Come Spring, the Preppy Look’s Back In
It’s the trend that keeps popping in and out of our lives, and now it’s back one more time. But these days you don’t have to have a rich ma and pa or have attended an excellent, expensive school to get the preppy look – it’s all about what you wear, and the attitude you’ve got to go with it.
It’s not all about sneering or snobbery, a true preppy may look unapproachable or have an icy demeanour, but would never be rude or look down on others – it’s just so d?ï¿½class?ï¿½. Preppies know what they like and they love the classics: timeless pieces that can be worn again and again. Some garments may be n the expensive side, but think about it: it’s an investment. Can you really put a price on looking fabulous? Key brands include Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, J Crew and, of course, the king of prep Ralph Lauren.
With the preppy look, the devil is in the details. Starting at the very bottom, the favoured shoe styles for any proud preppy would the flat ballet pump or the boat shoe. They’re instantly recognisable symbols of preppiness and never go out of fashion. Keep the colours plain. Gaudy patterns simply won’t do.
Working our way up to the bottom half, it can only be a skirt for the ladies or, if you’re feeling adventurous some plain Bermuda shorts or khakis. Again, keep your colours muted and respectable. Your style should be a whisper, not a shout.
The polo shirt is the staple piece of any self-respecting preppy’s uniform. The general rule is basic, basic, basic. Plain colours are best, and make sure it fits you well. If you want to be a little more formal, an immaculately ironed, crisp, clean dress shirt in a flattering fit is the way to go. White, baby pink or light blue are the must-wear colours, and you can always be a little more adventurous and go for a striped shirt, but keep it low-key.
To keep warm, a cardigan is essential for the warmer months, or a carefully draped pullover around your shoulders. The perfect finishing touch is the preppy blazer. Forget garish stripes and on-trend colours; only sleek and sedate navy blue will do.
Accessorising well is second nature to most preppy devotees. A tote bag will set off your outfit perfectly and a canvas version from legendary LL Bean will make you stand out as true preppy. Add a skinny or ribbon belt to your look in a navy and white or navy and red stripe is about as jaunty as you’re allowed to get. For the ladies a headband is a nice touch, but, aside from a small bow, it should be as plain as possible.
When it comes to jewellery, classy and antique are the buzzwords. You don’t have to dig out the family heirlooms, but source some vintage items to stay on-style. Think pearls, bracelets and even a tasteful brooch. Like everything preppy, it pays not to overdo it – ‘understated’ should be your mantra.…