Get Perfectly Preppy This Summer

by Mary Avant

When you hear the word preppy, do images of popped-collar polo shirts; Lilly Pulitzer sundresses; seersucker skirts, shorts, and suits; and the entire cast of Southern Charm come to mind? If so, then it may be time to expand your view of classic, preppy style — especially come summer, when your chances of drinking mint juleps while taking in the local polo match or hitting the horse races at least double. (Or, you know, when you want to look perfectly preppy at your weekly poolside party or the occasional fancy barbecue.)

Fortunately for us all, we don’t have to look far for guidance and inspiration on how to channel a classically preppy sense of style into a totally on-trend ensemble that looks anything but stiff and stuffy. And it’s all thanks to Saturday’s annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in New Jersey, where A-list stars like Lupita Nyong’o, Julianne Moore, Olivia Munn, and a handful of other lovely ladies sported a slew of preppy-chic styles that are perfect for everything from summer soirees to a stroll around town.

Ready to inject a polished, preppy vibe into your seasonal wardrobe? Just follow along with these five easy ideas for doing just that:

1. Go black and white from head to toe like Lupita Nyong'o

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It doesn't get more classic than a palette of black and white, and Nyong'o's outfit shows you the easiest way to take the color combo from basic to breathtakingly preppy, thanks to her tiered and patterned sundress, matching mini bag, platform wedges, structured sunhat, and oversized pearl earrings. Seal the deal like the stylish star with a subtly smoky eye and glossy pink lip.

2. Choose a minimalist style in a classic hue like Julianne Moore

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Navy is every preppy style–lover's dream, and in a minimalist, defined-waist, halter cut, it couldn't be more refined and regal. Get a look like Moore's with a monochromatic maxi (bonus points for pretty pockets!), oversized sunnies, casually sleek locks, and the slightest hint of color on your lips.

3. Pair a little white dress with a little bit of lace like Olivia Munn

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A little lace dress may scream "delicate" and "feminine," but it also takes on a delightfully preppy air when worn with a collared, white shirt dress, woven box clutch, ankle-strap wedges, and the perfect bright pink lip.

4. Try a monochromatic jumpsuit like Behati Prinsloo

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Go for a more laid-back look this season with a slouchy summer jumpsuit in a cool shade of gray or cream, which looks even prettier with with a pair of strappy sandals and a strand of polished pearls.

5. Top it all off with super-chic accessories like Dakota Johnson

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No preppy outfit is complete without a few classic accessories, whether it's a pair of '60s-style sunnies, strappy Mary-Jane flats, or a ribbon-trimmed straw hat.