Fashion Tips

Back To School Style Guide: Preppy: Clothing Advice for the Conservative Teen

Heading back to school? Let your carefully selected clothes reflect your Ivy League style. Use this back to school style guide to perfect your preppy purchases.

Yes, you will be editor of the yearbook this year and your wardrobe going to bear testimony to that universally accepted fact. Lead the pack with classic old-school style but give it a chic twist. Preppy means scoring a handful of basic essentials which means that finding that well arranged traditional look is not nearly as harsh as the boarding school elite clique.

Must Own

  • The Blazer- It all begins with that navy blue classic blazer. You don’t have to go to a uniform school to own the look. If it is too conservative for you update it with a hoddie or ruffled blouse. If you can find one with patches all the cuter!

  • Italian Flat So your last name isn’t Vanderwoodsen you can still make like an upper eastside by slipping on their shoe of choice, an Italian ballet flat. Go with the basic crayon colors or branch out and pick ones with fun prints like hound’s-tooth.

  • Rugby Shirt- A classic horizontally striped rugby tee is synonymous with preppy style. Chose yours with combinations like orange and royal blue, white and navy blue, or red and white for that real New England flair.

  • Argyle Sweater An argyle sweater rounds out every preppy girl’s closet with its dependable finesse. Chose one with a snug fit in girl friendly colors and wear it over a classic button shirt in pink or white.


  • Monogrammed Bag- Trade in that back breaking backpack for the classic (and kinder) monogrammed tote. L.L. Bean is the authority on traditional styled monogrammed bags. Try their Varsity Letter Boat and Tote® Bag.


  • Anything Plaid Whether it’s a skinny headband, a ribbon embellishment on a cardigan, or pleated skirt plaid is the pattern representing preps. If the idea of a skirt intimidates you start with something simple like madras shorts and work your way up.

  • Saddle Oxfords Oxfords are charming additions to your shoe options and look great with all things preppy. Oxfords can be worn with pants and skirts, dressed up or down. You’ll most likely have to buy them in the men’s department so go two sizes down.


  • Colored Tights- A chic twist on preppy style is the colored tights. Invest in quality brands like Hue, or Look from London has microfiber knit cable tights in fun colors like red, pink and orange.

  • Pleated Skirt Pleated skirts to a preppy styled girl are what jeans mean to the public at large. Grab as many as your (or your parent’s) wallet can stand. Get them in classic colors such as khaki and white.

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