Minimalist for the Money

Black is the epitome of a fashion go-to, because it’s season-less, easy to dress up or down, looks good on every body type at any age. It’s subtly, simply impeccable. There’s been a lot of buzz lately about “quiet luxury” or “stealth wealth” dressing (à la “Succession”), but it really just boils down to a classic, minimal head-to-toe look in neutral colors. And pssst…you don’t have to buy super expensive designer brands to achieve it.

When it comes to wearing black, it’s all about how the lack of color can camouflage any body “flaws” you feel you have, as well as bring attention to your face. Colors evoke emotions, good and bad. Black won’t do that.

Black offers the quickest solution to that age old question of “what should I wear today?” It can be paired with literally any other color. It camouflages stains. And black exudes confidence. In other words, it’s the star of speed styling.

This look literally came together in seconds. Cargo pants are making a comeback, and you can’t go wrong with a classic cotton tee. Think trend meets timeless. Paired together in black, they become the power couple of your spring/summer wardrobe, as well as offering almost unlimited versatility when worn separately with other pieces.

When it came to my accessories, while I could have kept the monochromatic palette going, I wanted to step out just a bit. Leopard print has been worn a multitude of ways by a multitude of women for decades and counting. And for some of the top fashion influencers, leopard is now a neutral. I’d agree. Hence my knotted headband that’s a nod to a much more expensive version and slip-on-and-go platform espadrilles. The inspiration for my woven tote was Jane Birkin, one of French cinema’s fashion icons, and her ever-present basket bag at Cannes — before Hermès named a mega expensive leather one after her.

This season, when it comes to wardrobe basics and beyond, getting back to black is a solid bet.

Tee: My current faves are Everlane, Banana Republic (worn here), and Uniqlo.

Cargo Pants (Uniqlo, under $50, I sized up for a looser fit.) Also like these (on sale) and these.

Bag: (H&M, mini version still available) Splurge version here.

Espadrilles: (H&M, true to size, also in white.)

Headband (old): Love this (under $20!) and this.

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Photography by Kristin Moore-Gantz @artdirectthis. Street art by @rhdoaz.

6 thoughts on “Minimalist for the Money

  1. After our 30-plus year friendship you surely know black is my go-to color! It’s a basic that never disappoints, going from the highest fashion down to the omnipresent athleisure. I change it up with a sculptural vibe and years of collecting the best of the best–from the clean lines of Calvin Klein to stunning Thierry Mugler.
    This is my Minimalist for the Money since I’ve owned quite a few of these pieces for decades!
    But if you meet me at the grocery store on a random Tuesday, you’ll see me in my real uniform: a tailored Brooks Brothers white button-down, black leggings with black patent leather loafers and a matching bag. It’s just what works for me! I’ll leave the color to you, my friend 🌈

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