Old Money vs New Money Aesthetic: What’s The Difference?

As far as social media trends are concerned, the old money aesthetic might just be our new favorite. With its classic, vintage feel and feminine pieces, you don’t necessarily need to inherit money to pull off this aesthetic. But what is the difference between the old money and new money aesthetics?

By Alyssa Vandermeulen3 min read
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If you haven’t been following Sofia Richie for all the lifestyle, wedding, and style inspiration, you should start today. Her classy style and “pretty young wife” aesthetic have brought back old money style and values to the fashion world, and we could not be more thrilled!

As her classy and expensive style is brought into the spotlight, the old money aesthetic has gained a huge new following and appreciation on social media. Sofia Richie’s social media accounts have been trending since her wedding, and will continue to be a topic of conversation for the rest of the season. 

Wondering what the old money aesthetic actually means? The terms old money and new money are often thrown around to describe the type of wealth represented by a person or family name. However, the difference between the two aesthetics is not the amount of money or even the consistency of the income stream. 

Old money is used to represent generational wealth, or money that was inherited rather than earned. Women with old money were typically raised in a wealthy family, or they married into one. New money is well, new, and was made by the person in question. The new money aesthetic is common among social media influencers, music artists, and even major lottery winners who have never experienced the perks of having an excessive amount of money before. 

New Money 

The new money aesthetic is flashy and dripping with an extravagance that is easily noticeable to the average person. Always on trend and usually covered in brand labels from head to toe, the new money aesthetic screams new wealth. Always reaching for the newest, brightest, shiniest thing is how the new money aesthetic stays relevant and ahead. With less emphasis on class and more emphasis on gaining attention, players in the new money aesthetic love to flaunt their new money. 

When scrolling through Instagram, you can easily identify the new money aesthetic based on the items in an Instagram post. Designer bags with labels front and center, a sports car as the background for the shot, or even excessive photos with other new money earners are markers of the new money aesthetic. 

Old Money

The old money aesthetic is very different in execution. It will be harder to identify the old money aesthetic because the point is to be subtly elegant! It’s a lifestyle as well as a style aesthetic.

Classic silhouettes, well-fitting clothing items, and neutral tones are key components of the old money style aesthetic. You’ll notice the subtle elegance, the classic jewelry pieces, and the lack of large brand logos on handbags and other accessories. There is a sense of tradition in her style and beauty – her closet is filled with the kind of timeless, quality items that money can buy and which transcend trends. 

How To Dress in the Old Money Aesthetic

Now that you are now obsessed with the old money aesthetic like we are, you might be wondering if you can channel the aesthetic and Sofia Richie's overall vibe without inheriting your great-great-grandfather’s estate (although that would be nice!). While we can’t guarantee that your finances are up to par with the aesthetic, you can still dress like you are heading to the country club on a modest budget. 

Taking some notes from our girl Sofia Richie, there are a few basic tips to know if you want to follow the aesthetic and give off the old money vibe. When it comes to style, you must always buy lined dresses and skirts. That extra layer of fabric does a lot for the overall shape of the dress, and it will last longer! 

Choose high quality, well-made pieces that are made from natural materials. You don’t need a lot of clothing to pull off the old money aesthetic – you just need the right pieces made from the right materials. Linen, cotton, denim, or tweed pieces will give you the desired old money look. Stay away from overly patterned pieces as well! Natural tones and pastel colors rather than bold shades, and classic denim pieces are common for the old money look. Nothing too flashy! 

Next, you want your accessories to whisper elegance and old money without drawing too much attention. One of the key differences between the new money and old money aesthetics is how brand labels are worn, and your accessories are no exception. Rather than “investing” in a large Gucci belt or oversized Prada bag, you should instead choose a few must-have items to purchase in high quality versions. Viewing these items as investments will help you shop smart! 

Hair and makeup can be another indicator of the old money or new money aesthetics. While we love to take style risks and occasionally play with our makeup looks, your everyday beauty routine should be as minimal as possible, focusing on the skin and emphasizing your natural features. Rather than drawing attention to your face with thick eyeliner or a bright eyeshadow shade, keep your skin soft and glowy and your eye makeup fairly minimal. 

Finally, you’ll want to be remembered as you walk away, which means you need a lovely fragrance. Avoid overly sweet or Victoria’s Secret type sprays, and opt for a nicer fragrance instead. The old money aesthetic is all about subtle wealth and confidence, so choose a memorable fragrance you love! 

Evie's product selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we genuinely love.

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