What is minimalist fashion? ǀ Which brands are actually minimalistic? ǀ Justine Leconte

What is minimalist fashion? ǀ Which brands are actually minimalistic? ǀ Justine Leconte


Hi everyone, it’s Justine. What is minimalist fashion? “Minimalist” is one of the most over-used
words in the fashion industry. It can mean pretty much anything… So today, I’d like to discuss what I think
it means, what I think it doesn’t mean, where it comes from, and which brands and
designers are actually minimalist brands, in my opinion. Minimalist fashion, what is that? When people say “This outfit is minimalistic”
or “minimalist”, often they’re looking at the first things one sees in an outfit:
the overall shape, the colors, and the lines. For instance, this would typically be called
a minimalist outfit. It is monochromatic. It seems simple. You see straight lines. It looks really clean and tidy. And that is partly true. It’s a good start for a definition. But this outfit is also monochromatic, simple,
and it has straight lines. Yet you would probably call it “casual”
rather than “minimalistic”, am I right? So what’s the difference between those 2? For me, tailoring is the difference: constructing
a garment that has interesting proportions, that falls right, and that seems simple is
in fact extremely difficult, and it’s a matter of tailoring skills. Tailoring is the difference between a casual
garment, and a classy garment. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have
to be wearing a jacket, a suit jacket, with shoulders and everything, but it means that
the clothes that you are wearing fit well, and the cut is on point. For me, a look is minimalistic when it’s
looking like it’s simple, when it’s clean, free of additions and embellishments, and
when it’s well-tailored. What minimalist fashion is not… Minimalism doesn’t mean that the construction
of the garment is in itself basic. In fact, it just looks simple, but it might
be very complicated after all. And making something complicated seem simple
is an art. Minimalism does not mean “less fabric is
more”, or that what you wear has to be super thin, sheer or transparent. It also doesn’t say that the outfit can’t
be quite structured. It can have a heavy structure on the inside,
to help it keep its shape. Minimalism also doesn’t mean that you can’t
have textured or patterned fabrics. Cause why not? Of course you can. Minimalism does not mean monochromatic, that
you’re wearing all black-and-white or that you’re wearing only neutrals. In fact, the cut and the silhouette in my
opinion, are much more important than the color choices. When you look at the Céline runway, the garments
look simple but the tailoring is in fact impeccable. The fit is perfect. The quality of the execution is visible everywhere. You see that she made clear choices in terms
of proportions. It’s overall cohesive, and yet individually
very varied, if that makes sense. Where minimalism comes from: quality over
quantity… Minimalist fashion, for me, is in fact an
aesthetic. It’s a mindset that became bigger with the
financial crisis at the beginning of this century. With decreasing purchasing power, people started
to think a lot more about what they wore. Is it worth my money? Does it fit me right? Can I combine that with all the pieces I already
own? And if you are starting to get picky, to prioritize
quality over quantity, and to reuse what you have in your closet, you get very close to
what you might know as the concept of a capsule wardrobe. But I don’t think that having a minimalist
fashion aesthetic always means that you have to own less and less clothes. I think a capsule wardrobe is rather a consequence
of that mindset, or a tool to help you get there, and a very useful tool. I’ve done several videos, this year and
last year, on how to build a capsule wardrobe. I will link them here in the corner and down
below for you. Which brands and designers are minimalists? You saw a photo of the Céline runway already,
a few minutes ago. Phoebe Philo, the designer, now ex-designer,
of the house is the queen of impeccable, luxurious fashion that seems so simple and intuitive
and organic, but is in fact so very high-end. The look on the left is from Spring/Summer
2010. Then Fall/Winter 2011. And then Spring/Summer 2015. Especially the one in the middle impresses
me. It’s technically just a
top and a bottom, no bling-bling, plain colors. And yet the cut and the proportions are so
innovative and special, if you look closer. It’s a unique look. The next label that comes to my mind is Jil
Sander, which shows at Milan Fashion Week in Italy. As you see in these examples, everything that
is not necessary to the design has been taken out. And yet nothing is missing. The cuts are clean, elegant, definitely not
casual. Do you agree? Jil Sander is not as famous as let’s say,
Calvin Klein, but I really like the aesthetic of the house. Now looking on the American side, the most
minimalistic brand, currently, would probably be Theory. They are the champions of shirting. If you need a high-end, white, crisp shirt
that’s well-tailored, it’s a great brand to look into. VOGUE calls pieces like this “unshowy clothes”. They are not loud, but they are extremely
well cut, in high quality fabrics that look and feel luxurious. And here again, you see that they are not
only black & white. The clothes are easy to combine, comfortable,
and special… which is everything I want. And when I design, I always try to create
things that are combinable, comfortable and special. In the end, minimalist clothing is well-made,
smart, and of good quality, without all the fuss. And I think those points are all absolutely
essential to get “good design”. What do you think makes “good design”? Which characteristics are you looking for
when you are shopping for clothes? Thumbs up if this video made you think for
a minute. Thank you very much. And if you’re in the market for a new shirt,
by the way, here is a video, and also in the description below, on how a shirt should fit
when it fits right. You might find it useful. And I’ll see you very soon again in a new
video. Bye!

