How to Be Preppy

Learning how to be preppy only starts with the clothes you wear. The prep school vibe and the implied social status that comes with takes a bit more know how. Preppiness means classiness and sophistication, as well as a well-rounded knowledge and ability to do many different things. Know the different aspects to maximize your preppiness.

The Style
When many people think of the word "preppy," they think of Cape Cod and Connecticut, money and privilege. You don't have to vacation on Martha's Vineyard every summer to exude preppiness, however. The bottom line of being preppy is cleanliness, soft colors and femininity. You can't go wrong with a preppy style if your wardrobe contains plenty of seersucker, khaki fabric and polos in pastel hues. When it comes to preppy style, it isn't just about the clothes you wear either-it's about how you wear the clothes. Preppy style itself is achieved through confidence and classiness.

The Attitude
The misconception is that preppy people are snobs, but that's not always so. Be polite and gracious and genuine. Don't act ditzy or silly. Preppy women are at least seemingly well-educated, so read up on the news or learn about a local grassroots organization.

You can achieve preppiness by also trying out a preppy sport. Field hockey, lacrosse, tennis and horseback riding are considered to be preppy; if you are by water, swimming, sailing and crew are also great preppy sports. If you are not the athletic type, don't sweat it. Attend matches or learn about the history of the sport.

It is important for your preppiness to not fake interest in everything preppy. You can dress preppy without actually having to be preppy. Preppiness is a way of life, so don't stress yourself by trying to be something with which you're not comfortable with.

The Clothes
Certain brands definitely come to mind when thinking about preppy clothing: Lily Pulitzer, J. Crew, Vineyard Vines and Ralph Lauren are the staples of preppy fashion. Invest in a few good basics, including a pair of good fitting chinos, a dark pair of skinny jeans and some light colored oxford shirts. Pair these with Eliza B sandals and a ribbon belt.

Gap, Banana Republic and even Target or Old Navy have cheaper versions of preppy fashion basics, if the price tags on a Ralph Lauren jumper are a little steep for you. Try striped nautical patterns with big gold buttons, or madras prints.

Accessories are just as important as the clothes for prepsters. Wear big headbands and oversized sunglasses, scarves or fun belts and clean looking silver jewelry. Wear hear sleek with a mid part or pulled back in a chic bun.

The preppy style, attitude and clothing are all about presentation. The first step is to feel comfortable and confident in your own skin. Exemplify class and sophistication and remember that preppiness is just like any other style: it isn't just about clothes, but more about the person wearing them.

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