If your favorite style icon is Ali MacGraw in Love Story, then you almost certainly have a preppy style personality.
An all-American style which is inspired by prep school attire, this is a way of dressing which can transcend seasons, and generations.
What is preppy style?
This collegiate-inspired style is casual in the main, but that doesn’t mean that your closet will be totally full of denim and jeans.
You also love to wear skirts and dresses as well as classic blouses with pussy bows or Peter Pan collars.
Sally (below) adds a touch of pink to her preppy outfit.
How to tell if you have a preppy style personality
You love cozy knits, checks and stripes and prefer to wear flat shoes and natural fibers, including leather as well as wool.
If you aren’t sure what your style is, you could take this fun style personality quiz.
You appreciate clean-cut styles
I won’t find you in distressed jeans or a moto jacket. Instead you prefer a blazer, a v-neck sweater and a classic jeans style like bootcut or straight-leg.
You aren’t trend obsessed
It’s much more important to you to have a good closet of essentials than to shop for a statement piece each season.
For more inspiration take a look at the 28 essentials every woman over 40 should have in her closet.
You have a love of stripes
If there’s one pattern you have in your closet, it will be stripes. That’s because as well as being college-inspired, the preppy look also has a nod to the nautical.
You don’t have a preference for pants or skirts
While preppy style is generally comfortable, you are just as at home in a pair of pants as you are a skirt and you probably have equal numbers of each in your closet.
Preppy style women
The preppy style is one that has been adopted by many younger celebrities in recent years, including Emma Watson and Olivia Palermo.
But it’s also loved by Alexa Chung (who combines preppy with some bohemian), who is in her fourth decade, and Gwyneth Paltrow, who combines preppy with classic style. Reese Witherspoon is also often seen sporting a preppy look.
Kate Middleton also often dresses in a preppy style both off-duty and on.
Plus, there are plenty of women from years gone by who could show them all a thing or two. Fashion designer Lilly Pulizter epitomized preppy style, whereas no-one wore a twinset better than Jackie O or Grace Kelly.
Designers you like if you love preppy fashion
All of these appeal to your love of a clean-cut, classic style with a little hint of “geek” chic.
Tommy Hilfiger – Thom Browne – Ralph Lauren
Tops to get the perfect preppy look
The preppy style personality really goes for two main options when it comes to tops.
You will want to make sure you have plenty of casual options in your closet, including a classic polo neck and Breton-striped top.
But, you also like ladylike, dressy blouses and will often choose to dress up your jeans with pretty blouses featuring Peter Pan collars or pussy bow detailing.
Elena (above) shows how to add a little preppy style with her neck scarf.
preppy style sweaters and vests
A classic sweater and a cardigan is definitely vital to achieving a preppy style.
For a true preppy look, choose a v-neck and look out for details such as cable knit as well as varsity or cricket-style stripes.
For fall, invest in a padded, yet fitted, vest which you can wear over your shirts and v-neck sweaters.
‘Follow Me and My Style’ (above) shows off a style which is mainly classic but which has a preppy vibe.
preppy style coats and jackets
I really struggled to choose between a belted wool coat here and a very similar style in a trench coat.
In the end, the wool coat won because it is so very similar in style to the one Ali MacGraw wore as Jennifer Cavalleri in Love Story.
You will also want to add a classic blazer as well as a quilted coat. Plus, you could think about adding a classic pattern such as plaid.
Nagore (above) wears her shirt under her sweater in a style which combines preppy and classic.
Jeans and pants for the preppy style personality
When choosing jeans and pants, you won’t be looking for the very latest hem style or for jeans with holes in them.
Like the rest of your look, you like a clean cut look which could transcend decades.
You will want a classic jeans style as well as looking out for options with patterns such as checks and for pants which have a defined crease.
Grace (above) looks beautiful in her preppy-style suit.
preppy dresses and skirts
You will probably have an equal number of pants to skirts if I were to take a look in your closet.
Look out for styles featuring pleats and Peter Pan collars. As a preppy style, you could opt for a shorter skirt length if you are confident about your legs.
You can always wear a shorter skirt with opaque tights. Or you could choose a knee-length or midi option.
Just as with the belted coat above, I couldn’t resist this red dress as it looks just like the one Ali Macraw wore when she met Oliver’s father, Oliver Barrett III.
Nadya (above) pairs stripes with her midi skirt. She gives her look an extra preppy vibe by wearing her sandals with striped socks.
Like the rest of your look, your shoes will be very classic styles. They will also, usually, be mainly flat.
You aren’t too keen on heels. Instead, look out for loafers with bows or tassels, a pair of brogues or Oxfords and flat knee-high boots for winter and fall.
Kylie (above) takes elements of the preppy style for her striped look above.
Here is a similar pair of suede boots.
Accessories to go with your preppy clothes
When it comes to accessories, you like to be understated rather than flamboyant.
You love a classic satchel, some well-made leather gloves which will last you for years and, of course, a long wool scarf.
Your jewelry will be tasteful and understated, like the rest of your wardrobe, so you might only choose to add a pair of diamond or pearl stud earrings and a watch for your day-to-day outfits.
Patricia (above) gives her preppy style some added flair by adding a beret.
Here are 9 preppy outfits created from the wardrobe choices above
If you love a preppy style, then you’re definitely in luck.
There are plenty of brands, both designer and from the high street which cater to the preppy aesthetic. These are some of my favorites. How about you?
- Want To Discover Your Style Personality? Take This Fun Quiz!
- Understanding The Different Styles
- A Capsule Wardrobe For The Classic Style Personality
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Feature image by Patricia
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