100 thoughts on “What is minimalist fashion? ǀ Which brands are actually minimalistic? ǀ Justine Leconte

  1. As you say, minimalist can mean a lot of things. I call my style minimalist because I have, for example, the same cardigan in several similar colours (black, blue, dark grey, light grey, beige and mustard). Others call my style classic or boring hehehe… I like the look of the minimalist fashion you show, one day, when I’m brave enough, I might try something like that.

  2. Great video. I love how you did your minimalist make-up too. The thicker eyebrows on you (as shown on this video) make you look younger and more beautiful.

  3. I so enjoyed this video. I love, love, love clean lines in clothing! No bling. I believe the women should be the bling and the clothing should accent her beauty. Thank you!

  4. I really like your description of minimalism in fashion. Minimalism is a word that is overused in many categories, I think. And I LOVE your hairstyle in this video! It complements your face shape very well.

  5. What do you think of "Rational fashion" that says clothing should be functional (like the fact women's clothing is not because we don't have pockets or they are small compared to men's ones in our pants, dresses or skirts or even an inner pocket in our coat)? I looked for pockets' history in fashion and it is surprisingly quite sexist.

  6. HI Justine! Would you say COS fits the minimalist style? I really like their designs and I hope you don't tell me they are fast fashion!!! Thanks 🙂

  7. This was extremely interesting, thank for this video !
    I used to think that nice (=nice cut, fabric, and quality)"basics", especially things like a simple top, should be readily available in all stores. Oh how wrong I was…your channel has made me realise what I value in my clothing and I've been slowly transitionning from my teenage-y wardrobe with video game T-shirts to something much more crisp and elegant (I'm still going to keep my silly T-Shirts though, they're quite dear to me) that would also last, thank you 🙂

    Would you define your style as minimalist ?

  8. Justine, I would love to hear you talk more about socks. I know that sounds rather ridiculous, but I feel like socks can make or break and outfit! Love your informative, interesting videos. Best x

  9. Your videos are like the best kind of minimalism– they look effortless and simple, but I know you put lots of effort into them behind the scenes.

  10. Hi, what brand do you think do good quality white t-shirt? I love to own one classic piece that will last me a long time. Thanks

  11. I have just discovered and subscribed to your channel and I am loving it. So much cool and interesting information… Big thumb up 👍❤️ A part of my family is French so it is even better that you are too. 🤗

  12. My mindset changes every time I watch one of your videos. They're helping me change my life for the better and think more about my choices by paying attention to what is normally overlooked. Thank you Justine 🙂 ❤️

  13. Good clothing should be in the right size proportion and in a good basic color so that I can wear it for a long time.

  14. I love the lines and fabrics of minimalist clothing but I hate that all minimalist designers seem to very much overload the midsection. As someone with a small waist, it seems that not many designers are willing to make sexy yet minimalist clothing. Curvy fashion is blinged up, and the fashion you showed is for rail thin bodies. Don’t get me wrong, I think it looks amazing on skinny women. I just think it’s interesting how few options there are for other women. Minimalist in this case seems to mean “heavy draping, layers, bulk”. I’d love to see minimalism with boning, waist accentuation, and more sensual fabrics like silk.

  15. I love the Vogue look, especially the color choices. I look for a good silhouette and smart details. For me I love a large pocket and loose, comfortable fit. For my daughter very fitted is nice to show off her mode-shaped body. I love the Vogue patterns for design but their instructions are worthless so it becomes very challenging. Too, the pattern designer uses fabrics that are fabulous but unable to locate for us home sewists 🙁

  16. An item I'm buying must be comfortable and fit well (which is almost the same to me), it must flatter my body shape, my colours. I love different clothes, I love looking different, love fashion, but I'm not, well, almost scientific about clothes like some people, I mostly go by feel although I know some guidelines, they help.

    When I choose an item, I think how it makes me look. Does it make me shapeless, or maybe hides my waist in an unflattering way? That is, does it make me uglier or more beautiful. But what's no less important, I search for impressions. Do I feel like I look smarter in this garment, or do I look scatterbrained and shallow? One look may say "she's very immodest", and another says "she's too uptight". An item may make me think I don't look like what I am or what I want to represent. What you wear gives others (and yourself too) an impression difficult to ignore, so while I don't think I should feel restricted in my choices, I have to consider the message of my look when choosing what to wear.

