Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Resurgence of Preppy... It's Not Lifestyle Purchasing, It's a Life Perspective

P is for Preppy-trending...the oxymoron of this season

As American culture seems to be embracing once again to some degree Preppy Style with the True Prep- It's a Whole New Old World book now out, various reviews of it commencing and fashion trends of course following suit... there seems to be some confusion as to what it means to be an actual Preppy and what is just either trying out a lifestyle trend or enjoying a bit of posing.

That being said, it's perfectly fine for anyone to put a bit of "Preppy" into their current fashion interest or even reinvent themselves by becoming-Preppy to a degree. Sometimes however, folks endeavoring to be-Preppy mistake Preppy for what is a whole lotta' Nouveau Riche' Spending. There's a world of difference between the two.

Take watches for instance. This is no political statement but rather a lifestyle, cultural-background statement about two former US presidents: George W. Bush wears a Timex, Bill Clinton wears a Rolex. In general, most true Preppies wear Timex watches or occasionally an ever-classic Cartier Tank but the cash-flash inherent in sporting a Rolex, especially diamond encrusted ones, just isn't within the traditional Preppy's cultural vernacular. Maybe a neo-Preppy's vocabulary at this point in time but not a traditional, true Preppy's.

The film Caddyshack pits Preppy character (real or posing) Judge Smails head-on with totally Nouveau Riche' Al Czervik played wonderfully by Rodney Dangerfield. Not all people get so utterly splashy loud with their newly gained money but if The Real Housewives television empire is anything with which to glimpse into as to socio-economically realities within the world of the Nouveau Riche', well, "Preppy it aint'."

Preppies will indeed buy expensive items. The difference between Preppy-spending and Preppy-poser and/or Nouveau Riche' spending is in the intent and impact. A Preppy will buy say a Mercedes however it is in a quiet color and will be driven until it falls apart. Preppies part with their money whenever it will be for quality investment purposing. Non true-Preppies will buy in order to impress and make a statement with what will most likely be a flashier color and style of Mercedes.

Preppies gravitate towards spending from the perspective wherein a lifestyle is lived being filled with family items valued and passed along through the generations. Hence grandmother's pearls, an uncle's cast-off shooting jacket, old oriental rugs that have seen the floors of living rooms, dorm rooms and the summer house as well. Yes, Preppies purchase replacement things and new items occasionally but overall, we sure seem to epitomize the essence of shabby chic even more than the home decor' line does which is featured at Target.

And that's why this new surging of Preppy lifestyle goods and fashion trending is so interesting to dyed-in-the-wool Preppies.

As with all reduxes and of-the-moment trends in books, fashion and decor'... this Preppy Part-Two Moment too will eventually pass. Once again in the not too distant future, true Preppies will have to search harder to find things that perhaps our favorite prep purveyors are out of stock with or not carrying at the moment. But hey, why not stock-up now while we can?!

There will always be good ole' plain Timex watches available for us Preppies just in case our current well-worn one needs replacing however there may not be an autumn-hued, leather handled madras tote bag on offer next fall or for many more fall seasons to come....

Preppy-trending: an oxymoron but it's this year's fashionably-trending oxymoron indeed.


  1. Good post. I agree with you on this.

  2. Thanks Tammy :) I really appreciate your comment and agreement!

    Best to you, Lachlan

  3. Well said! You hit the nail right on the head....

  4. Thanks so much! It's great to see us Preppy Traditionalists in agreement as what we have been living within since we could remember is now a fashionable trending this autumn...

    I'm going to do a more detailed post musing soon about True Prep as I've just finished it this afternoon and have some more thoughts about what-is a true traditionalist Preppy and what is this neo Preppiness lifestyling going on.

    Best, Lachlan