What quiet luxury looks like to me

Fashion is always cyclical, and after the maximalism of revenge dressing, dopamine dressing, and Barbiecore, 2023 has felt like a shift back to minimalism. If you want to get deep, part of it can be seen as a reaction to economic trends (high inflation, high interest rates, general panic about signs of a recession, etc.), when people get more conservative about how they dress and tend toward the classics versus pieces that shout luxury. But on a more surface level, I think people just get tired of their clothes and want to try something new. The thing about quiet luxury is that it's positioned as an uber-rich thing, like how the characters on Succession dress. Anecdotally, there is some truth in that; I have known some incredibly wealthy people who exclusively wear threadbare clothes from L.L. Bean and wouldn't be caught dead in a designer logo. I have also known heiresses (I'm talking literal future billionaires) who'd never say no to a rhinestone, bright color, or bandage dress. It's true that money can't buy taste, but taste is also subjective. Quiet luxury is still wealth-signaling; it just depends on what your flavor of wealth-signaling is. That said, my style has always leaned more toward minimalism than maximalism, so if this quiet luxury trend means I have more viable clothing options out there, I'm all for it. Here's what quiet luxury looks like to me. 

Neutral colors

One of the selling points of minimalism is that when you stick to a mostly neutral color palette, everything already goes together, which makes getting dressed a lot easier. That said, I try to stick to no more than three "colors" in any given outfit—and by "colors," I mean black, white, gray, khaki, navy, or even army green. Patterns are generally a no in the realm of quiet luxury, with the exception of stripes or possibly a very quiet plaid. A purist would probably avoid leopard print too, but I love to break rules, so a little pop of animal print is acceptable.

Classic silhouettes

Tailored is the keyword here: think blazers, trousers, and button-down shirts. Sweaters and solid T-shirts are a yes, but the fit should always be on the relaxed side. (Again, I am breaking the rules here by wearing a very fitted tank top, but that's somewhat unavoidable when you are a F-cup like me.) The pieces should feel timeless but not boring—they can have very subtle details or "in the know" elements that elevate them beyond basic, like the slits in my blazer's sleeves. This is where "investment pieces" come into play—one thing I will always spend as much as I can afford to on is blazers. They are worth it in terms of how a perfectly tailored one can elevate everything else you're wearing—like in this outfit. 

Natural fabrics

While I know there's been a lot of innovation in synthetics, natural fibers like cashmere, wool, linen, and cotton will always be worth the investment. And while there's always a lot of back and forth about what's better for the environment, consider that anything coming from the earth or an animal will naturally biodegrade versus something made of chemicals that will linger in a landfill for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Which brings me to this outfit, specifically these pants, which are a blend of viscose, Tencel, rayon, and linen, and they basically wrinkle as soon as you look at them. I could have spent hours retouching the wrinkles out of these pants, but I decided to keep them in as a lesson (and because, let's face it, I don't have that kind of time). No matter how much marketing or positioning a company may throw at a product, it's not quiet luxury if the materials themselves are not luxurious. Which these, obviously, are not. 

No logos

One of my favorite places on the Internet is the r/handbags Subreddit, because it's where people have Strong Opinions about what constitutes true luxury. (The Herm├Ęs ladies are particularly fierce.) I generally fall into the IYKYK camp; my favorite bags tend to be from the Phoebe Philo era of Celine and, currently, anything Bottega Veneta. So, yet again, I am breaking the rules here by wearing not one but two designer logos. But as far as logos go, I think these two—the belt is Celine and the bag is Chanel—are more on the quiet side. Again, rules were meant to be broken. Do you and wear what you love.

OUTFIT DETAILS: Frame blazer (current version here) | Darling cardigan and pants (c/o) | Artfish tank top | Chanel WOC (on the RealReal) | Celine Triomphe belt | very old Topshop sandals (similar here)


Laura B said...

I love this sophisticated chic vibe! It's something I do plan on incorporating more. Those pants are fabulous on you!

Lanae Bond said...

Quiet Luxury does allow a person to have a lot of wardrobe staples. I think that it was what I like about it the most.

Slabs said...

Love the color of your pants.
I visited you via Flowers and the TFT Blog Hop
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Gail Is This Mutton? said...

I love the quiet lux trend. The style really suits you. It's good that the trend doesn't involve the splashy logos of the 90s. Thanks for linking!