Preppy doesn’t always involve bow ties and cable knit cardigans, although it is a favourite combination of mine. Especially in the summer, the typical linen and chino shorts can get kind of boring and cliche. And what about an outfit that can take you from day to night? Surely it’s still a relevant issue we’re having if blogs and magazines alike are endlessly hawking these features. I’ve put together three preppy summer looks for some outfit inspiration:
1. The Prairie Girl dress
Haute tip: lace can sometimes look too formal, broderie anglaise or eyelet trimming is a casual alternative, especially if you’re looking for a simple day look.
Variations of this dress returns season after season, even if it’s not a central theme on the runways it’s a classic and therefore, one of the staple pieces you need for a preppy summer wardrobe. This particular one is a favourite because it reminds me of that Marc Jacobs designed Louis Vuitton SS show featuring carousels, white dresses and feathers. If a piece looks a little pseudo -costume, that doesn’t necessarily take away from the timelessness of it. Rise up to the style challenge and incorporate it into your everyday wardrobe. However, maybe stay away from jackets with tails or gaudy military jackets – it’s not the Nutcracker, it’s summer.
2. Bright and casual
Here I went for brighter colours with a cream tweed jacket. This yellow number is actually a BCBG skirt that I styled as a top, a trick I like to do that maximises the wears I get out of particular statement pieces in my wardrobe.
I went for simple Chanel ballerina flats, a key piece in any preppy wardrobe and one of the best substitutes for heels if you want to look ‘dressed up’ but don’t want to torture your feed.
Haute tip: If you’re afraid of rocking bright colours like yellow, here’s a tip to keep it looking classy. Don’t pair it with bright whites, blacks or bold hues. Go for subdued tones to play down the vibrancy of the colour, because flashy looks often look cheap.
3. Pastel cocktail dresses
Black cocktail dresses may be a classic but in the summer, there’s more opportunity – or should I say, we are in a better mood – to opt for pastels, especially for evening wear.
Haute tip: The shorter the skirt, the lower the heel. You don’t want to look like you’re parading around Mayfair bars looking for free drinks. But if you are, then just do the opposite of this tip, duh.