How to Have a More Minimalist Style

What is minimalist fashion style?

You’ve probably heard of minimalist interior design, but how about minimalist fashion? Minimalist fashion is defined by one major principle: keep it simple! Streamlined shapes, a small selection of colors, eco friendly materials, and even a bare minimum amount of clothing in your closet are key to this style. Remember my favorite approach to almost everything, the KISS principle: Keep It Simple Stupid.

Photo Unsplash

Having a small selection of comfortable, joyful clothing in your closet is considered minimalist fashion. It is supposedly essential to leading a better, more sustainable existence. I was intrigued by the concept and did a little research on the trend. Minimalist Style was developed in response to Fast Fashion. Fast fashion is a relatively new phenomenon in the industry that causes extensive damage to the planet, exploits workers, and harms animals.

What is Fast Fashion?

Clothes shopping used to be an occasional event. About 20 years ago, something changed. Clothes became cheaper, trend cycles sped up, and shopping became a hobby. Enter fast fashion and the global chains that now dominate our high streets and online shopping. But what is fast fashion? Why is fast fashion so bad? And how exactly does it impact people, the planet, and animals? Fast fashion has risks, which are well acknowledged. The list of issues is endless: widespread water pollution brought on by the use of inexpensive, harmful dyes; mountains of textile waste; the pervasive use of products derived from fossil fuels, such as polyester; the strain placed on cotton farmers. Out of this confusion, minimalism is a trend that defies all of that. Minimalism is not really new and is known for being the classic go-to style of history and moving forward. Fast fashion’s flaws merely reflect the world’s desire for more goods at ever-lower prices. Advertisers that constantly promote consumption are the cause of this. The result is inferior materials not made to last which are polluting the environment. Closets filled with clothes that are only worn a few times. All these stores selling cool, trendy clothing you could buy with your loose change, wear a handful of times, and then throw away. Suddenly everyone could afford to dress like their favorite celebrity. Is a minimalist wardrobe the secret to a happier and more environmentally friendly life? 

Photo La Ligne

How to go minimal

With a minimalist style, you and your closet should have one main goal: get back to basics. To develop a simpler wardrobe, you review and edit your closet. The goal is to curate well-made separates that compliment each other and you. Evaluate each piece of clothing you own to develop the basics of your wardrobe. Remember the words of British designer Vivienne Westwood:

buy less, choose well, make it last.”

Photo Stitch Fix

First you must try “closet shopping” as a step-by-step procedure: 

1. Remove everything. 

Take everything out of your wardrobe, empty the dresser drawers, and sort through the pile of laundry. No item should evade your attention here; you want to see every single item of clothing you own. 

2. What clothing do you need? 

Start by considering the categories of items you actually cannot get rid of, such as work attire.

To build a minimum work wardrobe, consider your needs and answer the following question: What do I truly need for the office? Alternatively, if you work from home, what eco-friendly yoga pants are I unable to live without? 

Continue with the rest of your clothing after that. Although “need” is frequently a subjective concept, try to be hard on yourself in this situation. 

Really, do you need eight pairs of jeans? That sweater you wore on your first date with your ex-boyfriend three years ago—do you really need it? Do you require enough tees to alternate between them each day for a month? 

3. Consider keeping things simple. Think plainly. Consider spending less time deciding what to dress and more time simply existing.

Start with simple inquiries such as, “Have you worn a dress in the past six months?” A year? Does it even fit, or is this just another instance of “one day it’ll fit/I’ll have something to wear it for” thinking? 

Again, honesty is your best friend in this situation.

4. What must be included in summer clothing that is minimal? 

Don’t forget to consider the seasons because they affect how frequently you wear certain items. 

Winter seems to continue forever, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hang onto your summer clothing. When the temperature soars into the triple digits, you’ll regret only keeping one pair of shorts. Keep some summer clothes out during summer then you can store them when the winter clothes come out. 

Don’t forget accessories, you don’t need 15 necklaces and a handful of rings, look for more simple and elegant pieces which can go with most outfits, whether it is a simple silver or gold chain or princess cut diamonds for a touch of glam. 

Look for classic styles in natural materials in a color range you enjoy. I love neutrals like summer white or winter white pants and tops that go with everything. I believe that developing a basic wardrobe really depends on your life style and taste. Apart from being sustainable and environmentally friendly, choose pieces that are clean, comfortable, classy, and easy to mix and match. Look for silk tops, linen or wool pants, dresses, and coats. Good On You has a list of brands rating them on their impact to the environment.

Photo Halston

One misconception about the minimalist wardrobe? Getting rid of color. Going minimalist doesn’t mean draining your closet of your favorite hues. When you’ve selected your bright color, be sure to pair it with a more neutral base, like dark wash jeans or black, wide-leg trousers. If you’re itching for color, give a chic, tonal outfit a try—like pairing a fuchsia top with rose-colored trousers.

I hope you enjoyed our discussion of the minimalist trend. Wishing you a great journey developing your own classy, simple, sophisticated style.

Photo Stitch Fix

This is a collaborative post but all opinions are my own.

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I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

4 thoughts to “How to Have a More Minimalist Style”

  1. Dear Carol,
    I am very much in favor of buying less new clothes and very interested in this topic. Because the fashion industry is one of the main polluters and main source of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. But I don’t think we should “clean out” our closets – on the contrary. For most of the suggested minimalist wardrobes, I’m clearly lacking in variety, color and fashion fun! Some women get rid of most of their wardrobe, wear the minimalist wardrobe for a few months, get bored, throw it all away again – and then buy new stuff all the more. This misses the point.
    Instead, we should BETTER GET TO KNOW the clothes we HAVE, mix them up again and again – possibly supplemented by newly purchased second-hand clothing – and wear them until they reach the end of their lives. I wrote several posts about “Capsule Wardrobe, a little bit different” a few years ago – maybe you are interested in them? If you want to read my posts – I think you know I have a translate button in the sidebar.
    Here is the link to my post “Sustainable Capsule Wardrobe – far from boring”:
    and here: “The ‘perfectly filled closet’ for the cold season:
    I hope my tips complement yours!
    All the best from Austria

    1. Your tips are great and really do complement my ideas. Recycling anything is great – I love second hand or thrift stores.

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