Preppy Fashion is Back | The Chic List

preppy, ivy league fashion, ivy league, sportswear, American fashion, California style, California fashion, CA, outfit of the day, sweater vest, dad sweater, mini skirt, white boots, knee high boots, tortoise shell glasses, McHenry mansion, NorCal

There’s nothing like a downtown stroll in the crisp California winter air to clear one’s head and test out a new outfit. In my flair boyfriend jeans and Pepperdine University collegiate crewneck with a cream turtleneck peeking out from under, I walked down Downtown Turlock, the charming corner of where I grew up. A sign on the sidewalk read, “a blind date with the book, just down the street” enticed me to take a little detour.

I nursed the honey oat milk cappuccino in my hand that I grabbed from the nearby coffee shop, La Mo, like precious cargo. Taking a sip, I peered through the window of “Lightly Used Books,” convincing myself not to go in because of the bags and bags of page-turners I’ve previously bought, faster than I’ve been able to read them. So, I just stared through my cat-eye tortoise shell sunglasses, feeling like a preppy version of Holly Golightly at Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Rather than fine jewelry, I was gaping at literary treasures. And instead of an iconic black dress, black opera gloves, and a tiara on my head, I was in the all-American uniform that never goes out of style, but is currently making comeback: preppy sportswear.  

In the forties, Paris may have been the fashion capitol of the world, but America was the beginning of sportswear. Comfort and chic became synonymous because it was democracy in the form of getting dressed. America, after all is a democratic (lower-case ‘d’) nation. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of dawning your personal style. Never has that been more true today, even as COVID-19 has been a rollercoaster for our lifestyle habits, and in turn, our wardrobe selections.

The pandemic has birthed to dress-isms: a discovery that comfort is key, due to work from home and do-everything-at-home’s demand for loungewear. Then there’s the camp that have missed getting all-dolled up so fervently, that they’re ready dress-to-the-nines, the tens, and the elevens. Well, the pandemic is not over yet, but fashionistas aren’t retreating to full-time yoga pants and matching sweat sets. Rather, they’re dawning preppy sportswear that’s somewhere between Ivy League and Princess Diana street style.

Besides my ensemble a la my alma mater’s merch previously mentioned, here is another take on the reemerging trend that is part ‘60s mod, part Cher from clueless (by the way, has anyone seen. Alicia Silverstone in the Babysitter’s Club Reboot? Such a feel-good show!), and a Blair Waldorf circa Constance fashion throwback! The mastery of this look is all about balancing textures and volume. The oversized camel-colored sweater is the star of this style show, (one of the most on-trend fashion staples in the prepster genre right now), but its supporting actors aren’t shining any less. I opted for a geometrical blue, orange, and white skirt under that picks up on the autumnal hue of the sweater but also meshed with the baby blue button down top. The voluminous sleeves would be overpowering, if not for the stasis the mini-skirt creates in the outfit. Since I’m showing some leg here and it’s cold, skin-colored nylons and knee-high white go-go boots were the way to go. The white calls back to the shapes in the skirt and brings it all together.

Photos taken by the McHenry Museum back in November

Keeping it Krischic,

Kristin Vartan

Also Check Me Out On: 23ABC, ABC7 LA, Entertainment WeeklyThe Hollywood ReporterE! NewsDarling MagazinePepperdine GraphicTwitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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