The concept of “quiet luxury” has been gaining popularity lately, referring to a type of luxury that is understated and not overtly flashy. This style emphasises quality craftsmanship over logo branding and short-lived trends, with brands like The Row, Jil Sander, and Loro Piana leading the charge. The focus is on subtle elegance and sophistication, with the designer’s pedigree only apparent upon closer inspection. The recent trend towards quiet luxury can be seen as a refreshing departure from the logo-heavy collaborations and collections of the past.
The S/S 23 collections from designers such as The Row, Ferragamo, and Bottega Veneta embody this mood with pieces like logoless bags, sophisticated outerwear, and sleek crocodile-embossed footwear that feel simultaneously subtle and elegant.
While it may be classified as a luxury trend, “quiet luxury” is not necessarily synonymous with high-end designer pricing. Rather, this fashion movement reflects a shift towards more thoughtful shopping habits, prioritising quality over quantity and making long-term investments. This could mean opting for a vintage piece that exhibits exceptional craftsmanship or selecting a designer bag that offers a low cost per wear, without overt branding that characterises logomania.
Achieving this subtle ‘old money’ aesthetic involves prioritising timeless basics over flashy statement pieces. Key elements include expert tailoring that flatters the silhouette, even in the case of slouchy dresses, and elegant accessories that don’t overwhelm the overall look. Although wearing neutral tones is not a strict requirement, the brands and individuals who have become synonymous with the trend tend to gravitate towards them, though occasional pops of colour are also welcome.
While everyone continues to talk about quiet luxury, ahead see the eight foundational tips on achieving the look.
The quiet luxury trend shares similarities with minimalism, as it prioritises simplicity and eschews flashy elements. Unlike the current trend of layered necklaces, this style focuses on a few key pieces that are versatile enough to pair with various outfits. Many fashion-forward individuals prefer to achieve this look with a stylish watch, opting for clean and timeless designs such as the Serpenti or Tank watch, sans the extravagant diamond detailing.
Tailored, Sculptural Coats
While this category is often associated with winter fashion, it is still relevant during the spring and fall seasons. For instance, having elegant outerwear is crucial in achieving this style. Features like sharp lapels, thick wool, and a well-tailored silhouette distinguish high-end coats from average ones. Max Mara is a brand that exemplifies these qualities, but emerging designers like Toteme have also created covetable outerwear that resonates with the quiet luxury aesthetic.
As per the memo, ostentatious displays of wealth are out and understated style is in, and handbags are no exception. Contrary to the notion of purchasing bags for their easily identifiable logos or trendy shapes, the quiet luxury movement places less emphasis on brand recognition. While logos still appeal to some luxury brands such as Gucci and Fendi, others have eschewed this idea altogether. We have seen the popularity of logo-free bags such as Khaite’s Olivia hobo and The Row’s lady bags in recent times, with an increasing number of designers adopting this style.
Understated elegance is a common thread we’re seeing play out in the spring/summer 2023 collections. It was executed on the runways at Khaite and Prada with luxe textiles, such as satin, that lend a sense of easy sophistication to looks. A great sweater is also a common hack for looking expensive, so it’s not surprising that sumptuous knits are a defining staple of the aesthetic. Whether it’s a pullover, a cardigan, or a skirt, the material should feel high quality and luxurious to the touch. Trends also don’t really factor in here, so stick with classic silhouettes that avoid flashy buttons or patterns.
Dressing in neutrals is hardly new news, but what is interesting is how they are being styled. In Maximilian Davis’s debut collection for Ferragamo, we saw head-to-toe beige looks with soft tailoring and elegant draping. These styling cues are also being replicated among the street style set.
An outfit is only as good as the shoes that accompany it, and here there’s no exception. Unlike the other categories mentioned, dabbling with trends is perfectly acceptable, however, they should never stick out to the point where it overshadows everything else. Go for styles that will still keep their appeal several years out. Hence, cool girl flats like loafers and ballet flats are all the rage this season.
We’re seeing a movement toward maxi hemlines across the board for spring, and there is a subset of pieces that fall into the category of quiet luxury. Among them are tailored skirts, tailored coats, and long-sleeve dresses that all reach the floor.
Brands like The Row have mastered quiet luxury with their expert craftsmanship at every level—even in basics ranging from T-shirts to flip-flops. What sets this look apart is the attention to fabrics, fit, and design details that take the pieces to the next level. These elevated basics are set to be the foundational pieces to invest in for spring.