fashion women

Trend alert: how to wear Collegiate

We do love a ‘back to school’ theme at this time of year – as the leaves start to turn and the Pumpkin Spice Lattes appear in our fave coffee shops, we can’t help but picture ourselves in preppy blazers and football jerseys, tailored trousers and shiny brogues, preferably strolling through campus at some prestigious American college on our way to an Art History class. Perfection.

Ok, so the setting may be a daydream, but that American Collegiate style is hot right now and it’s super easy to get the look. Think Gossip Girl (especially the new Reboot!), Gilmore Girls, Clueless and Cruel Intentions – 90s prep with a fresh, modern edge. Here’s how!

Look 1: pretty prep

For a soft, feminine take on the preppy trend, look for delicate details and silhouette-enhancing shapes. Go to Cher from Clueless for inspo – all those two-piece skirt and blazer combos paired with block heel courts and super straight hair. Gorgeous!


This flippy pleated miniskirt will look fab paired with this soft wool jumper with Peter Pan collar. Add braided leather heels for some sophistication, pearl drop earrings and finish off with an adorable leopard print beret, worn at a jaunty angle, of course.


Look 2: tough and preppy

If you’re into a more androgynous style, the preppy tend can be toughened up with sharp tailoring and clean lines. Jenny Humphrey in the original Gossip Girl series is a good reference for this look – think rocked-up suits, sharp shirts and lashings of eyeliner.


Start with a pair of classic cigarette trousers – we love this striking tan shade. An oversized striped shirt is key to this look, but you can add shape and warmth with a knitted vest. Doc Marten brogues are just the ticket for stomping the streets of NYC (or Milton Keynes, whatever) and a jewelled belt adds some glam.


Look 3: classic American prep

The most authentic version of the preppy trend is the classic American take – checked prints, logo sweaters and of course, a dash of denim. We’re going for the quintessential American collegiate girl here – Rory Gilmore, with her Harvard t-shirts, loose blazers and swishy ponytail, is perfection.


When it comes to American denim, there’s one brand that encompasses the vibe better than any other – Levi’s, obvs! These high waisted, loose fitting tapered jeans have that 90s feel that’s key to the collegiate look. Add a college-style logo sweater (it’s not quite Harvard, but it has the style!) and some timeless black brogues. Accessorise with a printed scarf tied at the neck and a cross-body bag by another American prep stalwart, Ralph Lauren. To complete the look, throw on this oversized houndstooth check blazer coat and leave your hair loose and tousled. Next stop, Stars Hollow!


Look 4: country club prep 

A slightly different take on the Collegiate trend looks towards traditional American country clubs for inspiration. If you’ve ever seen an episode of Gossip Girl set in The Hamptons, you’ll get the reference – games of golf, finger food and endless champagne, all in a lush green setting.


This cute gingham playsuit is spot on – sweet and stylish with a modern edge, it’ll look great paired with dainty gold accessories like this Radley watch, some simple gold studs and this super sparkly hairclip. Finish off with these flat monochrome mules and a slick of red lipstick. Cheers!


Find the full Collegiate range here, or get more inspiration with our styling tips for pairing dresses with heels.

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