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Few trends boast the staying power minimalism does. Because minimalist fashion isn’t just a passing fad—it represents an entire sartorial mindset. Minimalism is about paring down your closet to its basics, creating a capsule wardrobe full of essentials and pairing those go-to’s every which way until you have a whole host of minimalist outfits at your disposal. It’s fashion in its most efficient form: Your closet is there to complement you, not to dominate your headspace.
Our collective affinity for minimalism hit full swing several years ago, and its remained unendingly strong since. Though maximalism has become popular in street style and home decor spheres, it hasn’t dulled minimalism’s overwhelming appeal; odds are, there’s something inside all of us that will continue appreciating simplicity, balance and peace for years—maybe even decades—to come.
The issue is: Appreciating minimalist fashion and integrating it into your day-to-day are two very, very different things. Because the latter requires effort. You have to Kondo the hell out of your closet, build that aforementioned capsule wardrobe and then brainstorm enough minimalist outfits to carry you through life. And just when you think you’ve achieved the perfect minimalist situation, something—some event, some outfit inspo pic, something—will rear its ugly head, and you’ll realize you totally neglected to stock up on some basic that’s essential to like, 10 of the outfits you want to wear.
The best way to figure out what you need to shop? Determining what you want to wear. And the easiest way to make that happen is to peruse all the minimalist outfit inspiration you can get your hands on. Which is exactly why we’ve assembled a visual guide to the 47 sleekest, best minimalist fashion outfits we’ve ever laid eyes on. (You and your soon-to-be perfectly assembled wardrobe can thank us later.)
Because it’s pretty damn hard to go wrong with a white turtleneck sweater, jeans and black booties.
If you’re concerned minimalism would just get monotonous, this innovative look should prove to you just how creative you can get.
A T-shirt and jeans is all you really need—no matter the season. Just layer your go-to jacket over your look if it’s cold out, and you’ll be good to go.
More structural pieces certainly have a home in the minimalist wardrobe of your dreams. Because structure and versatility are far from mutually exclusive.
I mean, it’s pretty hard to argue with the oh-so classic T-shirt, blazer, jeans, boots combo.
Instant cozy-chic style. Excuse us while we try to recreate this look every way we can.
Your favorite fall sweater absolutely has a home in your spring/summer wardrobe.
Every piece in this ensemble is neutral, basic, versatile. This—right here—is the minimalist dream.
Layering is key to keeping your capsule wardrobe practical year-round. And this outfit shows just how many outfit combination options are at your disposal when you give creative styling a shot.
Can’t bear to part with a statement piece or two? That’s the fun of a capsule wardrobe—you can pair those show-stoppers with anything else in your closet, and you’ll have instant chic style in seconds.
One white T-shirt and a pair of black boots can get you through any season—and the combo can probably carry you through most occasions, too.
Amazing how much one simple trench can do.
Why not integrate your gym wardrobe into your day-to-day one? This is minimalism, after all.
So many options to get creative with your outfits await. Like, so many. What’s the benefit of owning tons of versatile pieces if you’re not willing to combine them in surprising ways?
Because when everything in your closet falls within the same palette, you can craft a three-piece suit from, well, anything.
Honestly, you might already own every part of this outfit. No shopping required.
This street style star is wearing three tops. Three. That’s masterful layering if we’ve ever seen it.
Pretty sure you could wear every piece in this ensemble during any time of year.
Who knew combining so many neutral basics could create such sartorial magic?
You can get pretty fancy with a flannel with a little effort.
A puffer coat-jean-boot combination is kind of a no-fail option during the winter. And no one will even notice if you wear the same shirt two days in a row, because they can’t see it.
The beauty of minimalism: Crop tops and leggings no longer seem like a summer-exclusive thing.
Pro tip: Matching sets go a long way.
Again, stock up on enough pieces within the same palette, and you’ll have endless power suit options just waiting to be unlocked.
Good news: Leather is a versatile, essential and totally worth stocking up on if you’re doing the minimalist thing.
Hard to argue with jean-on-jean—whether or not you’re a minimalist.
Minimalism makes summer blazers seem not only accessible, but totally advisable.
You already own every part of this—just sub if your favorite statement shoes, or stick with regular ol’ booties.
Pairing your power suit with T-shirts and sneaks is officially completely acceptable.
When you’re pairing a button-down with a pair of trousers, you kind of can’t go wrong—no matter the size of either.
Whoever said fuzzy coats were a strictly maximalist affair was sorely mistaken.
Wouldn’t your favorited blazer look stellar paired with your go-to sports bra? (The joys of minimalism—odd couples attain absolute harmony.)
With enough creativity, red can be just as versatile as any neutral.
If you’re determined enough to make every piece in your capsule wardrobe endlessly versatile, you can probably figure out a way to pair slides with a turtleneck.
Again, statement pieces aren’t off the table. When used thoughtfully, they can be just as essential and versatile as any basic.
Warm clothes are never not useful. And you really only need, like, one super-warm coat and one super-warm pair of pants to get by.
A friendly reminder to stock up on versatile accessories, too.
Proof jewelry doesn’t have to be excluded from your minimalist fashion dreams.
Coats don’t have to be extras—they can be full-on outfits.
When in doubt, combine everything you own within the same palette and just see what happens.
You can wear a white button-down with anything. And you can wear black pants with anything. And honestly, you can probably wear red snakeskin boots with most things, too.
A perfect example of statement shoes that are pretty damn versatile.
Hats have a place in this equation, too.
We’ve made this case once, and we’ll make it again: Blazers and trousers don’t have to match to play well together.
Orange leather and chocolate leather can make a surprisingly perfect pair—if you’ll let them.
Boots over trousers? When you’re mixing and matching your wardrobe, anything can happen.
Hard to argue the validity of a minimalist fur-trimmed jacket when it does such a good job enhancing the crop top’s inherent versatility.
A version of this article was originally published in December 2016.