What Is Maximalism Style, and How Can You Wear It Well?

What Is Maximalism Style, and How Can You Wear It Well?

Minimalism has had plenty of time in the limelight over the past few years. And, honestly, it’s a style that will probably never completely go away for lots of reasons. But after wearing a minimalist wardrobe that represents the concept of “less is more” and where everything matches, aren’t you just itching to switch things up and do the opposite completely? After all, an all-black or all-white outfit will always look classy, but can you have fun with it or show your individual sense of style? If you’re ready to try something new in the way you dress, read on for background on maximalism and how you can wear it well.

Maximalism vs. Minimalism

To understand maximalism, it helps to know what minimalism is. Minimalism is a lifestyle that embraces the idea of getting rid of excess items and only using what you need, whether those items are in your wardrobe or your home decor. In contrast, maximalism style is like teenagers rebelling against the fact that they’ve been conforming to a minimalist lifestyle and now want to break out of their shell and show their individuality. That means bright colors, busy prints, and ignoring the rule that things need to match. You can never overdo it with maximalism.

Embrace the Art of Layering

When it comes to maximalism style, layering can play a big part. Since you’re saying that you don’t care what matches, you have every excuse to layer items that may be completely different from one another, whether in color or style. Mixing and matching patterns is part of maximalism, since you can wear a top in one pattern under a cardigan sweater or vest in a completely different pattern. It might seem the opposite of what you’re used to, but the look can work if you wear it with confidence. Another fun idea is to mix animal prints. Wear a cheetah-print blouse under a tiger-print sweater, for example. They’re related because they’re both animal prints, but being different adds a bit of fun and mystery to the outfit.

Blend Styles

Just as you can mix and match colors and patterns with maximalism style, you can also mix styles. For example, you can combine the '70s boho look with something completely different. Take a pair of bell-bottoms or wide-legged women’s jeans, for example, and wear them with a '90s-inspired neon top. Just because they’re from different decades doesn’t mean they can’t be worn together.

Rely on a Statement Piece

You don’t have to go all out, dressing from head to toe in bold elements, to embrace the maximalism style. A single statement piece can do the job quite nicely. It can’t be just any statement piece, though. For example, a ring or other type of jewelry might not be that noticeable. But a boldly patterned or colored purse, fashion scarf, or hat can take an outfit from minimalism to maximalism in no time. Or maybe it’s your winter coat that does the job for you. Using a coat to change your style is a great way to have the best of both worlds—fun on the outside but reserved and serious on the inside.

Focus on Footwear

Shoes can play a big part in a maximalism wardrobe. Wearing cowboy boots with a flowy, elegant women’s skirt, for example, mixes styles but does so in a way that makes people think, “Wow, that looks good together.” Socks, leggings, and tights can also make a fashion statement. Consider striped knee-high socks, for example, worn with a flower-printed skirt or dress. Or sport socks or tights that you might not have otherwise paired with an outfit. The key is to try to look like you chose the outfit intentionally while also implying that you didn’t try too hard. Maximalism is like saying, “I am what I am; take me or leave me, ” almost like daring someone to question those fashion choices.


A fuzzy, blanket-like coat over a frilly, lace dress; a ruffled, billowy top with leather pants; or any pairing of opposite textures will win in a maximalism wardrobe. Pairing opposites, whether it’s textures or colors, is a great way to rebel against the concept of being perfect, creating your own definition.

Forget about the “less is more” concept. With maximalism, more is more. You shouldn’t have to look in the mirror and wonder, “Is this too much?” because the answer will always be a resounding “No!.” Take advantage of this trend, and let yourself loose!


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