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What is preppy?


A casual definition.

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What is preppy?


A casual definition.

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  A trio of preppies communing with nature.

A trio of preppies communing with nature.

It’s not just the clothes we wear, but those are vitally important.

It’s not just the sports we play; it’s what we don’t play that matters almost as much.

It’s how we live; why we keep our old yearbooks and matchbooks (even if no one smokes anymore), and that baby mug as a toothbrush holder.

It may not be in our genes, but it is for sure in our dogs’ genes. 

It’s because we hate to spend money on stamps when we can just drop off the invitation when we pass your house – even though it’s a couple of miles out of our way.

It’s in the way we are not slaves to our hairbrushes or “product.”

It’s why we like old things (like sterling silver flatware and Hepplewhite side chairs) more than new things... especially if we can inherit them.

It’s in our love of cheese and crackers.

It’s in the belief – nay the conviction – that everything will turn out fine, even if we cannot find our credit card or our house keys. 

I could have sworn I just had them, dammit.

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Preppy and Me.


Preppy and Me.


A True Story

In the late winter of my junior year in college, I decided to learn to play squash. I headed over to Hillhouse, Ltd., our friendly neighborhood haberdashery, to buy myself a Lacoste shirt, men’s small – Petit Patron -- with the tail. (If you have to ask...)

I bought pink. In my haste one day to get to the squash courts, I threw on a bright green Fair Isle sweater over my polo shirt and dashed. 

It wasn’t planned. 

I had no idea.

Pink and green looked fantastic together. And you can imagine how they complemented my Tretorn sneakers.

This was the late 1970’s, before most of you were born. 

It was in Providence, Rhode Island, not exactly the top city in the Urban Prepometer.

Nevertheless, I had classmates wearing two and three collars at once. They had gone away to school and taught me additional nuances that I had missed by attending a day school in New York City.

Suddenly, the world in which I was raised became interesting to me – really interesting

In the Spring of 1980, I was a fish out of water at The Village Voice, New York’s preeminent alternative weekly. An editor at Workman Publishing asked me if I’d like “to hold the reigns of a book we see as The Preppy Catalogue.”

Did I?

The Official Preppy Handbook was published in October, 1980.

Practicing the ancient preppy tradition of encouraging daytime drunkenness.