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Quiet luxury still reigns for fall ’23: Where to get vintage versions
Vintage and secondhand is a sustainable way to get the quiet luxury look, oftentimes for less. Photo: cottonbro studio/Pexels

Quiet luxury still reigns for fall ’23: Where to get vintage versions


“Quiet luxury” has taken the fashion and decor worlds by storm — here’s how to find both wallet-friendly and splurge-worthy vintage pieces that fit the look

Slowly but surely, “quiet luxury” has made its way into the mainstream approach to dressing and accessorizing. Now, it tops the zeitgeist of what’s “in” for 2023.

But quiet luxury is not a new enigma — in fact, dressing in high-quality, custom fabrics was embraced by wealthy types as early as the Renaissance era.

In more modern times, the Olsen Twins have been championing the low-key approach to high fashion since the debut of their brand, The Row, in 2006. Brands such as Bottega Veneta, Khaite and Toteme followed suit.

But the term itself only gained traction this year.

If you’re an avid TikToker, your For You Page (or “FYP,” for those in the know) may have been blowing up earlier this summer with videos about 2023’s latest fashion trend “quiet luxury.” Shining a spotlight on this trend is none other than celebrity nepo baby and fashion’s next it girl, Sofia Richie Grainge.

Musician Lionel Richie’s daughter married music mogul Elliot Grainge in a luxe ceremony at exclusive resort Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes along the Cote D’Azur, France on April 22, 2023. In a ceremony that featured three custom Chanel bridal gowns and a cake so luxurious it had to be cut with a sabre, many news outlets and fashion pundits hailed the event as the wedding of the year.

Not long after the wedding weekend, Richie Grainge and her team launched the 24-year-old model and designer’s TikTok account featuring her “quiet luxury” approach to fashion and beauty.

With Vogue on board to promote her content, Richie Grainge was off to the races, facing off against current “it girls” Hailey Bieber and Kylie Jenner for her moment in the social media spotlight.

What is “quiet luxury”?

Whether referred to as non-trend trends or elevated basics, quiet luxury refers to a more minimalistic approach to fashion.

It’s less flashy labels, more polished and pared-back looks. It’s elegant, but not dowdy; austere, but not outdated. It’s old money meets high-quality textiles. It’s less “skin is in” and more left to the imagination.

It’s skiing in Gstaad, Switzerland and après skiing in the finest of fabrics. It’s Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop duping people into buying overpriced candles that smell like her vagina. It’s Mark Zuckerberg spending a small fortune on basic grey tees from Milan-based designer Brunello Cucinelli instead of picking up a three-pack from Walmart.

Think of a capsule wardrobe without a budget. Buttery neutral colours, breathable silhouettes, monochrome head-to-toe outfits, and brands only the rich would recognize make up the bulk of quiet luxury dressing.

Walking hand-in-hand with the runway models of the fall/winter 2023 fashion weeks, quiet luxury was still king on the catwalks. From the tailored power suit and blazer to sleek, long-lined denim, from the ironed button-down white shirt to the luxe loafer, quiet luxury whispered from its usually coded confines of “only the rich” to the world at large.

Quiet luxury: No visible labels, quality pieces. Photo: cottonbro studio/Pexels

Get the quiet luxury look for less with vintage

To be honest, the quiet luxury aesthetic doesn’t sound achievable to fashionistas with scanty savings. In today’s current economic climate, spending money on luxury fashion labels seems out of touch and even irresponsible.

Luckily, for our savvy vintage-seeking readers, quiet luxury can be achieved on the vintage and consignment market for a fraction of the astronomical price tag. So, if you’re wondering if you can get the look without the fancy labels, the answer is a resounding yes.

To achieve the quiet luxury look from vintage sites and thrift shops, seek timeless pieces that don’t date. Look for luxe fabrics (think silk, linen, wool and Pima cotton) in neutral colourways that stand the test of time. Creamy cashmere sweaters are old-money must haves. Straight-legged or bootcut vintage Levi’s jeans in a dark wash are always a win. A classic Burberry trench coat would be a coup.

Avoid logos, loud patterns, and lots of colour. Quiet luxury whispers, it doesn’t shout.

