Jennifer Garner Is the Blueprint for Strategic Minimalism

Sometimes, less really is more.

Jennifer Garner in a gray miniskirt and gray turtleneck
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Are you familiar with the fashion tactic called strategic minimalism? It's quite simple, really: the concept revolves around intentionally calling on nondescript pieces and letting their simplicity sing. A beautiful button-down shirt, crisp cigarette trousers, or a pair of hard-working loafers—these basics are, yes, basic, but when given the chance to shine on their own, pack quite the sartorial punch. For a real-life example, look to Jennifer Garner in a gray mini skirt and coordinating tonal turtleneck. Her fall outfit was neutral both in look and design, and its lack of flash is precisely why it was so successful.

Garner, who was seen leaving a taping for The View in New York City on Monday, called on a form-fitting rib-knit turtleneck sweater in a light pewter shade and paired it with a dark heathered gray A-line mini skirt. (In addition to strategic minimalism, we can add tonal dressing to Garner's fashion resume!) She wore sheer black tights from Calzedonia underneath her flirty mini and, for shoes, chose a pair of black pumps with gold chain-link detailing. Her jewelry was minimal (only a pair of little chunky gold hoops were visible), but her ruby red nails (the undeniable color trend of the year!) added a playful pop in contrast to her all-gray ensemble.

Jennifer Garner in a gray miniskirt and gray turtleneck.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Again, Garner's look is quite simple, but that's the beauty of strategic minimalism: a no-nonsense outfit that doesn't factor in too many trends works because it calls on just the classics. After all, the classics are classics for a reason!

Kaia Gerber's recent off-duty outfit was another recent example of the pared-down fashion practice in action: Gerber wore a basic trench coat with black separates and the forever-in-style Adidas Sambas sneakers. Her look was sleek, uncomplicated, and a quintessential example of Gerber's signature effortlessness. So, too, was Sophie Turner in a recent outfit that exemplified 'Work Smarter, Not Harder' styling at its finest: blue jeans, a black sweater, a gorgeous top coat, and chain-link loafers. The actress' ensemble didn't reinvent the wheel by any means, but it was put together—and Turner's combination will remain chic for decades. And, not to slight any TikTok cores floating around in the ether, but you can't always say that those micro fads and aesthetics will stand the test of time.

As Garner and her fellow minimalists prove, sometimes less really is more. Try your hand at the strategically low-key look by calling on neutral color palettes—khakis, grays, and creams—and celebrating the pieces that are the building blocks of your capsule wardrobe. Or if you want a cheat code to mastering strategic minimalism, try copying Garner in a gray miniskirt and coordinating turtleneck sweater—like the ones included below.

Shop Jennifer Garner's Minimal Outfit

Emma Childs
Fashion Features Editor

Emma is the fashion features editor at Marie Claire, where she writes deep-dive trend reports, zeitgeisty fashion featurettes on what style tastemakers are wearing, long-form profiles on emerging designers and the names to know, and human interest vignette-style round-ups. Previously, she was Marie Claire's style editor, where she wrote shopping e-commerce guides and seasonal trend reports, assisted with the market for fashion photo shoots, and assigned and edited fashion celebrity news.

Emma also wrote for The Zoe Report, Editorialist, Elite Daily, Bustle, and Mission Magazine. She studied Fashion Studies and New Media at Fordham University Lincoln Center and launched her own magazine, Childs Play Magazine, in 2015 as a creative pastime. When she's not waxing poetic about niche fashion topics, you'll find her stalking eBay for designer vintage, reading literary fiction on her Kindle, and baking banana bread in her tiny NYC kitchen.