There has always been a distinction between old money and new money. Old money refers to wealth that has been inherited over generations, while new money refers to sudden wealth. This distinction is deeply rooted in the class system and, although it may seem strange, it still persists today. We can say that old habits die hard.
In recent years, we have witnessed the emergence of a new genre of menswear that draws inspiration from the old money aesthetic. This style is a spin-off from the understated high-end trends of “quiet luxury” or “stealth wealth.” There is a great deal of overlap between them. For instance, old money style embraces classic and understated pieces, prioritizing quality and timelessness over trends. It often involves tailored looks, neutral colors, and traditional patterns such as houndstooth or pinstripes. Fabrics like tweed, cashmere, and silk are commonly used, reflecting a preference for luxurious materials.
The old money style emphasizes heritage, refinement, and tradition. That’s why icons of old money style are often associated with the glamorous days of Hollywood in the 1950s, or the French and Italian Rivieras in the 1960s and 70s. Attention to detail, craftsmanship, and a discreet sense of wealth are key elements of this style.
However, old money style is also quite eclectic. It incorporates preppy elements and vintage sportswear motifs, which can easily be assimilated into a modern wardrobe. That’s the beauty of it – high-end luxury garments that never go out of fashion, allowing you to create a unique look by combining them with contemporary pieces.
In contrast to ostentatious displays of wealth, old money style is more about understatement and sophistication. It seeks to convey an air of pared-back elegance, often avoiding flashy logos or attention-grabbing accessories.
Think about the timeless silhouettes that have endured in menswear and aim for the finest fabrics. Polo shirts, OCBDs, tailored separates, classic suits, heritage knitwear, preppy outerwear, summer linens, dress shoes, silk shirts, fitted silhouettes, fine watches, retro sunglasses, and immaculate accessories… All of these contribute to building an investment-grade wardrobe that looks both expensive and effortlessly cool.
Now, let’s dive into the (classic and contemporary) brands that embody the old money aesthetic today.
Aimé Leon Dore
This brand might come as a surprise when discussing old money style, but hear us out. Aimé Leon Dore, founded in New York City in 2014 by Teddy Santis, proves that you don’t need heritage to channel the old money aesthetic. Aimé Leon Dore is known for blending streetwear and classic menswear, offering contemporary styling options for the old money look. The label’s refined yet casual design signature incorporates vintage-inspired silhouettes, preppy motifs, and premium fabrics, capturing the essence of modern urban dressing while referencing timeless Ivy League style.
Alexander Kraft Monte Carlo
Who better to turn to for old money style than an actual old money guy? Based in Monte Carlo, the eponymous brand Alexander Kraft Monte Carlo was established by Alexander Kraft, a luxury real estate developer in the south of France, and a connoisseur of traditional luxury menswear. The label focuses on sartorial elegance and timeless style, offering ready-to-wear garments that embody the spirit of old money. Impeccable tailoring and high-quality knitwear in a palette dominated by navy, charcoal, tan, and beige are the hallmarks of this brand.
Anderson & Sheppard
Founded in 1906, Anderson & Sheppard is a bespoke tailor located on London’s Savile Row. It is renowned for its drape-cut style, which has become synonymous with traditional British craftsmanship and understated elegance. If you’re looking to invest in an old money aesthetic, Anderson & Sheppard is the ideal destination. Their knitwear collection, featuring beautiful heritage knits and chunky cardigans, is particularly special.
Aurélien, founded in Paris by Aurélien Arbet and Jérémie Egry, has gained attention for its minimalist and affordable approach to luxury menswear. The brand uses classic menswear silhouettes rendered in sumptuous materials to create a timeless old money wardrobe. Their clean-cut reversible jackets, referencing a preppy sailing style, and long-sleeve knitted polos are particularly noteworthy.
Established in Italy in 1895, Berluti is renowned for its exceptional leather craftsmanship and exquisite footwear. Over the years, the Italian brand expanded to offer a full range of luxury menswear, including tailored suits, accessories, and ready-to-wear garments. Berluti combines classic elegance with modern details, emphasizing the label’s dedication to artisanal excellence. While their shoes are iconic, don’t miss out on their leather jackets either.
