Totême Is the Minimalist Brand Where I Buy All My Wardrobe Essentials

I’ve believed in the idea of an “investment piece” since I got my first paycheck. I would save up a month’s worth of babysitting money to buy that one top I had my eye on, that I absolutely needed and “couldn’t live without.” It doesn’t matter that I probably ended up wearing it only twice—it was satisfying to me to work toward buying something for myself, especially as someone who’s always loved fashion. Even now, as an adult, I still tend to spend in this way: I won’t shop frequently, but I will put away money with the purpose of blowing it all on one thing that feels special. It helps that, as an editor, I’m constantly learning about new brands and, over the years, have been able to identify the handful of silhouettes that are essential to me (and can feel good spending a little bit more on). It’s taken me years, but I’ve finally found a label that checks off every single one of my requirements: The designs have to be minimal and refined, that I can wear multiple times a week without getting tired of them, that are versatile enough to withstand the lifestyle of someone with a full-time fashion job and two kids.

Reader, let me tell you, Totême has changed the game for me.

This Swedish brand is a few years old (it was founded in 2014), but it’s only recently taken over the “essentials” section of my closet. What really set it apart for me, in a market that’s saturated with brands making basics, is its easy Scandinavian minimalism. Totême is the brainchild of blogger Elin Kling and husband Karl Lindman, who are both from Sweden. And you can tell how their background informs their design, from the limited, muted color palette to the tight product edit.

Magnus Andersen/Courtesy of Toteme.

The first thing I bought from Totême was a pair of black trousers. And ever since I first wore them out, people have been stopping to ask me where I got them from and where I got them tailored. That’s how well they fit. (And for the record: They didn’t need a tailor.) To be able to purchase a piece of clothing that actually fits as intended, without the intervention of a third party, is what sold me on the brand. That doesn’t usually happen for me: Usually the waist will be too loose and the pant too long, so I’ll have to have it tightened and hemmed. Not the case here.

Totême doesn’t design according to trends, so its pieces don’t go out with every passing season. Instead, your purchase is meant to live on in your closet. (As such, the pricing is not quite luxury, but not disposable: Pieces start at just under $100 and cap out at just under $1,000.) That doesn’t mean they’re not special, though: There are plenty of details, like a front slit on a pant or asymmetrical buttons on a blouse, that make them stand out from all your regular black bottoms and white button-downs. Whenever I wear something from this brand, I immediately get that feeling of Wow, this looks effortless—which, to be honest, is the ultimate and hardest-to-achieve fashion goal.

Magnus Andersen/Courtesy of Toteme.

As of this post, I own around 25 pieces from Totême. (Yes, I love the brand that much.) I’ve worn them to the office, to dinner, to my kid’s school, and on vacation. Now I’m sharing my best-kept wardrobe secret so you too can stock up on these new essentials. Find some of my favorites, below.

Published at Tue, 05 Mar 2019 20:30:00 +0000