Fashion’s Biggest Question for 2024: Quiet Luxury or Loud Luxury?

Last Sunday night, Blake Lively’s Barbie-inspired pink mini dress, gloves, and shoes took over Instagram feeds for a night out as she celebrated longtime friend America Ferrera over the weekend.

Blake’s fabulous sleeveless Oscar de la Renta mini dress with a plump, plush, fuzzy skirt, paired with a pink stone-covered, bow-shape Judith Leiber handbag and matching pointy-toe shoes by designer Malone Souliers literally lit up the social media platform with her “Loud Luxury” style.

Needless to say, her 43.5 million followers on this platform were in awe of her over-the-top, loud and extravagant fashion statement.

Their comments on her Instagram account? “Spotted: Serena van der Woodsen (her character in Gossip Girl) in pink look so chic that even Barbie would be jealous.” and “On Sundays, Blake wears pink!”

But on the other hand, there were some who didn’t quite appreciate her style choice. Some thought it was too loud and flashy, even “tone deaf” and “disappointing”, while others accused her of trying too hard to be Barbie’s real-life replica.

So, we have been talking about quiet luxury the whole year. Now what? Is is that loud luxury like Blake Lively’s pink look is suddenly back in fashion?

Or are people bored with the quiet luxury, and somehow, some even called it “tired luxury” because it’s too low-key and not loud enough?

But why do we have this constant battle between the two? Is it the battle between Gwyneth Paltrow  vs. J.Lo? Or Succession vs. Keeping Up with the Kardashians?

This brings us to today’s topic, and probably fashions’ biggest question for the upcoming 2024, Quiet Luxury or Loud Luxury – which one will you go for?

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Quiet Luxury – A Quick Recap

When you think about luxury, two very different styles, or actually types of luxury, come to mind – quiet and loud. The quiet luxury trend is all about understated elegance, minimalism, and muted color palettes. 

It’s a style that focuses on quality over quantity, with classic pieces that exude sophistication and timeless appeal. Think brands like Hermes, Chanel, and Cartier – they are the epitome of quiet luxury. 

Their designs may not be flashy or eye-catching at first glance, but upon closer inspection, you can see the intricate and impeccable craftsmanship that goes into every piece. Quiet luxury is all about letting the quality and details speak for themselves.

Historical Context

Quiet luxury is not a recent phenomenon. It has its roots in understated elegance from times when aristocrats and people of wealth preferred a discreet display of their status. 

Renowned families with old money often opted for items that showcased craftsmen’s expertise rather than ostentatious designs. The value lay in the heritage and sophistication embedded in these luxury pieces, signaling wealth without a pronounced announcement.

Core Characteristics

At its core, quiet luxury refers to the idea that quality, craftsmanship, timeless designs, and a sense of refinement can be found in the most minor details without broadcasting one’s wealth.

It’s about appreciating the finer things in life, such as a well-curated wardrobe, a beautifully appointed home, a tranquil living space, or a luxurious travel experience — all without the visible expression to set up an authentic stealth wealth mood.

  • Subtlety: Quiet luxury is characterized by its understated appearance. It often features minimal branding and design elements that emphasize simplicity.
  • Quality and Craftsmanship: Products embody superior craftsmanship with a focus on details and high-quality materials.
  • Timeless Elegance: Rather than following trends, quiet luxury is about classic designs that stand the test of time.
  • Personal Significance: Items of quiet luxury often carry personal value, becoming cherished heirlooms rather than just possessions.

This approach to luxury speaks to your desire for authenticity and enduring style rather than immediate recognition. It’s a choice that says a lot about your values and appreciation for the finer details in life without saying it out loud.

The absence of an explicit logo, for example, is a more subtle way of communicating to the world that you know quality when you see it. The same goes for choosing understated, timeless designs over flashy and trendy ones.

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How about Loud Luxury?

On the flip side, loud luxury is about making an immediate statement. It’s bold and seeks recognition, often featuring prominent logos, vibrant colors, and designs that stand out in a crowd. If quiet luxury whispers prestige, loud luxury shouts it from the rooftops.

Blake Lively is definitely not the first celebrities who promoted the loud luxury lifestyle. From flashy cars and designer clothes to extravagant parties and lavish vacations, the loud luxury lifestyle is all about excess and indulgence, making bold statements and garnering attention.

Luxury fashion houses like Gucci and Louis Vuitton have embraced loud luxury, featuring bold logos and statement designs in their collections. 

Cultural Significance

Loud luxury has often been the hallmark of new money and pop culture influence. You’ve seen it characterized by flamboyant displays of affluence in popular media. For many, it’s a way to signal success and a means of self-expression.

However, loud luxury is not just about flashy displays of wealth. It also represents a shift in societal values. Where quiet luxury prioritizes quality and timelessness, loud luxury is more focused on social status and immediate gratification.

The rise of streetwear culture has also influenced the demand for loud luxury, with brands like Supreme and Off-White gaining popularity among the younger generation.

Their marketing strategies focuses on digital marketing and collaborations with popular culture icons, further amplifying the statement-making aspect of loud luxury within Gen Z and millennial communities.

Key Attributes

Now, both quiet and loud luxury have their own unique qualities, and it’s not about which one is better but rather what suits your personal style and values.

  • Obvious Branding: Bold, recognizable logos are a staple of loud luxury.
  • Design: The design is eye-catching and opulent.
  • Price Tag: Items usually command a high price, making them status symbols for those who can afford them.
  • Exclusivity: Limited edition items and collaborations with popular brands are common in the world of loud luxury.

These attributes make loud luxury a choice for you if your goal is to be seen and acknowledged for your wealth status and influence. 

