Welcome to the exclusive realm of the Old Money Aesthetic, a fashion style that epitomizes elegance and refinement. This aesthetic isn’t merely about the clothes you wear; it’s a comprehensive approach to style that reflects a rich heritage and an understated approach to luxury. Whether you’re attending a high-end social event or just aiming to upgrade your daily wardrobe, this guide will provide essential tips to help you embody this classic and sophisticated look.
Historical Roots of Old Money Aesthetic
The Old Money Aesthetic traces its origins to the upper classes of society, whose fashion choices have been characterized by an understated elegance for centuries. This style is the antithesis of ‘new money’ flashiness; it’s about heritage, quality, and a subdued approach to luxury. Historic icons of this look include figures from the British aristocracy and American East Coast elite, who favored classic tailoring and a palette of timeless colors. The evolution of this style has remained true to its roots, prioritizing quality and tradition over fleeting fashion trends.
Key Characteristics of Old Money Fashion
The essence of Old Money fashion lies in its understatement and focus on quality. The color palette is typically subdued, featuring navy, grey, cream, and other earth tones. Fabrics are of the highest quality, with an emphasis on natural materials like wool, cashmere, and fine cotton. Patterns are classic and understated, including stripes, checks, and herringbone. Fit is paramount; clothes should be well-tailored but never overly tight. The overall look is one of effortless elegance, where each piece seems to have been chosen with care and intention.
Essential Clothing Items
To begin building an Old Money wardrobe, focus on a few key items:
- Blazers: A well-fitted blazer in navy or charcoal is a versatile staple. Look for high-quality materials and classic cuts.
- Tailored Trousers: Opt for a tailored fit in neutral colors. Wool trousers are a great choice for colder months, while lighter materials work for summer.
- Cashmere Sweaters: Perfect for layering, a cashmere sweater offers warmth and style. Choose classic colors like navy, grey, or camel.
- Oxford Shirts: Invest in high-quality cotton Oxford shirts in white and light blue.
- Brands to Consider: Brands like Ralph Lauren and Brooks Brothers have long been associated with this aesthetic. They offer a range of items that align well with the Old Money style.
Accessorizing the Old Money Way
Accessories in the Old Money aesthetic are subtle yet impactful. The key is to choose classic pieces that complement the outfit without dominating it.
- Watches: A simple, elegant watch with a leather strap or a subtle metal band is a perfect choice.
- Cufflinks: Opt for understated designs in silver or gold.
- Ties and Pocket Squares: Silk ties in muted colors or classic patterns like stripes or paisleys add a touch of sophistication. A neatly folded pocket square can elevate a blazer or suit jacket.
- Belts and Bags: Choose high-quality leather in classic colors like black or brown. A well-made briefcase or leather bag can add a refined touch to your ensemble.
In the Old Money style, less is more. Each accessory should feel purposeful and add to the overall sense of polished elegance.
Footwear in Old Money Style
Footwear is a critical component of the Old Money aesthetic. Classic styles are favored over trendy designs:
- Oxfords: These are a must-have for formal occasions. Choose in black for the most formal events or brown for a slightly more casual look.
- Loafers: Ideal for smart casual settings, loafers offer both comfort and style. Opt for leather or suede in versatile colors like brown or navy.
- Brogues: Perfect for adding a touch of detail to your outfit, brogues work well for both formal and casual looks. Quality is key. Investing in high-end, durable shoes not only ensures longevity but also adds an unmistakable elegance to your outfit. Regular maintenance, including proper cleaning and shoe polishing, is essential to keep them in pristine condition.
Grooming and Etiquette
The Old Money look extends beyond clothing and accessories; grooming and etiquette play a vital role. A neat, classic haircut and a clean shave or well-groomed beard are essential. Subtle fragrances are preferable over strong scents. Your grooming routine should reflect the same attention to detail and quality as your wardrobe.
Etiquette is equally important. The Old Money aesthetic is about more than appearance; it’s a demeanor that exudes confidence, composure, and respect. This includes polite manners, good posture, and a gracious way of interacting with others. Your behavior should reflect the understated elegance of your attire.
Where to Shop: Old Money Brands and Stores
Finding the right places to shop is crucial in achieving the Old Money style. Brands like Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren, and Burberry offer timeless pieces that perfectly align with this aesthetic. Additionally, don’t overlook the value of vintage stores; they can be treasure troves for unique, high-quality items that embody the classic look.
When shopping, focus on quality over quantity. It’s better to invest in a few well-made pieces that will last, rather than a plethora of lower-quality items. For a more personalized experience, consider visiting traditional tailors who can customize clothing to your exact measurements.
Styling Tips and Common Mistakes to Avoid
When putting together outfits, balance is crucial. Mix and match pieces wisely to suit the occasion:
- Formal Events: A well-fitted suit is the cornerstone of Old Money fashion. Pair with a crisp white shirt and a classic tie.
- Semi-Formal and Casual: Combine blazers with chinos or dark jeans for a less formal, yet still elegant look.
Common mistakes to avoid include overdressing, choosing overly flashy items, and neglecting fit. Remember, the Old Money aesthetic values subtlety and understatement.
Mastering the Old Money aesthetic for men is about more than just wardrobe choices; it’s about embodying a lifestyle that exudes sophistication and understated elegance. As men aspiring to achieve the Old Money aesthetic, it’s essential to focus on quality, fit, and classic styles. This aesthetic isn’t about fleeting trends but about a timeless elegance that transcends fashion cycles. Old Money aesthetic men understand that their attire is a reflection of their identity and values.
The journey to perfecting the Old Money aesthetic for men requires attention to detail, not only in clothing but also in grooming and etiquette. The essence of the Old Money aesthetic men’s style lies in its subtlety and refinement, a quiet confidence that is both seen and felt. It’s a celebration of heritage, quality, and an understated approach to luxury. For men looking to adopt the Old Money aesthetic, it’s about finding that perfect balance between tradition and personal style, ensuring that every piece tells a story of elegance and class.
As we conclude, remember that the Old Money aesthetic for men is an ongoing journey of style and self-expression. It’s about building a wardrobe that stands the test of time and developing a demeanor that complements this timeless style. For men aiming to achieve the Old Money aesthetic, the key is in the details – the cut of a suit, the quality of a leather shoe, and the way one carries oneself. Embrace this aesthetic with confidence, and let it reflect your unique identity and grace.