Find your signature style by exploring the principles of maximalism and minimalism. These fashion styles are distinctly different, and each has its own appeal. Keep reading to learn more about maximalism and minimalism for your wardrobe and home — and how to blend the two styles to create an aesthetic that’s all your own.
If maximalism had a motto, it would be “more is better.” Think bright colors and bold prints, with plenty of accessories. Layering is a fashion strategy that works well for this aesthetic —especially if you combine contrasting colors and prints for an eye-catching look.
Maximalism is a fashion style where almost anything goes. You don’t have to worry about breaking fashion rules when you rock this aesthetic because there aren’t any. When wearing the maximalist style, you can keep it limited to a few pieces or wear an outfit that’s attention-getting from head-to-toe.
Maxi dresses for women can be incorporated into the maximalist style. For example, consider a brightly colored floral print and layer it with a cardigan sweater in a contrasting hue or pattern. Ankle booties or calf-high boots are a stylish accompaniment to a long skirt; finish the look with bold jewelry like stacks of bangles or a statement necklace. Large hoop earrings or sparkling chandelier earrings are also fitting accessories for this look.
If you prefer jeans over skirts, slip into a pair of high-rise jeans for a retro-inspired look that’s right on-trend. You can dress up this look with a turtleneck, women’s blazer, and grouping of layered necklaces, or dress it down with a cotton tee and animal-print cardigan. Women’s jeans can be worn with high heels, sneakers, and boots when it comes to footwear, so choose the shoes that best fit the occasion and your preferences.
If you want to wear a maximalist look to a conservative office, keep the style limited to one or two statement-making pieces. For example, you could wear a tropical-print blouse with black dress pants and understated accessories. Or keep your outfit simple and carry an oversized handbag in a bright color.
A discussion about maximalism isn’t complete without talking about home décor. In the living room, create a maximalist look with upholstered furniture featuring an ornate print, such as paisley or cabbage roses. Mix-and-match antique tables and chairs with new furnishings for an eclectic look, and don’t underestimate the impact of a gallery wall. Hang art prints in different colors, sizes, and frames on the same wall for a maximalist look that’s elegant and easy to put together.
In the bedroom, layer bed sheets and duvet covers in bright colors and prints. Add a grouping of decorative pillows to complete the look and toss a velvety throw across the foot of the bed for a luxe touch. Layer blackout drapes with floaty curtains for a window treatment that complements maximalist furnishings and illuminate the space with a dazzling chandelier.
The adage “less is more” can be used to describe minimalism. This fashion aesthetic features clean lines and plenty of neutral colors. Accessories are limited to a few key pieces, such as a basic black handbag, classic tortoiseshell sunglasses, and a simple gold chain or pair of stud earrings.
You can’t go wrong when wearing minimalist fashion to the office. Consider a monochromatic outfit, such as a black turtleneck with a black pencil skirt and matching pumps. Or go for light neutral tones with an ivory cashmere sweater and khaki dress pants. A leopard-print handbag works well with either outfit, or you can opt for a solid color such as brown or black.
Bright colors can be incorporated into a minimalist wardrobe in small doses. For example, you could pair black slacks and shoes with a fuchsia blouse or wear a lemon-yellow sweater with white capri pants. Bold colors can also be limited to footwear and accessories; for example, you could pair a cherry red handbag or animal-print shoes with a neutral-toned outfit.
When putting together a minimalist look in your home, keep furniture and décor in the neutral color palette. As with fashion, you can add a few bright touches here and there. Think crisp white bedding, such as white Supima cotton bed sheets and duvet covers. Natural-fiber rugs and throw pillows — whether real or faux — enhance the look. Impart a fresh look with strategically placed houseplants; if you don’t have a green thumb, artificial plants work just as well when it comes to brightening a neutral-toned space.
Keep surfaces bare — or as close to it as possible — when creating a minimalist style. The look is sleek and streamlined, and it’s easier to dust. Seagrass baskets and canvas bins can be used for stylish storage. Equip each bedroom with a wicker laundry hamper to keep clothes and linens neatly contained and impart breezy style to the space.
Combine maximalist and minimalist fashion elements to create a look that’s unique to you. For example, black leggings are a minimalist wardrobe staple that you can wear with an oversized cashmere hoodie in a statement color or a tunic top with a bright, eye-catching print.
Listen to your inner stylist and choose the apparel and décor pieces that catch your interest. Comfort is another important factor to consider when updating your wardrobe or your living space. Luckily, there are plenty of apparel and décor pieces that are both comfortable and stylish.