How to nail the preppy look


The preppy look has enjoyed many renaissances and incarnations over the past 70 years since it first emerged in US prep schools and Ivy League colleges in the 1950s. One thing that always holds true is simple colours, clean lines and an unfussy but chic finish. It’s currently enjoying another zenith, so how can you nail the preppy look for 2017? Read on to find out!


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Preppy colours

One thing that never changes in the preppy look is preppy colours. These are neutral shades of white, beige, grey and nautical nods to blue and burgundy.

Spacious for 2017

The current preppy look is a rebirth of the ’90s one; isn’t everything at the moment? This means spacious hoodies, mom-style jeans and looser-fitting shirts. This is a marked move away from the slim styles of the past decade. Chinos will always be a key preppy item. These are slightly wider than before, but they are still tapered and ideally finished with a turn-up. These should never be pleated or have a crease ironed in.


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Quality clothing

One of the key facets of the preppy look is that whilst clothes are not flamboyant, they are certainly not cheap. Always go for designer shirts, such as mens Farah shirts from, ideally in a blue or white and in either a button-down Oxford collar or Grandad collar style. For less formal occasions, a polo shirt or cotton seersucker shirt is perfectly preppy. Finish your outfit off with a refined but premium accessory. For men, this may be a luxury watch, whilst women might opt for a pair of simple pearl earrings.

Preppy patterns

Patterns should be kept to a minimum and only appear on one item of clothing. Proper preppy patterns include nautical stripes, especially on polo shirts or tops for women. For the 2017 preppy look, it’s possible to consider new patterns such as gingham or tartan.

Preppy footwear

White tennis trainers or deck shoes are the ultimate in informal preppy footwear, preferably without socks for a bit of classic preppy ankle exposure. Smart footwear options also include leather loafers.

The preppy look is associated with a quiet confidence, charm, and the luxury of upper-class lifestyles. Be sure to be seen in your preppy clothes out on the boat, at a garden party or a college reunion for the ultimate effect.