Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Prep School

Perhaps it all started when my parents sent me to private school at age 12. Or perchance it is a remnant of growing up in the 90210 idol age. (I also went to college where Gatsby themed fraternity mixers were all the rage.) Whatever the reason, I love preppy clothes, and I love preppy boys. Nothing makes me feel perfectly well dressed more than a gold button blazer, and nothing causes me to stop and stare more than the sight of a guy with a plaid scarf, khaki pants and a tweed coat.

The November cover of InStyle Magazine is a perfect example of the versatility and utter timelessness of prep. Reese Witherspoon dons a navy Brooks Brothers boys blazer over a gold brocade DKNY dress, and looks ready to party. Though the 90210 age has been replaced by the Gossip Girl generation, the preppy fashion messages have stayed steady (though the price tags have soared to astronomical heights far above the heads of the 16 and 17 year olds who worship the actor portrayal of New York City elite). Brenda Walsh's plaid shirts have been traded for Blaire Waldorf's pearls and head bands, Brandon Walsh's fitted jeans and crew-neck sweaters swapped for Chuck Bass's 3 piece suits and ascots. My Husband admittedly swoons over Nate Archibald and his crest-adorned cashmere blazers with coordinating bow ties.

Yesterday, in search of something new without breaking the bank, I stumbled upon a pair of old fashioned, wing-tipped, lace-up oxfords that I had to have. The thought of pairing them with skinny jeans and a long blazer made me giddy. However, there are limits to my preppy obsession. For example, the head to toe Lilly Pulitzer ensembles that fit right in at a Hamptons fiesta look oddly perplexing in normal life. There is something about pastel that reminds me of Easter eggs and bridesmaids, and while both of those images are pleasant enough, they are not things I wish to evoke when dressing.

Every season embraces hints of prep, but none quite as unabashedly as the fall. There is plenty of cold weather to come, and an abundance of plaid to warm the masses.


  1. What I really love sbout Nate Archibald's style though is what I would call his "messy prep" look (i.e., the flowing hair, the loosened tie, etc...). I don't know much about Gossip Girl, but I get the feeling that his "messy prep" style is reflective of his character on the show - of an adolscent boy trying to find himself.

  2. Amazing how the classic styles actually revive themselves over time! In my day, I wore impeccably clean saddle shoes, oatmeal colored cords and madras shirts in hues of navy, ivory and burgundy topped off with a blazer. Yes I took abuse from not so well turned out friends, but I stuck to my guns! Those shoes are to die for! - Bunnie


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