Quiet Luxury Is the Buzz Term of the Moment: 5 Pieces That Define It


(Image credit: @rosiehw)

Everyone's talking about "quiet luxury." The term itself is pretty self-explanatory, but in case you haven't been tuned in, the phrase describes a type of luxury that flies under the radar rather than presents itself upon arrival. Think brands like The Row, Jil Sander, and Loro Piana. The aesthetic doesn't include apparent logos, short-lived trends, or flashy pieces that look like overt displays of wealth. From appearance alone it shouldn't be immediately obvious whether something is Nili Lotan or Brunello Cucinelli—only when you look closer do the quality and craftsmanship reveal its designer pedigree. It's difficult to say why social media has become so hyper-fixated on this type of subtly, but after a stint of logo-heavy collaborations and collections, the shift feels like a breath of fresh air.

Since the look relies so little on bells and whistles, to nail down quiet luxury means investing in the basics. The tailoring should always be expert and well-defined (yes, even if it's a "slouchy" dress), and the accompanying accessories should look elegant yet not overpowering. While wearing neutrals aren't a explicit requirement for pulling off quiet luxury, brands and figures who have become synomous with the phrase seem to implicitly favor them (although a pop of color here and there isn't out of the question). 

While everyone continues to talk about quiet luxury, ahead see the five foundational tips on achieving the look.

A Big League Timepiece


(Image credit: @fannyekstrand)

Quiet luxury borders minimalism in that the sartorial approach doesn't include a lot of outward glitz and glam. The layered necklace trend doesn't apply here: instead, it's about one or two power pieces that seemingly go with everything. Seen by stylish people, a beautiful watch is the preferred way to do it. Go for clean and timeless styles like the Serpenti or Tank watch (sans the diamonds).

Quality Coats


(Image credit: @sylviemus_)

This category applies mainly to the winter season, but even in the spring and fall, elegant outwear is absolutely a must. Sharp lapels, thick wool, and a thoughtfully designed silhouette are key details that separate okay coats from expensive-looking coats. Max Mara coats are the blueprint in this regard, but up-and-coming designer brands like Toteme have managed to create covetable toppers popular within the quiet luxury space.

Logoless Bags


(Image credit: @fakerstrom)

It sounds counterintuitive, but a luxury bag in this sense should keep people guessing. Within the context of quiet luxury, it directly contradicts the idea of buying a bag for its easily identifiable logos or trendy shapes. While logos remain a big selling point for brands like Gucci and Fendi, other labels have completely subverted that notion. We've seen the rise of logo-devoid purses like Khaite's Olivia hobo and The Row's lady bags in recent years, with more designers following suit.

Sumptuous Knits


(Image credit: @monikh)

A great sweater is 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 weighty and luxurious to the touch. Trends also don't really factor in here, so stick with classic silhouettes that avoid flashy buttons or patterns.

Power Pieces


(Image credit: @tylynnnguyen)

The purpose behind the quiet luxury wave is to own pieces that have a long life behind the hype of what's of the moment. Keeping in line with the close ties to minimalism, this usually translates to separates with few accouterments to distract from its overall construction. It's more so about pieces that frame the body perfectly versus those that instantly hooks you in with an eccentric detail.

Understated Shoes


(Image credit: @fannyekstrand)

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.

Up next: French Girls Were Right: This Anti-Trend Staple Is Taking Over My Closet RN

Fashion Market Editor

Indya Brown is a fashion editor, stylist, and writer living in Los Angeles. While going to school at Columbia University in New York City, she got her feet wet in the fashion industry interning at Elle magazine, Harper's Bazaar, and New York magazine's The Cut. After graduating in 2016, she joined The Cut as a fashion assistant, eventually working her way up to fashion editor. There, she worked on a multitude of projects, including styling inbook feature stories for New York magazine's print issue, writing and pitching market stories for The Cut, and serving as fashion lead for The Cut's branded content. While New York has been her home for over 10 years, she moved to Los Angeles in the midst of the pandemic in 2020 for a new chapter. Now she is a fashion market editor for Who What Wear, focusing on emerging designers, rising trends on and off the internet, interior design, and BIPOC creatives and brands. Aside from her duties as a fashion market editor, Brown is also a freelance stylist and writer, working on national print and video commercial campaigns for Sephora, The Independent, and Cadillac. Her bylines also include Harper's Bazaar, Vox, and The New York Times. But once the computer goes down and the emails turn off, she's likely eating her way through Koreatown, hunting down vintage furniture, scoping out new outrageous nail designs to try, or taking a hot cycling class.