No old money wardrobe is complete without a collection of perfectly fitted tapered trousers. If you’re in search of such trousers, look no further than Berwich. This Italian brand, established in 1975, is renowned for its impeccable fit, luxurious fabrics, and meticulous attention to detail. Berwich strikes a balance between traditional tailoring and contemporary design, offering flat-fronted, pleated, and cargo styles throughout its eclectic seasonal collections.
With roots in Italy dating back to the early 1900s, Boglioli is synonymous with relaxed tailoring and effortless sophistication. The brand is celebrated for its unstructured blazers, available in a diverse range of luxury fabrics. Boglioli is perfect for those seeking comfort and style within the old money aesthetic.
Founded in Rome in 1945, Brioni has long been a pinnacle of Italian sartorialism. The brand is renowned for its exceptional craftsmanship, use of fine materials, and dressing prominent figures, including James Bond. Brioni offers made-to-measure and ready-to-wear suits, shirts, and accessories crafted from the finest materials. Don’t miss out on their immaculate polos and leisurewear.
Established in Solomeo, Italy, in 1978, Brunello Cucinelli has become synonymous with Italian luxury, ethical craftsmanship, and the quiet luxury aesthetic that defines menswear today. The brand combines classic menswear with a contemporary edge, emphasizing exquisite fabrics, impeccable tailoring, and a neutral color palette. While investing in Brunello Cucinelli might require generational wealth, it’s worth it.
Since its founding in 1934, Canali has been celebrated for its impeccable tailoring and refined menswear. The brand embodies classic Italian elegance, blending traditional craftsmanship with contemporary style. Canali offers top-notch suits, but their understated casualwear, featuring fine fabrics like cashmere and merino wool, is equally impressive. No visible branding, just classic old-school stealth wealth.
Caruso is a family-owned brand out of Soragna, Italy, specializing in sumptuous menswear with a focus on sartorial excellence. The brand’s tagline is “playful elegance,” and it lives up to its promise. Caruso’s suits and separates exude sprezzatura, while its wool outerwear shapes are some of the smartest on the market.
With a history dating back to 1838, Charvet is a Parisian luxury shirtmaker renowned for its exceptional craftsmanship and exquisite fabrics. As the world’s first dedicated shirt boutique, Charvet embodies timeless elegance and is a favorite among discerning gentlemen seeking the epitome of sartorial refinement. Their ready-to-wear shirt collection, featuring contrast collar styles, is not to be missed.
While heritage brands might dominate old money wardrobes, it would be a mistake to overlook Colhay’s, the British luxury menswear brand established in 2018 by designer Harry Rowley. Based in Hawick, Scotland, renowned for its knitwear heritage, Colhay’s offers knitted garments that channel a nostalgic 1950s look. The brand uses the finest cashmere, merino wool, fine lambswool, and cashmere blends. Colhay’s collections are stunning and should be on every old money radar.
Founded in 1977, Drake’s started as a haberdashery and has since grown into a full range menswear brand. The label has developed a cult following among younger sartorialists who appreciate mixing different styles. Drake’s sources fabrics from mills in Italy, Scotland, and England to create collections that draw on British preppiness and collegiate motifs.
Ede & Ravenscroft
Established in 1689, Ede & Ravenscroft is the oldest tailoring company in London. While it may seem stuffy due to its long-standing tradition of providing bespoke tailoring and ceremonial attire, you’d be mistaken if you overlooked its ready-to-wear shirt collection. The range features contrast collar styles that perfectly complement the old money power suit look.
Since 1890, Edward Green has been handcrafting some of the finest footwear in Northampton, England. The brand combines classic designs with meticulous attention to detail, resulting in a range that exudes sophistication and elegance. Edward Green’s loafers, in particular, embody old money elegance.
Founded in Trivero, Italy, in 1910, Ermenegildo Zegna is a vertically integrated fashion giant known for its luxurious fabrics and technologically advanced mills in Biella, Italy’s wool Mecca. Under the creative direction of Alessandro Sartori, Zegna has expanded beyond suits to deliver a stunning high-end collection that blurs the edges of casualwear, sportswear, and traditional tailoring.
