Feeling springtime preppy

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Before I had any idea what style even was, I was drawn to the preppy look. I have told you before about my affection for The Official Preppy Handbook, but I was equally influenced by a 1976 Texas Monthly article that ran down the style choices of the University of Texas’s top sororities (I’m pretty sure this is behind a paywall, but Texas Monthly is a publication worth supporting, and a digital subscription will run you just $15 a year). I’ve gone through multiple style evolutions over the years, but I always return to this look, because it’s so clean and snappy, and easy to build a uniform around. One of the most important components of this look is a pair of khaki chinos, and I think these are pretty great.

A button-down in an end-on-end fabric—meaning they use both blue and white thread to make it, which adds dimension.

A slightly shrunken unstructured blazer that looks as easy as it does spiff.

I think this conductor stripe chore jacket is just about the cutest thing ever. I have a kind of fixation on chore jackets and own a few, so I can’t possibly give myself permission to pull the trigger on this one. But I wish I could.

Such a cute striped polo sweater; I also like this one in navy, which looks like it’s not as cropped.

An polo shirt with dramatically oversized dimensions: so slouchy cool.

A denim skirt is a key component of this look for me (I’m mightily inspired by this vintage image of Lauren Hutton in one) and I like how faded-out this one is.

A cute striped tee at a very easy-to-digest price.

This Breton stripe sweater comes in about a zillion colorways, but I’m partial to this classic blue and red (with a fun pop of white on the sleeve)

I really really dig these Gola sneakers—they’re pretty cheap, and cute, and a slightly fresher choice than Tretorns or Stan Smiths.

I always like a woven belt because it provides an effortless pop of color; here’s one that’s cool and cheaper.

 

 

Consider the shacket

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It’s a silly, made-up name for a shirt jacket, true, but don’t hold that against it. The shacket is an ideal piece of springtime outerwear: good on its own, but especially good layered.  This Nili Lotan number is not cheap, but it is just so desperately perfect. Here’s one with a somewhat similar vibe that’s much cheaper

I like the idea of a tomboyish silhouette executed in pink tweed, like here.

The slit pockets on this one are a nice, handy touch.

I really dig the slightly faded-out cheetah print here.

A chic little cropped jacket that’d be great with dresses.

I like the subdued look of this wool and cashmere specimen from Vince, and it’s currently marked down.

I am twenty kinds of crazy for this houndstooth jacket: it’s so bold and graphic.

Here’s another not-unpricey choice, but the color combination is just so good.

A handy, lightweight quilted liner jacket from Rains.

I dig the fuzzy texture here.

This fleece option also comes in black, but of course I’m taken with these pops of yellow.

 

Wide wale corduroy in a great burnt orange is so classically preppy.

I certainly wouldn’t last long before staining this polished wool jacket, but maybe one of you could.

And finally: I am all about this joyous combination of color and pattern.

 

A bunch of cool fall florals

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I like florals this time of year because they tend to be darker and therefore more sophisticated, like this cool jacket from Rixo.

OK, these jeans are kind of on the crazy side, but they’re also quite awesome.

A really lovely dress with the prettiest print.

I’ve been seeing a lot of square neck tops lately and I don’t typically like them, but this one, in mustard yellow, is pretty great.

And I feel like I showed you this fun jacket before, and maybe I did, but isn’t it good?

I love the touches of orange on this pretty tiered skirt.

Such a out-of-the-ordinary pullover puffer.

This button down isn’t as autumnal as some of the other pieces here, but it is just so cute and retroish.

Another thing I usually don’t like: high-neck blouses like this one. But I think it’s really pretty and would look great under a blazer.

Click through and zoom in on the print on this dress: it is just stupendous.

I sort of wish this quilted coat was shorter—it hits just above the knee—but I’d still maybe go for it.

 

 

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About

Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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