The old money aesthetic shouldn’t be confused with actual “old money”. It’s possible to get the look and feel of the aesthetic without having to spend ridiculous amounts of cash. Here are some affordable brands that could give you an old money look:
- Brooks Brothers
- Lands’ End
The main point of this article is that knowing what an aesthetic is actually makes it easier to achieve it without having to pay a couple of grand for a duffle coat.
Sure, knowing what brands you’ve got as options is a great start. But knowing exactly what to buy is how you end up spending the least amount of money possible.
How To Get The Old Money Aesthetic (On A Budget)
The old money aesthetic could be described as a more laid-back approach to Ivy/Prep style; with softer and more relaxed silhouettes.
It oozes a sense of luxury and (unearned) nobility.
So, you head to the stores listed above (and below) and start looking around. You’ll quickly find that most of the items staring back at you won’t give you that old money look.
Stick to the following colors, fabrics, and specific items:
- Colors – Blues, browns, cream tones, off-white
- Fabrics – Linen, corduroy, tweed, cashmere, Oxford cloth
- Outerwear – Relaxed blazers, overcoats
- Knitwear – Turtlenecks, polo sweaters, zip sweaters, V-neck sweaters
- Shirts – OCBDs, polos, linen shirts, striped shirts
- Pants – Chinos, dress pants
- Shoes – White sneakers, boat shoes, loafers, Derby shoes
As a final note, you’ll notice that a few of the brands mentioned below aren’t exactly cheap. For plenty of people, $60+ for a polo may be out of reach.
But these items can easily be thrifted or bought from resellers on platforms such as Depop, eBay, Vinted, and Poshmark for pennies on the dollar.
There’s absolutely no reason why they can’t be bought on a budget second-hand.
7 Affordable Brands That’ll Give You An Old Money Look
Here’s that list of brands in a little more detail.
This fast fashion Spanish behemoth has made a name for itself for providing reasonable quality at excellent prices, despite its minimal marketing efforts.
In general, it’s pretty hard to go wrong with an item from Zara.
Minimalist colors and middle-of-the-road silhouettes. The quality and construction are generally great for the price.
The beauty of it is that you could pretty easily cop any of the “old money aesthetic” items listed above at Zara at a reasonable price.
But the ones to look out for in particular would be polo sweaters and navy blazers. Their overcoats are worth checking out too – especially their well-known wool camel coat.
One of the main reasons why Zara works so well for the old money aesthetic is the relaxed fit you’ll get with many of the items.
Arguably the most affordable brand on this list, Mango is another fast fashion titan you may or may not be comfortable purchasing from.
Ultimately, you’ll be able to get hold of any of the “old money” items listed earlier at Mango.
Polo shirts, V-neck sweaters, linen suits – Mango has you covered and keeps it very affordable too.
Ultimately, there isn’t much to say about the actual clothing itself. It’s pretty safe and hard to go wrong with, much like Zara.
The silhouettes aren’t too exciting, but the wide range of items should easily allow you to put together an old money outfit without much trouble.
Reiss is a notch more expensive than Zara and Mango, but still a whole lot cheaper than an actual old money brand.
Plus, don’t forget, it’s super easy to find items from Reiss, Cos, and other mid-range brands in second-hand marketplaces.
Personally, I’m a fan of their merino wool knitwear – you can some great turtlenecks and V-neck sweaters for a reasonable price.
Their knitted polos are great too.
All items you could easily incorporate into an old money outfit. The construction is good and the items will generally last longer than a typical fast fashion brand.
That’s the benefit of paying a little more – you get more for the money and will (probably) end up paying less in the long run.
Cos is a minimalist’s dream. The silhouettes are fashion-forward enough for people to take notice, but the prices are still reasonable.
Much like Reiss, Cos falls within a category of brands people are proud to shop at.
The contemporary Scandinavian aesthetic may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to the old money aesthetic, but the items you find there can easily be put to work.
What’s great about the items you find at Cos is that they’ll almost certainly be oversized. Given how the old money aesthetic tends lean toward oversized items, Cos does seem like a no-brainer.
Abercrombie & Fitch
Abercrombie generally sticks to traditional staples and doesn’t rush to hop on trends. It’s been around for a long time and has proven to be a favorite among the young elite.
It’s a treasure trove of items that fit effortlessly into the Ivy/Prep and the old money aesthetic.
Yep, it’s also affordable.
When going for an old money aesthetic, you’ll pretty easily find the typical items here – knitwear, polos, chinos, and so on.
They generally stick to a muted color palette, clean lines, and, more recently – minimal branding on the clothing itself.
What I like about Abercrombie is that they often put their own subtle twist on classic Ivy/Prepwear.
For example, this heavily textured polo shirt:
In terms of price, you could put Theory in the same category as Reiss and Cos. It isn’t exactly “cheap”, but it isn’t Brooks Brothers or Ralph Lauren expensive either.
Ultimately, the quality and construction are better than what you’d get from a fast fashion brand. Once again, thrifting items from Theory is also very easy for much cheaper than their retail price.
You’ll find all of the usual suspects here regarding their old money offerings.
From polos to cashmere knits, Theory has you covered.
Simple, subtle, and definitely affordable.
Lands’ End is a brand known for decent quality on a budget. It won’t be the first thing people think of when they hear the term “old money”.
But remember the main point of this article.
You’ll easily be able to find the items commonly associated with the old money aesthetic at Lands’ End.
Want a beige quarter zip sweater? No problem.
Want a pair of tan linen trousers? Lands’ End will serve you well (enough).
Ultimately, if you were looking to replicate the old money aesthetic but don’t have much cash to spend, it’s definitely worth checking out Lands’ End.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.