What does the popular HBO series ‘Succession’ have in common with the VRT showpiece ‘Knokke off’? The characters proudly rave about the ‘old money’trend. The clothing style is also indispensable in our street scene — and you really don’t have to live on the coast (or even be rich for it).
From sweaters perfectly draped over the shoulders to white or blue (linen) shirts, beige trousers, braided belts and polos to moccasins. The typical clothing style of the Daddy’s Girls drips off the screen when you watch ‘Knokke off’ or ‘Succession’.
Of ‘old money’That’s called style. “And you have seen them for years with brands such as River Woods, Scapa, Ralph Lauren or Tommy Hilfiger,” says fashion editor David Devriendt. “Arket, Massimo Dutti and Zara have also jumped on the bandwagon. Although mainly high fashionbrands such as MaxMara, Natan, Delvaux, Loro Piana and Brunello Cucinelli that really old money to breathe.”
Old money doesn’t rust
“The style was inspired by the royals in Scotland and the Hamptons and Maine in the United States in the 1990s. You can also clearly see the influence of sportswear that people wear for tennis, golf, horseback riding, lacrosse and polo. It is therefore not surprising that you often spot the clothing style on the coast, in a forest or on a golf course. Although you can also wear it perfectly when you live in the city.”
Literally refers ‘old money’ to the money that rich people keep in their possession for generations. Think of the Rothshild, Rockefeller or Vanderbilt families in America. “The style is therefore mainly seen among the aristocracy.”
But there are even more famous role models for the ‘preppy’ look. Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, wife of John F. Kennedy Jr., and Princess Diana, for example. The latter was also called a ‘Sloane Ranger’, the British equivalent for ‘old money’types. Such wealthy Britons, for example, combined casual country outfits with Hermès scarves and Gucci loafers.”
“Books have even been written about the ‘old money’style, such as “The Official Preppy Handbook” and “The Official Sloane Ranger Handbook.” They became a guideline for many people who wanted to follow the trend.”
The do’s and don’ts of being there as ‘old money’ to look out
To you like ‘old money’ there are of course certain dress codes that you have to follow, says Devriendt. “Like the color palette. That’s pretty neutral. Think of white, black, beige, khaki green, light and dark blue.”
“Your outfits are also obvious. Think beige suit with a white shirt and boat shoes. Or for the women: a pink shirt with bird motif and chino pants, finished with a braided belt and a sweater from Ralph Lauren over the shoulders.”
You used to see the Ralph Lauren logo on a polo or sweater. Now those brands prefer a minimalistic vibe.
Although the most important code is that your designer clothes should not be too flashy. “Old money is rather casual. It is in stark contrast to the style of new money. It is often just very colorful and you see it more often at the new rich and the parvenues (groups who became wealthy from a commoner background, ed.).”
“For example, you used to see the logo of Ralph Lauren, the horse with jockey, on a polo or sweater. Now those brands prefer perfectly cut pieces and a minimalist vibe, comparable to that ‘whisper luxury’ or ‘quiet luxury’.”
“The ultimate example these days is the slippers of the Morobé brand. Everyone in Knokke wears them. You don’t see the logo, but everyone knows thanks to the design that you are wearing shoes from that brand,” says Devriendt.
They are so rich that you don’t have to exercise. Or secretly?
The mindset behind that hidden luxury? “The ‘old money’-people who wear this style are often so rich that they should not show it through their clothing. They become like a style icon thanks to those subtle garments, like the female protagonist Shiv in ‘Succession’.”
“Because that’s it, the style isn’t bold or flashy. It is sober and perhaps a bit boring, but often comes from an expensive brand. The people you want to know what brand you wear will probably know that. That is the core of the trend.”
Another asset of old money: it is timeless, and that is why it is popular. “The style is easy to adopt and the clothes will last for years. They are stylish mats and therefore smart investments. You can also see this with the crowned heads, such as the Belgian and Dutch royal family. They are masters at recycling their old money-looks.”
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