Preppy styles are characterized by neat, clean matching clothes, like the uniforms that might be worn while attending preparatory school. While the preppy styles from the ’80s featured bright colors and soft pastels, the ’90s preppy style was much more conservative. Some might find the girl’s preppy fashions of the late ’90s to be a little bland, but in its own way, this fashion movement was a rebellion against the flamboyant punk-inspired ’80s style and the messy anti-fashion statements of the early-to-mid ’90s grunge era.

Things You'll Need


Iron your khakis, shirt and/or sweater to completely eliminate wrinkles.

Put on a pair of well-fitting low-rider khaki pants. You want the pants to look casual and comfortable without being baggy.

Put on your fitted shirt and button it up. Leave the top two buttons undone. You want the color of your shirt to match your khaki pants. If your khakis are black, wear a white or brightly colored shirt. If your khakis are white, wear a black or brightly colored shirt. For any other color of khakis, stick with a white shirt to avoid clashing colors. Alternately, put on an argyle sweater or, better yet, an argyle vest which you can wear over your shirt.

Put on a pair of chunky heeled platform shoes or canvas sneakers. The ’70s-inspired platform heels will be more of a ’90s throwback, and the canvas sneakers will give more of a casual look.

Relax and completely straighten your hair, if it isn’t naturally pin-straight. Consider making an appointment at the salon to get highlights for your hair, as this was a popular hairstyle choice that complemented ’90s preppy fashion.

References and Resources

90's 411: Black, White and Khaki