Black Crane carpenter pants | mine are navy, size medium, other sizes/colors available at Totokaelo
James Perse slub button front shirt
No6 Clogs | mine are old, color is no longer available, but the style is
Alexander Wang Rockie satchel
What is minimal fashion? As usual, with minimalism, it means different things to different people. Sometimes minimalism is used to refer to an aesthetic: clean (sometimes ‘hard’) lines, few colors, simple pieces – think Celine, Jil Sander, The Row, Theory…NOT Marc Jacobs or Jeremy Scott (for examples – and these are generalizations, you can find minimal pieces anywhere). Sadly, I also think it’s most associated with gamine style: personified by the “slim, often boyish, elegant, wide-eyed young woman,” which leaves little room for other body, or less wide-eyed types…
To me, minimalism is about having fewer, more meaningful things. With regard to personal style, I generally consider it to be characterized by a simple color palette (2-3 “colors”), uniforms, simple accessories, and attention to detail. My minimal fashion aesthetic is “softer” than what you would see at Celine, for example, more in line with James Perse, Acne, Oak, Rick Owens, Everlane, and Black Crane; I don’t go in much for structure.
I’ll talk more about other “minimal” fashion brands as the weeks go on, but today: Black Crane. I discovered Black Crane via Totokaelo (pretty much my go-to for minimal fashion inspiration), and while the carpenter pants were quite a departure for me at the time (spring 2013), I became rather obsessed, and bought them when they came back in stock. In navy, no less. I think I got these before my Eileen Fisher harem pants, or any other slouchy pants, so I guess that makes these the “gateway” pant!
I fell completely in love with them, in spite of their un-conventional shape, and generally un-flattering style on me (like I care…). My only complaint, really, is that they’re basically cotton flannel, which is great for cooler weather, but we don’t get a whole lot of that here in Texas, so my wear-time is minimal (more outfits featuring the carpenter pants). And while they’ll style them at Totokaelo with oversized tops and all sorts of unconventional pairings, I tend to look best when I pair a slouchy/oversized bottom with a more fitted top, so I have to be in the “mood” to wear such a silhouette (as my default lately is fitted on the bottom and slouchy on top).
If you get a chance or have the inclination, do check out Black Crane. They’re not for everyone, definitely, but I’ve been very happy with my pants, and would love to add a dress to my collection next spring. They produce in the US, and in small runs so things sell out quickly, but I’ve found that Totokaelo tries to re-stock just as fast. People are obsessed!! (I really think the prices are reasonable too, considering the quality and demand)
Here are a few more pieces by Black Crane that I love:
Have you tried Black Crane? What did you think?
Where to find Black Crane online:
Totokaelo (best, and most consistent selection)
Need Supply co
Mohawk General Store
*there are other places that sell Black Crane, but don’t consistently have pieces in stock…