Of all the design trends that enter the market each year, very few stand the test of time. Most don’t make it past the season and many are scoffed at only a few cycles later, which should surprise no one at this point. The nature of trendsetting, fast fashion, and rapid consumerism has made it so.
But, every so often, a new trend will appear that has real staying power. These gems tend to be more accessible and seem to cross over into different intersections of life. We’re talking fashion, interiors, and other areas of day-to-day living that offer us opportunities to express our individuality or savor little details meant for us alone.
One of the hottest trends circulating on social media and popping up in celebrity culture is called quiet luxury. And let me tell you, it fits the bill perfectly.
Even if you haven’t heard of it, you’ve probably seen it.
It’s all over the last season of Succession. You know, the satire about an aging business tycoon and his uber-rich, uber-chic children clamoring to inherit his empire.
It sums up Gwenyth Paltrow’s brand and public image over the past few decades. (Minus the aloof exclusivity, of course.)
In short, it draws inspiration from the old money aesthetic, is the softer cousin of minimalism, and is rooted in a particular mindset about consuming that can be applied to your lifestyle as a whole. Despite its name, quiet luxury is an approach that exists in direct contrast to overconsumption and overt signs of wealth. It’s more about being purposeful and living out one’s values through what they choose to wear and what they bring into their home.
The best part? Anyone—making any income and at any stage of their life—can apply its core tenets to how they dress, decorate, and live.
Let me show you how.
Quiet Luxury Explained
Like most trends that stick, there’s an element of timelessness in quiet luxury.
Classic cuts, monochromatic ensembles, and understated accessories are staples in quiet luxury fashion. When it comes to quiet luxury interiors, neutral color palettes, clean lines, and natural textures reign supreme. The goal is to dress yourself and design your space in a way that is both subtle and elevated, equal parts muted and refined.
The end result is undeniably classy. It’s a formula that may not turn heads but ensures you’re always put together enough to step into the spotlight if you need to. (See why this trend gets the HCD stamp of approval?)
One thing to be clear on is that this trend is not at all about extravagance. “Luxury” may be in the name but the approach is much more concerned with intentionality and quality than with lavishness. It’s never snobby, flashy, overdone, or pretentious. In fact, it’s not about the price tag at all.
Luxury in this context isn’t defined by expensive, designer clothing, or show-stopping interiors that clearly cost an arm or a leg to furnish. Instead, luxury is yours to define. It’s about knowing your values, making thoughtful purchases guided by those values, and buying the best quality you can afford for the products that matter most to you.
This particular trend goes for personal comfort and purposeful living over displays of opulence every day of the week. After all, true luxury doesn’t feel the need to announce itself to the world. Not when the details are there.
Another reason I’m fully on board with this trend is that it goes hand-in-hand with slow fashion, green design, and mindful living—all of which matter a great deal in my personal life and how I approach my work.
Quiet luxury favors high-quality products and classic styles so it only makes sense that it lends itself to natural materials in neutral color palettes. When constructed well and maintained properly, these effortlessly timeless fabrics and raw materials are durable enough to last many years. So if you take care of your favorite pair of linen pants, the cashmere throw on your sofa, or that jute rug in your foyer, you can enjoy them for much longer than anything else you can snag at a fast fashion or big box store.
One of my favorite perks about following this approach is that it will prevent you from having to replace closet staples and heavy-use furniture over and over and over again. These tried-and-true cuts and classic forms will never look hokey or dated during their lifespan. It’s a no-brainer, really.
Take a look at my top picks for brands that have quiet luxury down pat the next time you want to add something new and impeccably designed to your wardrobe.
One high-end brand that's worth the high ticket price is The Row.
Known for its beautifully-tailored fabrics, carefully-curated details, and exceptional quality, The Row has been enriching wardrobes with elevated basics since its inception in 2006. The cuts are always clean and on the more minimal side. The way their garments fall on the body and feel to the touch make it clear they are of the utmost quality one can afford. If you want a posh, new staple that looks and feels divine, look no further than this subdued and elegant clothier.
Frame is another one of my go-to brands when I'm ready to add something new to my weekly rotation. While most would still consider their prices an investment, Frame charges far less than The Row while still maintaining top-notch quality in their clothing. Everything they sell is cut beautifully and is extremely well made. From the picture-perfect stitching to the flattering fit, this brand is a fuss-free no-brainer when it comes to timeless basics. Trust me when I say you can't go wrong with a pair of their black slacks, camel pants, or button-down shirts.
If your workwear needs an upgrade, Veronica Beard has got you covered whether you're in the office every day of the week or on the go 24/7. What I love about this designer is that she's unapologetic in her love for timeless styles. One example is the dickey blazer she's known for, which hasn't changed at all with time. You could whip that out back in 1980 or add it to your ensemble today and it would still have the same impact. When I want something smart or tailored to add structure to a more casual outfit, I'll wear my navy blue dickey blazer with brass buttons and it'll do the trick every single time.
A more affordable option for the pared-down, classic look is J. Crew. If you're into the classic French aesthetic—think pinstripes and boat neck tops—this one is sure to have something right up your alley. What I like about this brand is the look they've cultivated over the years that never seems to shift with the trends of the season. Though many would consider their prices an investment, shoppers should know they are safe investing in pieces from J. Crew because they are versatile, durable, and can last years if you maintain them.
When I think about quiet luxury and jewelry, Lola Fenhirst (@lolafenhirst on Instagram) is the first name that comes to mind. The Parisian jeweler runs an independent, small-batch fine jewelry company whose work is inspired by her Anglo-Nigerian and West African heritage. Each piece combines European jewelry-making techniques and traditional Yoruba adornment motifs to create her signature architectural, Afro-modernist aesthetic. In this way, the internationally known jeweler manages to blend old and new, traditional and modern, to form wearable art that is both innovative and ageless.
If I could snag one thing from her shop it would be the Beaded Pentagon I Earring in 18k yellow gold. But let's be honest, I'd take everything home with me if I could.
The important thing to remember is that quiet luxury goes beyond aesthetics.
It prioritizes what feels luxurious to you over what appears to be luxurious to others.
It’s like creating a personal brand based on your values and allowing that to translate across all platforms. The thread is always there—consistent, polished, and substantive on all fronts.
What I love about this trend is it proves you can have nice things without being a snob. And you can live a lifestyle of quiet luxury without a hefty bank account or regretful credit card bill to boot.
So ask yourself, what is luxurious to you?
What do you care deeply about?
And how can you incorporate your values into your lifestyle and purchasing decisions in a way that’s elevated, understated, and timeless?