What Is The Preppy Fashion Style?

What Is The Preppy Fashion Style?

The Preppy fashion style is rooted in the Ivy Leagues of 1912 and became more prevalent in the 1950s.  The style gets it's name from  university-preparatory or prep schools that some American upper class and upper middle class children attend.  In fact the style was so much of an influence that starting in the mid 20th century certain brands such as Brooks Brothers opened up stores on the campuses of Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Princeton.  There's even a Official Preppy Handbook, that was created to poke fun at rich kids who donned this style, but ended up glamourizing the culture. 

Preppy styles reflect traditional upper-class leisure activities, once associated with the wealthy English who once had a strong political and social position in the Northeast and New England, such as polo, sailing, hunting, fencing, crew rowing, lacrosse, golf, tennis, rugby, squash and swimming. This association with old English inspired outdoor activities can be seen in preppy fashion, through stripes and colors, equestrian clothing, plaid shirts, field jackets, and nautical-themed accessories.

Brands that specialize in the "Preppy Look" include: 

L.L. Bean

Eddie Bauer


Ralph Lauren

J. Crew

Additional examples of general preppy wardrobe staples for men and women include a navy blazer, repp stripe ties, argyle sweaters, crewneck sweaters, school sweaters or sweatshirts, grosgrain or woven leather belts, chinos, madras and seersucker (particularly trousers and shorts made of these materials), Nantucket Reds, button down Oxford cloth shirts, pearl necklaces and earrings, gold bangle or large chain bracelets, penny loafers, polo shirts (often with a popped collar), and boat shoes.

Below are some examples of Preppy style.  This would be a nice addition to any wardrobe as a go to for certain 'upscale' occasions or whenever you want to feel 'rich' like the prep school kids/parents. People who adhere to this style as their everyday go to usually have or want some affiliation with the associations mentioned above. 



Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.