Today I am teaming up with my blogger friend, Shannon, from A Dash of Solt to give our best tips on how to dress preppy on a budget! We met on Instagram and bonded over our love of preppy and classic style, non-traditional decor and we both live in coastal towns! Even though we’ve never met in person, I know we would be lifelong friends and hope to meet IRL one day!!!
Shannon lives in Ohio, loves everything blue and white and brings a fun twist because she has the cutest cold-weather style! Something I clearly lack! Think hunter boots, puffer vests, plaids, blazers. stripes and shift dresses! We both wear our fair share of stripes and you know I will be chatting about stripes in todays post! We’ve been wanting to collaborate for a while, but you know, life got in the way! We finally set a date and knew we wanted to share about a topic we both have lots of knowledge in which is dressing preppy on a budget!
Build Your Wardrobe Staples Up
Every wardrobe needs to start with a good foundation! My style leans more toward coastal and classic with preppy mixed in. You will find me wearing more structured dresses than shift dresses and more plaid than tartan. This list below is similar to a capsule wardrobe but not as restricted. All of the items are meant to be mixed and matched together. Once you have all of the foundational pieces, it makes getting dressed easier then your able to stretch out and add more patterns and one of a kind pieces!
You guys know I love a colorful outfit more than anything. For preppy and classic staples, I love adding colors like navy, red and neutrals like ivory, tan and white. Then as you grow your wardrobe, you can add in prints and more bright colors!
Where to Shop for Preppy Pieces
Goodness I love to shop! There are so many awesome stores to shop for preppy clothes! Some of my favorites are J.Crew Factory, J.Crew, LOFT and Tuckernuck. The outfit I’m wearing above costs me less than $150! The white skinny jeans were $40 on sale from Everlane, the Sperry shoes were on sale for $50, earrings were $12, the shirt and bag were gifts and the denim jacket is probably 10 years old and only cost me $20.
If you look hard enough and keep an eye out, it’s more than possible to find affordable and quality pieces for really great prices. Gap has really great basics, J.Crew Factory has cute seasonal and striped pieces and you can find all your favorite preppy brands sold at Poshmark for 1/2 the price! Poshmark is also great for finding your favorite preppy looks from past seasons!
Budget Friendly Preppy Brands
Higher End Preppy Brands
- Vinyard Vines
- Lilly Pulitzer
- Kate Spade
- Cabana Life
- Banana Republic
- Brooks Brothers
- Sail to Sable
- Ralph Lauren
Quality Over Quantity
If there’s one rule to follow when buying preppy clothes, it would be stick to quality clothes vs. the quantity. If you buy a striped top from Target for $10 but it only lasts you 5 wears and then gets holes when you wash it, paying the $35-$50 up front a higher quality striped shirt will be better for you in the long run.
Sometimes you can get a striped t-shirt dress on sale at J.Crew for the same price as a J.Crew regular priced t-shirt dress and the quality will be better and it will end up lasting longer.
Even as a fashion blogger, I pretty much only shop sales, no matter what! You can get some amazing quality pieces for awesome prices if you know when to hit the sales. Like the Lilly Pulitzter After Party Sale! This sale happens 2x/year and it’s rare because Lilly almost never goes on sale.
J.Crew, J.Crew Factory, Gap, LOFT and Old Navy have frequent sales too! Make sure to sign up for their newsletters to be notified of any sales they are having! The more you shop at these stores, the more rewards you get that can be applied to your order. I’ve been able to get free swimsuits, shoes for $10 and dresses for under $20 with reward points!
If you are super loyal to a store, applying for their credit cards will give you free shipping every time! J.Crew and J.Crew Factory are two of my favorite stores to shop at. I have a J.Crew credit card and I get free shipping on all of my orders, monthly rewards and Birthday rewards!
Shopping in off seasons will help save money too! August/September, January/February, April/May are the best months to buy end of season pieces and then save them for the following year! I’ve done this since I was a kid and it feels like Christmas every time you put on a new shirt, swimsuit, sweater or dress months later!
Use can also ask if they accept student, teacher or military ID’s at the stores I listed above! Most of these stores will give you 10% to 15% off your entire order if you show they the ID!
Total Outfit Price: $203
J.Crew Top – $30.00
Ann Taylor Wide Leg Pants – $40.00
Soludos Shoes – $50.00
World Market Bag – $20.00
Bandana – $3.00
Earrings – $10.00
Necklace – $50.00
The top, pants and necklace are the most pricey items in this list. $50 is the cap for what I usually spend on a top, pants or dresses. It’s what works best for my budget, allows me to buy quality pieces and I can wear them over and over with multiple items! Remember, what you spend on each piece is totally up to you and will depend on your personal preference and budget.
Lots of Sunshine,