After (finally) finding a home in the fashion and luxury industries, street style's heyday may be coming to an end. The aristocracy are retaliating with a timeless, ultra-chic — and extremely respectable — style, generally reserved for a select few insiders, thanks to the advent of the Old Money aesthetic. It's all the rage on social media right now, especially on TikTok, bringing to the fore things that were previously supposed to be reserved for the wealthy.
When it comes to fashion, it appears that you have a choice between the free-spirited aesthetic of the 2000s and the on-the-rise Old Money appearance. Because, while the noughties appeared to be the main trend up and up for weeks, it now looks like we'll all be raiding the aristocracy's wardrobes to keep current this season. Gone are the enormous branded jogging suits, trainers, and hoodies, in favor of a more basic, understated style acquired from a few heirs who swear by button-downs and elegant, sleek dresses.
What is preppy style clothing?
In the last year, Gen Z and millennials have developed an "old money" aesthetic that romanticizes the royal upper-class style of life and a level of affluence that is out of reach for most people. This can be considered to be the revival of the good ol’ preppy style that social media is head over heels in love with right now.
Depending on the location, the movement is referred to as "dark academia" or "light academia,". This trend epitomizes the socialite lifestyle portrayed in society by series and films like 'Gossip Girl' and 'The Talented Mr. Ripley,' and is the polar antithesis of the Kardashian family's 'California Rich' look
The origin of preppy style
The aesthetic originates from the dressing style of nobility, aristocracy, or the WASP population, which are all referred to as "Old Money." It's about those who were born into riches rather than earning it through hard labor. This neo-preppy aesthetic that we’re seeing everyone rocking right now is similar to the preppy appearance that was fashionable a few years ago, but in a more sophisticated form, as if you've just returned from the tennis club.
Contrary to popular belief, this aesthetic is gaining popularity across all generations, including the youngest fashionistas. There's little question that this next-level preppy aesthetic will eventually win you over as well.
How to create a preppy look
Let's break it down now that you know the foundations of women's preppy fashion style and its history, starting with the components that are required for putting together the perfect preppy ensemble. Collared shirts, mini skirts and tailored trousers are all staples included. As you develop your prepster personal style, you should definitely treat yourself to these goods. What else should you be on the alert for? Here are a few extra essentials to help you get even more prepared.
Essential items for your preppy wardrobe
Preppy skirts and dresses
High hemlines are a means to renew our excitement in dressing up, with the comeback of the mini skirt and mini dress dominating the culture right now. But you don't need a dance floor to have a good time. When paired with thick stockings and a sweater, the mini could be worn every day. Preppy lovers should also look for pleated variations - as the kilt is an Ivy League must-have - but the actual secret to success here is mini skirts and mini dresses in tactile materials.
Shirts and tops
You can't have a preppy look without one or a few collared shirts in your rotation, ladies. As a summer pool cover-up, wear a classic white button-down shirt that is loose and big. Alternatively, tuck it into a pair of patterned trousers and wear flats. While polos and button-down Oxfords are associated with preppy style for women, we encourage you to broaden your style. The ideal wardrobe choice is a shirt dress combined with boat shoes. Before you leave the house, make sure you have a leather totebag to bring your items around. Have your initials stitched on your tote as a finishing touch. Also keep in mind that monogrammed elements and preppy design are a marriage made in heaven.
If there's one thing "Gossip Girl" taught us, it's the fact that a well-fitted blazer can immediately boost your look. A blazer is the ideal layering garment for women's preppy style, from jeans and slacks to dresses and skirts. While a fitted blazer is ideal for the office, an oversized blazer is perfect for the weekend. Choose a casual printed blazer to throw over your favorite fresh white shirt for the ultimate preppy outfit. Choose dark-washed slim or narrow trousers to balance out the proportions. To take your style to the next level, add a pair of everyday-looking sneakers and a bright headband.
Jeans and pants for Preppy style
Simplicity is the key to pulling off preppy trousers. Opt for light-washed jeans with a straight cut, or minimalistic white tailored pants for an instant pulled-together outfit without breaking a sweat.
Accessories To Go With Your Preppy Clothes
We’re going to sum up this whole complicated accessories deal for you. Start with 3 simple items that can basically go with any look: minimalist earrings, a pearl necklace, and a bold headband. Get yourself a sturdy pair of earrings, a decent pearl necklace, a big, bright headband, and any dress you put on will appear more classy, schoolgirl and preppy.
Types of preppy style
Preppy style, while close to a classy aesthetic, has its own quirks. Whether it's influenced by Clueless, Gossip Girl, or labels like Kule, each individual must define preppy in their own way.
Stick to traditional essentials and add feminine or athletic accents to achieve this appearance. Playing around with colors and dramatic styles like patterns and tie dye is also a fun way to spice up the look.
Preppy style icons
While it appears that many celebrities are adopting a more edgy look these days, there are still plenty of fashion inspirations for prepsters to look up to. These prepster idols all have their own unique take on preppy style, but they're also terrific fashion inspirations for anybody looking to take up prepster style.
- Lilly Pulitzer
- Jackie Kennedy
- Kate Middleton
- Blair Waldorf
- Grace Kelly
- Gwyneth Paltrow
- Nancy Drew
Preppy fashion bloggers
Last but not least, we know everyone wants to peek at how us regular people (aka anyone not a famous celebrity) embrace this timeless aesthetic. Here are some of our fave fashion bloggers to follow if you are having a bit of struggles to find your personal preppy outfits.
- Kimberly – Penny Pincher Fashion
- Lauren – Style Elixir
- Jess – Prosecco & Plaid
- Sarah – Classy Girls Wear Pearls
- Kim – J’adore Couture
We hope our guide has got you ready to rock preppy like a pro (or like you came from “Old Money” yourself!). Join our fashion journey this exciting new season by following us on Facebook and Instagram, and stay tuned for chicest fashion updates every week!
*All inspiration images' credits belong to their owners.