8 Ways to Master the Art of Quiet Luxury
From the buzzing markets of Jordan to the blue lagoons of Iceland, I’ve journeyed across the globe. But it was in the quiet corners of Charlotte, North Carolina, where I truly grasped the concept and depth of “quiet luxury.”
Ready to elevate your life with this trending fashion mantra? Here are 8 game-changing ways to live it, inspired by a simple trip home to visit my mom and stepdad in the south.
As I packed for our trip, I surveyed my recently-edited closet. I've been captivated by the idea of “quiet luxury”, which captures the IYKYK vibe. "If you know, you know" refers to something that only a select group of people would understand.
To me, that means minimalist luxury that doesn’t flaunt flashy—think luxe fabrics in neutrals like soft creams and rich beige tones.
Takeaway 1: Embrace "quiet luxury" by paring down your wardrobe. Take this time as an opportunity for mindfulness and self-reflection—when was the last time I wore this? Is that just taking up space?
Consider donating or selling the items and investing in timeless minimalist pieces like a designer handbag that can stand the test of time or a beige coat that you can wear with everything.
The trip started with the luxury mushroom of skincare, the white truffle—not on a fancy plate, but in a beauty jar.
The Truffle Face Cream is one of my mom's favorites, and giving her a Savor Beauty product always brings her joy. She hugged me to show her gratitude, then placed it in the fridge alongside her 18 other Savor Beauty products, right next to her kimchi and anchovies.
My mom's go-to face cream features white truffles. Valued at over $4,000 per pound, these truffles contain a unique enzyme called superoxide dismutase, an antioxidant that brings a beautiful glow to the skin.
Takeaway 2: How can small upgrades enhance your daily experience? Calculating the cost per experience can make the investment feel worthwhile. For example, using Truffle Face cream daily for 3 months adds up to just $0.43 per day—that’s way less than a dehydrating cup of coffee!
As a single mom, she supported her three daughters with a strict, tiger-mom approach that yielded undeniable results. I pursued a career as a concert pianist turned beauty entrepreneur, my middle sister earned her law degree at Columbia University and founded Zeta Charter Schools, while the youngest navigated the male-dominated tech realm at Facebook and Google.
Now in her late 70s, my mom's demeanor has mellowed. She's become fiercely protective of my daughter; always ready to step in even at the slightest hint of criticism from me.
This evokes mixed feelings—part of me is indignant at the contradiction: “You held me to impossible standards at her age!" And yet, I find joy, contentment, and security in her softer stance.
Takeaway 3: Instead of fixating on the negatives in relationship complexities, celebrating small improvements and letting relationships evolve in their own time is quiet luxury at its finest–natural and unforced.
During a lively conversation at Dressler’s–a restaurant rivaling NYC's top spots–a delightful Chanterelle dish emerged.
Beyond their delicious umami flavor, chanterelles have bioactive compounds like beta-carotene, vitamin A, and carotenoids, offering antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
I was so taken by the dish that I asked our friendly waiter, David, to send our compliments to the kitchen. Not only did he kindly relay the message, but he also came back with a little thank-you gift from the chef, a chanterelle!
Takeaway 4: Indulge in life's small delectable luxuries, and for some reason, they always taste better when you learn more about the health benefits. And don’t be afraid to let a restaurant know how much you love a dish—you’ll be surprised at how well the appreciation is received!
My stepdad treated us to a spontaneous overnight trip to Little Switzerland, promising it would be one of the most scenic drives in America. The sheer majesty of the Blue Ridge Mountains took us all by surprise–serene, grand, and breathtaking.
Having been to the Swiss Alps and the Rocky Mountains, this peaceful beauty held a different allure, a subtle luxury that doesn’t need to flaunt itself—my daughter even glanced up from her iPhone and exclaimed, “Hey, that’s a cool screensaver!”
Takeaway 5: Seek out subtle and serene beauty all around you. We can’t always get away to Yellowstone, but by googling “nature near me”, we can discover unexpected treasures nearby.
Although my daughter and I aren't big hikers, we all walked up about half a mile (my partner jokingly referred to it as merely 10 blocks in Manhattan) to Linville Falls.
To make it more appealing, I introduced the idea of "forest bathing" to my daughter. This Japanese concept involves immersing oneself in the forest’s sounds, scents, and sights.
I encouraged her to listen to each footstep, observe the sunlight on the leaves, and breathe in the fresh aromas. Despite her initial teasing, I know she found the mindset reframe to be a rejuvenating experience more enjoyable than a sweaty hike.
Takeaway 6: Practice "forest bathing" to reconnect with nature's tranquility. Bask in the sights, sounds, and scents of the forest for the quiet luxury of a digital detox.
In Little Switzerland, we enjoyed the sunset from the Chalet restaurant. The scene mirrored my parents' tranquil Charlotte lifestyle and served as the backdrop for my mom and daughter’s affectionate bond, while my partner and stepdad talked for hours about politics and history. These serene yet profound connections struck me as the purest manifestations of quiet luxury.
Takeaway 7: Despite the effort it takes to carve out space for loved ones and dear friends, strengthen these bonds through quality time and conversation—some things are worth far more than gold.
So yes, my mom reminded me to sit up straight, exercise more, and shed a couple of pounds–IYKYK that’s classic Korean mom advice! But she also complimented me on my glowing skin, an affirmation that is my pinnacle of quiet luxury, and to this Korean American daughter? Priceless.
Takeaway 8: Whether you give or get small affirmations, notice them! We tend to focus on the criticisms, but embrace compliments and affirmations as a form of "quiet luxury." Taking these riches to heart boosts your inner glow!
Angela Jia Kim