And, while there’s no right or wrong way to enjoy luxury, knowing the pros and cons of both quiet and loud luxury can help you make an informed decision on how to incorporate it into your life. 

The Impact of Loud Luxury

The Impact of Loud Luxury

In recent years, there has been a shift towards more subtle luxury and away from loud luxury. This change can be attributed to different factors such as changing values and priorities, the rise of conscious consumerism, and social media influence.

Loud luxury brands offer a sense of community and belonging to consumers through their marketing strategies, mainly targeting the younger generation.

However, this can also lead to overconsumption, luxury consumption, and a sense of competition amongst consumers, as well as contributing to issues such as fast fashion and environmental concerns.

Moreover, social media has played a significant role in changing the perception of luxury.

With platforms like Instagram, consumers are now exposed to a wider range of brands and styles that may not necessarily fall under the traditional definition of luxury. 

Hollywood celebrities, influencers, the nouveau riche, and the younger generation are often seen flaunting loud luxury items on social media, creating a sense of desirability and aspirational lifestyle associated with these brands.

They drive consumer habits and influence trends, making loud luxury a powerful marketing tool for brands to gain visibility and attract consumers. 

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying loud luxury and indulging in lavish experiences. But it’s essential to be mindful of the impact it may have on our values, priorities, and perception of true luxury.

Loud luxury may provide temporary satisfaction, causing consumers to constantly chase the next big thing and fueling a culture of overconsumption. It also perpetuates the idea that luxury is solely defined by material possessions and external validation.

The Future of Quiet Luxury

The Future of Quiet Luxury

While many quiet luxury brands such as Celine, Bottega Veneta, and The Row have been around for decades, they are now gaining more attention and market share due to the shift in consumer values. 

A high-income consumer who values quality, craftsmanship, and subtlety may opt for a quiet luxury brand over a loud luxury one.

What they seek are exclusivity, timeless design, and the story behind the product rather than just flashy logos.

The rise of sustainable fashion has also contributed to the growing demand for quiet luxury. Consumers are now more conscious of their purchases and prefer brands that align with their values. 

Quiet luxury brands are often known for their use of ethically and sustainably sourced materials, production processes, and limited quantities, making them an attractive option for environmentally conscious consumers.

For many people, owning quiet luxury items like a classic Chanel handbag or a pair of Hermès silk scarves is among subtle ways to showcase their high status and taste, without the need for loud displays.

Quiet luxury also extends beyond fashion to other industries such as travel, hospitality, and wellness. More travelers are now seeking off-the-beaten-path destinations and unique experiences rather than mainstream tourist spots. 

Luxury hotels that offer personalized services, privacy, and a sense of exclusivity have become increasingly popular among this group. Similarly, wellness retreats and spas that focus on holistic experiences and self-care are gaining traction in the luxury market.

In fact, the wealthiest consumers are now shifting their spending habits towards experiential luxury rather than material possessions. This shift can be attributed to the desire for meaningful experiences and personal enrichment, rather than just acquiring expensive items.

Finding the Balance

Finding the Balance

The key is finding a balance that works for you. You don’t have to choose one over the other – many people enjoy a mix of both quiet and loud luxury in their lives.

Quiet luxury offers more understated elegance and a focus on quality over quantity. It’s about owning timeless pieces that are not necessarily branded but are still high-end and well-made. 

On the other hand, loud luxury is all about making a statement and indulging in items that scream wealth and status. It’s about being part of an exclusive club and showing off your purchasing power.

So, if you cannot just choose want, how can you find a balance between the two, yet still indulge in the luxuries of life? Here are a few tips:

Define Your Values and Priorities

Before making any luxury purchase, consider what truly matters to you and align it with your spending without being influenced by societal pressures or trends. 

For example, if your income falls into a particular range, it may be better to invest in quality pieces that will last longer rather than splurging on multiple loud luxury items, which is, in this case, quantity over quality.

Think Long-Term

Consider the long-term impact of your purchases. Will that designer handbag bring you joy for many years to come? Or will it lose its appeal after a few uses? 

Instead of constantly chasing the latest trends, invest in classic and high-quality items that will stand the test of time. If you don’t see yourself using an item for the next 10 years, it’s probably not worth the investment.

Mix and Match

Mixing quiet and loud luxury is another great way to find a balance. You can invest in classic and timeless items that have a subtle luxury feel while also throwing in statement pieces from time to time. 

This mix allows you to express your personal style and indulge in luxuries without going overboard. You can still make a statement without being loud about it, and this blend of quiet and loud luxury will make your style unique and more interesting.

By living the best of both worlds, you neither have to compromise on your values nor miss out on the luxuries of life. By showing restraint and prioritizing quality over quantity, you can strike a balance between quiet and loud luxury that suits your lifestyle. 

Ultimately, it’s about finding the right balance that brings you true joy and fulfillment instead of trying to keep up with societal expectations. Embrace your individuality and let your personal values guide your luxury purchases rather than external influences. 

Which One Should You Go for in 2024?

Quiet Luxury vs. Loud Luxury – Which One Should You Go for in 2024?

In the end, it all comes down to personal preference and what speaks to you. Whether it’s the understated elegance of quiet luxury or the statement-making power of loud luxury, both have a place in today’s society.

It’s all about finding the right balance and staying true to your personal style. You don’t have to choose one over the other, instead, you can mix and match to create a unique and personalized version of luxury that suits your lifestyle and values.

As trends come and go, the concept of luxury will continue to evolve, but what remains constant is the importance of finding a balance between quiet and loud luxury that brings you joy and fulfillment.

So go ahead and indulge in some luxuries, but remember to stay true to yourself and your values while doing so. This way, you can truly experience the best of both worlds – the quiet and loud aspects of luxury. After all, why choose one when you can have the best of both?

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