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Quiet Luxury for Men – Mastering The Art of Timeless Elegance

Quiet luxury is a way of dressing associated with the old money aesthetic thanks to the look’s similar values of classic garments of exceptional quality and timeless elegance.

The quiet luxury look transcends age, so whether you’re a startup founder in your 20s or a seasoned VC in your 50s, the core principles of a timeless and refined wardrobe are similar.

The essence of quiet luxury lies in wearing classic and refined garments, footwear, and accessories from premium materials and expert craftsmanship that depict wealth without ostentatiousness.

Quiet luxury is the subtle and essential aspect that unites classic fashion styles, such as the iconic American Preppy look, the refined British Sloane Ranger aesthetic, and the French bon chic bon genre (BCBG) style.

Quiet Luxury Origins

Quiet luxury, also known as stealth wealth, understated opulence, or silent or discreet luxury, originated in the early 20th century as a low-key facet of the wealthy’s dressing styles.

In post-World War II America, the preppy style of Ivy League universities and the country’s upper class illustrated the principles of quiet luxury and understated wealth.

The preppy aesthetic favoured timeless, well-crafted garments such as Oxford button-down shirts, cable-knit sweaters, and penny loafers as a form of casual refinement.

Across the Atlantic, the British “Sloane Ranger” aesthetic emerged as the understated style of London’s upper class.

Characterised by classic tailoring, muted colours, and an emphasis on heritage brands, the Sloane Ranger look exemplifies the essence of quiet luxury.

In the latter half of the 20th century, luxury fashion brands began to recognise the appeal of quiet luxury, and labels such as Loro Piana, Cucinelli, and Zegna emerged as the aesthetic’s champions in crafting garments from the finest materials in traditional techniques.

Nowadays, quiet luxury continues to resonate with discerning gentlemen who seek to express their style and success through the quality and craftsmanship of their clothing rather than through conspicuous branding or ostentatious design.

Quiet Luxury Simplified

Quiet luxury is defined as wardrobe pieces from premier labels that utilise the finest fabrics without adornment or flash.

It starkly contrasts gaudy or loud luxury, exemplified by the Instagram feeds of celebrities like Conor McGregor or DJ Khaled.

Instead of giant chains, bedazzled logos, or bright colours, quiet luxury features $500 cashmere ball caps, subtle drapes, and depth of texture.

The goal is to appear casual and relaxed without overtly flaunting wealth, so the emphasis on construction and fabric is paramount in quiet luxury.

As with any luxury label, you pay for the brand but also for the craftsmanship, longevity, and rare materials.

Vicuna, for example, is an extremely rare and expensive wool from a South American animal related to the alpaca.

It is prized for its softness and ability to wear well over time, and the renowned Italian brand Loro Piana largely controls its production and dissemination.

Scarcity is another key element of quiet luxury. These are not seasonal items but rather timeless creations that transcend trends.

While you may not see your favourite athlete sporting a Brunello Cucinelli cable knit, you will likely see the most sophisticated person you know packing one in their unbranded calfskin weekender.

In essence, quiet luxury is about sophisticated styles that don’t need to announce themselves.

It focuses on understated, refined looks that prioritise the quality of fabrics while emphasising comfort and longevity.

To embody the quiet luxury look, consider the following key rules:

  • Prioritise premium fabrics like cashmere, merino wool, organic cotton, linen, silk, and textured leather from brands such as Sunspel and Extreme Cashmere.
  • For a summer look, embrace a subdued colour palette of dark, neutral, and earthy tones, with the occasional pastel.
  • Stick to classic patterns such as stripes, houndstooth, checks, and subtle florals.
  • Focus on impeccable fit and avoid anything too tight, baggy, or short in trouser length.
  • Prefer discreet embellishments, hand-stitched accents, and delicate patterns and textures.

Ultimately, quiet luxury is about investing in high-quality garments of high refinement and timeless design without creating an overt display of wealth.

Quiet Luxury Essentials

Quiet Luxury prioritises investing in garments, footwear, and accessories of timeless design, exceptional quality from expert artisans, and understated elegance rather than chasing the latest fashion trends.

To master the art of quiet luxury, you must grasp the look’s key tenets and principles upon which a timeless and refined wardrobe is built:

Artisanal Craftsmanship

Seek out garments and accessories that showcase the skill and dedication of master artisans.

From hand-stitched detailing to traditional techniques, quiet luxury items often bear the mark of exceptional craftsmanship that sets them apart from mass-produced goods.

Timeless Design

Eschew trendy, attention-grabbing styles favouring classic silhouettes and understated design elements.

Quiet luxury is about pieces that effortlessly stand the test of time, transcending fleeting fads and remaining relevant for years, if not decades, to come.

In a world of fleeting fashion trends from labels that rise and fall in popularity overnight, avoiding branded clothes, loud-coloured accessories, or flashy shoes guarantees a standout look.

