If you’ve scrolled through social media in the past few months, you’ve likely come across minimalistic trends in both fashion and beauty (we’re still rocking the “clean girl” look, and we’re not going back). And if you’re anything like us, you’ve probably even been thinking of building your own capsule wardrobe. What better time to finally take the leap than at the start of a new year? 

From closet auditing to colour palette picking, follow our tips for giving your style the Copenhagen treatment, and you’ll be sporting a minimalist look in no time.

First And Foremost: Stay True To You, Not Trends

Authenticity is the utmost pillar of Scandi style. To emulate the look, the first thing you must do is get to know yourself and your own personal style. There’s no good reason to follow every single trend that comes out – and who has the time and money for that, anyway? Skip the unnecessary spending, and focus instead on what you know makes you look and feel your best. 

Focus On Comfort And Wearability

No one wants to spend the day fighting against an awkward neckline, an itchy sweater or a too-tight pair of trousers. Take a page from Scandi stylistas’ book: always put comfort first. They have a point, really. The reality is you’ll never look great if you look uncomfortable. It’s important to identify which styles, fabrics and items make you feel unlike yourself, or are just outright intolerable to wear – and steer clear. Instead, reach for trustworthy pieces you know will not let you down. You’ll get the most wear (and joy) out of those.

Clean Out Your Closet

Now it’s time for some serious closet auditing. Take a day to go hard on the wardrobe spring cleaning, and make sure to be completely honest with yourself. That sweater you love the look of but never wear because it itches and leaves fuzz all over the place? It needs to go. Those jeans you were hoping to fit into again once you shed a few pounds? So long, farewell. Our advice is to have separate piles, one for pieces that are still in good enough condition to donate to your local charity, one for garments that need to be permanently retired. Not only are you cleansing your wardrobe palette, you’re making space so the clothes you actually wear can be in plain sight. You’ll also recognise what pieces you’re lacking, as well as what you have more than enough of. Maybe you only have a single pair of (holey) gloves, while you own over seven pairs of black jeans. You’ll never know until you get your closet in check.

Find Your Own Colour Palette

Simple, yes, but Scandi style is not a synonym for basic. While we love a neutral palette that makes matching outfits easy, you don’t have to stick to beige and black to rock the Copenhagen or Stockholm look. If you’re more on the adventurous side, our advice is to choose your own personal colour palette. Take a look at your skin undertones and the colours that seem to dominate your wardrobe – in other words, ones that you already gravitate towards – and you’ve pretty much got it. Whether you’re partial to cool tones or vibrant neons, finding your palette will make dressing (and buying!) so much easier. Once you’ve settled on your hues, try to stick to them – don’t go buying stuff in colours you know you’ll never wear because they make you look pale, or pieces you have nothing to wear with (like a hot pink polka dot shirt when your wardrobe is various shades of brown). It takes self-restraint, but it will save you so much time, money and mental energy. 

Go For Quality Over Quantity

One place Scandinavians excel is in prioritising sustainability, and one way to honour that commitment, when it comes to fashion, is to always choose quality over quantity. Think of it this way: if you buy a pair of low-quality, cheap (but, fair enough, cute) boots, they’ll probably only last a couple of winter seasons, and you’ll be forced to keep buying more as each pair grows weary. However, if you buy one pair of high-quality boots, they will most likely last through several seasons, maybe even decades, and you won’t have to purchase more. Which is the better investment? While buying expensive items is not feasible for everyone, it’s best to keep a long-term mindset. Avoid thinking of fashion items as disposable, and focus whenever possible on saving up for the things you actually want or need – and which you know will last. 

Learn How To Take Care Of Your Clothes

Pieces that last a lifetime require a lifetime of care. If you want to keep looking sharp and wearing your beautiful items year after year, you’ll need to learn how to take proper care of them. Follow the care instructions on the label, don’t wash clothing unnecessarily often, and dry clean when indicated. Condition your leather boots ahead of every winter season. Perhaps learn to sew a button or mend small rips, and have a good tailor in your phone book for bigger fixes.

Remember: Less Is More

The Scandi philosophy is all about elegant simplicity, so bring that concept into your personal styling as well, and try not to go overboard with extravagant hairstyles or makeup looks that will clash with your outfit. Don’t go crazy with accessories, either; instead, curate your own selection of jewellery, bags, scarves and versatile add-ons that never fail you, and which you can always reach for when you’re in a hurry. Think: a pair of gold or silver hoops that go with any outfit, or a classic bracelet or wristwatch you never have to take off. This will also make your getting-ready process more intuitive and hassle-free. Effortlessly chic = Scandi style.

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