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A Beginner’s Guide to Preppy Shopping

1. Just because it’s from Vineyard Vines or Lilly doesn’t mean it’s cute, it doesn’t mean it’s worth the money, and it doesn’t mean you need it. I’ve always thought that buying for the name was silly, and meant that you had something to prove, in a kind of pathetic way.

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2. Old navy is literally the affordable version of J. Crew.

3. eBay is a godsend, but order things that you think are cute BEFORE you need them because if they’re coming from China you’re looking at about a month before you receive your package.

4. If you ever find yourself asking yourself if something is “preppy enough” you’re doing it wrong, and rolling down a hill into a puddle of basic. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look a certain way or trying to redefine yourself, but you have to maintain your individuality. It doesn’t matter if a particular item is classically preppy or not, it’s about what works for you on a personal level, and incorporating it into a style of your own.

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5. Frugality (in moderation) is a virtue, not a flaw, and not anything to be ashamed of. If anything, being able to compile an impeccable collection of clothes on a budget is something to be proud of. Never be afraid to admit that you’re broke and dress better than people who pay 5x as much to look half as good.

6. Thrift stores are great for basics like button downs and sweaters because they don’t have to fit perfectly to look nice. I personally think that they usually look better with a little extra room.

7. As tacky and overwhelming as Forever 21 seems initially, there are always affordable classics to be found hiding in the half hipster/bohemian half wanna be kardashian hell.

8. Think hard before you splurge. How long will this last me? How often will I wear it? Why am I buying this? Would I pay this much money for this exact item if it was by a less popular or coveted designer?

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9. If you’re a girl, your options double in any store because the men’s section is your best friend for shirts. You don’t have to worry about them bedazzling and ruining perfectly good clothes in the men’s department.

10. Preppy style is all about simplicity and sophistication. There’s a time and place for everything, but you want to shop and plan outfits with modesty in the back of your mind. I’m not saying you should throw out all of your sloot suits, because you’re only this young once, but try to balance provocative with preppy. If you’re wearing hoochie shorts, wear a loose fitting top that covers your chest. If the tits are out for the boys, maybe the legs can stay in for your parents. Balance.

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