Less is more: a mantra to live by in more ways than one. Trends come and go, but minimal well-crafted garments never go out of fashion and never lose their ability to pair with almost anything.
There’s also something to be said about minimalism as a sign of quiet sophistication. Don’t get us wrong, the odd graphic print doesn’t hurt and some people are able to nail brash patterns, bold colour and extrovert design. For most of us, however, a capsule wardrobe full of minimally designed basics is not only a stylish and bulletproof comfort zone, but a sign that you’ve grown comfortably into a mature style.
So, if you want maximum style from minimal pieces, look no further. We’ve pulled together the best minimal clothing brands for those simple, effortlessly cool pieces.
One wardrobe. Any time, anywhere. So goes the mantra at L’Estrange London, and it’s one we can get behind. Their modern approach to clothing combines a modular, seasonless collection that’s versatile and highly interchangeable with every stage of the clothing’s lifecycle designed to have less impact on the environment. Free repairs and recycling ensure a closed loop.
The brand’s Merino Wool Flannel Blazer and 24 Trouser are prime examples of this ethos: able to be dressed up or down, wonderfully comfortable to wear and made with a concerted effort to use recycled or sustainable materials. Buy once, buy better.
Minimal but still innovative, Norse Projects have become a staple of the new Scandi-inspired casualwear charge, creating timeless collections of cool basics without a brash logo in sight. Teaming up with the likes of Barbour, Adidas, Liberty London and Paraboot, the brand have a way with working with others, too.
The Norse Projects essentials range is a perfect place to start. Expect solid brushed flannel trousers, classic crew neck sweatshirts and heavyweight cotton T-shirts – pieces that will help set the foundation of your own capsule wardrobe.
ASKET is a Scandinavian brand with a simple mission: the pursuit of less. Dealing in a small collection of meaningful essentials, the label prides itself on its sourcing, design and quality with the story of each piece proudly told alongside it online. Traceable cashmere jumpers, durable flannel shirts and 100% organic cotton jeans are some of the highlights. All effortless, all made to last.
If Madrid isn’t currently on your style radar, it certainly should be, thanks to Neutrale. Channelling a bright Mediterranean aesthetic with a bold use of pastels, Neutrale is a brand pushing textile innovation, using the latest technology to improve sustainable production.
The results, like many on this list, are seasonless, keeping to a core range of gender-neutral sweats, T-shirts and hoodies. Their natural-dye tees are ideal for adding colourful bases to layered outfits and if you’re looking for comfortable, soft leisurewear that will last, your search is over.
A Day’s March
Those overshirts. We can’t get enough of them. Simple yet well-made in a variety of materials and an earthy palette that is ideal for layering. Slowly but surely other items have crept into the A Day’s March collection and they all channel the same commitment to quality and minimalist style.
If you’re looking to build a mature and robust capsule wardrobe but still want to experiment with colour, A Day’s March is a good starting point. Take your pick from relaxed wool trousers, heavy cotton tees and the aforementioned overshirts.
There’s a rebellious independence to ISTO. Not willing to be held to industry constraints and fast fashion negligence, they’ve got one collection and they do all they can to keep it permanent. Said garments are continually iterated on, making it a story of consistent improvement and something to be celebrated.
Think heavyweight utilitarian workwear crafted by artisans in Portuguese factories. Key lines include chore jackets, flannel shirts, corduroy trousers and high-quality socks.
The minimal sneaker has been a wardrobe essential for some time, despite the onslaught of chunky designer styles and ‘Grail’ drops from the big boys. One thing we’ve noticed however, is how difficult it is to find a silhouette that is truly minimal. Perforations, needless padding, ‘design touches’ here and there… just give us a classic, stripped-back tennis shoe, we say.
If you agree, check out Uniform Standard, whose line in timeless sneaker silhouettes is complemented by other wearable basics including Supima cotton T-shirts and organic cotton sweatpants.
The Danes are at it again, this time with bags. Whether we’re talking crossbody or a classic leather tote, Mismo is worth considering for truly luxurious, minimalist luggage. The company was born in 2003 after the founders observed uninspiring nylon briefcases and travel bags. Durability is at the core of the brand’s large collection, be it a wallet or carry-on luggage.
The M/S Adventurer and Something are two standout pieces, ideal as weekend bags and made from ballistic nylon. Vegetable-tanned, full-grain bridle leather trims add that premium feel.
The founders of Unrecorded knew exactly what they wanted when they set up their company. No unnecessary branding, no hidden plastics and no excessive prices. This ethos remains, with a sizeable selection of organic cotton garments and an emphasis on high-quality wool and recycled fabrics.
The brand’s unisex wool jumpers use 100% extra-fine, mulling-free Australian merino, which is spun in Italy and twisted to give a cashmere-like softness. The result is a regular fitting and very warm base layer that’s ideal for layering. Available in a range of earthy tones, they also do a nice line in cardigans in the same material.
Radical transparency and minimalist pieces is what Everlane do best. Theirs is a uniform for everyday life, aiming for the best possible construction and a range of extremely wearable options. So confident in the quality of their Uniform range, Everlane will happily replace an item, be it a T-shirt or jumper, if it doesn’t stand the test time of time. Any problems within the first 365 days, you just send it back. That’s the same for a hole in a garment, just as it is for a shrunken collar.
Not a logo in sight either, across a range that spans wardrobe basics as well as accessories and shoes.