In chapter one, Nick says that he lived in "West Egg, the [...] the less fashionable of the two [...]". To paraphrase: Nick lives in West Egg which is not as chic as East Egg. Old money has a higher status than new money, and it is therefore considered to...
In chapter one, Nick says that he lived in "West Egg, the [...] the less fashionable of the two [...]". To paraphrase: Nick lives in West Egg which is not as chic as East Egg. Old money has a higher status than new money, and it is therefore considered to be much more fashionable and chic. Since old money is inherited and new money is acquired, new money is associated with work and earning. And those who do not have to work for their money have a higher status than those who had to get their hands dirty for it.
Further, Nick describes the "white palaces of fashionable East Egg [that] glittered along the water." To paraphrase: People who live in East Egg seem to live in homes fit for royalty. The word choice of palaces is notable: in East Egg, there are palaces -- a word that connotes both wealth and status (royalty live in palaces). The word also implies a certain strength, as though the homes are fortresses meant to keep people out, which is exactly what old money sought to do: preserve their status and distinction by exiling the new money. Consider what Nick said about Daisy's smirk asserting "her membership in a rather distinguished secret society to which she and Tom belonged." Old money wanted to preserve themselves, their prestige, and their homes from being infringed upon by the lesser new money.
Finally, the description of Tom Buchanan, a man who "played football at New Haven" and was a "national figure in a way," his "polo ponies," and his "enormously wealthy" family all let us know that wherever the Buchanans live is where the old money belongs. To paraphrase: Tom is clearly incredibly wealthy, and has been since he was quite young. We know he's old money because his wealth has come from his family; he was terribly rich even in college, as a very young man, because his money has been inherited and not acquired.