How to dress like a preppy on a budget? Well, the answer is probably way simpler than you think.
Instead of keeping up with the preppy brands like Ralph Lauren and Barbour, figure out the main elements of preppy style and you will have no problem buying clothes from the other affordable brands.
Believe it or not, even Zara got some nice preppy pieces if you invest some time to find them. Yes, I mean it!
So ladies, here are the 12 key points to dress like a preppy girl on a budget.
1. WEAR POLO SHIRT AS YOUR PREPPY STAPLE
Alright, let’s get the basics done, shall we? For a classic preppy style, a timeless polo is such a no-brainer.
Whether you team it with elegant white pants or a silk neck scarf (or BOTH), it just looks simple yet incredibly tasteful.
To add a touch of spontaneousness, unbutton the collar and add sunglasses just to seal the deal.
They are not only for the preppy style but it’s always interesting how all these hacks can freshen up a plain polo!
To look flattering in polo, definitely choose the slim cut. These LEE Pique Polo Shirt from Amazon is the hot seller.
You just can’t go wrong with this price range.
Shop from FARFETCH for a discount!
2. LAYER UP SHIRT AND SWEATER AS A CLASSY LOOK
Seriously, you don’t need a Thom Browne shirt to do this trick.
Just by layer up a fitted sweater with a collar white shirt, it just looks classy with the simplest pairing.
If you want to slightly dress up for the fall season, this sophisticated collage-style just seals the deal.
3. OPT FOR MID WAIST OR LOW WAIST PANTS
In a world where everyone is wearing high waist jeans, go for sleek low waist shorts is such a fresh breath of air.
Together with a brown leather belt and Oxford shirt, the whole outfit just screams “I am not into fashion but STYLE.”
Seriously, whenever I saw women wearing low waist pants, their confidence and attractiveness are legit.
But here’s the reminder, sadly not everyone looks great on low waist shorts.
For the long torso girl, low waist shorts can’t really contour your body proportions.
So always try it out to find your best look.
4. EMBRACE BRIGHT HUES AND PATTERNS
The thing I love about preppy style is it’s classy yet fun at the same time.
Despite the neutral colors like white, beige, khaki, and navy blue, bright tones like pink, aqua, coral, and emerald can really add a pop of fun to the outfit.
As a beginner, you can always choose one dark hue as a base color and one light hue as the pop-up shades so you won’t look all over the place by putting too many hues.
For a refreshing springy look, teaming a baby pink top with a navy blue dress is such a classic preppy color combo.
J. Crew always has the most tasteful pants. Check it out!
Update: Size 14 & 16 is sold out now.
5. ADD A BELT TO SCULPT YOUR SILHOUETTE
While adding a belt isn’t that hard, admit it, most of us just too lazy to do it.
If you want to look preppy with your existing clothes, let’s start by cinching your silhouette with all kinds of belts for some decent looks.
After all, preppy style is all about looking neat and confident and a leather belt can really give out that extra boost you need.
Of course, if you want to dress things down, you can always casually tie a cardigan around the waist with your shirt dress. That’s equally flattering.
6. COLLAGE STYLE NEVER DIES
As a fan of Blair Waldorf, please allow me to scream “Collage style never dies!”.
Here, I’m not referring to the hot skirt and high platform shoes kind of high school hottie look, but the classic Ivy League style.
Fashion trend comes and goes, but wearing a ribbon white dress shirt with a tennis skirt and black tights are bound to feel fabulous.
Complete your look with a double-breasted navy blue coat and oxford shoes, girl you are ready to conquer the world.
A preppy kid essential: A structured smart blazer. A staple like this is always worth the money, it just levels up your look tenfolds.
Remember to type the code YAY2022 for 25% OFF FULL PRICE!
7. FINISH OFF YOUR WINTER LOOK WITH BOOTS
To make sure your winter look is to the point, a nice pair of boots never fail to empower you.
Instead of going for the high street thigh-high shoes, classic riding shoes are the real deal.
Featuring a unique heritage with a dose of equestrian flare, it just effortlessly draws people’s attention.
