If there are two characteristics that would be near the top of any list describing the Old Money culture, the would be structure and discipline.
When Old Money works, it works. When it plays, it plays. Old Money does what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, whether it’s a pleasant task or not.
Some of this stoic determination can certainly be put down to formative years spent under the withering gaze of a private school headmaster or a Catholic school nun. Much of it was probably learned at home, by parental example, and blunt exhortation: “You’ve had every advantage in life. Why wouldn’t you excel?” There just isn’t much room for excuses or mediocre performance in Old Money families.
Structure, too, is pervasive. There’s a time for dinner. There’s a time for reading. There’s a time to socialize. There’s a time to exercise. (A time for gin and tonics, too, we have to admit.) Many times, there’s a specific place where each of these is done.
There are clothes you wear to church, to a piano recital, to the office, and to a garden party. Luckily for Old Money Guys, the same blue blazer, oxford button down, khaki pants, and brown shoes work equally well for all these occasions. The only judgment call we have to make is neck tie or no neck tie.
Old Money Gals are habitually decked out in simple, elegant dresses made of natural fabrics and cut in a timeless style, no-to-low heels, and inherited pearls.
To the uninitiated, this structure and discipline can border on the tedious and reek of mindless conformity. But fear not, there is plenty of room for the spontaneous, plenty of room for fun, plenty of room to be an individual.
What needs to be remembered is that, without structure, there is no spontaneity. Without formality, without getting dressed, or dressed up, there is no real casual. Without manners and a certain distance from strangers, colleagues, and friends, how would we recognize and cherish the unique intimacy we share with our soul mate?
Experience is largely by contrast. Embrace structure and discipline. Your best self will rise to every occasion.