The allure of the Old Money aesthetic is not just about emulating the wealthy—it’s an ode to a bygone era where attire was synonymous with artistry, and grace was interwoven with grit. As the digital age propels us into rapid, ever-changing fashion cycles, there remains a steadfast appreciation for this particular style. But why?
Let’s unravel the enduring appeal of the Old Money look and how it seamlessly blends history with modernity.
Opt for Neutral Tones and Classic Patterns
Neutral colors form the backbone of the Old Money aesthetic. Think beiges, whites, blacks, and navy blues. These shades don’t shout for attention; they whisper sophistication. Additionally, they allow for versatility in your wardrobe, making it easier to create numerous outfits from a few key pieces. Patterns, when chosen wisely, can add depth to this refined palette. Stripes, plaids, and subtle florals are timeless.
For women, a classic striped blouse tucked into a tweed pencil skirt creates an air of effortless class. Men might opt for a navy pinstripe suit, signaling authority and refinement, paired with a crisp white shirt that’s synonymous with timeless grace.
Choose Quality Over Quantity
The essence of the Old Money look lies in the quality of garments. It’s better to have fewer items of higher quality than a closet full of fast fashion. Prioritize pieces made from natural fabrics—silk for its lustrous sheen, wool for its durable warmth, and cotton for its breathable comfort.
A woman’s silk blouse or cashmere cardigan can stand out as an emblem of quality, especially when paired with a leather tote that grows more beautiful with age. For men, a well-tailored wool blazer or trousers, complemented by leather shoes that have been lovingly cared for, speaks volumes more than any trendy item.
Embrace Vintage Accessories
While the core clothing items should exude timeless appeal, accessories provide the perfect avenue to introduce character and a touch of nostalgia. Vintage doesn’t mean outdated; it’s a celebration of eras where craftsmanship and detail were paramount. Women can explore heirloom-inspired jewelry—pearl necklaces, art deco earrings, or cameo brooches, each telling a story of its own. Don’t shy away from vintage hats, be it a cloche or a wide-brimmed felt hat, to add a dramatic flair.
For men, cufflinks, pocket squares, vintage timepieces, and even classic hats like fedoras can serve as conversation starters, adding depth and history to an ensemble. And not to forget the modern yet retro allure of soft terry cloth shirts for men. Paired with tailored shorts or chinos, these shirts offer comfort while evoking the leisurely luxury of the past, reminiscent of sun-soaked days on the Riviera or leisurely weekends in the Hamptons.
Understand the Art of Layering
One of the often-overlooked secrets to the Old Money aesthetic is the mastery of layering. It’s not just about warmth, but the strategic ensemble of textures, patterns, and tones to create a cohesive look. This principle extends across seasons. For colder months, women can pair a turtleneck under a slip dress, adorned with a belted wool trench for that Millennial Audrey Hepburn look; meanwhile, men can juxtapose a thin sweater with a structured overcoat.
In warmer seasons, a lightweight linen shirt for men can be layered under a vest or left open over a crisp tee, while women can experiment with sheer blouses over camisoles or drape a silk scarf as a shawl. Each layer should be discernible, adding depth and nuance to the overall outfit, showcasing both function and finesse.
Grooming Is Key
You can wear the most exquisite garments, but if grooming is overlooked, the ensemble’s impact diminishes. For men, whether it’s the rugged appeal of a well-maintained beard or the timeless elegance of a clean-shaven look, grooming is paramount. Pair this with regular haircuts and shoes polished to a mirror shine.
Women, on the other hand, can evoke the Old Money charm with hairstyles that ooze simplicity—a chignon bun or soft waves. Makeup should be understated, focusing on a radiant complexion, with perhaps a pop of red lipstick reminiscent of the silver screen sirens.
Fashion, much like history, is cyclical. While neon shades and holographic patterns may dominate one season, the elegance of the Old Money aesthetic has withstood the test of time, continuously reinventing itself while preserving its core. By intertwining the lessons of yesteryears with the preferences of today, this style offers a sanctuary of sophistication in a world often swayed by fleeting fancies. Embracing this aesthetic is not about dwelling in the past, but rather appreciating the timelessness of quality, grace, and subtlety in the ever-evolving tapestry of fashion.
Article by Sophia Smith
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