Say Goodbye To Less-Is-More Fashion Trends With Maximalist Outfits

For over a decade, minimalism and monochromatic outfits were the trendy style to pursue, which meant that outfits we'd see on the street were predominantly in neutral hues, made up of a minimal number of clothing items, and well ... frankly, they were boring.

"I think for a while, the pendulum swung so far away from maximalism that even brands known for their expressive prints and color had simpler colors in their collections — they had more tonal looks and neutrals than in the past," designer Colin LoCascio told The Zoe Report.

With the start of the 2020s, fashion trends seem to have slowly changed their direction. "The Y2K resurgence certainly unearthed a new love and nostalgia for wild prints and heavy saturation," LoCascio said, adding that there's "a huge pull toward designers that [are] re-articulating maximalism and kitsch in a super bright way like [the fashion of] the late '90s and early '00s."

This year, maximalism is what it's all about — but for many of us who rocked muted tones and matching sets for years, that might sound super scary. If you have no idea where to start with your journey toward more maximalist-inspired outfits, we've got you!

Forget about rules in maximalism

The first thing you should know about maximalism in fashion is that there are no rules. Forget what you've been taught about mixing colors, patterns, and textures — maximalism allows you to explore creating outfits with pieces you think would look great together. Combining red, pink, orange, green, and yellow? Sign us up!

Be brave

Maximalism isn't for the fearful ones. Rocking an outfit that is unique and will catch people's eyes means you will be the center of attention, which definitely takes courage. But if wearing a floral skirt with a checkered west, striped top, and yellow hat appeals to you — who are you to deny yourself the pleasures of fashion?

Mix and match patterns

Most of us have been taught to avoid mixing bold patterns when creating an outfit — but maximalism tells that rule to go step on a Lego. If you're exploring mixing patterns for the first time, we advise that you only start with two and, if possible, keep them in the same color scheme. Once that starts feeling too boring, feel free to venture out and explore mixing, rocking contrasting color schemes, and even mixing in a third pattern!

Accessorize (a lot) for maximalism

The easiest way to take a regular outfit to a maximalist one is to go heavy on the accessories. So if you're someone who usually doesn't rock many accessories simultaneously, that needs to be changed. A bag and shoes are obviously a must, but try to also add a statement belt, a fun hat, and your favorite pair of sunglasses. Your whole outfit will immediately look more interesting!

Stay within the same color palette

Maximalism in fashion doesn't necessarily have to be super campy and colorful. As with any fashion style, there are different ways to explore it, and those who want to give this trend a chance without feeling too overwhelmed should create an outfit around a color scheme.

What this means is that you can mix patterns and textures, just make sure that they fall into the color scheme you chose — like the white-yellow-mustard-brown-black color scheme the person in this photo is rocking!

Rock the rainbow

However, if rocking the same color scheme is too boring for you, go all out with rainbow colors. Seriously, the world is already too gray — there's no need for your clothing to be. Besides, if those funky patterned pants make you happy anytime you look at them, put them on so that they can make you happy all day long!

Wear multiple statement pieces at the same time

One way to approach maximalism fashion is to wear a couple of statement pieces at the same time. Yes, yes, we know — they say you should only wear one statement piece at a time, but as we said, maximalism is a rule-breaker.

Statement jeans? Check! Statement top? Check! Statement jacket? Check! Statement bag? Check! And if you still feel like that isn't enough, put on a pair of statement earrings!

Layers are key in maximalism

Maximalism isn't a fan of wearing just one or two clothing items and calling it an outfit. Maximalism is in love with layering. Of course, this isn't always possible, but if it is — that's the route you should take.

And while most people think of sweaters and jackets when layering, try thinking about layering outside of the box. This means rocking long-sleeved tops or T-shirts under tank tops or strappy dresses or even wearing pants under skirts (yes, the aughts are calling, and they want their fashion back).

If you like it, wear it (it's that simple)

You know how we said there are no rules when it comes to maximalist fashion? Well, we lied. There is one rule, and it's a very important one. You need to wear what you like. Forget about what you've been taught to wear or what others expect you to wear — if you like that funky and unique combo, put it on and own it!

Age doesn't define your style

We often feel that maximalism is a trend for the youth and something that only Gen Zers can pull off. But maximalism has been there for as long as fashion has, so it isn't really a new trend — just a recycled one. Chances are, your parent or grandparent rocked maximalism at a point, and they should totally be allowed to rock it again (if they want).

This brings us to the point — maximalism (and fashion in general) doesn't have an age limit, so do not let yourself feel constrained by the number of times you've traveled around the sun!

And neither does gender

Since we're on the topic of age, we might as well mention gender in the context of maximalism. Most of us tend to imagine this trend as something women would explore, but the truth is that rocking a lot of vibrant and eye-catching clothing pieces and accessories does not have a gender. Binary, nonbinary, any gender — you can rock maximalism regardless!

Go thrifting for maximalist looks

Because maximalism requires more clothing items and accessories, people think they can't afford this style. However, maximalism also has that hint of vintage to it — which is why thrifting is its best friend.

Hit up your local secondhand stores or even explore your parents' and grandparents' closets! You might think that old people's fashion is out of date, but it's actually well known that fashion trends come back approximately every 20 years. This means that those low-rise bell bottoms you've been eyeing at the store could easily be found in that stash of old clothes your mom keeps in a box in her basement.

Mix different animal prints

Rocking animal prints is an easy way to make your outfit busier. However, to achieve the maximalist look, you can definitely explore combining items of different animal prints in an outfit together.

If you don't know where to start, pick two animal print items — one can be on a larger scale (like this coat), and the other should be smaller (like these boots).

Layer your jewelry

The easiest way to make an outfit more maximalist is to layer the jewelry. After all, it's the accessories that always round off an outfit, and with maximalism, there's no such thing as too many necklaces, bracelets, or earrings. Those who are just dabbling in this style can make sure that the jewelry is in the same color, but again — for maximalism, matching is not required!

Let your inner child shine through

You know that colorful, bold, and fun person you imagined you'd grow up to be? Well, maximalism is all about embracing what you liked as a child — especially when it comes to colors, patterns, and weird and funky accessories.

Many of us have started dressing up as grown-ups at some point in our youth, and with that, our childhood style has died. Maximalism allows us to take a trip down memory lane and honor what 6-year-old us would have loved in an outfit!

If anyone looks at you strangely — ignore them

Listen, maximalist fashion is going to put you in the spotlight, whether you like it or not. However, that shouldn't stop you from exploring it. People will always look and judge, but remember that says more about them than it does about you. Besides, chances are they are just jealous that you are brave enough to explore fashion in a way they would never dare.

Maximalist outfits are perfect for winter

Because layering and rocking multiple clothing items at the same time is crucial for maximalism, the style tends to shine better in the colder months. Of course, this doesn't mean that you can't rock a maximalist outfit in the summer — just make sure to pick clothing items made from thinner materials and focus on accessorizing with jewelry instead of layering clothing.

Explore jewelry that is eye-catching

We already mentioned the importance of jewelry for creating a maximalist outfit, but those who want to go even a step further should focus on combining multiple pieces of statement jewelry — and bonus points if each piece is incredibly unique. Not everyone knows how to wear Crocs earrings, but those who love campy maximalist styles will know exactly what to combine them with!

Maximalism is more fun!

By now, it's probably clear that maximalist fashion only has one rule — if you're debating whether to add that additional piece of clothing or accessory to an outfit, the answer is always yes. With maximalism, more is more, regardless of whether that means more patterns, more colors, or more layers!