Your Cheat Sheet to Summer Prep

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The sun is out, people are barbecuing, and there are long days at the beach ahead. Wherever you’re planning to spend the summer, you still need to look your best. Ladies love a man that can look well put-together while staying relaxed during the long hot months, and we’re here to show you how todo it.

First, you need to know the ins-and-outs of prep style. Whether you vote conservative, hunt and play cricket, or just happen to like the overall aesthetic, pulling it off naturally and skillfully requires information you won’t find on the high street. With its origins in northeastern American university wear, preppy fashion has come to define the United States’ upper and upper-middle classes. It’s also known as Ivy League style: the defining campus uniform of prestigious academic institutions such as Harvard, Princeton, and Yale.

From the restricted academic niche to the international elite, later to reach all market levels, the American Prep look has now gone global. It’s easy to emulate, and, despite the controversy, done right, flatters men of all ages and shapes, suits different lifestyles and is widely accepted.

The Key Preppy Pieces for the Summer:

  1. Chinos. Focus on them and forget about jeans. They’re OK in classic khaki and navy, but you can take the concept further if you opt for red, bold greens/blues or yellow. Extra bright, unusual colors or even neon shades are the statements, ‘extra mile’ alternatives that will set you apart.
  2. Polo Shirts. They're must-haves when it comes to building a complete preppy wardrobe, so don't shy away. For summer, colors are going bigger and bolder with men’s fashion lines carrying more shades than we’ve seen before. Step out of the comfort zone and go for a bright coral or lime green for your summer polos.
  3. Button down shirt. The ubiquitous oxford button-down shirt is appropriate to wear to the office, of course, and to other formal occasions when a polo shirt just won't cut it. Again, don't be afraid to wear colors - those pink and yellow button downs are just made for the preppy dresser in the summer.
  4. Boat shoes. A refined pair of boat shoes is a great preppy shoe. Sophisticated and hard wearing they are the perfect shoe to have during the summer weather. Wear it casually with a t-shirt or dress it up with slim fit chinos and a button up shirt. They’re perfectly acceptable footwear in most summer business casual settings, and definitely my go-to for any summer date or jaunt.

These four essentials will set you well on your way to nailing traditional American Prep style, but it’s important to build on your summer preppy wardrobe with more individual choices.  

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