Committed to tradition, elitism, and classiness, the preppy clothing brands epitomizing the look symbolize the Preppy identity.
In this guide, we meticulously unravel the creases and weave through the 17 most iconic Preppy clothing brands and stores that have been the very fabric of the Preppy culture.
From the undeniable prowess of Polo Ralph Lauren to the pastel paradise of Lilly Pulitzer and the aristocratic British splendor of Burberry, these brands are the custodians of the Preppy panache.
1. Polo Ralph Lauren
Founded in 1967 by American fashion designer Ralph Lauren, the Polo Ralph Lauren brand is synonymous with the Preppy fashion style.
One of Ralph Lauren’s signature articles is the polo shirt with the iconic polo player logo, which has become a status symbol and emblem of the preppy lifestyle.
By combining shades of traditional British aesthetic with sporty touches, Polo Ralph Lauren’s lines center around ‘classic American elegance.’
Ralph Lauren’s influence has been far-reaching; the brand’s clothes dressed the cast of “The Great Gatsby” (1974) and were the hallmark of Diane Keaton’s character in “Annie Hall” (1977).
Over the years, numerous celebrities, including Kate Middleton, have been spotted donning Ralph Lauren creations, further cementing the brand’s standing as a favorite amongst the Preppy style savvy.
2. Tommy Hilfiger
Established in 1985 by the same name, American designer Tommy Hilfiger this label is an emblem of Preppy and all-American styles but with a modern twist.
The brand’s red, white, and blue logo is iconic and reflects its strong association with Americana.
Tommy Hilfiger combines traditional Preppy aesthetics like nautical themes, plaids, and stripes with trendy urban styles to provide a relaxed alternative to the classic Preppy look.
Tommy Hilfiger has been a favorite among celebrities, particularly in the 1990s when hip-hop stars such as Aaliyah and Snoop Dogg wore the brand and fostered the brand’s cross-cultural appeal.
More recently, Tommy Hilfiger collaborated with model Gigi Hadid for several collections, once again proving the brand’s ability to evolve while remaining true to its Preppy roots.
3. Brookes Brothers
Founded in 1818, Brooks Brothers is a pioneer and arguably the true foundation of American Preppy fashion style.
With over two centuries of heritage, Brooks Brothers epitomize refined, classic dressing that echoes Ivy League sensibilities and the British aristocracy.
As the oldest men’s clothier in the United States, it laid the groundwork for the quintessential Preppy wardrobe.
Brooks Brothers has an impressive resume of dressing numerous US Presidents, including Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama, and even played a part in cinematic history by providing suits for iconic films like “The Great Gatsby” (2013).
Founded by French tennis player René Lacoste and André Gillier and launched in 1933, Lacoste became the emblem of Preppy chic fashion.
René’s nickname, “The Crocodile,” led to the now-iconic crocodile emblem synonymous with Lacoste.
Credited with the polo shirt, the single most identifiable article of Preppy clothing, Lacoste’s influence in the Preppy world is deep and broad.
The 1980s saw Lacoste becoming particularly influential among tennis players and the broader Preppy culture in the United States.
Whether Wimbledon or a weekend brunch, the quintessential Lacoste polo shirt with its debonair crocodile depicts a Preppy lifestyle that embraces sport, elegance, and tradition.
Founded in 1983, J.Crew balances timeless elegance and modern sensibility and holds a cherished position in Preppy fashion.
A particularly influential aspect of J.Crew is how it democratized the Preppy style, opening the look to a broader audience without the high price tag.
While historically, the Preppy fashion style had an aura of exclusivity, J.Crew made it more accessible without compromising quality or style.
Among the high-profile figures who have frequently worn J.Crew, Michelle Obama helped solidify the brand’s place in contemporary Preppy fashion.
6. Tory Burch
Established by American designer Tory Burch in 2004, the Preppy clothing has quickly risen to prominence by merging classic American sportswear with bohemian aesthetics.
