Fashion & Beauty

6 Steps To Achieve That Preppy Look

Preppy: a style that has lasted the ages and withstood the many fashions that have come and gone. Think Lilly Pulitzer, Kate Middleton, Jackie Kennedy or Blair Waldorf. Preppy fashion meets bright and bold colors with clean and simple styling, along with carefully selected accessories. Don’t know where to start? We’ve got a basic how-to to kick start your preppy wardrobe.

Keep things simple

A classic preppy outfit is uncluttered and fitting, with clean lines, quality fabrics and rather conservative cuts. Choose simple patterns or solid colors and match accordingly. Keep accessories to a minimum (but never omit them completely), and shy away from anything too busy, revealing or contemporary.


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Cultivate a neat and polished look

This preppy look puts together a traditional vest, flannel top and leather tote.

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Always keep your hair clean and brushed. Style your hair sleek and down or up in a classic bun/twist or ponytail. Keep your hair color as close to natural tones as possible, and avoid contrasting highlights, or trendy flashy colors like ombre or hair chalk. If you color your hair, keep up with your roots.


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Make sure that any unwanted body hair is waxed or clean shaven.

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You should pay particular attention to your nails. Make sure that your hands and toes are always manicured, but stay away from acrylic nails at all costs. Stick to regular mani/pedis or shellac. For nail polish colors, go with pastel hues like light beige or light pink, deep reds or burgundy, or a natural looking French manicure. Neon colors, non traditional blues/greens/purples and flashy nail arts should also be avoided.

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Wear perfume daily but keep your scent light and fresh. Stay away from anything heavy.

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Build a Timeless and Classic Wardrobe

Preppy style is very lasting – it incorporates pieces that will hardly ever go out of style, and high quality pieces. While we recommend splurging on some wardrobe staples, it is possible to achieve a polished preppy look on a budget! You just need to spend time searching for the right pieces and choose accessories that will nicely complement your outfits. Dressing preppy is not about flaunting expensive items.


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Traditional preppy colors include black, white, navy and pastels, along with bright shades of yellow, pink and lime green.

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Nautical Prints

Preppy prints are where you can really start having some fun with your outfits! To help you navigate the different prints, here is a complete breakdown with some examples. Navy and white stripes are a classic, but nautical prints also include anchors, lobsters, and anything you would wear boating on Cape Cod or Martha’s Vineyard.


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Seersucker and Gingham Prints

The ultimate preppy prints. The most common is baby blue but feel free to wear light pink or yellow seersucker as well.

See Also


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Lilly Pulitzer Prints

Lilly is always a safe bet in your preppy wardrobe. Shop the collection at Nordstrom or directly from Lilly Pulitzer.



Like any outfit, a pair of shoes can make or break it. For the preppy look, you want to keep things classic and simple. Avoid crazy patterns and 8-inch platform heels you can barely walk in. For the preppy look, try cute wedges, plain-colored heels, a nice pair of flats or even boat shoes.

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No preppy outfit would be complete without the right accessories. However, there is a very fine line between accessorizing wisely and overdoing it when it comes to the preppy wardrobe. Sometimes a set of pearls and a neutral purse is enough to make your outfit.

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Owning several monogrammed items is a staple of the preppy wardrobe. However, avoid wearing more than one monogrammed piece at a time and never mix different monogram fonts. The number one rule is to always keep in classy and discreet.


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Embrace the lifestyle

Living the preppy lifestyle goes beyond the scope of personal style. So now that you’ve got the basics covered and you are on your way to become the next Blair Waldorf, you need to start hanging out in the right circles. Learn how to ride horses, play tennis and/or golf, and join a country club. Make sure you attend a Kentucky Derby party and wear an adorable floppy hat. Most of all, never look or act “nouveau riche” and flaunt expensive accessories. Mastering the preppy style starts with acting and looking like a classy lady.

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Which one of these preppy looks is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Featured image source:
Julie Houta

Julie is a Parisian living in Boston. Graduated from Bentley University with a Masters in Marketing.

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