One Outfit That'll Make You Want to Go Minimalist This Winter

Feb 12, 2015


As girls that concern themselves with style, it can be a little hard to dress simply when surrounded by so much sartorial goodness. You flip through magazine pages and see fresh faced waifs wearing dresses that look like meadows made out of beads and silk, and suddenly spending all of rent money on that one flirty mini in Barney's window makes perfect sense. Or you pass by store displays and see jackets on top of patterned cardigans on top of sequined blouses on top of sheer dresses, and suddenly the jean and boot outfit you have going on looks a tad lazy, doesn't it? It makes you want to aim your closet a look that could wither a man at ten paces.

It's hard to see at all that playfulness and not want to join in. But for a lot of us- while that's a fun look to dabble in- it might not necessarily be our prevailing style. And we feel bad about it.

But what if simple lines are just as pretty as intricate, map-included outfits? What if, to look equally as eye-catching, you just have to zero in on a few key requirements when playing with a minimalist look? I say, it could be done.


Today I joined teams with Lone Pony Vintage to explore just those requirements. Kristan, the curator, has a knack for finding clean,simple pieces that have the ability to still say a story through their designs. For the longest time I've had a hard time accepting the "less is more" idea, so when she asked me how I'd style a no-fuss navy dress, I drew a blank for an embarrassing length of time. I mean, an embarrassing length of time. Half of my closet ended up on my bedroom floor before I decided I was going about it all wrong. You see, what makes a clean, minimal outfit pretty isn't so much the colors or the pieces you pair it with, but the details of the pieces you pair it with.

Specifically, it has to be sharp and hella tailored. 


After I realized that it was like a switch was flipped on, and now I could not only wear simple-lined dresses, but could also see the mathematical truths of the universe. It's why American Apparel looks so good even though it's so ridiculously plain. Why Calvin Klein practically inhales and exhales elegance, even though it's just all clean lines and neutral colors. It's all about the shapes and the cuts. How straight the shoulder looks, how sharp the collar is, how precise the lines of the dress are, and how strong the creases.

Now knowing this, to dress up this simple navy piece I focused on just those details. I paired a sheer, sharp-collared blouse underneath the boatneck neckline of the dress, and then popped on a peacoat vest as the outer layer, really bringing the outfit together with its strong lapel and smart lines. For the details I chose my classic leather booties, and a sassy beret to give me a playful vintage touch. 

In less than three moves, I had myself a classic, timeless look that was as far away from boring as those busy mannequins in the store windows. But with far less things to hang up once the day was done. 


PS: Want more inspiration on how to style vintage dresses? Why don't you read:



  1. I just love reading your posts! They're so convincing, I want to grab myself a minimalist outfit such as this one right away!

  2. I love this. The neutral colors, the blouse, the lengths... perfection!

  3. LOVE this post! Minimalism is totally my thang when it comes to fashion, haha. You capture the look so perfectly.

    Circus & Bloom

  4. That long vest is what dreams are made of. o_O O_o Perfect color. I can only think of edgy things to do with something like that, so it's nice to see how it can be worn more elegantly. I love it!

    - Anna

  5. I honestly just love everything you wear! This is so chic and wonderful; I especially like your jaunty little beret. :)

  6. I love that you wear vintage. So adorable. I try to keep a super simple wardrobe in the winter. Layers and fleece tights. (;

  7. I love this outfit too!!! It is perfect in every way
    Melanie @

  8. Isn't it crazy how appealing minimalism is? I'm with you Marlen, I always preferred going overboard to plain, but I've come to the same epiphany as you have! It's all in the tailoring and details of a piece of clothing that makes it incredibly chic and fashionable. No matter how plain it could be, if it fits you right and has crisp details, it's a timeless piece.
    Love how your style has been growing! This look really exemplifies that. You styled this dress beautifully! If I passed you on the street I'd be doing a double take and thinking to myself "Now there's a woman who knows fashion." ;)
    Haha, love it!

    The Dragonfruit Diaries

  9. I love this particular color combination. The rich brown of that vest looks beautiful with the navy dress.

  10. That brown and deep blue are such a gorgeous color combo!

  11. that dress + that shirt is my favourite. i feel like if i did a similar thing it'd just make me look like myself as a five-year-old going to sunday school.. not sure if that'd be a bad thing or not, though! and the colours of your outfit are amazing and so complementary in a simple and classic way! xx

  12. Such an amazing coat! I feel like it is the kind of piece that would really make any outfit stand out :)
    I love it,
    - C
    Claudine Converses

  13. I love how you ended up styling the dress! The lines + cuts of this outfit really do make it interesting, despite being basic pieces on their own. Also, the peacoat vest is fantastic, such a great piece!

  14. You're a genius you know that? I feel exactly as you described, especially after flipping through some magazine and blog I like, I always feel not dressed enough! :D But you are right on the simplicity and elegance in the timeless and the classic, I have to keep this in mind as well!
    I love the gorgeous ensemble you pulled together here, it speaks class!

  15. I love this outfit, I definitely like the minimalist look but I am very lazy when it comes to clothes and tend to wear jeans and a shirt / t-shirt every day but you've inspired me to make an effort tomorrow!

    I really like the blouse under the dress, it looks so nice and looks perfect for cold weather when you need sleeves.


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