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What Is Quiet Luxury? All About Fashion’s Current Wave of Understated Elegance

No "ludicrously capacious" bags here.

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

In the world of fashion, where ostentation often rules the runway, a growing undercurrent craves the opposite. Envision a soft, cashmere sweater in muted tones or a bag so meticulously crafted that its seams are almost invisible. This isn't about the splashy logos or the tell-tale signs of opulence; it's the understated elegance that speaks volumes. Enter the realm of “quiet luxury."

We've all witnessed it, whether knowingly or not. That unassuming individual who walks into a room, not draped in the expected glitz and glam, but wrapped in a cloak of refined taste. Quiet luxury transcends fleeting trends—it's an essence. Brands such as The Row, Khaite, Loro Piana, Brunello Cuccinelli, Totême, and Phoebe Philo for Celine epitomizes this sentiment.

The staples are eternal: classic loafers, timeless trench coats, impeccably tailored trousers, and crisp, logo-free tees. The color palette exudes calm—soft beiges, light creams, rich blacks, and pristine whites. And when it comes to materials, only the finest—like cashmere, silk, and Vicuña wool—make the cut. The focus isn't on brand flaunting but on the story and craftsmanship behind each piece. Such choices effortlessly convey the elusive "old money" aura, making a presence without making noise.

“Quiet luxury is a new term, but this emphasis on timelessness and minimalism is an integral part of French women’s lifestyle," says expert Sophie Hersan. "We love effortless elegance.”



Meet Our Expert

Sophie Hersan is the Fashion Director and co-founder of Vestiaire Collective.



So, why does the stealth wealth obsession feel so new and current? Pop culture has certainly played a role. Consider HBO’s hit series, Succession. Fans were entranced by the Roy Family's embodiment of "old money style." A particularly memorable scene saw Tom ridicule the "ludicrously capacious" Burberry bag carried by Greg’s date. Another stealth wealth moment was Gwyneth Paltrow's highly publicized court appearances which were characterized by The Row's elegant knitwear, minimalist accessories, and chic combat boots. 

Social media, too, amplifies this narrative. The hashtag #QuietLuxury has garnered over 298.1 million views on TikTok. Gen Z style icon, Sofia Richie Grainge, has undoubtedly fueled this craze. Her wedding epitomized elegance, and her everyday style exudes timeless sophistication. TikTok is rife with tutorials on how to achieve her look or how to embrace the “old money aesthetic.”

Related: Sofia Richie Grainge's Very Best "Quiet Luxury" Street Style Looks

While pop culture and social media might be driving the quiet luxury movement, its roots lie deeper in societal shifts. Look back at the 2008 recession, which heralded the end of the ostentatious Y2K era and ushered in the minimalist aesthetic. Economic challenges often see the fashion world lean toward timeless, functional pieces. The recent economic climate has trend forecasters dubbing this “recession core.”

As global consciousness around sustainability and the pitfalls of fast fashion grows, quiet luxury finds even more resonance. “But more than just an aesthetic, quiet luxury is also about having thoughtful shopping habits, focusing on those timeless investment pieces that will hold and sometimes even increase in value,” says Hersan. Let’s champion lasting value over fleeting fashion, and promote investment pieces that can be cherished for years to come.

Now that we’re all familiar with the background of quiet luxury let’s break down how to get the look. Below are five items that are a must-have in any timeless wardrobe. 

Rich Knits

<p>Instagram/@SofiaRichieGrainge</p>

Instagram/@SofiaRichieGrainge

A quiet luxe look is all about the rich knits. Take a page out of Sofia Richie Grainge’s book and invest in some chic sweaters.

Related: The 19 Best Sweaters for an Extra Cozy Year

A Logo Free Bag

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

“IYKYK” has become the slogan for quiet luxury. Nothing embodies this more than an ultra-luxe, logo-free bag. Sure, it might have cost an arm and a leg, but without a logo broadcasting that fact, only those in the know will recognize its value. In other words, “IYKYK.”

A Sleek Shoe

<p>Instagram/@clairerose</p>

Instagram/@clairerose

A sleek shoe is the perfect polish to an all-black ensemble.

Put It All Together

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

Thanks to her new stylist Jamie Mizrahi, Jennifer Lawrence is totally rocking the quiet luxury vibe lately. This look is a masterclass in why you need high-quality basics in your wardrobe. Her trench, combined with the chic trousers, cozy knit, simple tee, and sleek flats is the epitome of chic. Each piece is a win on its own and can be worn alone. But together? Absolute perfection.

A Quality Coat

<p>Getty images</p>

Getty images

This tonal look is ultra chic. The creamy coat elevates the all-white ensemble.

Related: 16 All-White Party Outfits You Can Wear Year-Round

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