The Preppy style is a subculture born in the United States during the ’70s inside the preparatory schools, those ones where guys were direct to higher education.
Preppy, preppie, or prep are all abbreviations of the word preparatory, a world of impeccable uniform, blazer with elbow patches, coat of arms, geometric patterns and polished shoes. From these “good guys”, who wanted to stand out from the mood of Woodstock, was born the Preppy style, a relaxed way of dressing, in which were combined the great classics of the male wardrobe with clothes stolen from sports uniforms.
The secret of this style is the elaboration of a specific dress code dedicated to an exclusive group. Icons in this moment were: John Kennedy, Paul Newman, Cary Grant and Gregory Peck. It is the amazing golden age of cinema, politics, economic boom, golf, party, boat races, games of badminton and life in the Hamptons.
Preppy wasn’t and isn’t only a way of dressing, but a real lifestyle that doesn’t seem to wane. A high-class lifestyle, elegant even in the details, in which good manners prevailed, few pieces, simplicity and good taste.
A pioneer and a great lover of this style is the fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, considered one of the emperors of fashion Made in the USA. He published a text all dedicated to this style, in duet with Lisa Birnbach, which is titled “The Official Preppy Handbook”. Other brands especially focused on this style are Polo Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers and GAP.
What does countersign a Preppy look?
The Preppy style which is now in vogue is inspired by the students of Ivy League of the ’70s, a title that unites the eight most prestigious private universities in the United States, or by the good boys of the ’50s. A classic and formal style, but definitely revisited with a unique and well defined mood.
Coats: in tweed, double-breasted jackets with pearl buttons, blazers made of cotton as F. Scott Fitzgerald – the Preppy writer par excellence – showy furs and straw hats, which the most original Preppy could wear pushed together to bring the challenge to the extreme.
Sweaters in Shetland wool, cashmere, V-neck, tennis style, cardigan: all strictly worn over colored polos with horizontally stripes or button down shirts, alternatively worn over the shoulders.
About pants, these will be in checked wool, corduroy, denim, linen shorts in blue or classic khaki chinos, with a dry fit and worn cuffed.
Belts must be in gros grain, best if characterized by colorful stripes and brown leather details. Shoes: lace-up moccasins worn without socks. Monograms everywhere, leather bags carried over the shoulder. As regards, finally, the color palette, the prevalent are: red, bottle green, navy blue, white, beige and brown.