There are certain reputations that, as parents, we don’t want for our children. Punk, brat, criminal, just to name a few. We also don’t want our children to dress like any of those titles. It can be difficult to find a balance between keeping our children looking socially acceptable and letting them express their individual style and personality. But until they are old enough to understand the way their appearance affects their reputation, we must hold strong to our parental convictions.
If there is one style of dressing that we would happily let our children do, it is an Upper East Side inspired preppy style. The only negative association with preppies is that they can be studious snobs. And that is just a fancy way of calling them smart. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t bother me to have my child seen as smart. So if that is the worst perception they can give off from dressing preppy, I will happily let them dress that way.
So what are the key pieces to a preppy look? Khakis, sweater vests and polo shirts are some. Pieces that are modest, sophisticated and classic. Some of the most popular colours for a preppy palette are neutrals like tan, navy, grey and black. Most of the pieces can be mixed and matched because they are basics. For the boys, some popular preppy pieces are chino shorts and a polo shirt (Tommy Hilfiger has lots of great polos) and for the girls, a simple a-line skirt with a button down and some oxford style shoes. The preppy look is all about simplicity, so no (or very limited) jewellery or accessories are needed. A little bit of bling on the tops or vests is fine, to add some feminine detail. For the hair, some girls will wear a simple thin headband or pull their hair up in a ponytail. Otherwise, some nicely brushed locks are all you need. J. Crew is a great place to find preppy style clothing for kids.
Your kids can certainly embellish a preppy look with some bolder colours and subtle patterns in school, but the more they stray from the basics, the less preppy they will look. Of course, if the preppy style is not a requirement for your children’s schooling, and they just want to look the part on their days off, having a little fun with the look is totally fine, think primary school Gossip Girl without all the drama. Just make sure they don’t cross the line from preppy to crazy by adding too much “fun” to the classically conservative look.