But what exactly is quiet luxury? How can you recognize it when you see it? If traditional luxury is fancy and flashy, quiet luxury is the exact opposite – minimalist and understated. It’s connected to an old money concept: if you have wealth, it’s better to be discreet, as opposed to the new money maxim “if you’ve got it, flaunt it.”
The late Princess Diana was a good example of dressing in quiet luxury. More recently, the family of Rogan Loy in the hit series Succession not only abounded with examples of quiet luxury, but also memorably mocked an example of conspicuous consumption, a “ludicrously capacious” brand name handbag.
Discretion is the better part of fashion
The first thing you notice about quiet luxury is that you can’t really notice it easily. It doesn’t stand out – it is discreet. You rarely see a label or brand logo on a quiet luxury item. What you will see instead are good workmanship, classic tailoring, a flattering drape, and comfortable textiles.
This combination black & white combination of coat, dress and boots from Studio Nicholson neatly sums up quiet luxury with its understated fashion statement.
When looking at people who dress in quiet luxury, you will soon see fabrics like wool, tweed, satin, silk, and high-quality cotton. These textiles are treasured by people who see their true value in their comfort, durability, and tradition.
Combining a tweed jacket with a satin blouse and cotton pants makes an outfit that is stylish without being ostentatious.
The quiet luxury aesthetic contains a lot of items in neutral colors like white, black, beige and gray. These give a feeling of stability and trustworthiness. It’s not that quiet luxury is averse to colors, but when they are worn, they tend to be softer, muted tones, rather than bright and drawing attention to themselves.
A beige, jacket and a black open-collar shirt combined with white straight pants exudes luxury without being boastful.
There are certain classic items of clothing that never go out of style: things like a semi-formal jacket, a pair of slacks suitable for any occasion, a long skirt, a demure blouse with scarf detailing, and a pair off practical flat shoes. These should be part of any complete wardrobe.
A well-made black blouse with scarf detailing with a long, grey skirt and a pair of white flats – together they whisper “quiet luxury.”
Quiet luxury is a trend that will never truly disappear because there will always be people who appreciate quality and detail over brand and logos; classic colors, cloths, and cuts over aspirational striving; and who prefer to let their wealth be seen through discretion rather than showy displays.