Minimalism is the new zen of the modern world, but how does one fully transition into it? The answer lies in your personal style.
Mary Gonsalves Kinney is a name synonymous with Silicon Valley corporate fashion. She bases her private styling services out of San Francisco but takes on other high-profile clients, from celebrities to influential political figures.
It might come as a surprise, but Kinney herself was a political lobbyist fresh out of college who left the world of politics behind to seek a creative outlet. She is still an active member of her community and uses her financial and social media influence to support causes she believes in.
Between her home and four kids in Sacramento, her social work, and her frequent trips to Los Angeles/New York to meet designers or clients, MGK conquers it all.
Her effortlessness in her personal life bleeds into her work ethic and creates looks for others that resonate with their style. She picks up pieces from different designers, brands, and stores while focusing on the outfit’s purpose.
Kinney makes sure she gives smaller businesses, especially those owned by people of color, the recognition they deserve. Her styling services are often required for special red carpet events, galas, and dinners, so she knows how to create a look flattering to the person on camera.
MGK is a personality who has wholly endorsed minimalism and preaches it to all her clients, friends, and Instagram followers. Inspired by her life, career, and successes, here are some tips on how you can practice the art that MGK has embraced and many are looking to adopt: appearing classy with minimum effort, learnt from the chic queen herself.
Look to the French
No one does minimalism like the French, and their street style is an epitome of the movement. The idea is to work an entire outfit around one statement piece.
The other elements of your look should only complement or highlight the critical item and not overshine them. For example, if you are wearing an embellished dress, go easy on the shoes, jewelry, and accessories.
Minimalist fashion always looks casual and can be put together without much effort, and it is how the person carries themselves that makes them look chic. So maintain your disheveled look with style but do not go overboard and border on sloppy by going out in your pajamas.
Work on Layers
A great outfit has several layers planned strategically to carry off the look. Many people do not take the hairstyle or accessories into account when dressing up when they are also significant components of your sartorial facade.
A messy bun or quick up-do can make you look cool without trying too hard. The accessories are sunglasses for outdoor events, wristwatches, bags, belts, and scarfs, all of which can pull together several different pieces and create a balanced outfit. Use them to your advantage and add a flair to a plain dress or top with a printed scarf or speckled belt.
Quality not Quantity
The core of minimalism is getting rid of all the clutter and creating more open spaces, whether in your interior décor, website design, or closet. Invest in quality items that are a staple to every summer or winter wardrobe, and then mix them up to create new looks.
You do not need a rack full of designer items to pull off a minimalist look every time. This idea also helps you stay within budget and not run out of storage space either. Mix and match jewelry pieces, jackets, and tops in as many combinations possible for an original ensemble without buying anything new.
Kinney is a jet-setter herself, but she has a few minimalist rules she lives by that makes packing a stress-free experience. According to her, you can never go wrong with black, which is why her traveling outfits are mostly monochromatic.
She throws in a few sweaters, jackets, and shrugs, which she can throw together to create multiple looks. The transitional pieces can help you pack everything in a small carry-on and be set for an entire week. You only need two pairs of shoes for vacation, i.e., one flat for the daytime and heels for an evening dinner or night out.
Minimalism can be fun because you get to unleash your creativity and play with the few items you have in your closet. You can experiment with your existing clothing items in different ways to make them look brand new every time.
Matching is a trend of the past, and you do not need to buy complementary items with every new purchase. A minimal outfit is all about being quirky and unusual, and that is how trendsetters operate.
Do not worry about looking completely put-together because as long as you have the attitude, you can make any malfunction work.
What does MGK envision future fashion trends to be?
The fashion industry is used to the fast-changing trends and effervescent style moments, so every decision is made within seconds. As a private stylist, Kinney works with many types of clients, and some of them like to emulate fashion show style in their looks while others want to make a unique statement.
Kinney thinks smaller businesses will find success in niche clientele and looks forward to discovering new designers and brands. She sports both big names and smaller lesser-known labels as long as they encapsulate her inner spirit.
That is the advice MGK practices and would like to leave her readers with: No matter what you wear, stay true to yourself and don’t fret over what’s in “vogue”, for the only trend that’s bound to work is your own distinct individuality.