Minimalism Part II

I would definitely consider myself a fashion conscious individual, and have been following fashion for the last couple years. I think it’s common for those interested in fashion to want a large wardrobe, with the ability to always create new and unique outfits for each day.

About a year ago I became more and more interested in a slightly different look. Some of the same slim silhouettes as Dior Homme mixed with draped and heavily textured fabrics, like you would see from Rick Owens or Damir Doma, all very dark and monochromatic. While I still have a soft spot for loose draped fabrics, they’re not the most practical thing to wear for daily activities and I only have a few key pieces that belong to this style.

The t-shirt and jeans has been and always will be the perfect casual outfit for North Americans, and is very flexible. Brent Jackson has posted about a minimal wardrobe based on this, with American Apparel tees and APC jeans that are really fantastic basics to own. I’m really interested in a personal uniform as a style: nearly the same outfit worn each day with one or two alternates for special occasions. Here’s what I’ve gotten so far.

  • One pair of Ksubi raw denim jeans, worn nearly every day.
  • One pair of J. Lindeberg black resin-coated jeans and one pair of Endovanera Bobby pants, these are the alternates.
  • About two dozen monochromatic tees, varying fits and styles, some plain and some with graphics.
  • Three long-sleeve dress shirts, one short-sleeve dress shirt and one short-sleeve knit.
  • One pair of black leather lace-up boots and one pair of black mid-cut sneakers.
  • One grey suit.

That’s it, one pair of pants, a couple dozen shirts, a few dress alternates and a suit.

This does everything.

The problem brought up in Brent’s post is that when you wear the same thing every day, you look like a cartoon character. The trick with this is using the tee and jeans as a starting point and working out, while still owning as simple a wardrobe as needed. For jeans, you really only need one pair of raw denim. Most people will think that wearing the raw jeans so consistently is disgusting, but once you’ve bought and worn a pair for any amount of time you get over the thought. It’s really not bad at all, and if they do start to smell you can throw them on a clothesline or balcony for the afternoon to air out. For t-shirts you can start looking at other brands, like Acne or Filippa K. Get some with a chest pocket, slant cut seams or epaulets. Your dress apparel depends on how often you need to get dressed up, but don’t own any more than you really need. Most people need at most two dress shirts for events like weddings, and you can grab a couple ties in basic patterns to add variety.

Unlike the first minimalism post, this one is about my personal aesthetic minimalism. Functional minimalism that anyone can achieve is still at the core, and in this context means only owning what you need to for your daily activities with two or three alternate outfits. Your personal style can go from there, and it’s the details that start to set you apart from the monotonous.