Preppy clothing has been around since the 1950s and continues to be a dominant part of fashion today. Regardless of the decade or the prevailing fashion trends, some iteration of preppy style has long graced both the runways and the streets. The 1960s were no exception. Though the decade was more well known for its psychedelic and bright sartorial moments, preppy fashion was actually at its high point in the 1960s.
As is typically of style, in the 1960s preppy clothing was associated with upper-class youth. Madras plaid was very popular during this time, as was the practice of meticulously matching accessories to one’s outfit. Over-sized, fuzzy sweaters were also popular with the upper-class youth during this time.
The Sailor Top
Since the preppy style originated in the northeastern United States, where sailing is a popular activity among the upper class, it only makes sense that striped sailor tops were a popular look in the 1960s. Typically featuring navy or red stripes and adorned with gold buttons on the sleeves and cuffs, this top was a staple for anyone seeking the preppy look.
Preppy style gets its name from where it originated — prep schools. It is no surprise, then, that a blazer is one of the cornerstones of preppy style. In the 1960s, blazers were legitimate uniforms from prep schools, and were also a bit more casual, perhaps even borrowed from a boyfriend or brother. The best blazers had some kind of school crest or embellishment on them.
Button-Ups and Khakis
The classic button-up shirt and a crisp pair of khakis were a crucial part of the preppy look in the 1960s, for both men and women. Often both of these items were in pastel hues. Pale pinks and greens were particularly popular.
References and ResourcesKids News Room: The Groovy 60s
Burda Style: The Official Preppy handbook
Huffington Post: Ivy League Style: 'Take Ivy' Japanese Love Affair With 1960s Preppy Ivy League Style