It is no secret that I like to read and peruse coffee table style books. The latest on my list is from Rizzoli, Preppy: Cultivating Ivy Style.
I have been a fan of the preppy lifestyle since the early 80’s. I have long admired Ralph Lauren and the ease to which his styles come together. The clothes he designs are all effortless. My own Southern style has been based on the preppy Ivy League style.
The book is a modern look at the roots, the growth, and offshoots of the classic and quirky way of dressing. From its WASP origins to the Ivy League campuses, the book takes us through the evolution of Preppy style as it moved to mainstream America.
The book also looks at the top preppy-style icons. From Brooks Brothers to Ralph Lauren, from Lilly Pulitzer to Tommy Hilfiger, and from Abercrombie & Fitch to Thomas Browne, Preppy: Cultivating Ivy Style is a breathtaking tribute and look at an everlasting American phenomenon.
I can remember receiving The Official Preppy Handbook back in junior high, and I was hooked.
From the Urban Dictionary:
What is preppy?
A true preppy is someone who:
Wears, but is not limited to, Polo, Lilly, Brooks Brothers, Lacoste, LL Bean (ie duck boots), ribbon belts, prints (ie cords with embroidered whales, palm trees, etc), sweaters tied around the neck, collar always popped, looks neat and put together. Hair ribbons or ribbon headbands, pearls, and other classic jewelry pull the look together. Preppies are partial to monogrammed and engraved items (ie tote bags, oxford shirts, jewelry, money clips, etc). Colors are always brite (favorites include pink and lime green). Preppies may not always match EXACTLY but they are always coordinated. Hats are worn (ie polo player, Lacoste, Brooks Brothers), but they are unique- not designs you would see in the mainstream and the "mall".
Preppies often attend prep schools (ie Middlesex School, Governor Dummer Academy, and Belmont Hill) followed by New England private colleges.
They are confident and unafraid to express their own styles and be daring in their fashions. Preppies vacation on Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Delray Beach, and on the coast of Maine. These vacation locales are places their families have been going to for years, and have histories there.
It is a common misconception that preppies are snobs. Many people view them as unapproachable, and as a result mislabel them. Preppies are not as rich as people may think they are, but they are often well off. They buy into classics rather than trends, and don't change their lifestyles with fads.
Preppies tend to have bizarre connections with other preppies they meet, always finding mutual friends/ family and people that run in the same circle.
* Wear tight, skin exposing clothing (ie fitted Abercrombie sexual tshirts with tight flared jeans)
* Limit themselves to mall shopping and chain stores. They gravitate towards long-established classic stores and boutiques unique to quaint New England towns.
* Wear heavy makeup and endless hair products. The phrase "less is more" is a preppy creed.
* Glue purses to their arms, especially when going to school. Lip gloss and if need be, a wallet, are thrown into tote bags along with books.
Being Preppy, y’all!