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Preppy Clothing Styles

by Angela Bakke

The preppy style was influenced by the uniforms sported by prep-school students and outfits people wore to play country-club sports, such as sailing, golf, tennis and polo. The new prepster style is a lot like the original -- tidy, polished and very conservative -- but more playful, multidimensional and multicultural. It's hip to rock a preppy style professionally or causally. A few essential pieces get you there -- no ivy-league degree required.

Preppy Office Attire

To take preppy style to work, men can deconstruct their matching suits and head to the office with trousers and a golf jacket, which is similar to a bomber-jacket style, but typically made out of a lighter fabric and with a point collar and unribbed hem. In womenswear, swap out the classic skirt style of your suit for a pleated, plaid skirt. Wear a longer style for a more office-appropriate look or add a pair of tights to a mid-thigh-length skirt. Loafers are a fantastic and fashionable shoe style for this outfit. For both men and women, go with a bold-patterned and brightly colored button-down shirt to update your preppy fashion.

Preppy Evening Attire

New renditions of the old-school men's sport coat is the perfect choice for an evening out, preppy style. Add a pair of flat-front, cotton chino pants that are pin-roll cuffed at the hem and slide into some slip-on loafers, giving you a dapper look that's both classic and hipster. A bold, checkered button-up shirt paired with a collared jumpsuit will sufficiently create a delicious prepster-inspired evening outfit for women. Be sure the pant leg is nicely tapered and wear a stiletto bootie to keep things modern. As with most of the preppy looks, if the piece has buttons, take them to the top.

Preppy Casual Attire

Men who want to invest in a couple of preppy fashion pieces can rely on a white cable-knit sweater as the ideal staple piece. Tie the sweater around your shoulders over a polo shirt and finish this weekend look with chino shorts and a pair of boat shoes. A white tennis dress is equally perfectly preppy and casual for a woman, with a pair of wedges or espadrilles to mix modern and classic styles. A pair of dark denim jeans and anything letterman-related -- from jackets to sweaters -- is a brilliant preppy pairing for both guys and girls.

Preppy Accessories

With prep it's all about loafers -- monogrammed, suede, and penny loafers are chic and stylish for both genders, and there is always the women's cheeky high-heel loafer. Women can accessorize their preppy outfits with socialite-esque pieces such as monogrammed necklaces and rings, plaid-checked watchbands, pearls, and gold charm bracelets. Watches, pocket squares and caps finish a man's prep look with subtle charm -- try a brown leather watch and a plaid newsboy hat to help you achieve that country-club prep style.

About the Author

Angela Bakke is a Los Angeles-based writer and reporter with more than a decade of experience covering fashion, beauty, the arts and entertainment. She has interviewed some of the most famous people in the world and covered stories for Beyond Cinema, Hollywood.com, ReelzChannel, CNN.com and Celebs.com.

Photo Credits

  • Peter Michael Dills/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images