Dressing Up A Minimal Wardrobe

Dressing Up A Minimal Wardrobe

ARV Elin Coat* / Only Child Olivia Dress* / Sterling Silver Triangle Necklace

“Dressing up” is a tricky area for a minimalist wardrobe; the sole purpose to having a curated wardrobe is to dress for the life you have not the life you want to have. If you’re not likely to attend formal events often and special occasions are a rarity, is there room in the wardrobe for exceptionally dressy attire?

Evening wear is something I’ve struggled with the most, truth be told. I like all my outfits to look well put together, thoughtful and styled, but dressing up for special events? That’s something else entirely. When I attend a particularly fancy occasion I want to feel exceptional and yet still very much me. Since my wardrobe leans heavily towards "smart" - not formal and never casual - I find I can dress up what I already own yet I never feel dressy. That’s the real issue.

When searching for evening wear, it’s important to choose pieces that are elegant and still comfortable; clothing that projects the wearers personality, remaining true to their style with an extra flair to make them feel special, and possibly adaptable enough to be re-worn on the not-so-fancy occasions.

Black dresses never fail, in my opinion. Opting for something a little different from what you would usually wear and adding a few extras - timeless jewellery, a swipe of red lipstick, a pair of smart shoes or jacket - can pull the whole outfit together without going over the top or veering outside the realms of comfort.

A couple of items I’ve recently added to my wardrobe tick all these boxes: comfortable, stylish, dressy. They’re all pieces I wouldn’t typically wear day-to-day but they’d definitely be suitable if I had to.

Dressing Up A Minimal Wardrobe

ARV Elin Coat*

Throw on a classic longline jacket and any outfit looks instantly dressed up or so I like to tell myself. The ARV Elin Coat has a modern cut with oval silhouette; dropped shoulders, slim lapels and generous pockets. This piece instantly elevates my existing wardrobe, making each piece more evening appropriate. Clothes should be expressive and ARV creates the style of pieces I love to see in my wardrobe; transitional clothing with sculpted yet relaxed fits and fluid movement.

Dressing Up A Minimal Wardrobe

JD Williams Linen Mix Dress*

This little black dress is simple yet stylish; a versatile piece I could see working for any occasion. I’m most likely to wear this with a shirt, tights, and flats but this little black dress would be ideal in warmer months as a summer dress. The lightweight cotton-linen mix means it's ideal for keeping cool on warm days and the sleeveless, slightly flared fit makes it comfortable and effortless to wear.

Dressing Up A Minimal Wardrobe

Joanna Hope Dress*

This is the most traditionally formal dress I dare to own; an elegant gown that hits just above the ankle with flattering V-neck and wrap-front to hug you in all the right places. An ideal holiday dress for the festive period. It's a classic, timeless piece I can see myself pulling from my wardrobe every time I want to feel traditionally fancy. It's far removed from my usual choice of Nordic influences with modern cuts and although it's a typically British, traditional gown it still feels distinctly me when I wear it.

Dressing Up A Minimal Wardrobe

Biba Beaded Dress*

Biba is a brand that is, on first sight, a little louder than I’d usually go for with its 1960/70s influence, bold patterns, and embroidered fabrics. Yet on closer inspection there’s a couple of pieces that work well with my style. The Biba Beaded Dress drapes beautifully and the fabric clings in the right places in the right way; with a heavy beaded v-neckline and classic 60s-style, with a pair of heels (if I dare) this is a dress to feel comfortable yet very much dressed up in.