Tired of the same minimalist fashion? Try this unusual approach.

Posted on 8 min read

Buy less, choose well. – Viviene Westwood.

Hey, you! Yes, you! The amazing girl who is so fond of the idea of minimalist fashion.The same fantastic girl who has the feeling that now she needs to downgrade her amount of clothing and abandon bright green altogether. Grab that fantastic coffee of yours (and maybe a donut) and let’s chat. We are going to brainstorm about the approach to minimalist fashion.

 

Let's talk about minimalist fashion.

 

I LOVED BEING A MAXIMALIST, OR SO I THOUGHT

Now, what first comes to your mind when you hear the phrase “minimalist fashion”?
I tell you what first came to mine. Cue: Yawn.
All I can imagine was: less than thirty pieces of clothing, same monotone dull colors, no accessories whatsoever, worn over and over again.
Due to my fashion background, I was exposed to a world full of style, colors, pattern, imagination, and arts. It was like a grand toy store on Christmas for kids.
When I became more and more interested in personal styling, my style itself evolved. I have always been drawn to color and big, bold accessories. Besides being a massive fan of patterns and unusual cuts, I also love mix-matching fabrics and textures. Blaire Eddie from Atlantic Pacific is my favorite. Let’s say that something ‘simple’ didn’t attract me that much and therefore, I found minimalist fashion a bit too dreary.
It wasn’t fabulous (I imagined saying this with me flipping my hair like Elle in Legally Blonde). But that was then.
Johanna Ortiz is one of my favorite
Johanna Ortiz – one of my favorite designer

IT’S THE MINIMALIST AESTHETIC

It took me long to realize that I was barely picturing the aesthetic. Yes, dear. All of those shapeless, exquisite pieces in shades of classic colors are just an aesthetic. These beautiful influencers showing you these looks possibly have a maximalist wardrobe with more than twenty pieces of jeans and whatnot.

So, hold on with the idea of getting rid of all your items for now. Let’s chat further about what’s really important.
When it comes to the idea of minimalism, I think some people have it fixed. Honestly, it makes discussing a bit difficult, let alone deconstruct it. You might realize that by now, social stigmas and hardcore stereotyping surrounding minimalism movement are shared.
Since I use minimalism to help me shape my way of life, I have come to understand something about minimalist fashion. It is like minimalism in general. They start with comprehension. This comprehension would later help to create a new mindset, and this mindset will help us design how we approach it.

Now, let’s pause here.

You might guess that I now own less than thirty pieces of clothing or ten pairs of shoes. Or I get rid of my printed silk scarves.
No.
That is not my ideal approach to minimalist fashion.
I still owe a little more than thirty pieces of clothing, and they are available in my favorite colors, prints, and cuts. Fifty pairs of shoes are too many, but I don’t just have ten pairs either. The collection of my big belts, bold gold earrings are there, also a few printed silk scarves. With this fact, I am very, very content.

WAIT, WHAT?

Before you sputter and come to me with a judging look, let me tell you something. Imagine now we are chilling as two girlfriends on the beach in Bali. Wouldn’t it be nice? In fact, I am very keen on the idea that I am gonna throw a picture here. Also, I miss my home.

Now, back to our hot topic.

It’s pretty understandable. You have tons of input regarding minimalism, and everybody has different ideas. They tell you to declutter, move to a smaller place, own fewer pieces, get rid of your stuff. All of those approaches are fine and might work with you, or not.

What I find more critical and what I want you to learn to comprehend is this fact: Minimalist fashion is still a concept like minimalism itself. The end goal is to use it as a tool to meet better life decisions and choices. Eventually, this concept will be your sustainable state of mind. But first, to be able to achieve that, this concept first and foremost must fit us as individuals with different needs and lifestyle.

And just like every concept in life, it’s not one size fits all.

THE DILEMMA OF MINIMALIST FASHION

If by now you still want to get rid of all of your possessions and live with fewer items, I won’t stop you.
But I couldn’t stress enough about the importance of having the right mindset that fits YOU before you go with any approaches available.
When it comes to minimalist fashion, I still believe that the goal is to love and feel content about your wardrobe.
Honestly, it doesn’t matter how many clothing you have, what color they are, or how big of the closet you have.
You might have a walk-in closet, and it fits perfectly with your lifestyle and needs. My wardrobe size is one meter, and it’s enough.
“But isn’t minimalism about simplifying?”
One way to approach it, yes.
“But having a walk-in wardrobe is the opposite of the idea of simplifying.”
Yes and no. How if the walk-in closet looks like this?

A neat and working walk-in wardrobe is not against minimalist fashion

Let’s say you open your wardrobe in the morning, and the following happens:

  • You no longer mumble to your self the good old “I have nothing to wear” sign of desperation.
  • There are only the items you love. Knowing that you will feel confident and beautiful in them, no matter what you are wearing that day.
  • No sudden overwhelming feelings because your items have been organized and stored neatly and correctly.

