Preppy style is hard to nail without looking too uptight. It requires careful pairing of the right colors, prints and textures without going too far into the realm of contrast. Subtle coordination and selective matching help this classic style of dress translate easily to the 21st century. In the blogging and Instagram world, Cara of Caralina Style embraces the basic theme of prep while incorporating plenty of fresh, fun colors and standalone pieces.
Cara started her side career as a fashion blogger while attending college in Pennsylvania. When she returned home full-time, she started a marketing job and still uses her blog and an associated Etsy store to share her personal fashion and other finds and unique style. Follow her at the Caralina Style blog and on Instagram @caralinastyle. The beauty to following Cara is her meticulous approach to dress spills over to her content presentation. You will often find a full breakdown of her Instagram looks on the blogs. Love a shirt? She will likely share where to find it on her website or in the photo caption itself.
Office ready pastels
White pants are a perfect way to break out of a basic black rut at the office. In a recent Instagram post, Cara paired a pink, silky blouse with a tie detail neckline over a pair of white jeans. The "Easter look" was accessorized with coordinating sunglasses, an alligator print blush purse and a darling pair of white oxfords.
While no single component of this outfit shouts preppy from the rooftops, it is an easy and extremely put together look. The subtle variations in color make it 100 percent mature. Slight texture tweaks, such as the introduction of the alligator print bag, are tempered by the coordinated shades. Emulate this look on a day when a cool, polished ensemble is needed.
When wearing white feels a bit risky given the return on investment, denim is a good way to start exploring the look. The added versatility of denim versus traditional trouser material provides the opportunity for both weekend and casual office pairings while holding up to rougher wear and stain removal.
Basic pairings with a statement bag
A scroll through Cara's Instagram shows she loves preppy style but possibly loves handbags more. Cute purses often catch the eye in her subtle pairings while oversized bags stand out against her petite frame. For a late March look, Cara paired a cream Brahmin canteen style, or round, crossbody bag with a texture-infused look of velvet and silk.
A slight venture into edgy prep is present with a pale gold velvet miniskirt with a wrapping ruffle detail. The demure mini is paired with black ankle booties and hose. A silk black blouse with polka dots tops off the look. With careful substitutions, this is a look easily recreated at bargain prices.
School may be out for the summer, but it's never too early to get some fall fashion homework done. This early spring ensemble from Cara is easily duplicated any time there is cool weather.
A dainty grey suede skirt with button details is layered over black hose and textured ankle booties. At the top, a muted green wool sweater is layered over a navy gingham shirt with a tiny bit of collar peeking out. Preppy perfection awaits. For early fall and spring, this outfit stands alone, but a favorite coat can be added when cold weather approaches.
Careful selection and layering of pieces already in the closet make this look and many of Caralina Style's masterpieces easy to replicate with a bit of thought. A number of Cara's ensembles are crafted using affordable retail options, and there are bargain alternatives to search out in place of more expensive pieces. Check out her Instagram for all the inspiration needed to style an existing wardrobe in preppy new ways or to find a few new pieces to take to the next level.