While Preppy is now considered a style of dress, it is more about heritage than anything. The underlining principles of prep is that old is better than new. The young prep most often resembles a slighter, less wrinkled version of his elders - his clothes are timeless. Clothing is bought for its versatility - the ideal preppy outfit can go from formal to casual.The prep lifestyle and image is about portraying sensibility and moderation. Longevity is a key component of this. Clothes are to be worn in, tailored, repaired so that they fit better than anything store bought.
With a history of boarding school, they only required the collar. As to the condition and the colors, they were up to the individual. The loud colors and the way that the young prep wears them is a statement of their silent rebellion whilst keeping some sort of tradition.
Sartorial conservatism is very important. Clothes are to be worn until they fall apart, and they better look good when it is together. This follows with neatness, care, and maintenance. Everything is repaired right away, and you are presentable. That's why the focus is on the details. Very small differences in the fabrics and the blends make all the difference.
The clothes are practical, and they do what they are designed to do; clothes for rain, clothes for playing polo, etc. That given, they buy the best. Quality is frugality. Buying cheap is not frugal, buying the best once is. Fabrics and origin play a huge role as well. Live in the UK? You bet a lot of things are going to be from Burberry. An American? Brooks Brothers and the like. The fabrics? All natural. Only wool, cotton, silk, and cashmere.
And as for the colorways, as you've seen, are all primary colors and extremely loud pastels. In a sense, the prep style is colorblind. The combinations are outrageous, but that's what makes them attract attention.
Keep in mind, each geographical location may have its own distinct prep style because it's all about heritage.