How would that make you feel? Isn’t that the goal you want to achieve?

MY MINIMALIST APPROACH TO FASHION

I must confess, it’s not easy. The world is a “loud” place.
The social stigmas and hardcore stereotype I mentioned above? They are not slowing down. Not to mention the consumerism habit we at some point acquired.
Sometimes, it’s easy to lose yourself without knowing. But let’s remember together what the core of minimalism really is. It’s about the intention to strive for the essentials. 
Identify, love and use the things we most value, get rid of the opposite.

“Meh! I have to go through my stuff and measure each of its value to me?”
Yes.
“How do I determine the value of that much stuff?”
By being honest to yourself.
“If I don’t wear it that much, but I love it, is it valuable? Can I keep it then?”
Your concept, your rule. For me, I would never get rid of my vintage Celine silk scarves.

The bad news is, for us to see if the concept even works for us at all, we need to start somewhere.  Good news is, we shouldn’t put any pressure whatsoever and are free to use any approaches to our choice. I did the work for more or less three years. It was after I first got introduced to the concept of owning intentionally (you can read it here). It wasn’t working out immediately. Took me quite some time to sharpen my comprehension about the concept and find the right mindset and approaches that suit me.

Minimalist fashion aesthetic example

FIVE EASY STEPS TO GET THERE

Based on my personal experiences, here are the things you should do first:

KNOW YOUR WHY

This is the utmost importance. Why are you doing this? Is it the trend? Is it for social media? Or are you finally fed up with your messy wardrobe? Are you constantly feeling that you have nothing to wear?

I honestly was fed up with my wardrobe. I always had the feeling I had too many items; Items that were too small, or too big. Things that were given to me but I didn’t really wear.

VISUALIZE THE END TO MOTIVATE YOU

How do you picture yourself when it’s done? What do you expect from this journey? Could you see that this concept will help you with other aspects of your life?
I visualize the feeling when I open my wardrobe and only see the things I love to wear, something that speaks my personal style. An organized wardrobe, where I can find anything I need instantly. No chaos, no headache.

MAKE TIME

You might think (like I did), that it was such a waste. If you chose the approach of decluttering as your first step, I tell you, it is tiring, and it could be overwhelming. But then again, it needs to start somewhere and no matter what approach you use, you need to make time.
It doesn’t have to be the whole day. Make an actual plan to do it a couple of hours every weekend, for example.

BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF

Let me tell you a story of Two Winter Boots. Living in Europe, I used to think I need a few winter shoes. In my mind, I would need to have at least four. A simple one for running errands, a chicer choice for going out, one for when it’s really really cold, and one for outdoor sports.

In the end, for the past five years, I only have two. Both are knee-high, one in black and one in brown. Both have short block heels.
I would love to have different winter shoes that can go with any outfits I want. Realistically, I will not wear all of them for the following reasons:
  • Winter in the country where I live is not too cold. Appropriately dressed, and most of the problems regarding cold weather are solved, hence the knee-high boots.
  • No ski or long walks
  • All I need to do was to pick boots that chic enough so I could also wear it for going out, hence the black and dark brown colour with short block heels.

It’s imperative, to be honest with yourself and intentionally acknowledge what you need.
You also need to be honest with yourself regarding other aspects. For example, your financial situation and the size of your living space.

YOUR CONCEPT, YOUR RULE

Each and every one of us has our own lifestyle and what we consider of value and essentials.
Let me give you an example. When my mother passed away, I found the beautiful silk scarf that my mother in law gave her on Christmas some years ago. I fold it nicely inside my divided scarves compartment. I have enough silk scarves, and keeping another one seems wrong. But this scarf has a personal value to me, so it stays.

THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG

My late mother silk scarf is the example of what value is to me. It will be different with you.
The two winter boots are the example of what essentials is to me, and it could be different with you. My point is, you need to find the approaches for this concept that suit you. There is no right or wrong as long as it works.

There is no right or wrong in deciding your own approach to minimalist fashion.

 

Minimalism is not a lack of something. It’s simply the perfect amount of something. – Nicholas Burroughs.

So, hold the thoughts of emptying your wardrobe before you get the self-clarity.
Find out your WHY and decide on your END. Be patient and invest your time wisely for it. Find and plan the approaches that suit you. Be honest to yourself on your term of values and essentials. Be intentional with your needs.
And last but not least: Don’t care about stigmas or stereotypes of minimalists. Create your own that fits your lifestyle and your personality.
And damn it, girl, go wear that bright green with pride!

Psst…

If you are new to the concept of minimalist fashion and don’t consider your self an extreme minimalist, stay put.
You might want to check out my own version of minimalist wardrobe that will streamline your own. 
Let me introduce you to the Fancy Minimalist Wardrobe. Make your wardrobe works for you!
See you there!

 

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Tired of the same minimalist fashion? Try this unusual approach.