I’m not going to lie, I grinned when Zegna sent me photos to write about their take on preppy style. Here’s why: The outfit comprising of a navy blazer, button-down shirt, knit tie and rolled khaki pants looked so similar to my daily uniform that I was immediately sold. Call it Ivy League, call it schoolboy style, call it the influence of the wealthy North East, but regardless of which way you spin it, prep is perennially cool. After all, menswear is at its very best when it’s timeless. Here, Ermenegildo Zegna offers a simple way to dip a toe in the water – start with a red and cream striped navy cardigan, add a white button-down, a silk knit tie and some slim cropped pants; and on the weekend, try swapping the shirt out for a slim fit polo and you’ll be good to go.
1. The word preppy conjures images of tanned, blonde All-American students in pastel colours lounging around on grass lawns. But I always think imperfection is key – err on the side of flawed. Wear your pants till they’re threadbare and grazed, leave your shirt unironed, and throw on a pair of canvas sneakers instead of the typical leather loafers.
2. Pants make an outfit. I’m a firm believer that if your pants fit well and look great, everything else will fall into place. The best preppy looks are centred around a good pair of slim khaki, navy, Nantucket-red or sky blue cotton pants. Length is everything – roll them up above the ankle or have your tailor cuff them a little on the shorter side. A naked ankle is essential.
3. On that same note, too many pastels will leave you looking like a bowl of Fruit Loops, so keep your pinks, pale yellows and greens to an absolute minimum – if you must wear them, go one at a time. Men look better in navy! (In my extremely humble opinion.)
4. You can never own too many white button down shirts, or softly tailored cotton blazers.
5. Preppy isn’t reserved to the Summer months. As soon as winter rolls round, invest in some fine gauge cashemere sweaters, corduroy blazers, grey flannel pants and a tan duffel coat and you can’t go wrong.
This article originally appeared on zegna.com.
I LIKE YOU!