Less can definitely be more! If you love the idea of a minimal wardrobe, but are worried you may get bored with your outfit choices, this article is especially for you. You may also like our latest capsule wardrobe for the minimal style personality.
I will show you how you can do more with less and how versatile a minimal wardrobe can be. There are tips on how to ensure your minimal outfits aren’t boring. This is also very useful when you want like to travel with a carry-on suitcase.
11 ways to make sure that your minimal wardrobe is anything but boring
First, let’s take a look at some of the general principles you should bear in mind to keep your minimal wardrobe interesting. After all, there’s a big difference between minimal and boring.
1. Choose a star of your minimal wardrobe
If you want to keep your outfit simple, but you still want to make sure it makes an impact, a good rule of thumb is to pick one item as the star of your outfit. Let it shine and keep the rest of your look relatively pared down.
For example, you could choose a pair of metallic or silver shoes or booties.
Paul Green Cayanne Leather Peep Toe Sandal
2. Choose interesting quality fabrics
If you want, or already have, a minimal wardrobe, you will want to ensure that every item you have is high-quality, well-made and fits well. You can invest in each piece of clothing as you will want to wear it for many years to come.
Look out for fabrics such as silk, satin, cashmere, cotton and linen which will look classy and feel great against your skin.
Sylvia @sylviacolella above (read her style interview here) opts for a classic cotton shirt that won’t date and she can wear with everything.
Recreate her look with this similar shirt, jeans, booties, handbag and sunglasses.
Vince Boiled Cashmere Funnel Neck Pullover
3. Take a look at how to do more with less
When creating a minimal wardrobe, it’s important to think about how you can wear a few items in many different ways. You’ll find plenty of inspiration and ideas on how to do this in my article on how to do more with less.
Nora @jacketsociety above (read her style interview here) opts for a blazer, jeans and white t-shirt, which would easily match lots of items in your closet.
Check out this similar top, blazer, jeans, sandals, handbag, necklace and sunglasses.
4. Choose interesting shapes for your minimal wardrobe
You’re likely to be a fan of neutrals if you are putting together a minimal closet. However, you can still make sure that your outfits all have a wow factor by looking for interesting shapes, such as asymmetry when choosing new clothing. You may also like to read our style guide for the architectural style personality.
5. Choose contemporary jewelry
I’m a huge fan of contemporary, geometric jewelry to add modernity to any outfit. You can take even the simplest of outfits to the next level with a statement necklace.
I love my asymmetrical necklace (above) and wear it with both plain and patterned tops and dresses. Similar necklaces here, here and here.
Karine Sultan Alice Statement Necklace
6. Add texture to your minimal wardrobe
You can still wear a very minimal style or shape, but add an extra element to your outfit by choosing clothes or shoes featuring texture. For footwear, reptile or crocodile textures are particularly on trend this season.
Sharryn @thestylishwoman above (read her style interview here) opts for a linen look for summer.
Get her look with this similar top, wide leg pants, sneakers, sunglasses and earrings.
Tory Burch Kira Kira Ruched Suede Convertible Shoulder Bag
You’ll find more inspiration in the handbag trends for winter and fall 2022.
7. Choose a favorite brand
Finding a brand you love has two big advantages. You’ll be sure that the items you order are likely to fit because you will get to know the size that fits you best.
Plus, if you love to put together a capsule wardrobe, you can add one or two pieces from your favorite brand each season and they are likely to go with everything else you have in your closet.
Sarah @style_designco above layers her shirt over her t-shirt.
Check out this similar top, denim jacket, jeans, sneakers, crossbody bag and earrings.
Some of my favorite brands for minimalist style are COS, Eileen Fisher and Stella Carakasi. See below for an outfit put together mainly from Eileen Fisher.
Eileen Fisher Organic Cotton Pucker Mandarin Collar Jacket – Eileen Fisher Silk Top – Eileen Fisher Organic Linen Crop Wide Leg Pants – Eileen Fisher Razz Metallic Leather Ankle-Strap Sandal – Eileen Fisher Sleek Italian Leather Crossbody Bag – Alighieri The Amore Unlocked Locket Necklace
8. Play with proportions
Another good way to ensure your minimal looks are anything but dull is to play around with the proportions of your clothes. You could opt for an oversized top, for example, or leave a shirt untucked to create interest. You can layer one top over another – more on layering in the next tip.
Karen @styledbykaren above layers a white shirt under her vest.
Check out this similar shirt, cropped top, pants, mules and sunglasses.
Eileen Fisher Organic Linen Gauze Poncho (similar) – Eileen Fisher System Silk Georgette Crepe Bateau Neck Shell – St. John Collection Ponte Knit Slim Ankle Pants – Eileen Fisher Giga Leather Slingback Sandal – Eileen Fisher Sleek Italian Leather Everything Crossbody Bag – BOCAR Statement Necklace
9. Layer, layer layer
Layering can be the key to a fantastic look for so many reasons. If you’re not confident about your tummy area, for example, layering can be the perfect way to hide a belly.
Adding lots of layers can also create new looks from existing items of clothing in your minimal closet.
Deborah @deborahgates_ above (read her style interview here) wears a long vest over her outfit.
Get her look with this similar top, cardigan vest, pants, sandals and earrings.
You could also layer your jumpsuit or dress over a white shirt.
COS Volume-Sleeve Structured Shirt– COS Wide Leg Jumpsuit (similar) – SARTO by Franco Sarto Tracy Flat – COS Leather Medium Tote Bag (similar) – COS Contrast Link Leather Necklace (similar)
10. Don’t be afraid of prints
While you wouldn’t necessarily think that patterns would be part of a minimalist’s wardrobe, by choosing subtle, or bold graphical prints, you can incorporate these into your outfits.