Quality not Quantity

Invest in fewer, higher-quality garments crafted from premium materials such as cashmere, silk, wool, and supple leather.

Although these pieces may have a higher price tag, their longevity and superior construction make them a wise investment in the long run.

Subtle Details

The beauty of quiet luxury lies in the finer points – the mother-of-pearl buttons on a dress shirt, the hand-rolled edges of a silk pocket square, or the hand-painted patina on a pair of leather shoes.

These subtle details may not be immediately apparent but contribute to the overall air of refinement.

Muted Colours

While not exclusively limited to neutral tones, quiet luxury often favours a sophisticated colour palette of muted earth tones, rich navy and burgundy hues, and classic black and white.

These versatile colours lend themselves well to the understated elegance that defines this aesthetic.

By understanding and embracing these core principles, a gentleman can begin to curate a wardrobe that embodies the essence of quiet luxury, regardless of his age or personal style preferences.

Quiet Luxury Wardrobe Essentials

Building a wardrobe that embodies the essence of quiet luxury requires a careful selection of key garments, footwear, and accessories from expert brands that will form the foundation of your style.

Here are the essential garments, footwear, and accessories every gentleman should have in his collection.

Bespoke Suit

While not an everyday necessity, a bespoke suit is the ultimate expression of quiet luxury.

Work with a skilled tailor to create a suit that fits you perfectly and showcases your unique style.

Opt for classic fabrics like Super 150s wool, and pay attention to the lapel width, button stance, and trouser break.

Savile Row tailors like Henry Poole & Co, Gieves & Hawkes, and Huntsman are the gold standard for bespoke suiting.

White Shirt

A crisp, white dress shirt from premium cotton, such as Sea Island or Egyptian varieties, is an old-money fashion staple that can be dressed up or down.

Pay close attention to the fit and details like mother-of-pearl buttons.

I recommend Turnbull & Asser, Charvet, and Kiton, renowned for their impeccable shirts.

Cashmere Blazer

A well-tailored cashmere blazer in classic navy or rich camel hue, with subtle details such as horn buttons and a half-canvassed construction, is a cornerstone of quiet luxury.

Brands like Brunello Cucinelli, Loro Piana, and Ralph Lauren Purple Label offer great options that will stand the test of time.

Cashmere Overcoat

When the temperature drops, a luxurious cashmere overcoat epitomises quiet luxury.

Choose a timeless silhouette, such as a single-breasted Chesterfield or a double-breasted Polo coat, in a neutral colour like camel, navy, or charcoal.

Brands like Loro Piana, Ermenegildo Zegna, and Brioni are known for their exceptional outerwear.

Indigo Denim Jean

While denim may not immediately come to mind when thinking of quiet luxury, a well-made pair of indigo jeans can be a valuable addition to your wardrobe.

I suggest a clean, dark indigo wash with minimal distressing or embellishments.

The jeans should be well-fitted, with a straight or slim-straight leg, and paired with more elevated pieces, such as a cashmere blazer or a tailored sport coat, to maintain an overall air of refinement.

Brands known for high-quality denim, such as A.P.C., 3sixteen, or Raleigh Denim Workshop, would be more appropriate for a quiet luxury context than more mainstream or heavily distressed denim brands.

Leather Loafer

Expertly crafted leather loafers are necessary for any quiet luxury wardrobe.

Whether you prefer a classic penny loafer or a more contemporary Belgian loafer, invest in a pair made from the finest calf leather and featuring Goodyear welt construction.

John Lobb, Edward Green, and Crockett & Jones are all excellent options.

Heirloom Watch

A finely crafted timepiece built to last generations is a functional accessory and a symbol of refined taste that will never go out of style.

Invest in a classic dress watch from a respected Swiss brand such as Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, or A. Lange & Söhne.

By carefully selecting these key investment pieces and building your wardrobe around them, you’ll create a solid foundation for expressing your unique style through the lens of quiet luxury.

Quiet Luxury Outfit Ideas

Quiet Luxury Outfit Ideas Now that we’ve discussed the key elements of a quiet luxury wardrobe, let’s explore how to combine these pieces into cohesive, refined outfits suitable for various occasions.

Pro Business Outfit

For a formal business setting, such as a boardroom meeting or a high-level corporate event, start with a tailored navy suit from Brioni, crafted from a luxurious super 150s wool fabric.

The suit’s clean lines and impeccable fit will showcase your attention to detail and professional demeanour.

Pair this with a crisp, white dress shirt from Charvet, known for exceptional cotton fabrics and precise craftsmanship.

The shirt’s French cuffs and spread collar will add a touch of sophistication to your look.

To complete the outfit, select an elegant tie from Hermes featuring a classic geometric pattern in shades of navy and silver and black Oxford dress shoes from John Lobb, renowned for their superior quality and timeless design.

