If you’re summering on the East Coast in the next few months – or just want to look like you are – you’re going to need to know the ins-and-outs of prep style.
This is easier than it might first appear. We’ve gathered some of the preppiest summer staples out there, so you can look like you belong in places like Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and the Hamptons.
Don’t worry – we won’t tell anyone you got it from the internet.
Navy blazer with gold buttons
- Brooks Brothers
There are fewer things preppier than gold buttons. This is for when you need to look a little bit more dressed up, but don’t want to lose your preppy edge.
We’re not huge fans of the boat shoe, but there’s no doubt that it’s a huge prep staple. They’re forgivable to wear if you’re actually going on a boat.
- Murray’s Toggery Shop
Nantucket Reds are the quintessential prep staple on the East Coast. Bought from Murray’s Toggery Shop in Nantucket and worn until the color fades to a rosy pink, they’re a prep rite of passage.
For everywhere that’s not a boat, penny loafers are the preppy footwear of choice. We recommend the beefroll style, which lends a more relaxed look.
- Vineyard Vines
Go-to-hell pants are nothing like normal pants – they’re on another plane entirely.
Crazy colors and wild patterns combine to create quite the statement piece. Extreme confidence is required.
On those chilly Vineyard nights, you’re going to need a preppy outer layer to keep warm. Enter Patagonia’s vintage-inspired fleeces, with bright colors and patterns that fit right in with the aesthetic.
- Smather’s and Branson
Needlepoint belts and prep culture go together like ice cream and apple pie. Get one that shows off your personality, or just go full Americana with this super-patriotic version.
- Brooks Brothers
Seersucker is a fabric, not a pattern. And that fabric has been linked to prep – especially southern style – practically since the dawn of time. We recommend you keep it to a single piece of your outfit, like this sporty button-down shirt.
- J Crew
One of our favorite preppy summer patterns for dress shirts is gingham, a pattern that can quickly look like a table cloth if done poorly. Keep the checks small and any color but red, and you’ll be fine.
- J. Crew
The meridian tee by Saint James is a classic prep staple. It’s weighty enough to keep you warm on colder spring nights and has an unmistakable Breton-stripe design.
President John F. Kennedy wore sunglasses made by American Optical – knock-offs of the Ray-Ban Wayfarers – and they’ve been a pillar of East Coast prep style every since.
Nothing goes better with a polo and seersucker shorts.