According to the wonderfully thorough article on minimalism in fashion, we were able to find out one of the main reasons minimalism has been such a force over the last decade, and it has a great deal to do with the incredible Phoebe Philo. Namely, the iconic designer took the world by storm with her minimalistic aesthetics. Of course, the fact that we had been hit with a global economic crisis might also have something to do with the fact that we turned to the ‘less is more’ mantra. This particularly applies to members of the younger, millennial generation who were there just in time to pick up the pieces, bring the economy to life and pay college debts and scout for low-paying jobs. Of course, regardless of finances, we all deserve to look good and minimalism allows us to accomplish that feat with the greatest of ease. The reason is simple. You see, minimalism in fashion is defined by its three main pillars – impersonal austerity, anti-figurative forms and accessibility.
In plain English, this means the following: impersonal austerity is actually all about deceptively simple cuts that are actually extremely difficult to create. Anti-figurative forms mean that gender has been largely removed from the equation, and even though we have feminine and masculine pieces, some of them can be easily worn by both genders, and even gender non-conformists. Accessibility is a simple term to define – these minimalistic pieces, while an investment (given the fact that you should always look for pieces that have a timeless cut that you can rock for years, high-quality tailoring and fabrics that will hold up well), will pay off in time. You see, once you commit to purchasing minimalistic, sustainable, ethical and high-quality garments that were made either by local artisans or fairly paid workers, you end up with a finite number of garments with which you can play endlessly and create an infinite amount of combinations. Needless to say, once you’re done investing, your disposable income can go into more important things such as travel, paying off loans or whatever makes you feel joy. Now that we know the type of clothing that we need and where we need to get it from in order to support vital causes such as ethical production and sustainability, let’s head over to the more fun part and see what it is you actually need in your wardrobe, so the rest can be sold, or donated for a good cause.
The big three
First, we need to talk about the pieces that are most likely the number one investment. The first thing you need is a classic leather biker jacket, an item that you can wear with anything, to almost any occasion. It’s black, it’s edgy, but it also has incredible powers of transformation and meshes well with everything you come up with. Slightly different, yet similar in result is a classic camel trench coat – a piece of outerwear that will follow you to work, make you look polished and casual at the same time, and the camel hue will always make you look ultra-chic and luxurious. Now, all you need is one classic, superbly tailored coat. We suggest gray, since it’s both a neutral hue and also one of the most luxurious looking ones, so just pick a timeless cut that flatters your figure the most and call it a day.
Keep in mind that even though you’re crossing over to the minimalistic side, your style should still be your own. Therefore, you don’t have to follow all the rules blindly. For instance, while great high waisted jeans look good and do every figure justice, it’s up to you whether you’ll go for black ones, bell-bottom, pale blue, embellished or embroidered. At the end of the day, you’re the one who will be creating your outfits, and you need to go where your style gut takes you. In fact, you can get a pair of each ones we described and make jeans your go-to uniform. Of course, if you work in a place with a strict dress code, you will need a pair of wide-leg trousers – black, white, beige or even burgundy, but you can put your own spin on your uniform by opting for a subtle checkered pattern. The same goes for skirts. Find the cut and length that works for you. It doesn’t have to be a pencil skirt – it can be a gorgeous metallic black pleated skirt, a simple cotton gray one or a high rise A-line one. The point is to choose the items that do YOUR body justice, while still picking items that are of high quality, easy to mix and match and that will always make you look polished.
A Brenton top simply goes with everything, which makes it a complete must. Now, as far as other sweaters go, again, follow your style gut. Are you a chunky sweater person, a preppy crew sweater one or a lover of cardigans? Most articles on minimalism offer one-fits-all solutions and rules, but then we would all end up looking the same. The entire point is to spend less in the long run, look great and look like yourself, so bend the rules and pick the items that you will love for years to come. They don’t all have to be black. You can even infuse burnt orange, red and even a couple of pastels in your tees and chic tops – as long as the cut is timeless and you can match the tops to bottoms with time to spare, feel free to purchase whatever you want. P.S. All that being said, a classic white shirt and a black dress in a flattering cut are definite musts.
Simple bags such as totes, satchels or even iconic vintage designer bags are always a good route to take. The reason is simple – you need bags that will, again, easily mesh with all your outfits, so choose quality and simplicity over trendiness every time. The same goes for shoes. You need a simple pair of patent leather pumps that will serve you for years and years, simple nude flats, single-strap sandals and a pair of chic and sleek white or black sneakers. As far as jewelry goes, minimalists generally tend to lean towards subtle design and own very few items of this variety. We suggest you pick a few that you will wear all the time and that will eventually become your signature. That way, you will not only have a recognizable style, but also won’t spend tons of money on cheap jewelry.
There you have it, all the essentials. Now, don’t rush into it. Save money, buy one quality item at a time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will a great minimalistic wardrobe be. Take all the time you need, but do it right.