The Preppy Princess LookBook

Preppy fashion to me is about looking expensive and mastering how to style.  A lot of preppy looks depend soley on styling and although a certain brands and stores are notorious for their preppy inventory, you really can shop anywhere and if you know what to do and how to wear things you can exude a preppy vibe very easily.  Popping your collar instead of layering it flat, tying a shirt around your neck instead of your waist and layering perfect prints. 

When you think about your typical shopping trips, do you enjoy those stores that carry the higher end styles and brands? Do you like the look of a crisp collar underneath a perfectly tailored cardigan? Are you not afraid to rock a boat shoe? haha Ok, but seriously.....we're all entitled to our opinions and those shoes are just not my cup of tea.  But I'm not shoe-ist, my best friend wears boat shoes. Anyways, back on track now....

Preppy style is one of the hardest to describe so let's just keep this intro short and jump right on into it with the outfits.  

'Gingham strikes again'
Now obviously if you choose the Preppy style sense to dive into you have no way of knowing that this shirt was actually used in another style's lookbook. Thing is, a black and white gingham shirt screams preppy to me.  For this first look, we wanted to play up a color that is often associated with a preppy style, kelly green.  My Joe Fresh shorts are a buy from last year but they are classic and simple so I can wear them yearly, no matter what's in trend.  I simply styled them with a denim jacket, because here is where styling comes into play...pop that collar. Although mine fell flat in almost all my good shots, popping both your shirt collar and your jacket collar practically screams preppy.  With as much is going on top between the prints and the vibrant color, I kept my shoes simple as can be with some nude flats.  

Jacket: Thrifted / Gingham Shirt: Thrifted / Shorts: Joe Fresh for JCPenney / Flats: Old Navy

'Taking a risk'  
I know mixing prints is hard, but layering similar prints is even harder.  The fool proof way to go about it is by mixing like prints when one is dominant and the other is small.  Here, we are taking a risk by wearing polka dot everything head to toe starting with my shift dress and adding a blazer.  I added my boyfriend watch and a tassel necklace to style my look, and finished it all off with some adorable t-strap wedges. 

Dress: JCPenney / Blazer: Target / Shoes: TJMaxx / Tassel Necklace: Limited / Watch: Charming Charlies

'I saw that coming'
Now to our "stereotypically preppy" outfit.  I started with my take on denim-on-denim with a light wash chambray top and my favorite skinny jeans.  I layered on a plaid blazer which....need I say more. And added brown accents in my woven belt and gorgeous heels.  Now since I wouldn't personally go this preppy on an every day basis, I decided to bring a casual element to the look with the styling, I actually let my shirt air dry and keep the imperfections in the collar and seams, then simply pushed the sleeves up my arm instead of neatly rolling them.  It almost has a J.Crew feel and I love it. 

Jeans: Target / Shoes: Nine West / Belt: Forever21 / Chambray: Thrifted / Blazer: Target (same blazer as above, different pattern) / Earrings: Limited

Shop The Looks!

Like what you see? Simply click on the pictures below to purchase the same or very similar pieces from the outfits above. 

So now let's get down to a few basics that you might want to ask me....
Q: If I'm just browsing, what things should my eye look for?
A: You want to look for pieces that give you a lot of opportunity to style. Long sleeve blouses made of lightweight materials that you can wear for most of the year. You can wear them open, closed, half buttoned, sleeves rolled, collar popped or un-popped etc. Also, look for classic pieces with a twist. It may seem hard but it's really simple. Take my shorts for example, a 3" inseam classic spring/summer short is a must for any woman, but the color is unexpected. The reason you look for these pieces is simple, you swap them out where the normal versions of them would normally be worn. Once again, let's look at the shorts, I could have worn black or denim with my gingham shirt, but by swapping it out for my green shorts, I add a fashion forward factor that makes me look like a professional stylist.

Q: What stores and brands have the best variety of preppy fashion?
A: J. Crew is going to become your best friend, and you can sign up to receive their catalog. Even though you may not buy anything out of it, it gives you great ideas on how to style their clothing, and you can replicate the looks with items you already have. When it comes to brands, Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger SCREAM preppy, and all you have to do is find your nearest Macy's for access to both brands.

Q: What are some key pieces I should invest in to really express my style?
A: Some great starter pieces for the preppy fashionista include a nude flat, to go with all your outfits, a longer than average spring/summer short in a fun color or unexpected print, and a light wash chambray top.

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