Preppy, preppie, or prep (all abbreviations of the word preparatory) refer to a subculture in the United States associated with private university-preparatory schools.
That’s why it has this college flair. “The Ivy Style.”
When all started
Preppy fashion started around 1912 to the late 1940s and 1950s as the Ivy League style of dress.
Press is the quintessential preppy clothing brand, stemming from the collegiate traditions that shaped the preppy subculture.
In the mid-twentieth century J. Press and Brooks Brothers, both being pioneers in preppy fashion, had stores on Ivy League school campuses, including Harvard, Princeton, and Yale.
Preppy styles also reflect traditional upper class New England leisure activities, such as equestrianism, sailing or yachting, hunting, fencing, rowing, lacrosse, tennis, golf, and rugby.
Longtime New England outdoor outfitters, such as L.L. Bean.
Vacationing in Palm Beach, Florida, long popular with the East Coast upper class, led to the emergence of bright colour combinations in leisure wear seen in some brands such as Lilly Pulitzer, Lacoste, Dooney & Bourke, Izod, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren.
In 1960s, a trend led by designers such as Perry Ellis, and influenced by designers such as Oleg Cassini.
Style Icon: Jackie Kennedy Onassis
Some “cultural icons” of preppy style for professional women include Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and 20th century New York socialites Gloria Guinness, Babe Paley, Slim Keith, and C. Z. Guest, all women whose style is often referenced by designers.
In recent years, newer outfitters such as Ralph Lauren, J. Crew, Vineyard Vines, and Elizabeth McKay are also frequently perceived as having preppy styles, with designers such as Marc Jacobs and Luella Bartley adding the preppy style into their clothes in the 1990s.
New York City maintains itself as the headquarters for most preppy clothing lines, such as J. Press, Brooks Brothers, Daniel Cremieux, Ralph Lauren, and Kate Spade New York, underscoring preppy subculture as a reflection of Northeastern culture.
Classic Style is Forever – Less is More!