It all started with Blair Waldorf. The preppy style may not be as famous or widely known as, say, bohemian or minimal fashion but it has been in the fashion world for quite a long time. You may be thinking that it’s not really a fashion style to be worn once you’re out of high school. But I digress.
I think women in their twenties and older can still wear preppy. So long as you keep to the wardrobe essentials of what makes an outfit preppy and wear them in a way that’s appropriate for your age. Here are some wardrobe essentials for preppy and how to wear preppy outfits when you’re not a high schooler anymore.
Mary Jane Heels
Mary Jane shoes are, by far, the preppiest pair of shoes ever to be created by mankind. It has built its reputation as a school girl’s shoes which automatically makes it an essential preppy wardrobe piece. In order for you not to look like a high schooler, you can wear Mary Jane heels. You want to pair it with button shirts and other tailored outfits for that clean preppy look.
Peter Pan Collar
There is something particularly girly about this round type of collar and the obvious presence of girliness is needed in a preppy outfit. I personally recommend wearing a top or dress that has a different color for its Peter Pan collar, like say a blue dress with a white Peter Pan collar. Giving emphasis on the color will work tremendously for your preppy outfit. You can also do this by layering a white Peter Pan collared blouse underneath a different colored jumper with the collar completely in view.
This is another top that you want for a preppy wardrobe. Jumpers are so easy to incorporate in a preppy outfit because it has that innate preppiness to them. If you’re wearing a dress and sneakers like Alexa Chung did below, having a jumper tied rather hastily around your shoulders make your outfit lean more on the preppy side.
Did you know that Japanese students actually use leather loafers for school? And the look of loafers worn with socks is immensely preppy! It’s your go-to shoes for casual looks but if you wear loafers in a preppy outfit of blazers or tailored pants, it actually adds a clean finish to the look, making it all the more preppy without looking like a high schooler.
Pastel and Bright Colors
Preppy style will always be about the fun colors and while neutrals such as black and white will always have a place for any style, pastel and bright colors are the defining shades of the style. As long as you wear at least two essential pieces for a preppy outfit and have them in either pastel or bright colors, you’ll be good to go.
I find that overalls or shortalls can morph and blend into any style if you pair them with the right pieces. For a preppy ensemble that does not look like a high schooler’s outfit, the overalls shouldn’t be denim to create that clean look. You want to wear a girly blouse underneath or turtlenecks for colder days. Having any of the essential wardrobe pieces mentioned here added into your outfit will also be good.
A well-tailored blazer that resembles those that private school students would wear is the cherry of a spectacular preppy outfit. You can pair it with almost anything but I highly suggest a completely buttoned shirt worn underneath it for that preppy look. To avoid looking like a student yourself, you can wear tailored pants instead of pleated skirt and forego wearing socks.