You have a signature look, sweaters, polo shirts and tidy jeans or khakis. But you also have a budget and getting that preppy look without a lot of money can be hard. Luckily, there are some things you can do to look preppy on a budget.


Spend most of your budget on quality staple pieces. Buy one expensive polo shirt to go beneath sweaters, one pair of expensive pants and one pair of preppy, slip-on shoes. While these may cost more, they’re versatile to be used in many outfits and if you buy quality, they’ll last for years.

Shop sales. Never pay full price for your clothing. Go to outlets and thrift stores and check eBay plus your favorite stores when they are having sales. Sign up for email alerts and mailings for when your favorite stores are having sales. Go to the websites of your favorite stores as perhaps there are coupons you can print out.

Accessorize your outfit with cheap pieces. A string of cheap pearls, cubic zirconium studs or small hoop earnings looks about the same as their expensive counterparts.

Make sure your clothes are clean and in good repair. Nothing says the opposite of preppy than stained and ripped clothing.

Go through your parent’s, aunt’s, uncle’s and older sibling’s closets. The preppy look has come back in, meaning people used to dress preppy. Perhaps they have pieces you can borrow and adapt with a good tailor to a more modern preppy look.