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The Preppy Look: A Fresh Take on Classic Style

17 minutes

As the vibrant blooms of spring begin to emerge, so does a renewed sense of style. This season, fashion enthusiasts are turning their attention to the classic and timeless preppy look, drawing inspiration from Ivy League aesthetics and refined casual wear. Spring 2024 welcomes a revival of wardrobe essentials such as polos, cardigans, sportswear-inspired pieces, zip-up sweaters, striped button-ups, capri and cropped pants, and lady jackets. Let’s delve into the intricacies of each element to update your classic style with preppy vibes during the blooming season.

Polos: The Epitome of Casual Sophistication

Polos have long been a staple in preppy fashion, and Spring 2024 sees a resurgence in their popularity. Renowned for their versatility, polos effortlessly bridge the gap between casual and formal wear. This season’s twist on the classic polo involves experimenting with bold colors, contrasting collars, and unexpected patterns.

The preppy polo can be effortlessly paired with a variety of bottoms, from chinos to skirts, making it a go-to piece for a polished yet laid-back look. Designers are incorporating sustainable materials and innovative cuts to modernize this timeless garment while preserving its classic appeal.

The classic polo

How to Wear the Preppy Look: Polos

  • Casual Chic: Pair a classic polo shirt with a pair of well-fitted jeans or denim shorts. Add sneakers or stylish flats for a comfortable, laid-back vibe. Accessorize with a casual tote bag or backpack.
  • Athleisure Vibes: Combine a polo shirt with high-waisted leggings or yoga pants. Slip on trendy sneakers or sporty shoes. Layer with a zip-up hoodie or a bomber jacket for an athletic-inspired look.
  • Preppy Elegance: Tuck a fitted polo shirt into a high-waisted A-line or pleated skirt. Add a skinny belt to define the waist and create a polished appearance. Complete the look with loafers, ballet flats, or ankle boots.
  • Business Casual: Opt for a solid-colored or subtly patterned polo shirt. Pair it with tailored trousers or chinos for a business-casual ensemble. Choose classic loafers or low-heeled pumps. Throw on a blazer or cardigan for a more refined touch.
  • Layered Sophistication: Wear a polo shirt under a sleeveless sweater or a pullover. Combine with slim-fit pants or a pencil skirt. Finish the look with ankle boots or heeled shoes.
  • Effortless Femininity: Tuck a polo shirt into a flowing midi skirt for a balance of structure and femininity. Opt for delicate jewelry like a dainty necklace or hoop earrings. Choose sandals or espadrilles to complete the breezy look.
  • Weekend Comfort: Combine a loose-fit polo shirt with comfortable joggers or wide-legged pants. Slip into stylish sneakers or platform shoes. Accessorize with a crossbody bag or a backpack.
  • Denim Delight: Tuck a polo shirt into high-waisted denim jeans for a timeless casual look. Roll up the sleeves for a relaxed vibe.Complete the outfit with ankle boots or sneakers.

Experiment with colors, patterns, and accessories to personalize each look and make it your own.

Cardigans: A Cozy Essential for Spring Evenings

Cardigans have always been synonymous with preppy fashion, and this spring is no exception. The versatility of cardigans allows them to be seamlessly integrated into both casual and more formal ensembles. Designers are embracing a mix of textures, from cable-knit to lightweight cotton, ensuring there’s a cardigan suitable for every spring occasion.

For a fresh take on the preppy cardigan, oversized and belted variations are making waves in the fashion scene. These modern twists add a touch of contemporary flair while maintaining the classic, cozy essence of the garment. Paired with a crisp button-up shirt or thrown over a summer dress, the cardigan effortlessly transitions from day to night for a classic look with preppy vibes.

