The best way to describe the preppy style is collegiate-inspired casual wear that doesn’t necessarily require denim or jeans. It has a lot in common with classic style too; it’s a combination of both worlds. Think cozy knits, tweed jackets, stripes, flat shoes, and natural fibers, such as leather and wool. Although every few years the aesthetic loses some of its shine, recently, it has been reviving itself. Therefore, we’re going to dedicate this article to showing you how to rock the preppy style and what are the necessary pieces you should have in your wardrobe to nail this style.
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The term’s origin comes from exactly that ("prep" meaning preparatory school). The expression first appeared in the early 20th century and described rich students who were being prepared for Ivy League education, most of whom were from old money.
So, how to create preppy outfits?
What could be more iconic than a white button-down shirt? The answer is nothing, especially when it comes to preppy fashion. This well-tailored top is crisp and refined and instantly enhances denim, high-rise pants, and a full skirt (even a pleated mini!). Designs with puffed sleeves, larger shapes, and exaggerated cuffs give minimal styles a more modern look.
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Timeless Knit Sweaters
Knits are the ultimate preppy item to invest in. It's necessary whether you're a strong supporter of the look or just like to look stylish and snug in the winter. Any outfit may be worn with thick V-necks, mid-weight cardigans, and cashmere crewnecks, including flared midi skirts and high-rise jeans. This is another category where the prep level can be changed by styling.
A cardigan and a classic sweater are unquestionably necessary for a preppy look. Choose a V-neck and keep an eye out for accents like cable knit and college or cricket-style stripes for a truly preppy vibe. A sleeveless sweater that you can layer over your shirt is another great option.
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Every fantastic flirtatious, preppy outfit usually revolves around a functional heel, be it a low-to-the-ground slingback, T-bar pumps, or elegant heeled loafers. Neutral-colored leather and suede designs are particularly classic. Make your choices more textured for a more lavish appearance. The best thing about these shoe selections is that they go well with almost every outfit.
Any prepster fashion is identified with blazers, especially the ones made of rich materials like tweed, flannel, and wool, as well as vintage checks and patterns. However, they have evolved beyond prep; the blazer is now a staple in any fashionable wardrobe, regardless of whether you prefer sporty looks or Scandinavian aesthetics.
Plaid/Polka Dot Pattern
Traditional patterns like tartan, gingham, glen plaid, and polka dots are an easy way to add preppy elegance to your clothing. Depending on how you use them, you may use those designs in a subtle or striking way for both cold-weather accessories and tailored clothing (head-to-toe versus a single piece, for example). To enhance versatility, start your collection with a plaid coat, polka-dot knitwear, or a sassy party dress.
Since we're talking about the preppy style, we have to mention skirts! For the ultimate preppy look, go for garments with pleats that will complement your Peter Pan collars. If you are confident in your legs, you could choose a shorter skirt length for a cute preppy look. You can always pair opaque tights with a shorter skirt. Or you may select a midi or knee-length style.
Put on a pair of loose-fitting denim and high-top sneakers with a striped rugby T-shirt. Or you may consider Kendall Jenner as an inspiration instead. For a stylish, off-duty look, the reality star and supermodel wore jeans, Birkenstocks shoes, and sunglasses with a black and white rugby shirt.
Put on a sweater vest and these tailored pants for the height of preppy fashion, then layer a denim jacket on your shoulders. These pants can be worn with everything from flats to kitten heels with a shorter crop.
A letterman jacket is an epitome of preppy and a timeless complement to any collection. It's the ideal spring weight, ready to be thrown on when hot days give way to chilly evenings. They look best when worn to complete a whole preppy outfit of timeless pieces, such as light-washed denim, a shirt tucked in, and cozy sneakers or leather boots. We suggest sizing up in any jacket you buy if you want your look to appear truly relaxed.
Whether you’re new to this style or looking for new ways to up your wardrobe, these staple pieces will help you in your styling game. Always look for inspiration to make your preppy style trendy and personal. Which of these pieces is your favorite?