Content creator Clara Hong used to be a fashion victim. “I used to follow trends all the time. That tie-dye top? Check. Ooh, that zebra print dress? Another check. I didn’t ask if I could see myself wearing this in three years’ time,” admits the 24-year-old.
But after watching Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus in The Minimalists on Youtube and listening to them on Spotify, she’s a changed woman. “I ask myself, ‘Is this an impulse buy?’ If the answer is yes, I’ll sleep on it for a couple of days, and I’ll most likely make the purchase only if I’m still thinking about it,” shares Clara.
The visual arts graduate now aims to downsize her wardrobe to pieces that she genuinely loves. How? By prioritising quality pieces that tend to last longer, and investing in wardrobe staples that are more minimal and classic. “This might mean that I’m making a bigger dent in my wallet, but it really has helped me shop way less!” she says.
As a fashion lover, Clara admits that she loves a good statement piece, but if she’s going to wear it only once to an event, she would consider renting over buying. And she pays attention to the type of fabrics used, opting for natural ones as much as possible. Her go-to e-tailers include DISSH, Alohas and Cult Gaia. Locally, she shops at multi-label store Goodluck Bunch, Singapore-founded brand Beyond The Vines, and Oasis Skin@Joo Chiat (which promotes a low-to-zero waste lifestyle) for vegan skincare.
Scroll through her Instagram feed, and you’ll see a consistent neutral palette, with functional and comfortable fashion choices that are pared down and clean. And that aesthetic is translated to the new multi-label concept store, Whattowear Studio, that Clara manages. “I’m constantly learning the nitty gritty of running an online business and curating new monthly drops. It’s a pretty steep learning curve, but I’m enjoying every moment of it,” she shares.
Clara hopes to inspire others to curate a simpler wardrobe by showing that it’s possible to still have fun with fashion – with the right accessories. “I usually wear neutrals, so the party usually happens at my feet. I love injecting a splash of colour with sneakers,” she says. “I also love a good bucket hat – it’s functional yet stylish. It blocks out harmful UV rays and adds some pizzazz to your outfit.”
And jewellery is a must as it’s an instant way to switch up your look. “You’ll never spot me without jewellery. It can definitely transform an outfit from sloppy to chic in seconds,” she shares.