As the world becomes dizzyingly fast-paced and loud, with every week bringing a new microtrend or “core” from TikTok, we are ready to sober up and switch to season-less, quality garments, which is at the core of the so-called “quiet luxury” style.
“Quiet luxury” as the style was coined, is characterized by understated elegance and timeless pieces that exude sophistication without being flashy or ostentatious.
At its crux, quiet luxury fashion is about investing in pieces that will last a lifetime and will never go out of style. This means choosing high-quality materials, impeccable craftsmanship, and classic silhouettes that can be worn year after year, letting the quality and design of the clothing speak for itself.
We have designers like Alessandro Michele at Gucci and Demna at Balenciaga to thank for the era of in-your-face luxury, with flashy designs and logomania running rampant on the streets and on our feeds.
As we know, fashion is cyclical and ever-changing so big-name brands have been making the shift - we have Gucci returning to a more minimalistic look (possibly in homage to their time under Tom Ford) and newcomer Matthieu Blazy taking over Bottega Veneta and Maximilian Davis debuting for Ferragamo.
All these gradual changes might be due to a number of external or internal factors, reflecting our needs as consumers to shop better and less or in the case of heritage brands the need to return to their origins.
On the other hand, labels like The Row, Khaite, Jil Sander and Max Mara have been synonymous with this style before it was a trend and have had decades of practice to perfect it. And if you are still mourning the perfectly crafted soft luxury styles of Old Celine, you only have to wait a few more months for the launch of Phoebe Philo’s new eponymous brand.
Now that we’re caught up on how quiet luxury became such a big trend, we can get down to brass tacks – how does one actually wear and embody quiet luxury?
In order to achieve this effortlessly chic and timeless wardrobe, it's best to stick to a monochromatic palette filled with blacks, whites, grays and beiges – this is anything but boring when done right. For the springtime you might want to venture into some reliable pastel shades like pink or blue for a pop of color. You only need to take a quick look at our Monochrome Magic article if you want to go all out in any of the mentioned shades.
Photos: The Vintage Bar, dinahansen
The choice of materials is what really makes or breaks a soft luxury look, so we’ve created a short list of foolproof options for you!
Rich, natural materials such as merino wool and cashmere should be part of your winter wardrobe, they’re not just for keeping you warm but also look incredible no matter how many layers you stack on.
For the warmer months look for organic fibers such as cotton and linen but only if you’re ready to commit and keep the look ironed to perfection, otherwise you might undermine the whole “billionaire chic” vibe.
Luxe textiles such as silk and satin are a classic choice all year round and especially for evening looks, a simple slip dress in opulent looking silk is a date night winner every time.
Let’s say you’re interested in incorporating this trend into your everyday look and are looking for some staple pieces, we’ve got you!
Some of the key pieces in a quiet luxury wardrobe might include a power blazer, a timeless button-down, a beautifully tailored coat or a pair of perfectly fitting trousers. These items are versatile, timeless, and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
When it comes to evergreen staples, the power of a white button-down should never be underestimated. They were the most prominent on the fall/winter 2023 runway at Prada, in the brand’s signature preppy take, neatly paired with black mini skirts.
We suggest that you wear this powerful classic with a midi-skirt or tucked into tailored trousers but really, the styling options are truly endless.
Power blazers have also sneaked their way back into our hearts this season, but if the 80s shoulder pad is not your style, no worries, a relaxed oversized suit will work just as well.
As we transition from winter to spring, it's time to ditch the heavy layers and dig out the trench coats. A sharp black coat cuts a striking figure while a warm-toned camel perfectly encapsulates the soft in “soft luxury”.
Black Leather Celine Handbag
Beige Leather Celine Wallet
Beige Suede Celine Shoulder Bag
Black Wool Saint Laurent Dress
Finally, we couldn’t check off this list without mentioning BAGS!
Who could forget the iconic quiet luxury bag that started it all, or as it was pointed out in Sex and the City: “it’s not a bag, it's a Birkin!”
Logo free and pure sophistication in its elegant lines, the Birkin is the obvious choice for completing the stealth wealth look.Instantly recognizable and coveted by collectors, it says everything without any obvious logos and we just so happen to have a style guide on this iconic piece you can check out here.
We already mentioned the golden age of Celine under Phoebe Philo, which is when another classic choice was crafted, the Triomphe bag, much smaller in size but no less effortlessly elegant. For a celebrity-approved it-bag you can go for any of The Row’s models, whether it's one of their minimalist shoulder bags or perhaps Hailey Bieber’s favorite “Iris” tote, the Olsen twins have created a fan club everyone is dying to be a part of.
One of the most infamous celebrity court cases of all time and definitely 2023 was the ski-slope accident lawsuit in which Gwyneth Paltrow gave the judge, jury and cameras a masterclass in quiet luxury dressing. She graced the courtrooms in pieces from Loro Piana, Prada and even her own label, subtly letting everyone know she’s got more important places to be.
Kendall Jenner is a member of the Kardashian-Jenner clan that has, in stark contrast to her sisters, adopted a more subdued approach to fashion, at least when it comes to her impeccable street style. In her own words she is “really drawn to a slightly minimalist, effortless style with a touch of French cool girl” and we couldn't have said it better ourselves.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s Instagram is another endless source of inspiration when it comes to nailing the billionaire chic look and we could spend hours scrolling through it.
A lot of discussion around this trend has been tied to the hit show Succession, the family drama series centering around a dysfunctional family of billionaires who are so exuberantly wealthy that they simply don't need the monogram prints or obvious branding to set them apart. “If you know, you know” is the Roy family motto, and as Logan Roy’s only daughter, Shiv Roy has given us plenty of inspiration with her soft turtlenecks and flawless tailoring.
However you choose to incorporate this trend into your wardrobe, one take-away is crucial: investing in designs that exist outside the microtrend cycles and are made from quality materials is a much smarter choice for both you and the planet.