Gen Z, Millennials Rekindling Old Money Fashion, Decor, Sports


  • The “old money” aesthetic is making a comeback in the new decade, a reversal of the 2010 new currency trends.
  • The trend is manifesting itself in fashion, decoration and leisure among Gen Z and Millennials.
  • It’s ambitious and nostalgic, and reflects an economy that has changed a lot in a short time.

Preparation is back, and it’s bigger than ever.

Think WASPy dinners, country clubs and the summer vibes of sailboats. Over the past year or so, Gen Z and Millennials have cultivated an ‘old money’ aesthetic that romanticizes the aristocratic high society lifestyle and some form of untouchable privilege for many.

It says a lot about what people didn’t like about the decade we just left – and what we want the next one to look like.

Aesthetics first gained a foothold among Gen Z, who turned to TikTok to share inspiration from “old money”: polo shirt, croquet, lush gardens and Italian villages. These scenes have become a source of inspiration for fashion and decoration: riding boots, Gucci shoulder bags, floral wallpaper and a lot of vintage. Meanwhile, millennials embraced recreational hobbies like sailing and golfing during quarantine days for “lonely recreation.”

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In some ways, it’s a rejection of the laid-back, new-money looks of the 2010s flaunted by both Instagram influencers and the Millennial billionaire class wearing hoodies. In other ways, it’s a practical consequence of how a supply shortage and foreclosure permanently changed the economy. And in yet another sense, it’s an expression of escape: away from the traumatic events of the early 2020s and toward a nostalgia for another time.

Old fashion is ambitious

Oxford shirts, tennis skirts and tweed blazers are taking over social media. Gen Z are putting 90s Ralph Lauren campaign ads and vintage tennis photos all over TikTok and Instagram – and they’re spending a lot to recreate the looks.

Vox’s Rebecca Jennings first spoke about the ‘old money’ aesthetic in fashion, writing that Gen Z covets the ‘shamelessly pretentious vibe of the Ivy League-slash-Oxbridge fourth cousin-of a -Kennedy country club “.

TikTok users have rediscovered the brew and are setting the trend, Morgane Le Caer, head of content at Lyst, told Insider. The fashion research platform has seen an increasing demand for preppy styles. In the week ending September 24, searches for leather moccasins increased by 28%, pleated skirts by 16%, Peter Pan collar shirts by 23% and pearl necklaces by 29%.

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The trend is also referred to as a “dark university” or “light university” depending on the setting, La Caer said. “It embodies the mundane lifestyle represented in the culture by shows and movies such as ‘Gossip Girl’ and ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’, and is the perfect opposite of the ‘California Rich’ aesthetic that has been made popular by the Kardashians, ”she said.

It’s also a response to the casual outfits that characterize the new class of millennial billionaires: dressing in the refined manner of a Northeastern socialite is ultimately a rejection of the hoodie and sneaker ensemble. from the CEO of technology.

Old money on the walls

The aesthetic of old silver has also made its way into homes.

The chic look first took root in the form of the “grand-millennial” vibe that some millennia drew towards the pre-pandemic, rich in porcelain figurines, English antiques, chintz wallpaper and curtains. of brocade. They were looking for decorative inspiration everywhere, from English country houses to neo-preppy brands like Rodarte.

This maximalist vibe was a response to the minimalist and neutral trends that reigned over the early days of Instagram. It picked up during the pandemic as millennials and millennials shied away from mass-market home decorating for vintage furniture, partly because of supply chain issues and partly because of a quest for ‘durable and stylish items, reported Avery Hartmans of Insider.

great millennium

Vintage furniture is on the rise right now.

Brandon Colbert Photography / Getty Images

But the pandemic has also turned the desired look into one with vibes of old money. Look no further than the Wall Street Journal’s recent advice on decorating with “the good taste of old money.”

The two trends have the same classic appeal, said Alexandria Kochinsky, who runs a millennial inspo Instagram account as well as a home organizing service, but the way they manifest themselves in fashion and decor has a distinction. important.

The grand-millennial aesthetic, she told Insider, looks like a sophisticated parent or grandparent, while the old-silver aesthetic is slightly more preppy and appealing. for a younger audience.

“Old money is about projecting awesome wealth, while the great millennium can be more sentimental and accessible,” she said. “If I had to personify both, I would say Blair Waldorf is a good example of old silver aesthetics, and Zsa Zsa Gabor is grand-millennial.”

Old-fashioned leisure has taken over

Country clubs, yacht clubs, and old hobbies like golf and boating have experienced a pandemic boom.

During the forties, these hobbies replaced the typical group activities of social recreation, such as amusement parks, concerts, and crowded bars and restaurants. And they continued to remain popular even when the economy reopened, especially as people again became wary of indoor activities as the highly contagious Delta variant spread.

Boat sales in the United States hit a 13-year high last year, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, with young first-time boat buyers in the lead. The online resource Discover Boating saw site traffic increase 90% year-over-year through May among 18-24 year olds, with millennials accounting for the highest number of visitors overall. Experts expect the rise in interest to last a long time.

to play golf

Old school golf is booming.

Bob Thomas / Getty Images

A similar story takes place on the green. Golf in the United States grew 14% from 2019 to 2020, according to Golf Datatech, the biggest increase since the industry market research company began tracking data in 1998. Even spending on golf equipment golf are on the rise, with retail sales up nearly 50% in June, July and August from those months two years ago, according to data from The NPD Group.

Millennials in particular are feeling the appeal of the game. In a study by global consulting firm GGA Partners and Nextgengolf, 60% of them said golf had become more important to them during the pandemic. He revealed that millennials are also more willing to invest their time and money in the country club lifestyle, favoring private clubs – a key part of the old-fashioned lifestyle.

The aesthetic of old money is a search for nostalgia

The rise of old silver aesthetics is a story of aspiration, but at its roots is a longing for nostalgia. Research has shown that, in times of instability, we are more likely to feel homesick.

This explains why nostalgic marketing peaked during the pandemic, why the wealthy turned to collectibles as a hobby, and why Gen Z plunged the world into a Y2K craze. The Aesthetics old money is just the latest nostalgic trend, reminiscent of a time when WASP culture dominated.

A return to those classic vibes is a backlash for everything that has characterized the past decade: tech billionaires, the influencer class, and even the experience economy.

But the younger generations have lost the ability to escape the technology of the 2010s. They pass that inspiration on to the same platforms that spawned the very trends they reject. And, ironically, they yearn for the appearance of inherited wealth while lambasting actual generational wealth as income inequality grows during the pandemic.

As author Kurt Andersen wrote in his 2020 book, “Evil Geniuses,” which explored how changes in the post-war economy increasingly encouraged a shift to nostalgia after the years. 1960, “It is ironic how digital technology – novelty embodied, the essence of the present and future – has strengthened our gaze back and helped hypnotize us into cultural stasis.”

At its core, however, the rise of old-money aesthetics means a search for a different period than the one we just lived in, an escape from the trauma of an unprecedented time.

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