According to fashion experts, a comfortable and unpretentious preppy style can shift the street style from his pedestal. We are trying to figure out whether this is true.
In 2018, the Quartzy portal wondered why streetwear is not regarded as a part of the fashion industry. The author notes that many brands do not want to be associated with this phenomenon, as they believe that streetwear is for the designers with limited imagination, who are only able to produce sweatshirts and T-shirts with inscriptions. Some see this concept as an unpleasant racist overtone. The article cites the words of the founder of the New York brand Pyer Moss, Kerby Jean-Raymond: “I want to understand what this definition implies by “street”. Does it mean my clothes or me?” According to the author, a phenomenon that came out of various subcultures and was originally a niche, designed for a very small audience, has become so replicated that an imminent crisis awaits it. The article ends with the question of what streetwear will turn into in the future.
A year later, there is still the dominance of streetwear brands and things visually reminiscent of working or military uniforms in men's fashion. It is natural that soon there should be a shift, which will change everything. Nevertheless, although the suit has turned into a fashionable statement, it is unlikely to set a new bar and become popular. Being a modern dandy is expensive, more than that, it is inconvenient and impractical, according to the popular opinion. However, you need to have a certain background and skills to wear a suit, - savoir-faire, as the French call it. Preppy-style clothes are quite an analog to sweatshirts, sweatshirts and over-size T-shirts.
“Preppy” comes from the “pre-college preparatory”. The school uniform of young people, who were preparing for the "Ivy League" universities, was strictly regulated, and over time, it became associated with the image of a student as a whole.
POLO Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers, and Tommy Hilfiger brands are one of the main popularizers of preppy aesthetics on the global fashion scene. Practically each of their advertising campaigns assembles an exemplary collection of argyle chequered, club jackets and items in a maritime theme. In November 2018, the collaboration of Ralph Lauren and skate brand Palace was presented. There was a teddy bear skateboarder on the sweaters from the collection. This collaboration perfectly demonstrates a better connection between the world of streetwear and the preppy style.
The ultimate men's fashion weeks have shown that more and more brands are turning to this aesthetics. Although they are highly diverse, there are quite a few favorite brands of millennials among them - the main buyers of streetwear. It is no accident that Virgil Ablo shot the Off-White pre-fall lookbook in the school’s office: the models refer to the preppy style. At the same time, Ablo still keeps the codes familiar to him and his fans: logos, oversize, and symbols - everything is in place. The men's autumn-winter Off-White collection also contains plenty of chequered items, sporty silhouettes, and trousers, combined with sweatshirts decorated with inscriptions, which resemble university logos.
One of the features of preppy is that this style has incorporated many different components. It has a bit of yachting, rugby, and even safari, but the most important thing is the uniform, albeit with more complex content. Based on all these references, preppy intersects with both sports fashion and more strict clothing, and it gets along perfectly with logomania. Does it matter if there is a symbol of a fashionable street brand or an emblem of an educational institution on the shirt?
The American brand Rowing Blazers works talentedly with the fashionable heritage of preparatory schools – this proves the fact that the aesthetics of preppy easily fit into our time, and formal clothes can be relaxed and attract a young audience.
Every detail is verified there: a bright palette, interesting combinations, funny labels and stripes, high-quality materials. Designers have paid attention even to the seamy side: some items are decorated with embroidered Latin inscriptions. The rugby polo is colored in rainbow colors, while the seemingly strict jacket has cuffs in different shades. Besides, Rowing Blazers invites popular brands to cooperation: Beams Plus, Tracksmith, Shaggy Dog, Noah, and a dozen more brands.
This is a huge advantage of preppy: even the most ordinary things can transform and change, look bold and even bright or calm, or look exactly like a few decades ago. This is such a well-established classic that it can be viewed from different perspectives, and it may result in exactly the picture you want.
Polo, plain beige trousers, dark blue jackets with monograms - all of these are the same as a white sheet: an endless field for experiments with minimal risk of making a mistake.
For a long time, the preppy style clothes were associated with the privileged class and made it possible to distinguish their own from strangers. Today, however, these things are available to the majority and continue the traditions of the streetwear.
Aimé Leon Dore, Maison Kitsuné, Noah, Needles, and other brands are increasingly introducing elements of the preppy style into their collections. Polos with short and long sleeves, decorated with delicate embroidery, chinos, and shorts, bombers, socks, straight jeans with wide cuffs together with penny-loafers, neatly looking collars - this is what you can see in the lookbooks in the summer of 2019.
The collaboration of Moncler Genius and the Japanese designer, musician and producer Hiroshi Fujiwara looks particularly successful in this vein. It maintains the perfect balance between formal and relaxed looks, and there is nothing constraining, as well as depersonalizing. After all, this is exactly what usually is any uniform is being reproached for.
The preppy style of 2019 looks at ease, like shorts with a dimensionless sweatshirt. Moreover, besides the notorious comfort, there there is a silhouette, that does not hide, but frames shape, texture, and variety. In these clothes you can go not only to the Saturday party but also to work or business meetings.
Chinos, shirts, voluminous sweaters in braids and with bright piping around the neck, soft leather loafers, and bright colors go to all, regardless of age, body build, social status and other factors. Besides, it seems that in the very preppy phenomenon there are answers to the questions of how to look modern, fit into the framework of a working dress code, not experience discomfort and not look like an office worker.
“Dressing in preppy style means looking perfect without any effort,” said a writer Eric Segul. Indeed, it is what an ordinary man wants, is not it? To look good with a minimum of financial and energy costs.