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

Drew Elovitz
·5 min read

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 High heels, liquid liners, and seasonal décor are gathering dust, having been replaced by a mix of cozy sweaters, subtle highlighter, and high-quality basics.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.

Quince

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.

Quince Washable Stretch Silk Notch Collar Blouse ($60)

The epitome of everyday chic in silk.

Quince Cashmere Sweatshirt ($60)

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

Quince 100% Organic Linen Long Sleeve Shirt ($35)

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

Quince Washable Stretch Silk Tee Dress ($60)

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

Quince Washable Silk Pajamas ($120)

Trust me—silk pajamas are truly luxurious.

Quince Washable Silk Scrunchies ($20)

Into the scrunchie trend? This trio is tops.

Quince Organic Turkish Waffle Robe ($50)

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

Quince Organic French Terry Hoodie ($35)

Because holey hoodies and professional Zoom meetings do not mix.

Quince Mulberry Silk Pillowcase ($40)

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

Quince Tall Italian Leather Tote Bag ($119)

This leather tote is on my wish list.

Merit

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.

Merit Beauty The Minimalist ($38)

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.

Merit Beauty Flush Balm ($28)

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

Merit Beauty Shade Slick ($24)

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

Merit Beauty Brow 1980 ($24)

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

Merit Beauty Day Glow ($30)

For a daily glow-up.

Merit Beauty Clean Lash ($26)

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!

Merit Beauty Brush No.1 ($30)

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.

Stone and Strand

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.

Stone and Strand Second Hole Pavè Diamond Huggie Hoop Earring ($175)

Add a little sparkle to everyday huggies.

Stone and Strand Alphabet Mini Pinky Gold Ring ($150)

A signet ring is always chic.

Stone and Strand Elliptical Pearl Huggies ($125)

According to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, pearls are always appropriate.

Stone and Strand Double Stacked Diamond Stud Earrings ($235)

Simple yet stunning.

Stone and Strand Pearl Initial Pendant Necklace ($230)

Make a statement.

Stone and Strand 10-Karat Gold Sapphire Necklace ($245)

Next up on my wish list.

Stone and Strand Sparkle Gold Necklace ($125)

Everyday elegance.

Stone and Strand Birthstone Gold Multi-Stone Earring ($135)

Embrace the power of birthstones.

Stone and Strand Initial Gold Bracelet ($165)

Simultaneously on-trend and totally personal.

Stone and Strand Moon and Star 14-Karat Gold Diamond Necklace ($295)

Go ahead, reach for the moon and stars.

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

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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