The seasons of style will keep turning and once again preppy fashion is back. Some readers, or their parents, may remember The Official Preppy Handbook edited by Lisa Birnbach and released in 1980. While many of the tried and true fashion commandments written in the book still hold, and of course there are some updates going on.
Prep the Girls
While girls are will still benefit from well-made opaque tights, fitted blazers, and blousy tops, the color choices are bolder. When it comes to color, keep with some traditional pairings, but kick up the brightness on one piece. Keep greens together, but if you have forest tights and a sage blouse, feel free to have fun in a lime or Kelley blazer. All the colors are in the same palette, but you won’t blend into the crowd with a statement piece.
When it comes to accessories, the classic headbands and pearl necklaces that define prepster style have been updated with some cute accents, mostly in the form of bows.
The shoe style of choice is a Mary Jane, whether flats, pumps, boots or high heels. These too can be accented with bows, but it isn’t necessary. You may wish to pick a particular style of bow to create a signature look, but keep it to one or two items per outfit. When dressing up, particularly in a structured sheath dress, keep accessories classy by adding longer, statement necklaces with a sophisticated hairdo in favor of the headband. It may not work with your signature piece, but sometimes style demands sacrifice.
The cardigan has probably seen the most updating. While the overall design haven’t changed that much, where once they were primarily solid colors with some trim at most, modern style allows for more playful patterns. They too should fall into the color scheme of your overall outfit, or be neutral in color. These comfy sweaters are great with a longer skirt or perhaps a fun pair of colored pants. Either way, a playful coordinating blouse keeps everything at the right level of femme. Adding a neat straps for your glasses can also be a choice, especially to make yourself look more appealing in terms of looking smart and trim.
Boys Can Be Chic
Much like their female counterparts, the preppy style has come back into fashion. Chino pants, polo shirts, and blazers are once again the rage. Just as with the girls, color choices have broadened. While it isn’t as important that each of the colors coordinate, they should not clash with each other.
Try to limit things to one bold color statement. While there are some more intricate classic patterns returning, like paisley and argyle, these too should be kept from clashing and worn less often than simple stripes and solids like seersuckers.
While the style is easily mimicked, it is important to stand out. Having a signature accessory can be key. Many young men look to statement watches, belts, or sunglasses for their personal expression. While individuality in these choices is encouraged in a fashion sense, they can sometimes be of concern with authority in school. Make sure your statement piece isn’t a contraband smartwatch or sunglasses that will be confiscated by an administrator.
Gentleman, the scruffy grunge look is out. While it is still possible to have some length to your hair and maintain a beard or mustache, neatness is the mode. Classic cuts are coming back with a vengeance, too. Whatever you do with your hair, make sure to keep it softer and clean. This isn’t to say don’t use product, but keep it within reason.
Preppies Must Be Neat
Regardless of which gender clothing you wear, it is imperative to the style to keep yourself and your clothing neat. Baggy, wrinkled shirts are out of place. Soiled skirts are for the laundry bin, not lovers lane. A torn garment looks as tacky as wearing a blue cardigan with and orange skirt. While keeping your apparel in tip-top shape can be time consuming, it will definitely pay off when it comes time to impress.
Preppy fashion, taking its cue from northeastern US society, has changed little over the years. Though it is always present in certain parts of American Culture, it has rarely been as fashion forward in the world as it is right now. Have fun using this updated classic style to bring out the young lady or gentleman within!