The Preppy Look - Cardigans

How to Wear the Preppy Look: Cardigans

  • Casual Comfort: Pair an oversized or chunky cardigan with skinny jeans or leggings. Add a basic tee or a tank top underneath. Complete the look with ankle boots or sneakers for a relaxed vibe.
  • Workplace Chic: Choose a fitted or slightly oversized cardigan in a solid color. Layer it over a button-down shirt or blouse and tailored trousers or a pencil skirt. Opt for classic pumps or loafers for a polished office look.
  • Preppy Layers: Combine a classic cardigan with a collared shirt and cuffed jeans or chinos. Finish the look with loafers or ballet flats for a preppy touch.
  • Weekend Vibes: Pair a cardigan with a graphic tee and distressed jeans for a laid-back weekend look. Style with sneakers or casual slip-on shoes.
  • Dressy Elegance: Choose a lightweight, fitted cardigan to layer over a sleeveless or short-sleeved dress. Add heels or ankle boots to elevate the outfit for a semi-formal occasion.
  • Effortless Layers: Wear a cardigan over a basic top and leggings or jeggings. Accessorize with a statement necklace or scarf. Slip into ankle boots or knee-high boots for a chic layered look.
  • Monochromatic Ensemble: Opt for a cardigan in the same color family as your top and bottom for a monochromatic look. Break up the solid colors with contrasting accessories like a belt or handbag.
  • Smart Casual: Layer a long cardigan over a button-down shirt and tailored trousers. Complete the look with loafers or oxfords for a smart and casual outfit.

Experiment with different lengths, textures, and colors of cardigans to create diverse looks.

Sportswear-Inspired Chic: Elevating Athletic Aesthetics

Drawing inspiration from collegiate sports, designers are infusing sportswear elements into preppy fashion for Spring 2024. Sporty influences can be seen in the use of bold stripes, athletic cuts, and breathable fabrics. Think tennis skirts, varsity jackets, and sneakers seamlessly incorporated into the preppy wardrobe.

This playful fusion of preppy and sportswear allows for a more dynamic and energetic aesthetic. Pairing a tennis-inspired skirt with a crisp white polo or opting for a varsity jacket as an outer layer adds a youthful and sporty vibe to the traditionally refined preppy look.

the preppy look of stripes

How to Wear the Preppy Look: Sportswear Chic

  • Polo Dress and Sneakers: Wear a polo-style dress in a classic color like navy or white. Pair it with clean white sneakers for a sporty touch. Add a belt to define the waist and complete the preppy look.
  • Track Pants and Pullover: Opt for tailored track pants in a neutral tone. Tuck in a crisp button-down shirt or polo shirt. Layer with a pullover or quarter-zip sweater for a sporty-chic vibe. Finish the look with loafers or low-profile sneakers.
  • Tennis Skirt and Sweater: Choose a pleated tennis-style skirt in a preppy color like pastel or plaid. Pair it with a lightweight knit sweater or a classic cable-knit pullover. Complete the ensemble with tennis shoes or loafers.
  • Varsity Jacket and Chinos: Combine a varsity jacket with tailored chino pants. Wear a simple tee or a polo shirt underneath. Finish the look with clean, classic sneakers or loafers.
  • Cropped Hoodie and High-Waisted Shorts: Pair a cropped hoodie with high-waisted shorts in a coordinating color. Add a baseball cap and sneakers for a sporty edge.
  • Athletic-Inspired Jumpsuit: Opt for a jumpsuit with sporty details like racing stripes or a drawstring waist. Layer with a tailored blazer or cardigan for a preppy touch. Complete the look with sleek sneakers or loafers.
  • Sweatshirt Dress and Ankle Boots: Choose a sweatshirt dress in a neutral color. Pair it with ankle boots or stylish sneakers. Add a belt to cinch the waist and create a more polished silhouette.
  • Striped Rugby Shirt and Wide-Leg Pants: Wear a classic striped rugby shirt. Tuck it into wide-leg trousers or chinos. Finish the look with loafers or slip-on sneakers.
  • Cropped Polo and High-Rise Jeans: Opt for a cropped polo shirt in a bold color. Pair it with high-rise jeans or wide-leg pants. Add loafers or boat shoes to complete the preppy-sporty ensemble.
  • Tailored Track Jacket and Culottes: Choose a tailored track jacket in a solid color. Pair it with wide-leg culottes or cropped trousers. Complete the look with low-profile sneakers or slip-on shoes.