While the old money aesthetic is often understated, there’s room for a little bohemian eccentricity, especially for parties. Enter Etro, established in Italy in 1968. Etro is renowned for its vibrant patterns, eclectic designs, and luxurious textiles. The brand’s menswear collection features bold prints, intricate detailing, and a fusion of cultural influences.
Investing in high-quality knitwear is a hallmark of old money style, and that’s exactly what Gran Sasso delivers. This Italian specialist, founded in 1952, offers an amazing collection of luxurious sweaters, cardigans, and polo shirts crafted from premium yarns. Gran Sasso combines traditional knitting techniques with modern designs, resulting in sophisticated yet supremely comfortable pieces.
While Gucci may not immediately come to mind when thinking of old money style, it’s not the ready-to-wear clothing that fits the aesthetic. Rather, it’s their accessories. A subtle double G belt buckle, a chic leather wallet, or a horsebit loafer are all you need to subtly showcase your appreciation for the finer things in life.
Similar to Gucci, Hermès quietly reinforces a sense of old money style through its accessories. With a strong focus on incorporating traditional techniques and the craftsmanship of the world’s best artisans, Hermès has become a symbol of enduring luxury and elegance. A geometric print handmade Hermès silk tie is easily recognized across a room and appreciated by fellow luxury enthusiasts.
Husbands, founded in France in 2013 by Nicolas Gabard, has garnered a cult following for its unique flavor of tailoring with a hint of nostalgic 1970s influence. It’s a refreshing throwback to an era of casual separates, great textural fabrics, and a unique European take on preppy style – all of which resonate with the old money aesthetic.
Part of the Slowear group, Incotex is an Italian trouser specialist based in Venice. The brand focuses on creating impeccably tailored pants using premium fabrics and innovative techniques. Incotex trousers are known for their slim tapered fit, making them the perfect addition to an old money wardrobe. Investing in winter and summer styles will elevate your smart separates.
Established in France in 1891, J.M. Weston is a shoemaker renowned for its exceptional craftsmanship. While the brand is most famous for its iconic 180 loafer, all of its dress shoes are of an exceptional standard and make for excellent investments in your footwear collection.
With a heritage dating back to 1866, John Lobb is a prestigious English shoemaker known for its bespoke and ready-to-wear shoes. The brand’s bespoke atelier is located in Paris, while its ready-to-wear collection is made in Northampton. John Lobb exemplifies classic British elegance, particularly with their beautiful hand-stitched Bath loafers, which are ideal for old money summer outfits.
Johnstons of Elgin
With a heritage spanning over two centuries, Scottish knitwear specialist Johnstons of Elgin sets the bar for timeless luxury, craftsmanship, and sustainability (they’re B Corp certified). Using only the finest Scottish cashmere and merino wool, Johnstons of Elgin produces knitwear that is a must for any discerning sweater lover. Their cashmere pieces often pass through over 30 pairs of hands before they find their way into your wardrobe.
Founded in 1956 by Ciro Paone, Kiton takes the handmade process to a whole new level. The brand reserves the finest artisans and the most luxurious fabrics for its bold tailoring aesthetic. While a trust fund might be necessary to afford Kiton, the investment pays dividends with vibrant tailored silhouettes that exemplify confident southern Italian style.
Family-owned since 1978, Lardini has developed an excellent reputation for softly tailored menswear silhouettes with a contemporary twist. The brand brings a modern attitude to the old money aesthetic thanks to its largely unstructured style and innovative fabrics. Don’t forget to explore their shirting collection, which combines classic motifs like pinstripes with contemporary shapes and fabrics.
Loro Piana’s roots date back to the early 19th century, when the founding family began trading wool and textiles. Since then, Loro Piana has grown into one of the most prestigious luxury brands and fabric producers in the world. The garments and accessories they create exude old money style, characterized by sophistication, meticulous attention to detail, and a focus on comfort and functionality.
