Over the years preppy fashion has slowly seeped into the mainstream of popular culture, but very few people actually know where the colourful ‘sperrys and polos’ movement came from. The style originated from the high income, high class styles of students in private university-preparatory schools; hence the term ‘prep’. It should then come as no surprise that the original style was quite an expensive one with lots of branded logos.
With that covered, let’s get into the most popular preppy clothes options so you can master the preppy look.
Our Picks: Ted Baker Serny Slim Fit Chinos | Hugo Boss Orange Schino Regular 1D Chinos
The most popular preppy pants go to chinos without a doubt. They cover a range of fashion styles from casual to smart, and the light, breathable material comes in a huge variety of colours; brighter ones being the popular option in warmer months.
Our Picks: Ted Baker Shesho Chino Shorts | Ralph Lauren Bedford Chino Trousers | Hugo Boss Orange Schino Slim Shorts
Whether you’re drinking scotch on a yacht or playing a round of golf, the chino shorts are a summer staple. Being of the same material as above, they come in a huge variety of colours from plain black to garish pinks, all of which come under the banner of preppy – given that you style them with the right shoes/shirts.
Our Picks: Lacoste Short Sleeved Oxford Shirt | Ralph Lauren Slim Fit Oxford Shirt
With the above in mind, shirts are next on the agenda. Coloured button ups and oxford shirts are great for both casualwear and the smarter end of the style spectrum. A white linen button up with some pink chinos would be a great casual fit, whereas a pink oxford shirt with some dark navy chinos and smarter shoes would be a smarter end outfit.
Our Picks: Fred Perry Twin Tipped Polo T-Shirt | Hugo Boss Orange Pavlik Polo T-Shirt | Y3 Classic Polo T-Shirt
Prep fashion is often synonymous with sperrys and polos; sperrys being boat shoes and polos being polo shirts. Thus it’ll come as no surprise that these polo shirts are a great option for both casual and smarter end preppy fashion. A clean, branded polo shirt tucked into some smart trousers paired with one of the smarter footwear options below would look very prep indeed.
Our Picks: Hugo Boss Orange Krew Jumper | Lacoste Live Cardigan Jumper | Lacoste Crew Neck Stripe Jumper
Jumpers are a great option for the colder months or for more formal occasions. They can be worn both on their own with chinos or alternatively layered with a smart oxford shirt for added depth. Jumpers can be worn with shorts, but they’re preferred with chinos or full length trousers.
Our Picks: Sperry Topsider Classic Boat Shoes | Hugo Boss Orange Nydeck Mocc Shoes | Sweeney London Ashdown Loafer Shoes
What would the preppy ‘sperrys and polos’ attire be without the sperrys? Boat shoes are without a doubt the go to footwear in regards to preppy fashion; in some aspects they might even be considered the most defining characteristic of the style. The great thing about boat shoes is their versatility. Whether shorts, chinos or smart trousers, the boat shoe can cater, and sockless will always reign supreme when it comes to sperrys.
Above are just a few samples of preppy clothing, however it’s important to remember that there are no boundaries when it comes to fashion and no rules when it comes to prep. With that in mind, if we were to make have general rule of thumb it would be this; if you look like you belong on an expensive yacht or private golf course, you’re probably looking pretty preppy!
Written by Aaron Thompson