I went through an all-encompassing minimalism phase years ago. (Perhaps I had read too much Hemingway and Beckett in college.) My apartment was basically barren. Anything that was there was pure white, and I proudly told people that I could fit all my belongings into my car if I ever needed to leave town on a moment’s notice. (Who did I think I was? Bonnie of “Bonnie & Clyde”? The most illegal thing I’d ever done was copy a song off a friend’s CD.) Ah the hubris of youth.
But minimalistic monochromatic in fashion is back and so I’m drawing on my bare-essentials experience to help navigate this trend and avoid the pitfalls of looking too boring. Monochromatic is not just sticking to one color, a boxy dress or a nehru jacket.
- Pair a minimalist outfit with bold accessories, such as a gorgeous pair of heels.
- Accentuate femininity by defining your waist, or accentuating your face with a boatline neck.
- Minimal/monochrome doesn’t mean two seams and the designer is done. Look for structured pieces that are well tailored, which give a piece details without fussiness.
- Making a bold color choice can turn a boring piece into something special.
“It girl” Alexa Chung does a wonderful job of wearing minimalism fashion without looking the least bit boring. Notice that she paired her simple sweater dress with a masculine hat, but then a throw-back-overtly-feminine bag, and modern shoes. Mixing accessories can elevate boring to bold.
Remember that less is not always more. You can’t throw on your boyfriend’s XXL white Hanes undershirt and call it an homage to monochromatic. Of course, if you’re Sharon Stone apparently you can throw on your boyfriend’s Gap white button-down and wear it to the Oscars. But don’t try that if you’re new to minimalistic monochromatic – that level of gumption takes a real pro.