The only clothes you'll ever need to create the perfect wardrobe

The thing to know about the new minimalism is it's not about being boring. And there's never been just one way to do it.

Think of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs who practiced an austere minimalism with his wardrobe of black Yohjii Yamamoto turtlenecks. Technically your colleague in the office who wears a version of the same grey knit pullover and chinos every day is a minimalist, too.

Classic with a twist

But more interesting is the new minimalism. It has a focus on clean lines and elegant function. It elevates the wardrobe workhorse pieces, those which are designed not just to last but to age gracefully, too. 

At the spring/summer menswear shows in July this year this aesthetic could be seen in a return to elegant tailoring but with a twist. Such as the deconstructed suits at Comme des Garçons and Kim Jones' double breasted jackets at Dior Men. 

The new minimalism was evident in the interesting details at the shows this year too, something crucial for the modern minimalist, such as the oversized Oxford shirts at Prada and Virgil Abloh's continued affinity for pockets at Louis Vuitton.

Rule-free

For Christophe Copin, head of menswear design at COS, the Swedish go-to brand for minimalists with its focus on fuss-free silhouettes, crisp shirting and elevated basics, mastering minimalism isn't about setting dictates.

"I don't like to set rules in fashion. I think the most important thing is that the wearer feels comfortable in themselves. Staple pieces for me are a good fitting jean and a merino crew neck jumper in a classic navy blue or black," he says 

That said, Copin is a big believer in investing in choosing useful, thoughtful and well-designed pieces.

"We didn't set out to create minimalist clothing, our approach from the beginning was just to ensure that every design element in each garment has a purpose," he says.

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"Through this process, our aesthetic has naturally developed a timeless and pared-back style. We know our customer is like-minded to us, they are interested in art and design and really value function. They are looking for versatile and well-constructed pieces that fit seamlessly into their lifestyle."

When paring back your style Copin suggests focusing on the cut and silhouette of each piece you add to your wardrobe and keeping the design and colour palette understated. He believes it's the structure that keeps pieces "striking."

He also suggests playing around with sizing as he believes that can "completely transform the final silhouette and look."

Get into the details

Olie Arnold, Style Director at MR PORTER also believes it's all in the details when it comes to getting the new minimalism right.

"The cut, garment quality and mix of colours are essential to a minimalist outfit. Using colour blocking or even just small details such as socks, scarves or shoes to use as the highlight will allow you to up your minimalist game and not appear boring," he says.

Mr Arnold, who lists former Dior and Calvin Klein designer Raf Simons as the minimalist gent's style pin-up, suggests looking to brands like Officine Generale, SÉFR, AMI, A.P.C and Mr Porter's in-house brand Mr P for minimalist but interesting pieces.

Pared-back sophistication

Keeping things simple but not plain is the philosophy behind local label bassike.

Co-founder Mary-Lou Ryan says minimalism for bassike is staying true to the brand's DNA of pared-back sophistication and easy to wear fabrics, that you can keep on wearing forever. 

"bassike has always been focused on simplicity, quality and design, as we established the brand with a vision to create luxurious and wearable everyday pieces. We try to keep our pieces timeless with clean lines and minimal finishes, with bassike signature details such as raw hems, twisted side seams and lo slung long rise pant," she says.