I’m a Minimalist, But Can’t Get Enough of These 3 Chic Affordable Brands

For better or worse, the pandemic has changed how consumers peruse and purchase goods. Gone are the days where I’d grab an iced coffee and casually pop my head into Zara on the way back to Who What Wear’s NYC office. Instead, I’ve solidified a humble routine of at-home cold brew and endless scrolling through my fellow editor’s latest finds—sometimes during a walk around the block, if weather permits. 

In addition to changing so much of our daily routines, the pandemic has also had an effect on my personal sense of style. High heels, liquid liners, and seasonal decor are gathering dust, having been replaced by a mix of cozy sweaters, subtle highlighter, and high-quality basics. While I took a hiatus from wearing jewelry for several months, I resolved to reclaim my sparkle in 2021, while also continuing my commitment to an ethos of shopping fewer, better-quality pieces whenever possible. Fortunately, I had my fellow Who What Wear editors to point me in the right direction.

When reviewing my recent purchases, I realized that I have only shopped three fashion, beauty, and jewelry brands so far in 2021. Granted, it’s only March, but still: if you’re honing your personal style and have a minimalist aesthetic, allow me to officially put Quince, Merit, and Stone and Strand on your radar. 

I’m extremely particular about fabric, and favor clothing made of cotton, linen, silk, or cashmere. With that in mind, I was delighted to discover Quince, which carries a selection of clothing, jewelry, home, and leather goods.

The epitome of everyday chic in silk.

I love the fit of this chasmere sweatshirt so much that I got it in two colors. 

Another winner in my constant pursuit for the perfect linen shirt. 

This one-piece washable silk outfit will be my go-to come spring.

Trust me: silk pajamas are truly luxurious. 

Into the scrunchie trend? This trio is tops. 

Get that spa feeling in the comfort of home with this soft, Turkish waffle robe. 

Because hole-y hoodies and professional Zoom meetings do not mix.

In the words of Parks and Rec’s Donna Meagle, treat yourself to this affordable silk pillowcase.

This leather tote is on my wish list.

Since you’re reading Who What Wear, you probably already know about our sister brand, Merit. I know Katherine Power dreamed up this clean, five-minute face brand pre-pandemic, but it was certainly made for the present era of minimalist beauty. 

I’ve never been a fan of a full-coverage foundation, and have struggled to find a concealer that was camouflaging enough without being too tacky. Enter Merit’s “The Minimalist,” the complexion-perfecting product of my dreams.

Surprise! Merit’s Flush Balm blush does exactly what the name says, and is a dream to apply. 

My lips have never been happier or felt more hydrated than when wearing this lightly-pigmented lip oil. 

No matter the state of your brows, this product is an easy way to level-up.

For a daily glow-up.

I was skeptical about a “clean” mascara, but this tube totally delivers on length and volume. Plus, it’s easy to remove with soap and water or a makeup wipe. No more raccoon eyes here!

Don’t sleep on Merit’s subtle hero product, Brush No. 1. It is literally the most perfect blending brush I have ever used. Pair it with The Minimalist to see the full effect. 

I have a love-hate relationship with jewelry. I love wearing it, but I hate worrying about taking it off or damaging it and consequently, forgetting to put it back on. Stone and Strand solves this conundrum for me by creating beautiful, high-quality pieces that are both sturdy and special enough to be worn every day. 

Add a little sparkle to everyday huggies.

A signet ring is always chic.

According to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, pearls are always appropriate.

Simple yet stunning. 

Make a statement. 

Next up on my wish list…

Everyday elegance.

Embrace the power of birthstones.

Simultaneously on-trend and totally personal. 

Go ahead, reach for the moon and stars. 

Up Next: I Stopped Wearing Jewelry During Quarantine—Here’s How I Got My Sparkle Back