My 7 Minimalist Style Rules for This Year and Beyond
You can tell from my personal style articles that I’ve put a lot of thought into figuring out how you can look great and feel confident with the least amount of effort.
In fact, my definition of personal style is the ability to effortlessly portray your positive self image through the clothes you wear.
The effortless part of the above is, funnily, what most people find difficult. But to uncomplicate it you simply need to:
- learn how to streamline your style with a capsule wardrobe that saves time, money, and energy.
- adhere to a set of guidelines that help you easily maintain your signature look (outlined below).
1. Respect your lifestyle
Sometimes we really want to be what we’re not. And every time we succumb to these unrealistic desires we end up making poor decisions. Either change the life you live or accept it, but don’t psyche yourself out.
Reading Vogue editorials or following a bunch of fashion bloggers is great for inspiration but the (rather theatrical) images they tend to portray may not always fit with the reality of your day-to-day.
When it comes to building your wardrobe how you spend most of your time should be the leading influencer. Otherwise you’ll have a lot of stuff that looks nice on hangers but not on you.
2. Dress only for yourself
At times it seems as if women, in particular, make style choices so they can be attractive to men or the envy of other women. And with the rise of metrosexualism and gentlemen’s fashion, males appear to be following suit.
But dressing for another person is a major contributor to the stress associated with wardrobing. It’s natural to care what others think of you, but when purchasing pieces or getting ready each day their opinion shouldn’t overshadow your own.
3. Create daily uniforms
You should have a handful of uniforms that make it easy to pull together a look in about 5 minutes flat, and your capsule wardrobe should be comprised of a series of these uniforms.
This is an excellent style strategy because whenever you’re making a decision about what to wear (be it packing for travel, a special occasion, or just a normal day) all you need to do is select one of the uniforms that applies to a particular event.
My everyday uniform consists of skinny jeans, sneakers or leather loafers, a v-neck t-shirt, and an oversized blazer. But I also have a uniform that is applicable for the major activities I engage in and it makes the process of styling myself super efficient.
4. Rely on the basics
No matter your aesthetic (be it classic, boho, or edgy) you can benefit from having a selection of staples that represent the bulk of your wardrobe.
These staples (or basics) are the foundational elements worth spending your money on because they are items that can be worn more frequently.
Take the time to determine the best staples for you, where to buy them, and how to maintain them so they last.
Spending effort on this just once or twice a year will almost completely eliminate the time you waste getting ready throughout the rest of the year.
Once you have your staples established, if you choose, you can embellish them with a small number of accessories or other more elaborate apparel pieces that help you create a signature look.
5. Prioritize your comfort
I rarely wear high heels because I find them a pain to walk in. No occasion will entice me go against that rule because I know I’d only regret it in the end.
You too should have a limit to how far you are willing to go in the name of fashion. Think over some of your most intolerable or disastrous style moments and make a firm commitment to never go there again.
When you aren’t comfortable you aren’t confident. And when you aren’t confident it shows no matter how expensive, on trend, or chic your outfit may be.
6. Go for a subtle style
Subtly stylish people have an allure because they aren’t actually trying to stand out but the quality of their look makes it impossible to ignore them.
That quality is most apparent because of the clear attention they’ve devoted to fit and fabrication — not necessarily because they were worried about brand names or trends.
Being a walking billboard may turn a few heads but it may not be because you look good — you aren’t automatically a connoisseur of style because you rushed out to by the latest it bag.
Paying attention to how certain silhouettes complement your body type and learning how to select well-made garments crafted from high-quality materials is more likely to get you admiration.
7. Practice discernment
All of the rules above really come down to my favorite and that’s to be discerning about what you buy, what you keep in your closet, and what you decide to wear.
I love the quote by Christine Koh “think of yourself as a curator, rather than a consumer” which gets at the heart of it.
Another way to look at it is that your personal style is just another area in life that gives you the opportunity to act with intention.
Your wardrobe should be thoughtfully assembled from a collection of timeless pieces that work seamlessly together, allowing you to easily create outfits you love from a small number of items.
I want to stress the importance of staying true to your personal style. I adhere to minimalism when it comes to wardrobing but also happen to have a minimalist style.
Your style may not be minimalist but it doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from a simplified approach to perfecting your closet.
Understand and conform to your own aesthetic, as you can abide by these rules no matter the type of look you’re going for.