True Luxury is Often Understated

by Blake Herzog

We’ve been writing about the principles of “quiet luxury” since before it and its cousin “stealth wealth” became major social media fashion buzzwords this spring.

Understated style that relies on well-constructed garments and accessories pulled together into flattering ensembles can be worn season after season. It’s been a go-to aesthetic for shoppers who understand the importance of quality, timeless appeal and sustainability.

Quiet luxury calls for a wardrobe based on elegant closet staples without flashy logos, though certain upscale “no-label labels” like The Row, Khaite, Ferragamo, Loro Piana and Bottega Veneta have seen their low-profile profiles take a leap forward.

Make sure you include these building blocks in your collection:

  • Button-down white shirt — When made, tailored and cared for correctly these shirts are always impressive and work for nearly any workday or weekend occasion, whoever you are. Whether fitted or slightly oversized, they’re impressive without screaming that you’re trying to dress to impress.
  • Classic blazer — Blazers have had remarkable staying power over the decades so investing in a quality piece is investing in your future.

They do vary between seasons, and women are embracing tailored jackets nipped in at the waist over the oversized blazer for a thoroughly individualized and feminine look.

  • Roomy trousers — This one can be hard to pull off, but when it works it’s the epitome of luxury. Wide-leg pants that are flowy rather than droopy or exaggerated are supremely comfortable while communicating that you do the homework when it comes to getting the right fit.
  • Straight skirt — A no-frills skirt, either pencil-thin or with minimal pleating, can be worn for years, even decades, if made with the proper care and attention to detail. Worn in business and casual settings, it establishes an image of effortless femininity.
  • Leather flats and loafers — Low heels mean high comfort plus a more durable shoe. Ballet-style flats are getting a lift from style-conscious shoppers seeking ease and poise in their step as they take over the world.
  • Plainly luxurious bags — Labels were so prominent on purses for a while that their absence is especially felt here, but it’s so easy to find ones that (quietly) scream fine craftsmanship and understated opulence through their construction, design and durability.
  • Fine jewelry — Whether it’s new, vintage or antique, wearing classically designed fine jewelry clinches the “quiet luxury” image. Slim gold or silver chains are good, pearls are better, and best of all is a watch you paid enough money for that you know you’ll wear it and pass down to your grandchildren.
  • Uncompromising coats — For fall, and especially winter, you’ll need a coat that doesn’t cut corners in material or comfort. A wool duster or trench coat is the best defense against the wind and the best way to draw people toward you asking, “Where did you get that?”
  • The right hat — This can be a baseball or golf hat, pillbox, bucket or even a cowgirl hat if they are logo-free and exceptional in quality.

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