Mix and match sporty and preppy elements, combining athletic silhouettes with classic patterns, colors, and accessories to create a cohesive and stylish sportswear-inspired preppy look.

Zip-Up Sweaters: Effortless Layering for Transitional Weather

Spring often brings unpredictable weather, and zip-up sweaters are the perfect solution for those transitional days. This season’s preppy trend embraces zip-up sweaters in a variety of colors and textures, offering a versatile layering option for both men and women.

Whether worn over a collared shirt or casually thrown over a T-shirt, zip-up sweaters effortlessly marry comfort and style. The beauty of this piece lies in its adaptability – zip it up for a polished look or leave it open for a more relaxed vibe. Spring 2024’s take on zip-up sweaters features bold patterns, unexpected color combinations, and even some retro-inspired designs.

Quarter Zip & Zip Up

How to Wear the Preppy Look: Zip-Up Sweaters

  • Crisp White Shirt and Jeans: Layer a zip-up sweater over a classic white button-down shirt. Pair it with well-fitted jeans or tailored trousers. Add loafers or ankle boots.
  • Polo Shirt and A-Line Skirt: Wear a collared polo shirt underneath the zip-up sweater. Combine it with an A-line skirt in a solid color or classic pattern. Opt for knee-high boots or loafers.
  • Cropped Zip-Up and High-Waisted Shorts: Choose a cropped zip-up sweater in a bright color. Pair it with high-waisted shorts in a complementary shade or pattern. Add boat shoes or sneakers.
  • Tailored Trousers and Oxford Shoes: Tuck a simple blouse into high-waisted, tailored trousers. Layer the zip-up sweater over the blouse. Complete the look with classic oxford shoes or loafers.
  • Cable Knit Zip-Up and Plaid Skirt: Opt for a cable-knit zip-up sweater in a neutral tone. Pair it with a plaid or tartan skirt for a classic touch. Wear knee-high boots or Mary Jane flats to enhance the preppy feel.
  • Preppy Dress Shirt and Denim Skirt: Wear a dress shirt with a zip-up sweater over a denim skirt. Add a belt to define the waist. Finish the look with loafers or ankle boots.
  • Layered with a Blouse and Trousers: Combine a lightweight, solid-colored zip-up sweater with a collared blouse. Tuck both into tailored trousers or chinos. Choose classic loafers or pumps.
  • Striped Zip-Up and White Jeans: Pair a striped zip-up sweater with crisp white jeans. Add a pair of espadrilles or loafers for a nautical preppy look.
  • Gingham Shirt and Khaki Pants: Wear a gingham or checkered shirt underneath the zip-up sweater. Pair with khaki pants or chinos. Complete the ensemble with classic sneakers or loafers.
  • Monochromatic Elegance: Opt for a zip-up sweater in a neutral color. Pair it with pants or a skirt in a similar shade for a monochromatic look. Add classic accessories like a leather belt and pumps.

Pay attention to fabric choices and accessories to enhance the classic and preppy feel of the outfit. Mixing and matching textures, patterns, and colors will help you achieve a timeless and sophisticated appearance.

Striped Button-Ups: A Nautical Twist to Classic Preppy Style

Stripes have perennially been associated with preppy fashion, and this spring, the focus is on the timeless charm of striped button-up shirts. Nautical-inspired stripes in varying widths and colors take center stage, offering a fresh and breezy feel reminiscent of coastal getaways.

These striped button-ups effortlessly pair with everything from tailored shorts to capri pants, providing a polished yet laid-back look. The versatility of this piece makes it a must-have for women looking to infuse a touch of maritime elegance into their spring wardrobe.

