To Hell with ‘Quiet Luxury,’ This Fall I’m All About ‘Loud Garbage’

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Quiet Luxury example.
Paula Boudes

“What's even in there, huh? Flat shoes for the subway? Her lunch pail? I mean, Greg, it's monstrous. It's gargantuan…” It was a “ludicrously capacious bag,” according to Tom Wambsgans from Succession, whose speech about Cousin Greg’s “gauche” date, Bridget, and her “giant” bag quickly went viral, not only because its ridiculous analogies were instantly quotable (“You could slide it across the floor after a bank job”), but also because it functioned as a maxim of the hit HBO series.

As delineated masterfully by The Cut’s Danya Issawi, this rant captured the class idiosyncrasies that made Succession so engrossing (and equally so cringeworthy). A Roy would rather be caught dead than carrying an easily spottable Burberry bag. Why? Because that doesn’t fit with the “quiet luxury” (or as Issawi calls it: “stealth wealth”) that defined their closets—the expensive, well-tailored and logo-less pieces that have since popped up everywhere.

But what about those of us who aren’t striving to display quiet luxury (and don’t have the means to do so anyway)? This fall, I’m saying to hell with quiet luxury and embracing what I like to call “loud garbage.”

No, “loud garbage” wasn’t ever introduced on Succession, and I wouldn’t even say that Bridget’s Burberry bag counts. For me, loud garbage is a challenge to what quiet luxury represents. It’s the idea that affordable and flashy clothing is worthy of being displayed.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the clothing actually needs to be cheaply made. I mean, I’m always gunning for sustainably- and ethically-produced apparel. Rather, loud garbage can be defined as something people like the Roys would consider “far too much.” I imagine the shock and horror if you showed up to a Succession-style summer barbecue in jellie sandals or (gasp!) a thrifted nap dress.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to own well-made investment items. The real problem with quiet luxury is that it perpetuates the idea that *true* lovers of fashion are an elite circle who can recognize dollar signs like they’re woven into the fabric on your body.

This trend has never fit my style anyways. When I dress, I want to stand out (that’s the Leo in me). There’s nothing “quiet” about my personal style, and while I don’t mind occasionally wearing neutral tones and understated glamour à la Shiv Roy, I can’t deny my love for bright colors, unusual silhouettes and loud patterns.

Getting recognized for owning something expensive has never been the validation that I’ve desired, even though there are certainly expensive items that I wish I could afford (like, it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if someone surprised me with a pair of Louboutin spiked loafers). Instead, I’m proud of getting noticed for something that I thrifted for fifteen bucks. I love sharing that my sweater was a hand-me-down from my grandfather, or my shoes used to belong to my mom. I have always—and will always—firmly believed that a love for fashion shouldn’t be defined by how much you spend.

Loud Garbage example.
Paula Boudes

Those of us with our eyes locked on sartorial trends have already started to notice a resistance to the tenets of quiet luxury. Just look at the rise in Barbiecore or the obsession with early aughts fashion (which challenges the ’80s as one of the loudest eras in fashion ever). Fashionistas are hitting the theaters in hot pink and rocking rhinestone-studded pants and beaded chokers on the regular. Clearly, quiet luxury isn’t for everyone.

So this fall, I won’t be afraid to rock a pair of neon parachute pants or sparkly, glittering boots that allow me to tower over my friends. I won’t be afraid to layer a metallic skirt over a fuzzy cropped sweater.

That’s not to say that you won’t find me embracing a quiet luxury look every once in a while. However, I’ll just as proudly be flaunting outfits that the Roys might call ludicrous, bags they would deem too capacious and a thrifted find which they would never call luxurious. They might call it garbage, but their trash is my treasure.

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Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Joel is the Associate Editor for News & Entertainment and has been reporting on all things pop culture for over 5 years. Before working at PureWow, he served as a Features...