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SS22 menswear trends: the new preppy

By Léana Esch


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Casablanca SS22; Mans SS22; Ernest W. Baker SS22

Often associated with classic East coast style, the preppy look has been around for decades, showcasing an array of staples such as vests and cable-knit sweaters. For spring-summer 2022, the preppy style is getting an update: it’s not necessarily associated with traditional references anymore.

The seasons ahead will welcome a new kind of preppy: more casual and comfortable, it plays with contrasts and proportions. The last year and a half has put forward a need for easy layers and comfort, and the preppy wardrobe has adapted, too. The cuts are less restrictive and we’re seeing slightly oversized shapes taking over.

Brunello Cucinelli SS22; Dunhill SS22; Egonlab SS22

The trend comes in many different iterations: we’ve spotted cosy knitwear and textures, plush handles, dropped shoulders and loose fits. When it comes to colours, brands are opting for a more daring palette, too. Bright reds, deep purples, vibrant yellows and electric blues enter next summer’s wardrobes, whether it’s with total looks or pops of colours. When designers opt for more neutral hues like Brunello Cucinelli, playing with shapes and textured materials has been a compelling way to revisit the preppy style.

While suit trousers take on the straight leg style and shirts and ties are paired with comfortable shorts, shoes are getting an update, too. Loafers, derby and boat shoes are sticking around, but come with a bit of an edge. We’ve seen lug soles and utility-inspired details make their way to traditional preppy footwear.

Giorgio Armani SS22; Paul Smith SS22; Prada SS22

Next summer, classic preppy pieces such as the sweater vest and fitted shirt are paired with contrasting pieces. A smart button-down is worn with a bucket hat at Prada, a knitted vest is sported with plush mid-calf socks and sandals at Mans and outfits are accessorised with belt bags instead of leather satchels. Casablanca opted for a casual varsity jacket donned with suit shorts and loafers.

Another option to embrace the new preppy trend: leaving buttoned cuffs open for a cool, relaxed look like at Egonlab. On the other hand, Paul Smith and Ernest W. Baker chose a more classic tailoring, but uplifted it by using shades of yellow and purple to create tonal looks.

Preppy style is still an integral part of the menswear wardrobe, but for the spring-summer 2022 season, it’ll shift towards a more comfortable and laid-back style that’ll surely fit our new lifestyles.