Outdated Preppy Fashion Trends And More Modern Alternatives

Fashion trends continuously change throughout the seasons; we've seen a lot pop up this year, new and old. In the fashion world, nothing stays on the top of the list of hot items for too long; there is always something replacing what everyone loves at the moment. This year we saw multiple trends that lost their popularity. For example, we've seen skinny jeans have their spotlight for years, but 2022 showed them that non-slim jeans are the best look with any top or jacket. Skinny jeans were thrown out when jeggings came into the picture. "Jeggings ruined them. As soon as they started bastardizing the denim and putting in too much stretch, it became trashy," says Donna Wallace, Elle's former Accessories Editor.

Over the last couple of years, preppy, trendy outfits appeared in fashionistas' closets. Whether you attended a preppy school or not, you might have noticed the preppy attire makes its way outside the classroom. While the fashion girlies aren't in knee-length pleated skirts, they have managed to put their own modern twist on it. If you've been trying to hop on the preppy fashion trend but don't know where to start, we've gathered a few ways to style the rebrand.

Out: Fitted Rugby polo tops

Fitted Ruby tops had their moment when they were paired with skinny jeans and flats, but that time is over. Skinny jeans are out, and straight-leg jeans are in, which means that fitted Rugby tops are being swapped out with oversized and cropped versions. Use an oversized shirt to style with your favorite straight-leg jeans and sneakers. If you prefer cropped tops, opt for a Rugby cropped top version and wear it with a miniskirt, joggers, or shorts for a casual but preppy look. On the other hand, dress up the rugby t-shirt with a chic midi skirt, leather jacket, and heels or boots.

Out: Knee-length pleated skirts

Pleated skirts are the epitome of the traditional preppy style. However, the knee-length look isn't as popular as it used to be. We're in a time when miniskirts are taking over. Miniskirts with a cropped sweater vest or polo and knee-high socks with heels create the perfect fit for any night out with the girls. Any black pleated skirt with darker-toned tops, such as button-downs, and loafers with socks will make an ideal edgy outfit.

Out: Layered sweater vests

If you've ever watched "Gossip Girl," you know the prep school girls wear their sweater vests over their collared button-downs. They were the perfect layer, but now they're better standing alone. The fashionistas have started wearing vests by themselves for a fresh look. Style it with any style of trousers, denim jeans, or a skirt. There are different patterns and colors for vests to choose from that will indicate the preppiness level of your outfit.

Out: Tights with any shoe

No preppy outfit was completed without the tights and shoe combo. The tights have been removed and replaced with knee-high socks or ankle socks. Preppy loafers and socks are the quintessential shoes for the preppy fashion style. You can get away with any shoe and sock combo if it matches your statement preppy pieces, such as tennis skirts, vests, polo tops, and khaki pants. We've seen this look before with the infamous Rachel Green, where she wore a red plaid miniskirt with a white cropped mock neck long sleeve and loafers with white socks in a "Friends" episode. You can style any outfit with a brown, red, or black loafer and your preferred ankle to knee-high socks.

Out: Fully tucked-in button-downs

Button-down shirts aren't solely a part of the preppy style realm; it's been seen in business-casual outfits folks wear to their interviews or business meetings. However, their tight-fitted style has been replaced with an oversized one for a casual look instead of a formal one. Wearing clothes is about feeling comfortable and good about what you're wearing. A great way to style your oversized button-downs is buttoning half of the shirt and tucking one side into wide-leg jeans or a denim skirt. On the other hand, create an edgy look with a black corset top layered over your oversized button-down and match it with a miniskirt.

Out: Girly accessories and light makeup

Headbands and friendship bracelets were top-tier on the preppy style accessory list, but they're too chic for 2022. Darker accessories, such as leather accents, chokers, and bold makeup, have met their match with plaid prints and pleated skirts. Now's the perfect time to brush up on your make-up skills and try a red lip or smokey eyeshadow for your next preppy outfit.