Ilaria's Picks

Style Mood: ’90s Minimalism

Menswear is in an interesting place, to put it politely. Perusing department stores and mens boutiques these days is telling of a post-pandemic world of sweatpants (yes—still), over-the-top antics, and furry slip-ons masquerading as real life shoes. Good ole sensitive tailoring is low on the list for retailers these days, unless you’re shopping in the Italian wing (Cucinelli, Zegna, Kiton, Armani) brimming with classic, traditional craftsmanship, albeit unatainable for many. 

Some of us find ourselves leaning away from more decorative dressing to the more neutral palettes, clean lines, and paired-back mood of the masters of ‘90s minimalism: Jil Sander—with her protestant roots and German-influenced stoic precision; the Austrian Helmut Lang with his streamlined, systematic uniform of sorts; the punk romance of Yohji Yamamoto’s avant-garde, Japanese-inspired masterpieces; and Prada’s modern designs which still feel borderline futuristic even today. 

The beauty of a streamlined wardrobe is its fool proof interchangeability—it’s easy to nail when it all goes together. Its tonal, monochromatic palette makes for a flattering, elongating, undisrupted silhouette. And of course, it’s forever elegant. These days, you may have dig a little harder than the late nineties, but there are plenty of brands delivering on this aesthetic—from the high end (still Dior, Prada, and Luke Meyer’s Jil Sander) to the affordable and supremely wearable (COS, Mango, Buck Mason, Reiss), and what we personally choose to dub the new modernism (Lemaire, Margaret Howell, Stoffa). Below, we give you some of our favorites. 

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