Tory Burch’s Preppy aesthetic is most recognizable in her tunics, inspired by her stylish parents’ attire in the 60s and 70s.
The brand’s iconic Reva ballet flat, named after Tory’s mother, became a sensation, embodying a perfect blend of comfort and elegance.
The brand’s ability to merge different styles while keeping a robust Preppy undertone has garnered a dedicated following, with high-profile figures like Oprah Winfrey endorsing it.
Founded in 1856 by Thomas Burberry in England, Burberry is one of the most enduring and iconic fashion houses, known for its innovative and classic designs.
The brand’s signature trench coat, developed by Thomas Burberry for military use during World War I, became a staple of Preppy British fashion with its refined, practical, and timeless design.
Burberry’s iconic check pattern, featuring camel, black, red, and white, has become synonymous with British luxury and is often used in Preppy wardrobes as scarves, shirts, and interior linings of coats.
Preppy style enthusiasts worldwide cherish Burberry’s British heritage, including royals such as Kate Middleton.
8. Lilly Pulitzer
Founded in 1959 by extrovert Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau in Palm Beach, Florida, Lilly Pulitzer is the epitome of resort-inspired Preppy clothing style.
The brand’s colorful shift dresses, which Lilly initially created to camouflage juice stains from her orange juice stand, became synonymous with a luxurious vacation lifestyle.
The brand’s influence extends to the highest echelons of American society, including former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, a school friend of Lilly Pulitzer, whose photography wearing a dress catapulted the brand to fame.
With radiant colors, tropical prints, and a touch of Palm Beach paradise, Lilly Pulitzer remains a cornerstone Preppy clothing brand.
9. Perry Ellis
Perry Ellis, founded in 1978 by the American fashion designer of the same name, became a trailblazer in redefining classic American sportswear.
With unconstructed silhouettes and a mixture of patterns, the brand’s signature style has a relaxed and lighthearted approach to Preppy style.
High-profile figures like former NBA player Patrick Ewing have been associated with Perry Ellis, embracing the brand’s fresh take on classic American style.
Nowadays, Perry Ellis continues to be a go-to clothing brand for those looking to blend traditional Preppy aesthetics with a modern, relaxed street style.
10. Jack Wills
Founded in 1999 in Salcombe, England, Jack Wills’ British heritage is immediately noticeable in the fusion of classic British tailoring and fabrics with the traditional Preppy fashion style.
Trendy among university students, the brand is regarded as the British alternative to American Preppy clothing names like Ralph Lauren.
With an iconic pheasant logo, Jack Wills offers everything from tweed blazers to classic rugby shirts, epitomizing a blend of Ivy League and English countryside chic.
Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, is among high-profile personalities spotted wearing Jack Wills, affirming the brand’s standing in the Preppy fashion realm.
Founded in 1941 as a small family-run leather goods business in New York City, Coach has evolved into a global fashion name renowned for luxury handbags, accessories, and ready-to-wear clothing.
With timeless designs and impeccable craftsmanship, Coach’s classic handbags and leather goods for women have earned a spot in the Preppy style lexicon.
Although Coach’s aesthetic is not exclusively Preppy, it features traditional British, Irish, and Scottish patterns, making it an elegant choice for Preppy wardrobes.
Coach’s collaborations with celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Selena Gomez reflect the brand’s allure and status in the fashion industry.
12. J. Press
J. Press, founded in 1902 near Yale University by Jacobi Press, is an iconic American menswear brand integral to the evolution of the Ivy League Preppy fashion style.
The brand’s hallmark includes quintessential Preppy clothing items like sack suits, button-down collar shirts, and repp ties, showcasing its Ivy League roots.
J. Press has maintained a devoted following among Ivy League alums, and several U.S. Presidents, including Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, have worn J. Press garments.
Nowadays, J. Press has the status of a classic American clothing brand renowned for finely crafted clothing and accessories that embody the traditional Ivy League Preppy fashion style.
Gant, founded in 1949 by Bernard Gantmacher in New Haven, Connecticut, is a clothing brand renowned for innovations in shirts.
