Any garment that is absolutely basic, not too colorful or too complex in terms of the fabric, stitching and silhouette falls under the “minimalist fashion” category. In other words, fashion at its most basic level, stripped of all the shiny trinkets and baubles. Simply put, you are simplifying fashion down to its easiest, simplest and possibly cheapest form. Is it a good or bad thing? Neither one nor the other. But who doesn’t want to put in minimum effort, time and money and still look fabulous?

We are seeing it EVERYWHERE. From the runway to the streets, minimalist fashion seems to have taken over the entire fashion scene. So where is this trend stemming from?  Is it due to a vital need in modern society or is it because of a "tighten your belt" policy, a byproduct of the recession that was driving economies the past few years?

Or is it just plain old laziness? How so? Well, it may be a smart and effective way to look fabulous even when you don’t have the time to put a real effort into your look, but it is essentially the easy way out. 'Effortless', 'comfy' and 'casual' are the watchwords of this fashion trend but calling it a fashion trend is in itself an oxymoron.

That lady who lives across the street and marches out "dolled up" in her sweats, a faux velvet jacket and a ponytail. Is she working the trend? Or the student who after an all-nighter pulls on the first T-shirt that’s halfway clean, her crumpled shorts and her messenger bag. Is she doing 'minimalistic' fashion? How can we tell?

“Less is more” is a phrase that has been heard and chanted religiously ever since the beginning of time and this saying has never been truer than in the past couple of years. You know that the fashion world has become appreciative of the "less is more" motto when sweatpants (courtesy of Alexander Wang) become the new cigarette pants. Minimalist design aims to make everyday dressing easy and time-efficient, albeit stylishly – because how much time could it possibly take for you to throw a pair of shorts, a T-shirt and a blazer together?

By definition fashion is: “a prevailing custom or style of dress, etiquette, socializing” or “conventional usage in dress, manners, etc., esp. of polite society, or conformity to it.” And therein lays the danger of Minimalism. Everything that thousands upon thousands of designers have worked for, all wiped out in one swagger of a sweaty collegiate or a grungy urban momma who’s too tired to wash her hair. Was fashion ever meant to be ‘comfortable’? Maybe so, but was it supposed to be ‘effortless’ and ‘casual’? Do they justify the mind-blowing creativity, the outrageous oomph, and the fabulous intricacy of design, color and fabric?

Now, we’re not saying you should empty your closet of all its sweatpants, oversized tees and plain clothing. We’re merely asking that the next time you decide to put on those pants or those Tees on, you may want to put a little extra effort into the rest of your look.

Dressing up shouldn’t be a task that you dread; it should be something you enjoy, something you look forward to. And if you’re going to call yourself a fashionista, putting together a decent outfit is the least you can do to live up to that name.


– Alexis J.

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