Personal Style 101: The Modern Preppy Look



The preppy look is having a major moment right now thanks to shows like Gossip Girl (may she rest in peace), the popularity of the store J. Crew, and everyone’s favorite style icon, Zack Morris.

Here’s the great news, you don’t actually have to be “preppy” to rock the preppy look. The preppy look is for everyone who wants it and it’s even better when you add your own unique twist. Before you start adding your own personal touches, it’s important to have the basics down.

Key Ingredients for the Modern Preppy Look

  • Chambray shirt
  • Distressed skinny jeans
  • Fancy sweatshirt
  • Colorful jewelry
  • Classic denim jacket or a cute tweed jacket
  • Boyfriend watch


Chambray top // Pumps // Jeans // Jacket // Necklace

How to Get the Look:

  1. Layer, layer, layer! Prepsters love to layer. When in doubt, add another layer. Chambray underneath a chic sweatshirt with a cute jacket on top is preppy-chic at it’s finest.
  2. Add a carefree element. Looking too put together is a surefire way to remove the “modern” from modern preppy. Try rocking a pair of distressed skinny jeans, boyfriend jeans, or a roomy pair of khakis to tone down your preppy ensemble.
  3. Just add jewels. A statement necklace over your preppy layers is a great way to add personality to your look. For bonus points, add a stack of bracelets and a boyfriend watch to your stylish little wrist.
  4. And finally, footwear. Shoes, the icing on the cake to any outfit. The footwear possibilities are pretty vast in the preppy world – so it’s all about preference. My personal favorite? A pair of pointy toe pumps. Not your cup of tea? Try a stylish boat shoe, ballet flats, or a pair of retro round toe pumps to complete your preppy look.

There you have it, all you need to rock the preppy look. When in doubt simply ask yourself WWZMD – What Would Zack Morris Do?

Lauren Messiah, is a Los Angeles based stylist and the creator of, a blog about designer deals, the hottest trends, and Lauren’s life as a fashion stylist.Lauren styles some of Hollywood’s most successful women in entertainment, celebrities, fashion editorials, and national ad campaigns. Lauren has been featured in Marie Claire, Vogue Italia, Grazia, WWD, OK! Magazine and Health Magazine.