Preppy | Style Analysis

Preppy | Style Analysis

Preppy style is something I’ve always admired. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, preparatory style comes from the students' style choices from classic university-preparatory schools. Examples of brands that embody this preppy style are Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Coach.

Origins of Preparatory Style

As I mentioned, preppy style is associated with students from American prep schools. The term preppy is also associated with the Ivy League colleges (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc). Women’s preparatory style influences arose in the 1960s, led by designers such as Perry Ellis and Lilly Pulitzer (known as the Queen of Prep). This style was made popular by the female students at the Seven Sisters Colleges (Mount Holyoke College, Barnard College, etc: sister institutions to the Ivy League). Preppy style pieces include blouses, tights, sweaters, blazers, plaid, mary jane heels, skirts of all kind and lavallières, also known as the pussy bow.

Examples of Preparatory Style

Preppy TV/Movie Characters

SPENCER HASTINGS (PRETTY LITTLE LIARS): Spencer Hastings is one of the main characters in Pretty Little Liars. She is known to be intelligent, sophisticated and polished. You’ll find that a lot of academically driven characters in TV shows tend to wear this preppy style.

BLAIR WALDORF (GOSSIP GIRL): I’m sure you were all expecting this; Blair from Gossip Girl is pretty much known for her preppy style. As she attends an upper-class private school, it’s fitting that her and her ‘minions’ fit this prep-school style. Blair is once again another academically driven person, who dreamed of getting into Yale University.

SABRINA SPELLMAN (THE CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA): The season that preppy style is most associated with is Autumn, and Sabrina’s style completely embodies this cozy, fall style. You constantly see her wear pea coats, plaid and sweaters. She also brings this preppy style over the edge by carrying around a messenger bag.

NANCY WHEELER (STRANGER THINGS): Nancy’s style is constantly polished and preppy. From her dainty watch to her argyle sweaters, she always gives off teacher’s pet vibes. Let’s not forget to mention the nostalgic 80’s twist to all her outfits too.

RORY GILMORE (GILMORE GIRLS): If Rory Gilmore doesn’t give you study motivation I don’t known what will. She is the embodiment of a private school student. She strives to attend an Ivy League school and her style also reflects that. And I also can’t help but love the preppy Chilton uniform.

CHER, DIONNE & TAI (CLUELESS): Clueless is known to be one of the most fashionable movies ever made. This movie still influences a lot of people to start wearing preppy clothes, plaid skirts, knee high socks and sweaters. These characters' style scream prep!

Preppy Staple Pieces

If you also admire this style, there are few things that you can buy to help incorporate it into your wardrobe. You can generally find these pieces anywhere, you don’t have to pay big bucks to get this posh look. Things that you should think about investing in are good quality sweaters, practical coats (for example a pea coat or trench coat), riding boots, dainty watches, plaid skirts, blazers, shirt dresses, cardigans, blouses and finally a nice bag (I’d personally recommend a messenger bag). A brand where you can usually find preppy clothes is Abercrombie & Fitch. For preppy makeup keep it natural and fresh. The aim is to look effortless and put together.

That’s all for now, thank you for reading! Please like it a like if you enjoyed it. Until next time, xoxo Georgia.