Updated: Oct 14
Minimalism is the art of eliminating the superfluous and seeing value in what you already possess.
When we talk about minimalism, what we see probably don’t stray too far from the other’s. It is easily recognisable for its distinct lack of anything extravagant or frivolous.
A search on the internet will tell you that minimalism is the flat-lays, modern white-walled sparsity, Marie Kondo and wicker-anything. Minimalism is a deliberate lack of decoration or adornment in style or design which manifests itself as an aesthetic, décor style and most of all, a way of life to many.
What is minimalist fashion then? What are the pieces that emulate this put-together lightness? There is the classic loose-fitting Muji-esque cottons and linens and there is the structured and more dramatic, often avant-garde silhouettes. There is also the white on denim, model off-duty kind of minimal. Altogether, they are conservative-meets-modern and more often than not treads into androgynous wear.
Minimalist fashion revolves very much around basics that can be worn as-is or layered: a couple of button-up and shirts in your preferred neckline, straight-leg trousers and a pair of sturdy jeans - you’ve got yourself 5 outfits right there.
Just remember, your unwanted item is someone else’s treasure. Today I want to share some thoughts about finding a second life for the items you no longer need.
IT’S THE SMALL THINGS
The versatility of minimal fashion also comes through the ease of which it can be dressed up or down. You’d be pleasantly surprised how a statement accessory can elevate a look from grocery run to brunch-appropriate.
Statement earrings speak louder than words and local boutique Three One Two Five does it best.
A key characteristic of a minimalistic wardrobe is its colour scheme which usually entails (yet does not exclusively limit to) white, black and earth tones. Know the undertone of your skin and find your colour!
SAME SAME BUT DIFFERENT
Another pro-tip to dressing up a minimal outfit is to have an occasional mix-in of seasonal trends such as animal prints or faux leather. Otherwise, choosing a pinstripe shirt over a plain one also adds a tinge of visual weight.
THEY MAKE A GREAT PAIR
Neutralised by its colour palettes, a minimal get-up can stand out unobtrusively with a simple play of silhouette or a crossing of textures.
As tempting as it may be to scavenge the internet for pieces to replicate an outfit, minimalism is about working with what you have and gradually trimming the visual mess to reveal the essence of its wearer. This process could eventually create for yourself what is popularly known as a capsule wardrobe.
A capsule wardrobe is a curated closet of typically, 37 to 45 clothing articles and shoes, renewed with each season and perfected in time to best reflect your personal style. Fret not if it’s summer all year where you are, you can still choose to refresh your wardrobe on a quarterly basis or in accordance to events coming up. While you’re at it, get yourself excited for what’s to come!
Usually, the basics remain and seasonal items are stored until its next cycle. Alternatively, they can be donated or swapped for new pieces. The goal is to maintain a set number of clothing articles appropriate for the season - pull out any two and you’ve got yourself a complementary outfit!
LESS IS MORE
Be it having less to clean at home and picking up an outfit in under 5 minutes, a minimalist approach to life grants you mental clarity from decision fatigue. Minimalism is ultimately the art of eliminating the superfluous and seeing value in what you already possess by re-assigning meaning to these keepsakes - all to better streamline your focus and divert mental energy onto achieving what is most important to you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hello, my name is Claudia Ho.
Fashion, sappy poetry and building small virtual worlds are amongst some things I enjoy.
Sometimes I cut up the IKEA catalogue, ponder about the here and now and draw boys on Tinder - all of which you can view here.