Have you ever looked at someone and wondered how they can make a plain shirt and jeans look so chic? Taking simple but beautiful pieces and combining them to create an effortlessly stylish look is the key to the minimalist style. But what makes something minimalist rather than boring, and how are these looks put together? Let’s take a closer look.
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What’s the Concept?
Minimalist style is a sophisticated take on the adage “less is more.” As much as fashion enthusiasts often enjoy over-the-top outfits with layers of dramatic accessories and contrasting prints, there is something timeless and chic about a simple look with clean lines and a few key pieces such as elegant coats, classic shirts, and beautiful luxury watches.
However, minimalist style is not only about simplicity in how you put together a single look; it is also a way of looking at your wardrobe as a whole; it could even be described as a fashion philosophy. Minimalist style is about avoiding accumulating mountains of cheap, fast fashion and stripping back your wardrobe so you are left with high-quality pieces that look fantastic and will stand the test of time.
The Benefits of Minimalist Style
There are several significant benefits to embracing the minimalist style, starting with the fact that minimalism manages to strike that perfect balance between beauty and practicality, making it the perfect style for all occasions so you can look just as chic whether you are heading to the grocery store or an elegant restaurant.
Sticking to classic silhouettes and quality fabrics while avoiding anything too on-trend or outlandish means you can build a capsule wardrobe: a small selection of garments that you can mix and match easily because they complement each other. Capsule wardrobes are much easier to create with a minimalist style because simple pieces are easier to combine, as you will know if you’ve ever bought a beautiful piece that just doesn’t go with anything else in your wardrobe.
Owning fewer items of clothes that look good together means you can invest in some more expensive pieces; rather than buying ten different tops from cheap fast fashion brands that only last a season, you can buy that high-end garment, you’ve had your eye on. This is more sustainable for the environment and makes putting together an outfit much easier for you.
How to Achieve the Look
Achieving a chic minimalist look, rather than a drab outfit, is about selecting well-made classic pieces that don’t overpower each other. Your outfit should have one focal point, such as a stunning tailored jacket or statement piece of jewelry.
The main elements to play with are texture, silhouette, color, and layering. It’s great to create contrast between these things in your look, but keep it pared down: don’t try to clash too many elements. For instance, if you contrast silhouettes by pairing a plain slip dress with an oversized jacket, you don’t need to also clash the colors.
Many people struggle to edit their accessory choices and spoil their stylish minimal look by piling on too many additional pieces, making it hard to appreciate any of them. It was style icon Coco Chanel who said, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” Those are wise words that anyone trying to develop a minimalist look should live by.
Key Pieces for a Minimalist Wardrobe
When you’re rocking a minimalist look, all focus is on the few pieces you are wearing, so you should put the same amount of thought and effort into each of those pieces, whether it’s a pair of shoes or a plain white tee.
If you’re used to just buying things that catch your eye without thinking about how they will be incorporated into your existing wardrobe, it’s time to change that pattern. These key pieces are staples of any collection, and you should consider investing in them as you begin building your minimalist wardrobe:
1. A White Shirt
A white button-up shirt is the cornerstone of any fashion lover’s wardrobe. Combine it with jeans for a relaxed, casual vibe or with a pencil skirt for professional moments. The most important thing to remember when buying a shirt is the fit.
The simplicity of a white shirt makes a poor fit stand out more than busy garments, and it will immediately look cheap and unflattering. Silk and satin offer a natural drape that flatters most bodies, while linen is ideal for a summer wardrobe capsule.
2. A Chic Coat
No one style of coat works best with the minimalist look, but trenches, wrap coats, and dusters are all fantastic options. Opt for classic silhouettes made from quality textiles, such as pure wool or cashmere, and the fit is crucial.
3. A Soft Knit Sweater
Whether you love fine wool or chunky knit, the addition of a cozy sweater is essential for any minimal wardrobe. Opt for a neutral color such as a soft gray or oatmeal and pair it with jeans, dresses, skirts, and leggings: the options are endless!
4. An Easy Dress
Depending on your taste and body type, you will be drawn to different dress styles, whether that’s a shift, tea, wrap, or slip dress. Find a dress that you can slip on and wear with sneakers for a picnic in the park or heels for a date, and it will become a core piece in your wardrobe.
5. Everyday Earrings
There’s plenty of room for statement jewelry, but a pair of simple but beautiful earrings that you can wear every day add a subtle touch of glamour to your look. The earrings could be studs or hoops, gold or silver, but they should be comfortable and add a little sparkle without overpowering your outfit.
6. A Quality Watch
Watches are the ultimate accessory. You can add a timeless Rolex or classic Cartier timepiece to a tank top and jeans look to elevate your look from plain to rich. They add a touch of glamour without being too overbearing, and the right watch can be worn with any outfit.
Remember the Principle Elements
Creating the minimalist look requires a discerning eye and the ability to edit. It also takes a degree of self-control; it’s all too easy to be tempted by cute garments when you’re out shopping, even when you know they won’t go with anything in your existing wardrobe. Stick to simple shapes and quality fabrics and always focus on fit, and you’ll nail the minimalist look.