There’s a million different ways to create a capsule wardrobe floating around on the internet, and, we get it, keeping it minimalist is cool right now. That doesn’t mean it’s for everyone though. For those of us who like to be loud and proud in our fashion, for whom minimalism sounds like a miserable, boring resignation to black white and grey, how do we dress in a way that encapsulates our penchant for colour, for pattern, and for personality, without looking like we’ve left the house wearing everything but the kitchen sink?
When it comes to designing your maximalist wardrobe, letting your personality take centre-stage is key. But sometimes it can be helpful to have some kind of structure when acquiring your pieces and putting a look together. There are still ways to make the maximalist aesthetic look chic, stylish, and fun – as fashion is meant to be.
We’ve put together the three pillars of maximalism: More is More, Make a Statement, and Mix it Up. Read on to find out exactly what that means, and how to incorporate this foolproof strategy into your wardrobe.
More is More
The first thing that comes to mind when talking about maximal style is probably prints right? Whilst it’s not quite as simple as slapping on the first zebra or snakeskin jacket you see and calling it a day, browsing through brands like Adrift clothing that are playful and bold in their designs is a great place to go for some inspiration. Spots, stripes, plaid, spirals… no print is too crazy to be left off the list.
With so many great individual pieces in your wardrobe, no wonder you want to let them all get their moment in the spotlight. We’re not here to keep it simple, so layer them up. Combining different styles and lengths is a simple way to add complexity to your outfit and get some heads turning, and can make even the plainest clothes have a bold impact. Or, you could dip into the controversial skirts over jeans trend that’s tentatively made its way back into popular culture recently.
“A woman makes an outfit her own with accessories,” said Oscar de la Renta, who dressed everyone from Jackie Kennedy to Doja Cat, and knows a thing or two about maximalist style (yes, it was his brand’s design that turned her into a cat at this year’s Met Gala). If your maximalist journey is just beginning, and you don’t have the budget or clothes to turn every outfit into a showstopper, adding a bold piece of jewellery, colourful scarf or statement bag can take you more than halfway there on making a bold impact.
Make a Statement
Humans are simple creatures, and anything shiny, detailed or bright will catch our eye. One of the best style hacks to follow when it comes to colour is to simply pick a hue or shade to use as the framework for your outfit, the canvas if you will. From there, you can go wild.
Building a look from a single colour doesn’t have to be boring, in fact far from it. It can be a great opportunity to show off your style, by mixing fabrics, shades, cuts and designs to create a cohesive outfit that seems effortless but is deceptively complex.
If the idea of creating head to toe statement outfits sounds too overbearing, but you still want to indulge in clothing that’s a bit more fun, picking singular items with colourful patterns is an easy way to do so. To style them, pick one of the colours from the design, and pair it with a neutral top or bottom in the same shade.
For example, if you’ve got your hands on blue and white swirly trousers, keep it simple with a white t-shirt, and add a necklace in the same shade of blue if you’re feeling bold to tie it all together. Medium to large patterns are also great for curvy women or plus sizes, as they naturally frame the feminine contours of your body.
Every wardrobe needs a few statement pieces, but a maximalist wardrobe should go above and beyond. The difference when compiling a capsule wardrobe is that you want your statements to be the stand-out pieces you wear when you’re occasionally feeling experimental. Alternatively, for a maximalist wardrobe, build your neutrals around your statement pieces – for example, if there’s a great billowing dress you have your eye on, think about the shoes, bags and other details that might go with it, that you then may also be able to wear with your other eye-catching designs.
Mix it Up
Vintage and Modern
These days, we’re all about switching things up. And whilst dressing head to toe in a 70s get-up can be great for a fancy dress party, or finding the perfect kitten heels for your halterneck polka dot dress can be a cute homage to the 1950s, for every-day wear, incorporating modern elements into your outfit can help move you away from costume territory.
Adding contrast by pairing two unlikely pieces of clothing from two very different decades or styles, such as a dainty retro dress with a punk leather jacket, will show intention in your outfit planning and might make your vintage piece stand out even more when against a backdrop that strays from tradition.
When something feels nice under our fingertips, we like it. With that in mind, treat your evolving wardrobe as a feast for the hands, not just the eyes. Not only do certain fabrics evoke different moods or vibes, they can also pay homage to iconic looks from the decades. Velvet flared jeans, puffed silk sleeves, or transparent lace gloves all conjure strong images of various eras and their fashion aesthetics. By adding tactile items to your wardrobe you’ll amp up your look one step further.
If your wardrobe is based on the principles of mix-and-match, making a statement, and more is more, you’re almost certainly guaranteed to be the centre of attention the next time you walk into a room.
Whilst we’re not saying every single outfit needs to hold true to these rules, using them as a guide will help you succeed in pulling off the maximalist aesthetic without it looking like you got dressed in the dark, or pulled on as many clothes as you physically could. Follow our trendy tips, and you’ll step out on the town looking like a real bobby dazzler in no-time.