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What is Minimalist Fashion?


The minimalist fashion movement has gained traction in recent years, not only in the fashion industry but also becoming a popular trend among many. Minimalism is all about simplifying and decluttering your life, whether it be clothing items, home décor, or lifestyle choices.

This style of dressing focuses on having fewer items that are of higher quality and reflect a more refined sense of taste. Read on to know more and get a couple of tips to inspire you to take on the minimalist way of life.

What is the Minimalist Style of Clothing?

Minimalist style clothing is defined as garments that are designed with a minimalist approach. This means that the pieces are simple and have fewer details, creating an overall clean and modern look. Basics such as plain t-shirts, basic trousers, dresses, and jackets fit into this wardrobe category.

The goal of minimalism in fashion is to create an effortless yet chic look. The minimalist style also embraces neutral tones, such as black and white, to create a timeless sense of elegance, using them year-round and in any season. 

Minimalist fashion also does not only mean dressing in plain pieces, but it also embraces the idea of having only key pieces in your wardrobe. This is why a minimalist wardrobe is also sometimes referred to as a capsule wardrobe. By owning fewer clothing items that are of premium quality, minimalist fashion saves money and creates a more sustainable wardrobe in the long run.

Minimalism is an ideal choice for those looking to simplify their lives and wardrobe. By adopting minimalist style clothing, one can create a look that is understated yet sophisticated. Although minimalist fashion may not be for everyone, it is an easy way to keep up with the latest trends while staying true to your personal sense of style.

Why is Minimalism in Fashion So Popular?

Minimalist fashion has become increasingly popular because it appeals to those who want a minimalist lifestyle. The minimalist lifestyle encourages people to declutter their lives and focus on the basics and essentials. Minimalism also allows for more creativity, as minimalist clothing pieces are versatile and can be worn in multiple ways. In addition, having a minimalist wardrobe is affordable and sustainable, as fewer pieces of higher quality will last longer.

Overall, minimalist fashion has become popular because it caters to those who want a minimalist lifestyle that embraces simplicity, creativity, affordability, and sustainability. By following the minimalist trend and buying fewer items that are of higher quality, you can easily create a timeless minimalist wardrobe that reflects your personal style.

Is Minimalist Fashion More Sustainable Than Fast Fashion?

A minimalist wardrobe is generally more sustainable than fast fashion because it encourages conscious consumerism and recycled materials. Fast fashion, on the other hand, is focused on cheaper prices, trends, and disposable items that are made from low-grade materials. By being mindful of what you buy and investing in fewer pieces of higher quality, minimalism is a more responsible way of shopping.

Engaging in minimalism rather than buying fast fashion pieces at cheaper prices is great for those who want to live in a sustainable way. Investing in a wardrobe of items that are made of recycled materials and offer a higher quality allows you to easily create a look while being conscious of your environmental impact. With minimalism becoming increasingly popular, it is no wonder why minimalism in fashion has become the go-to for those looking to simplify life.

Which Fashion Designer is Known for Minimalism?

In the late 80s, minimalism in fashion began to emerge thanks to designers such as Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, and Issey Miyake. Rei Kawakubo’s brand, Comme des Garçons, had a rough beginning as the initial reception had not been universally positive in the international scene. Despite that, the brand had a huge impact and became known for its iconic, never boring, avant-garde pieces that characterise the traditional concept of Japanese beauty and have a clean focus on oversized silhouettes. 

Yohji Yamamoto’s brand favoured monochromatic pieces, combining light textiles with poetic, artfully-placed rips. On the other hand, Issey Miyake became known for his pleating and has since made “Pleats Please,” a brand solely dedicated to it. 

In Europe, the minimalist trend made its mark on brand designers such as Helmut Lang and Ann Demeulmeester. Ann’s brand was very experimental and played with gender in every way possible. Helmut Lang’s brand heavily subscribed to the idea of “less is more,” and has won numerous awards for being an iconic designer.

In the United States, the brand Calvin Klein played a huge part in the comeback of basic, linear wear. The brand embraced unisexual styles, dressing models such as Kate Moss in pieces that embraced both femininity and masculinity in minimal codes. Other minimalist brand designers in the fashion industry include Phoebe Philo of the brand Celine, Jil Sander, and Dries Van Noten.

How to Build a Minimalist Wardrobe

Creating a minimalist wardrobe means overhauling a lot of clothes that you no longer need. If you’ve ever heard of Marie Kondo and her cleaning principle, a capsule wardrobe means only having clothes that spark joy and dealing away with clothes that no longer spark joy.

Simply put, the key to wearing a minimalist wardrobe is to own clothes that you truly love and actually wear. If you are looking to switch to a minimalist wardrobe, here are a few tips to get you started:

Observe Your Wardrobe

The first step in having a pared-down wardrobe is to take a good look at all your clothes. Take a close look at each item you own. When we say each item in your wardrobe, we mean it. Each t-shirt, every dress, every pair of jeans, every pair of shoes, boots, underwear, socks, the whole lot. This isn’t limited to clothes either; include other stuff such as brand accessories, jewellery, bags, hats, and the like. 

While going through them and looking every single item over, ask yourself: which clothes are you keeping but you never wear? Have you used this shirt in the past two years? How many times have these shoes seen the outside of the closet? And so on. Be honest with yourself as you clean out your closet. As time passes, you may realise that you don’t really miss any single item that you’ve given up.

Don’t Be Sentimental

You might have a lot of clothes in your wardrobe that symbolise something for you. Maybe you wore these jeans on a first date or at a concert. Maybe you used that blazer in a great interview. Numerous clothes can remind us of good times in life or the people that we were with when we once wore them. 

However, if you’ve never actually used that “special” t-shirt or dress in years and if it’s just hanging out in your closet, waiting to be used again, it’s time to get rid of it. You don’t have to completely deal away with all the stuff that you don’t need; you can store it somewhere that isn’t your closet or bedroom.

Get It Out of Your Room

When you have cleared your closet of the clothes that you feel you no longer need or wear, put all of them in bags or in boxes. Don’t just place them in a corner of your room. Instead, decide what you want to do with them. You can sell them or give them to charity.

Invest in Timeless Pieces

You have now pared down your wardrobe to pieces that you actually wear. It’s time to find out if you have timeless, basic items that you can use year-round and will never go out of style. Timeless, quality basics mean that they are versatile investments for the long term and not because you’re following trends.

They can also be pieces that you can use for any outfit that you already have. Timeless basics are the key to having a great minimalist wardrobe.

When you make a list, only note down what you are missing and what you actually need. Do not make this an excuse to purchase more stuff like a new summer dress or a new pair of underwear. The key timeless basics that you may need include a classic dress for any occasion, a turtleneck, a chic blouse that you can use as a great base, basic accessories, trousers that can be dressed up and down, and the like.

Having only certain pieces instead of buying more stuff that you won’t wear will certainly inspire you to be more creative with how you dress.

Final Note

Dressing in minimalist fashion is never boring. Eliminating the clutter in your life and focusing on minimalist pieces to wear is a great way to create a sustainable wardrobe that reflects your personal style.  With minimalist fashion, you can achieve a stylish yet sophisticated look.

With these tips in mind, minimalist fashion is not only achievable but also fashionable!

Lucy Coleman

Lucy Coleman is a freelance writer and fashion enthusiast hailing from Edinburgh. She discovered her knack for both style and writing while studying at university and decided to pursue her passions thereafter. When she’s not going through racks of clothing at different shops in her spare time, Lucy enjoys listening to music, writing stories at cafés, and catching up to her favourite shows on Netflix.

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