Street style – Preppy

Celebrities Visit "Late Show With David Letterman" - May 7, 2013

Zooey Deschanel is the current queen of prep. But what is the definition of ‘Preppy’?

‘Preppy – like ivy league, this is a reading of American students’ dress coding. However, in this instance the look is younger – high school rather than university – and more evocative of the 1950’s. Preppy style is a mixture of smart casual skirts and trousers, and often worn with good quality knitwear (sometimes a twinset) and the ubiquitous deck shoe.’ (Hebdidge 1979)

She is always immaculately dressed, never any unnecessary skin on show and clearly understands the subculture she represents. Not just in this look but day to day she wears cute cardigans, sensible shoes and sometimes a string of pearls. All very Gossip Girl. Maybe Blair Waldorf is her style icon!

But subcultures are usually to rebel against conformity and conventionality. Preppy is somewhat different. College students often feel a great need to conform and fit in so this is why the preppy subculture began. (Banks and De La Chapelle 2011)

Does Zooey feel like she needs to belong?

image from:

HEBDIDGE, D. 1979. Subculture: the meaning of style

BANKS, J & DE LA CHAPELLE, D. 2011. Preppy: Cultivating  Ivy Style


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