Famous for the button-down shirts embraced by Ivy League students in the 1960s, Gant became a staple in the Preppy wardrobe.
Gant Rugger, one of the brand’s defining lines, modernizes traditional American sportswear, ensuring Gant’s continued relevance in the Preppy style landscape.
With high-profile figures such as Ryan Reynolds donning Gant apparel, the brand preserves its reputation for marrying classic and contemporary aesthetics in its Preppy essentials.
Established in 1947, Talbots is an American clothing brand known for timeless, classic-style apparel that appeals to elegant and refined women.
Talbots’ feminine tailored blazers, high-waisted trousers, and knee-length skirts incorporate traditional Preppy style aesthetics with a twist.
Renowned for high-quality, flattering clothes for women of all ages, the brand is sported by influential figures, including former First Lady Michelle Obama.
With its focus on impeccable tailoring and quality, Talbots remains a go-to brand for women who embrace a sophisticated and polished Preppy aesthetic.
15. Kent & Curwen
Established in 1926 as a manufacturer of military and club ties, Kent & Curwen has evolved into an esteemed British menswear brand, blending classic tailoring with sportswear.
Kent & Curwen’s signature style incorporates traditional British aesthetics, such as cricket sweaters and rugby shirts, with a modern Preppy twist.
Style icon and brand co-owner David Beckham has reinvigorated Kent & Curwen’s image by showcasing the fusion of classic Preppy style with contemporary trends.
Through Beckham’s influence, Kent & Curwen has gained global recognition and is favored by those seeking to add British-inspired Preppy elegance to their wardrobe.
Founded in 1977 in London’s East End, Drake’s is celebrated for impeccable craftsmanship and dedication to creating classic men’s accessories and clothing.
Drake’s blend of British tailoring traditions and aesthetics with trendy colors and patterns delivers a distinct interpretation of the Preppy fashion style.
High-profile figures like Prince Charles and Daniel Craig have been spotted wearing Drake’s, highlighting the brand’s appeal amongst those who appreciate refined and classic attire.
As a purveyor of finely crafted ties, shirting, and tailored garments effortlessly fusing fresh British charm with classic Preppy aesthetics, Drake’s is a bastion of sartorial elegance.
17. Vineyard Vines
Established in 1998 by brothers Shep and Ian Murray, Vineyard Vines is an American clothing and accessory brand epitomizing the coastal Preppy aesthetic.
Best known for whimsical ties in vibrant colors, Vineyard Vines infuses classic Preppy clothing with a relaxed, seaside charm reminiscent of Martha’s Vineyard.
Celebrities like NFL quarterback Tom Brady have embraced the brand and its iconic whale logo.
As a go-to brand for casual, nautical-inspired Preppy attire, Vineyard Vines resonates with those seeking a laid-back yet polished style, ideal for coastal escapades and everyday elegance.
Regal in charm and doused in cultural heritage, the Preppy fashion style has cemented itself as a fashion phenomenon.
With impeccable tailoring, polished sophistication, and elegant color palettes, Preppy clothing has thrived through the shifting tides of fashion.
Celebrated for its timeless elegance, crisp lines, and sophistication, the Preppy style holds a special place in the fashion world.
Whether it’s the iconic polo shirts, plaid pattern dresses, or the beloved boat shoes, Preppy outfits have been influencing wardrobes for decades.
From the indomitable legacy of Ralph Lauren to the playful hues of Lilly Pulitzer and the British heritage of Burberry, these brands cater to any Preppy fashionista.
Whether you want to add a dash of Ivy League charm to your everyday attire or seek the perfect outfit for a yacht soiree, these Preppy clothing labels are the best.
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After years of managing hundreds of fashion brands from London's office of a global retailer, Mandy has ventured into freelancing. Connected with several fashion retailers and media platforms in the US, Australia, and the UK, Mandy uses her expertise to consult for emerging fashion brands create top-notch content as an editorial strategist for several online publications.