Whether acted consciously or subconsciously, too much of a good thing can be quite frankly, just literally too much. What is tasteful and even a might bit fanciful can quickly devolve into decidedly downright tacky when the cultural parameters of all-that-is-Preppy goes extreme. Hence, "Preppy In Extremis'".
Preppy In Extremis' takes class with a sense of humor spiraling on down into a comical cartoon that's clownish at best and embarrassing (or being embarrassed for the person) at worst. A Bingo the Clown wants his job back kind of uber-extremism. Some people do like clowns and I try to understand that however, if one's looking or acting like a clown, well then, that's the choice they have made I guess and the reactions towards that will be what they will be. But it's also taking classic Preppy beyond what-is truly Preppy on into some kind of distortion similar it seems to how bizarre' the latest interpretation of Alice In Wonderland is being portrayed via Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. I am a huge fan of the Alice In Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass books- even having the annotated versions of both. I also am usually a big fan of anything Tim Burton does but honestly, this latest film endeavour of his takes Gothic fantasy into downright freakishness which isn't appealing in the least. It's all just a tad bit too much!
And so without further ado, here's a listing of what I've been mulling-over as being too much in the Preppy Lifestyle category, aka Preppy In Extremis'. And remember that this is being listed with a bit of ironic humor, tongue-in-cheek cheekiness so enjoy and get a chuckle outta' it:
Preppy: Naming a dog or two after one's favorite drinks
Preppy In Extremis' (PIE): Naming all dogs past, present & future Brandy, Whiskey, etc.
Preppy: A dash of pink and green decor' around the house
PIE: Every single room in the house a tribute to the worship of all-things pink and green
Preppy: Enjoying one's work, hobbies & interests as embellishments to one's many-layered life
PIE: Having one's work, hobbies & interests define oneself and be the sole topics of conversation
Preppy: Enjoying one's house, cars, boat, horses, summer home, clothing, jewelry and so on
PIE: Being defined-by and being hyper-aware of these things in one's life as well as in other's lives
Preppy: Wearing a monogrammed sterling cuff bracelet
PIE: Wearing several pieces of monogrammed jewelry at the same time
Preppy: The little darlings dressed for school, church, a party in smocked dresses and big hair bows
PIE: The little darlings dressed like this to play out in the yard, a playground, a park
Preppy: Sperry Topsiders as a part of one's footwear wardrobe
PIE: Sperry Topsiders as the only thing one wears...even to church, weddings, charity gala's
Preppy: Entertaining in one's home
PIE: Giving a tour of one's home to dinner guests (unless said house is of significant historical interest)
Preppy: Engraved calling cards used as gift enclosures- tucked into a wrapped gift or floral bouquet
PIE: ...these days, in America, using one's calling cards for anything else than gift enclosures
Preppy: Layering one's clothing
PIE: Layering beyond 3-layers unless one's out skiing, mountaineering and the like
Preppy: Wearing Wellie boots out to garden, muck out stalls, sport shoot and the like
PIE: Adults wearing whimsical Wellies as a fashion statement around town and in the big city
Preppy: Using a maid-service for house cleaning after one's longtime actual maid/s retire
PIE: Calling one's maid-service, "the staff"
Preppy: People who appreciate wine but aren't too wrapped-up in it to drink inexpensive versions
PIE: Wine Snobs
Preppy: Using a subtle fabric rose or a few rosettes as pretty trim on a blazer, a frock, etc.
PIE: Overdosing on fabric rosettes as shown in the picture above
Another film, less bizarre' in some ways than the one mentioned above, which perhaps gives a searing-look into a case of Preppy In Extremis posturing is The War of The Roses starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. It's a morality tale worth watching and noting to oneself as, "how NOT to be" especially as to the signifying stand-off between the husband's Staffordshire collection and the wife's designer shoe collection. Their upscaled house and lifestyle posturing is the obsession that tears this family apart; a disturbing film to watch but a worthy morality tale for our day and time. Preppy is wonderful when it's a natural part of one's lifestyle but obsessing about it, posturing oneself within it and going to the extremes about it isn't. Being Preppy In Extremis' or the acronym, "PIE" can many times translate into getting a "pie in one's face" which is fun at fairs and frat parties but not so fun otherwise. It may be good at times to ask oneself, "is this Preppy or is this PIE?". I've done it myself a time or two....
The Ancient Greeks were right- living within the Golden Mean and so, nothing to the extreme.
Here's to being Preppy....naturally, casually, enjoyably and with but of course an ever-present sense of offhand humor... but laughing well not wackily.