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Old Money Aesthetic: 4 Ways To Achieve the Old Money Look

Flashy logos are out, quiet luxury is in
  • Leann Garofolo
February 21, 2024

Escapism is one of the best things about TikTok. A quick scroll through your For You page can teach you how to dress like a Coastal Grandma or throw it back to the 1980s with voluminous pin curls. Right now, the old money aesthetic is the styling inspo du jour—videos carrying this hashtag have already racked up an impressive 5.9 billion views.

If your interest is piqued, good news: Despite the name, you don’t need a trust fund to dip your toes into the luxurious world of old money style. Plenty of beauty ideas can transport you back to the era, making it easy for anyone to cash in on the trend. Ahead, we’re breaking down how to replicate these refined vintage looks in your own routine, from blunt, fluffy bobs to plump-looking, glowy skin. Get ready to enter your quiet luxury era.

What Is the Old Money Aesthetic?

The term “old money aesthetic” refers to a classy and sophisticated style that prioritizes understated luxury and elegance over flashiness. And, if you’ve ever seen a blockbuster movie about a sinking ship and two star-crossed lovers, you may already know exactly what this old-world aesthetic looks like.

When comparing the fashion and beauty aesthetics of old money vs. new money, there’s a major difference in how wealth is displayed. Instead of flaunting extravagant, trend-driven clothing and accessories, old money celebrates high-quality items that stand the test of time and are discreetly high-end—often with no designer logos in sight. Quality, craftsmanship, and a sense of tradition are at the heart of the old money aesthetic. Think inherited heirlooms, family crests, and designer goods meant to be passed between generations.

How To Achieve the Old Money Aesthetic

There’s more than one way to emulate old money style. While the fashion looks are usually on the preppier side (such as cardigans, polos, and loafers), there’s also an emphasis on quality, not quantity, in your wardrobe. You can expect to see neutral color palettes, tailored silhouettes, and enduring fabrics that look as on-trend in your closet today as they might have 30 years ago.

Clothing may be the most obvious way to indulge in the old money aesthetic, but the beauty looks are just as notable. The key is to play up your features in a discreet and effortless way. Old money makeup aims to elevate your natural beauty and grace instead of overshadowing your features with bold or distracting looks. Fresh, even-toned skin, groomed eyebrows, and plump neutral lips can help you give off a polished, regal vibe.

Old money hair, on the other hand, typically manifests as blunt bobs and expensive-looking (yet deceptively low-maintenance) shades of blonde and brown. You can even paint your nails to exude high-class elegance. Clean cuticles and a few coats of sheer polish can help your fingertips look like royalty without much work at all.

If you want to try the old money look, here are a few of our favorite beauty ideas that have “country club membership” written all over them.

Old Money Bob

A blunt, classic bob is an ode to traditional simplicity thanks to its timeless shape. However, meticulously sharp lines, fluffy bounce, and a sleek and shiny appearance are what steer the storied ‘do right into old money haircut territory.

You’ll likely have to use a blow dryer and a round brush to recreate the old money bob’s distinctly voluminous finish. We recommend keeping a good heat protectant on hand, like L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Weightless Blow Dry Primer, Heat Protectant. The formula helps perfect blow-dry results by providing enhanced style memory and keeps hair looking nourished, smooth, and beautifully shiny without the weigh-down. Check out our article, How To Blow Out Your Hair at Home in 5 Simple Steps, for a full styling breakdown.

Old Money Hair Color

Chic bobs aside, color is another way to experiment with old money hair. Unlike the bright, high-intensity blonde shades we often see today (which are still gorgeous in their own right!), old money blonde is quiet and subdued. It makes sense when you think about it: “Old money” recalls an era when hair coloring techniques were simple and uncomplicated, resulting in natural-looking highlights and warmer-toned hair sans the yellowness. Old money blonde is neutral, buttery, and always withstands passing trends.

Those with brown hair can also revel in the age-old aesthetic with old money brunette hair color. It sounds fancy, but it’s actually a relatively low-maintenance and multi-tonal look that won’t break the bank. A hair gloss, like L'Oréal Paris Le Color Gloss One Step In-Shower Toning Gloss in Rich Brunette, can give you similar results in just 15 minutes.

It’s worth noting that you may also hear people refer to old money brunette as expensive brunette. Read all about the opulent hue in our full explainer: How To Get an Expensive Brunette Hair Color.

Old Money Manicure

Fewer things scream “ageless luxury” than pearls—and fortunately, you don’t need deep pockets to incorporate them into your look. Paint your nails in a neutral shade or with a French manicure, then place a pearl-inspired decal onto each nail for a covertly high-fashion look. You’d never catch high society folks with dry cuticles or hangnails, so be sure to give your hands some extra TLC. We recommend rubbing a moisturizing oil onto your nails before bed to help nourish them.

Old Money Glow

Back in the day, even those with inheritances didn’t have access to all the makeup options we do now. Think: tinted moisturizers, CC creams, BB creams—you get the gist. Those with old money did have one thing in common: plump, glowy, even-toned skin that never looked cakey.

The easiest way to venture into this old money makeup look is with a lightweight, pigmented serum such as L'Oréal Paris True Match Hyaluronic Tinted Serum. The hybrid formula, which is made with luminous mineral pigments and hyaluronic acid, provides sheer, lightweight coverage for a brightened complexion and hydrated-feeling skin. And if you’re up all night with the best of them, pick up the True Match Radiant Serum Concealer to neutralize dark circles and visibly depuff under-eye bags when you’re short on sleep.

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