Minimalism is Boring: 3 Maximalist Approaches to Spring Dressing

It has taken me a long time to verbalize what I truly am: a maximalist. I mean this in every sense of the word. When it comes to dressing, I will always choose to add another layer or bracelet. My idea of a beautiful photo involves a stuffed trashcan toppled over in the middle of a busy intersection, and emotionally speaking, I reject steadiness, objectivity and lukewarmness with the conviction of a piranha seeking prey.

I don’t know why it has taken me so long to realize this, but I’m just going to say it: I hate minimalism. Overcrowding gives me comfort. Dizzying portraits, both physical and not, collapsed over one another, make me feel understood. I will take blistered feet if it means that my shoes are equal parts quizzical and ridiculous.

This tendency towards maximalism should not be confused with an embrace of the gimmicky, or a plea to collect more. I am not a fan of anything too “on the nose” — hyper-literal prints, or T-shirts that leave no room to the imagination. And I still yearn for peace of mind, for that mental quiet everyone is always referring to. I am impressionable and willing to make a case for whatever lifestyle trend is wont to burgeon (see: feng shui, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the interiors at Celine boutiques, a simple pair of no-frill jeans!). So where does this leave me? Can I have both — the noise and the quiet; the jeans and the neons? Here are three outfits born out of the totems of a minimalist wardrobe — a solid dress, jeans and a T-shirt, and a button-down and Spanx — that suggest yes.

Outfit 1 Before: A plain white dress

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Khaite dress, Dior flats

Outfit 1 After: A top and pants

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If before I looked like a nice woman with good intentions who showers regularly and tends not to speak out of line, post-styling, I feel more like myself with loud necklaces (they jingle) and a pair of Croakies over feckless sunglasses and orange pants under a dress that make it a top. The kind of outfit that has no place anywhere and therefore works everywhere.

Rosie Assoulin pants, Carolina Bucci necklaces, Lucy Folk Croakies and Krewe sunglasses

Outfit 2 Before: Jeans and a T-shirt

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And my nipples! Monogram T-shirt, Vetements jeans, Dior flats

Outfit 2 After: Broadway boardroom meets pole dancing class held in a field in Calistoga at a retreat for former fashion editors

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Fran Drescher pink is poised to eclipse millennial pink, but more on that later.

Natasha Zinko blazer, yellow brooch from Amazon ($13), blue brooch by Gucci ($450) <– Remarkable, no?, Orseund bustier, Miu Miu sandals  

Outfit 3 Before: A simple button-down shirt and Spanx

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Granted you might not wear this without pants or a skirt or a dress over the Spanx, but I challenge that with this: Why?

J.Crew button-down, Spanx shorts, Chanel sandals

Outfit 3 After: Stephanie Tanner meets Loulou de la Falaise, buys some bangles from Iris Apfel’s One Kings Lane edit and almost calls it a day before realizing her socks don’t have toes.

Maximalist Man Repeller 2

Boyy bagAurélie Bidermann necklace, Lizzie Fortunado earrings, Rosie Assoulin x Morgenthal Frederics sunglasses, Versace headscarf via TheRealReal, bangles and bracelets by Kate Spade and Aurélie Bidermann 

And with this, I rest my case and probably go to yoga.

Photos by Edith Young.

Leandra M. Cohen

Leandra M. Cohen is the founder of Man Repeller.

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