How to work preppy style into your wardrobe

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Your preppy style guide

The first preppy wardrobes originated somewhere in the dorm rooms of the American Ivy League in the early 20th century, and have since been splattered across the mass market by coming-of-age movies like American Pie and Father of the Bride. Exemplifying the upper-middle class saw some of the world’s biggest fashion houses adopt the preppy look into their core male, and from there, the world became a hub of fine knit sweaters tied loosely around the shoulder.

The issue with men’s preppy fashion, is there’s a fine line between classy collegiate and, well, looking like you belong in a retirement home. It’s important to be smart about your choices, and not go full cable knit and tartan without thinking. These tips from our Kent and Lime stylists will help you work the preppy style into your look without being mistaken for the head of the lawn bowls team

Your Preppy Outfit Your Preppy Outfit

Choose your persona

You’ll notice that a lot of preppy style revolves around a narrative. The polo player, the stable boy, the nautical nomad, the sharp professor. Choose which guy you’re going to embody, and make sure each piece you choose rings true to your character. Getting it wrong and pairing your boat shoes with your wax stable jacket and you’ll find yourself looking less Ivy League and more commuity college drop out.

Keep it modern

Many preppy styles give a gentle head nod to their heritage. The classic, traditional patterns like tartan and gingham, and tailoring like blazers and slacks can be found delicately worked into modern fashion pieces – and this is what’ll help you nail the look. Taking styles too literally and snapping up any old item just because it’s got a preppy print can mean you miss the mark.

Stick to preppy colours

Combining the right colours can subtly prep-up your otherwise ordinary clothes. The right colour combinations and carefully curated accessories can be all you need to look like authentic Princeton alumni. Creams, reds and blues work well for a summer nautical style, while more autumnal tones like navy, forest green and stone offer more of a quintessentially British, Oxford style.

Preppy outfit ideas

Nautical nomad: Stone chinos, blue striped shirt, boat shoes and brown belt.

College professor: Navy pants, brown brogues, cable knit jumper and tweed-look blazer. Add shoulder bag to add an alluring sense of authority.

Stable boy: Suede desert boots, jeans, gingham shirt under forest green knit, and a wax jacket for winter.

Polo player: Polo shirt with collar lifted, tucked into cuffed chinos, and brown brogues with visible socks.

Need help finding pieces to prep-up your wardrobe? Tell us a bit about yourself and we’ll hook you up with one of our stylists online. They’ll get to know you, and send you some pieces they think will look sharp.

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Casual outfit kit

Preppy colours

Colours that stand out and are you. Go for a green, go for a burgundy

Casual outfit kit

Keeping in Modern

Use what you already have. If it's a check shirt for work or the blazer and then pair it up with some more preppy items

Casual outfit kit

College Professor

Add that blazer with your smart casual look for that college professor persona

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I'll never have to enter a shopping centre again!! Received my first kit. Felt like a kid again, getting Christmas present... Hands down one of the best outfits I've ever worn! It was like everything was hand picked, styled for a perfect fit. I was so impressed, especially with all the compliments received!! I'm changing my whole wardrobe. Thanks Mimi!!!
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Could not be happier with Kent and Lime. After having a good chat with Denice (my stylist) got a kit the next day. Everything fit really well and she absolutely nailed the style I was after! Had another chat regarding aspects I liked and aspects I didn't like and now can't wait for the next kit. As someone who hates shopping for clothes I will never step foot in another clothing store again!
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I gave K&L a crack because I don't enjoy clothes shopping and I get bored if I can't find what I want right away. My first stylist chat was good, the first couple of kits were hit and miss but the kit I just received (from a new stylist, Denice) is bang on. I'm not sending anything back, she absolutely nailed it, leaving me no reason to go clothes shopping.
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