How to Be a Minimalist But Not Look Boring
Minimalism, done right, exudes a level of polish so compelling, it has the power to grab the eye of street-style photographers everywhere (the very same ones who are hot-wired to snap extremely maximalist, Insta-bait outfits). Done wrong, and it's laziness masked as minimalism (as in, pairing any old button-down shirt with any pant). And it's completely understandable why anyone can fall into that trap—it's easy, and in the interest of saving time, it's fast to piece together. It can also be boring.
To bring meh-nimalism to "minimalism" though, requires a little bit more thought. You're working in a very limited spectrum of shades (minimalists are color- and print-phobes), which means, there's a huge emphasis placed on tailoring, precise proportions, quality materials, and structured shapes. Subtle, yes, but these nuances make all the difference. For proof, we gathered 10 street style snaps of minimalists who have turned the stark aesthetic into an art form. Read on for lessons on how to achieve minimalism that's anything but a snoozefest.
Go for Classic with a Twist
Add interest to a timeless piece, like a trench, with a pair of rust-colored culottes and velvet loafer slides—"on-trend" additions that are still classic in shape.
The minimalist's way of doing denim: a frills-free high-waist, wide-leg jean elevated with a simple tee, an oversized blazer, and an LV tote.
Find Statement-Making Volume in Traditional Materials
Offset the craziness of a bell-sleeve shirt with a top cut from shirting material (aka safe ground for minimalists), pleated wide-leg pants, and traditional accessories (a classic quilted Chanel purse and a classic timepiece).
Play with Proportions in One Shade
Monochromatism is the minimalist's speciality. To take it one step further, play with unexpected proportions, like with a crisp tunic and a midi skirt with cut-out detailing.
Carve out an hourglass silhouette by cinching in an oversize menswear-inspired blazer with a wide belt (bonus if it boasts a cool silver ring).
Pull Everything Together with Shirting
You have a flowy asymmetric skirt, an oversize blush-pink clutch, and studded mules. The coolest way to tie it all together? A slightly oversize shirt for an effortless feel.
(Kind of) Experiment with Prints
Minimalists are notorious for shying away from prints. Break the rules with the subtlest kind: pinstripes. Double up on the fine lines and add on statement extras (a sculptural necklace, a graphic clutch, the season's It shoe) to really pack a punch.
Give the Cold Shoulder
Minimalists are also conservative. Every once in a while, bare a shoulder, but knock down the sex appeal by covering up everywhere else.
Play with new silhouettes cut from classic menswear fabrics, like a billowing high-neck blouse constructed from traditional shirting fabric, half-tucked into checked pants.
Aim for Elevated Athleisure
Display your sporty streak with racing stripes, but that's it. Take it to sophisticated territory with cool layers and a substantial coat in an unexpectedly cheery color.