It has come to my attention that there are quite a few prep school goers who have yet to master the prep school look. Out of their uniforms they are not up to snuff and to be frank, it upsets me. Either they are some serious GDIs or they just don’t get it but either way there is no need to fear, trueprep is here! (It sounded better in my head…) I was randomly on Washingtonian.com and I happened upon this lovely article highlighting everything you need to pretend like you had some basic knowledge of how to look the part of a prepster. Share it with your friends… or those poor souls you take pity on with your glowing presence.
<3 Stay Preppy
Your Cheat Sheet to Preppy StyleLet two of the most preptastic bloggers we know lead the way to yacht-club fabulousness. By Sarah Zlotnick
All photographs by Katie Warren.
When it comes to fashion, Washington has a serious case of split personality disorder. From the flannel-wearing hipsters in Columbia Heights to the slick suits on K Street, each neighborhood has its own look. And where would we be if we didn’t mention the pastel-wearing prepsters of Georgetown? With this style, there’s a fine line between fabulous and costumey—and no one walks it as impeccably as law students/platonic lifemates Lauren Wynns and Van Bloys, the duo behind the fashion and lifestyle blogNecessary & Proper. Read on for their ace tips for mastering the aesthetic without looking like a popped-collar tool.
Top five wardrobe essentials:
For women: colored pants (denim or tailored silk), trench coat, a silk blouse (bonus points for one with an unusual neckline or pattern), an equestrian-inspired blazer, and a colorful shift dress.
For men: A navy blazer, Cordovan lace-ups, gray flannel trousers, an oxford shirt, and a cashmere V-neck sweater.
Accessories no prepster should be without:
Women: large sunglasses, a piece of family jewelry, and a dog (any kind of retriever or hunting dog will do).
Men: A sterling silver monogrammed belt buckle, a good pair of polarized sunglasses, and a fabulous watch.
Three pairs of shoes every prepster should own:
Men: Tod’s driving moccasins, L.L. Bean Bean boots, and Cordovan tassel loafers.
Women: A nude pump or wedge, smoking slippers, and riding boots.
Style rules you should never break:
No socks with loafers.
Wear color. Everyone looks better with at least a little splash.
Style rules you should definitely break:
Minimalism. Have some fun—layer shirts, sweaters, jackets, and jewelry. You can keep a classic vibe going without going totally bare bones.
Nobody needs to look like they’re living in a J.Crew catalog all the time. Shake it up! Dress down!
Outfits that will never go out of style:
For women: A shift dress, pumps, and a cardigan; a bikini, an oxford, a straw hat, and thong flip-flops; and white jeans and vibrant tunics.
For men: Oxford shirts and cashmere cable knits; navy suits and repp ties; and Vilebrequin swim trunks and colorful Lacoste polos.
How to translate preppy style to the workplace:
The key is to not go overboard. Don’t wear a patterned sock with tassel loafers, suspenders, a bow tie, horn-rimmed glasses, and a pocket square. You’re not an extra on Gossip Girl. Pick one or two fun accessories and stick to that.
Skills every prepster should master:
Social grace. Write thank-you notes, buy hostess gifts, be cordial to everyone, and stay classy in the presence of those who are not. Bad manners and cattiness are so unbecoming.
Tying a bow tie. It’s like riding a bicycle. You’d never imagine how many men came into Ralph Lauren [Van used to work at the Georgetown store] on the night of a big event in a tux with an untied bow tie and asked a salesperson to tie it for them.
Grooming products to pick up:
For men: unscented Dove soap, Marvis toothpaste, and Kiehl’s Silk Groom.
For women: An Aveda paddle brush, Fresh brown sugar scrub, and L’Oréal Voluminous mascara.
Monograms—do or don’t?
Lilly Pulitzer—do or don’t?
Do. Balance it with non-Lilly accessories.
Popped collars—do or don’t?
Depends. This really got overplayed a few years ago. It’s practical if you’re playing tennis or out on the boat—nobody likes a sunburned neck. But if you’re just doing it for show, it can look a little contrived.
Blogs to read:
Up-and-coming prepster brands you should be wearing:
Kiel James Patrick—whimsical, handmade accessories out of Rhode Island.
Smathers & Branson—A Bethesda-based needlepoint belt company. You can even get a “life belt” custom made to match your personal interests.
Hugh and Crye—This Georgetown-based shirtmaker has slim cuts and great patterns. And we love our native DC designers!
The best hangouts in DC:
The bar at the Cosmos Club in Dupont. The building itself is incomparably beautiful. It has a very clubby, old-Washington feel. I love how you have to write up the tab yourself with a golf pencil.
Jetties, the sandwich shop in Foxhall. The sandwiches are the best in the city. I love the fresh carved turkey with either cranberry sauce or avocado spread and whole-grain mustard.
Other Georgetown/Glover Park favorites: Surfside and Town Hall.
The best vacation spots:
Palm Beach, Florida. It’s a winter spot that draws plenty of preppy East Coasters. It’s truly a paradise—beautiful weather, pristine beaches, palm trees. Everyone wears pastels 100 percent of the time.
Northern Michigan: The opposite of Palm Beach—everyone looks casual and laid-back. Think bathing suits, oversize polos, worn-in beach bags, colorful towels, and Patagonias.