Having a minimalist wardrobe is a lean yet mean way to dress up. You not only get to save space and money by sticking to the basics, but you also get to flex your styling skills. However, the tricky part of maintaining a minimalist wardrobe is ensuring that your OOTDs are anything but boring. Neutrals like black, white, and beige have a tendency to look plain and lackluster when not paired with other pieces that could enhance the outfit’s overall effect.
Thankfully, YouTuber Dearly Bethany posted a video on how she elevates extremely basic pieces to create head-turning outfits that are worthy for the 'gram. The looks are timeless, so you could go ahead and keep these things in mind forever.
1. Never underestimate the power of tucking in your shirt.
At first, Bethany’s baggy white tee and straight-cut jeans look drab, but upon tucking in the shirt, she was able to transform her unflattering look into one that accentuated her figure and elongated her petite frame. Pro tip: If you do not want to draw attention to the width of your hips, opt for jeans that don’t have much whiskering, a.k.a. those creases on the front.
2. Look taller by cropping your pants.
Aside from wearing heels, you can add a couple of inches to your height by cropping your jeans. “It’s going to show and elevate the look of my heels, and it’s gonna look like I’m on stilts,” Bethany says. Try this the next time your jeans are too long for you. Keep in mind that this only works for straight cut pants.
3. Add a third piece.
The “third piece” rule has been a cardinal styling rule for years, and it’s what fashion brands and bloggers swear by. Basically, it’s about adding a third piece to the two pieces you already have on. It could be a jacket, a blazer, a cardigan, a vest, a statement bag or accessory. In this case, Bethany opted to complete her simple tee-and-jeans outfit with a wide brim hat.
4. Wear a watch.
If necklaces and jewelry aren’t your thing, put on a watch instead. This will instantly make any casual outfit look smarter and more put-together.
5. Combine contrasting styles.
Bethany’s second look was a plain cropped top and lounge pants, which she elevated with a baseball cap, espadrilles, and a chic black handbag. What makes this outfit work, according to her, is the sporty appeal of the top and cap juxtaposed with the dressier vibe of the flowy pants and espadrilles. It’s all about mixing contrasting styles!
6. Invest in jewelry.
If you’re looking for a hard and fast rule to instantly make your outfit look chicer (or a trick to remember for lazy days!), Bethany says that investing in quality jewelry is key. It will make any basic outfit look more expensive.
7. Make sure to accessorize when you wear basic sleeveless tops.
For her third look, Bethany paired a plain white camisole with a linen wrap skirt for a simple yet highly feminine vibe. However, one thing to keep in mind when wearing camisoles (and other sleeveless tops) is to accessorize because camis have a tendency to look too pared down. Don’t just throw on any old necklace though. Make sure you consider the neckline of your sleeveless top. For example, Bethany’s cami had a v-neckline, so she used longer necklaces for a flattering look.
8. Don’t be afraid to go for something unexpected.
Putting on a chunky black cardigan to an overtly feminine and romantic look may seem out of the question for some, but a little experimentation won’t hurt. In fact, sometimes, it’s the unexpected details that make an outfit more interesting. Bethany’s black cardigan added a ‘90s punk vibe to her sweet OOTD—again, contrasts are key!
9. Don’t disregard bag shapes.
For minimalist outfits or those that stick to a neutral color scheme (especially monochrome outfits!), Bethany says that playing with various shapes is one strategy that will make your outfit unique. For example, she completed her wrap skirt and cardigan look with her Chloe Tess bag. Its round shape complemented the soft lines of her dainty skirt. If she wanted an edgier look, she would go for a more angular bag.
10. Repeat colors.
Another way you can up the ante of a basic outfit is by repeating colors. Bethany repeated her cardigan’s black color by choosing her black Chloe bag. This made her outfit feel more whole and well thought out. You can apply this repetition trick to any outfit of any color palette!
Watch the entire video here: