashion weeks in New York, Paris, Milan and London, putting your underwear on full display may be all the rage in 2024. Fortunately, though, the spring/summer runways have showcased plenty of ideas much more suitable for modest dressers.  

In vogue throughout 2023, the quiet luxury concept is sticking with us for the new year. A firm favourite of budget-conscious customers looking for a little upscale flair, this look is all about discreet and understated elegance. Think beige T-shirts teamed with white pleated trousers or black turtlenecks tucked into khaki skirts, worn with timeless leather shoes and bags that eschew the blatant logomania of recent years.  

According to Nazira Seedat, a Blackburn-based stylist who specialises in modest fashion, a well thought-out capsule wardrobe of versatile, seasonless staples in a neutral palette is vital to achieve this look. “It doesn’t mean your wardrobe won’t have any statement pieces — it just means it won’t be full of trends that come and go,” she says. “And, since you’re not impulse-buying, you’ll be a lot happier with your bank balance.” 

Another closely related trend for 2024 can be seen in the head-to-toe white ensembles featured in spring/summer collections from Victoria Beckham, Chloe and Valentino. Crisp, classy and the perfect canvas for accessories, white also has a reputation for being a difficult shade to wear. “But it doesn’t have to be,” says Seedat, who enjoys breaking up white-on-white outfits with bold handbags, scarves, shoes or statement jewellery. “A monotone look is extremely flattering and adding a pop of colour is a great way to style it,” she says. 

Then there are the tailored, high-waisted trousers that have marched down some of the most prestigious runways. At Hermes, they appeared in hues of steel and khaki; Louis Vuitton opted for pinstripes; and Saint Laurent offered a utilitarian take, complete with oversized cargo pockets and matching jackets. 

As Seedat points out, this look flatters a variety of body types. “High-rise trousers help to define the waistline, hide a tummy and create a beautiful, streamlined silhouette,” she says. 

Playing a completely different game, the “rugbycore” aesthetic is set to score high fashion points. Also known as “track star style”, it blends sportiness with a touch of glamour, as seen at Gucci, The Row and Miu Miu. All you really need for this one is an oversized rugby shirt, preferably featuring bold stripes and possibly sourced from a male family member’s wardrobe. 

“The stripes really make this trend stand out,” says Seedat. Instead of the usual beige chinos, she would like to see women customise this look with unexpected accessories and separates, such as dangly earrings and matte leather pencil skirts. “French-tuck the shirt and add heels or, if you’re feeling brave, why not try socks and sandals? You could also style it with a flowy maxi skirt and trainers,” she says. 

Metallics are also going to be seen in all their gleaming glory. While chunky gold embellishments and dresses draped in shimmery gold fabrics stole the show at Ralph Lauren, glistening textures of lime green ruled at Roksanda. “When we think of metallics, we often think of tin foil, gold and silver. That’s a thing of the past. Now, you’ll find them in all colours,” says Seedat. 

As this look can be overpowering, she suggests adding blazers, biker jackets and slouchy cardigans. “Underneath an open abaya would look great, as the black fabric will tone down the shine a little,” Seedat adds. “And, if you’d shy away from wearing a full metallic ensemble, why not add a bag or shoes instead?”

Emerging from the party circuit, fatigued from festive gatherings and new year celebrations characterised by glamour and metallics galore, many of us are dialling down our sartorial enthusiasm, content to get the most out of our favourite existing pieces from previous seasons. This sustainable, responsible and economically prudent approach is perfect for Muslim consumers who want to prioritise ethics over aesthetics in the year ahead. 


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