I present to you my first official minimalist look book! Using items I already owned. This was so much fun to make, and I hope to make more in the future! I took 20 items and created 48 outfits. Actually, I created 50. But once all of the photos were uploaded to my computer and I was editing, I noticed 2 were missing. I was out of photo shoot mode at that point. So 48 outfits it is! Honestly I could have kept making more though. The point is to illustrate how much you can do with very little.
I have seen similar layouts and look books before that actually do more with less, but one thing I have done differently is to include shoes and accessories in my total number of items. The only thing not included are socks and underwear (and bobby pins and hair ties and my wedding rings, if you want to get real technical about it).
The style for a lot of these looks was inspired by the Parisian Chic Look Book by Ines De La Fressange. I also drew inspiration from french style in general. I stuck to using very classic, basic items that most women own some variation of. I am pretty sure almost anyone could find comparable items in their closet and recreate these looks. I also think these outfits would look great and feel comfortable on a wide variety of women regardless of lifestyle or body type.
I want to note that majority of these items were gifted or thrifted. Anything outside of that was purchased at Forever 21 before I vowed to stop shopping there due to their poor Ethical Fashion score card. As these things wear out I plan to replace them with items from more ethical clothing companies that treat their employees fairly and consider their impact on the environment. However, I would say the 20 items used in this look book easily cost less than $100 all together in total.
Here’s a run down of what I used….
4 shirts: A black tank top, a white t-shirt, a white button down, and a graphic t-shirt.
You’ll find with most of these outfits that you could add even more variety with more accessories thrown in the mix. But as you’ll see, you can also do more than enough with just this handful of things.
3 pairs of paints: light bootcut denim, dark skinny-leg denim, black jogger pants
3 pairs of shoes: flats, sneakers, and heels (notice my flats are pretty worn! you can tell they’re one of my favorite pairs of shoes!)
2 outwear pieces: a black hoodie and a navy blue blazer
An accent statement piece! For these outfits, an accent outerwear piece would translate best. Like an animal print trench coat, for example. I used a leather jacket given to me by a friend. It is one of my favorite pieces of clothing! But an accent piece can really be anything from a pair of stilettos to a fancy piece of jewelry or a hat.
6 accessories: dangly earrings, a necklace, a belt, a large bag, a clutch, and a skinny black scarf
Here they all are! 20 items! Now, lets get 48 looks out of this one little pile….
Where Anywhere: These outfits are very versatile. I would wear them just about anywhere. Running errands, going out or going to the office. The key here are the flats, because they can be casual or dressy or professional. My toddler finds her way into one of these. That won’t be the last you see of her!
Casual: These outfits are good for running errands, grocery shopping, going to lunch or the movies, or just hanging around the house. You’ll see Maeby sneaking into one of these! Sometimes cats just have to be petted, photoshoot or not.
Office: These are perfect for wearing to work/ the office. Some could easily be worn out for a drink afterwards or to a dressier lunch or social event.
Evening: These looks are perfect for a night out to for a movie, dinner, drinks, or dancing. This is where the statement piece comes in!
Lazy day or workout: This is where the total number of items gets a little weird because I featured underwear that was not included in the total 20 items. I included the underwear as outfits because we can feel sexy and stylish even when we’re just laying around the house. So I wanted to style some looks with that in mind. If you really want to nit-pick the total number of items, it’s 25 including the underwear you see below. And yes, there is a picture of just underwear. Because who can honestly say they’ve never slept or hung out in bed that way? Wearing nothing but boyshorts is a fashion choice, and in my mind – an outfit (just maybe not one we wear to the grocery store).
So there you have it. 48 outfits using 20 items. Now all you need is some Minimalist Make-Up and you are set.
I hope this gives you some inspiration for putting your own outfits and looks together. I hope it also makes you think about how much you can do with a minimalist wardrobe. Choosing to have a small wardrobe saves us time and energy. It’s easier to keep up with laundry, and our closets and dressers look nicer when they’re not overflowing – which makes the whole room look nicer! There is also the minimalist art belief that restricting the materials and colors we use can actually be a breath of fresh air for us creatively and aesthetically! That should appeal to all of you stylists and fashionistas out there. And when we own less, we become much more mindful about what we buy. This saves us money and has a positive impact on our environment. I’d love to hear about your own adventures with a minimalist wardrobe! You can read some more of my thoughts about it here.