  17. Could you do a video or series on different big designers/fashion houses and what their history is, what they’re known for, what you like about them, etc?

  18. If you're Canadian, I invite you to visit Tavan & Mitto (Montreal) for impeccable minimalist shirts http://www.tavanmitto.com/

  19. For those looking for an interesting channel for men, this one is high end but has great basic info if you look around – Sartorial Talks by the Parisian Gentleman Hugo Jacomet and his wife Sonya Glyn:
    https://parisiangentleman.co.uk/
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLtBi4hEKdTQGhCgpKzmF0g/featured

  20. Hi Justine, Would you please share your thoughts on sewing? Learning to sew is a skill we could all use. There are so many easy tops people could make themselves as well as simple clothing repairs and home decor … it would be wonderful to revive this skill.

  21. hiii Justin can you plsssss plssss make a video on how to design Paulo Sebastian Cortour Dresses this year summer collection plssss pllsssss

  22. I was wondering what you think of COS ? Are they minimalist or just surfing on the minimalist wave ? Not all of their pieces are so wearable. Also I sometimes think that you need to be very style literate, and actually also very thin, to look good in COS clothes

  23. As a fashion designer I agree with you. Easy to wear and combine with pieces that you already have but with great fit and interesting detailing that stands out from other garments in the same category. I love minimalistic fashion although it's not my personal style.

  24. Quality of fabric is paramount. I shop with my hands as much as my eyes. Even superior cut will not save inferior fabric choices over time. Ideally you would have both, but in such competitive and fast fashion dominated markets (trendy, cheap,and disposable), if the fabric is quality it usually indicates that there aren't less obvious corners cut elsewhere. To me beautiful fabric begets minimalism-when you have this element, little else is required. I agree that minimalism is a state of mind, it says, "only the best and nothing more."

  25. Thank you so much, Justine!) Your videos are a clear fresh source for my imagination and inspiration. I finally understood how I want to create my clothes and all the things around me… and I know how it's called)) I also will try to use this approach to my lifestyle, choices and relationships.. Let's see where it'll bring me.))
    I also want to say that you are adorable, I love you accent and the way hoe you build and express your thoughts! I agree completely with your ethics and views, and you helped me to see them more clear, also on how the fashion should be accepted and used. I wish I could share someday something that could be interesting and useful for you and your subscribers too. Thank you again and wish you all the goodness! Olga

  26. Hi Justine,
    I really enjoy your videos and tune into your channel as often as I can, as I am always learning something new. Currently I live in Canada and miss Europe quite a bit so I always feel at home somehow when watching your videos. I am considering taking some part-time Fashion Design courses whilst I’m here, I am so inspired. Thanks for all your hard work 🙂

  27. Hi Justine! I enjoy watching your videos. They’re so informative. Have you considered doing a segment on Parisian men style? I would be really interested!!

  28. Hey Justin, Namaste from India!
    Just stumbled upon your channel few days back and I’m glued since then. Have watched your videos in a loop in past 4 days and feel I know you already. I love the honesty and simplicity in everything you’ve put together. I share your core values of fashion and lifestyles. So happy to have found you!

  29. Hi Justine why does your neck look so white compared to your other areas? I don't mean to mean but just an observation. Thanks

  30. I just watched your video on how to dress when you've gained weight or your body has changed. I was wondering if you could do a video on how to dress for different chest sizes. I'm currently short in height but large in the chest (I'm beyond Victoria's Secret). I've had issues with how tops look on me for a very long time. I am now looking into breast reduction surgery. All of my current tops and dresses will look different. I may have to get new stuff as well. It's been over 20 years since I was as small as I will hopefully become again. Some guidance on how to dress for different chest sizes would be great. Maybe with a little bit of torso length in relation to chest size would also help. Thank you so much for your help with fashion and our bodies!

  31. Greetings from Greece! I have subscribed at your Channel and liked this video. I would appreciate your presence.

  32. Awww..I missed you Justine, thankyou! I've been busy so I have a bit of catching up to do. I've got a good pot of tea and some time. I really enjoy your wisdom and classic common sense when it comes to fashion. Your lovely! ❤

  33. You're just so interesting and your voice is soooo soothing. I watch your videos before sleeping for this reason. Thank you.

  34. I like simple, classic and clean clothes, no blings and ruffles for me, now i know its minimalist fashion.

  35. Justine, I would love a vocabulary for details on shirts. I.e i have no idea sometimes how to search for what i really want. Recently, I went on a website to purchase a shirt i saw in the store but couldn’t remember who made it. So, I searched for white button down with eyelet buttons… all sorts of variations on the them of trying to describe the ornate structure of the buttons on the shirt itself. Clearly, I still have no idea how to describe some of the more detailed choices designers make. You’ve done some video with runway discussion that touch on this but perhaps a formal ‘shirt vocabulary’ might be a video? 🙂 thanks as always for your awesome videos!

