By Sarah Solomon
To quote Eleanor Roosevelt, “Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.” One of the benefits to a prep lifestyle is always knowing you’re right — because let’s face it your parents and grandparents probably dressed the same as you. (Unless they were in the Mother country, in which case a seersucker suit probably wasn’t the best goat-milking uniform.)
With that being said, preppy, university or traditional style dressing will never fall out of favor. It not only refers to style, but an entire culture and code of conduct that has been adhered to for generations, making only minor tailoring tweaks to better match the decade.
While the stalwarts of traditional dressing will always own the hearts of the true preps (think brands like Brooks Brothers, J. Press and Gant) there are a lot of other contenders out there that encompass the preppy look and feel. I’ve listed a few of these products and brands, and raise a G&T or two to you in solidarity.
Kiel James Patrick is a nautically themed brand steeped in quality and true craftsmanship. Not only is their collection of bracelets, belts, headbands, earrings and bags 100% handmade in America, but handsome across the board as well.
Aside from their New England themed wares, what really sets this brand apart is how well they incorporate social media and their own lifestyles into their marketing. I assume when you make your products by hand it’s hard to literally not put yourself into your work. While you’re checking out their product make sure to stop by Azimuth Circle, Classy Girls Wear Pearls and Five Point Fox to see Kiel James Patrick and Sarah Vickers in action.
Ah, the ubiquitous polo shirt. You can’t go wrong with this season-spanning layer —unless you’re layering multiple of them with popped collars. Then you just look like every 1980’s movie villain.
I’m a huge fan of KP Maclane polo’s because they’re a more luxe variation of the timeless silhouette and made in good ol’ US of A. It’s a flattering fit for every body type thanks to a French cotton and stretch jersey construction, and each polo comes with a self collar, two-button placket and is custom dyed in France. You can literally feel the quality and won’t have second thoughts about sporting it around the clubhouse with a cape codder in one hand and tennis racquet in the other. K.P Maclane Polo
When it’s snowing, hailing or downright gross outside, New Englanders simultaneously reach for the illustrious duck boot. Its heritage-inspired silhouette designed for durability and practicality has become more than a style staple, but a necessity when the weather is less than desirable.
I’m quite fond of Crocs take on the Duck Boot not only because it’s cute but comfortable to boot. Thanks to premium leather, sealed seams, water-resistant uppers and a full Sherpa lining you’ll stay warm, dry and ready to hit the trails (or sidewalk. Fro-yo excursions are always a foul weather necessity.) Crocs Duck Boot.
Brazilian brand Melissa is well known for their comfy, water resistant shoes that easily mold to your feet, and I fell hell over heels for their leopard tuxedo loafers.
Rain or shine their technologically-engineered injected thermoplastic keeps you dry, and the muted leopard print acts a neutral and can be dressed up or down with just about any outfit. I suggest you get them on Anthropologie now before they run out of stock. Melissa Dilute Leopard Loafers
Ah, the one accessory we all can’t live without – the iPhone. Sure they all look the same, but you can personalize it with a cover that speaks to your personality and style.
I’m a fan of this number from LuxMobile, its alternating repp stripes takes a well known prep pattern and applies it to a modern device for portable style. Now you can tweet from your anonymous prep account with all the proper accouterments. LuxMobile Cell Phone Cover.