And to accessorize your low-key look? Think subtle stud earrings and a delicate gold chain necklace. Pearls pad these looks as well, and small sunnies that don’t scream “statement” will keep your secret safe with the fashion crowd.

Find quiet luxury at a local vintage market

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Vintage quiet luxury: The real deal

If you’re able to squirrel away some cash for luxe labels, enter luxury and vintage reseller sites such as The Real Real, Vestiaire Collective, and Poshmark.

That Bottega handbag you can’t afford at full retail price? Just wait until the rich get bored of it and look to resell it on one such platform. That classic Balmain blazer that epitomizes quiet luxury? There are many to be found for resale online.

While not at bargain basement prices, the “stealth wealth” trend can still be had at a steal of a deal if you find low-key designer looks that have been well-priced on one of many designer reseller websites or independent vintage sellers who specialize in high-end pieces.

These resellers may take a commission for managing the purchase and sale between seller and buyer, but you’ll still usually come out ahead in terms of savings after you purchase the piece.

It's harder to get vintage and archival pieces such as Chanel at lower prices, as their retail value tends to increase as they age and become more exclusive and harder to acquire. But your run-of-the-mill runway looks or designer samples could fill your cart — and your closet — with money-saving joy that keeps you on trend.

Older woman and older man wearing fine fabrics in neutral colours stand atop of a rock wall and look down
Photo: cottonbro studio/Pexels

Quiet luxury is for the home, too

You didn’t think the quiet luxury trend trumped fashion exclusively, did you? Home decor is up on the trending TikTok hashtags as well. “Old money aesthetic” saw over 3.1 billion views and “quiet luxury” was close behind with 154 million views.

Noting these trends is important for vintage sellers in order to determine what items to stock in their shops and on their sites. And keeping the client top of mind — trust fund or not — is key to selling success.

According to House Beautiful, when it comes to shopping for quiet luxury home decor, valuing and investing in high-quality materials that will have long-term appeal is both an authentic and understated approach to design.

"Quiet luxury is about subtleties and elevated materials, letting the quality be the defining element of the room versus a particular style or aesthetic," explains Shea McGee of interior design blog Studio McGee explains to House Beautiful.

Timeless and enduring antiquities from your local antique shops or sites like 1stDibs are great places to start to acquire low-key quiet luxury pieces for your home. Auction sites are also fantastic places to score understated yet elegant furnishings.

In this iteration of the design trend, opt for the opposite of “keeping up with the Joneses.” “Focus on making your home feel inviting rather than overt opulence,” McGee says. Have a more personal and intimate interaction with your possessions that doesn’t require public approval, she says.

Quiet luxury at home involves natural materials, textures, limited prints and classic lighting, says the team behind architecture and interiors firm Purple Cherry Architects in the same article. "The idea is to create a cohesive grouping of materials and colour tones without any boldness," says Cathy Purple Cherry, principal of Purple Cherry Architects, tells House Beautiful.

So, while you stream Succession to see how the upper one per cent lives while sprawled on your scene-stealing yet subtle sofa, just remember the scathing critique Tom Wambsgans proffered in the premiere episode of season four — no one wants to be Bridget with the ludicrously capacious handbag.

We get it, Tom. Money talks. Wealth whispers.

Where to find vintage quiet luxury

If you’re looking for high-quality construction, luxury labels without the flashy logos and bespoke pieces, check out our roundup of 16 vintage and consignment sellers who can help you nail the quiet luxury look.

Mine & Yours | Vancouver, BC & Toronto, ON

LAB Luxury Resale (online)

Cameron Alastaire Vintage | Toronto, ON

Morceau Montreal | Montreal, QC

Pic Vintage Shop | Toronto, ON

Collective Will | Vancouver, BC

Genuine Design Luxury Consignment | Calgary, AB

Bonne Choice | Toronto, ON

I Miss You Vintage | Toronto, ON

Dodo Bazaar | Montreal, QC

INabstracto | Toronto, ON

Coast Consignment | Vancouver, BC

Goldfringe Luxury Thrift | Montreal, QC

Retyche (online)

Rewind Couture | Toronto, ON

Brilliant Clothing Boutique | Halifax, NS

Cate Brown is an Ottawa-based freelance writer and gallery artist.

A fresh take on all things old.
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