Striped button-ups for a preppy look

How to Wear the Preppy Look: Striped Button-Ups

  • Nautical Vibes with White Jeans: Pair a navy and white striped button-up with crisp white jeans. Roll up the sleeves for a casual touch. Add boat shoes or loafers to enhance the nautical feel.
  • Tucked into High-Waisted Trousers: Tuck a striped button-up into high-waisted tailored trousers. Add a skinny belt to define the waist. Complete the look with classic pumps or loafers.
  • Layered with a Sweater Vest: Wear a striped button-up under a solid-colored sweater vest. Pair with chinos or a pleated skirt.Finish the ensemble with knee-high boots or loafers.
  • Preppy Skirt and Cardigan Combo: Tuck a striped button-up into a pleated or A-line skirt. Layer with a V-neck cardigan in a coordinating color. Choose ballet flats or loafers to complete the preppy look.
  • Casual Half-Tuck with Denim Shorts: Half-tuck a striped button-up into denim shorts. Roll up the sleeves for a relaxed vibe. Add canvas sneakers or espadrilles for a casual yet preppy look.
  • Blazer and Trousers Ensemble: Wear a striped button-up with tailored trousers. Layer with a structured blazer for a polished appearance. Opt for loafers or oxford shoes to complete the outfit.
  • Preppy Layered Sweater Look: Layer a striped button-up under a V-neck sweater. Pair with chinos or skinny jeans. Complete the look with loafers or ankle boots.
  • Knotted at the Waist with High-Waisted Pants: Knot a striped button-up at the waist and pair it with high-waisted pants. Add a statement belt for extra flair. Choose classic pumps or loafers.
  • Crisp White Skirt and Ballet Flats: Tuck a striped button-up into a crisp white pencil skirt. Add a pair of ballet flats or low-heeled shoes. Keep accessories simple with a delicate necklace or bracelet.

Mix and match different elements, experiment with accessories, and pay attention to details like tucking, rolling sleeves, and layering to achieve that classic and preppy aesthetic.

Capri and Cropped Pants: Embracing Playful Lengths

Capri and cropped pants are making a bold comeback in Spring 2024, adding a playful and youthful dimension to preppy fashion. This season, designers are experimenting with a variety of fabrics and cuts, from tailored capris to wide-legged cropped trousers.

For women, capri pants can be paired with a tucked-in blouse or a fitted polo, creating a chic and polished ensemble, or incorporate cropped pants into your wardrobe by teaming them with boat shoes and a classic button-up shirt. The key is to embrace the cropped trend with confidence, allowing the ankles to take center stage.

Capris and Cropped Pants

How to Wear the Preppy Look: Capri & Cropped Pants

  • Classic Polo and Capri Pants: Pair Capri pants with a classic polo shirt in a solid color. Tuck in the polo for a polished appearance. Finish the look with loafers or boat shoes.
  • Button-Up Shirt and Cropped Trousers: Tuck a crisp button-up shirt into tailored cropped trousers. Add a skinny belt to define the waist. Choose classic flats or loafers for a timeless touch.
  • Nautical Stripes and Capris: Wear a navy and white striped top with Capri pants in a complementary color. Add a braided belt for a nautical touch. Finish with espadrilles or boat shoes.
  • Preppy Sweater and Cropped Pants Combo: Combine cropped pants with a lightweight knit sweater. Opt for a V-neck or boat neck for a touch of elegance. Complete the look with loafers or ballet flats.
  • Structured Blouse and Culottes: Tuck a structured blouse into high-waisted culottes. Add a statement belt for a polished look. Choose pointed-toe flats or low-heeled pumps.
  • Gingham Print with Cropped Trousers: Pair gingham-printed top with solid-colored cropped pants. Tuck in the top for a neat appearance. Finish the look with classic sneakers or loafers.
  • Chambray Shirt and Capris: Wear a chambray shirt with Capri pants in a contrasting color. Roll up the sleeves for a relaxed yet polished look. Add loafers or slip-on shoes.
  • Cropped Pants and Boat Neck Top: Pair cropped pants with a boat neck top for a chic and classic ensemble. Tuck in the top and add a thin belt for definition. Finish with ballet flats or pointed-toe pumps.
  • Twin Set with Cropped Pants: Choose a coordinated twin set (matching top and cardigan) with cropped pants. Tuck in the top for a clean and put-together appearance. Wear with loafers or low-heeled sandals.
  • Blazer and Capri Pants: Wear a tailored blazer over a tucked-in blouse with Capri pants. Add a belt for a polished touch. Finish with classic heels or loafers.

