once a prepster always a prepster. but what, exactly, is preppy style? well, according to wikipedia the term preppy derives from the private, university-preparatory or prep schools uniforms. preppy fashion is represented by the quintessential Ivy League style that stems from the collegiate traditions of Ivy League schools. preppy style is also inspired by outdoor activities like polo, sailing, hunting, golf, tennis, squash or rugby. hence the heavy dose of field jackets, nautical stripes, equestrian clothing, tennis sweaters, plaid shirts, wellies, sneakers, and deck shoes in the prepster’s wardrobe. iconic brands like Ralph Lauren, J.Crew, J. McLaughlin, Lilly Pulitzer, Vineyard Vines are closely associated with preppy attire. personally, i love the clean lines and uncomplicated look of an iconic prep school uniform. even pop sugar took not of my affinity for a preppy and put together style.
so what are those preppy wardrobe essentials? let’s take a look at a few of my favorites:
utility jacket – the classic waxed cotton jacket is perfect for a rainy day.
dark denim – instant evening glam, yet practical enough for the weekend.
chinos – borrowed from the boys this classic staple goes with just about everything from a sweater to a navy blazer
striped tee – when in doubt put a striped tee on.
striped tee: here, here and here
plaid/gingham/pattern button down – a button-down looks great on its own or paired with tee’s and sweaters
blazer – all hail the mighty blazer. navy is a neutral. it’s a perfect match with spring’s color palette.
cashmere sweater – try a lighter weight once warmer temps appear.
cashmere sweater: here
ballet flats, sneakers or loafers – any and all of these shoes work with skirts, dresses, denim, pants or short.
straw handbag – if it’s summer then a straw handbag is the quintessential choice.
pearl earrings – by far my favorite gemstone that just happens to partner perfectly with preppy outfits.
have a blessed easter!
p.s. i’ve added a video showcasing three preppy outfits i’m wearing this spring. clearly, i like the word fun…
is the Founder and CEO of Style at a Certain Age. She writes Sundays-Fridays on all topics ranging from fashion, health, wellness, home design and more.
She’s 63, 5’8, and size 8.
Love it! As usual!!
hi sarah! #prepforever
What a fun video! I love how you explain the preppy look of each outfit and they all look terrific on you. Could you let us know what brand of shoes the pink suede flats are? Thanks!
hi rebecca! the pink suede flats are by j.crew factory from 2014.
Nice collection of preppy looks! I am currently reading Seven Sisters Style, which chronicles preppy style. xoxo
oh, i have to read that! seven sisters most likely were the first preppy influencers. i always think of how ali macgraw was dressed in ‘love story’ i think that’s when and where i fell in love with the look. xoxo
I, too, have loved preppy style since my teenage years in the 80’s!your blog is threat and the videos are fun. I am also a major fan of Christopher and Banks and I have been enjoying your collaboration with them.
Sorry for the typos! Your blog is great I meant to say!
I love this post! You have inspired me Beth and I think I will use your idea in one of my posts and I will refer to you:). Thx a lot! Have a great day, Renata xox
How the heck did I miss this post? “Fun” video, too–all great looks, Beth.
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