While grabbing lunch with a friend in Beverly Hills on a hot day, Ali Larter sported a preppy ensemble — blue-and-white striped blouse with white cuffed shorts — that she turned cool via knockout accessories. On her neck she wore a colorful bib necklace, on her eyes round tortoise sunglasses, and on her feet tan ankle-strap sandals. Then she threw all her essentials in a tan suede tote bag. Ali's warm-weather getup proves that mixing preppy pieces with nonpreppy accessories is smart. Just pair your striped work blouse with shorts on the weekend, then throw on a statement necklace, chic sandals, and quirky shades to achieve Ali's daytime cool.
Jessica Biel, Jaime King, Jessica Alba, and Katharine McPhee were all on the same fashion wavelength when they wore preppy pieces while out and about in NYC. What made each of their outfits standout is that they all paired their prep with pieces that made them cool. Jessica Biel wore her plaid golfer hat with a crochet tee, Jaime sported loafers that were edgily studded, Katharine rocked white loafers with a Louis Vuitton scarf, and Jessica Alba showed off green pants with a denim jacket. Step inside for a closer look at these four ladies and to re-create their preppy-chic outfits for yourself.
Don't get us wrong — we're just as obsessed with Erdem's flirty florals, Rag & Bone's sportier fare, and Jason Wu's romantic pinks as much as the next style setter, but for this round of Spring shopping on a budget, we've pulled a mix of offbeat and preppy pieces from the likes of Zara, Target, and Gap for an easy-on-the-wallet wardrobe update. Even if you're not prone to rocking striped rugby polos and nautical-inspired wares regularly, this frugal fashion expedition is all about injecting a crisp edge (read: pointed collars, classic boat shoes, perfectly tailored vests, and chic white blazers) into your arsenal of warm-weather basics. Whether you're looking to cut a few corners or just want to indulge in some spendthrift style, click through now to see the 50 ultracool pieces we've rounded up — all under $50, of course.
Mixing sophistication and playfulness, preppy pieces with a twist give our Fall wardrobes serious pep. The look we're seeking is a cross between classic and a touch of the nouveau pop, the kind of basics that help offset our trendier gear, a là Jenna Lyons. Think stripes — lots of stripes — bright skirts, slim pants, and metallic oxfords to give our everyday looks a dapper edge. Click through to shop, and keep in mind we've kept it all under budget. There's nothing over $100 in this batch of goodies.
Preppy isn't what it used to be. We'll always have a soft spot for our well-worn sweaters, but the way J.Crew and Tommy Hilfiger have outfitted their modern prep has a little more eye-catching appeal. With bold colors and prints adding new dimensions to timeless pieces like trench coats and slacks, it's more about the way you put it all together. Nouveau prep is about melding sophistication with an uncanny cool and a healthy dose of wit and whimsy. To help you get the look, we've selected 15 standout pieces. From geeky-chic specs to a pair of metallic oxfords, think of this as your guide to navigating the new prep. Click through to shop now.
Photo courtesy of J. Crew
I bought trouser jeans last fall and have been wearing them a great deal, as they are the perfect addition to a pair of platforms. I also like the idea of tucking in a shirt or blouse for a change. I picked up a couple of anoraks this weekend....not the usual staid, "I'm going hiking-look," but a little more "cutesy." They look great over a maxi dress on cooler days. I'm almost embarrassed to say that I looked at shoes similar to those from Sperry....while the style is the same, the pair that I'm thinking about are metallic gold...while I like classic, I don't necessarily want to look as though I'm going yachting. I think the key is "mixing."
So, as the warm weather approaches, I'll head to the back of my closet and dig out some of the classics that haven't been worn in quite some time.
For the rest, visit Eclectic Jewelry and Fashion.
At this point in the month of January, who among us isn't dreaming of a poolside vacation? Tommy Hilfiger's new Spring 2011 ad campaign, which launches next month, is channeling our wishes with its country club-set photos. “We were inspired by the Spring collection’s twisted take on preppy and the Hilfigers’ infatuation with American pastimes,” said Tommy Hilfiger. Channeling my inner (twisted) prep, I assembled a list of poolside accessories that will fit right in at your home's next pool party or one at the local country club. My absolute must-have for chlorinated chill sessions is the Jericho Garden Chair ($340) from Gallant and Jones. It's custom-made from Sunbrella outdoor fabric woven in France, and comes with a matching pillow, sewn onto a beautiful black walnut frame. To keep my iPhone from suffering water or sun damage, I'll be sure to stash it in this Thomas Paul Big Business Phone Case ($24), which brings to mind the original Wall Street film. To shop the rest of this poolside-perfect preppy look, just click on each image!
But really the look is back, or rather it never went away, because it looks hot. That, and I think bookish people have a collective, unfulfilled dream of attending boarding school in New Hampshire on only the most perfect October day. If we can't have that, then we bring preppiness into our lives with a little plaid, a lot of wool, and rugged-looking men who look like they took only their mom's best advice. But is it a turn-on? That's up to you.
A bohemian girl who layers on the jewelry and plenty of patterned scarves is likely to be maximal when it comes to accessories and textiles in her home as well. On the same note, a preppy gal whose wardrobe is full of pink and green probably has an equally cheerful home. If you're after a preppy look in your digs, there are at least eight specific staples, most inspired by fashion, that you'll need to get started with. Come find out what they are!
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Everyone else, submit your looks, and I might feature you on FabSugar!