It’s no secret that minimalist fashion has ruled both on and off the runways over the past few years. Muted color palettes, elevated basics, and sculptured silhouettes are just a few of the minimalist codes disseminating through the fashion set. And while this trending aesthetic has been slowly taking over for quite some time, the COVID-19 lockdown seemed to amplify it, much to my initial dismay. Suddenly I missed the color and texture of maximalist fashion trends. But, with few places to go and people to see, it seemed that even my trendiest friends pared down their wardrobes to simplify daily uniforms with comfortable and easy pieces.
While I’ve always fallen somewhere in the middle of the spectrum of minimalist and maximalist, I too eventually found myself reaching for the simple and “effortless” pieces. A sleek knit dress or a relaxed matching set were the go-to options, and almost always in a neutral tone. Once in a while I found myself peeking through my closet and staring longingly at the statement pieces I had nowhere to wear. But for the most part, it was out of sight and out of mind.
Recently, however, I’ve had this growing itch to take on bolder fashion choices. I spent a few weeks at my childhood home earlier this year and took a shopping trip in my mom's closet, where I was re-inspired by all the extravagant pieces she had saved from the ‘80s and ‘90s. The volume! The prints! I had almost forgotten. It was this one velvet, zebra printed number in particular that really did it for me. That, coupled with the approaching warmer summer days and re-opening of the city that solidified it. For a year I had suppressed the need to dress up and be playful with my fashion choices, and it all came rushing back at full speed.
I now find myself gravitating toward the loud and extravagant pieces in my closet that have been sitting and collecting dust the last year. Casual dinner on Wednesday night? Sure, I’ll throw on a neon green mini dress. Sunday afternoon with the family? Why not wear my glitter heels! “Impractical” is not a current consideration when getting dressed and it’s been a genuine joy to embrace the more is more attitude. I do still wear athleisure when working from home, but even that has evolved. My matching sets are now bright orange (like this new favorite) instead of black or grey, so when I take my 20-minute walks around the block, I’m announcing to the world that fun fashion is back. I’m ready to make a statement!
No matter where you fall on the spectrum, I encourage you to explore the maximalist attitude I’m committing to this summer and break free of any style restrictions unintentionally placed on yourself this last year. I promise, it feels so good to lean into the world of extravagance and let your wardrobe be an escape once again. And luckily there is no shortage of vibrant hues and kitschy prints to shop right now so get ready to fill your cart. Ahead, see the three anti-minimalist looks I’ll be living in all season and shop the pieces I’m filling my wardrobe with.
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Bright and beautiful colors have an instant ability to change my energy and mood. I’m spreading light with my look in happy hues that make me want to celebrate outdoors.
From retro florals to nostalgic checks, there’s a wide variety of kitschy prints I’m using to show personality this summer. Pattern dressing works across color schemes too — so if color isn’t quite your thing, a neutral animal print or black & white gingham look can still offer a maximalist effect.
Nothing brings the drama better than a statement making accessory to top off a look. A bold earring or a standout shoe can completely change the energy of an otherwise polished or simple outfit. If you’re feeling intimidated to channel the maximalist look head to toe, funky accessories are also the perfect place to start.