Basics Series: Minimalist Style Guide

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Back to Basics is a regular series focused on how to wear and where to buy the 50 most important – and perhaps only – items you need in your wardrobe. I pull pieces from my Capsule Wardrobe – my preferred closet tactic for streamlining your personal style. 

Given the popularity of my Daily Uniform and Capsule Wardrobe editorials I thought this would be a fun and useful series. Every week (give or take) I highlight one essential item in-depth.

In each post I will style the item in various ways and provide recommendations on where to buy it, what to look for (especially fit, fabrication, and color), and how to care for it.



I will mostly focus on womenswear but, with the help of my partner, will occasionally incorporate menswear so men can still follow along. I will not include accessories, intimates, activewear, and sleepwear.  With some items, such as tees, I'll recommend purchasing more than one (in multiple colors and styles) because of their utility within a minimalist wardrobe. 


My palette will primarily include neutral solids in shades of black, gray, cream, navy, taupe, tan, and white. Minimalist patterns such as stripes may also be incorporated. Choosing a neutral palette makes it easier to pull together outfits from a limited number of pieces. I want this exercise to feel relatively effortless. 


I will prioritize 100% compositions of natural fibers such as cashmere and other types of wool, cotton, leather, linen, silk, etc. If well-made, I will also include items composed of sustainable regenerated fibers such as tencel/lyocell because they are environmentally friendly.  

My rationale for this is that synthetic fibers, though less expensive, are typically treated with harsh chemicals, are hard on the environment, and do not hold up as well over time as natural fabrics. 


Though I personally gravitate to "affordable luxury" minimalist brands, I think it's important to showcase items in a range of price points and will adopt a high/low approach.  Multiple purchasing options will be provided so you can follow along regardless of your budget. 

Download the checklist & brand directory 

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Includes the back to basics checklist and brand directory.