How to Mix Fashion Styles: Preppy and Professional

Preppy and professional go hand-in-hand!
Preppy and professional go hand-in-hand!

In the early 1980s, the bell bottoms and tie-dye of the '70s began to give way to a much different style of dressing -- about as opposite as you can get, in fact. As the hippies evolved into yuppies, it provided a jarring transition from the era of free love into the era of opulence. The style coming in vogue at this time was preppy, and a single book released that year had a lot to do with defining the look. "The Official Preppy Handbook" was a humorous dissection of everything prep -- the clothing, the attitude, the social dos and don'ts. The book did a great job at capturing, in a very tongue-in-cheek way, the WASP-y essence of preppydom. From the plaid skirts and shorts, to the cords and turned up collars, preps were all about reflecting their distinct fashion sense, which typically exhibited a degree of wealth.

Over the years, styles and trends inevitably change, but the preppy look has endured to a certain degree. Some of the more dated examples of preppy style have been forced from the fashion scene, but the classic preppy look, consisting of tailored button-down shirts, khaki pants and topsiders has always had a home in certain circles. Because preppy can be both casual and dressy, you can fly your prep flag in many different ways, including at the office. In fact, many offices these days allow more casual clothing so you may even be able to integrate even more of your preppy favorites. Keep reading for tips on mixing your professional look with your preppy style.

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