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5 Easy Steps to a Preppy Look

Updated on October 19, 2017
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25, Mexican lawyer with a passion for everything beautiful. Plaid, bows, pearls and a sparkly personality!

Since Blair Waldorf made her first appearance on TV, thousands of teenage girl became obsessed with her style. Her iconic preppy school look with the plaid skirt, white shirt, tights and a headband has been reproduce so many times and the web its still full of articles on how to dress like her.

But the preppy style does not stop there, it has so many variations, it can be feminine and playful but also boyish and serious. So here are five steps you need to consider to achieve the preppy look that works for you and fits with your personalty.

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1. Your Hair

There isn't like "one preppy hairstyle" that you need to have day and night, but there are some guidelines you need to know.

Go for simple hairstyles, like a ponytail or a half up do. If looking feminine is your thing, add a bow or a ribbon to it.

Try to avoid anything extravaganza with your hair, like coloring it three different colors.

Use a ribbon to make it a little more feminine
Use a ribbon to make it a little more feminine

If you prefer to wear your hair down, whether straight or curly, just make sure your hair always looks clean and brushed.

The key to a preppy look is to always look polished, and a hairstyle that looks natural/casual will keep you from looking like you are trying too much.

Remember to take care of your hair, always use heat protection before using your iron or your curling, this will prevent your hair from looking dull, since a healthy, shiny hair can make a big difference.

if you paint your hair, try to maintain it as long as possible so it always look beautiful and taken care of.

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2. Your Nails

Never neglect your nails. Don't bite them, get a manicure regularly and if the color chips get it off. Clean nails are very important since everybody look at your hands. When it comes to choosing a color, try not to paint them in flashy colors for the day to day since flashy color are hard to coordinate with your outfit.

A french manicure its always appropriate and a nude color its easier to maintain.


3. Your Makeup

To achieve a preppy look, go for a "no make up" make up to enhance your natural beauty. There is nothing better then a clean face, mascara and a little bit of blush.

  1. Always start with a clean face, this will keep you looking fresh all day; moisturize and then put sunblock on.
  2. For the eyes, use neutral colors that makes your eye color stand out.
  3. Line your eyes if you want to, when doing a cat eye aim to make the wing as little as possible.
  4. Curl your lashes and put your favorite mascara on.
  5. For the face, use a base that matches your skin color and concealer when needed.
  6. Use powder bronzer for conturing instead of liquid makeup, this will help you look more natural and its ten times easier to use.
  7. Use your favorite blush and lipstick and you are ready to go!


Here´s a tutorial to get inspired!

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You can do the same make up as heavy or as light as you need it to be.

The trick is to dominate one make up look so you can transform it easy for day or night.

4. Your Outfit

This is the backbone for the preppy look, you must always aim to look sophisticated and well put together. No matter where you´re going, try to look your best.

There are a lot of combination preppy girls use to look their best, here are a few:


One of the favorite combinations to use are a shirt with a cute sweater, this works for every single season. When its cold use a warm and cozy sweater with a shirt underneath and when its warm use a light sweater.

Here´s a table to help you coordinate your outfit.

The colors you choose to wear are very important for achieving a preppy look. Neutrals, nudes, navy and black can dominate your closet, but also flashy colors and lots of print.

The key is to coordinate your outfit accordingly, for instance if you are wearing a flashy color try to pair it with nudes or neutrals.


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Once you choose your colors for the day, its time to pair them with some cute bottoms.

It can be a skirt, leggings, jeans, whatever you want.


Vests, skirts, plaid and big bags are a must for every preppy girl. Also anything monogramed is more then welcome.

Combinations you need to try

  • shirt + sweater
  • plaid shirt + vest
  • shirt + a cute bow
  • jeans + cardigan
  • skirt + sweater
  • dress + heels

Here´s a little inspo for you

5. Your Accessories

When it comes to a preppy look, less is MORE. Go for accessories that complement your outfit but don't over do it. A couple of pearl earrings may be all you need.

Headbands are the everyday tiaras
Headbands are the everyday tiaras

There you have it, 5 easy steps to achieve a preppy look. I´m pretty sure you can do it with stuff you already have in your closet. Let me know in the comments how this article worked for you!

Who´s your preppy fashion icon?

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© 2017 Rossana Pulliam

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