Throughout the history of fashion, only a handful of styles reemerge time and time again. One notable entry on the list: minimalism. Characterized by simplicity and utility, and equally applicable to historic design monuments, contemporary works of art, and sci-fi innovations, the aesthetic manages to capture the past, present, and future all at once. When it comes to fashion, minimalism isn’t a fleeting trend anchored by a singular item or accessory. It’s a state of mind reflected in a series of deliberate sartorial choices. It’s about stripping your closet back to the basics, curating your own capsule wardrobe of essential pieces, and expertly combining those pieces so that you have a full collection of ageless ensembles at your disposal. This is fashion in its purest form: minimalist clothes and accessories are there to enhance, not dominate.
Minimalism is never out of vogue, but it’s especially relevant in a year that’s reshaped our priorities and urged us to focus on what really matters. It’s been a year of going back to basics, in our daily lives and in fashion, which makes this the perfect time to embrace a style credo rooted in the same philosophies, as industry vanguards like Prada are doing with their latest collections. But appreciating minimalism is one thing—working it into your personal look is quite another. Stripping your wardrobe sounds easy in theory (just eliminate the excess, right?). In practice, scaling your closet down to the fundamental pieces that offer you maximum mileage and reflect the entirety of your individual style takes real effort.
This article first appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.