Preppy may be a trend, but quite simply, being a preppy dresser is all about wearing the classics. Those tried-and-true styles that never go out of style. The truth is, you probably have some of the basic, conservative staples already. In the off chance you don’t, here’s a guide of what to get and add to dress like a smart, modern prep.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
Pressed oxfords; a navy blazer, preferably with goldtone buttons; an arsenal of solid cotton polos; white denim; khaki twills; a closet full of brightly-patterned sport shirts (plaid, gingham, check, stripe, seersucker); braided leather belts; boat shoes and bucks.
Think Southern gentleman, not 1980s power broker.
Brands like Brooks Brothers and Polo Ralph Lauren are the go-tos for complete preppy style.
HOW TO PULL OFF THE TREND:
It’s all in how you put your looks together. Solids always look great when paired, especially with the right accessories. Go bright by day, more neutral in the evening.
And some things are just better together, like navy and white. A bit nautical, yes, but put a madras shirt beneath that blazer and you’re ready for dinner at the club. Country or yacht…in Newport; Hilton Head, Palm Beach; Montauk, NY; Chicago; Nashville; Oxford, MS, Augusta; Dallas; Louisville; Seattle or Santa Barbara.
WHEN IT’S ALL ABOUT EASE
Weekends call for comfort, but you can still keep the preppy trend going in a bright polo and white jeans. Take along a lightweight, unstructured sport coat to dress it up. Try a madras sport shirt and flat-front tailored shorts. Remember your boat shoes or bucks. This look will certainly pass while enjoying a leisurely lunch and strolling the boardwalk, the Magnificent Mile or the Santa Monica Promenade.
A BIT MORE DRESSED UP
Have a casual work environment? Going out to dinner? Here’s the answer. The patterned shirt is the pop of color, anchored smartly by the neutral navy sweater worn over the shoulders (or over the sport shirt when it’s cool) and the twills. Be sure to belt it and finish it off with loafers or driving mocs (without socks, of course).
ALL DECKED OUT
Think Southern wedding guest, the Masters, the Derby…
An occasion where you’d wear a jacket. The ultimate preppy sport coat to have in your closet? The navy blazer, with those signature goldtone buttons. This look doesn’t necessarily require a tie, but when it does, go with a classic rep stripe or go loud and proud with a bow.
Items shown to the left: BROOKS BROTHERS D5071 Non-Iron Plaid Twill Sport Shirt • BROOKS BROTHERS D5075 Flat-Front Garment-Washed Chinos • BROOKS BROTHERS D4211 Cotton/Cashmere Half-Zip Sweater • COLE HAAN M6847 Grant Canoe Penny Driving Moccasin