Do you want the good news or the bad news? Okay, let’s start with the bad news – summer is over! But here’s the good news – it’s time for autumn! And a new season calls for new fashion. While it’s time to head back to that old and dusty library you forgot about over the summer, it doesn’t mean that your wardrobe has to suffer. It’s Back-to-School season, so ditch those summertime rags for the latest AW13 fashion. It’s time to celebrate my favourite time of year with these campus classics that’ll get you Prep-ready in no time.
To get the Preppy look, you’ll first need a shirt; this style is all about looking smart. Brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Polo Ralph Lauren and Paul Smith will give you that clean and sophisticated look. Stripes are always welcome or if you’re more into checks then that’s allowed too. But just make sure that you don’t have too many patterns at the same time. Choose one and keep the rest of the outfit plain and simple.
Brrrr. That means it’s time for knitwear! Jumpers and cardigans are great things to input into your daily fashion choices from this knitted jumper to those with stripes or bright colours. But remember, if you’re going for stripes, keep the shirt plain.
Perhaps the most important item of the Preppy ensemble is the blazer, but for many years certain fabrics and styles have been confined to the country, with connotations of long walks and idyllic country pubs immediately springing to mind. Tweed, for instance, reminds most of us of rural outdoor activities and, for others, has been confined to the halls of academia, being marginalised as a “Professor-only” fabric. However, this rough, woollen fabric, popular among the Edwardian middle classes, has been making a come-back – a style I am going to call “Urban Tweed” for this season. This semester, head back to your University with a blazer in your suitcase! And why not try adding some other fabrics to your wardrobe while you’re at it with these colourful corduroy and velvet blazers. (Here’s another tip, just wear a t-shirt underneath your blazer and a pair of jeans for a more casual look this Freshers’ Week).
As for the bottom-half keep it simple, I say. Yes you can play around with colours and fits, but leave the patterns to the shirts and blazers. Chinos can be still worn in the colder months and, along with jeans, are great things to wear during this transitional pre-fall period. Again, look for the go-to brands but there’s also a lot to be said for high street shopping. From Reiss to Topman, you too can get the Preppy look without having to spend all of that precious Student Loan.
Messenger bags and satchels and holdalls, oh my!
A new season calls for a new bag. The man-bag, after initial derision and ridicule (from most of my high school classmates, I might add), has recently become a wardrobe essential to many men. Over the last decade, this accessory has emerged as a staple in most men’s wardrobes whether it’s a holdall for travelling or an across-the-body bag for work. Every student should own a decent holdall for travelling, but whether you’re more of a messenger bag man than a satchel student, there’s plenty to choose from here. What better time to treat yourself to a new man-bag before the start of term, and with these preptastic styles it’ll be almost impossible to forget your seminar homework now.
Finally, there is something to be said about being fashionably late. While we can’t promise that you’ll make it to your Monday morning lecture on time (if at all), these accessories are vital if you want to complete the Preppy look. From ties to shoes and everything in between, this is the best we can do to get you to your class on time.
I feel Preppy (oh so Preppy!). There’s no need to fret that summer’s over as autumn fashion can be just as exciting. For me, it’s all about what you wear on top, so style yourself with ties and shirts and blazers galore, but keep the bottoms plain. There’s also no need to go crazy and spend all of your Student Loan as anchoring your favourite summer chinos with some warm knitwear will still keep you on trend. It looks as though Preppy is here to stay, and what better time to get the collegiate look then now!