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What Does Preppy Mean? Exploring the Preppy Aesthetic

Have you ever heard someone being described as "preppy" or seen posts tagged with #preppy on social media and wondered what it's all about? Preppy is more than just a fashion style; it's a lifestyle and a cultural identity that has its roots in American college traditions. Let's dive into what preppy really means and explore the newer and popular VSCO preppy aesthetic.

The Ultimate Guide To Being Preppy!

What is Preppy?

Being preppy is all about embodying a certain style and attitude that's associated with affluent, Ivy League-educated Americans. The term originated in the 1950s and was initially used to describe students at elite preparatory schools (hence the name "preppy"). Over time, it evolved to include a broader lifestyle made up of traditional clothing, hobbies, and interests.

The Preppy Style

How to Dress Preppy

1. Classic Clothing : Preppy fashion revolves around items like polo shirts, Oxford button-downs, khaki pants, skirts, and dresses. Brands like Ralph Lauren, J.Crew, and Brooks Brothers are iconic for their preppy designs.


2. Pastel and Bright Colors : Preppy outfits often feature a palette of pastel colors like pink, light blue, and mint green, as well as brighter shades such as yellow and coral. Neutral colors like brown and dark navy are also common.


3. Traditional Patterns : Stripes, plaids, checks, argyles, and polka dots are commonly found in preppy clothing, adding a touch of sophistication to the look.


4. Accessorizing with Class : Accessories play a key role in preppy style. Think pearl necklaces, ribbon belts, boat shoes, loafers, and classic watches.


5. Tailored Silhouettes : Clothes are usually well-fitted but not overly tight, giving off an air of effortless elegance.

The VSCO Preppy Aesthetic

In recent years, a subculture within the preppy community has emerged on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok. This subset is often referred to as "VSCO preppy," drawing inspiration from the aesthetic popularized by users of the VSCO photo-editing app. Here's what sets it apart:


1. Clothing : While traditional preppy style can sometimes come off as formal, VSCO preppy embraces a more relaxed and laid-back approach. Think oversized t-shirts and sweatshirts, denim shorts, beachy dresses, and white sneakers paired with classic preppy elements like a baseball cap or a striped sweater tied around the shoulders.


2. Bright, Pastel Colors: Unlike the traditional preppy, the VSCO aesthetic is heavier on the bold colors. The VSCO palette is composed of pastel colors, hot pinks, and neon colors, especially neon yellow.


3. Bold Patterns: Patterns like argyle, checks, and plaids are also common in this sub-category, but the forefront of this aesthetic is dominated by leopard and cheetah prints, floral patterns, and the infamous roller rabbit design.


4. Fun Accessories : Common accessories include cowgirl hats in bright colors, expensive bags, beachy bracelets and necklaces, and phone cases with bold patterns.


5. Clothing-Fit : Unlike its traditional counterpart, VSCO preppy inspired outfits commonly feature oversized sweatshirts & shirts. If you want to look super VSCO preppy, make sure to size up your next hoodie order!

Our Preppy Phone Cases fit the VSCO preppy aesthetic!

Make The Style Your Own

Whether you're drawn to the timeless elegance of traditional preppy fashion or the laid-back charm of the VSCO preppy aesthetic, embracing preppy culture is all about embodying a sense of sophistication, adventure, and camaraderie. So go ahead, mix and match your favorite pieces, and make a preppy style of your own!

If you want to buy vsco preppy accessories, you can check out our preppy phone accessories.

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