Feeling summer preppy

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I was thoroughly obsessed with The Official Preppy Handbook when it was published in 1980, and employed it as a full-on sartorial and lifestyle guidebook, even though in retrospect, it’s  abundantly clear that the book was intended as satire. Did anyone else all but memorize layouts like this one?

Preppy style had a huge impact on me then, and even now—especially now, maybe—I find myself returning to the classic items I read about all those years ago. This is particularly true in the summer months, when I endeavor to keep things as simple as possible when getting dressed. Some of the following items are pretty straightforward, and others are slightly tweaked, like this collarless popover—a stylish take on the standard white button-down.

Likewise, the oversized proportions of this striped tee appeal. As does the fact that it is red, white, and blue—to my mind, one of the great color combinations.

My hands-down all-time favorite chino is the Nili Lotan East Hampton pant, and while it comes in more versatile hues like black and khaki, I pretty much love the idea of a big bold yellow. Here’s a cheaper and also quite cute option (alas, not in yellow).

I’m also thinking of giving these wide leg chinos from Everlane a shot: a few of you have raved about them, and they remind me of these (much) pricier Caron Callahan pants.

This Lacoste polo dress has a very easy, wearable A-line shape.

I’d pair this very well-priced T-shirt dress with an armload of Maasai bracelets.

I’m liking the idea of a seersucker shirt, which would have the crispness of a jacket, minus the weight (meanwhile, here’s a pretty good blazer, if that’s more your speed).

These sneakers are by a brand called Bata Heritage that was founded over 100 years ago in the Czech Republic. They’re like Converse, but better, because they’re not all branded.

I very much like the way the webbed black shoulder strap modernizes this spiff straw bag from Clare V.

This classic canvas tote from Kule is made rather exciting with the addition of a a super-cool Bowie-esque lightning bolt.

This braided leather belt makes me think of French fashion editors like Emmanuelle Alt, who often wears one, and who in her own button-down-and-jeans way seems influenced by preppy style too.

Tees with a difference

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I have a drawer-full (OK, more than a drawer-full) of T-shirts, and some just sit there while others get snapped up and worn all the time, and those are the ones that have a little something going on in the way of shape or cut—like the wrap waist on this Vince tee, which makes for an architecturally interesting silhouette.

This twist-sleeve number is rather snappy, and would be so cute with jeans; here’s something similar cut cheaper.

The flare sleeves on this top make it look kind of fancy Japanese designer to me.

I think this slash-front tee is pretty sexy, and would look super-cute under a blazer.

The ruched sleeves here are a lot, I know, but everything else here is so streamlined that it works.

This sleeveless knot tee is kind of tough girl, and kind of sweet.

This puff-shoulder tee comes in a few colors, but I’m liking the pink; here’s something similar in extended sizes.

 

A twist-hem tee is always helpful if you’re in the mood to camouflage a tummy; here’s another good one in army green.

I just really like  the almost-elbow-length sleeves here; very 70s French. And the deep rose hue is pretty spot-on too.

Here is that rarest of things: a tee that doesn’t look sloppy if you leave it untucked. I’m going come right out and say it: sometimes Eileen Fisher is just the ticket.

I could see wearing this flutter-sleeve tee with a not-too-flouncy peasant-y-type skirt.

I love the shape here: it’s really sophisticated, and a touch come-hither.

 

 

New exciting collab alert

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Universal Standard and Rodarte have just launched a capsule collection with some very pretty items, like this dress, and if their look is at all up your alley, I urge you to check it out post-haste, as it will surely sell out fast.

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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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