8 Simple Rules to Effortlessly Whisper the Chic of ‘Quiet Luxury’

by Karly Rayner

The buzzwords ‘quiet luxury’ may seem faddish, but the concept itself is all about taking a slower, more simplistic approach to dressing which whispers sophistication as opposed to ostentatiously shouting from the rooftops. 

In a nutshell, quiet luxury describes a style of living and dressing that is characterised by understated elegance and refinement. It engenders a way of life that emphasises quality over quantity and focuses on timeless, well-made pieces rather than trendy, disposable fad-rags. 

While these concepts may not be new, the fact that quiet luxury is having a moment in the spotlight is proof that attitudes to sustainability and style are shifting to something more pared back and refined. 


Image credit: The Shirt Company

It’s not only the grown ups, either. Dovetailing with TikTok movements like ‘recessioncore’ which centres around minimalist closets and natural makeup, quiet luxury is making waves with Gen Z. 

While hard to define exactly, quiet luxury is about fit, harmony and a slow, considered, minimal aesthetic. The ideal quiet luxury wardrobe has been built over years with loved, favourite pieces which speak of confidence and comfort. 

In the words of Maja Dixdotter, the Creative Director of By Malene Birger:


'I believe that feeling of luxury comes from some kind of harmony. A harmony in the colour palette, in different textures and shapes. A home or an outfit feels luxurious when it breathes a clear style.'

If this style sounds like your cup of tea, here are some simple rules to help you carefully whisper chic:


1. Choose a Quiet Luxury Icon to Channel 

Quiet luxury has an “if you know, you know” aesthetic which relies on quality and fit speaking for itself as opposed to labels and logos. 

As the look is hard to pin down, choosing a quiet luxury icon to channel can be a great starting point. Some long term representatives for the look include:


  • Claudia Winkleman
  • Chloë Sevigny 
  • Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen 
  • Gwyneth Paltrow 
  • Hayley Bieber 
  • Naomi Pierce - Yes, I know she's a Succession character, not a real person, but her looks are perfect! 

2. Always Look Comfortable 

A quiet luxury look must never look laborious or uncomfortable. The effortlessness channelled by comfortable shoes, cosy cardigans  and a well-fitting pair of jeans is the foundation of the style and there is absolutely no place for towering heels, scratchy fabrics or try hard fits. 


3. Invest in Quality Materials 

Quiet luxury is all about quality materials, so invest in pieces made from high-end fabrics like cashmere, silk, organic cotton and fine wool. Look for items with a luxurious feel and a timeless appeal, such as a well-cut cashmere sweater or a classic white shirt. 

Details are crucial to pull quiet luxury looks together, so pay special attention to buttons, collars, pleats and the little touches which elevate a piece. 


4. Choose a Neutral Foundation

Image credit: The Shirt Company 

Neutral colours like black, white, beige, and grey are the cornerstone of the quiet luxury style. These colours exude elegance and sophistication and can be easily mixed and matched with statement colour pops. 


5. Embrace Minimal Lines 

Quiet luxury is all about simplicity and minimalism. Avoid clothing with too many embellishments or logos, and choose pieces with clean lines and simple silhouettes as the base of your look. When it comes to accessories, choose understated pieces, such as a classic leather tote (no visible logs please!) or a delicate gold necklace.

6. Focus on Fit

Clothes which fit like they were made for you are the absolute key to achieving a quiet luxury look. Choose pieces which fit impeccably and avoid anything too tight or baggy, as this can detract from the overall elegance of your look. 

Hiring a tailor to alter your clothes can be a surprisingly cheap option to make even the simplest pieces look polished and classy.


7. The Devil is in the Details 

As mentioned above, details matter in the quiet luxury style. Look for pieces with subtle details that add interest, such as a delicate lace trim on a shirt or a silk scarf with a bold, stylish  print. These small details, along with accessories like subtle stud or ring earrings can take a simple outfit from basic to sophisticated.


8. If You Don’t Love it, Lose it 

Image credit: The Shirt Company 


Quiet luxury is not about having a closet full of clothes, but rather a carefully curated collection of high-quality garments. Invest in timeless pieces that will last for years, rather than trendy items that will quickly go out of style.

If there are items in your wardrobe which don’t make your heart sing, it’s time to let them go and donate them to someone who will appreciate them more. 

When every piece matters, there’s no space for surplus fluff. 



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