Misook Watercolor Crêpe de Chine Top
11. Be inspired by the other style personalities
Most of you won’t just have one style personality. So, while you may be a fan of minimal styling, you’re also likely to be drawn to the classic, architectural and urban style personalities. Combining elements of other style personalities can be key to creating an individual look.
Adaline @sdmomstyles above adds a very subtle touch of glamour with the leopard print handle on her bag.
Recreate her outfit with this similar dress (another option here), sandals, tote and sunglasses.
Your minimal capsule wardrobe for summer
Take a look at the items featured above together in one capsule. You can easily switch around the tops, bottoms, jackets and accessories to create different looks.
shop the items above here:
Older, but totally timeless minimal capsule wardrobes
Want to have more inspiration for your minimal wardrobe which can also be used for other seasons? Check out some of the capsule wardrobes we created earlier.
Read our ultimate guide to creating a capsule wardrobe that works best for you.
The below capsule wardrobe is quite a bit older, but I still wanted to include is as it shows how just a few pieces of clothing can create many different outfits. I wore the same booties with all outfits and the these of the capsule was asymmetry. Many of these pieces were from Stella Carakasi.
And here is how I wore these outfits with the coat!
I was very sparse with the use of additional accessories here (only one pair of shoes!), but I’m sure you have a variety of accessories already in your wardrobe that you could easily mix and match with the outfits of your capsule.
For a list of comfortable shoes, be sure to check out my recommendations for the best arch support shoes.
Also note the absence of blue jeans. Although I gravitate more towards lighter colored jeans, these outfits would all look great with blue jeans too.
Want to see more capsule wardrobes?
Want to see a more recent capsule wardrobes, check out all capsule wardrobes in this section or check out my capsule wardrobe for the minimal style personality.
Also, di you know? We also created capsule wardrobes for 12 different style personalities! To access the capsule that is right for you, take the style personality quiz here!
Do you like the idea of creating a minimal capsule wardrobe? How would you do it?
- How To Do More With Less – Or Why It’s Ok To Wear The Same Outfit Multiple Times
- A Capsule Wardrobe For The Minimal Style Personality
- The Ultimate Guide To Creating A Capsule Wardrobe That Works For You
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Feature image by Sylvia @sylviacolella
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Just found your blog and loved it! Thank you for all the great ideas!
So you moved to Portugal? Where to? I am Portuguese, living in Cascais and if I can help you settle in, in any way, please don’t hesitate in contacting me. Anyway, I would love to meet you!
Take care, stay safe!
All the best!
Hi Beatriz, Great to read you love the site! I’m in Luz now in the Algarve and loving it. You may like to connect on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/40plusstyle/
Off topic, but can you give us an update on your move to Portugal? How are things going?
still finding our feet and haven’t made any definitive plans yet. Will try and give more updates on Instagram soon.
I am in love with all things Stella Carakasi! Her clothes drape so nicely. Elegant and appropriate with an edge!
Exactly why I like it too Gaylin!
Bottom row, 2nd from the left – love it! And I agree with Aileen that you make it look easy!
Of course it will still take a bit of effort finding some of the pieces, but it all developed quite naturally from some of my first choices, like the gray and pink sweaters. It helps also if you can combine it with items already in your wardrobe (like my skinny pants).
Excellent concept and very well put together Sylvia. I laughed when I got to your comments Greetje – I chose exactly the same pics as you as my favourites, before I read your comment! It is coming into summer here in South Australia so I’m thinking about your choices re light colours but with summery fabrics. Look forward to seeing your other seasonal capsules adapted from your winter base! Thanks again.
How interesting that you chose the same favorites as Greetje Jill! Yes this could easily be applied to a summer wardrobe. Since the feedback on this challenge has been very positive I will try and do more of this at the start of other seasons!
What a lot of work Sylvia. Thanks.
My favourites are: top row, fourth from the left (the jacket with the white shirt and the dark skinnies), Second row, second from left: (the grey asymmetric sweater on the longer white trousers) and the third row, second from left, (that gorgeous bit pinkish sweater, again with the longer white trousers).
Yes it took a bit of effort but it’s nice to get an overview on one page right? Will keep your preferences in mind when I see you in The Netherlands Greetje. Very much looking forward to it!
What a creative amazing list of clothes and how you make it look so easy to create different outfits.
Thanks Aileen. It’s all about picking the right basics and choosing colors that mix well together. Then you just go out and play!
I agree with Patti. You have a very specific esthetique that is well developed.
I am floored by how you were able to use just one pair of boots. This is my downfall whenever I pack. I have a big weakness and fear for shoes. I’m always scared my feet might get sore if I wear the same ones too often. Apart from wearing the Nikes that I run in I cannot think of one shoe that I have that would go with everything like these booties you are wearing AND be comfortable for continuous wear. You have found the holy grail of booties for yourself. Lucky you! : )
I’m usually no different and would normally not pack just one pair of shoes. But I had already tested these and trusted they would be fine (and they were). I also did not have any more winter shoes here and felt that if I really needed something I could buy it there. For The Netherlands I will have a variety of shoes though as all my winter shoes are already there. I’m looking forward to wearing my long boots!
It’s a wonderful capsule, Sylvia – you create such great-looking outfits from these pieces. I think one of the secrets is you have refined your style so well, and you know what you love. xo
Thanks Patti. Yes I’m getting better all the time and this has definitely been my favorite capsule yet!