Muffy and Buffy, move over. This fall, there is a new preppy princess in town. And she is much more edgy than her sisters ever were, breaking out with a new way to wear all those classic preppy must-haves and taking them to a new level -- all with a touch of tough love. Let's just say there's a new twist to those traditional preppy fashion favorites. Fashion designers had fun with the old classics, exaggerating the details to give them a whole new take on the country-club basics.
So if you're a preppy kind of gal at heart, what should you do to ramp up your style this fall? Here are some of the latest trends:
--Start with your jackets. Every prepster has a navy blue blazer, but it's time to take it up a notch. The new varsity jackets this fall have been emblazoned with luxurious details and trims. Haute designer Jil Sander even has one in her fall collection retailing for almost $2,000. How's that for stressing the trust fund?
--Go for the mix. It's time for the new preppies to go a little wild. Mix those striped T-shirts with plaids, argyles and checks. The newest patterns are big and bold. Rock out those classic patterns by mixing them all together. Stick to the same color pattern and you've got a winning combination.
--Don't give up your monograms. Just trade them in for the new tongue-in-cheek looks with all-over letters that spoof the logo craze that most "real" preppies would never be caught wearing. Designer Stella McCartney may have done this best with her separates covered in embroidered initials. Another great logo find: the suede flats at Louis Vuitton embellished with initials. Or go for your own initials on signet rings or necklaces -- and personalize anything you wear.
--Cardigan sweaters. Let's face it; this is not just a preppy favorite fashion statement. We all love these versatile basics. Even in the summer, cardigan sweaters -- the newest ones are cropped bolero style -- are a great way to top off sleeveless dresses. For fall, watch them continue to be a wardrobe essential and an interesting way to add layers of color to patterned pants and skirts.
--Think more and more layers. The preppy look of the past has generally been clean and neat. But this fall, fashion designers have amped up the style factor to the tried-and-true classics: Think layered argyle vests over long buttoned-up oxford shirts, teamed with short pleated skirts and skinny denim leggings.
--Penny loafers anyone? You know preppies have come of age when you get designers such as Oscar de la Renta dressing up loafers with high heels and trimming them with mink accents. The loafer indeed gets a remake this fall. The casual flat goes to new heights in style.
--Get in the trenches. Another popular preppy piece, the trench coat never seems to go out of style. But this fall, trade in the classic khaki version for a bold, colorful look or one in a creative print.
--Pearls, girls. Whether they're from your grandmother's jewelry box or a long string of faux beads, pearls still can put a little bit of class into your outfit. But instead of wearing them with your tweed suit, try mixing them with distressed denim jeans and a metallic leather jacket. Pearls never had it so tough!
Sharon Mosley's weekly column, "In Fashion," can be found at creators.com.