Step into Prep – á la mode

Kicking off the school year with some scholastic, yet trendy, clothes.


Milla Hirsch and Frances Carlson

Around campus, a revived style appears to be popular again—the preppy look. Not preppy as in study-prep for the SAT or ACT, but preppy, academia-inspired fashion.

Beginning in the 1900s, private school fashion has grown with the rise of uniforms, and students have adapted parts of the classic look to fit their modern closet.

Seen on Pinterest, Instagram, and other social media apps, collars peeking out of crewnecks is a reborn trend ignited by the influence of the popular schoolgirl look.

The preppy style is a classic look that is not likely to go out of fashion any time soon.

First showing signs of wealth in the early 1900s, men who could afford to be styled in scholarly ways wore loafers and sweaters.

Then, during the ’50s, preppy clothes became a common trend, including athletic shirts and sneakers.

In the ’80s, people swooned over “The Official Preppy Handbook,” even though it was released as a form of mockery.

In the ’90s, television and catalogs highlighted classy-influenced clothing. In 2021, the preppy look made a more inclusive and contemporary comeback.

For junior Emma Schubert, a preppy outfit is “a fun skirt and a top added with a sweater vest and some colorful shoes.”

The effortlessly chic sweater vest, worn in fun colors and patterns by all genders and ages, can be thrown on anytime, except maybe in hot weather.

The style blew up in late 2019 when Harry Styles was seen wearing a lively sweater vest and collar.

With a twist as seen on models, actors, and influencers; country club chic is now spotted in the school community.

Even though the preppy style is trendy, students can make their outfits unique. “I like when I see different and authentic outfits around school,” Emma said.

Preppy style can be implemented into any social setting, recurrently consisting of pleated skirts, polo dresses, headbands, chino pants, crewneck sweatshirts, tights, and knitwear especially. Details like plaid accents, argyle designs, button-downs, and Ralph Lauren chic are staples of prep.

Freshman Clara Larraín Cosmelli said that if she had to wear one outfit to school every day, “a black skirt—kind of a tennis skirt,” would be a part of her uniform.

Next time you tie a sweater around your shoulders or waist, you can consider the outfit “preppy.”