The arrival of cool brisk air and changing foliage heralds a new season for preps. From Georgetown to Charles Street to Soho and beyond, preps take the seasonal shift in stride. Homecoming weekends at the Ivies and boarding schools, outdoor sporting events, semi-sober trips to the orchard for apple picking are the new social events to do. Preps trade in their seersucker and Lilly for denim and Barbour, Hunter Wellies, Burberry, and faux horseback riding gear. If you’re a prep, say in the NYC-metropolitan area, you know that fall will soon mean ‘the Hunt’. Though a horseracing event involving no hunting, you will be hard pressed to find a well-to-do prep not in their Barbour and Wellies, quaffing apple cider fortified with Apple Jack and eating a Dean & Deluca-catered tailgate, and passing prep school stories with old friends. Ask them why they’re there, and answers will undoubtedly be absent of the ‘horse’ word. So tally ho, prep spotters; go forth and pour yourself a hot toddy! Fall is here and preps are in their full autumnal splendor, much like the foliage.
Greeks? No, not the Greeks of the Mediterranean, of the Ouzo, etc. No. We mean the Greeks of fraternities and sororities. Some may find this to be a bit startling; to others, a revelation! The Greek system offers a plethora of opportunities for the Prep student. Let’s first look at the male preppy frat.
There are plenty of fraternities on college campuses. Each has their unique quirks or characteristics. But there is always one where every member is spotted by their choice of clothes. An interesting sociological study for those outside the preppy circle, its only natural that these people gravitate towards each other. Why? Because they’re awesome of course. They are those guys that can wear two popped collars and aviators insde and get away with it. Their girlfriends wear pearls (not from Canal Street of NYC either). And as was mentioned in a previous post, they have alcohol and plenty of it. These are the guys that throw the weekend ragers where the beer flows, the collars pop and the colors blind. These are also the places where there might be the infamous triple popped bastard, but he is still a mystery, much like the Loch Ness Monster (We’d still love any photographic evidence of a triple popper in his (or her for that matter) natural habitat). Some might consider this special bunch of guys as a bromada of Bros (see Bros Like This Site if you do not understand what a Bro is). This may or may not be the case. Remember the rule about squares and rectangles? Well that applies here too. A bro might be preppy but not all Preps are Bros. Please make careful note of this important difference.
And what about the preppy girl? She might just find herself in a sorority. These can be a perfect match. Pinks and greens and pearls and more. What could be better? Myths of pillow fights etc may remain a secret deep within the halls of their sisterhood, but what is not a myth is the fact that these sorority girls have bond so special that they will be comfortable wearing similar outfits. There are only so many different varieties of pink and green outfits that it is surely bound to happen. Much of what was said about the fraternity can also be said here. The colors bright, the parties classy, and maybe they pop collars too.
So what have we learned? College Greeks are an oasis to the Prep on campus who is looking for his or her match. In the fraternity or sorority, they will surely find the company worthy of their own, and in time, be popping more than one collar at a social event.
Yes that’s right, we’re back with our top siders and poppped collars and ready for some corporate mergers. While the blog may have been on hiatus, those Preps sure have not. With summer coming to a close and their yachts weighing anchor in Nantucket, Preps are back on the mainland and getting into more general mischief and buy-outs hidden under a facade of pearls, lace and Pimms. So put down the Wall Street Journal, grab a glass of whiskey on the rocks and read on.
Note: The Authors welcome any questions or comments you might have about this mysterious lifestyle of the Prep.
