What is your definition of preppy?

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Discus: College Admissions: March 2004 Archive: What is your definition of preppy?
By Amethyst213 (Amethyst213) on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 10:28 am: Edit

Just curious, as I have seen numerous comments like "that school was just too preppy for me". I have always associated preppy with a certain style of dress, but it must have a deeper meaning.

By Guydollofer (Guydollofer) on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 11:01 am: Edit


By Txtaximom (Txtaximom) on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 11:14 am: Edit

As well as a style of dress, it is also used to describe students who have been schooled in Prepatory Academies/Boarding Schools. As in "where did you prep?"

In the early 80s there was a "Preppy Handbook" that was published. Very stereotypical. I doubt that it applies to the type of students in prep school these days. It was meant as kind of a tongue and cheek piece, but it sparked big business for Polo, Izod, Add-a-Beads, Fair Isle Sweaters, etc...

I was at UVa then. Imagine men wearing bright orange wide whale cords with navy blazers. eep!

By Winterfresh (Winterfresh) on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 11:58 am: Edit

My middle school was known as a preppy school. It was a normal middle school though but the word "preppy" was a slang term for people who liked to wear Abercrombie & Fitch, Old Navy clothes, etc, all the time. They were kids who were into rock or pop music and were obsessed with being popular. They were the complete opposite of the "thuggy" type kids but many tried to act thuggy and listen to rap and stuff but looked really stupid. They used to love the words "dude" and phrases like "totally awesome" or something. Anybody could've been preppy but most of them were white kids.

I don't use this middle school phrase at all anymore. It doesn't mean anything to me. It was just one of those words to classify a group like the nerds, geeks, thugs, preps, headbangers, etc.

By Collegeparent (Collegeparent) on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 01:09 pm: Edit

A comment about Polo and preppies. The capital of prepdom is Greenwich, Connecticut where Ralph Lauren opened a Polo store in the middle of The Avenue (Greenwich Avenue, the main commerical street). It closed in less than a year. Why? As one Greenwich resident and prep school graduate said at the time, "Real preppies don't wear Polo."

Primary preppy attire: Land's End, J. Crew & L.L. Bean.

By Chen (Chen) on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 05:34 pm: Edit

Gap, J Crew, Old Navy, A & F, I agree. I guess their image changes from area to area! We don't have a lot of polo wearers here, and if they do wear them, they are unique so they are NOT preppy. The whole personality comes with the clothes...not dynamic people who are mmm...flatly happy all the time.

By Ndbisme5 (Ndbisme5) on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 05:44 pm: Edit

old navy? Definitely A&F.

By Collegeparent (Collegeparent) on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 05:44 pm: Edit

A word about clothes, Chen: there's an old axiom that it's not the clothes you wear, but how you wear the clothes that is the difference between fashion and style. Preppies have usually been about style, seeing it as "old money" versus "new money" which has a tendency to rely on current fashion to give itself a sense of self. In any event, try to find a copy of The Preppy Handbook by Lisa Birnbaum which came out in the late '70s - early '80s. It's probably due for an updated version by now. It's very funny in its truths.

By Gianscolere (Gianscolere) on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 05:54 pm: Edit

my personal definition of preppy is not based on the brand of clothing someone is wearing but on the type of clothing, regardless of whether or not the outfit is a&f or old navy. khaki pants and a collared shirt is preppy. a pair of denim jeans and any other kind of shirt is not.

someone who i would consider preppy is not necessarily obsessed with becoming popular...nor does he/she necessarily uses the terms dude and totally awesome.

By Collegeparent (Collegeparent) on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 06:06 pm: Edit

All of this has got me thinking about what are the colleges where there's a probable plurality of preppiness (my apologies for the alliteration). Off the top of my head, I'd have to say Williams, Bowdoin, Middlebury, Colgate, Bates, Davidson, Colby, Haverford, Washington & Lee, Trinity, Hamilton, Connecticut College, Lafayette, Kenyon, St. Lawrence, Lake Forest and Furman.

As for universities, Princeton, Stanford, Yale, Dartmouth, Northwestern, Virginia, William & Mary, Vanderbilt, USC, Tufts, Denison, Bucknell and Wake Forest.

Agree? Disagree? Any others?

By Argilospsychi (Argilospsychi) on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 06:10 pm: Edit

it's the type of person. forget clothing. clothing comes along with the type of person, not the other way around.

i usually define the "popular" people in a school as preppy

to indulge a little more in the realm of stereotypes, the big man on campus, quarterback, captain of the cheerleading squad, the rich kids, the "in crowd" kids, ditzy girly girls, stupid jock guys...that sort of thing

By Accbball (Accbball) on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 10:13 pm: Edit

here in carolina preppy's a whole other level. forget gap & a&f. think brook's brothers and ann taylor. and that's just the high school kids.

By Gianscolere (Gianscolere) on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 11:24 pm: Edit

i would consider preppy someone who is smart and conservatively dressed

"the 'in crowd' kids, ditzy girly girls, stupid jock guys" form a separate group called ditzyohmygosh/duuudetotallyawesome...they are not, in my eyes, preppy. besides, i don't believe that these people are even part of the in-crowd

By Gianscolere (Gianscolere) on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 11:37 pm: Edit

"it's the type of person. forget clothing."

yes, if you know the person. if not, you could judge the person only through his/her appearance, hence clothing being a factor in the judgment.

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