Dressing Preppy On A Budget

It’s classic. It’s American. It’s vintage. A preppy look has just about anything a modern man could want—dressiness, versatility, and comfort. But the “preppy” look usually means one thing to your pocketbook: you’re going to have to shell out the dough. For some, that just won’t cut it. Here are a few key tips for dressing preppy on a budget.

Buy Versatile Clothes

If you’re on a strict budget, you’re going to need to make every dollar count. The fastest way to do that is to purchase versatile clothes. Look for clothes that lend themselves to the “preppy” look but also fit with just about anything else you’ll wear. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Stretch Twill Pants. A pair of chinos like these Sunny Stretch Compact Twill pants in Dusty Silver can match with anything “preppy”—boat shoes, button-downs, polo shirts, and more. Think of a good pair of Twill pants as the foundation upon which to build the rest of a classic preppy outfit. And with a durable Twill construction, you’ll be able to wear these pants over and over again.
  • Classic Vintage Twill. Stretch Twill is great for performance, but if you want to lean more toward a “Vintage preppy” look, Classic Vintage Twill is your choice. Charleston Brick Vintage Twill pants fit nicely into any preppy wardrobe and offer a stylish alternative to ordinary denim. Once again, the key here is purchasing a great pair of pants that you can use any day of the week.

Mix & Match Your Layers

Dressing preppy is often associated with the careful application of layers—a sweater over a button-down, a navy blazer over two distinct layers in cooler weather. You can get more out of your clothes if you use your purchases to mix-and-match your layers regularly.

How can you accomplish that? Here are some tips:

  • Use versatile colors. It’s not hard to mix and match when you’ve got colors like navy, white, khaki, and salmon in your wardrobe. Stick to versatile colors with your limited budget.
  • Try “pops” of contrast. A colorful dress shirt under a monochromatic sweater can offer an outfit a nice “pop” of color. But don’t limit these pops to just colors. Think about contrasting textures (smooth cotton vs. wool-knit, for example) to make your outfits more interesting.

Skip The Over-Priced Brands

There’s a stigma out there that anything “Preppy” must also be expensive. But this isn’t necessarily the case. Dressing preppy is simply a style—it doesn’t require a dollar amount, and there’s no barrier to entry.

Don’t fret about buying an item that might be on sale because of seasonal considerations. An item of clothing is still high-quality even if the price on it goes down. It doesn’t make you un-preppy to seek it out. It only makes you discerning and frugal.

Go with a brand that offers prep-worthy clothes at the right prices. Browse the Vintage 1946 collections for a head start.