Well, well, well. Quiet Luxury fashion – an approach where subtlety and refinement speak volumes – is steadily gaining traction in the style world. Also known as “Stealth Wealth“, this trend focuses less on bold designer logos, more on timeless cuts and quality fabrics. For inspiration, we can look no further than Ryan Gosling and Gwyneth Paltrow, two stars who consistently nail this look.
As a child my wardrobe was full of timeless durable items versus lots of options. A side effect, in part, of my mom being claustrophobic. Seasonal shopping had to be practical as she didn’t want to return anytime soon (lol). She taught me to look for quality stitching and how to mend my own clothes. I remember wanting to buy a Ralph Lauren shirt with a giant horse as a teenager during the “loud luxury” 90S – my French mom, already on board with quiet luxury, refused it. She said something that stuck to me for years… “Unless Ralph Lauren is paying you to advertise, this is SO TACKY!” I never looked at my loud brands the same way again…
This is a drastic shift compared to the 90s Calvin Klein & Chanel black shirts with white banners across the chest. Right up until the pandemic, loud logos were still on high trend. The idea is that to pull off an “old money” look, you need not advertise your haute couture… in fact the actually-rich and a lot of celebrities have resorted to quiet luxury ironically to be able to step away from the volume of trying to look rich!
Ryan Gosling’s fashion prowess is seen in his effortless combination of comfort and elegance. Known for his love for classic cuts and muted tones, Gosling’s style is an ode to quiet luxury. Whether it’s a well-tailored Gucci suit on the red carpet or a simple Levi’s denim jacket paired with Ray-Ban sunglasses for casual outings, Gosling’s choices echo the spirit of quality and timeless appeal.
Gwyneth Paltrow, the style icon and Goop founder, also embodies this trend. With her penchant for sleek silhouettes and neutral color palettes, Paltrow is often seen in designer pieces from Celine or Stella McCartney. But, the actress is equally comfortable in high-street brands, weaving an understated chic narrative every time she steps out.
So, how can you emulate this style on a budget? Here’s your guide:
1. Thrift Shopping
A cornerstone of achieving luxury on a budget is embracing thrift shopping. Sift through vintage stores or online platforms like ThredUP to find quality second-hand pieces. Look for classic cuts and avoid fleeting trends.
2. Quality over Quantity
Invest in quality basics. Brands like Uniqlo and Everlane offer well-crafted items at a fraction of the price of designer alternatives. These pieces can form the foundation of your wardrobe, giving you the freedom to mix and match.
3. Splurge on Key Items
If you can afford it, splurge on a few key items – a classic trench coat, a beautifully tailored blazer, or a well-fitted pair of jeans. A single standout piece can elevate your entire look.
4. Emulate High-end Styles
Look to high-end brands for inspiration, then seek out similar styles within your budget. Zara, H&M, and Mango often carry trendy items that resemble designer pieces.
5. Fashion Tourism
Go visit a country where getting hand-made clothing is cheaper than buying it in stores. This helps support local tailors and allows you to experience a whole new culture. In College, I went to india and had several trending looks custom made for me. The other advantage is that the clothing fits you perfectly. You can also have clothing made in exactly the fabric you want! Here is a list of cities where custom made clothing makes sense…
Embracing Quiet Luxury doesn’t mean you need a celebrity’s wardrobe budget. It’s about choosing well-made, timeless pieces and understanding the power of understated elegance. This mindful approach to fashion offers an affordable route to luxury, proving that sophistication lies in simplicity and minimalistic fashion.
If colorful fashion and wild designer art is more your thing, check out these HELMER suits!
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Creative Director, brand manager & curator of lavish experiences. Currently curating: everything charming.