Minimalistic fashion and its key elements

Taylor Maerz

Within recent years, the ever-so-simple and classy minimalist aesthetic has flooded social media and been all over Pinterest boards as outfit inspiration. This simple-chic style is attainable to anyone and focuses on adding depth and detail to basic garments. 

Creating a minimalistic look requires very little styling effort and only a few staple pieces. A staple piece is a basic item in your wardrobe that can be styled multiple ways; these items can be mixed and matched together to create new outfits. 

Emma Hassemer is an Iowa State alumna and current fashion and lifestyle blogger in Chicago who embodies the minimalistic aesthetic.

“I am all about staples,” Hassemer said. “I think you can create so many different looks with staple pieces.” 

She mentions a few garments that her wardrobe is based around are a chunky black boots, straight leg jeans and crewnecks as well as a white button-up collared shirt. These basics allow for a “versatile and casual” style that can be tailored to fit the silhouette she is going for. 

Balancing different silhouettes adds depth to outfits that rely on staple pieces. Since a lot of garments that minimalists wear stray away from patterns and bright colors, the eye is drawn to how each article of clothing falls on the body rather than the garment itself. 

Minimalism can be incorporated into any style. The oversized and baggy silhouette is extremely popular come the recent rise of loungewear. To get a minimalistic oversized look, try pairing a baggy crew neck with a tighter bottom like biker shorts and a chunky pair of sneakers. These three basics counter the difference in silhouettes and prevent the pieces from overpowering each other.  

When choosing her outfit every day, there are a few key elements Hassemer considers.

“I want everything to look cohesive,” Hassemer said. “I pay attention a lot to the silhouette of the clothing pieces as well, honestly more than the colors and the patterns.”  

The colors and patterns Hassemer mentions are mostly muted, neutral tones. Shades of black, white, beige and gray are worn to compliment each other and make one cohesive look. Neutrals are great basics to own because “those colors will never go out of style.” 

One of the main aspects of minimalism is increasing the lifespan of your clothing. Rather than buying a trendy color or printed top, opt for something that can be worn in any season and will withstand the trends that come and go. 

Because printed pieces are not huge factors in this aesthetic, detail is achieved by layering different textures. Leather is a very popular texture right now and is extremely easy to layer with. Featured in the video, the same leather blazer is styled five different ways to achieve a minimalist look. Another way to achieve texture and detail is to pair a sweater vest or knit over any basic staple top. 

A lot of outfit inspiration for minimalism can be found on social media. Hassemer uses Pinterest, Instagram and TikTok the most for gathering inspiration. Celebrities like Hailey Beiber, and Hassemer’s favorite influencer Jourdan Sloane, embody the minimalist aesthetic effortlessly. It is easy to recreate a lot of their looks since their wardrobe incorporates basics that are easy to find and purchase. 

To find basic minimalistic garments that will last, Hassemer recommends stores like H&M and Zara. Along with Aritzia and Urban Outfitters, these stores sell staples that can be worn in any season. 

The minimalist aesthetic values quality over quantity. With a few basics, anyone can make a few simple pieces look effortless.