Photo by Sarah Dorweiler on Unsplash
Minimalism took the fashion world by storm late last year, with its main trends revolving around the concept that “less is more.” The trend has been back and forth since the Great Recession, when people became more obsessed with saving money and making the most out of everything. Thus, the clothing associated with this trend was characterized by solid coloring (usually neutrals), stripes, and tiny wardrobes with only the essentials. Celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston and Elizabeth Olsen also embraced the minimalist trend. The trend fueled minimalist shows such as the Netflix documentary “Minimalism,” Marie Kondo’s show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” as well as several Youtube channels featuring creators who found minimalism enticing.
Not only did minimalism take the fashion world by storm, but the trend also took interior design under its wing, as people began to search for only the essentials and move past materialism. People everywhere starting dressing modestly, thrifting, and trying to stay more eco-friendly. In many ways, minimalism reminded people that simplicity was something to embrace.
But it’s midway through 2019, and minimalism might be fading.
The minimalist trend has its own downfalls and criticisms. Minimalism isn’t typically an option for those living among low income communities. Typically, people in these circumstances don’t have the income to let things go. Many minimalists on low income have made it clear that minimalism favors a discretionary income. This is because typically, minimalists try to get rid of things that are useless to them at the time. Then, when the item becomes useful, they go out and buy the same item again. However, when there is little disposable income in someone’s budget, throwing things away just isn’t practical.
In many ways, minimalism can turn expensive and wasteful. When people first participate in the minimalist trend, they have to declutter, sometimes throwing out entire closets full of clothing. This means that in many ways, like materialism, minimalism can result in an unnecessary amount of spending. Critics of the trend say that there is no reason to throw something out that is functional. In some ways, “less is more” becomes literal. The cycle of minimalism is all about buying, decluttering, and throwing away.
Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash
That’s why a new trend has emerged onto the fashion scene to try and replace minimalism: maximalism. The maximalist trend revolves around the motto “more is more,” completely contradicting minimalism as it focuses on redundancy and excess. Its central style revolves around the excessive use of colors, patterning, and endless adornments. Like minimalism, maximalism quickly enveloped the world by storm. In some ways, the new trend matches the philosophy of nihilism—if the world was ending, why wouldn’t we style ourselves to no end?
After the quiet reflection minimalism was able to offer people, this counter-revolution brings neon colors, crazy patterns, and every person’s individualism into the spotlight. Maximalism offers people what minimalism couldn’t—a chance to embrace their true selves. It’s a true backlash against the minimalist fashion, as people try to discover who they are. While minimalism was all about blending in, maximalism is all about standing out.
Not only does maximalism offer a new chance to focus on individualism, but it also fits in perfectly with the current political climate. As people struggle to fight for equality and human rights on a day to day basis, and as the world becomes less strict, people in 2019 aren’t looking for a way to hide themselves, but for a way to fully express what they believe in. As the world becomes more accepting, people are looking to embrace the acceptance with open arms. Maximalism, not minimalism, is what’s going to let that happen.
Joanna is a high school student based in San Diego, California. She is an avid writer and reader and loves anything law or book related. She loves writing anything from poetry to novel work, and aspires to be a lawyer in the future.