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Preppy Clothing Style – How to Dress Preppy - Classic Back to School Clothes

Updated on April 2, 2011

While those that are required to wear uniforms and adhere to a conservative dress code might not understand why preppy dressing is becoming so popular, the fact of the matter is that preppy clothing is quickly becoming a very popular style of choice. Perhaps it’s due to shows like ‘Gossip Girl or ‘NYC Prep’, but either way, there’s no doubt about it that dressing preppy is becoming a sought after style.

I haven’t watched the shows Gossip Girl or NYC Prep, but I do know how to dress with a classic ‘preppy’ style. I’ve been dressing this way ever since I can remember so it comes naturally to me. I love having a closet full of items that can be mixed and matched and represent a conservative, classic approach to many aspects of life.

This article will serve as your Preppy Clothing Guide and give you some ideas for some classic, back to school clothes for girls.

Preppy Clothes
Preppy Clothes

An Overview of Prep Style

People that dress preppy often do so because of how they were raised as children. I suppose it’s very easy to learn, and since it is becoming popular in today’s culture, more and more people are choosing to develop a preppy style later on in life, for one reason or another. ‘Preppy’ dressers understand the benefits of owning basic, timeless styles of clothing because first off – it’s so easy to get dressed in the morning.

An Overview of Prep Style

Less is more and simple is everything. Conservative dressing is not about drawing attention to yourself, rather it is a display of your attitude towards life.

The word ‘Preppy’ used to refer to students that attended preparatory schools. The dress codes put in place at these institutions encourage and strongly promote modest, conservative dress, neatness and to put it simply – looking ‘put together’. Dressing this way is believed to encourage success and a serious attitude towards one’s life and academics. The word ‘Prep’ or ‘Preppy’ stuck and today, people are often labeled with the term, even if they haven’t attended preparatory school, but instead, refers to their personal clothing style and style of life.

Prep Clothing Guide - Back to School Clothes

The following are some classic, preppy style clothes, handpicked by me, that will help give you ideas to create an authentic, classy style for your back to school wardrobe!

Women's Polo Shirts - Further Reading

Women's Polo Shirts Guide - A guide to feminine, fun and flirty polo shirts!

Comments on Preppy Clothing Style

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    • profile image

      Maria 

      2 years ago

      And Ralph Lauren is not pronounced like the girls name "Lauren". The emphasis is on the e, like he was French. Whatever name he was born with, he changed it to one that sounds French. You don't have to be French to change your name to French name.

    • profile image

      Maria 

      2 years ago

      People in places lin California ike Laguna and Newport such communities def dress preppy, or at least a type of preppy.

    • profile image

      FL-mermaid 

      7 years ago

      Summer, I'm sure you're an expert, and as such, you should learn how to pronounce "Ralph Lauren." His last name is pronounced the same way the girl's name "Lauren" is pronounced. Don't give it a French accent. He's not French and his name isn't either. He's a talented man from the Bronx in New York whose real name is Ralph Liftshitz!

    • profile image

      Christy 

      7 years ago

      Muffy Aldrich is true prep. I read her blog and remember so much of what my parents and grandparents do/did. The pop culture of today has skewed the "true" essence of prep, made it a fashion trend rather than a way of life. Muffy and I disagree on one point and that is the color black. I live in the city and it seems so...pretencious, really, to wear a lot of navy/nautical things here. While I wear navy in the summer, and even in the winter with my chinos, black, when worn in true "prep" styles, can be preppy too.

      An equestrian/English gentry hub would be very nice!

    • girly_girl09 profile imageAUTHOR

      girly_girl09 

      9 years ago from United States

      That's the best part of preppy styled clothes - they are timeless and can last for many years; a great investment! I can always count on a polo and khakis to look great. Other fashions simply come and go.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 

      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I love turtlenecks and preppy clothes are so much fun. I have a plaid skirt in tones of brown that I have worn for years with a biege colored turtleneck. I wore so much that now it is beginning to fall apart. Oh well, I will miss that outfit.

    • advisor4qb profile image

      advisor4qb 

      9 years ago from On New Footing

      I love your taste in clothes!

    • girly_girl09 profile imageAUTHOR

      girly_girl09 

      9 years ago from United States

      Plaid skirts are definitely classic, but they now are sort of sterotypical!...It's funny because as I was searching through Amazon, I found some Halloween School Girl costumes (for adults).

      I love pleated skirts, but hate how wrinkly they can get a couple of hours into the day.

    • R Burow profile image

      R Burow 

      9 years ago from Florida, United States

      If you can imagine, as a child I longed to wear the plaid, pleated uniform skirts the girls in Catholic school wore. Thinking back, those skirts were very preppy, and very cute. Thanks .girly_girl

    • girly_girl09 profile imageAUTHOR

      girly_girl09 

      9 years ago from United States

      Equestrian Style would make for a great hub!!! I remember at the time, I didn't like traditional riding attire. Looking back, it's classic. I don't ride anymore...I miss it! My allergies got the best of me, unfortunately. Go figure that hay is one of the worst allergens for me to be around.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      9 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      I have naturally dressed this way most of my life as it is just so much easier. I also love equestrian styles too.

    • girly_girl09 profile imageAUTHOR

      girly_girl09 

      9 years ago from United States

      Thanks. :) I love the ease and simplicity of classic items, mix and matching has never been easier! Plus, my dry cleaner loves me. hahaha I'm from New England and we have tons of preppy dressers here. I have met a ton from the south that dress that way, too. I do love the Cali 'surfer style', though - we have a few 'wannabe surfers' over this way. ;)

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 

      9 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Alas, I don't think preppy will ever be fashionable out here in CA. I do miss the simple elegance of preppy dressing. When I was in college there were preppy girls from all over -- from Grosse Point Michigan to Shaker Heights Ohio to Houston Texas.

      Love your hub and your selections. Don't forget for "post-evening" wear the Lanz nightgown accessorized with pearls:-)! MM

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