Sunday, September 20

ivy league: a guide to preppy fashion

As a style-conscious nerd, Ivy League Schools are naturally are a dream of mine. Did I mention that Northwestern U.S. is my favorite place in the entire world? And believe me, I've been to a lot of places. Ahh, one day, one day! This fall, my favorite makeup line Bobbi Brown came up with Ivy League Collection, which includes rich, dark green/brown eye pencils and shadows and nude, glossy chunky lip pencils, and presents an overall clean but impressive look with elegant, subdued ivy green smoky eyes and glossy lips. It was clearly inspired by the clean-cut, preppy, very WASP Ivy League college student look, and also, I think by the colors and textures of New England area.

Ivy League look is not one of the main trends this fall, but some Ivy League inspired items such as oxford heels & flats, badged collegiate blazers, tartan patterns, Ivy greens are so hot this season! There's a collage for you I made of season's Ivy League-esque items (click to enlarge).

I believe that Gossip Girl is responsible for starting the whole trend, particularly Blair.

Though she didn't get the Yale acceptation she literally built her life on, Blair still has an Ivy League inspired preppy style.

Remember New Haven Can Wait ,the episode Blair, Serena, Dan, Nate and Chuck go to Yale? For insipation, look no further. Even Serena got a little bit out of her boho chic style and went for Ivy chic by putting some stripey Ralph Lauren badge jacket and Equestrian boots.

This super-elite WASPy look  has some key items: some would be contrast trims, blazers, oxford shirts, loafers, khakis, badges,oxford shoes, loafers, polo shirts, cropped pants, cardigans, college sweaters, etc. Color scale mainly consists of hunter green, camel, navy blue pale blue & white (especially for shirts), red (for details),  marroon, and stripe, tartan and tweed are the main patterns.

Some quintessential brands would be J.Press, Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren.

This style is highly associated with sports such as crew, horseback riding, lacrosse, track, polo, rugby, football, golf, sailing, skiing, squash and tennis. Particularly, equestrian or polo inspired items are a very essential part!

Northeastern America has this very essential American feeling to me, and Ivy League schools are mostly colonial colleges, having their histories almost as long as the nation's. So, to fully understand this style and tradition in general, I recommend you to read a little bit of American history, especially colonial period... It will just give you the feeling. I have this one and there's no better place to begin. In a completely different note, mine is a really old hardcover edition with a rich, dark green cover that used to belong to my grandpa... Oh, just how nice it is!
Here's a collage of some looks for inspiration:

So, how to adapt it to your style? If you weren't born into this lifestyle, it would be, um, a bit ridiculous to embrace a full-on Ivy League preppy look. At best, it's a nice inspiration to play up. And these items are very elegant additions to your own style. If you're confused, here's a couple polyvore looks I did that might help:

I think the slouchy, torn, light wash boyfrien jeans and the contrast trim, badge collegiate blazer balance each other very nicely.

Trendy and girly. Reminds me of a tea party. I like the overall silhouette very much here. I tried to add the preppy touch through accesorizing. The top adds a slight 80's rock touch, which is big this season, but it's not overexposure to rocker style, and still complements the outfit.

This one is the most casual and classic of the bunch. The sweater, the oxford shirt, the tote, the oxford flats, the cropped jeans are all parts of this style, but I tried to play them up a little bit.

here's a couple links for inspiration:

And lastly, I think you must see this... I'm obsessed:

with preppy love.

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