Q&A: Essential Pieces for a Preppy Look

November 27th, 2007

Q:  What are some essential pieces for a laid back, preppy girl look?

By Colleen Geary, fashion stylist and image consultant

A:  First a bit of fashion history for you: preppy
fashion is derived from White Anglo Saxon College Preparatory School uniforms.  Big in the 70s and the 80s, preppy fashion is still very much in style today.  But instead of wearing preppy fashion head-to-toe, we generally recommend layering in other pieces for a more laid-back, modern look.  To get you started though, here’s eleven staples for a preppy look:

The Navy Blazer

Wool Gabardine Single Button Jacket
Wool Gabardine Single Button Jacket | $225 at J Crew

The Cable Knit Sweater

Cambridge Cable Crewneck Sweater
Cambridge Cable Crewneck Sweater | $74 at J Crew

The Basic Button Down Shirt

Sparkle Plaid Margaret Shirt

Sparkle Plaid Margaret Shirt | $78 at J Crew

The Polo Shirt

Kendall Polo Shirt

Kendall Polo Shirt | $39.50 at Abercrombie

The Corduroy Pant / The Khaki Pant

Modern Boot Cut Corduroy Pant

Modern Boot Cut Corduroy Pant | $54.60 (sale) at Banana Republic

The Lilly Pulitzer Dress

Lilly Pulitzer Cosette Printed Shirtdress

Lilly Pulitzer Cosette Printed Shirtdress | $195.90 (sale) at Nordstrom

The Pearl (or Diamond) Earrings

Pearl Stud Earrings

Pearl Stud Earrings | $55 at J Crew

The Cartier Tank Watch

Cartier Tank Francaise Watch

Cartier Tank Francaise Watch | $3,800 at Saks Fifth Avenue

The Ribbon Belt

Striped Grosgrain Belt

Striped Grosgrain Belt | $48 at J Crew

The Kate Spade Handbag

Kate Spade Classic Noel Metallic Griffin Tote

Kate Spade Classic Noel Metallic Griffin Tote | $216.90 (sale) at Nordstrom

The Penny Loafer

BP Paperclip Penny Loafer

BP Paperclip Penny Loafer | $59.95 at Nordstrom


Lastly, here’s two pointers to make your preppy look more laid back:
(1) Play with color.  We like darker and richer colors than the generally preferred kelly green and bright pink. 
(2) Don’t look too perfect.  Your cotton pinstriped button-down could, for example, be left unpressed.  Or you can wear it slightly unbuttoned to show some skin. 

Have a great tip about what to wear for a preppy look?

Share it with us in the comments!

Style question?  We’ve got answers.  E-mail us at tips at omiru dot com, or leave us a comment with your question.

Entry Filed under: Q&A, Women, Women's

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