Preppy fashion, heavily influenced by the popularity of the “old money aesthetic” going viral on TikTok and Instagram, is coming back. So much so that even Harper’s Bazaar has declared that it’s open season on prep fashion too, as many out there are getting more and more interested in the preppy attire and an aesthetic that screams “Money!”. But what is the preppy aesthetic, and most importantly: how to achieve it?

1. Preppy Outfits Ideas Everywhere (back to index)

Where does preppy style come from? “Preppy” is a term initially used to describe the style of people in the United States going to college preparatory schools, also known as prep schools. Soon enough, preppy could easily be defined as a subculture of its own, with unwritten rules about dress code, manners, etiquette, speech, hairstyles and whatnot. As, in most cases, preppy students belong to wealthy families, the whole vibe of preppy students is associated with an upper class upbringing and Ivy League institutes.

Preppy fashion is inspired by the leisure activities of the rich, such as tennis, polo, sailing, and such. Elements often found in preppy outfits are tweed jackets, navy blazers, pearl earrings and necklaces, embellished hair pins and hair clips, and such. Brands like Ralph Lauren and J.Crew have taken preppy to a whole new level, making the whole aesthetic their signature style.

2. How To Get Preppy Hairstyles (back to index)

Preppy hair is usually classy and soft, accompanied by curls, ponytails, ribbons, and a multitude of half-up, half-down combinations to show off precious accessories and prestigious hair clips. Preppy doesn’t mean boring and snobbish, quite the opposite you can make preppy yours by giving things a spin – as seen on the runways.

Let’s see an example of a few preppy hairstyles to get the ultimate Blair Waldorf look!

Soft Bangs

Soft, choppy bangs that don’t stay in place, to top off a curated, slightly tousled, gently waved look. What’s not to love? Adding a touch of edginess to this sort of hairstyle makes things easier and gives you a less perfectionist, artsy vibe to ease down the look. Get inspired by Audrey Hope in the Gossip Girl's remake to create an outstanding outfit.

Delicate Beach Waves

If you go to a preppy school, chances are your parents own a magnificent villa somewhere on the seaside. Okay, it might not be your case, but who says you can’t get the look? With the aid of clip in hair extensions and a waver you can easily give your hair that beach wave effect that will make you look like you just came back from a fancy holiday. The more you know.

Fancy Hair Pins

You can go for a minimalistic, romantic, heart-shaped hair pin or explore the maximalist style of things by opting for a pearl-encrusted, dazzling claw clip. As long as your pick is still looking somewhat classy and sophisticated, there is a plethora of hair accessories that you can make yours to give your half-up, half-down a preppy twist.

Full Bangs

Blunt, full bangs are all the rage when it comes to preppy hairstyles. It’s a youthful, sophisticated look that frames your gaze in a mysterious way, and when you let your hair down you automatically start oozing princess vibes. If you don’t feel like committing to a new haircut yet, feel free to experiment with clip in bangs – so you can switch looks whenever you’d like.

Messy Low Ponytail

The messy low ponytail is a great choice, as it looks classy and trendy with some gorgeous tendrils left out, but it’s still channelling that “I just came back from a tennis match” energy that I love so much. To make it even more bewitching, curl the ends and your face-framing tendrils for a classy finish. Get your wrap-around ponytail hair extensions and start styling for outstanding results!

Long And Curly

Middle part, vertiginous length, and glossy, even waves in your hair. I think I’ve said enough! This look is the ultimate classy option for those who like to wear their hair down, and if you’re into extra long manes then look no further than tape in hair extensions to achieve this look. You may not be a trust-fund kid, but with this hairstyle you will surely feel like one!

Fancy Headband

Headbands go strong in the preppy community, and I’m not sure why – but I have to say they look absolutely gorgeous, and they’re functional too! Now the options here are many: you can play around with velvet headbands, silk headbands, rhinestone ones… Whatever floats your boat! If you put it on top of a classic blowout and add volume and thickness with human hair extensions, you’ll have a complete hair look that will make you stand out from the crowd in a classy, sophisticated way.

Tight Bun

The tight bun is the ultimate elegant hairstyle, keeping hair away from your face in a practical yet glamorous way. It’s the hairstyle of a person that doesn’t have time to waste, which makes sense for an aesthetic inspired by those juggling from one prestigious school to another. You can spice it up by turning it into a trendy spiky bun, or leave out a couple of sleek face-framing tendrils too. Don’t forget to wear the jumbo sunglasses though.

Preppy Ponytail

A curly ponytail is a clever way to achieve a preppy hairstyle in no time whilst still being comfortable and protecting your hair. If your hair isn’t long enough or thick enough to achieve a killer pony like the one in the picture, look no further than clip in ponytail hair extensions. Grab your curling wand and voila – you’ve got yourself the most popular preppy updo ever.


When the weather isn't too nice, the beret will keep your scalp nice and warm whilst making you look drop-dead gorgeous and trendy. You can wear it on silky-smooth sleek hair, a low ponytail, two side plaits or a bouncy, curly blowout. The world is your oyster.

Hair Bow

Last but not least, the hair bow. Are you even trying to look preppy if you don’t put your hair in a half-up, half-down hairstyle topped off with a velvet ribbon? This clever and fancy hairstyle uses a hair bow as a way to get a delicate finish from the front, without missing out on being peppy yet classy. Thumbs up!

3. How To Become Preppy: Aesthetic 101 (back to index)

You know the origins, you’ve got the hairstyles. Now, how exactly do you turn your wardrobe into Preppy Heaven?

Start from the basic: pleated skirts, cable-knit jumpers and argyle prints when it’s cold, button downs and high-waisted shorts when it’s hot. Prints like seersucker and madras will be your best friends; finally, accessorise yourself with a few curated pieces such as gold/silver bangles and pearls. Think of small statement pieces that will go in harmony with your outfit, without going too edgy and or chunky such as covering your hands with rings.

Polo shirts, moccasins and flats will dominate the scene, but the occasional pair of heels won’t hurt – just choose wisely and keep things classy and old-school rather than going for flashy colours. For the summer, espadrilles and platform sandals will get the job done.

The colours: focus on neutrals when possible: white, beige, black, brown, navy blue, forest green, grey, mustard and wine red.

4. Conclusion: (back to index)

If your idea of looking rich strays away from the “LA rich” Kim Kardashian vibe, the old school Ivy League influenced preppy attire might be what you’re looking for. As this style comes back slowly but steadily thanks to its revival in the world of haute couture, be ready (or should I say, prep) to look like the next Gossip Girl with these gorgeous hairstyles and fashion tips.

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