How To Dress For Old Money vs New Money | Alara Style

How To Dress For Old Money vs New Money

Old money vs new money : woman wearing camel tailored pants and blazer with coat
Photo curtesy of The Style Stalker

If want to dress for Old Money vs New Money then you need to learn the subtle differences and how to adopt each look effortlessly. Elevate your style game!

This distinction isn’t just about spending habits or investment portfolios but also reflects in their choice of attire. Whether you’re navigating the old money folks or the new money people, understanding these key differences can give you a considerable advantage in your social standing.

Old Money vs New Money

Before getting into how to dress for old money vs new money, we need to understand what this means and what ‘money’ refers to in these contexts.
Old money refers to a family that have accrued generational wealth over many generations. These families, such as the Rockefeller’s, have maintained their wealth, often through inherited wealth and trust funds. The term “old money” contrasts with “new money,” where wealth is acquired recently, usually within a person’s own lifetime rather than inherited over generations.

Old Money Families

There’s a saying in many old money families: “If you have it, you don’t need to flaunt it.” The old money family is synonymous with generational wealth. These wealthy families have usually amassed great wealth over many generations, a wealth source that frequently includes trust funds, inherited wealth, and strategic investing.

New Money Families

In contrast to the Old money families, new money families have inherited money more recently, often in the past generation or two. These are your self-made millionaires and billionaires – the likes of Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. Their rags-to-riches story reflects the embodiment of the American dream, where hard work, innovation, and grit pay off in large sums.

New money individuals are typically more flamboyant with their wealth and are more likely to spend it on themsleves rather than work to pass it down to future generations. Big houses, nice cars, and designer clothes are the norms for this crowd.

Old Money Fashion

The old money folks tend to lean towards understated elegance when it comes to their fashion choices. It’s not uncommon to find them donning well-tailored clothes from high-quality, classic brands. Labels, if present, are subtly displayed. The focus is on the quality and fit rather than the flash. As a rule, old money individuals generally avoid ostentatious displays of wealth, preferring instead to maintain a more modest, refined image. This approach to clothing often stems from a sense of social responsibility and an aim to foster respect rather than envy.

Timeless Pieces

woman wearing timeless white midi dress

Photo: @tabithajacobs

The dress code of old money families tends to lean towards timeless pieces with an emphasis on quality and tradition over fads and trends. When dressing for old money, opt for classic pieces rather than the latest trends. Think of a subtly printed floral dress from brands like Ralph Lauren or Burberry. Paired with simple pearl earrings and a pair of classic ballet flats, you’re set for a brunch or a day at the races.

The old money aesthetic typically involves a more subdued color palette, so when buying timeless pieces you want to look for pieces that are in more neutral colors because these colors won’t go out of style.

Subtle Branding

woman wearing white Ralph Lauren button down with shorts

Photo: @whowhatwear

A main difference between old money vs new money is the level of flashiness. Old money is all about that understated elegance and subtle branding can suggest a certain level of sophistication. Both old and new money will wear designers brands but old money might only show a small understated logo.

While some high-end brands might be favored, overt displays of brand logos are usually avoided. It should be quiet luxury so the focus is on the quality and fit of the clothing, not the brand itself.

More Modest Outfits

woman wearing plaid pants, plait waistcoat and puff sleeve blouse

Photo: @40plusstyle

Old money outfits tend to be more conservative and modest because old money families have been wealthy for generations and often adhere to more traditional and conservative norms, including in their fashion choices. They may opt for classic, high-quality pieces that are not necessarily flashy or showy, but are timeless and well-made.

Quality Investment pieces

woman wearing cream sweater, beige blazer with gold and pearl necklaces

Photo: @d3cnna

The old money aesthetic values quality over quantity. Choose fewer, higher-quality items over a wardrobe full of inexpensive, trendy pieces. Brands matter less than the item’s inherent quality and longevity.

The old money people invests in pieces that will last for generations and often hand down these items as family heirlooms. Key investment pieces often include a good quality watch, a high-end bag, or classic jewelry like pearl necklaces and diamond stud earrings.

New Money Fashion

The new money style tends to be more trend-focused, with individuals often sporting the latest fashions from top designer brands. They are more likely to wear conspicuous labels, with clothing serving as an outward sign of their success.

Trendy Outfits

woman wearing white shirt dress, white knee high boots, blush blazer and hat with sunglasses

Photo: @Pinterest

Instead of sticking to timeless classics, those with new money often like to showcase the latest fashion trends and may even set trends themselves.

A lot of new money people are often self made millionaires recently inherited wealth, so wearing statement pieces and trendy clothes is a visible way to signal this remarkable change in status.

Statement pieces

woman wearing black blazer with neon green scarf, neon green heels and neon green bag

Photo: @terraglam

Bold colors, flashy jewelry, and extravagant accessories are more common with the “new money” aesthetic. This style is less about quiet luxury and more about showing people their money, often seeking social validation and acceptance in upper-class circles.

Old money folks might wear a designer handbag, an eye-catching piece of jewelry, or a pair of the latest trendy shoes. Were as with old money vs new money, you seen more subtle and understated pieces.

Loud Designer Brands

woman wearing Louis Vuitton scarf and holding multiple designer bags

Photo: @wheretogetit

Unlike the “old money” aesthetic, the “new money” aesthetic often embraces designer labels and logos to show off their newly acquired status. This could be due to a desire to fit in, to demonstrate their success, or simply because they now have the means to afford such luxury brands.

Conclusion – Old Money VS New Money

In conclusion, understanding these distinctions can be beneficial, whether you’re trying to fit into a wealthy family, aiming to make an impression in upper-class society, or simply want to project an image of success. Ultimately, it’s not about how much money you have, but how you choose to live life , your spending habits and how you express yourself through your attire.

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