• 02/20/2024

Embracing The Old Money Aesthetic and Lifestyle

A woman wearing a blazer, white blouse and slacks.

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Have you ever heard of the old-money aesthetic? If you’re on Tiktok, you’ve probably come across this intriguing style trend. It’s more than just a fashion statement—it’s a timeless and sophisticated way of life that values tradition, quality and timeless elegance.

History of the Old Money Aesthetic

This history of the old money aesthetic is a tale of tradition, refinement and an enduring commitment to a way of life that values quality, heritage and understated elegance.

Origins in Old European Aristocracy

The old money style can trace its origins back to the European aristocracy, where wealthy families with ancient lineages have long been the torchbearers of tradition and taste. These families possessed vast estates. 

Exquisite art collections and a deep commitment to preserving their cultural heritage. The aristocracy’s lifestyle emphasized quality over quantity and it revolved around the appreciation of art, literature and craftsmanship.

Colonial America and the American Aristocracy

In the United States, the old money aesthetic took root with the arrival of the first settlers from Europe. Families like the Vanderbilts, Astors and Rockefellers became synonymous with old money. They built grand estates. Collected fine art and contributed to the development of American high society.

The American aristocracy inherited many values from their European counterparts, emphasizing the importance of culture, philanthropy and maintaining family legacies. These old-money families played a significant role in shaping the cultural landscape of the country, supporting the arts, education and public welfare.

Brands Known For Capturing the Old-Money Style

There are several brands known for capturing the old-money aesthetic with their timeless, high-quality and sophisticated offerings. Here are some brands that exude that classic, heritage and luxurious vibe:

  • Brooks Brothers: Known for its classic suits, dress shirts and preppy style, Brooks Brothers has been a symbol of American elegance since the 19th century.
  • Ralph Lauren: This brand epitomizes classic American style with a focus on quality and timeless designs, offering everything from clothing to home decor.
  • Hermès: A French luxury brand known for its iconic silk scarves. Leather goods and fine craftsmanship. 
  • Rolex: For classic and timeless timepieces, Rolex is a symbol of elegance and prestige.
  • Burberry: Famous for its trench coats, Burberry represents British heritage and sophistication.
  • Chanel: Chanel embodies timeless, classic fashion with a focus on clean lines and understated elegance.
  • Barbour: A British brand known for its classic waxed jackets and outdoor wear that exudes a sense of tradition and quality.
  • John Lobb: Renowned for its handmade, high-quality shoes, John Lobb is the epitome of classic footwear.
  • A. Lange & Söhne: This German watchmaker offers classic, luxury timepieces with a focus on precision and craftsmanship.

Embracing the Old Money Aesthetic

Embracing the old money stylein your style and lifestyle involves a deliberate shift towards timeless, classic and refined choices. Here’s how to start incorporating this aesthetic into your life: 

Research and Inspiration

Begin by researching the old money style. Look at fashion icons, literature and films that capture this style. Explore the lifestyles of old-money families and their values such as tradition, quality and culture.

Quality Over Quantity

Old money style is all about investing in high-quality, long-lasting pieces. Start by decluttering your wardrobe and removing items that no longer serve you. 

There’s a belief among some the number 33 holds a special significance when it comes to your wardrobe. According to this concept, you should limit your apparel to a total of 33 items, encompassing everything from outerwear down to your collection of shoes.

Create a capsule wardrobe with essential, versatile pieces. Choose neutral colors and classic patterns like stripes, houndstooth and polka dots.

Opt for clothing with classic silhouettes that stand the test of time. Think A-line skirts, well-tailored blazers and straight-cut trousers. 

Prioritize fabrics like wool, cashmere, silk and high-quality cotton for comfort and durability. Invest in timeless accessories such as leather shoes, classic handbags and fine jewelry.

Heritage Brands and Secondhand Shopping

Explore clothing and accessory brands known for their heritage and commitment to craftsmanship. Consider shopping for vintage or secondhand pieces as they often have a classic, timeless charm.

Cultivate Good Manners and Interests 

Old money style is not just about clothing—it’s also about cultivating good manners, showing respect to others and practicing etiquette. Embrace a less-is-more approach. Simplicity and minimalism often go hand in hand with this style.

It’s also about developing interests in art, literature, culture and history. Frequent museums, galleries and cultural events.

Read classic literature and books on art, history and culture. This will deepen your understanding of the old-money lifestyle. Travel to places with rich histories and cultural significance to immerse yourself in traditions and heritage.

Old Money Aesthetic Staples

Quality isn’t determined by price tags but rather by the craftsmanship, choice of materials and the longevity of the pieces. Old money aesthetic staples are classic, timeless and high-quality items that are essential for embodying this sophisticated style. Here are some key staples to consider for your wardrobe and lifestyle: 

  • Tailored suits: A well-fitted suit in navy or charcoal gray for men and tailored blazers and skirts or slacks for women.
  • Crisp dress shirts and blouses: High-quality white dress shirts for men and classic blouses or button-up shirts for women in neutral colors.
  • Fine leather shoes: Oxfords, brogues and loafers for men and classic pumps for women.
  • Timeless accessories: Silk ties for men, silk scarves for women, leather belts and classic buckles.
  • Classic outerwear: Trench coats, overcoats and wool coats in neutral colors.
  • Quality handbags and briefcases: Classic leather handbags or satchels for women and leather briefcases for men.
  • Neutral color palette: Stick to neutral colors like black, white, navy, gray and beige for a versatile wardrobe.
  • Classic timepieces: Traditional wristwatches with leather or metal bands.
  • Classic sunglasses: Opt for classic, timeless sunglasses that suit your face shape.
  • Hats and gloves: A well-made fedora or Panama hat for men and leather gloves or cashmere-lined gloves for women.
  • Undergarments: Ensure that your undergarments are high quality and fit well—they are the foundation of any sophisticated outfit.
  • Quality umbrella: Invest in a high-quality, stylish umbrella that complements your wardrobe.
  • Polished grooming: Maintain a well-groomed appearance, including clean, well-kept hair and facial hair for men and, polished nails and subtle makeup for women.

The Old Money Aesthetic

The old money aesthetic is not a fleeting trend but a timeless journey into a world where tradition, luxury and class are the cornerstones of a life well-lived. It’s an adventure that invites you to explore the past, invest in quality and approach life with grace and humility.

The old money style is not reserved for a select few but is a mindset available to all. It’s a journey that transforms the mundane into the extraordinary and the every day into the exceptional.

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