Though Alessandro Michele has almost single-handedly made maximalism cool again, this decade's mid-century modern and '90s-infused obsession with minimalist design and neutral tones still reigns strong across fashion, home, beauty and even consumer technology products, giving rise to a number of e-commerce sites specializing in that aesthetic.
Below, we gathered together our favorite minimalist-leaning online retailers, in no particular order, with a little help from some of our favorite understated dressers (shout-out to Ali Pew, Lauren Sherman and Stephanie Trong).
This Richmond, Virginia-based men’s and women’s boutique got its start selling vintage Levi’s in 1996, and in 2008 launched an online storefront that offers a smartly edited, value-conscious selection of established brands like A.P.C., Common Projects and Rachel Comey; up-and-comers like Cuero&Mør, Jesse Kamm and Martiniano; as well as its own in-house label, Need. You’ll find the relaxed-cut trousers of your dreams here, plus a wide selection of sensible footwear and delicate jewelry.
Think of La Garconne as Need Supply’s older, sleeker sister: With brands like Lemaire, Sacai and The Row, price points are generally higher, but the selection is also much broader, with a greater number of more feminine pieces, like dresses and skirts, on offer than many of the retailers on this list. The site was founded in 2005 and is based in New York City.
A la Farfetch, Garmentory lets you shop hundreds of boutiques around the world, combining – and curating — their vast combined inventories to offer a consistently solid mix of independent designers, like Baserange, Martiniano and Maryam Nassir Zadeh, that emphasize simple design and craftsmanship.
This high-end fashion, beauty and homewares site, launched by well-known stylists Vanessa Traina and Morgan Wendelborn in 2013, simply exudes good taste. Here you’ll find fine-spun basics and slim tailored pieces from established fashion designers (Altuzarra, Proenza Schouler) alongside some equally talented lesser-knowns (Protagonist, Khaite), as well as gifts that will, without fail, impress whomever the recipient might be. In addition to the e-commerce site, The Line also operates two stores, both dubbed The Apartment, in New York and Los Angeles.
The San Francisco-based, online-native brand first caught the Internet (and minimalist dressers’) attention with its thick cotton tees ($15) and its commuter-friendly twill backpacks ($68) after its launch in 2010. The company has since expanded its women’s and men’s offerings, wooing the former with its slouchy pants, ($68-$115), loafers ($170) and soft leather totes ($285-$365), and appointing former Cos and Gap creative director Rebekka Bay as its head of design.
Airy, casual, free-flowing: These are the kinds of clothes you’ll find at the e-commerce branch of Kick Pleat, which also operates boutiques in Austin and Houston, Texas. In addition to staple brands like Acne Studios and Lemaire, you’ll find a healthy selection from Apiece Apart, Isa Arfen, Sofie D’Hoore and Veronique Leroy, plus sculptural bags and shoes from the likes of Clare V, Creatures of Comfort and Robert Clergerie.
You’ll discover many of the usual suspects — Ancient Greek Sandals, Theory, Vince — at this Los Angeles-based e-tailer, plus some less widely distributed labels like Brother Veilles, Ryan Roche and Suzanne Rae. White, black, navy and beige dominate the store’s palette, but the site’s buyers haven’t shied away from prints entirely.
I first stumbled across this site when trying to hunt down a sold-out Rachel Comey vest, and it’s delivered for me ever since — serving up easy pieces from designers like Dusen Dusen, Jacquemus, Shaina Mote and Whit, plus its in-house label. Did we mention the sales are really good?
Few sites on this list don’t stock Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s beautifully crafted leather shoes, and with good reason. The designer also operates her own eponymous e-commerce store and New York boutique, stocking labels like Alyx, Eckhaus Latta, J.W. Anderson and Marni and photographing them not in an all-white studio, but on the streets of lower Manhattan.
Print and color abound on Beklina’s e-commerce site — so much so, that you might wonder whether it really belongs on a list of minimalist online stores. Nevertheless, you’re bound to find many of your favorite designers — Ace & Jig, Apiece Apart, Rachel Comey, Maryam Nassir Zadeh — so it’s certainly worth a visit. Maybe you’ll even be enticed by a cheerfully printed dress or two.
Born out of Seattle, Totokaelo’s buyers have an excellent eye for tailoring — which may explain why pants are its best-selling category. The store stocks well-known, high-end labels like Comme des Garcons, Dries Van Noten, Vetements and Zero + Maria Cornejo, plus a healthy smattering of sub-$300 pieces from Black Crane and its in-house label.
Homepage photo: Totokaelo