What is minimalism?
Everyone knows the saying “less is more”, well - this is the motto when it comes to minimalist fashion. It’s all about keeping it simple - the colours, the shapes, and even the amount. So, to give you the short and sweet answer: minimalism is all about owning fewer possessions, or in this case, owning minimal items of clothing.
It was in the ‘90s when minimalist fashion really hit the streets and became one of the top trends to define fashion of the decade. When you think of designers who shaped ‘90s minimalism, Calvin Klein and Tom Ford are two brands that immediately come to mind - but before them came Helmut Lang.
The Austrian-born designer popularised minimalist style, showcasing a much more modern look using synthetic fabrics to create industrial type silhouettes and streetwear looks at his runway shows. Colour palettes were reduced, textiles and fabrics, were innovative - all of this resulted in unseen timeless and sexy looks. It’s because of Lang’s vision that this new and clean aesthetic the '90s was given allowed minimalism and utilitarian style to be adopted by decades of designers.
The 3 easy steps to your minimalist wardrobe
If you’ve heard the idea of having a minimalist wardrobe, then you’ve probably heard of a capsule wardrobe - but if you haven’t - here’s the difference between the two. A minimalist wardrobe can consist of up to 100 or so items, whereas a capsule wardrobe consists of up to 25 interchangeable items. While you don’t need a capsule wardrobe to be a minimalist, having 25 seasonal items of clothing will certainly keep your wardrobe much more manageable and organised. Don’t panic if you think you’ll struggle to narrow it down to 25 items, start with 25 items for each season (spring/summer and autumn/winter) and work from there!
Keep a diary
Keep track over 30 days the clothes you reach for the most. When deciding what to keep, a diary will help you see which items you can’t live without - and this will come in handy for the next step.
Have a clear-out
The easiest way to do this is to simply just take everything out of your wardrobes, drawers and anywhere else you might store clothes. This is a trouble-free way of sorting your clothes into three piles: donations and two piles of clothes to keep (one of them being for seasonal clothes only). Remember that now is not the time to be sentimental. I know it hurts, but soon you’ll forget all about a dress you wore on a first date many years ago.
Get ready to restock
Look at how much more space you have! Before you rush into buying new clothes straight away, take a breather and see what it’s like to live with fewer clothes for a while. Them, when you’re ready to start shopping, here’s a few staple must-haves for your perfect minimalist wardrobe:
1. A white shirt
The possible ways to wear and style this shirt are endless, a timeless item which can be dressed up or dressed down.
2. Midi skirts
The perfect item for layering, these can be worn in any season and come in so many different styles and fabrics.
3. A slip dress
This is what I class as my little black dress - an iconic fashion item from the '90s that never goes out of style.
4. Two or three pairs of jeans
We all know how hard it is to find the perfect pair of jeans, so owning numerous pairs of the same jeans in different colours is definitely needed.
5. A blazer
A staple piece in my work attire, an oversized blazer is what I grab the most when I’m picking an outfit.
Is being a minimalist worth it?
I have very recently converted to being a minimalist and my life is already more peaceful. My favourite things to wear used to be bright colours, prints and patterns - you could say I followed the trends that go in and out of fashion very quickly (yes, I was definitely a sheep).
I’m also guilty to admit that fast fashion has been the main contributing factor to why my wardrobe and drawers were overflowing but I’d still complain that I had NOTHING to wear. Does this sound familiar? Might we be the same person?
Since decluttering my life, I am a lot less stressed. Imagine being able to stay in bed a little bit longer without stressing about your outfit for the day - I can confirm that those extra few minutes in bed are magical!
If that alone hasn’t convinced you, it’s important to note that slowing down your fashion and keeping a minimalist wardrobe is so much more sustainable. Instead of scouring the internet for trendy last minute outfits before a big Saturday night out and then throwing them away after one wear, your wardrobe will be full of elegant, timeless pieces that you know will look good regardless of the occasion.