I can easily trace my first encounter with the Sloane Ranger look when the late Princess Di entered my world. It was 1980. I was but a babe.
Borderline obsessed with royalty and fairy tale endings, with the fascinating world of style, beauty. Completely intrigued by designers, and their sketches, how they derived inspiration, the process of putting together a collection. Pinning, draping, the use of muslin, the importance of a signature house dress form.
Not much has changed in the past 3 decades, I see.
Sloane Rangers, yes. Or Sloanies. A recognisable tribe of yuppies that dressed in a manner that was well-bred, slightly above mainstream fashion, and a wee bit posh. With a predilection for the countryside and, as such, their wardrobe contained reflected this somewhat (glamping, anyone?). Favourite haunts include Sloane Square in Chelsea, London.
It was this outfit in particular worn by Princess Di which has remained in my memory all these years. The turtleneck. Corduroy blazer. Pinstriped pencil skirt. Shiny, well-polished pumps. To me, that epitomised the Sloane Ranger, otherwise known as BCBG in France (bon chic bon genre), or, closer to home, the American preppy subculture.
With the connotations of money and conservative attitude it entailed, the preppy look is resolutely conformist. Upper middle class. Old money. Their “dress code“, a loyalty to what their parents and grandparents had worn and, as you ever so rightly guessed, the complete antithesis of what my wardrobe is all about. As imagined, preppy (or whatever you want to call it) isn’t a style I personally pursue.
Whilst I’ve developed a growing fondness for button-down Oxford shirts, nautical stripes (never met a stripe I didn’t like) as well as equestrian details (Gucci horsebit, anyone?), Sheela + preppy = definitely not a match made in sartorial heaven.
So, when Ann (yes, you) chose preppy for the October installment of the Fab 40s, I gulped. I did, I confess, I gulped. I’m not ashamed to admit the first thing I did was google the word “preppy” on Wikipedia (and I wasn’t the only one to do that apparently, alleluia, I don’t feel so alone now, with a big shout out to Michelle).
I huffed and I puffed and I almost blew the house down.
AND THEN I CAME UP WITH THIS OUTFIT
It’s got several elements of preppy. Note the button-down interpreted in a soft, drapey fabric with poet cuffs. The blazer with its subtle piping. I even included the rudimentary bow-in-hair albeit mine is fashioned from leather. And paired all that with ripped jeans, and sunnies, graphic clutch, and signature killer heels, to come up with a look reminiscent of Blair Waldorf dressed up as Mick Jagger for Halloween. I think it rather fits the Sloane Ranger bill.
And now, my friends, let’s take a walk, shall we? And behold how the Fab 40s has interpreted this month’s theme? Preppy.
Ann, Kremb de la Kremb
Diane, Fashion On The Fourth Floor
Jennie, A Pocketful Of Polka Dots
Mary, Curly Byrdie Chirps
Sam, Fake Fabulous
Veronica, CID Style File
And now, please meet Michelle of RetroChicMama, our guest blogger for this month. I’ve seen (and fangirled) her outfits on Instagram for the longest time ever, and couldn’t be more pleased when I found out she’d be joining us for October.
Truth be told, when Michelle confessed that she too had been googling the internet for definitions of “preppy style“, I was really confounded. In my eyes, hers was quintessentially Sloane Ranger in style. The poster child for prep, you know. The restrained touches of jewellery. Classic, clean lines. Occasional spurts of colour and print. And she does not fail to deliver in collaborating with the Fab 40s!!!
And then, there’s me in something oh so similar to an outfit Blair actually wore, as seen in a Gossip Girls scene (thank you, Ann, I had absolutely no idea!!!). Ironically, Ann calls me Queen She, and Blair is known as Queen Bee.
All I need now is my very own heir to the throne.
Finally made the transition to AV and am now on YouTube as well as Snapchat (sheela.goh), would adore your support through subscribing to my channel/adding my snaps.
p/s my photos are by Sofia Touassa
I link up here.