I was fortunate enough to grow up with a mother who let me dress, a privilege I know not all children have. Already a young maximalist at heart, having the green light to give free rein to my imagination made dressing a party. I became addicted to the liberating feeling of stepping away from the sartorial status quo, even going so far as to incorporate Halloween costumes into everyday clothing. (There was a period in sophomore when my Party City spiked combat boots became part of my daily uniform). Rain or shine, spring or fall, I would wear my maximalist outfits and revel in the sense of peace that came with the chaos of my personal style.
Fast forward to the present, and my aesthetic hasn’t wavered once. I still have a soft spot for unexpected color clashes and a dramatic style moment makes my heart sing. I continue to gravitate towards clothes that jump over your head with their personality, my ultimate favorite being when items are one a little ugly. (Take, for example, the vintage rattan bag adorned with showy beaded butterflies that my friend gave me because it “was so [me] it hurts. ”It is now one of my most precious possessions.)
So you can imagine when minimalism – the aesthetic that has reigned in fashion for decades – was usurped by its antithesis for the summer of 2021, I was overjoyed. Prints began to resemble the contents of fruit bowls, and unnecessary but so fun accessories like ornamental belts and micro-mini bags became staples. Connoisseurs of street style have removed their traditional all-black attire and transformed the sidewalks of New York into pictorial canvases of vibrant yellows and neon pinks.
I was grateful to bask in the unconventional fashion heat prevalent over the past few months. But now, as summer makes its inevitable departure, I can’t help but fear that it will take maximalism with it. Will people pull back their newfound penchant for portable dramas once the leaves change and temperatures drop? Was the maximalist trend of summer just that: a fleeting fashion that took hold due to the carefree vibe that comes with warm weather, but won’t last through the colder months? Well, I’ve waited far too long for over-fashion to become the norm, and I intend to continue the maximalist summer momentum in any way I can.
Coming up, here’s how I plan to continue the historic eccentric spirit of summer 2021 throughout the coming season.
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Bold cowboy boots
My love for the western inspired shoe blossomed once I found it the perfect pair, which I have since dubbed, The Boots. Our cute encounter was straightforward; Two years ago I was browsing Depop when a pair of silver square-toed cowboy boots appeared in my feed. My heart took a step in two. Reinvigorated by the spirit of what I can best describe as a space cowgirl with nothing to lose, I grabbed my debit card and hit “buy” without thinking twice. . Call it whatever you like – fate, luck, or Depop’s finely tuned algorithm – but I firmly believe the boots were put on my feed for a reason, and now they are one of the most valuable items in my wardrobe. This fall, I plan to pair them with silky dresses and pinstripe pants and walk around town with Kacey Musgraves blasting my AirPods.
Knits that make you smile
Knitting is, of course, a fall staple. But when done in an exciting print or a cheeky color, it can be reminiscent of summer optimism. Above I salute you wearing a House of Sunny cardigan that makes me smile every time I look at it hanging in my closet.
Holiday the Label’s new knitwear collection, which essentially serves as a placebo for the sun and sandy beaches, is also a source to turn to for sweaters that will make you smile. I reached out to Emma Mulholland, the favorite girl-fashion founder known for her trendy prints, to get her perspective. Her biggest tip for channeling the summer spirit regardless of what the calendar says? Go for bright colors and graphics. “Colors and prints can evoke a lot of nostalgia that I like to have throughout my collections. If I’m having a bad day, I always like to wear something bright and happy. Mulholland shares my hope that maximalism persists and, fortunately, does not foresee a future where it will fade away. “I don’t think the maximalist trend will go anywhere for a while,” she assures me. “I think people have been pretty bored and uninspired over the past couple of years, so now they want to dress with a little more joy and excitement.”
I was wearing blue and white marbled print tights one day to school in grade eight and my science teacher yelled at me in the hallway, “Oh, are those tights? I thought you had tattoos all over your legs! Haha! For a teenage girl with social anxiety, it was a catastrophic thing to say within earshot of my entire class. Despite this slightly traumatic incident, statement tights have remained one of my favorite methods of zhuzhing a cold look. Pair it with a miniskirt and on-trend shoe for a punchy look, or, if you’re feeling extra daring, transform your tights into slacks by pairing them with a top in an oversized silhouette (like I did below- above with my magenta Wolford pair). If you’re like me in the sense that your perfect Thursday night is drinking a gin and tonic and flirting with Ashley Williams’ tight selection, try a pair from the kitsch London designer.
An unconventional clash of colors
Fashion influencer and maximalist guru Chloë Felopulos has a more abstract definition of the extravagant aesthetic that I love so much. “Maximalism means finding peace in chaos, satisfaction in excess and a home in a space off the beaten track,” she tells me. In my opinion, no look better reflects the concept of Felopulos than an outfit that uses a color combination traditionally considered a no-no. Red and pink, black and brown – too many hues have been said to not go together and I find that unfair. It’s time to abolish the fashion font in your head and unleash the potential for color contrast in your wardrobe. Plus, shirking any sort of tradition seems essential to the maximalist vibe, so pairing unconventional colors is an easy way to tap into a bit of playful anarchy. Get the look by layering a vibrant fishnet top under another item, or snag something that makes a shock to you – like Staud’s half pink, half red knit dress.
A unique blouse
For me, there is nothing more in a hurry than grabbing a unique item and realizing that you are the only person in the world who has it in your collection. And overall, I’m drawn to idiosyncratic blouses that are either thrifty or made to order. I mostly blame this desire to be an individualist on my Leo sun. Yet over the years, I have found that finding unique clothes is an insightful exercise in connecting with my personal style, which in my book I always find to be a rewarding and useful experience. Above, I paired my recycled tie-dyed bridal blouse from For Good Luck with a pair of magenta biker shorts. This outfit is perfectly in keeping with my style, and it also makes me laugh because I’m definitely not going to a spin class dressed like this.