Summer Style Inspiration

There’s four types of preppy, summer styles I like to pull from for my summer wardrobe. All these styles work interchangeable to keep my summer looks fresh.


Coastal Style

This may be the most common when you think of preppy, summer style as its a look that takes its cues from the east coast.

Origins: East-Coat, New England Area

Key Pieces: White denim, critter shorts, boat shoes, ball caps, nantucket reds, needlepoint, and anything with stripes.

Brands: J Crew / Vineyard Vines / Kiel James Patrick / Sperry / Port Royal Outfitters


lake life

Lake Life

Like summer camp all grown up, this type of preppy style combines classic staples with a “Moonrise Kingdom” influence. This style is more outdoorsy and emphasizes funcionality of items.

Origins: Maine, also northern U.S. around the Great Lakes

Key Pieces: Summer plaids, heavy-weight chino shorts, long sleeve graphic tees, chambray work shirts, & fleece pullovers for cooler nights.

Brands: LL Bean / Great Lakes Clothing Co. / Woolrich /  Patagonia / Eddie Bauer



palm beach

Palm Beach / Southern Prep

Both fun and bright, this classic style believes life is too short to wear boring clothes.

Origins: Florida, the south in general

Key Pieces: Lilly Pulizter dresses, Jack Rogers sandals, seersucker anything, and monograms

Brands: Lilly Pulizter / Lauren James / Jack Rogers / J Crew Outlet (tends to have brighter pieces than its counterpart)

all american

All-American Style

Tends to be a combination of all of the above styles, with slightly more nods to the classic items that are truly Americana. Pulls from retro styles and patterns, such as gingham, and is loyal to the heritage of favorite brands.

Origins: America in general, but more Northeast and Midwest

Key Pieces: Denim, cable-knit sweaters, oxford cloth shirts, chambray

Brands: Ralph Lauren / Tuckernuck /  Levi’s / Brooks BrothersTommy Hilfiger / Land’s End


Like the last style, I like to blend all of these styles into one wardrobe for the summer. It all bases from classic, American style that only gets better with time.


Which style is your go-to?


12 Comments on Summer Style Inspiration

  1. Monica
    June 7, 2016 at 11:09 am (7 years ago)

    This is such an awesome way to think about our summer wardrobes! Great way to organize the staples. OH and the Brooks Brothers x KJP photo in the last photo collage? Love. I started following the KJP brand back in 2012, so its awesome to see some of those faces again!!

  2. Rox-Anne
    June 8, 2016 at 10:00 am (7 years ago)

    I agree with combining the styles to keep your summer wardrobe fresh. I love the All-American style, but love getting a Southern prep on hot summer days, and having grown up on a lake in Canada my weekends usually consist of lake life styles. There are many coastal styles that I have been able to integrate into my workweek wardrobe but I may have gone too far last Friday when I wore white jeans and a blue J.Crew striped oxford and everyone in the office kept asking where I parked my sailboat 😀 xx Rox-Anne,

    • thedressdecoded
      June 8, 2016 at 10:28 am (7 years ago)

      LOL I totally get that last line! Even in the fall when I dress more equestrian I get a lot of comments about riding horses everywhere.

      It’s definitely cool to see how all the preppy styles came about and evolved and how easy it is to integrate them all into one wardrobe! I’m with you – I dress a variety of these ways depending on the day of the week or what I’m up to.

      Thanks for reading!

  3. kathrine
    June 8, 2016 at 2:29 pm (7 years ago)

    Great tips!!
    I have a question for you, as you are one of my greatest source to fashion inspiration. I am attending a baptism in july and I would love if you could help me put togheter a well thought through outfit! Do you have any ideas? We are first attending the church then a family gathering. We will be inside the hole time, so the outfit does not depend so heavily on the weather. I think I have quite a similiar hight and bodytype as yours, even the hair length is about yours. However, I have brown hair 🙂

    Also, a second question: What is your opinion on leather rucksacks? I am considering to buy one for fall, to use when I am attending my lectures on the university. Rucksacks is more practical because of the books, but I think it can be tricky to find one I like the appearance of.

    Best regards,

    • thedressdecoded
      June 9, 2016 at 9:43 am (7 years ago)

      Thank you so much! You are so sweet!

      I think for an event that includes a church service and being around family you want to dress more on the modest side, which is why I recommend a dress with a higher neckline and would layer a pretty necklace over it. Here’s options – option one, option two, option three I’ve rounded up. I would do something similar to that – something not too fancy but also not too casual.

      I am all for practicality! It this just a leather backpack? If so, I think it would be very classic looking and go well with your daily outfits. You can’t go wrong with leather!

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

  4. kathrine
    June 8, 2016 at 2:30 pm (7 years ago)


  5. kathrine
    June 8, 2016 at 2:30 pm (7 years ago)


    So sorry, was in quite a rush when I was writing!

  6. kathrine
    June 9, 2016 at 11:42 am (7 years ago)

    Thank you so much for such a quick answer! I hope you’ll never delete this blog or stop giving us inspirational tips! 🙂 And yes, I am very agree with the modesty of clothing choice on that day especially! I really appreciate that you found me some links that I could look into.

    I think I may order the one from macy’s or the one from I saw you in a dress from Eliza J’s account on Instagram, I think it was from a wedding (?). That was such a beautiful dress, could that also be an alternative? This is the link anyway:

    • thedressdecoded
      June 10, 2016 at 12:01 pm (7 years ago)

      Yes! That was actually my bridesmaid dress for a wedding and we got SO many compliments! I think it would be a great choice for a baptism as well as other summer events. I highly recommend it!

  7. kathrine
    June 10, 2016 at 3:09 pm (7 years ago)

    Yey!! Then the choice is made! Thank you so much!


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