Play with colors, patterns, and accessories to add your personal touch. Classic and preppy style often involves clean lines, tailored fits, and a well-coordinated color palette. Accessorize with statement belts, pearls, or structured handbags to enhance the overall preppy look.

Lady Jackets: Refined Outerwear for Spring Evenings

As temperatures fluctuate during spring evenings, having a stylish yet practical outer layer is essential. Enter the lady jacket – a refined and tailored option that seamlessly complements the preppy aesthetic. This season, lady jackets come in an array of pastel shades, lightweight fabrics, and flattering silhouettes.

Whether opting for a cropped blazer, a trench-inspired coat, or a classic peacoat, the lady jacket adds a touch of sophistication to any preppy ensemble. Drape it over the shoulders for a casual and effortlessly chic look, or button it up for a more polished appearance – the lady jacket is a versatile and timeless piece for spring.

Lady jackets for a preppy look

How to Wear the Preppy Look: Lady Jackets

  • Pearl Necklace and Shift Dress: Pair a lady jacket with a simple shift dress in a classic color. Add a string of pearls for a timeless touch. Finish the look with closed-toe pumps or loafers.
  • Striped Blouse and Tailored Trousers: Wear a striped button-up blouse underneath the lady jacket. Pair it with well-tailored trousers or chinos. Choose classic heels or loafers for a polished finish.
  • A-Line Skirt and Turtleneck Sweater: Combine a lady jacket with an A-line skirt and a turtleneck sweater. Tuck in the sweater for a neat appearance. Wear with knee-high boots or classic pumps.
  • Crisp White Shirt and Cropped Pants: Tuck a crisp white shirt into cropped trousers. Add a lady jacket for a sophisticated touch. Finish with pointed-toe flats or low-heeled pumps.
  • Preppy Blouse and Pleated Skirt: Pair a preppy blouse with a pleated skirt. Choose a lady jacket in a coordinating color. Add a thin belt for definition and classic heels.
  • Tweed Lady Jacket and Shift Dress: Opt for a tweed lady jacket paired with a shift dress. Add opaque tights and ankle boots.
  • Silk Scarf and High-Waisted Pants: Wear a silk scarf with a tucked-in blouse and high-waisted pants. Layer the lady jacket over the blouse. Finish with loafers or kitten heels.
  • Cropped Pants and Loafers: Pair lady jackets with cropped tailored pants. Add a tucked-in blouse or knit top. Choose loafers or oxfords for a classic and comfortable look.
  • Cropped Cardigan and Pencil Skirt: Combine a lady jacket with a cropped cardigan and a pencil skirt. Tuck in the cardigan and blouse for a sleek appearance. Wear with classic pumps or pointed-toe flats.
  • Twin Set with Capri Pants: Choose a coordinated twin set with Capri pants. Layer the lady jacket over the twin set. Complete the look with pointed-toe flats or heels.

Accessorize with classic pieces such as pearls, structured handbags, and elegant watches to enhance the overall classic and preppy aesthetic. Pay attention to fit and choose well-tailored pieces for a sophisticated appearance.

Rent the Preppy Look

The knit poloThe knit polo

As we navigate the blooming landscapes of Spring 2024, the preppy trend stands out as a timeless and elegant choice for fashion enthusiasts. Polos, cardigans, sportswear-inspired pieces, zip-up sweaters, striped button-ups, capri and cropped pants, and lady jackets form the foundation of a wardrobe that seamlessly blends classic charm with contemporary flair, and you can rent them all at Armoire.

Renting your preppy look allows you to embrace the versatility of this trend, experiment with colors and patterns, and let the spirit of spring inspire your choices. With a nod to tradition and a dash of modernity, renting the preppy trend for Spring 2024 invites us to celebrate the season in style, embodying the essence of timeless elegance.

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