It seems like just another Tuesday that a new fashion trend is rising on social media but, amidst the nostalgia-triggering revivals of flared jeans and XXX, Quiet Luxury is one that carries deeper implications than we think. Buried deep within the crisp white linen shirts and beige ballet flats is a subtle hint of classism that it’s been passed down through the ages – but I wonder how many actually see it.

The Quiet Luxury trend is marked by a preference for simple and understated fashion, as well as a deliberate rejection of mainstream luxury brands and logo-centric aesthetics, it encapsulates the “If You Know, You Know” (IYKYK) concept.

To really understand the implications of Quiet Luxury though, iWeb need to delve into the idea of ‘new money’: why does this term still carry such prejudice even do this day and, what all that in mind, how can we actually embrace the Quiet Luxury aesthetic without drawing undue criticism to people who… well, simply don’t like the same thing?

Old Money vs New Money (Sofia Richie and Succession)

New Money, or Nouveau riche as the French say, refers to individuals who have acquired their wealth rather than inheriting it. Historically ‘new money’ has always been looked down upon by the upper class elite. It’s believed that, although these people have the same wealth and means, they tend to be unrefined… or trashy.

It’s absurd, really, because it was back in the 19th century that people still obsessed over the idea of ‘pedigree’. Yet, Quiet Luxury is essentially a modern twist on the old-fashioned classism we thought we’d moved past.

This is very clearly evidenced when we consider the it girl of Quiet Luxury, Sofia Richie. She was previously most well-known as the ex-girlfriend of Scott Disick, who gained notoriety for his messy, problematic antics both on and off screen of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. She had been mostly out of the limelight since the break up.

However, her recent reappearance in Vogue had everyone talking. Richie’s wedding to music executive Elliot Grainge seemed to come right out of a fairytale and, in a blink of an eye, she has metamorphed from Scott Disick’s insta-baddie messy girlfriend to a classy, mature lady of the upper class.

However, it’s important to note that Richie had always come from wealth – she is the daughter of Lionel Richie after all – and that an extravagant wedding with celebrity guests and three couture Chanel gowns hardly puts the ‘Quiet’ in Quiet Luxury.

In the end, it comes down to impression.

When she was linked to Disick, the public felt that she was loud and flashy – much like ‘new money’. In contrast, her private husband stays out of the media, coming across more understated and elegant. Whilst neither he nor Richie are necessarily old money, it raises the question on whether him being a businessman instead of a reality television star means people feel his money is ‘better’ earned?

At it’s core, Quiet Luxury implies that there is value in what the upper elite consider to be tasteful – that because they were born into their wealth, their opinion holds more value than people who have earned their wealth.

This Quiet Luxury trend also came at a point in time where people are feeling entirely fatigued with the Kardashians and influencer-culture, and so it’s almost too easy to criticize them.

However, the problem runs deeper than this.

The Issues

Quiet luxury is not affordable or accessible to the regular person. This trend is intended only for those with financial privilege because it allows for no alternatives. There are no affordable alternatives, and most people cannot justify spending an entire week’s salary on a t-shirt, regardless of the quality.

For many people, purchasing that dream luxury bag is actually becoming a more reachable goal, but it is still a luxury. So the question is, why should their joy or tastes be diminished simply because their knowledge of luxury fashion is deemed too ‘common’? And why should one be punished for wanting a loud branded handbag that screams, “I did it!”?

At its core, Quiet Luxury is the result of classism. It praises the uber-wealthy whilst criticizing others as lacking elegance or modesty. It is absolutely inaccessible and then also chooses to put down those who even try to reach for it.

The Good Things

All of that said, there is one core value from this trend that we can take and, by reframing them in a non-elitist light, could become a positive influence.

That is purchasing less but higher quality. This does not necessarily mean spending exorbitant amounts of money. However, putting a stronger focus on mindful consumerism can make us more careful shoppers. There are many mid-range brands that have a good balance of affordability and quality, so fast fashion is not the only option when you’re on a budget. However, there does need to be a change in mindset where you can spend a bit more on your clothes by purchasing less of it.


While quiet luxury may appear harmless at first glance, it is important to recognize its role in perpetuating classism and socioeconomic divides. By creating an exclusive and inaccessible realm that caters to the wealthy few, quiet luxury reinforces social hierarchies, promotes exclusion, and disregards ethical concerns. As a society, we must strive for inclusivity, accessibility, and a more equitable distribution of resources and opportunities. By challenging and reevaluating our relationship with luxury, we can work towards a future that values diversity, empathy, and social justice for all.

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