Since its founding in 2013, Luca Faloni’s mission has been to offer men elevated wardrobe staples that exude sophistication, all at a reasonable price. The brand is committed to a “Made in Italy” approach, utilizing specialist artisans from all over the country to handcraft their old money garments. Lightweight knits, knitted polos, and fine linen shirts are among their standout pieces. With a commitment to ethical production, Luca Faloni’s softly tailored separates and premium knitwear are a must-have for the best stealth wealth wardrobes.
If there’s a modern Italian brand that has captured the essence of sprezzatura, it’s Massimo Alba. Established in Italy in 2006, the label has perfected the art of understated tailored style. Their high-quality fabrics and timeless appeal make Massimo Alba stand out. The brand’s suits and separates feature a lovely, softly tailored shape that seamlessly integrates with your casualwear wardrobe.
Officine Générale, the French label founded by Pierre Mahéo in 2012, embodies the epitome of modern Parisian chic. The brand draws inspiration from classic tailoring and traditional workwear silhouettes, offering a contemporary interpretation of timeless styles. The collections feature tailored suits, shirts, knitwear, and outerwear, all crafted with a focus on quality, fit, and that touch of Parisian magic.
Pini Parma is an Italian brand that proudly claims to be quintessentially Italian. Their collection is 100% made in Italy, showcasing soft-shouldered blazers, statement lapels, and suede loafers that exude the old money aesthetic. Craftspeople and traditional practices from across the country are brought in to tailor each piece. Traditional with modern luxury additions, Pini Parma offers chef’s-kiss tailoring, suede and linen bomber jackets, tastefully designed sneakers, and even the odd accessory.
When Ralph Lauren first started selling ties in 1967, he probably never imagined the growth of his brand into one of the most important luxury labels in the world. While his Polo line is not particularly old money, the Purple Label embodies that sense of nostalgia with inherently modern designs crafted from superb natural fabrics.
Known among discerning sartorialists, Ring Jacket is a Japanese brand founded in 1954. It is renowned for its expertly tailored clothing and attention to detail. The brand’s jackets and suits feature modern silhouettes, meticulous craftsmanship, and high-quality fabrics. Blending Japanese precision with English and Italian sensibilities, Ring Jacket is a standout choice if you’re looking for old money style.
Founded in 1927 by the Florentine master of luxury footwear, Salvatore Ferragamo, the brand has remained one of the very best in the world. Ferragamo shoes exude Italian elegance, craftsmanship, and innovation. The iconic label inside the shoes carries a rich heritage and style cachet, making them a perfect addition to any old money wardrobe.
If you’ve ever strolled past a Stefano Ricci store, you’re sure to have noticed the opulence exuding from the mannequins in the windows. Established in Italy in 1972, Stefano Ricci represents the highest level of luxury menswear. The brand is renowned for fine fabrics and softly tailored silhouettes, with leather and suede jackets being particular standouts.
A relatively new player in the menswear scene, Tagliatore was founded in Italy in 2005. In a short span of time, the brand has created quite a buzz with its contemporary take on timeless elegance. Tagliatore blends old money understatement with modern silhouettes, incorporating color into their tailoring—especially in their spring/summer collections. The brand’s fabric selection, featuring seersucker, linen, suede, and cashmere, is top-class.
Turnbull & Asser
A legitimate old money list couldn’t exclude Turnbull & Asser, a bespoke shirtmaker with a history dating back to 1885 on London’s Jermyn Street. The brand showcases exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail throughout their shirt and tailoring collections, embodying timeless elegance. While Turnbull & Asser shirts form the bulk of their business, their suiting collection offers amazing value for a brand of such prestige.
Part of the Italian Slowear group, Zanone is known for its expertise in knitwear and innovative fabric technologies. Their garments are completely free of branding, conforming to classic shapes that reference a vintage 1950s Ivy League aesthetic. Think bouclé wool cardigans, organic cotton polos, crepe cotton crew necks, and terry cloth hoodies. Zanone is perfect for an off-duty old money vibe.
These brands, both classic and contemporary, embody the essence of the old money aesthetic. By investing in their pieces, you’ll create a wardrobe that stands the test of time while exuding sophistication, elegance, and a sense of tradition.