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Timeless/old money Three Piece suit

Aquafortis

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To add to this. There is no real old money look. The individuals you have highlighted have money and a certain taste, which I think is the point you are making but a lot of people miss.

There is still some social capital/codes around clothing passed down in traditional wealthy families and through the educational institutes they go to, but it's shrinking.

People seem to think fathers in these families take their son to their tailors one day and say "this is how we dress my boy".

That might have happened at one time, but it's vanishingly rare today. And would be more driven by personal eccentricity than any inherent class ideology or taste.

Through education and work I have come/come into a lot of contact with people with multi-generational wealth - the traditional upper middle and upper class of the UK and to an extent the US and EU. Some like tailoring, some don't care. Some dress well, some dress like ****.

Most of the 20-40 year olds from this background I meet wear expensive streetwear or more obscure fashion brands rather than traditional menswear brands. Some of them are very stylish, some of them look like fashion victims - with streetwear as with tailoring (old) money is no garuntee of taste.

Agree here in large part.

The Parisian Gentleman (Hugo Jacomet and Sonya Glyn) have a great segment on their Sartorial Talks: "What is Old Money Style".

It's all about not standing out. "Norm Core" is a great moniker explained in the video segment. Nothing with logos, too flashy, and most importantly, nothing that shouts, "I come from money".

The old money Americana look that underpins the Ralph Lauren look, is a beautiful (somewhat storybook) vision that appeals to the fantasy of trying to look like one comes from old money. A gorgeous marketing illusion that made RL billions.
 

ustiv

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Agree here in large part.

The Parisian Gentleman (Hugo Jacomet and Sonya Glyn) have a great segment on their Sartorial Talks: "What is Old Money Style".

It's all about not standing out. "Norm Core" is a great moniker explained in the video segment. Nothing with logos, too flashy, and most importantly, nothing that shouts, "I come from money".

The old money Americana look that underpins the Ralph Lauren look, is a beautiful (somewhat storybook) vision that appeals to the fantasy of trying to look like one comes from old money. A gorgeous marketing illusion that made RL billions.
Agree. I think to add to that, people often fail to realize that a three piece suit in 2023 is also quite a statement / standing out if taken out of a few specific contexts. I’ve been observing quite a few European representatives of this species in the educational context, it would usually be the usual boring business casual consisting of chinos, blue shirt, some muted/dark jersey and some boat shoes / loafers. Nothing like “I am from old money so I am wearing fancy bespoke suits every day”.
 

upr_crust

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I believe that the "old money" look as is discussed on the Interwebz is in opposition to, or a reaction to the current taste for overpriced athleisure wear plastered with the names of designers. Ralph Lauren's Purple Label line does capture the Anglo-American aesthetic of "old money", in a fantasy version, with the colors amped up (depending on the season) and the tailoring refined to a degree that actual old-money types would find overly showy, overly sexy, or just uncomfortable. Now, that being said, I am hardly from old money (or new, for that matter), but in a world where the two choices are $2000 sweatpants that say "Gucci" in bold letters, or a perfectly tailored three piece suit with double-breasted waistcoat (as much as that might say "striver nouveau riche"), I'll take option two, thanks.
 

JohnMRobie

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A friend and I were briefly discussing this after it popped up on here. I also had the chance to discuss with some family and get their takes and got bonus stories about the Andover Shop, being introduced to “the Press man” and lessons passed down which are always a treat.

The romanticized version of the “old money aesthetic” and “quiet luxury” are just marketing terms. Specifically with regard to the US, the whole dream of a father introducing his son to his tailor and down the line promoted by certain YouTube channels doesn’t really exist anymore. It has changed to people introducing their sons to their sales associate.

That being said, the biggest thing we could come up with is that there are still lessons that are passed down. Things like the knowledge that a suit won’t fit off the rack and you need alterations for every piece of tailoring you buy and how it should fit. Things like how to tie a tie and a bow tie. Things like what to wear based on various dress codes or that if you take care of your things they’re more likely to last. A suit for first communion. Another suit for cotillion where you’ll learn more lessons from how to shake hands to how to dance and which fork to use. A blazer for school. Another when you outgrown that.

We also talked about Ivy and Prep which to me seem to be the pre-cursors to this new marketing push. While there are certainly rules for people who want to cosplay as wearing Ivy and study rules, in my view it was much simpler and something you came about for a few reasons that we can come up with. 1) It was absorbed. It’s what was around and what you saw so you just did it. 2) It’s where we were brought to shop. I’m not sure about any of you but I didn’t pick where I was going shopping. I’d get brought in and it was the Ralph Lauren store, Brooks Brothers or when I got a vote, Lacoste. 3) It came from necessity. As an example - I always laugh at the idea that people wore ties as belts because Fred Astaire did it and it’s some secret code or something. No. We did it because we forgot our belt and you were out of uniform if you weren’t wearing a belt and it was easier to grab a spare tie out of your locker than get demerits for every teacher or prefect who saw you without a belt. Same for calf length crew socks with loafers. That was the uniform - No ankle socks. Wearing boat shoes or loafers? Great but those crew socks are still the uniform. Some of it came from rebellion and wanting to see how close you could get to breaking the rules without getting in trouble.

So what about “old money aesthetics” and what we think we sort of figured out on the lessons? The reality is that people who come from money dress pretty much the same as everyone else - Male or female. You’ll find people with means who like streetwear, who like high fashion, who like classic menswear, who wear athleisure or who look like they’re on their way to the golf club. And you’ll find plenty who just don’t care about clothing at all. The learned knowledge basically helps with finding things that fit and knowing how to dress for various social settings. (Usually, anyways.)

The other, far more important things than the clothes were the lessons about leaving the world a better place than you found it, the importance of philanthropy and those having the ability to do good having an obligation to do so. The lesson that things are just things. So volunteer for that charity, set up your giving, break out the silver and china for that next party (just don’t put it in the dishwasher), wear that watch, wear those shoes even though it’s bad weather, use those trunks, enjoy the art and when you are done with them pass them down to your children with the same lessons that were passed down to you.
 
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Eli Curt

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I'm glad JMR brought this thread to my attention since we JUST went through the same deliberations. I wasn't planning on a DB waistcoat but rather peak lapels and a single button on the suit coat.

We ended up a bit more traditionally-minded.

Maybe if we adopted peak lapels or a DB waistcoat folks would think my grandfather was a wealthier man (he said, tongue in cheek).

IMG_20240227_073144_Bokeh~2.jpg

IMG_20240227_073000_Bokeh~2.jpg
 

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