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Written by Sonia Su
In the world of fashion and aesthetics, certain styles transcend fleeting trends and capture a sense of timeless elegance and sophistication. One such enduring and revered aesthetic is the "Old Money" style.
In this article, we explore the essence of men's Old Money Aesthetic, including its rich history, defining characteristics, and key elements that define this iconic and perpetually stylish way of dressing and living.
History of Old Money Aesthetic
The concept of "Old Money Aesthetic" is a fashion trend that has its roots in the social and cultural history of European and American aristocracy and the upper class. It emerged during the late 19th and early 20th centuries when wealth and social status were closely tied to heritage, lineage, and inherited fortunes.
This aesthetic reflects the lifestyle and values of established, often multi-generational, wealthy families. It is characterized by an emphasis on tradition, understated elegance, and a sense of timelessness. Key elements of "Old Money Aesthetic" include classic and conservative fashion choices, quality over quantity, and a preference for heritage brands and craftsmanship.
The term "Old Money" itself implies a sense of generational wealth, where fortunes have been preserved and handed down through the years. It stands in contrast to "New Money," which often signifies newly acquired wealth and may be associated with more ostentatious displays of affluence.
"Old Money Aesthetic" is not limited to fashion but extends to various aspects of lifestyle, including home decor, art, and social etiquette. It embraces a sense of refinement and cultural appreciation, often valuing education, manners, and the arts.
Over the years, "Old Money Aesthetic" has evolved but has remained a symbol of enduring elegance and sophistication. It continues to influence fashion and style choices, inspiring individuals who appreciate the timeless beauty of classic design and the heritage of established brands.
What is "Old Money Aesthetic"?
"Old Money Aesthetic" is characterized by several defining traits and principles that set it apart as a symbol of timeless elegance and sophistication:
- Understated Elegance: One hallmark is a commitment to understated elegance. This aesthetic values subtle and classic style over flashy or extravagant fashion choices. It embraces the idea of quiet luxury: true luxury doesn't need to shout; it speaks for itself through quality and timeless design.
Conservative Fashion Choices: This aesthetic favors conservative, traditional, and classic pieces. This includes well-tailored suits, classic dress shirts, and neutral colors like navy, gray, and earth tones. Accessories are often minimal and tasteful.
- Quality Over Quantity: Rather than amassing a large quantity of clothing, adherents of this aesthetic invest in enduring, high-quality pieces. These items are meant to last and improve with age, reflecting a commitment to both craftsmanship and sustainability.
- Heritage Brands: The old-money vibe often prioritizes heritage brands with a long history of producing fine goods. These brands are associated with tradition, quality, and a sense of enduring style.
Timelessness: "Old Money Aesthetic" seeks to create a timeless look that transcends fashion trends. Clothing and accessories are chosen for their ability to remain stylish and relevant year after year. Here are some of our bestselling dress shirts, including this white dress shirt and blue dress shirt.
- Attention to Detail: Attention to detail is paramount. From well-fitted clothing to impeccable grooming, adherents of this aesthetic pay close attention to the finer points of their appearance.
Cultural Appreciation: This aesthetic values cultural and intellectual pursuits. It often includes an appreciation for the arts, literature, classical music, and fine dining.
- Reserved Demeanor: This aesthetic extends beyond fashion and encompasses a reserved demeanor. It values discretion and modesty over overt displays of wealth or status.
- Multi-Generational Wealth: While not a requirement, this aesthetic is often associated with families of multi-generational wealth, where traditions and values are passed down through the years.
- Embrace of Tradition: Tradition is a central aspect of "Old Money Aesthetic." It cherishes customs, rituals, and practices that have stood the test of time.
- Education and Manners: This aesthetic often places a high value on education and refined manners. Courtesy, etiquette, and cultural knowledge are esteemed.
Overall, "Old Money Aesthetic" represents a commitment to classic, enduring style, and a reverence for heritage, quality, and culture. It is a timeless and elegant way of approaching fashion and lifestyle choices that has persisted through generations.
"Old Money Aesthetic" Outfit Elements
The key elements of "Old Money Aesthetic" encompass a range of fashion and lifestyle choices that reflect a commitment to timeless elegance, sophistication, and a sense of heritage. These elements define the essence of this enduring aesthetic:
Classic Wardrobe: An Old Money wardrobe is characterized by classic and conservative clothing choices. This includes well-tailored suits, dress shirts, khaki pants, and blazers. Neutral colors like navy, gray, beige, and earth tones dominate, emphasizing timelessness over trends. Check out our guides on how a suit should fit, how a dress shirt should fit, and style tips for men.
Quality Over Quantity: Instead of amassing an extensive wardrobe, adherents of the Old Money Aesthetic prioritize quality. They invest in high-quality, durable clothing and accessories that stand the test of time. These items are meant to last and improve with age. Here are some of the best men's dress shirts and best suit colors.
- Heritage Brands: Heritage brands with a rich history of craftsmanship and tradition hold a special place in Old Money fashion. These brands are chosen for their enduring quality and timeless designs. They often include names like style icons and brands Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren, and Burberry.
Minimalist Accessories: Accessories are kept minimal and tasteful. Timeless accessories, including watches, belts, and shoes, are chosen for their quality and simplicity, avoiding overly ornate or flashy designs.
Timeless Footwear: Classic footwear choices include well-made leather dress shoes, loafers, and boots. These shoes are selected for their versatility and ability to complement various outfits.
- Subdued Patterns: When patterns are used, they tend to be subtle and traditional, such as pinstripes, houndstooth, or subtle checks. Loud or flashy patterns are avoided.
Grooming and Personal Care: Grooming is a crucial element of "Old Money Aesthetic." Neat, well-maintained hair, and facial hair, along with impeccable personal hygiene, contribute to a polished appearance.
- Cultural Appreciation: Old Money adherents often appreciate cultural and intellectual pursuits. They may have a fondness for classical music, fine art, literature, and theater, reflecting a commitment to cultural enrichment.
- Conservative Values: This aesthetic is often associated with conservative values and a reserved demeanor. It values modesty, discretion, and politeness over ostentation.
- Multi-Generational Wealth: While not exclusive to Old Money, this aesthetic is often associated with families of multi-generational wealth, where traditions and values are passed down through the years.
- Embrace of Tradition: Tradition is a central element, and adherents may have customs, rituals, and practices that have been maintained for generations.
- Education and Manners: Education and refined manners are highly valued. Courtesy, etiquette, and a cultivated manner of speech are integral to the Old Money way of life.
In essence, "Old Money Aesthetic" represents a commitment to enduring style, quality, and cultural appreciation. It reflects a timeless and sophisticated approach to fashion and lifestyle choices that prioritize heritage, refinement, and a sense of understated elegance.
Frequently Asked Questions about Old Money Aesthetic for Men
What does old money mean in aesthetic?
"Old money" in aesthetics typically refers to a style that exudes a sense of timeless, understated elegance and sophistication. It often involves classic, conservative fashion choices and a preference for quality and heritage over trendy or flashy elements.
How to get that old money aesthetic?
To achieve the old money aesthetic, focus on classic and timeless fashion choices, such as well-tailored clothing in neutral colors and quality fabrics. Embrace understated elegance, prioritize heritage brands, and avoid flashy or trendy items, opting instead for pieces that exude sophistication and a sense of tradition.
How to build an old money aesthetic wardrobe?
Building an old money aesthetic wardrobe involves investing in high-quality, timeless pieces like tailored suits, classic dress shoes, and well-fitted shirts in neutral colors. Choose heritage brands and pay attention to fine craftsmanship, opting for items that convey understated elegance and enduring style.