The Official Preppy Handbook Returns as “True Prep”

Hello-Hello, and Happy Thursday! With any luck at all you are enjoying a warm and sunny day filled with promise and thoughts of good things to come.

We are doing a one-thought-Thursday, focusing on news about TOPH:

Official Preppy Handbook fans and followers are sure to be elated by news that author Lisa Birnbach is coming out with a new version of that classic volume.

Courtesy Photo

The publisher’s notes detail the book’s direction much better than we can:

True Prep looks at how the old guard of natural-fiber-loving, dog-worshipping, G&T-soaked preppies adapts to the new order of the Internet, cell phones, rehab, political correctness, reality TV and . . . polar fleece.”

Clearly the update has merit, offering serious possibilities. How shall the notion of ladies playing on the men’s course be handled? What about the errant child wanting a tattoo? (The horror!) We expect Ms. Birnbach and co-author Chip Kidd will provide us with an entertaining perspective on the perils a prep faces in the new millenium.

We have long wondered if there would be an update to the original, as it seemed an idea begging to be done. And when we saw this blog site we had hope.

Alas, the “Official Updated Preppy Handbook” blog hasn’t been updated since last December and the total number of posts comes in at a scant 12.

Via idp05

We must be candid in our thoughts on the original: it is something we loved reading, we still have a copy here at the prepatorium. We adore the writing style, the goofy (but spot-on) illustrations, the fact the entire topic is approached from a tongue-in-cheek perspective. We consider it a classic. However (and this is where some may find us heretical), it is not our bible.

We don’t have a lifestyle bible. We simply are what we are. We were fortunate to grow up in circumstances similar to those depicted in the book, but we never made, nor do we now make conscious decisions to ‘dress preppy’.  When it comes to apparel we wear Brooks Brothers or LL Bean or Lilly because it is what’s in the closet, mixed in among the Target tees and polos found at an outlet mall.  We merely seek that which is classic, stylish and of good quality and we guess most readers are of a similar mind.

Back to the fun stuff, here is more from the publisher:

• Wardrobe: Recent prep brands we are forced to recognize. How to tell Casual Friday from, say, Saturday.
• Money: We never talk about it.
• Food: Does the Food Network mean we’re going to have to cook? Bake? Now you’re going too far.
• Scandals: Poor Mrs. Astor. When Mummy’s plastic surgery goes terribly wrong. Rehab and the slammer: the new prep schools.
• We’re outta here: When to name something after yourself, and when not. The right obituary. What to do with your dogs if you predecease them.

You know TP is simply *dying* to hear about those ‘prep brands we are forced to recognize‘.  We can’t wait to see how those pesky and persistent logos are treated by Ms. Birnbach. The subject opens a whole new world of possibilities, don’t you think? Who do you think belongs on the list of brands to be recognized and who do you should be placed in the Fashion No-No column?

Do tell, expiring minds are dying to know!

Smiles to all of our cherished readers, we do appreciate you visiting!


Filed under Argyle, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Preppy People

21 responses to “The Official Preppy Handbook Returns as “True Prep”

  1. I laughed at the ! !texting at the table. My grandmother takes my phone away

  2. My computer spazzed. Please excuse my punctuation!

  3. How could they change that classic name?!?!

  4. Princess Freckles

    Oh this is fantastic news! I can’t wait to get this book! I wonder what brands we are forced to recognize? Maybe Baby Phat? HAHAHA! j/k!

    I hope you’re enjoying this lovely weather! Finger crossed that its stays!

  5. I may or may not have squealed this AM when I saw that TOPH is baaack!



  6. mary anne

    Ah, about time for an update! I am looking forward to reading this, just as I enjoyed reading the original one. However, although what is said is true, the original book was found in the Humor section of bookstores (back in the day). So, I completely agree with you that this is most certainly NOT a Bible. Hey, your closet sounds like mine. Add ballet flats, flops and low heeled pumps and we could trade in the dark.

