Minimalism - Is less really more? / by Jyoti Goel

Minimalism - looks made up of simple pieces in neutral colours accompanied by natural makeup and minimum or no accessories - has gained so many fans. It is a trend which allows us to save time, and assures us of looking good without breaking the bank. However, is less really more in terms of style?

I’m usually cautious when it comes to new trends in fashion. This is also because I am petite and tiny and I am completely aware of the fact that not all fast fashion trends suit all body types. I have always appreciated classic items and premium quality, bought timeless styles over short-lived trends.

It’s been no surprise that this practical, easy to follow approach has become extremely popular. Apart from making us shop smarter and being budget-friendly in the long run, it also solves the old nothing-to-wear scenario. Usually, the dilemma of 'I have nothing to wear in my wardrobe' always takes place when you have exhausted all your recent fashion pieces.  If you mostly buy basics and restrict yourself to just a few muted colours, you must eventually end up with a capsule wardrobe where almost all the pieces go well together and you are fuss-free. It obviously means saving lot of time on getting ready in the morning while standing very little chance of making a style blunder. These were the pros of being all minimalistic, now let's also checkout the cons of getting dolled up in all nude or monotonic outfit.

The only drawback of minimalism that hit me is that it easily puts us in uniforms and as a result makes us all look the same. How you are going to look in a party or meeting might be guess-able by your friends and colleagues, which would make you look boring. It’s visible in the streets but when you are in a smaller crowd your personal style starts to fade even if having a distinctive style used to be a part of your definition. I know how easy it is to get stuck. Opting for safe choices appears convenient at first, but after some time it makes the whole process of getting dressed way less exciting and that’s probably one of the saddest things to happen when it comes to style. Because fashion to me is always about 'the self expression'. 

I am not being all pity about being a minimalist. I think minimal wardrobe makes for a great base, especially when we are beginning the journey of establishing our own style. It was also a great therapy for me when I had a cluttered closet with 100's of fast fashion pieces which no longer identified to my wardrobe. Pieces like a classic trench/blazer, a plain cashmere sweater, a black leather bag or those timeless brown plums are good to form the core of your wardrobe, but definitely not enough if we want our personality to shine through. 

And, I certainly don’t think that to stand out we should go for fast fashion buys that will last one season, instead I strongly promote to unlock the potential of your neutral look by accessorizing it, like adding a fashionable waist belt to your long sweater or ripping off your old denim. Or take the real challenge to find unique pieces that won’t fail to excite us as the years go by. And I don’t mean the classics (we can't get bored with a black leather jacket, can we?) but statement items (like a fur collar cape) that we will want to wear even if they are no longer fashionable and will make us fall in love with our wardrobe all over again. For me, this is the essential to true style. 

The key is to find the right balance between practicality and self-expression. What do you think? Can minimalism be a threat to one's personal style quotient when taken too far? Or is minimalism your chosen self-expression?