I typically find myself attracted to the aesthetic of individuals who are "subtly stylish."
At first glance they seem understated and unassuming but something about their appearance keeps your gaze fixated. Upon closer inspection you realize that the quality of the fabrics, the intention in the fit, and most of all the confidence they exude supercedes the need to wear the "it" bag, showcase luxury logos, or be a walking billboard for the latest trends. This is a style I'm eager to embrace and as I reflected on those I know who embody it I noticed they share common characteristics.
They know what works best for them
The key trait of the subtly stylish is self-awareness: understanding what styles are best suited for their body type, lifestyle, and aesthetic preferences.
They keep a go-to set of brands
They spend time identifying the brands that work best and are loyal to them. Although they are open-minded about exploring new designers they only make exceptions for the exceptional.
They have a keen eye for quality
It's not necessarily about labels or even price point but the ability to discern what is well-made. They have no problem shopping high or low so long as they deem the fit, fabrication, and overall silhouette of the item in question to be worth adding into their closet.
They take care of their possessions
Visit them at home unexpectedly and you won’t find their items strewn about here or there or tossed on the floor. They take pride in their wardrobe and put effort into proper upkeep. It’s why they can keep a five year old blazer looking brand new.
They hardly ever follow trends
Not one subtly stylist person I know follows fads. They tend to gravitate to items that will have longevity – in their closet. This is an important distinction as not all subtly stylish people adopt a classic look. It doesn’t matter if their aesthetic is boho chic or tomboyish, they are guided by their personal sense of style.
They tend to be minimalistic
Again, this doesn't mean they only wear black and white or sleek silhouettes. It means they are tightly edited. They are thoughtful about what they introduce into their wardrobe and adopt a less is more mentality.
They don't need external validation
The subtly stylish dress to impress – themselves. Amongst those I know they tend to shop alone and hardly ever ask input. Sure, they may follow a handful of style influencers or publications for the occasional dose of inspiration, but they remain the ultimate decision maker.
Wool fedora by Janessa Leone, 501 Selvedge Skinny Jeans by Levi's, Ribbed sweater by COS, White tee by COS, Gray silk/cotton shirt by COS, 996 sneakers by New Balance (similar here), Tan briefcase by Hieleven.
Interested in learning how to create a subtle style? Explore my capsule wardrobe course and learn how to curate an edited closet of essentials that are beautiful and practical.