Two words I have heard being used a lot this year by fashion buyers is the phrase “quiet luxury.” This aesthetic is certainly nothing new, as it perfectly describes the Phoebe Philo era at Celine and the ethos behind Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s 14-year-old brand The Row. However this move towards classic, elevated pieces, that are beautiful and special, but not too shouty or flashy, is particularly resonating in 2023.
Last autumn there was a shift towards more classic pieces and this customer’s mindset is invest now and wear forever. “Although dressing up means something different now, there are still excuses to wear something a bit more glamorous, there are plenty of evening options that are comfortable, elegant and ideally suited for a more relaxed occasion such as entertaining at home,” Cassie Smart, Head of Womenswear Buying, at MATCHESFASHION, explained last year. “The Row and Gabriela Hearst are great for quietly luxurious pieces.”
Tiffany Hsu, Fashion Buying Director at MyTheresa, adds: “Understated luxury is the keyword for many collections, and the vocabulary is high-quality knits, cashmere, and neutral tones. Among the ways to achieve the look, the knit dress is a new wardrobe essential.” In terms of the key items to achieve this look, Hsu noted last year: “A standout style for us was Joseph’s head-to-toe layered knit look, which included a long, matching shawl. We also loved the pared-back silhouettes from Deveaux and The Row’s cosy cashmere slippers.”
The appeal of these understated luxury buys is that they are designed to be seasonless and so are guaranteed to go the distance within your own wardrobe. The 12 items below are all classics that you will treasure forever.
Style Notes: Knitted dresses always make a comeback at this time of year, and the market is full of excellent options. Although we love them all, they look particularly beautiful in camel, biscuit and other neutral shades.
Like wrapping up in a blanket.
This looks so premium—I’d wear mine with cleated-sole boots to give it a casual edge.
Style Notes: Trends may come and go, but sometimes there is nothing as elegant as an oversized white shirt. Wear with jeans, leggings, skirts and tailoring for a polished look that’s effortlessly put together.
Arket’s elevated staples will never let us down.
It’s worth spending a little more on something so timeless.
Style Notes: A good pair of sandals are worth investing in as a seasonal staple—and even in spring, they’re on all of our editors’ wishlists.
These will work for a multitude of occasions.
You can never go wrong with a black sandal.
A treasure that will elevate every outfit.
Transform even the plainest tops with statement earrings like this.
Style Notes: ‘Quiet luxury’ is all about paying attention to the quality of fabrics, and so it’ll be no surprise to you that silk features on this list. Think luxe-looking tops and silky soft skirts and shirts that feel as good as they look.
Whatever the season, you’ll be glad you have this skirt in your wardrobe.
This comes in a handful of chic colours.
Style Notes: When it comes to outerwear, nothing is quite as chic as a camel coat—we have Max Mara to thank for this one.
I can’t decide which Mango coat I want the most, but this is a strong contender.
The thick belt, the wide lapels—this coat oozes luxury.
Style Notes: If you are after simple, but beautiful, shoes that will go with everything you own, look no further than a pair of eassy-to-style leather loafers.
After a few wears, these will be the comfiest shoes you own.
Fashion’s reigning loafer, courtesy of Gucci.
Style Notes: For most of us a luxury watch is a once in a lifetime purchase, and we particularly love simple straps with a classic appeal, like Hermès and Cartier.
A true wow-piece.
You’ll never tire of seeing this watch on your wrist.
Style Notes: We believe that every wardrobe should include at least one wear-with-everything blazer, and right now we love glossy, leather iterations.
I’m into the relaxed fit of this style.
It doesn’t get more elevated than a creamy blazer.
Style Notes: It bags come and go, but a black leather handbag will always be worth investing in. Nothing works harder than a black handbag that goes with every outfit and works for every dress code.
Sling over your shoulder and go.
This is the perfect size for your on-the-go essentials.
Style Notes: Okay, this admittedly isn’t the most exciting item on our list, however a leather belt can be the perfect finishing touch to most outfits as well as being a practical must-have.
The only black leather belt you’ll need.
Cinch in loose-fit midi dresses with this simple waist belt.
Style Notes: When it comes to fine or expensive jewellery, we often lean towards simple designs, such as gold rings either worn stacked or individually.
An everyday kind of ring.
Silver jewellery has proven it has major staying power.
Opening Image: @modedamour
This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated.