So, what defines the male old money aesthetic? In this article, I’m going to break down this classic fashion style and show you how to achieve the old money aesthetic for guys.
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What is the old money aesthetic?
The old money aesthetic, also known as quiet luxury, is a fashion trend that’s inspired by the style of wealthy individuals who have inherited their wealth rather than earned it themselves.
It often consists of preppy, monochromatic, and covertly luxurious clothing that focuses on quality, logo-free designer pieces, tailoring, and classic American prep.
This style is characterized by classic, timeless pieces and a focus on quality over trendiness.
Think of the “old money aesthetic” as a way of dressing that’s inspired by the inherited wealth of yesteryear’s most famous family dynasties, like the Kennedys, the Gettys, and the Vanderbilts.
As a trend, the old money aesthetic and quiet luxury have become popular among Gen Z and Millennials who are seeking nostalgia and a desire for classic, chic pieces with staying power.
The trend has been popularized by figures such as Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Paul Newman, Lady Diana, and fictional characters like Blair Waldorf and Chuck Bass.
Old money aesthetic in Hollywood
A Hollywood fictional character that embodies the old money aesthetic is Dickie Greenleaf, played by the gorgeous Jude Law in the 1999’s movie “The Talented Mr. Ripley”.
Dickie Greenleaf is the definition of old money aesthetic and quiet luxury. He is a handsome, eccentric multi-millionaire who inherited his wealth rather than earned it himself.
He lives an impulsive lifestyle, favoring a rebellious path in Italy rather than Manhattan, where he is anonymous and able to pursue his pleasures without judgment or confinement.
In Italy, he is un-pressured to marry or take up an occupation, doing what he pleases, spending his allowance, and going to jazz clubs, wanting to escape the pressures of his parents’ lifestyle.
Another great example that represents the old money aesthetic is Jay Gatsby, a fictional character played by the award-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio.
Jay Gatsby is a fabulously wealthy young man living in a Gothic mansion in West Egg.
He is famous for his flamboyant lifestyle and the lavish parties he throws every Saturday night, but no one knows where he comes from, what he does, or how he made his fortune.
A neat tuxedo will surely make you look like a mob boss and you come from old money.
How to achieve the old money aesthetic for men
In recent times, the terms “stealth wealth” and “quiet luxury” have been used to describe the old money aesthetic. The key is understated elegance, being classy and sophisticated.
The clothes may appear plain or boring, but they are high quality. If you want to look the part, here is how to style yourself so you can achieve the old money aesthetic for men.
Medium-length hairstyle in a clean-cut manner
The “old money aesthetic” hairstyle for men is typically a long to medium-length haircut.
Anything that is styled in a classic, clean-cut manner including the undercut, side part, slick back, wet mop, and messy curtain works as the foundation of the old money aesthetic.
A great example is Dickie Greenleaf, a fictional character from the movie The Talented Mr. Ripley. He sports a combination of a messy curtain and a side-part hairstyle.
If you prefer the slick back hairstyle, look no further than Jay Gatsby, a fictional character from the movie The Great Gatsby. He is the definition of old money aesthetic.
However, there is no one definitive “old money aesthetic” hairstyle for men, as the trend is more about an overall classic and timeless look rather than specific haircuts or styles.
Muted and soft colors (Mediterranean style)
Before we get to the actual style, I have to set some prerequisites for the old money aesthetic. In terms of color, stick to muted colors that are soft like white, cream, and baby blue.
Avoid bright, striking colors that are progressive. Think of the old days where rich billionaires spend their time in yachts, not in underground clubs driving expensive sports cars.
All-white tennis outfit
Truth be told, you can easily achieve the old money aesthetic simply by sporting an all-white tennis inspired outfit. Think of brands like Lacoste and Rolex for ideas.
Going for an all-white ensemble not only screams “summer in the Hamptons” vibe, incredibly versatile and fit to a wide range of aesthetics too, including preppy.
Loose-fitting linen button-down shirts
When the weather is warm, the best thing you can wear to achieve the old money aesthetic is a loose linen shirt. Choose a neutral color like white, cream, or baby blue.
Wearing a loose-fitting linen shirt, like Dickie Greenleaf, communicates to the world that you spend more time on a yacht rather than grinding a 9 to 5 at an office cubicle.
Cashmere sweater or cardigan
When the weather gets colder, layering will be key.
Think cashmere sweaters or cardigans. Cashmere as a clothing material is meant to symbolize luxury among woolen consumer goods thanks to the richness of the fabric.
In fact, cashmere wool is obtained from a particular breed of goats found in a geographical region (India), and many people love it. If you’ve never tried it, then give Cashmere a go.
Wear a cardigan or sweater over the shoulders
There’s something about wearing a cardigan or a sweater over the shoulders that screams “old money aesthetic” especially if you pair it with an elegant pair of sunglasses.
Draped across the shoulders, it provides a surprising amount of warmth and style. Thickness is key here. You don’t want to throw on a giant thick and heavy knit sweater over your shoulders.
The cashmere knit material offers a different tone and texture to the vintage button-down shirt or polo underneath. Just make sure it has a slightly different color from the shirt.
Polo shirts and chinos
A polo shirt can make an outfit look put together without trying too hard, especially when styled with a French tuck or all the way in. It makes you look European, in a sense.
When paired with a pair of tapered chino pants, you’d nail the old money aesthetic. It’s a timeless piece and a wardrobe staple that every man should have.
Black or brown loafers
As far as footwear is concerned, a chic pair of loafers is the ultimate thing to complete your old money aesthetic outfit. It’s classy, especially when paired with straight-fit chino pants.
Although you could wear them with brightly colored or patterned socks to spice up your looks, loafers are usually worn without socks (or at least no-show socks).
Ferragamo loafers look sophisticated, although they would cost you more than $250 while the ones from Polo Ralph Lauren will set you back somewhere around $150.
If you want a pair of affordable loafers, I recommend this pair from Lacoste. It’s available in black leather or dark brown. And the best part is, it costs less than $100.
Clean minimalistic white sneakers
Although high-end designer sneakers are, well, expensive, they clash with the overall old money aesthetic. You’d lean more toward the starboy aesthetic than anything else.
You’d fare much better wearing clean, minimalistic white sneakers. The color white is neutral and exudes class and sophistication. Think Adidas Stan Smith or Alexander McQueen.