Trend Report: Preppy Chic


Take Ivy first hit Japan in 1965, and when it did, the volume of candid photographs yielded a wave of Ivy League obsession amongst Tokyo’s stylish young men. The book, full of photos taken on the elite college campuses by Japanese style enthusiasts, quickly became the bible of Ivy League Style.

It’s no coincidence, then, that the year the Take Ivy is re-released (it’s been out of print and incredibly rare since '65— you can get it on August 31), preppy style is back and better than ever. From tweed and oxfords to boat shoes and crewnecks, the best back-to-school look for 2010 is straight out of 1965.


… and wool and flannel and plaid: these are the foundations of any preppy look. Tweed and wool blazers are chic toppers for jeans or leggings— try the trim wool Alexa blazer by Abercrombie & Fitch ($140) or the British Tweed Blazer by Boden ($198). As for plaid shirts, you can’t walk three steps in a shopping mall without seeing one— American Eagle’s Plaid Boyfriend Shirt($39.50) or Gap’s shirt of the same name ($59.50) both look cute with shorts, skirts, or jeans.


Oxfords can refer to the shirts or the shoes, and when it comes to Ivy League style, we mean both. Oxford shirts are your classic button downs, worn by Wall Streeters, Ivy Leaguers, and your boyfriend alike— get one of your own at J. Crew ($79.50). Oxford shoes, a.k.a wingtips or brogues, are the leather lace-ups that went from preppy to hipster last season on the oh-so-cool feet of Alexa ChungAgyness Deyn, and Sienna Miller. Get a perfect pair with Madewell's Aberdeen Two-Tone Oxfords ($178).

Boat Shoes

There’s nothing preppier than a pair of boat shoes— Sperry Top Siders, in particular. The traditional footwear of sailing enthusiasts, Top Siders are easy to slip on, comfortable for everyday, and surprisingly inexpensive. Get Grandpa-chic in dark leather ($79.95) or try traditional canvas ($42.95) and pair them with jeggings for an of-the-moment look.


The pièce de résistance of Ivy League chic is the classic long-sleeve crewneck sweatshirt, especially with an elite college name or crest emblazoned on the front. You can go authentic with sweatshirts from Harvard’s bookstore ($55.50) or Dartmouth’s($39.98), or try Urban Outfitter’s Collegiate Striped Arm Tee for a faux vintage look ($24). For something a little less literal, Forever 21’s Striped Classic Top ($9.80) does the classic preppy shape with clean stripes— for a decidedly non-Ivy League price.

— By Ellie Krupnick, Barnard College

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