Have you ever seen someone walking down the street and found yourself taking note of how “put together” they look? It’s possible you’re having a hard time pinpointing exactly what makes them look so elegant yet edgy. All you know is whatever they’re doing just works. They may not be decked out in glitz and glamour, but their clothes fit well and contribute to a subtle air of sophistication. You find yourself wanting to ask something like, “Where did you get your shirt? It’s amazing!”
This person has likely mastered the art of dressing simply, yet well. This style is known as minimalist fashion. Here’s what it entails and how you can achieve it.
Minimalist Fashion: Simple, Well-Made, Responsible
According to the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, minimalism:
- Is the aesthetic of “less is more.”
- Celebrates purity and restraint, promoting qualities such as truth, order and harmony.
- Prioritizes reduction and function.
- Uses clean lines and silhouettes to accentuate the relationship between body and garment.
- Employs ornamentation to enhance structure and construction.
- Contrast with maximalism, which celebrates excess and eclecticism.
Minimalism hinges on what’s understated — yet well-crafted and striking — rather than relying upon a hodgepodge of bright colors, bold patterns and loud accessories,.
Refinery 29 offers these examples for how different women might go about assembling a minimalist outfit:
- A little black dress paired with black ankle boots and a black leather bag.
- Long trousers paired with a simple top in the same color with one unexpected element, like long sleeves or an interesting neckline.
- A baggy blouse, white slouchy denim, leather heels and a geometric leather bag.
- A black jumpsuit, black trench coat, black leather handbag and simple sandals.
- Cotton trousers, a starchy linen shirt, eye-catching white leather bag and black slides.
In other words, there’s no single “right” way to approach minimalism.
A good rule of thumb is to gather a collection of pieces that all play well with one another. To accomplish this, focus each season’s shopping of women’s new arrivals on well-made, neutral pieces. Certain brands like Marcellamoda specialize in minimalism, offering mix-and-match opportunities with turtleneck tops, shapely sweaters, wool coats, midi dresses, leather boots, wide-legged pants and minimalist accessories.
How to Make Minimalism Work for You
There’s a lot of power in having the ability to assemble a simple, yet cohesive outfit with one or two finishing touches that make it pop. There are two major stages tobuilding a minimalist wardrobe, Begin by putting together a core “capsule” of versatile clothes, then collect accessories you can use to adorn your outfits.
These can range from prominent statement jewelry to belts, scarves, handbags, tights, hair adornments and more. Wearing just one or two pieces to add visual interest will underscore the simple elegance of your minimalist wardrobe while still leaving you room to have fun putting together your looks.
Another advantage of embracing minimalism is the opportunity to buy sustainable and ethically produced clothes from reputable fashion brands. In addition to purchasing a sturdier product, you’ll be contributing tothe existence of a more ecologically responsible fashion industry.
As one Forbes contributor notes, truly sustainable materials are made to last and limit the amount of wasted fabric in production — like ethically sourced natural fibers. Look for quality materials, handmade craftsmanship and brands with a commitment to sustainability when you’re building your minimalist closet. In fact, this prioritization of quality over quantity is one of the most appealing aspects of embracing minimalist fashion.