Minimalist clothing men means different things for different people. Some imagine a whitewashed house with only a hint of furniture, while others just associate it with owning only what you need. But we cannot define minimalism with any kind of strict parameters. It is more of a movement than a set of clearly defined rules on what is and isn’t minimalistic.
Minimalism in Men’s Fashion
A minimalist approach to men’s fashion encompasses both of the above-mentioned aspects. If you want to embrace minimalist style, you’d have to wear clothes that are less daring or ambitious and have minimal stand-out patterns while also owning only the clothing items that are needed. A minimalist wardrobe for men will consist of necessary items based on that person’s lifestyle and style sense.
Now, you might think that having so few clothes will make your life harder. After all, how will you find the right outfit for every situation that you might find yourself in? Won’t so few outfits get boring and repetitive? Luckily, these and many other similar fears have no base in reality.
Benefits of Going Minimal
The thing about men’s fashion is that a lot of it is rooted in practicality. You will hardly find a style of clothing that doesn’t have any real-world benefits attached to it, and minimalistic clothing is no different. These are the two main advantages of going minimal.
Less time spent on choosing an outfit
The math on this one is quite simple; the fewer options you have, the quicker you’ll be able to decide on an outfit. Not having to decide on the type of pants for each day will save you time.
You might not think of this as a big deal, but it certainly is. Just think about the time you spend each day just deciding what to wear. Multiply it by thirty, and you’ll quickly see the large number of hours you waste every month.
Not to mention the stress of making a difficult choice that early in the morning. You can then use that saved time on other things, like properly styling the outfits that you do decide to wear. If you need any proof that having a minimal wardrobe is a good thing, look no further than wildly successful flocks such as Steve Jobs.
It’s cost-effective in the long run
Assuming that you buy decent quality clothes, buying less will obviously be cheaper than buying a lot. If you own just two types of jackets, you will wear them a lot and get your money’s worth. Instead, if you go out and purchase ten, then each one of them will get less use, thus won’t provide good value for your investment.
Additionally, it’s not like you are going to wear all ten jackets equally. The most likely scenario is that you pick two or three as your favorites and wear them all the time. The rest of the seven jackets will rot away in your wardrobe without getting much use.
So, why not save your money and just buy a couple of jackets that you actually like and want to wear regularly? Now apply this mindset to your whole wardrobe, and you’ve just saved a truckload of money while looking stylish in the process.
Where to get started
So, you’ve made up your mind and want to start your minimalist fashion journey. Where should you begin?
Well, the first step is to understand what to buy. We’ll discuss the individual items in a bit, but the thing that you have to keep in mind is to say goodbye to unnecessary items. Most of your wardrobe will consist of clothing items in black, dark grey, white or any other color with simple patterns and textures, that is if they’re needed.
Now, let’s dive right into the things that your wardrobe should have.
Let’s start with the outermost layer of a regular outfit, the jacket. A basic minimal wardrobe should have at least two jackets, one for semi-formal attire and the other casual. You can also include the top from your suit into this list. Here are a few options to choose from.
Blazers are a great middle-ground between ultra-formal and completely casual. They look fantastic and neat while also being comfortable and relatively inexpensive. You can also wear a blazer and jeans combo on any regular day without looking like a weirdo.
You will need a jacket for the rainy season, and waterproof leather trench coats are just the right option. Sure, you can just buy a raincoat and call it a day, but what’s the fun in that? Trench coats look classy, and they are interesting enough to carry a minimal outfit on their own. Just make sure to buy one with little to no additions like buckled belts etc.
A down jacket is an ideal outerwear for winter and colder seasons. It is a super casual jacket that works fabulously with anything from jeans to chinos and sweatshirts to turtle necks.
Having one in your wardrobe will winterproof your outfit selection. It will ensure that you can wear the same clothes in winter, just by wearing a down jacket on top.
However, if you don’t want or own one, simple men’s bomber jackets would be just as fine for the minimalist look you’re looking for.
The next step in our minimalist wardrobe journey is shirts. You should have a minimum of eight tops. Not eight of one type, rather a mixture of a few. Some days you can wear a polo shirt or go for shirts, and dress shirts. The options here are endless (as long as you stick to essentials, no matter what they mean to you). Here are a few of the most prominent ones.
