I'm not preppy. Not in the least. I adore simple and classic. But preppy? Nope. I can say this with a longstanding certainty since I grew up in a very traditional household in an extremely classical town and being "preppy" was not a look that I wanted since fitting in as a teen was somewhere on my agenda between continuing ballet and listening to my parents. In other words: nowhere. I made a concerted effort to stand out in a trendy, yet tasteful, way. I'm not sure if I achieved that lofty fashionable goal in my black and white striped Guess jeans or red kitten heels or starkly simple Prom dress, but I most definitely got an A+ for effort by scouring and devouring my Mom's fashion magazines, which were snuck to my room and replaced each morning so it looked like I had actually been doing my homework. But Chloe has embraced all things preppy. And I applaud her for knowing her style and letting her voice be her guide and ignoring my eye rolls just as I ignored my mother's. She and my Mom have bonded over their prep sensibilities even going so far as my Mom searching the dusty corners of the attic for her Lilly Pulitzer dresses that were worn every single Sunday night for dinner at the club in the 1970's. Unfortunately for Chloe, they were long gone. But that simple act reminded me of one aspect of the preppy lifestyle that is worth its weight in Sperry topsiders: prep never really goes out of style.
There is no such thing as "throw away fashion" in the prep world where every piece is an investment piece. So maybe I should be taking fashion advice from my daughter. Which is what I did a while ago. The top is from her mecca: Lilly Pulitzer. I bought it and a blue blazer for a trip while she was shopping, and I find that when I'm in a rush or feeling less than 100% fabulous, I default to... dare I say it... preppy? I pull on my more classic pieces since they travel well, and go with anything, from cut-offs to skinny jeans to white pencil skirts. And that is how this look came together. I wanted comfortable, unfussy, and go anywhere. Granted, it's not very flattering, but I had on the top and slides with jeans and needed something dressier for later, so pulled off the jeans and on came the skirt.
Maybe preps have known something all along: classic style is traditional in the sense that it doesn't go away and also can fit in anywhere. It may not be as exciting as always updating your look, but fashion has become such a roller coaster lately - almost too fast to keep up with season to season. I must admit it's nice to always have something in my closet to rely upon. Chloe and my Mom just may have the fashion secret I need & I may be filling in with a few more, ahem, classic pieces.