Fashion Trends 2024: A Guide to the Biggest Aesthetics of the Year

While the mob wife look could be described as the physical embodiment of audacity, the Ladies Who Lunch are all about restraint. Think of the kind of women raised by her mother with the sole intention of marrying a rich man. Now, just take her style—the perfectly coiffed hair like she just stepped out of Kenneth’s salon, the twin sets, the cigarette stuck between her fingers—and ditch the misogynistic backstory. The Ladies look is like taking the woman who epitomizes quiet luxury and thrusting her 70 years in the past, back in the days when Babe Paley ran the New York social scene and Eleanor Lambert still published her annual International Best Dressed List. And yes, if you need inspiration, you can look toward the new Ryan Murphy production, Feud: Capote vs. The Swans, though most of that show takes place after the golden age of lunching ladies. But what this aesthetic is really all about is perfection, almost to an anal degree, with not one hair out of place: the bag matching the hat and the shoes and the gloves—and the string of pearls around your neck. It’s Betty Draper and Midge Maisel. It’s dinner parties and martinis. It’s ignoring your children and remembering Halston as a hat designer. Of course, all of these details are antiquated in the year 2024, but many who have adopted the aesthetic have found ways to modernize it. Take Rihanna at the Dior haute couture show, Versace’s entire spring/summer 2024 collection, or Miuccia Prada at pretty much any moment.

Defining characteristics: Pearls and pastels, twin sets and tweed. The Ladies Who Lunch look is all about coordination. Accessories are important as well, and they’re never too large. Try tiny hats and small bags that will just fit your cigarette case. Of course, the top handle is a necessity. Heels shouldn’t be too high and stockings are recommended. There can be some flashiness and flair, but always with a restraint, lest we attract the wrong kind of attention.

Who’s on the mood board: Jackie O before she took on the O, January Jones’s Betty Draper, and Rachel Brosnahan’s Mrs. Maisel. And, of course, Babe Paley. Look to Mrs. Prada to see how to bring the aesthetic into the 21st century.

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