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Minimalism: Is Less Really More?

What is minimalism exactly? To put it simply, it’s minimal, and back to basics, nothing extravagant. The goal being to look effortlessly stylish in almost boring clothing.

In the ever-changing world of fashion, this one trend has simmered under the surface for a few years now. Not only present in fashion, it has crept into interior design, art and lifestyle choices. Minimalism is all over social media right now, with Instagram accounts dedicated to having the perfect streamline appearance of black, white and grey colour schemes.

“Vetements”, a Paris based company, are perhaps the embodiment of the minimalist phenomenon; they aim to provide the wardrobe staples with a slightly edgier twist – some of the clothing being oversized or asymmetric with jagged hemlines. Their collection of simple hoodies are nothing extraordinary, but come with a hefty price tag. “Lounge pants” (a.k.a tracksuit bottoms) are also featured.

Romee Strijd modelling at DKNY S/S 2017
Romee Strijd modelling at DKNY S/S 2017

Minimalistic fashion was also seen during New York Fashion Week at DKNY Spring/Summer 2017. We usually see Spring/Summer collections containing brighter colours & a much more lively vibe than what was seen here; models showcased dark, berry-toned lips, coordinating with the dark blues & blacks of the clothing. Of course, we did see cream/white clothing, but the material was a lot heavier than expected, more suitable for Autumn/Winter.

On the high street, H&M (in Opera Lane, for you Freshers) have been in the game of minimalism for quite some time now without even realising it. They have an entire “basics” collection where you will find items to suit this very style, in all of the main theme colours: black, white and grey. They also cater for work/office wear, where you can purchase a clean cut shirt. Team this with some high waisted jeans and you may have just nailed this look. Though it’s a tad bit more expensive, Cos (upstairs in Brown Thomas, St.Patrick Street) have beautiful dresses around the €60 mark that will whet your appetite for minimalism.

One of the main benefits of this style is that it’s interchangeable, since baseline colours of black, white and grey will always work together. If money is tight, or you’re not quite sure if it’s your thing, it’s quite easy to recreate this style at home with what you already have.

Minimalist style is great for us students as little effort is required, especially for 9am starts! A simple black t-shirt, jeans, and runners or boots,you have an instant outfit. With regards to the Vetements style of minimalism, a plain tracksuit co-ordinates are your new best friend: comfort and fashion combined.

A lot of the pieces associated with this trend are timeless. In the great debate of whether you should purchase quality or quantity when it comes to your wardrobe, quality wins out. It may be best to invest a little more money in a shirt or top that’ll last through multiple washes, but it’s down to personal preference. If you swing with the new trends every season, a trip down to Penney’s will be the best option for you.

Although I’ve previously mentioned the primary colours of this trend, the occasional block of colour makes an appearance. Whether it be a pair of loafers or runners, the occasional splash of colour adds a little extra something to this trend.

Vetements styling 2016
Vetements styling 2016

Minimalism is not exclusively linked to fashion, however: influencers such as Rachel Aust have channelled this trend into a lifestyle. Aust has a series of “minimalist” videos on her YouTube encouraging others to declutter their lives in more ways than one. Her beliefs filter right down to the people she associates with; if someone is impacting her life in a negative way, Aust has no problem removing them from it.

When it comes to her interior design habits, students could take a leaf out of her book, her house only containing what she “needs”. Living away from home probably means less space to store your things, so think pragmatically when bringing your clothes, books and other necessities. You are not moving away forever and will definitely be heading home to visit your family in the near future.

Is less really more? Personally, I’m on the fence. Remember you do not have to commit to the same style just because you wore it last week. College is great for experimentation when it comes to fashion.