When we think of modern all-American style—perhaps a bit sentimentally—we picture it against the backdrop of picnics in the park and sunny little league games. Not in that picture? Overtly collegiate polos and cardigans. Instead, we’re putting a fresh spin on the classics this spring with our round-up of 7 preppy style essentials. (Bonus: you can mix and match them all!)
1. Flirty Top in a Polished Print
Preppy doesn’t have to mean buttoned-up. This spring, choose tops that contrast a classic print like stripes or polka dots with flowier feminine details. Try a statement sleeve that’s ruffled or belled, or flaunt your favorite features in an off-the-shoulder top or wrap silhouette.
2. White Skinny Jeans
There’s something so incredibly fresh about a crisp pair of white denim. Add a pair (or two!) to your preppy style arsenal this spring for a lighter take on your tried-and-true skinnies. Throw them on with literally any striped top for an instant outfit when you’re in a rush.
3. Denim Jacket
This timeless style staple is as relevant as ever—it’s the perfect transitional outerwear piece for in-between weather. If you’re like us, you have a favorite that you pull out of your closet season after season. This spring, try an updated silhouette—we’re loving cropped lengths and belled sleeves.
4. Bright Striped Tee
If nautical navy stripes feel a bit too on-the-nose, it’s time to embrace unexpected shades. Opt for a striped tee in a more vivid shade—think rosy pink, tomato red, sky blue, and sunny yellow—or try a fun multi-hued version.
5. Colored Pants
Whether it’s skinny jeans, joggers, or a cropped trouser, colorful pants are a must for any preppy spring wardrobe. Look for softer, more subdued shades, but think beyond the go-to Nantucket red, and look for styles in lavender, faded olive, or blush.
6. Short Sleeve Button-Down
Not just for PSL season, checked prints like plaid and gingham are another preppy style essential. For spring, a relaxed fit button-down lends a more modern, low-key vibe. This style is all about the details—cuffed sleeves, colored buttons, or contrast-fabric trims exude easy, woke-up-this-way style.
7. Classic Chino Shorts
Shorts are a necessity for rising temperatures, and a tailored chino adds clean-lined structure to ground any look. Depending on your dress code, they may even fly for casual Friday—just pair with a tucked-in button down and ballet flats.