  36. I love how professional you look and how accurate are your advices♡♡♡♡♡♡
    Btw, I'm wondering what kind of clothes can I use because I have a rectangle shape and I don't have waist, also I'm a little bit far and that's worse for me 🙁

  37. Ah so happy to see Justine's braid is just as thick as mine. But her hair is apparently longer. No problems I will have long hair in no time 🙂

  38. can I ask you something. where can I get fashion online course??? have you ever made fashion school topic on your channel?

  39. Enjoyed your video as usual.BTW, Chinese people avoid black frames because usually those are used for people who have passed away.

  40. I love wearing black, white and neutrals. I also wear colors sometimes but it depends on the tone of the color and the stucture and tailoring of the clothing item. I just love well-cut and clean lines.

  41. This was great! Can you do more videos about different fashion designers? I want to learn more but don't know what names to even look up to begin with!

  42. You want to 2 secrets of fashion bloggers. #1. They get all their pieces tailor or they tailor their pieces theirselves. #2. Majority of fashion bloggers are Small or Xtra Small so they can find clothes better and more affordable than rest of us. Sale or discount items mostly will have small and small sizes. Oh yeah most the fashion bloggers have a boyish shape, proportionate torso and average height so they have a better chance of not having size, fit, rise, or length of tops and many garments issues like many of us.

  43. Finally I found a description of what I was searching since ever, it’s a style I learned from my mother. It’s simply common sense to me, just with a fancy name. I always found the fashion clothes weird, to me clothes should be exactly how you described them in this video. Too bad that common sense is not affordable for everyone unfortunately.

  44. My go to look is usually in the shade range of red. Mustard yellow is becoming a new favourite though. I like flared pants and short skirts and cute crop tops. I'm super short so having high waisted pants are a must.

  45. Calvin Klein is the most famous minimalist designer, then Franciso Costa for CK, but now Raf Simmons has taken over CK, and WTF is he doing ? Is RS's take still minimalism ?

  46. Thank you, Justine–your video is quite informative. Also, now, from what I have learned, I will be better equipped to identify the clothes in my own wardrobe, many of which minimalist, not either plain or boring (as I once imagined). I will now go out confidently with a better understanding of my own taste and style, especially as I add new pieces but also with a little humor to correct my sister when teases me for my clothing choices!

  47. Love the subject, great video!
    Can you make more videos about this?
    Maybe a little history, or something else you want to show about it?

  48. Because of your insight I now know what to "see" in fashion with what will return me years of wear versus what will be dated. Meaning, we all where trends because it is the silhouette of the time/decade but HOW it is embellished or decorated and/or designed in the finish of the item is what lends it to a fad of the moment. If it a classic design finish it may or could stand the test of time. Thank you for such unique knowledge or insight

  49. Thank you so much for your videos… always very useful information….. Does definition of minimalism also include not accessorizing with jewelry? Sorry if it's a silly question…. 🙂

  50. I look for quality in clothes and for items I could still wear in 5 to 10 years… with a couple of items that would perhaps be more of whats fashion at the moment… yet, the quality has to be worth the money.

  51. When i saw your videos a year ago i thought i can never do this and have a minimalist or capsule wardrobe. I was too obsessed with fast fashion and would always shop for an entire outfit at fast fashion stores. The qualities were not the best and i was running out of closet space with things I didnt always wear. I was also feeling guilty for encouraging the spending on brands that most likely did not have the best labour practices. I also realized i ended up spending more on a bunch of lower quality items than on one or two good quality and timeless pieces. I am watching your video again after a year and have improved my wardrobe to incorporate your tips. It is a bigger relief now to have chosen quality over quantity. Thankyou for all your videos 😀

  52. Hi Justine! Could you do a video that comments Everlane Cuts, and some others like Balzac, Sézanne, etc.? Like the one you did with Uniqlo. Thanks 🙂

  53. for me, when I go shopping for clothes, the most important things are: it has to be beautiful/esthetically pleasant in some way, comfortable, a bit different from everybody else… & not fall out of fashion too fast

  54. I really liked the video but I disagree with one thing. A minimalist can't get dress on tailored pieces the whole time right? If you are a minimalist and you like its aesthetic I am pretty sure you do look for ways to incorporate it into your casual outfits (the one you wear to go grocery shopping or grab a coffee from say starbucks). Casual style can take so many different forms, Minimalism casual though, in my opinion, is very specific.

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