I’m spending a few days in Martha’s Vineyard to get an anthropological look at the customs of natives. Also the vacationers. And mainly I’m focusing on what they wear because, well, that’s just what I do.

So far, I’ve been a bit confused by what I’ve seen. I really expected that stereotypical prep look (seen above). Think Martha Stewart and Vineyard Vines. But what I’ve seen is that the year-round inhabitants of this quaint island dress a lot more like my parent’s neighbors in Oklahoma – kinda red neck.

It’s the vacationers who dress like Easter eggs and Stepford wives. Now, I love pastels, khakis and floral dresses as much as the next member of the Yacht Club. However, there exists a way of wearing them that doesn’t make you look too yuppy.

If you want to wear the pastels, try to make your palate include more than just pastels. Try the pink shirt with black or blue pants/shorts/skirt. Or have a darker sweater tied around your shoulders. If you can’t find some darker pieces to work in (ex: wearing a light gingham dress and yellow cashmere sweater), try changing out your pearls for some chains. Take risks; try the antique jewelry that you think never goes with anything. Or you can always switch out boat shoes for chucks.

I love madras shorts and seersucker. I can’t wait until it’s warm enough to bust those fabrics out. But if you don’t want to look too preppy, wear them with a basic t-shirt and sweater or sport coat. Just make sure it’s clean, and you probably don’t want it to have a full-front print or image.

Links to other ideas:
Fashionephemera – http://fashionephemera.blogspot.com/2009/10/trendi-true-prep.html
Teen Vogue – http://www.teenvogue.com/style/tips/fashioncrisis/2007/02/preppy_20070212

How would you tone down Preppy?

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