What is Quiet Luxury? How to Embrace it Even if You’re Not a Millionaire

Fashion trends seem like they come and go at such a fast pace these days. Just when I feel like everyone is shouting from the rooftops about one trend, another one pops up, and so on. Enter the latest trend dubbed on social as: quiet luxury.

I’m someone who has always loved clothing and trying new trends as self-expression. But as much as much as it’s fun to wear the next “it” piece, this rapid firing through item after item has left me feeling a little all over the place and exhausted by fashion lately.

However, the quiet luxury trend – if that’s what you can even call it – may be one of my favorites to date. Quiet luxury is much less about devouring this season’s item and moving onto the next. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, and something I’ve been trying to practice with my own shopping habits over these past few years: purchasing fewer, higher quality classic pieces that work long-term, not just, wait for it… one season.

Here’s everything you need to know about the quiet luxury trend, and how to embrace this wardrobe lifestyle even if you don’t have the bank account of Shiv Roy in Succession.

What is Quiet Luxury? 

I hesitate calling quiet luxury a trend. This style and fashion aesthetic has existed for many years prior to the Internet giving it a name and a hashtag (see also “stealth wealth” and “old money style”). 

Quiet luxury puts the focus on understanded yet quality basics. In a nutshell, it’s purchasing well-tailored investment pieces that can stand the test time. If you’re a fan of capsule dressing, this concept of buying fewer, but higher quality items that you can mix and match is nothing new. 

Think simple silhouettes with the perfect fit, like that t-shirt that drapes just right and isn’t too thick or thin. Or those trousers that are expertly tailored with your shoes. Quiet luxury is defined by muted colors, quality fabrics, clean lines, and subtle details, with little to no logo display. 

Still need some help understanding the vibe?

It’s Gwyneth Paltrow’s courtroom style; Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s perpetual love for monochromatic dressing; Victoria Beckman in wide leg pants; Sophia Richie’s wedding weekend style; and even Audrey Hepburn’s sharp-fitting turtleneck and ballet flats.

But quiet luxury goes beyond just a look, it’s also a consumption mindset. Take a $10 white t-shirt that you regularly repurchase because it twists or shrinks in the wash or gets a hole. After re-buying 10 white tees at $100 total, you could have invested in a nicer quality one that you don’t have to re-buy for several years. In some cases, buying the cheaper alternatives repeatedly actually cost you more in the long run that a pricier investment piece. There’s also a sustainability component to the fashion cycle since there’s usually a lot more waste when it comes to manufacturing faster fashion items.

Below, a handful of contemporary quiet luxury brands, plus other, more affordable options that still maintain the general ethos of this movement.

Quiet Luxury Brands

If you’re looking for the brands that represent the true essence of quiet luxury, top contenders include The Row, Khaite, Max Mara, Bottega Veneta, and Toteme.

How to Do Quiet Luxury for Less

Although luxury designer brands often dominate discussions about quiet luxury, you don’t need to empty your wallet or wear head-to-toe designer to indulge in this aesthetic. There are several, more affordable quiet luxury brands out there that make great pieces.

Pick and choose where you want to invest your money. Quiet luxury also about the mindset of purchasing fewer, nicer items (at your budget), not just the label. Here are three tips on how to embrace the quiet luxury style and mindset on your terms.

Affordable Quiet Luxury Brands

If you’re looking for more durable, high-quality pieces that surpass the longevity of Zara or Gap while avoiding the hefty designer price tag, it’s time to explore mid-range clothing brands. Unlike conventional mall stores, these brands offer a superior fit, premium fabrics, and outstanding craftsmanship that typically outlast cheaper alternatives.

Here are a few of my personal favorite affordable quiet luxury brands:

  • Sezane –
  • MM LaFleur – If there is one brand that can nail a work to weekend capsule wardrobe, it’s MM LaFleur. Think perfect blazers, sheath dresses, and luxe t-shirts for all occasions.
  • Reformation – Although some of Reformation’s collection can skew toward trendier items, they do offer great trousers, tailored shorts, and simple shoes.
  • Everlane – Known for pioneering transparent pricing and ethical manufacturing, Everlane is a great stop wardrobe essentials with timeless appeal.
  • COS – Although this Swedish brand is part of the H&M family, COS’ focus is clean, minimalist design. The brand’s pieces are much higher quality material than H&M, but still relatively affordable.
  • J. Crew – Nobody does the classic stealth wealth aesthetic quite like J.Crew. From classic chinos and striped sweaters to the perfect white button down shirt, J.Crew does an A+ job at affordable quiet luxury with a preppy twist.

Start with Smart Basics

First, take an audit of your lifestyle and what’s already in your closet. Find the pieces you wear the most – your workhorse items. Then, double down on buying these items with better quality, fit, and longevity.

For me, I never had blazers that I absolutely loved, but needed them often for business meetings. I’m also a jeans and t-shirt gal but was sick of always finding tiny holes in my tops. So, I decided to invest in well-tailored blazers that I was actually excited to wear. And t-shirts that didn’t give up after a few wears. 

Buy quality fabrics that feel good against your skin. Look for materials like cotton, silk, wool, and cashmere, which will keep their shape better over time than synthetic materials.

Invest in Leather Accessories

If you are looking to make a true designer purchase, start with accessories. 

Leather belts, shoes, and handbags will always have a longer shelf life than tops and shirts simply because of the material itself. It’s always easier for me to spend money on a leather handbag I know I’ll have for life, rather than a $500 shirt I may spill on the first time I wear it. (No matter how luxurious a shirt is, that doesn’t make it prone to staining.) 

Accessories are the little details that can take your outfit from basic to sophisticated. You’d be surprised how elevated and polished even the simplest outfit can look with a belt or a high quality bag. 

A.P.C. makes great leather handbags with clean lines that you can wear during the day and night. I own several bags by them and they’re a great choice when looking for minimal design.

This leather belt from Sezane has gorgeous gold hardware and looks similar to the Khaite Bambi belt but at a much lower price.

Look for leather goods with minimal branding and small logos to achieve that label-less quiet luxury aesthetic.

Stick to a Color Palette

Stick to a color palette that complements your skin tone and hair color to create a cohesive look through your wardrobe. This doesn’t mean you have to stick to neutral colors only. But rather, choose colors that work well together and make you feel good.

By investing in high-quality pieces that can be mixed and matched with ease, you can elevate your wardrobe and achieve a quiet luxury look without breaking the bank.

Quiet Luxury Outfit Ideas

Need a few ideas on how to achieve the quiet luxury aesthetic? Here are three quiet luxury outfit ideas with links below to get each look:

Quiet Luxury outfit idea
vest and pants outfit
Quiet Luxury fashion tips

Nice to Meet You

Hi, I'm Camille! I'm a bi-coastal blogger splitting my time between LA and NYC and sharing elevated, yet relatable ideas so that you can achieve your most stylish life.

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  1. 6.20.23

    Loving all of these quiet luxury outfits!

    xo Jessica
    an indigo day

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