Looking for a carefree yet classy take on a bridal shower? A preppy theme, brought to life by a playful green and pink color palette, is just the thing. Extend the famed Lilly Pulitzer vibe to the entire party experience—beginning with fun invitations to oh-so-pretty table settings, all the way to coordinated gift packaging and a fashionable preppy dress code for guests. The key is to take a light-hearted, feminine approach to this clean, impeccable style—resulting in decor options that are fun to plan and delightfully easy to implement. » Click to view slideshow
Make the Scene Pink and Green All Over
Lisa Birnbach’s The Official Preppy Handbook declares pink and green as part of the uniform of what she referred to as “prepdom.” So for a preppy-inspired bridal shower, select a palette in pastel pink and mint or apple green, rose pink and pistachio green, or baby pink and green tea green. The thrill comes in making the chosen shades and tints really pop by mixing and matching different preppy prints and patterns, and applying these to all the party’s decorative elements. Finish the look perfectly with sweet accents like flowers, ribbons, and candies.
Choose Preppy Patterns and Prints
With its close association with lifestyle attire and fashion, the “preppy look” lends itself to using fun patterns and prints. Gingham and plaid, for instance, establish the preppy feel of the decor and inject a cheerful, carefree air to the entire occasion. So, turn a table display preppy with a plaid or checkered table runner atop a solid-colored tablecloth, or a variety of printed table overlays featuring a mix of checks and plaids in pink, green, and white.
Stripes, polka dots, paisley, and argyle are other playful patterns to work with. Use them in the table display by adorning the floral centerpieces with ribbons in these patterns, as well as setting out paisley-printed or polka-dotted napkins, and plates or glassware with a striped trim.
Have Guests Dress in Fun Preppy Wear
Indicate a dress code in the shower invitations—perhaps accompanied by a scarf, headband, or bangle as a teaser to the party’s look. Requesting guests to come in preppy-inspired attire, in effect, transforms them into live decor elements themselves! Suggest that lady guests come in pastel-hued tea dresses or printed sundresses, inspired by the iconic pink and green shift dress popularized by Lilly Pulitzer in the 1960s. For a more casual event, recommend knitted sweaters or cashmere cardigans over slacks or capri pants. Have a basketful of additional accessories on hand for arriving guests to “complete their look” with a straw hat, a kerchief for the head or neck, a charm bracelet, or even a pair of sunglasses. Now that’s interactive party planning!
Involve Guests in the Party Decor
Have guests join in the fun by cluing them into the party’s theme with an invitation featuring colorful preppy prints. They can even be requested to take part in the decorating by bringing presents in pink and green wrapping paper, tied with ribbons in preppy patterns. Just imagine the effect of a gift table piled high with boxes decked in an entire array of cheerful prints and patterns, all unified by the pink and green color palette.
Use Colors, Patterns, and Prints to Go Preppy
Begin with a playful pink-and-green color palette that presents the preppy look in a fresh, feminine light. Carry this on into cheerful patterns and prints, such as plaids, checks, stripes, polka dots, and paisley, used in everything from the table display, to place settings, to gift wrapping and ribbons. The result? A wedding shower that is quintessentially preppy and fun from beginning to end.
- - Pink & Green Shower (Baby or Bridal) - from the blog of Tastefully Entertaining
- - The Roots of American Preppy - an article on MensFlair.com
- - What’s Pink and Green and Worn All Over? - an article on the resurgence of 1980s preppy fashion