Quiet luxury, also known as “old money style,” has always held a certain allure. In a world obsessed with flashy trends like Y2K fashion, this timeless and subtly luxurious aesthetic has found its way back into the spotlight. But what’s the reason behind its resurgence? Is it because of social media, logo fatigue, economic anxiety, or our fascination with the “f.u.-money” of the Roy family from Succession? Perhaps all of these factors have contributed to its prevalence in our daily lives.
Interestingly, this digital obsession with the old money aesthetic has had real-world implications. Luxury heritage brands like Ermenegildo Zegna Group have seen double-digit growth across their stores. Other hyper-luxury brands such as Hermés, Loro Piana, Brioni, and Delvaux have experienced a surge in market value, thanks to the revived interest in timeless luxury items.
The great news is that you don’t have to be born into a wealthy family to embrace the old-money style. It is not limited to a specific social hierarchy. Quiet luxury is all about exuding confidence, selecting elevated essentials that not only last a lifetime but also make you feel like a million bucks, regardless of your budget. With the right choice of fabrics, color palettes, and styles, you can dress your way into a summer party at The Hamptons.
So, what exactly is old money style, and how does it relate to “Succession fashion”? Old money traditionally refers to extremely wealthy individuals who have maintained their riches over several generations. The fictional Roy family from HBO’s Succession and their real-world counterparts, like The Murdochs, are excellent examples of this. In this world, there’s no need to showcase your wealth or your identity. Luxury exists subtly, whispering about its presence through meticulously crafted and timeless clothing paired with effortlessly comfortable fabrics and understated yet eye-catching accessories. It’s an exclusive club, and only those in the know truly understand.
In the old money style, ostentatiousness is discouraged. Logos and loudness take a back seat, while clean lines, dark and neutral tones, and relaxed and airy tailoring become the center of attention. This aesthetic is not about minimalism but rather an elevated version of normcore with a touch of Italian “sprezzatura.” It’s Succession fashion in its purest form.
When it comes to brands that embody this quiet luxury, the key is subtlety. They effortlessly blend expensive pieces with an air of nonchalance and the confidence to pull it off. Loro Piana, Brioni, Delvaux, Jil Sander, Canali, BODE, Brunello Cucinelli, and The Row are just a few of the brands favored by those who embrace the old money aesthetic. However, you don’t necessarily have to splurge on these high-end brands. You can replicate sub-categories of the old-money style with more accessible brands like Ralph Lauren, LEMAIRE, Amié Leon Dore, and Allen Edmonds.
To help you navigate the world of old money fashion, we’ve curated our favorite quiet luxury looks and where you can shop them. Let’s take a closer look at some iconic examples:
Kendall Roy in ‘Succession’
Kendall Roy may always look miserable, but his wardrobe is a masterclass in quiet luxury. The Waystar heir dresses inconspicuously, opting for quiet colors and perfectly tailored outfits. Even his recurring baseball caps scream discreet luxury, thanks to the quality design by Loro Piana. In contrast, Tom Wambsgans, who is less affluent, often dons clunky and ill-fitting clothing, sometimes even making fashion faux pas, like a Moncler logo in Season 2 Episode 6. Costume designer Michelle Matland intentionally highlights the difference between someone who has always had money (Kendall) and someone who hasn’t (Tom) through these subtle wardrobe choices.
Dickie Greenleaf in ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’
Dickie Greenleaf is a recurring motif on old money archive pages on Instagram for a reason. In the beautifully shot film “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” his old money fashion hits all the right notes. Think knit polos, relaxed tailored suits, linen shirts, tennis sneakers, all infused with a hint of sprezzatura. If you’re planning a vacation in St. Kitts or Marina di Portofino, he’s the perfect inspiration for a stylish old money summer.
Gstaad Guy has captured the attention of thousands, parodying the old money types we’re discussing. He effortlessly embodies “low-key luxury,” perhaps even better than some real-life individuals. You can be sure that this man’s blood runs Loro Piana.
Steve Jobs perfectly straddles the line between normcore and quiet luxury. His custom Issey Miyake turtlenecks bring it all together. Legend has it that the Apple co-founder had Miyake make him 100 black turtlenecks. Of course, you’ll be just fine with one.
Naomi Pierce in Succession
Rivaling the Roys, the Pierces are the true old-money family on the show, and Naomi Pierce embodies stylish quiet luxury. She plays with monochromatic palettes and proportions, often wearing brands like Celine and Proenza Schouler. With impressive nonchalance and confidence, she stands out as one of the best-dressed characters on Succession. There’s much to learn from Ms. Pierce.
Embracing the old money style is a journey you can embark on, whether it’s through investment pieces or more accessible brands that capture the essence of this aesthetic. So go ahead and refine your wardrobe with the looks we’ve shared.
Quiet luxury is not just a passing trend. It’s a timeless aesthetic that captures the allure of old money fashion while embracing confidence and exquisite taste. In 2023, this style continues to inspire and influence, offering a respite from the noise of flashy trends. So, whether you’re cosplaying as a member of the Roy family or simply seeking to elevate your style, quiet luxury is a choice that allows you to express your own unique sense of timeless elegance.
And remember, you don’t need a vast fortune to embrace this aesthetic. It’s a mindset, a way of curating your wardrobe with elevated essentials that stand the test of time. Quiet luxury is about the feeling you get when wearing clothes that make you feel like a million dollars, regardless of your fashion budget.
So, go ahead and explore the world of old money fashion. Let the quiet luxury of clean lines, neutral tones, and relaxed tailoring guide you on a journey towards impeccable style.