A smile was added to my usual 12 minutes of 'lunch' spent cramming a Luna Bar down my throat while using my free hand to tab down a 151 page best seller report. A fellow sorority sister and good friend of mine from college forwarded me a link to the Huffington Post's updated Preppiest colleges list. After scrolling down a ways (past a myriad of snarky comments on the subject) I instantly recognized the stone edifice of Hascall Hall and the winding quad path that is Colgate, and felt pangs of nostalgia for my mint green polo and extra large, red Solo cup brimming with keg beer.
Though the mere waft of keg beer now makes my throat muscles clench, the memory is one that still carries with it a certain amount of tangible joy not easily matched by the working world. While I love the remnants of my college years (a popped collar, Nantucket red pants for men, Vineyard Vines' fleece vests), I draw the line at Vera Bradley tote bags. They are better suited for toting one's knitting needles to and from the bridge game than for carrying your accessories around the city all day. The emergence of floral, quilted carryalls in a vast array of shapes and sizes gives preppy a bad name and should be cast aside in favor of buttery soft leather totes instead. (I apologize to my many friends who love these bags and have entire coordinating luggage sets. Please, carry what makes you happy. Just don't make me hold it for you when we're out and you need to use the bathroom.)
Luckily for me (and all those who appreciate a good pair of oxfords and a navy, gold-button blazer) the prepster scene has mingled and danced with the hipster scene to birth a new wave of urban-dandy that appeals to a larger pool of coeds. (Open any May fashion magazine for an example of the mainstreaming undercurrent that has swept through preppy islands.) Alternative brands that cater to Lower East Side hip, like Steven, are churning out new lines that embrace the classic tenants of east coast dressing. These loafers are flying off the shelves on Bleecker Street, and Christopher Street's Rag and Bone is decidedly taking cues from the movement.
Whether you love or loathe it, stand up and take notice of springs preppy awakening.