Finally, accessorise with a classic white pocket square from Brunello Cucinelli and a refined, minimalist dress watch from A. Lange & Sohne to showcase your appreciation for the finer details.

Business-Casual Outfit

For a more relaxed business setting, such as a casual Friday or a business lunch, start with a pair of light grey, slim-fit wool trousers from Incotex, known for their exceptional fit and quality.

These versatile trousers will serve as the foundation for your look. Pair them with a crisp, white dress shirt from Turnbull & Asser featuring a semi-spread collar and mother-of-pearl buttons.

The shirt’s impeccable construction and tailored fit will ensure you look polished and put-together.

Layer a light blue cashmere crewneck sweater from Cruciani over the dress shirt for added depth and texture.

The ultra-fine 14-gauge cashmere will provide both comfort and a touch of luxury. Complete the look with a navy wool-silk-linen blend sport coat from Boglioli, known for its relaxed yet refined Neapolitan tailoring.

The jacket’s unique fabric blend and unstructured silhouette will give your ensemble an effortless elegance.

For footwear, choose a pair of dark brown suede penny loafers from Edward Green. These loafers seamlessly blend comfort and style.

For a final touch of quiet luxury, finish the outfit with a dark brown leather belt from Ettinger, a vintage yellow gold dress watch, and a white linen pocket square from Simonnot-Godard.

Smart Casual Outfit

For semi-casual occasions, such as dinner parties or weekend gatherings, begin with khaki chinos from Incotex for a comfortable yet tailored fit.

Pair these with a light blue oxford shirt from Gitman Vintage. The shirt features a button-down collar and a slightly relaxed fit.

Layer a navy merino wool v-neck sweater from Zanone over the shirt for warmth and texture; the sweater’s fine-gauge knit and fitted silhouette will maintain a streamlined appearance.

Complete the outfit with an unstructured, light brown suede jacket from Valstar, known for its iconic Valstarino model.

This jacket will add a touch of understated luxury while keeping the overall look relaxed and approachable.

For footwear, opt for a pair of minimalist white leather sneakers from Common Projects, which offer a sleek, modern aesthetic.

For a final touch of refined, casual style, accessorise with a simple yet elegant silver watch from Nomos Glashütte and tortoiseshell acetate sunglasses from Persol.

By carefully selecting high-quality pieces from renowned artisanal brands and combining them thoughtfully, each outfit embodies the essence of quiet luxury while being tailored to specific occasions and levels of formality.

Quiet Luxury Brands to Know

Certain brands stand out in the world of quiet luxury through craftsmanship of exceptional quality and timeless designs.

These fashion labels, heritage houses, and artisanal studios offer clothing and accessories depicting understated wealth and graceful elegance.

Let’s look at some of the most notable quiet luxury brands every discerning gentleman should know.

Edward Green

Edward Green is a renowned British shoemaker crafting exceptional footwear since 1890.

The brand’s shoes are made from the finest leather and constructed using the traditional Goodyear welting technique, ensuring durability and comfort.

Edward Green’s timeless designs, from classic Oxford shoes to elegant monk straps, are favoured by discerning gentlemen who appreciate the understated elegance and impeccable craftsmanship of the brand’s footwear.

Turnbull & Asser

Turnbull & Asser is a British luxury shirtmaker and haberdasher dressing distinguished gentlemen since 1885.

The brand is known for its exceptional bespoke and ready-to-wear shirts, crafted from the finest cotton fabrics, and signature details such as mother-of-pearl buttons and hand-stitched buttonholes.

Turnbull & Asser’s ties, pocket squares, and other accessories are equally impressive, showcasing the brand’s commitment to quality and traditional craftsmanship.

The Row

The Row is an American luxury fashion brand founded by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in 2006.

The brand is known for its minimalist yet luxurious design, prioritising exceptional quality, precise tailoring, and understated elegance.

The Row’s collections, which include ready-to-wear, accessories, and footwear, are crafted from the finest materials and are designed to transcend fleeting trends.

The brand’s commitment to timeless style and impeccable craftsmanship has earned it a devoted following among those who appreciate quiet luxury.

Thom Browne

Thom Browne is an American fashion designer known for his modern yet timeless approach to menswear.

The brand, founded in 2001, is renowned for its impeccably tailored suits, often featuring signature details such as grosgrain trim and shortened proportions.

Thom Browne’s collections also include luxurious knitwear, outerwear, and accessories, all of which showcase the brand’s commitment to exceptional quality and innovative design.

With a focus on precision and understated elegance, Thom Browne has become a go-to label for men who seek quiet luxury with a contemporary edge.


Berluti is a French luxury brand creating exceptional leather goods and footwear since 1895.

The brand is renowned for its patinated leather shoes, crafted using a complex process involving hand-dyeing and polishing to achieve a rich, deep colour.

