Is Preppy Streetwear On The Rise?


Fashion constantly changes. Designers develop trends, and customers create style; this keeps tone alive. Even though each year there are new styles, prep has never faded. Many people do not know what prep is, preppy style. According to InStyle magazineprep is, “relating to or being a style of fashion characterized especially by classic clothing and neat appearance.” This way of fashion has grown substantially in 2021- especially in teenagers and young adults. Here are some of the reasons for the occurrence.

When individuals get older, they tend to explore different avenues of fashion, usually seeking comfort and longevity from their clothes. On the other hand, teenagers have sought out clothing that falls into prep and street. Vogue magazine compiled teenagers from four major cities in the United States- New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami. They all had something in common, shopping at Ralph Lauren and Lacoste, two brands that are known to be preppy and streetwear. The teenagers bought polo shirts, sweaters, jeans, pants, and long socks. They also combined sweatpants, sneakers, and hoodies with their purchases. The combination of streetwear and preppy items created preppy streetwear- the style which captivated 2021.

Occasionally people display messages with their clothes. Either they are related to social movements, politics, or economics. Teenagers tend to be the majority of individuals who do this. In the past two years, many teenagers have written messages on their clothing or indirectly displayed messages. In a New York Times article, over 55% of teenagers in a sample of 300, have shown statements relating to social injustice and politics in their clothing. According to the NYT, approximately thirty percent of those who display messages tend to wear preppy clothes. Preppy clothes not only show style but awareness of problems within society.

Even though most people prefer clothes for comfort rather than style, preppy streetwear will always stand the test of time. Designers such as Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers, Eddie Bauer, Tommy Hilfiger, and Lacoste- create preppy attire while adapting to modern times. They integrate streetwear into their clothes and voicing messages against social injustice in their clothes and other forms of awareness. Being only the start of 2022, it is unclear what style will captivate runways and audiences of all ages. With that in mind, I believe it may be preppy streetwear due to its longevity, classic look, and the message it displays in society.