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How to get the ‘quiet luxury’ look on the high street

Looking expensive doesn’t have to cost a fortune, says Sam Wylie-Harris.


Fads come and go, but when is a trend not a trend?

“The ‘quiet luxury’ anti-trend is an understated approach to dressing that can be perfected by styling timeless, low-key staples with minimalistic designs,” says Sheila McKain, chief product officer at Hush.

Indeed, when celebrating classic tailoring, ‘quiet luxury’ proves a little goes a long way.

Think pared-down pieces that don’t shout ‘look at me,’ but have a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ that makes you look effortlessly chic and rich – without a logo or label in sight.

To master this aesthetic, McKain says you don’t have to spend thousands on high-end designer pieces: “It’s more about choosing great quality and thoughtful design – selecting core items you can use to create a base is key.”

She says trophy pieces include a classic blazer, wide-leg trousers or straight-leg jeans and a crisp, white shirt. “When styled together, each of these pieces can create a multitude of everyday looks,” suggests McKain.

To ensure you get the most wear out of each item, she says to keep colours neutral and stay within a palette of brown, beige, black and white.

As far as accessories go, she says jewellery should be kept minimal with something as simple as a small hoop earring.

If this sounds a little too safe, a gold bangle or carefully selected thin gold necklace chains (styled effortlessly) will luxe up your look to the desired effect.

As Sian Ryan, director of design at River Island, puts it: “Quiet luxury is essentially a wardrobe of styling essentials, where items can be worn in a multitude of ways and span many seasons – ensuring customers get a true sense of value for money.”

Here’s how to get the look…

1. The white shirt

“My favourite outfit at the minute is a white shirt teamed with a straight-leg jean and pointed-toe kitten heel,” says Ryan.

“When I wear this, I feel put together, yet effortless. I like to think of it as ‘easy elegance’.”

Whether you wear your crisp, white shirt open with a sleeveless white vest underneath, or buttoned up nonchalantly, go a size larger to make it look more expensive.

Longer in the sleeve, wider on the shoulder and a little more length gives it that luxurious, designer feel.


Hush Pia Oversized Cotton Shirt, £79


Asket The Lyocell Shirt, £100

2. Neutral knits

“Neutral knitwear in super-soft luxury yarns are perfect for when the days turn cooler,” says Karen Peacock, Albaray’s co-founder and chief creative officer.

“A chic colour palette that goes with everything helps create multiple ways to wear.”

Remember, fabrics play a leading role, so look for soft-to-the-touch in a smooth yarn for a cashmere cheat – or some texture for your rib crib-sheet.


Reiss Evie Cashmere Wool Hooded Cardigan, Camel, £128


Albaray Merino Wool Rib Jumper, £129 – available mid August

3. Tailored jacket

“An elevated blazer in a heritage check looks ideal styled with a classic jean and white T-shirt combination,” suggests Peacock.

“A simple look which creates an easy, pared-back luxe look.”

(River Island/PA)

River Island Beige Rolled Sleeve Blazer, with Linen, £69


Albaray Check Wool Blazer, £175 – available mid August

4. Straight-leg jeans

Whether you go for a washed look or mid-wash blue, a looser fit is encouraged to make them look premium. And remember, no obvious branding on the bum or rips on knees.

Plus, if you can comfortably pose with hand-in-pocket, you’re in the inner circle for classy, desirable denim.


Primark Cares Straight Leg Denim Jeans, £16


Hush Agnes Straight Jeans, £79

5. Camel coat

Looking ahead and transitioning into Autumn, a timeless camel coat always looks effortlessly chic.

Naturally, the colour plays a part. Camel isn’t practical, it shows every mark and therein lies the beauty of it – you’re wealthy enough to fork out for dry cleaning bills.

“A camel coat offers versatility and a sense of polish to any outfit,” notes Peacock.

A welcome addition to any wardrobe, she says a masculine silhouette and slight oversized fit allows for multiple layering opportunities… we’re thinking an ivory sweater tied around the shoulders, just so.


Lipsy Military Blazer Coat, Camel, £64, Next


Reiss Mia Wool-Blend Mid Length Coat, Camel, £328

6. Gold jewellery

“From understated hoops to simple chains, the quiet luxury trend is about choosing the right pieces, and keeping it simple, timeless and refined,” says Sally Arkley-Wade, head of product and trading at H Samuel.

She says to focus on quality materials and subtle details to create elegant and sophisticated looks.

“Team your plain white top, those everyday jeans or timeless shirt with affordable must-haves,” suggests Arkley-Wade. “Choose from 9ct gold chains, stack up your ear with 9ct gold hoops, or invest in the finer details – whatever your style, you will find something to suit your budget.”

And select pieces which can be worn with a variety of outfits, she adds. “Mix and match delicate necklaces, stack thin rings, or layer bracelets to add depth and interest to your overall style.”


Accessorize Small Simple Hoops, Gold, £3.20 (was £4)

(H Samuel/PA)

From top: H Samuel 9ct Yellow Gold 16 Inch Curb Chain, £89.99; 9ct Yellow Gold 18 Inch Rope Chain, £129 (was £159); 9ct Yellow Gold 18 Inch Anchor Chain, £269, rest of items from a selection.


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