Saturday 16th December 2017
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Some preppy classics I return to every fall

Something about this time of year makes me want to dress all classic and collegiate, or just to mix pieces that are classic and collegiate in with edgier items. I always think that women who can pull of this style look so cool, like they’ve got better things on their minds. I especially feel that way about my Barbour Beadnell jacket, and its less expensive cousin, the J. Crew downtown field jacket (which I do not own, but appreciate).

A V-neck sweater looks cute with a striped tee or button down, or even on its own if you can stand the itch factor. This one is exceedingly well-priced, and delightfully slouchy.

I bought these khakis over the summer—I think the model here is quite tall, because I’m 5’6″ and they hit me at the ankle—and wear them even as I type. They’re a perfect hue (not everyone gets that right) and so comfortable, and look cute with clogs or boots.

I like this button-down shirt as an alternative to a collared one, and I like to wear it buttoned low.

This navy blazer is from the Ines de la Fressange line at Uniqlo, and it is so good and French-preppy.

You can’t ever go wrong with a striped tee from Saint James—they’ve got a satisfying heft, and the cut is really good.

Posted on October 10th, 2017 20 Comments

20 Responses

  1. Stakra says:

    Hi Kim,
    Great post. I’d been looking for a stylish wool blazer.
    If you’re still taking suggestions for posts, I’d love to see one on long winter skirts. Remember the Pendelton wool blanket skirts? I know midis are trending but there’s something special about the drape and comfort in a long warm skirt when done right.

  2. Liz says:

    Love the pants. They would be cropped on me as well – I’m 5′ 8″ but with a very short torso. Maybe you sized up.

  3. Rachel says:

    And, yet again, another purchase due to GOACA*. I am powerless before an under-$100 navy blue blazer that’s got a bit of something interesting going on.

    *Vince leather jacket splurge, No. 6 clogs, too many returned Everlane items to count, J. Crew cotton shirt, dry shampoo, COH jeans …

    • Stella says:

      Returned everlane ? Why?

      • Rachel says:

        Writing this response I suddenly remembered in a flash of synapse connection there was one item I didn’t return! The City Anorak. (Also in navy blue.)

        Other than that, as much as I desperately want them to work my Everlane purchases are never Just Right. Sometimes it’s the fit, sometimes it’s the quality of the fabric.

        • Debra says:

          I second your comments on Everlane. I have a small zip-around wallet that’s good. Other than that, returned everything I ever ordered due to fit. You can stare at the models they show prancing around until your eyeballs turn to dust/make adjustments for your height/weight and when you get the item, it just doesn’t fit right. I’m 5’10” 165 lbs. and I just can’t get their stuff to fit me right.

        • DeDe says:

          Same problem here. Everlane’s stuff just doesn’t work with my body at *all*.

        • moi says:

          Two years ago I traipsed around Germany during a very wet spring in that Everlane Anorak, which I bought at the last minute in a panic, and it was indispensable. Great product. I also like their Go Weave cropped wool trousers (a fraction of the price of Paul Smith’s, and they look almost the same), and Modern Loafers, but have had problems with the cashmere pilling after just the first wear.

        • Mamavalveeta03 says:

          Nope. Not for me, either. I’ve got one sweater I kept, the cotton square crew, which only works because I layer a tee or long white tank under it. Could we get past the era of “CROPPED”?!?

    • Darcy says:

      Everlane never looks good on me. And the few pieces I’ve kept either the fabric pilled like made or I regretted the purchase due to poor fit. Actually, I was super excited when they first started up and bought three linen button-downs (two for husband, one for me) and right away the buttons were popping off like mad (still do). I get that a glitch can happen, but I had to go through all this stuff to get ELane to help me. Had to take photos of the shirts and buttons, etc, to show I wasn’t making it up I guess. Finally they have few to no vegan options. Overall mostly I don’t shop with them.

    • c.w. says:

      I’m very picky about what Everlane pieces I purchase and have had pretty good luck. Their fairly recent cotton v-neck sweaters work great on me and seem to be high quality. I also have one of their silk boxy short sleeve button ups in mint and it is outstanding. Their shoes don’t fit me at all and I’m on the fence about their jeans––I haven’t worn them enough to have a good opinion.

  4. Jessica says:

    I love this look too, but I never get that “edgy” part right. Instead, I end up looking a bit more preppy than I’d really like (not that there’s anything wrong with that style!). Any GOACA readers with styling suggestions? I’d especially love to know how any of you style your field jacket, preppy blazer, or striped shirts without feeling like your cos-playing as a New England prep school student.

    • Callie says:

      An old pair of cropped levis, a debbie harry style striped shirt and some vans or loafers? I would love to be coquettish in a barbour jacket like Alexa Chung but I am in my late 30s and am just not! my barbour jacket has a vintage 70s feminist pin on the collar and I sling it over linen safari dresses and jeans/50s sweatshirts and somehow don’t feel like my dad (who has worn his jacket since I was a little girl) I have always worn sort of tomboy style mixed with prep mixed with mod and as I get older try not to dress so kid-ish and I think having the preppier pieces mixed in helps

    • Darcy says:

      TBH, the best thing a person can do is be from an ethnic group not typically associated with prep schools. Then, it looks like a style choice. Otherwise it ends up looking like the outfit is possibly for IRL. I try this stuff on and I look like a snooty, country club-er… I’m not, but it doesn’t matter because my Scottish genes go that way.

    • Mamavalveeta03 says:

      I throw on my “FEMINIST” sweatshirt with chinos or cargo pants, Converse or loafers. I was actually complimented on this outfit a few days ago by a 20-something woman! I chalked it up as a win for feminism. 😉

      • Dana D says:

        Funny…I have one of the Everlane “human woman” shirts, which I will wear under my jacket and mimic your suggestions here, Val!

        Prep schools are not so much here in California, so maybe that is why I never feel that way in my Beadnell. I’ll admit, I can’t do the navy blazer thing. Don’t know exactly why…

        Hit or miss with Everlane for me as well…but I’ll bet they get better over time, as their business model is good for all of us. I love my blue silk shirt from there, and, of course, the aforementioned t shirt…

    • y.k. says:

      it’s all in the accessories! leather cord jewelry, beads,doc marten type boots. & the hair – something messy & layered.
      although i guess that’s a certain type of prep student too

  5. scone says:

    American Classic . A great phrase, avoiding the (sometimes) negative connotations of “preppy.” FWIW, I think of American Classic as a baseline– then I add in other stuff, maybe something California or Rock ‘n Roll. It’s a versatile style that, as the book suggests, can be pulled off at any age.

  6. Jessica says:

    It’s me again, and I’m just here to say thanks for all the suggestions! I do think shoes and hair styling might make a difference here. You guys are great!