Classic men’s style: the preppy look

Classic men’s style: the preppy look

The preppy look and its history

Born around 1912 the preppy look draws inspiration from the Ivy League style of dress at Universities like Harvard, Yale and Princeton. It soon became a trademark for students in the US and all over the world.

About 50 years later, in the 50s the preppy look moved from college championships and University classes to the street. It became part of every day dressing, exuding sharpness and finesse. This is also attributed to style icons like Steve McQueen and Paul Newman who adopted this look. Today, so many years later this look is still considered classically stylish.

The preppy look today

According to Olie Arnold, Style Director at Mr Porter ‘Preppy is a relaxed version of the smart casual look. It is definitely linked with classic American dressing. The essential items of modern college look are chino trousers, loafers and a varsity jacket’.

varsity jacket photo
Photo by Menswear Market


The rules of the preppy look

  • Make sure the collar of your shirt, polo shirt and even your jacket is always clean and pressed perfectly.
  • Invest in a central piece for your outfit like a varsity jacket, a pleated shirt or a monogram sweater.
  • Pay attention to colour combinations and opt for neutral and classic choices.
  • In case you want to update the classic preppy look you could experiment with vivid colours like yellow, green even peach. Pair those colours with white, blue, black or grey.
  • Make sure that everything fits properly. All items need to be the right size and flatter your figure. If not, try altering them a bit to ensure perfect fit.


jacket  photo

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