Berluti’s leather goods, including briefcases, bags, and wallets, are equally impressive and showcase the brand’s mastery of leather craftsmanship.

In recent years, Berluti has expanded its offerings to include luxurious ready-to-wear and bespoke clothing, cementing its position as a leading purveyor of quiet luxury.

Brunello Cucinelli

Often referred to as the “King of Cashmere,” Brunello Cucinelli is an Italian luxury brand synonymous with quiet luxury.

Founded in 1978, the brand is renowned for exquisite cashmere knitwear, tailored suits, and thoughtfully designed accessories.

Brunello Cucinelli’s creations have neutral colour palettes, sumptuous textures, and exceptional attention to detail.

The brand’s commitment to ethical and sustainable practices and its dedication to preserving traditional craftsmanship sets it apart as a leader in luxury menswear.

Loro Piana

Another Italian brand, Loro Piana, is known for its uncompromising dedication to sourcing the world’s finest raw materials.

From vicuna wool to baby cashmere, the brand’s fabrics are of the highest quality and are used to create luxurious and understated clothing and accessories.

Loro Piana’s pieces, which range from plush knitwear to supple suede jackets, are designed to be timeless and enduring, with a focus on comfort and effortless elegance.

The brand’s commitment to innovation and sustainability, as seen in its development of new fabric technologies and its support of local communities, further cements its position as a quiet luxury powerhouse.

Ermenegildo Zegna

Founded in 1910, Ermenegildo Zegna is an Italian luxury fashion house at the forefront of men’s tailoring for over a century.

The brand is renowned for its exceptional suiting fabrics woven from the finest wools and blends in the company’s mills.

Zegna’s suits and sports coats are characterised by impeccable fit, clean lines, and subtle details, making them favourites among discerning gentlemen who appreciate understated luxury.

In recent years, the brand has also expanded its offerings to include luxurious knitwear, outerwear, and accessories, all of which maintain the same level of quality and refinement as its signature tailoring.

Stefano Ricci

Stefano Ricci is a Florentine luxury brand that epitomises the essence of quiet luxury.

Known for its meticulous attention to detail and use of the most precious materials, such as crocodile leather and silk, the brand offers a range of clothing and accessories that are both wealthy and refined.

Stefano Ricci’s pieces, which include hand-stitched suits, intricately patterned ties, and elegant leather goods, are crafted by skilled artisans using traditional techniques passed down through generations.

The brand’s commitment to preserving Italian craftsmanship and its dedication to creating products of the highest calibre make it a true embodiment of quiet luxury.

John Lobb

John Lobb is a British luxury shoemaker crafting some of the world’s finest footwear since 1849.

The brand’s shoes, which range from classic oxfords to sleek loafers, are made from the highest-quality leather and constructed using time-honoured techniques such as Goodyear welting.

Each pair of John Lobb shoes is a testament to the brand’s unwavering commitment to craftsmanship, comfort, and timeless style.

With a loyal following that includes royalty, business leaders, and discerning gentlemen worldwide, John Lobb is a true icon of quiet luxury in men’s footwear.


Charvet is a French luxury shirtmaker and haberdashery who has been dressing some of the world’s most elegant men since 1838.

The brand is renowned for its exquisite dress shirts, crafted from the finest cotton fabrics, and features mother-of-pearl buttons and hand-stitched buttonholes.

Charvet’s ties, pocket squares, and other accessories are equally impressive, showcasing the brand’s mastery of colour, pattern, and material.

With a rich history of outfitting royalty and Hollywood icons, Charvet remains a bastion of quiet luxury and timeless sophistication in men’s fashion.


Valextra is an Italian luxury leather goods brand creating understated, yet exquisite bags and accessories since 1937.

The brand’s pieces, which include briefcases, portfolios, and weekenders, are characterised by their clean lines, minimalist design, and exceptional craftsmanship.

Valextra’s leather goods are made from the finest hides and are constructed using traditional techniques that ensure both durability and beauty.

With a focus on functionality and enduring style, Valextra’s pieces perfectly complement a quiet luxury wardrobe.

Master the Quiet Luxury Look

Gentlemen, crafting a stealth-wealth look is an art in itself, but our expert stylists are dedicated to helping you navigate this beautiful world of classic styles.

Whether you’re attending a formal gala, a business meeting, or a relaxed social gathering, we’ll help you craft a look that oozes quiet luxury from head to toe.

Get in touch with The VOU’s stylists today and embark on a journey of sartorial discovery.

With over twenty years of front-row fashion and styling events, collabs with haute-couture houses, and a PhD in Luxury Fashion, Laurenti is an expert in crafting personalized looks that depict old-money sophistication.

With years of expertise in high-end fashion collabs and a PhD in Sustainable Fashion, Ru specializes in curating eco-luxe wardrobes for the modern gentleman seeking understated refinement.

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