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I love donning a colorful patterned outfit when I’m getting dressed up or going out on a super-fancy first date, but my real-life outfits tend to be a lot more neutral these days. I’m a simple gal–denim cut-offs, a white tee and a pair of white sneakers are often my go-to’s in the summertime. If you’re anything like me, you’re in luck: I just rounded up a bunch of my favorite minimal outfit combinations that I rely on day in and day out.
Sure, playing with color is fun, but have you ever found the perfect white T-shirt? It’s a euphoric feeling, let me tell you. What about discovering the ideal pair of white jeans that you basically live in from the second you put them on? It’s second to none, I promise. Sometimes, simple really is best.
If you’re just starting to build out your perfect wardrobe, I’ve got you covered. These are by no means the craziest outfits you’ve ever seen, but that’s the point! Think of these 11 looks as building blocks of your closet. They include basics like white button-downs, black leather mules and black jumpsuits that can be worn for basically any occasion you have coming up.
These outfits are easy to accessorize with an on-trend handbag and make getting dressed in the morning just a little bit easier, especially if you feel totally stuck when looking at your wardrobe on a near-daily basis. Plus, investing in a few key pieces is a surefire way to build out a selection of items that will carry you from season to season with ease.
Read on to check out 11 of the cutest minimal outfits and to shop a few pieces that you can buy right now to master them.
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White Midi Shirtdress + Black Mules
A simple pair of black mules are perfect for any season—including summer. Especially if you live where it’s warm most of the year, you’ll get so much use out of these cute shoes. Wearing them with a white midi dress for an elegant OOTD will make you look like you have your life together, even if you don’t.
Sam Edelman kills it when it comes to simple shoes that you can wear anytime—and this black pair of mules is proof. They’re a bit of a splurge but are so worth it.
Black Overalls + Neutral Tee
A pair of black overalls looks best when you keep the rest of the outfit simple. Try styling yours over a neutral T-shirt for an everyday outfit you can always reach for. Finish off the look with a pair of black slide sandals for a cool-girl-approved touch.
MWL Superbrushed Pull-On Jumspuit
Slip into this jumpsuit from Madewell and you’ll be out the door in no time. It’s priced at under $100 bucks and comes in sizes XXS through XXL. Consider it a summer must-have!
White Shirtdress + Neutral Bag
You can’t go wrong with a simple white shirtdress in the summertime. Whether you’re running errands or just going on an easy lunch date, this foolproof option always works. Style your pick with a brown handbag for a laid-back finish so it doesn’t feel too business-y.
Oversized Long Linen Shirt
This piece is technically listed as an Oversized Long Linen Shirt, but it’s really more of a dress. However you choose to style it, make sure to keep your accessories on the neutral side for that relaxed vibe we talked about earlier.
White Crop Top + White Flare Jeans
Create your cutest all-white outfit with a pair of cropped flare jeans! Of course, with white jeans, you can wear basically any top your heart desires, but sticking with the monochrome theme and opting for all white really seals the deal.
Florence Flare Jeans
We The Free makes some of the coolest flare jeans on the internet, including this simple white pair. Keep the styling fresh with a squeaky-clean pair of white sneakers or a neutral woven sandal.
Black Slouchy Tee + Black Shorts
Every wardrobe needs a good pair of trouser-style black shorts, especially in 2021. This borrowed-from-the-boys pick looks best when styled with other understated pieces like a coordinating black pullover or tee and neutral shoes.
Bermuda Shorts in Linen Blend
Bermuda shorts are trending, but this simple pair from LOFT will easily become an essential piece in your closet for years to come. They’re a great alternative to denim cut-offs, as they’re chic and also way more comfortable.
White Tank + Black Pants + Black Hat
Cropped wide-leg pants are as versatile as they are cute. Perfect for beach days and shopping trips alike, you’ll want to wear them every single day. By styling them with a white tank and a black hat, you have a breezy summer look that will always look effortless.
High-Rise Perfect Drape Wide Leg Pant
This floaty, high-waisted pair of pants from Lane Bryant would look great styled with a white tank top. They’re available in sizes 12-38 and come in three others colors.
White Shirtdress + Black Slides
If you’ve snagged a white shirtdress already, now’s the time to also treat yourself to some classic black slides to go with it. Two-strap sandals are seriously trending right now, so you should have no issue finding a pair that you love.
Arizona EVA Sandal
Ah, the humble Birkenstock Arizona Sandal. This rubberized version is waterproof and can be worn on the beach or in the city. They add the right amount of contrast when worn with a white dress for juuust a little edge.
Gray Tunic + Jeans
There’s nothing quite like an oversized top on a hot summer’s day. Buy one in a neutral color and you may never want to take it off! The styling opportunities are basically endless, but to keep it simple, pair your gray oversized tunic with a pair of skinny jeans and your cutest sandals.
Cotton Linen Short Sleeve Tunic
This lightweight gray tunic top is so versatile and styling it with a pair of skinnies is a great way to look put-together on a daily basis. It’s especially great when you want those day-off vibes—even if you do have to work.
Black Tank + Cream Pants
A cream pair of pants is an often underrated addition to any minimalist capsule wardrobe. A bit lighter than khaki but not quite white, cream pants play an important role in so many laid-back outfits. A black tank adds just the right amount of contrast.
Pleat Straight Trousers
A good pair of straight-leg trousers are so timeless. This pair from Mango is high-waisted, a little cropped on the leg and would look just right with a simple black camisole.
Black Jumpsuit + Black Heels
A black jumpsuit is both a minimalist staple and a statement piece in one. Paired with black heels and a black bag, you’ll be chic AF all summer long, whether you’re headed on a date, to a party or for brunch with the girls.
Wild Smock Jumpsuit
This belted black jumpsuit from City Chic is the piece that your closet has been missing. It’ll work on its own this summer and will still look fab layered under a leather jacket in the fall.
Unstructured White Top + Black Pants
If there’s one top you definitely need in your closet this summer, it’s a boxy short-sleeve button-down. It goes with everything and will last for years. You should already have a pair of failsafe black pants in your collection, so wear both pieces together for a work-appropriate outfit that’s also OOO-friendly.
Rory Oversized Button-Down Shirt
Wear this boxy button-down with a pair of black pants or style it with a pair of cotton shorts for a laid-back approach when the weather is boiling.
A version of this article was originally published in June 2020.