Style tutorial: 9 tips to help you look preppy


“Preppy” is an adjective characterizing a private clique of American high society that is noticeable for being ultra modern, urban chic and very elegant.

Most often than not, they are the attendees of private schools and Ivy League universities. Their elegance and sleek chic tends to be noticeable and their simplicity very classy; in too many ways, they converge with British counterparts.

Keep your look simple. Prep style is made up of clean lines, quality textiles, close fits, and modest cuts.

 1- Build a classic wardrobe:

When you’re adding pieces to your closet, focus on choosing items that are well-made, will last for ages, and won’t go out of style in six months.

 2- Simple classic hair:

Style your hair in a classic and natural way. Whatever you choose to do, your hairstyle should look clean and conservative. Consider these points:

 3- Figure out what colors look good on you:

Everything in your wardrobe should compliment your skin tone. A good place to start is deciding whether pure white or off-white looks better against your skin. Popular preppy colors include white, black, navy and beige. Patterns such as plaid, nautical stripes, gingham, argyle, floral, paisley, nova checks, and tartan are also popular.

 4- Buy what fits:

Ignore the sizing tags and simply buy what fits your body best. If you can’t find a perfect fit off the rack, contact a tailor for alterations.

 5- Pick up some classic staples:

Staple items should be able to stay in your wardrobe for a few years. Start out with a few pairs of quality pants (dark-wash denim, corduroy, knit trousers, or chinos), some nice polos or Oxford shirts in neutral colors, a classic cardigan or cable-knit sweater, a jacket that fits, and a solid pair of boat shoes or ballet flats. Once you have these basics, it’s easier to add similar pieces.

 6- Keep building your closet:

As you get more comfortable with preppy style, keep adding other preppy items to your wardrobe. Here are some possibilities to consider: Polo shirts, oxford shirts, cable-knit vests and sweaters (traditional cricket sweaters), blazers (navy blue is a staple; try seersucker or madras plaid in summer, tweed or corduroy in winter), chino pants, khaki pants (the prep equivalent to jeans), dark wash unembellished jeans in a straight-leg cut, bermuda shorts, skirts, tea-length dresses, tennis- and golf-inspired shirts skirts and dresses,

 7- Know what to avoid:

For a classic preppy look, get used to avoiding anything too flashy or revealing. Tops shouldn’t be too low-cut, skirts should be kept at a reasonable length, and nothing should look baggy

 8- Accessorize:

When adding accessories to your outfits, remember to keep it simple and classy. Anything that draws too much attention should be discarded. Most preppy girls only have their ears pierced (and only one piercing in each ear), and wear understated studs. Here are some other suggestions: Pearl necklaces and earrings are a must for girls, as well as diamond jewelery (make sure it’s small, not fake-looking, and doesn’t look too trashy or tacky). Small handbags in simple colors and patterns or large, monogrammed tote bags .

 9- Keep your makeup natural:

Wear simple makeup . Preppy makeup should look as natural and clean as possible. A common daily routine would be a light foundation that matches your skin tone, a touch of mascara, and lip gloss. You can also add subtle blush, light eyeliner or a classic lip matte lip color, such as coral or red.

The preppy look is basically a neat, well-balanced, put-together look that can be achieved by combining the right colors, patterns, and accessories. It is never trashy, mall-trendy or overdone. Simple, classic, and clean.

Good luck at pulling it right!
Patricia I. Issa (Inspired)
Fashion Editor
Belle Beirut Team