Happy Fourth of July weekend!
Summer is full of occasions that call for special dressing. From baby showers to BBQs, bring on the red, white, and blue and get ready to sail into high-summer season!
These classic colors translate nautical when styled in a clean-cut, polished fashion -- prep style at its core. This look calls for clean lines, high quality textiles, close fits and modest cuts. Add on few collegiate-style trademarks and you’re ready for the yacht club.
Cultivating a seaside preppy look requires a few principal details. More than a pastel polo or boat shoes, you want to present an aura of a privileged lifestyle. Anyone can pull these pieces together (privileged-elite or not) and they serve well for occasion dressing.
A good place to start is with your basic solids colors: white, black, navy, beige, as well as lime-green, yellow, or pink. Steer clear of anything too flashy, complicated or revealing. Oxford shirts, ballet flats, cable knits and tea length skirts are all your friends.
Continue building from there. Classic prints in gingham, seersucker, or (my favorite) stripes all are distinct was to pepper an outfit with a dapper feel. Drape sweaters, show off monograms, and balance out the stuffy with pearls and big bows. Lastly, don’t slouch. Stand up straight and carry yourself with an air of confidence. Need some inspiration? Look no further than lady liberty.
Know the places to shop like J Crew, Ralph Lauren, Lilly Pulitzer, (which just oozes summer time in the Hamptons) Lands End, and your local high-end shopping boutiques. Mirror old-school style icons like Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy who made this style what it is today. Want a more modern take? Kate Middleton, Gwyneth Paltrow and Blair Waldrof (aka Queen B) are all perfect examples of how to wear this look, prim and proper.
Preppy outfits not only look adorable, but are also comfortable to wear. Acquaint yourself with the shift dress. Nothing screams nautical prep like a New England inspired navy and red trim dress. Girlie, preppy and sophisticated.
A shift dress will carry you through interviews, nice lunches and dinners, business casual functions, hot dates, and so much more. The key to keeping this piece from looking stale is to freshen it up with well-balanced accessories. I paired mine with dark tortoiseshell sunglasses and an oversize clutch. Red-orange heels add a touch of whimsy, and play off the gold red trim back zipper. Try pairing one with Mary Jane heels, a long necklace and an easy up-do for a date night look. Also, don’t be afraid of pattern! You can always tone it down with a blazer or cute cardigan. This style should hit right at or slightly above the knee. Shift dresses are ideal for formal occasions because they're thick and structured, creating a flattering silhouette. Conservative enough for proper functions, short enough for play!
I found mine at local shopping boutique, Ragazza. High-end specialty shops can offer a huge selection of clothing boasting this aesthetic. Clean stripes, bold hues, upscale fabrics and bright trims.
Once you find your own swanky little number, hit the town happenings and parade your own shift dress looking flawless for every and any summer event.
Hope you and your family have the happiest of holidays!
Thoughts? Do you identify with this style? Do you own any of the items from this post? What else would you add? Sound off by leaving a comment below!
Dress: Ragazza Boutique Shoes: Nine West (old, similar here) Bag: Kenneth Cole Reaction (old) Sweater: Madewell Earrings: Vintage Chanel Sunglasses: Vans Watch: Michael Kors Bow: Forever 21 Lips: Stila Beso Nails: NYC Red Velvet Rope
A special thank you to Ragazza Boutique for sponsoring this post!