Maximalist style is back and bolder than ever for fall 2021, a logical consequence of months spent in sweats. But just because it’s back, that doesn’t mean it’s opposite, minimalism, is out.
Most women, of course, fall somewhere in the middle, but that doesn’t mean that the principles that I’ll share here don’t apply to you. You probably find that one of these styles resonates with you a bit more, and the ideas that make them work can be incorporated into your own everyday style to elevate it.
Style Muse: Jennifer Aniston
Minimalist Brands: Vince, COS, Theory, Armani
The difference between boring and minimal is in the details. The simpler the outfit, the more important the details are, because they don’t have any extraneous distractions to hide behind.
Successful minimal outfits require 3 things.
- Fabulous fit
A flawless fit is possibly the single most important thing in any outfit, but most of all, in a minimal outfit. A fab fit is what elevates basics from boring to beautiful, and Jennifer Aniston has nailed this. This is a woman who has her t-shirts altered to fit her body (see image above). Yes, her t-shirts. Fit is that important.
Without patterns, embellishments, and other doodads, the focus is on quality construction, fabric, and finishes. The minimal outfits you admire on Pinterest may look basic, but there is nothing everyday about the materials, the details, and the way those outfits are put together.
3. Interesting Elements
Minimalism requires the selective and sometimes sparing use of fabulous accessories. So a minimalist might be wearing black shoes and a black bag, for example, but each of those pieces was carefully and intentionally purchased and then chosen to complement that outfit. It may look effortless, but it is possibly the hardest personal style type to do well.
Minimalism can have subtle elements of glam A minimalist silhouette with lots of color Fab accessories elevate this outfit Classic neutral minimalism This minimalist look uses well-fitting wardrobe basics A chic neutral look Minimal and feminine Vince is a popular minimalist brand Theory has great minimalist staples Sezane is a popular French brand A classic minimalist coat from COS
Style Muse: Iris Apfel
Maximalist Brands: La Double J, Rhode Resort, Versace, Farm Rio
More is more. Mixing and matching prints, oversized statement clothes, and accessories, and a textured, layered look is all part of this aesthetic. If you’re just starting out, here are some of the principles of maximalist style.
- Make a Statement
Shop for statement and unique pieces at vintage stores. Make sure they represent your personal style and are in colors that you love. These will give your wardrobe a dose of maximalist style and elevate all of your basics.
2. Make a Match
Go for matched sets. A statement-making matched set already paired by the designer or brand can make a mixed print look easy to achieve.
3. Mix Your Prints
The easiest way to pull off the mixed print look that is a staple of maximalist style is to keep at least one color the same in the top and bottom, but to keep the print size different. That color will tie both pieces together, and the contrast between a small print and a large print makes these pieces blend together more easily.
Maximalism is all about color, detail, and pattern. This matched set is an easy way to pull off maximalist style. A dress from Rhode Resort. A maximalist look from Versace. A statement coat lets you work this style into everyday outfits. There’s an art to mixing prints. This look from La Double J is a fabulous example of maximalist style. Statement accessories plus statement pieces make this a maximalist dream. A more subtle take on maximalist style involves choosing special, unique “basics”.
My pick this week is the ELF Putty Eye Primer, which I LOVE. My eyelids are oily, and I often find that my eyeshadows crease and my mascara transfers onto my lids, but this primer has totally fixed that. It also has lots of other benefits.
I have the Sand shade, which I love as a neutral lid color that adds just a hint of polish and evens out my skintone.
The only downside? This product is kind of dry and packed into the tub, so I can’t see how it could be applied with fingertips. I swirl my Bare Escentuals concealer brush in circles a few times and then paint the product on to my lids.
Here’s the description from ELF:
The e.l.f. Putty Eye Primer is a moisturizing eye primer designed to add depth to your look and keep eyeshadow in place for 12 hours of crease-proof wear.Benefits
- Unique creamy formula
- Tint of subtle matte color
- 12 hours of smudge-proof wear time
- Delivers a boost of hydration to your eyelids
- Infused with Squalene to balance and moisturize skin
- Can be worn alone or under eyeshadow to rev up intensity
- Grips makeup for smooth application
- Available in a range of shades ideal for all skin tones
- Proud to be 100% vegan and cruelty-free, worldwide. Because kindness is chic.
- White – maximizes vibrancy
- Cream – intensifies shadow for yellow undertones
- Clay – creates an even smoky brown base
- Sand – creates an even tan base for neutral shadows
- Rose – intensifies shadow for pink undertones
- Black – adds dimension
- All e.l.f. products are free from phthalates, parabens, nonylphenol ethoxylates, triclosan, triclocarban, and hydroquinone
- All skincare is also free from sulfates
Question of the Week
I’m 5”11”. Plus overweight. I am type three. All I really want is a nice pair of jeans that don’t fall down. If they waist them they are too big in the hips and thighs.Ina, 66
I also heard from another viewer who said that her pants are always baggy in the thighs. Here are my suggestions.
- Fit your trouble spot. You have to start with the part of your body that is hardest to fit. For tall ladies, and to a lesser extent, petite ladies, length comes first. For all of us, it’s critical to start by fitting the widest or fullest parts of our bodies.
- Alter to fit. If you find that pants fit you in one part of your body and not in another, then an alteration is essential. Yes, alterations can be expensive and annoying, but great fitting pants are worth it if they are a classic pair you will wear for a while.
- Shop brands for your body type. Brands like Good American are designed for women with small waists and curvy hips, while Grlfrnd denim is cut for petites. Starting with a brand that suits your shape makes the process of finding that perfect pair much easier. Another option? Go with one of the custom or semi-custom options here.
Today’s makeover features my beautiful Ageless Style Program member Janet. Janet came to the program after a series of life changes, including a house fire (in which she lost her clothes) and a cross-country move, and style had just not been a priority for a while. I first spotted her crushing one of my challenges, and I just loved her sweetness and her style, so I was thrilled when she decided to join the program.
These pictures illustrate some of Janet’s transformations, and most notably her progress in two areas:
- Embracing her glamorous, femme-fatale style personality.
- Choosing vibrant, flattering colors
- Accessorizing and adding the finishing touches to her outfits
Before: Janet stuck to basics that didn’t show her personal style Before: Janet’s very casual everyday style
Janet isn’t afraid to express her femme fatale style personality Janet’s has embraced her warm color palette Bold flattering colors have become a part of Janet’s signature style Janet know finds putting casual outfits together to be easier and more fun