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Maximise your minimalism

Minimalism isn't a word you hear often in the world of colour analysis. We consultants love to get our clients embracing colour, and minimalist neutral style can often fall by the wayside. However, some people (and I hold my own hand up here) just aren't big wearers of All The Colour. We might go monochrome bright (a la this post), add a splash of colour to a plain outfit or we might stick entirely to neutrals, but actually the best word to describe the style and the wardrobes is minimalist.

With this season's emphasis on texture, interesting cuts and laid back 90s style, the quiet background trend for minimalism continues to blossom. The trick, for those of us who know our best palettes, is to have a minimalist style that still makes the absolute most of what we've got.

Products featured above:

Image 1: Jenna tunic in emerald turquoise, Tassel necklace in pearl white

Image 2: Bailey tunic and Jersey trousers both in charcoal, Willow scarf in Cassis, Tassel necklace in mulberry

Image 3: Swing dress in truffle, Multi tassel necklace in juniper

Image 4: Jersey trousers and Shawl collar wrap both in navy, Camisole in ice blue

As someone with fairly minimalist style, I have my own rules for making minimalism work as hard as any more full on outfit:

  1. Stick to your best colours. If you're not a Winter, don't be tempted to go for the 'obvious' minimalist options of black and white. Dove grey, charcoal, soft white, navy and dark olive are all brilliant modern minimalist colours without the harshness of true black and white.
  2. If you're going to go minimalist, it stands to reason that colour probably isn't going to play an enormous role, but don't underestimate the power of a tiny dab of an unexpected colour to elevate an outfit.
  3. Interesting cuts and fabric textures mean the difference between drab and fab - structured fabric and unusual cuts can create an architectural look that keeps this look fresh and modern.
  4. Top quality basics are essential for creating a minimalistic look, rather than just a lazy one. With limited print or fussy cuts to distract, the emphasis is on the detail - well finished seams, intense colours and well cut clothes that wash and wear well. This doesn't need to mean spending a fortune but it does mean shopping carefully and with brands that you trust and looking after your clothes.

Spring - lunch date

You might choose to go for the grey and blue end of the Spring palette, or for classic effortless chic stick to camel, tan and chocolate, with a splash of coral to lift your look - even minimalists can go for the odd splash of colour, right?

Summer - casual

Taupes and greys always make for the best minimalist Summer looks I think, but you have a great range of colour options for minimalist looks really - dark blues and burgundy, contrasted with off white, or dutch blue mixed with a touch of sky blue for warmer weather.

Autumn - work

Usually when I talk about Autumn neutrals I focus on lizard grey, petrol navy and bitter chocolate brown, but actually dark olive makes for a great top to toe minimalist shade - so dark as to almost be black, but with the warmth that Autumns need. Rather than going for the typical work combination of dark trousers, light top, try going for a completely monochrome top to toe look and just add interest with shoes or accessories.

Winter - dinner date

Yes, we spend our lives as consultants trying to persuade Winters to drop the black in favour of bold colours, but every now and again, why not make the most of being the only season that really rocks the little black dress? Go for an interesting cut and add some contrast with jewellery, shoes or bag.

Kettlewell Colours on Sep 26, 2016 3:39 PM

The trousers you asked for are Reiss Pinetta Tailored Trousers in Olive £120 from JOHN LEWIS.

Maxine Iszchak on Sep 13, 2016 8:09 PM

I had colour analysis eleven years ago but I'm still discovering the 'magic'.All the articles are invaluable - infinitely better than any fashion magazine

Jennifer on Sep 01, 2016 11:59 AM

Maybe I just don't know how the Polyvore page works but can't find the grey trousers in the Autumn work photo above. Can you tell me where they are from, please?