‘Quiet Luxury’ is in fashion; here’s what it’s all about

Date: 06/30/2023

Time to explore the power of subtle, intentional fashion in a fabulous and far-out world!

Close your eyes. What images come to mind when you hear the words “quiet luxury”? For me, I imagine a simple, rustic setting that’s not trying too hard. Cozy wool blankets, colorful mugs with no patterns, and tons of books with the windows open. In this scene, everything has a home, but it’s not obvious where it came from. Everything is classy, elegant, and well-made, but you’d have to turn over the cups to find who sold them, or overturn the rug to find out who wove it!  Here lies the foundations of what quiet luxury means: it is a term that (even outside of the fashion world) can be defined as low-key vibes mixed with high-quality makes. It’s also a phrase that I’ve really latched onto as someone who pays attention to the fashion world.  Where once fashion culture meant trying to out-do each other with bigger and better logos (everyone needs to know where I got it, don’t they?), nowadays fashionistas across the board are adopting a more subtle, simple approach to what they wear. That means no logos, no insignias, and most importantly, the abandonment of designers and design houses that rely on fast fashion tactics to get their clothes sold.  As we follow this much-needed transition into quiet luxury, then, I figured I would explore a little bit more about where the term came from, and why it seems to be taking the world by storm here and now! 

What is ‘Quiet Luxury’ in Fashion?

Quiet luxury, at the surface, is about finding styles that imply wealth, without having to announce wealth with logos or far-out designs. That’s why, when it comes down to it, quiet luxury isn’t just a fashion trend, it’s an ideology. It is a style type that focuses on investing in high-quality, timeless fashion pieces that will last. It is therefore a trend that extends beyond fabric and into conscious buying decisions–a philosophy about buying that I’ve had for a long time when it comes to fashion! I love to see it. 

Quiet luxury is also the idea that it’s possible to be elegant without advertising name brand logos on every piece you own, seeing these as unnecessary displays of wealth and flamboyance. And although 2023’s iteration of quiet luxury focuses more on understated neutrals and simple lines, the concept itself is more strongly centered on lasting craftsmanship. This emphasis shifts the perspective away from fast fashion, and toward more conscientious buying habits that understand how long great clothing can last. 

That being said, when I was reading about quiet luxury I did experience an energy of disdain for those who do enjoy large logos, and I don’t want this movement to be about judging others for not adopting the style as it’s taken form this year. Instead, I want to celebrate the idea behind this trend: that understated, tailored clothing meant to last is worth investing in. No longer are we in an age where you can’t be seen wearing something more than once! 

More than anything, quiet luxury avoids conspicuous branding by popular companies who want their clothes to advertise for them. Instead, they work on the subtler aspects of timeless style and design through classic silhouettes that will never go out of style. The simplicity of each design also has a super secret power, in my opinion. Not only do quietly luxurious pieces allow the wearer to really shine through their clothes (you want to wear your fashion, not the other way around), they also highlight the construction of the piece itself, giving it a ton of room to breathe and be appreciated. It’s almost as if we are shifting the focus from the clothing itself or the designer to the artisan’s work–showing a true appreciation for the art of fashion in a way we haven’t quite done before! Of course, when you see Hermès and Loro Piana among a list of who’s doing quiet luxury right, you can tell there’s an aspect to quiet luxury that relies on the legacy of certain design houses. If the shape of a certain look has become associated with a specific designer, that shape will do all the work a logo would without drawing the attention away from the piece itself. I’m thinking about Chanel’s quilted stitching, or the snake shape central Bulgari’s jewelry lines. 

Noting that quiet luxury does involve clothing and accessories that come at a higher expense (you can find well-made clothing in any bracket, though), the goal is to find great ‘elevated essentials’ you can wear with anything, making the investment totally worthwhile in the long term. This is probably why I’ve also heard quiet luxury described as ‘new-age minimalism’ or ‘stealth wealth’, where covertness is key.

Where did ‘quiet luxury’ come from?

Quiet luxury is not a new concept, it’s just experiencing a resurgence. 

For example, the concept of having a ‘capsule wardrobe’ was born in the 1970s by Susie Faux, who owned a boutique in London literally called ‘Wardrobe’. She specialized in selling ultra-versatile pieces made with top of the line materials, each of which would match every other piece in the store–yet another feature of the quiet luxury movement. 

Then, as the fashion industry began to prioritize sustainable design and conscious consumption, buying for quality over quantity became more and more ‘in fashion’, leading us to the revitalization of quiet luxury that we’re seeing today. 

What really sparked the most recent conversations about this trend however, were the absolutely gorgeous, and quietly luxurious, looks that model and marketing personality Sofia Richie put together for her wedding weekend. If you haven’t seen the looks, you have to check them out! She seriously embodies minimalist chic in 2023!

How to dress with a ‘quiet luxury’ aesthetic

Want to know how to dress with a quiet luxury aesthetic? This year, quiet luxury is focused on classic, precise tailoring and invisible branding. That means no loud gaudy images, graphics, or logos. Just simple clean lines for elevated basics in muted neutrals like navy, brown, beige, black, or white. These styles also embody something of the androgynous, not leaning heavily into masculine nor feminine lines–the style is just meant to suit your body, and last for you

Here are just a few items that are popular on the quiet luxury scene that you can start looking for on your hunt for timeless quality: 

  • Smart trousers with a narrow waist and wide legs
  • Simple vests with one or two buttons
  • Neutral turtleneck, either sleeveless or long-sleeved
  • Polished loafers 
  • Structured blazer cinched at the waist
  • Clean-lined skirt minimal adornments
  • Sleek denim shirts or jeans in a basic wash
  • Bold trench coat in a neutral shade
  • Elevated basics like a plain t-shirt or tank top
  • Classic statement sunglasses to top off the look

And even though I lean towards big bold colors, I’m also truly excited to adopt a few more of this season’s classic neutrals into my wardrobe. I’m also excited to hear from you about your impressions about quiet luxury, and what quiet luxury means to you! What items are you looking to invest in, and which designers do you love right now for subtle, simple, yet stunning essentials? Let me know through Instagram so we can compare notes! 

Until then, as always, all my love and safe travels,