And for the bad weather days, it’s time for your hunter boots to shine.
Together with a shirt dress and trench coat, this is how you stay stylish even on rainy days.
8. WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW ON A SILK SCARF
Want to spruce up the look in one second? Spoil yourself with a silk scarf around the neck and trust me, your Zara top will appear to be a designer brand piece in people’s eyes.
As a perfect blend of sophistication and luxe, silk scarf just makes boost the aesthetic of your look tenfolds.
But no worries girls, while the silk scarf is pricy, you can always find the satin one as the perfect alternative.
Whether you are a fan of preppy fashion or not, this is a classy lady must-have. To do it on a budget, I’ve found the high-quality pieces below from Amazon. Enjoy!
9. ADD A TOUCH OF GLAM WITH A HEADBAND
Have you ever felt something is missing in your outfit? Well, that can be a headband.
As a petite girl, I love teaming my headband and my top in similar shades as that just naturally makes my figure look united and appear to be taller visually.
But whether you are tall or short, wearing a headband always makes things dressier as a set.
I don’t know about you but I do feel extra elegant in my pearl headband. Absolutely darling.
10. GO FOR COLOUR & PATTERNED TIGHTS
The preppy style is all about the detailing and I’m sure a TRUE preppy girl won’t allow herself to wear the same old boring black tights for the whole winter.
That’s just not gonna happen. Ladies, let’s level up our pattern tights game, shall we?
Whether that’s vintage mustard yellow tights or feminine white lace tights, it just elevates your winter look almost instantly.
Believe it or not, there are some really high-quality picks from Amazon. These white tights are one of my favorites for example.
But of course, if you have the budget, definitely try the tights from Wolford.
This one below has the wool features high moisture absorption, ensuring a pleasant feeling on the skin.
If you are in your 20s or up, it’s worthwhile to invest in a good pair of white leggings – the difference is real for cold days.
Last note, if you have to choose between sexy sheer black tights and opaque ones, a preppy girl will always choose the latter.
11. REACH FOR THE CLASSY SHOES
When it comes to classic footwear, the options are basically endless. From classic moccasins to versatile loafers, preppy shoes are both elegant and comfortable to wear.
As for the sneakers, well, I would always replace chunky sneakers with sleek tennis shoes.
If you want to look preppy from head to toe, THAT’s the one.
Of course, oxford shoes are a must-have.
Check out these elegant yet affordable pairs from Amazon! They have all sorts of color combo. My favorite is white and brown.
12. STRCUTURED BAGS OVER SLOPPY BAGS
Always be intentional about what types of bag you wear as that can really upgrade or downgrade your look in one second.
While big sloppy bags are great for Sunday grocery shopping, you just can’t deny how a structured bag can make you look put together.
If you want to complete your preppy college look, a durable leather satchel bag is always worth investing in.
Together with the oxford shoes, they just bring out the best in each other.
Instead of spending thousands on a Chanel bag, let’s not forget you can always find some exquisite designs on sites like Etsy.
High quality and tailored-made – this is how to look one of a kind on a budget.
So ladies, here are my 12 outfit tips if you wonder how to dress like a preppy girl on a budget. I hope you like it!
To fully express preppy style inside and out, becoming a true preppy girl is way more than throwing on a preppy outfit.
Rather, that’s the one-of-a-kind attitude of being classy and poised and you certainly need to invest time to nurture the traits.
But if you ask me if the journey is fruitful, that’s a big fat YES.
Here’s a quick recap:
- Wear polo shirt as your preppy staple
- Layer up shirt and sweater as a classy look
- Opt for mid waist or low waist pants
- Embrace bright hues and patterns
- Add a belt to sculpt your silhouette
- Collage style never dies
- Finish off your winter look with boots
- When in doubt, throw on a silk scarf
- Add a touch of glam with a headband
- Go for colour & patterned tights
- Reach for the classy shoes
- Structured bags over sloppy bags
If you support the preppy community, please kindly re-pin or comment to let more ladies can come across this!
That means a lot to me as well.
And for the girls who are interested in more classy fashion, see you in the articles below!