  7. I agree with you. My style of dress did not have a name. It was just the way our moms dressed us which evolved into our style when we were old enough to “dress ourselves”. When Ms. Birnbach’s first book came out, then everything had a “name”. I have dressed this way my entire life. Oh maybe a few years in there that saw me in something more trendy, but overall, same old, same old. I have always shopped for quality, too. I love to wear things forever!! I would hope people understood her “tongue in cheek” style. I still have my original copy + Tipsy in Madras + Official Preppy Cookbook. Fun to read!! Another wonderful post from TP! xoxo

  8. LPC

    I only wonder, who are they targeting now? Those who grew up like this, or those who chose the style? Because they aren’t one and the same, nor should they be, really.

  9. Now I know what the collective gasp in Preppydom was this AM! Oh joy!! So much has changed from the 80’s (I still have my original edition of the TOPH) so, yes, it will be very interesting to see what will be considered de rigueur 30 years later. 30 years!?! Did I say I had MY original copy…uh, I meant my mother’s. 😉 Fab. post as usual. xoxo

  10. This is going to be big.

  11. kiki

    great post. i look forward to reading True Prep and her take on today’s prep. thanks for sharing and take care.

  12. Thank you for the heads up, Preppy Princess. My husband and I will both be looking forward to the update. Hope that you’re having a MOST wonderful weekend!

  13. KSE

    My college friends and I got a lot of laughs from the various descriptions of rival schools [weren’t there picture descriptions of the students from the schools? i.e. Hollins’s “party girl” pudge?]. On an unrelated note, Ms. TPP: are you aware of any non-camo printed croakie suppliers out there? This reader would very much like to invest in some new ones, esp if they should be in such prints as provided in TPP’s store . . . hint hint

  14. Oh I can’t help but be excited about this. I have the original and it intrigues and amuses me. Another absolutely fabulous one is Class by Paul Fussell. It is from 1983 but still fun and fabulous as well.

  15. I am so looking forward to seeing this latest book published! I will for sure by purchasing my own copy. I have the original one that I got in high school and loved it! Is there a web-site or FB fan page I can go to get advanced notice on when they’ll be for sale?

  16. RDS

    I must concur with LPC. Who is the target audience? Will it suffer the fate of the Sloane Ranger Handbook’s sequel, ‘Cooler, Faster, More Expensive’, which IMHO is a pale shadow of the original? Does one really HAVE to point out the inappropriateness of ‘Tramp Stamps’ or having ones’ buttocks covered in a huge trademark?

  17. I am looking forward to reading the new preppy handbook. It will be funny to read how some of the new pop culture norms are handled.

  18. CrispandBean

    I miss my worn out LLBean Double L laceups, wearing my beat up JCrew cable knit sweater with my tan duck head shorts and navy blue ralph lauren t-shirt. Yes different brands all together kids…Yes shorts and a long sleeve sweater, layering was the key to an early morning at the lake. Now it’s been 20 years. I miss my hair, I lift weights and still can’t find the right shoes to wear with my shorts. My typical ‘uniform’ is…grab a polo I have some Penguin and Ralphs now mostly, thrown on tan cargo shorts usually Kohls brands these days, and slip on the brown oiled Sperrys. Old preps die hard, my Chris Craft Lancer 22 helps me forget about ‘what to wear’…now let’s see…where did I leave my favorite Ray Bans? I might buy this book to read at the lake, with a cold Beamish beer (while they still sell them in the United States.)

  19. Sig

    30 YEARS!! Wow! where does the time go? I must have done something wrong. When my daughters were in junior high they threw away a 100 o/o wool Abercrombie and Fitch Sweater. a sweater they made when they were a real clothing company. They bought it for a dollar at a thrift store. i found it on the giveaway pile and kept it. It has been everywhere, camping, fishing, duck hunting ect. It save my life one freezing night in the Western NC mountains.
    Long live the good stuff. Long live Prep.

  20. Chip

    This is just the tops! I am so excited. I think the fact that the preppy lifestyle has grown beyond those of landed wealth is a great thing. Any effort to move away from pants sagging to the knees and multiple face piercings is fabulous.

    The original Preppy Handbook with its tongue planted firmly in its cheek was such a kick. Many great resources out there for preppy gear. My favorite is among others.

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