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SPARKLE magpies, colour addicts and detail fanatics avert your eyes. Simplicity is taking over the shops this season - and you don't need to be a wallflower to wear it. The minimalism trend is a refreshing antidote to all things gaudy, fussy and over-embellished.

Designers such as Celine, Chloe and Stella McCartney said farewell to frivolity on the autumn/winter catwalks and hello to simple chic.

"Minimalism is the way forward - less pretentious, pristine, pared down," explains designer Antonio Berardi. "It also feels more relaxed, less laborious, chic."

Consider it a sign of the recessionista times. During an economic downturn, showy and ostentatious fashion can feel a little indiscreet, while minimalism ticks all the right understated boxes.

Pick any micro trend this season - camel coats, leather shifts, white shirts and tapered trousers - and you'll see it gives a nod to streamlined style. What's more, effortless staples make for easy dressing. The minimalism trend is a fail-safe fashion cure for all those what to wear days -just keep lines, colours and accessories simple and wardrobe ensembles will be a breeze.

So have a day off from the detailing with the minimalist trend's easy aesthetic.

CLASSIC Minimalist pieces in luxe fabrics were made for the working wardrobe. With such clean, uncomplicated lines in play, fit matters, so invest time and money in shopping for well-cut tailoring, such as Jil Sander for Uniqlo's +J collection. Invest in a cropped leg trouser suit, structured shift dress, or collarless overcoat for an unfussy take on future classics for your wardrobe.

GRUNGE You don't have to adorn yourself with skulls, chains and gothic references to achieve a subtle rocky edge. Think supermodel Kate Moss in her slick leather separates. Mix up simple black leather pieces with more black and play with contrasting textures such as fluffy cashmere knits or silk shirts. Keep lines super-simple and accompany with mussed up bed hair and stiletto ankle boots.

FUTURISTIC If the stark colour palette of winter minimalism scares you, break the rules a little. Pale grey is your staple modern colour to work with but accent flashes of zingy brights in neon cool yellow, fuchsia or orange will lift the gloom. For a fashionforward look, work strong shapes and look for interesting details like colour contrast panels or edgy geometric shapes.

CASUAL Clean and simple doesn't have to mean uber-smart. Minimalism has an uncomplicated set of style rules and is easily translated to your relaxed weekend wardrobe. Work with separates like chino style jeans, cool shirts and oversized blazers and keep accessories to a minimum. A streamlined fit is less important for casual chic and simple looks so experiment with a looser, justborrowed-from-boyfriend, silhouette.


If there's just one piece you invest in this season to tap into the minimalist trend, make it a classic shirt. Stick to neutral shades like white, grey and navy and choose your favourite style...

OVERSIZED a loose, natural shape is flattering for most figures - play with proportions to suit your figure and, by contrast, keep your bottom half separates fitted GRANDAD king of minimalist shirts, this straight-up-and-down colourless number is perfect for those who don't like the formality of a classic shirt. Wear buttoned up to the collar for a structured look CLASSIC this traditional shirt shape says elegant city chic. Reveal your waist by tucking into your trousers/shorts/skirt and achieve a more relaxed feel by casually rolling up the sleeves WRAP ideal if you want more of a feminine, waist-cinching silhouette. The clean plunging V-neck of a wrap shirt will make your top half look slimmer and avoid any button-gaping across the bust SHEER the trend for underwear as outerwear extends to shirts. Be brave and wear over your best bra or team with a plain cami in the same colour


Topshop silk shirt, pounds 40 (left), and (right) wool tuxedo jacket, pounds 129.99, cotton shirt, pounds 39.99, and boyfriend wool trousers, pounds 59.99, all Jil Sander for Uniqlo +J collection Clockwise from bottom left: Jumper, pounds 49.50, leather skirt, pounds 99, belt, pounds 6 from M&S; boyfriend jacket, pounds 300, silk pocket blouse, pounds 105, from Filippa K; Minuet Petite oyster detail dress, pounds 120; Jaeger Boutique military jersey dress, pounds 150 Tokyo camel coat, pounds 85, and top, pounds 30, from Oasis
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 6, 2010
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