Prepare yourself for a summer of chic exploration with our exclusive quiet luxury packing list that will have you jet-setting like fashion icon Sofia Richie. In the realm of fashion, the term “quiet luxury” might elicit an eye roll from the style-savvy.
However, ever since Sofia Richie Grainge donned her timeless, custom Chanel bridal ensemble during her wedding in the picturesque south of France, fashion brands have been scrambling to cater to the allure of classic aesthetics, moving away from the flashy, logo-laden trends favored by many celebrities.
The idea of a quiet luxury packing list began to take shape in my mind after two consecutive trips that required specific dress codes, leaving me longing for a touch of personal style amidst the confines of my suitcase. Miami, with its vibrant colors, low-cut necklines, body-hugging silhouettes, and bold accessories, pushed me out of my comfort zone, but it was an exhilarating experiment.
Just days later, I found myself in Nantucket, a preppy haven in New England. There, I discovered a vacation style that resonated with my sensibilities, thanks to the island’s refined and upscale clientele, serving as a wellspring of inspiration for my own quiet luxury pursuit.
But what exactly does “quiet luxury” mean?
This phrase refers to a style dominated by high-end brands that eschew overt branding as a status symbol. Picture Max Mara’s timeless camel coats, Loro Piana and Brunello Cucinelli’s exquisite knits, The Row’s exquisite footwear, and Hermès’ coveted handbags. Quiet luxury shoppers are connoisseurs of investment pieces, valuing quality and longevity above all. It whispers instead of screaming.
While not everyone can afford the regular splurge on Khaite or Bottega Veneta, adopting a quiet luxury mindset when shopping is accessible to all. Seek out timeless pieces that fit impeccably and boast superior craftsmanship, regardless of price range. The pursuit of elevated fashion doesn’t always necessitate breaking the bank.
Unsurprisingly, brands that embody these principles have seen a surge in popularity. Among them, Polène stands out as a shining example. Founded by Antoine Mothay, along with his brother and sister, Polène prioritizes exceptional quality over superficial brand recognition. Mothay explains, “We aimed to create singular, refined designs that prove excellent craftsmanship and the highest quality are not exclusive to luxury brands.”
So, without further ado, let’s delve into the ultimate quiet luxury packing list, replete with timeless styles that effortlessly complement any wardrobe, all under a $1,000 budget.
When building a wardrobe that exudes quiet luxury, the price tag is irrelevant. The three essential aspects to consider when selecting garments are fit, fabric, and longevity. Proper fit takes precedence, as a top, dress, or blazer that doesn’t drape well will always miss the mark, regardless of its cost. Hence, it is imperative to try on clothing while shopping to ensure a flattering silhouette, a step frequently taken by luxury shoppers who enlist the assistance of tailors to achieve sartorial perfection.
Fabric selection is another vital consideration. While luxurious silks are not a requirement for a sophisticated look, avoiding cheap materials can make a significant difference. Embrace texture and weight, as they lend an elevated feel to your ensemble. Finally, ponder whether the pieces you’re acquiring are fleeting fashion fads or timeless staples that will serve you for years to come. Discerning dressers rely on versatile basics that can be styled repeatedly. To commence your quiet luxury wardrobe, start with essentials like Ted Baker’s Francic Hammered Satin Slip, Reformation’s Mason Pant, and Banana Republic’s Lena Relaxed Linen-Blend Blazer.
In the realm of eyewear, discard trendy shapes and colors. Opt instead for classic silhouettes in tortoise, black, and brown, which lend a clean and sophisticated touch to any summer look. Randolph, crafting military-grade shades right here in the USA, offers timeless frames. Inspired by the iconic Jackie O, Barton Perreira handcrafts frames that exude elegance. Ray-Ban, the American-Italian brand renowned for its Aviator, Wayfarer, Caravan, and Boyfriend glasses, infuses a fresh twist into their new Reverse collection, reversing lenses while retaining timeless styles. Warby Parker, a recent entrant in the stylish sunglasses space, excels at blending new and old-school aesthetics, exemplified by the Noor Sunglasses. Their extensive range of tortoise options ensures a flattering hue for every face shape.
In the realm of quiet luxury, logo-emblazoned totes and sequin-studded micro-bags fall short. Instead, embrace supple leathers and versatile silhouettes that effortlessly complement any outfit. Strathberry, rather than relying on ostentatious logos, employs signature hardware elements like the gold bar to unify their handbag collection. The practical Mosaic Bag, now available in a captivating olive shade, can be carried crossbody or by its top handle.
Mansur Gavriel, renowned for their exquisite Italian leathers, offers bags that strike the perfect balance between high-quality craftsmanship and an accessible price point. The Small Candy Bag, for instance, combines practicality with an elevated appeal. Ralph Lauren, no stranger to timeless aesthetics, showcases a new wave of logo bags with their chic Polo ID collection, offering a sophisticated alternative to traditional options.
While quiet luxury may not be synonymous with old-school prep, there is an undeniable overlap when it comes to knitwear. My time in Nantucket confirmed that draping a preppy knit over your shoulders is the ultimate style hack for staying warm while exuding elegance. While elite quiet luxury enthusiasts indulge in expensive cashmere, contemporary brands offer equally stunning options.
Sézane, renowned for their knits, provides pieces like the Kyam Sweater, a versatile choice that works year-round. Vineyard Vines, a brand that helped shape the New England prep aesthetic, offers chunkier knits like the Cotton Heritage Tennis Sweater, available in their menswear selection. Staud’s recent Staud Court collection includes après-sport-friendly sweaters, with the navy Serve Sweater being a standout piece.
Timelessness need not be synonymous with boredom. When curating a shoe wardrobe that exudes quiet luxury, it’s best to avoid overly trendy styles. Instead, focus on closet classics and elevate from there. Look for practical sandals with subtle hardware details or standout strap designs, as well as loafers featuring unique textures or heel heights. Embrace neutrals to achieve the best results, sidestepping vibrant or garish options.
Tibi’s cushioned leather Hugh Sandals, with their approachable heel height and distinctive padded front strap, embody sleek elegance that will endure in your wardrobe for years to come. Tory Burch’s summer sandals invariably include a touch of gold, as seen in the Patos Sandals, which elevate everyday outfits and effortlessly dress down evening ensembles. Nomasei strikes the perfect balance between old and new with their loafer options, such as the Trench style, showcasing contrast stitching and a silver emblem bearing the brand’s iconic hand logo.
Jewelry is an intimate expression of personal style, and achieving a luxurious look doesn’t always necessitate emptying your wallet at Van Cleef & Arpels. To elevate your overall ensemble, eschew trendy materials and bold shapes in favor of simple yet stunning pieces that can be effortlessly dressed up or down. Discover your favorites, adorn yourself with them, and never take them off.
While Polène’s handbags are an obvious choice for affordable quiet luxury, their foray into jewelry is equally captivating, as demonstrated by the Éole Slim Hoop Earrings, guaranteed to turn heads without overpowering your look. For budget-friendly pearls, explore Mejuri’s extensive collection, which includes under-$100 pieces with striking impact, such as the Mini Pearl Satellite Bracelet.
Just as textured fabrics exude luxury, the same principle applies to gold jewelry. David Yurman’s Cable Amulet Holder features a rope-like twist detail, rendering it exquisitely beautiful when worn alone on a chain or used to fasten charms.