All of my favorite TV characters have preppy style. (See: Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl, Hanna Marin on Pretty Little Liars, and Charlotte York on Sex and the City.) And for as long as I can remember, I’ve been trying to emulate their preppy style to varying results. But after years of practice, I’ve determined the nine key elements to prepping up your wardrobe—which you may have to do every once in a while, too. Maybe your boss will invite you to a fancy country club where members love talking about their summer houses in Cape Cod. Maybe your best friends will suddenly develop an interest in polo. Maybe you’ll meet Blair Waldorf herself, and the only way she’ll befriend you is if you wear plaid. I’m kidding, of course, but if you are looking to make your style a little more preppy, it’s not that hard. Below are the main tricks, demonstrated by some of your favorite celebrities.
I love Victoria Beckham‘s here. Buy a similar collared shirt or a dickey, a false shirt-front that’s easy to layer. I bet you’ll suddenly have a craving for caviar.
Sure, florals aren’t groundbreaking—but they are essential to any preppy look. Just look at Jane Krakowski‘s dress here. The pattern changes her look from every day to, “Sorry, I only hang out with girls in top-tier sororities.”