What we know as the “preppy” style is characterized by clean lines, classic patterns, and polished footwear and accessories, among others. It has its roots in traditional Ivy League and East Coast fashion, with influences ranging from prep schools and collegiate campuses to country clubs and yacht clubs. Structured pieces such as tailored blazers, button-up shirts, and khaki skirts or pants are some of the most recognizable staples of the preppy aesthetic.
You may be intimidated by the preppy style of dress, but the key to looking good in preppy clothes is to show off their refined simplicity.
By combining so-called preppy elements in both casual and formal wear, you can create looks that are quite sophisticated and pleasing to the eye in an understated way.
Let’s take a look at what defines the preppy style, why you should explore a preppier aesthetic, and how to put together preppy ensembles that have your own personal spin on them.
Preppy Aesthetic. Why Wear It?
Many things account for the preppy aesthetic and the preppy style’s popularity and longevity in women’s fashion. The most compelling reasons to explore preppy-chic looks include the following:
It’s Highly Versatile
The versatility of the preppy style makes it highly adaptable to various occasions, from professional functions to more casual outings. The overall polished impression that preppy clothes give off makes them ideal for dressy and formal events.
Done another way, a preppy outfit can also be worn for more relaxed occasions, like brunch or a daytime date.
Try matching a quality pair of opaque tights with a pleated skirt, a collared blouse, a delicate cardigan, and a pair of Mary Jane heels, and you’ll give off a smart and cosmopolitan impression to casual acquaintances, good friends, and strangers alike.
The preppy style transcends many of its shorter-lived fashion counterparts, which means that many of your preppier wardrobe investments will stand the test of time.
Embrace traditional silhouettes, neutral color palettes, and preppy patterns like plaid, gingham, and houndstooth, and you’ll be able to create a wardrobe that remains relevant season after season.
It Promises Plenty of Room for Creativity
While the preppy style has many specific defining elements, there’s ample room to incorporate your own interpretations of it into your outfits. Whether you add unexpected pops of color, throw in modern-looking accessories like smartwatches, or experiment with pattern combinations, the preppy aesthetic will be the perfect blank canvas for expressing your individuality.
Instead of following preppy fashion templates to a tee, have fun with the aesthetic and show off your own take on an age-old style. After all, your fashion choices—preppy and otherwise—should be a true reflection of your personality and evolving sense of style.
Tips for Building Your Own Preppy Wardrobe
To infuse your wardrobe with preppy elements and make it easier for you to rock the preppy style, try following these essential tips:
1. Invest in Well-Fitted Items
Clothing that fits you like a glove is a must if you want to successfully achieve a preppier style. Structured blazers, trousers, and dresses will provide the polish that’s foundational to any preppy look.
Ensure that your garments are tailored to flatter your body shape and give you a refined silhouette.
2. Go for a Neutral Palette
A neutral and versatile color palette is the hallmark of preppy fashion. Opt for shades like whites, grays, navies, creams, and pastels.
Darker shades like blacks and deep browns are also good choices for colder seasons. These colors will constitute an exceptionally flexible and sophisticated wardrobe, allowing for easy mixing and matching and effortless coordination.
3. Choose Simple Prints
When incorporating prints into your preppy wardrobe, stick to subtle patterns like plaid, houndstooth, stripes, or polka dots.
These will add visual interest to your outfits without overpowering them.
You’ll be surprised just how much room you’ll have to play around with this small array of patterns, and just how much they’ll elevate even the simplest outfits.
Preppy Aesthetic: Preppy Essentials to Invest In
To build a preppy wardrobe that you’ll be able to make a ton of striking outfits from, consider these essential items:
1. Preppy Aesthetic: Tights
Opaque tights in various colors are not only practical staples to add to your closet; they’ll also add a touch of refinement to outfits based on skirts and dresses.
They’ll provide warmth during cooler seasons and allow you to extend the wearability of your favorite garments throughout the year.
This guide on 5 Ideas On How To Style Your Tights will help in choosing the right tights for different occasions.
2. Preppy Aesthetic: Blazers
A well-tailored blazer is a must-have in a preppy wardrobe. It will allow you to transition effortlessly from office attire to casual and laid-back chic.
Choose a blazer in a classic color like navy or black, and pair it with tailored pants, skirts, or even jeans for a foolproof preppy look.
3. Preppy Aesthetic: Collared Shirts or Blouses
Collared shirts are another quintessential element of the preppy style that look great both worn alone and layered under blazers or sweaters.
There are many variations that you can choose from; some of the best include a crisp white dress shirt to show that you mean business and a more delicate, feminine blouse with a Peter Pan collar to bring out your softer side.
4. Preppy Aesthetic: A-Line Skirts and Dresses
The A-line cut has been a particularly beloved option for fans of skirts and dresses since it first emerged in the 1950s. Because it’s fitted at the waist and flares outward further down, the A-line skirt flatters almost every body type.
A-line skirts and dresses are also available in just about every color, pattern, and fabric you can imagine, so you should have no trouble finding pieces that will fit right into your preppy wardrobe.
Here is a List Of Dress Styles Every Woman Should Own that you might be interested in.
Conclusion On Preppy Aesthetic
The preppy aesthetic offers a wealth of style inspiration for women, allowing them to infuse their everyday outfits with a touch of ageless elegance. Invest in quality preppy essentials for yourself, and mix and match them up in your own way.
Get your preppy style going with these preppy aesthetic ideas, Queens. Don’t forget to share. Pin, Tweet, and Facebook because sharing is caring!