Picture the scene: It’s a Monday. You woke at 6am. You’re unphased. You adjust your ponytail scrunchie before walking into your fave cafe for an ice match latte. Dainty jewellery sparkles under your blazer as you make an entrance. Smart, suave, effortless.
The ‘clean girl’ is unshakable and her wardrobe is a capsule of iconic key pieces in versatile colours. This trend focuses on simple yet effective styling tips that give you an effortlessly chic vibe. It’s so easy, that anyone can pull off this look. Just follow our advice…
How do you dress for the ‘clean girl’ aesthetic?
Swerve the prints
To pull off the clean girl look, we need to avoid anything too bold. Save your stripes, polka dots and florals for another day. For this vibe, we need monochromatic clothes in generally muted tones. Think black, white, brown, taupe. By sticking to simple earthy colours you’ll find it easier to mix and match items to create outfits in a pinch. You’ll also find it easier to get more use out of each piece. After all, there’s nothing worse than buying something only to have it sit in your wardrobe until the opportune moment to wear it. How wasteful!
Apparently (according to our designer, Jen) the golden rule is to select 3 colours for the bulk of your wardrobe. Within each colour, you can also pick different shades to mix and match.
Combine comfort with corporate
The ‘clean girl’ knows how to balance comfort and corporate. It’s smart/casual with a bigger focus on the ‘smart’ aspect. To nail the clean girl trend, you have to consider comfort at every opportunity.
For example, your 9 to 5 might require a blazer. This doesn’t have to be a stuffy, tailored blazer. What if we swapped it for a relaxed, oversized one instead? Throw on an unfitted dress shirt underneath, tucked into colourblock matching trousers and you’ve got yourself all the hallmarks of the ‘clean girl’ aesthetic.
Keep hair and make up minimal
When you look at any ‘clean girl’ Pinterest board, you will likely see a litany of slicked-back ponytails or tightly wound hair buns. This is the pinnacle finishing touch to any outfit. It’s easy to style and open to most hair types. Finish with an unholy amount of hairspray and no one will know you’ve only spent 5 minutes on your hair.
As for makeup, a tinted moisturiser and brow balm will do. Try to be as far from ‘birthday makeup’ as possible. Less is more when it comes to nailing this trend and the idea is to look as fresh faced as possible.
Origins of the ‘clean girl’ trend
Those of us who have frequented the internet for a while are used to seeing slight variations on the trends of yesteryear. The ‘clean girl’ trend takes inspiration from ‘models-off-duty’ and ‘french-chic’. It is also very similar to the current ‘That Girl’ aesthetic. What sets this trend apart from the rest is the surrounding lifestyle aspects. It isn’t just a look, it’s a vibe. The ‘clean girl’ aesthetic can be applied to interior, fragrance, skin care and beyond.
When searching related tags on Tiktok, you’ll likely watch a day in the life of a 20-something year old girl, sharp dressed with a green juice in hand. Perhaps she’s getting up early for a quick round of Pilates before hopping on the tube to her executive office role. It gives off effortlessly luxe vibes, but the truth is that it actually costs very little to nail this trend due to the focus on capsule wardrobes and lack of make up.
Like most online trends, it can be hard to pinpoint the exact moment that this movement started to gain popularity. However, there are obvious links to the ‘no-makeup-makeup’ trend that has been popularised by bloggers and amateurs alike.
The trend has been previously criticised for lack of diversity. Remember the content we mentioned before? It’s dominated with slim, white, blonde women. As such, people have initially struggled to see themselves within the trend and some have naturally shied away from it. On the other hand, tags such as ‘cleanlookblackgirl‘ are growing in popularity and prove that the ‘Clean Girl’ aesthetic is open to more than the stereotype.
Ironically, this is one of the few aesthetics that anyone can pull off – Yes, anyone. It also offers some solid values to live by without being preachy – live well, shop sparingly, dress for comfort.
What’s not to love?
How to style your Barneys Originals for the ‘Clean Girl’ aesthetic
From the Barneys Originals leather range, the obvious choice for the ‘clean girl’ aesthetic is a leather blazer. Whether you’re after a relaxed waterfall blazer or something with a more classic cut, the addition of leather adds to the luxury vibe. As our leather blazers currently only come in black, we’d recommend pairing them with crisp white or nude tones that compliment your own skin type.