Colorful clothes are a clear indicator of prep. But they aren’t jut any ordinary apparel. Bright pants; vibrant collared shirts; these are tell-tale signs you’re with one of them. They can sometimes be blinding. If you know in advance you’re going to have such an encounter, bring sunglasses. The prep will already have his or her pair of aviators. While many of these preps find there clothes from Vineyard Vines or Ralph Lauren, here’s an insider tip: check out Costco or an outlet mall. You too can blend with those ultra-preps for a fraction of the price and maybe wear even brighter clothes. It’s always satisfying to outshine the shining. Be forewarned though, these aren’t any colors. Pastels or bust. Bucking the swish New York Black code of fashion, pinks, greens, blues and more are what separate the prep from everyone else. Sure, someone could wear a pink pair of shorts one day. But how about those kinds of colors…every day? There are so many different and wonderful subtleties to this quirk that it cannot be summed in just one entry alone. There will be more soon…
Yes, this goes for anyone. But preppy WASPy people will do almost anything after a few drinks. Go to a bar and try it! After three Whiskey Sours or Vodka Cranberries, they’ll be ordering a round of drinks (after a casual suggestion) for everyone. You’ll become their best friend for the night and maybe even get a ride in their leased BMW (the next day might be safer). It’s cheaper to lease because who knows when the next model might come out. All that aside though, liquor is quicker and that is definitely taken to heart. Beer is great and inexpensive, but a tempting shot of Jack Daniels is hard to pass, especially with the prospect of more to come.
The best idea though? Go to a preppy frat party. They’ll surely have free beer in solo cups. You don’t need a popped collar for these. Everyone will be too drunk to care.
So what did we learn? Go to a bar with some of these people, and eventually you’ll get drinks. Don’t want to go to a bar? Then if you’re a collegiate (or not,….though you’ll be the creeper of the party), go to your obvious preppy frat and bro-out with some free beer.
So many legendary trends began in the 80s. The Rubiks Cube, Members’ Only Jackets, Michael Jackson, The Preppy Handbook. But one trend (other than Preps of course!) has withstood the test of the time: Aviators. These fanciful sunglasses by Ray-Ban were originally sold to the US military airmen during the Second World War and soon gained popularity in the Prep culture, especially in the 60s. The Ray-Ban extravaganza was further thrown onto the masses by yet another wonderful product of the 80s, Top Gun. Airmen fighting anti-Capitalist Soviet Commies sported these shades (Commies didn’t wear shades and we all know who won…).
Preps adopted these as their own and have since then fended off the dreaded UV rays comfortably while drinking their whiskey sours after a hard day of tennis. It would have been hard to watch Muffy play tennis without these. Anything is more exciting with liquor, no? And Aviators hide the bloodshot eyes…
No, their collars are not malfunctioning. Preps are notorious for sporting their collars up. This phenomenon is extraordinary and is one of the first tell-tale signs of a prep. The explanations for this remain a mystery, though there are some theories.
Theory #1: This is the prep’s answer to the urban hipster’s scarf. The popped collar protects the wearer from a freak gust of wind, thus keeping the wearer comfortable while at the same time maintaining their fashionable looks. It also eliminates the need for matching the right scarf to the right v-neck t-shirt.
Theory #2: Social status. Preps are competitive by nature and it is therefore no surprise that at any given moment they will try to one up one another (it’s not personal nor intentional, just a sub-conscious action or reaction). If the popped collar wasn’t enough, imagine two! Wearing two polos with both collars popped declares that this prep not only knows how to match colors and is fashion savvy (more than you), but they have more shirts than you. One popped collar is no match for two. However, reports have come in of rare sightings of the rumored three-collared-popped Prep. Beware of this one, unless you are prepared with three or more.
Costco sells polos in a variety of colors and can be a good disguise for future incursions into the Prep culture.
Note: One collar popped is for casual wear. Two collars popped are best for Preppy get-togethers, though shouldn’t be worn at more formal occasions.
Just as Loch Ness has the monster, Preps have their three-collared wonder. But don’t fear this phenomenon. It is an experience everyone should have. Avoid topics such as the Republican party or the war of Northern Aggression (a.k.a. The Civil War). A great conversation starter? Cocktails. Talking to a prep is fine; they are people like you or me. However, once again be weary of the three-collared-popped Prep. There is not enough information on them to provide safe advice.
Any video or images of this prep in his (or her) natural habitat are hard to find.
Please, if there any preps that can explain this awe-inspiring behavior, explain here.