A pair of black and white plain t-shirts is all you need to wear. These two will never get repetitive, no matter what. You can wear one of them every day like a cartoon character and still look well-dressed. That’s the power held by these simple shirts.
You can also wear them under something like a denim jacket to introduce some flair to your outfit.
T-shirts are great, but they only work in warmer weather. As soon as the temperature drops below room temperature, you’ll start feeling uncomfortable in a short-sleeved t-shirt. So, for those times, a grey hooded sweatshirt is the perfect option. It’s comfortable, it’s stylish, and best of all, it’s minimalist.
There will be times when you need to wear something formal like a suit, and you can’t wear a sweatshirt under a tuxedo. A plain white or light blue formal shirt is the perfect pairing for that scenario.
Pants are probably the simplest part of a man’s wardrobe. You only need two.
A pair of jeans is all you need for your casual needs. You can go with the classic blue or opt for something along the lines of grey. Either way, you will have no issues pairing them with all kinds of tops and jackets.
While the pair of jeans are for your everyday casual use, chinos are there for slightly dressier situations. They are the ideal choice for business casual clothing, as well as semi-formal dressing.
Shoes are the same story as pants; you need one for casual wear and one for formal circumstances.
A pair of low-top sneakers are perfectly in line with the men’s minimalist fashion, and they work without any hitches with all casual outfits. The only thing that you have to look out for is that they are easy to get dirty, but a little care will go a long way in preventing that.
Two pairs of high-quality oxfords will last you a lifetime. You can either choose classic black ones or brown ones depending on your personal preference. Generally, balck ones are more for a formal setting, while browns look great at a semi-formal event.
You just built a capsule wardrobe
Yes, the above-mentioned guide is for building a men’s capsule wardrobe. What’s that? You ask. Well, it’s a type of wardrobe that only contains the bare minimum stuff for a certain season. A capsule wardrobe is the backbone that supports the men’s minimalist fashion. You can swap out the individual items as the season changes while maintaining the essentials-only approach.
The most important part of minimalist fashion
The most crucial part of a minimal wardrobe is not the number of items or even the type of clothing; it is the quality of the stuff you have. Minimalism is all about reducing waste, and having to buy new clothes every few months is a colossal waste of money.
Keep in mind that by reducing your options, you’ll be wearing the same stuff a lot more than you otherwise would. Those chambray shirts and pairs of jeans will have to handle a lot more wear and tear. So, always go for quality stuff. It will cost a lot more than average but will also provide better value in the long run.
Hopefully, you have a pretty good idea of what minimalist men’s fashion is and where to get started. To clear things a bit more, here are the answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions regarding minimalist clothing.
The number of individual items is irrelevant here. What matters is what you do and do not keep. For example, having a nice jacket that you only wear once every six months is not minimal, while owning 3-4 jackets that you wear regularly is minimal.
Additionally, you can further simplify your active wardrobe by creating capsule wardrobes for every major season. For example, a typical capsule wardrobe should have at least two pieces of outerwear, at least eight shirts of a different variety, a minimum of two pairs of pants, and also two pairs of shoes. Socks and underwear should be plenty.
This is completely up to you. Jeans are extremely resilient pieces of clothing. You can possibly rock a single pair for years, but that is not recommended. You should have at least a couple so you can alternate between them. The upper limit is all up to your preference.
The answer to this depends heavily on your day-to-day situation. A construction worker might have to wash more often than a college student. But, a good number to remember is ten. You should look into washing your jeans after ten wears at minimum. This will provide a good balance between cleanliness and not destroying your beloved pants.
Minimalist clothing for men is not a concept that everyone can wrap their heads around. But, anyone that does manage to understand its appeal and benefits absolutely loves it till the end of their life.
The best part about starting this journey is that you don’t have to throw your existing stuff out and build a custom capsule wardrobe from scratch. You can just keep the right mindset and transition slowly over the span of months or even years.
Just remember that you should adopt this lifestyle and fashion only if you want to, not because someone told you to.