Preppy is Back. Again. Also, Brands You’ll See in True Prep

Hello-Hello, happy new week!

We must begin with an enormous “Thank You” to everyone who left such kind and lovely comments following Friday’s post, not to mention the Tweets and Facebook comments.  There is no adequate way to explain how touched we were by the sentiments, it made our day extra special.

Today we have breaking news just in to the Prepatorium: there is another preppy resurgence! Oh my!

Umm… not exactly. We apologize for our poor step into hyperbole, we were unable to resist the temptation. The not-breaking-news comes via our friends on the far side of the pond.  In yet another look at ‘preppy style’ this story from Sunday’s Independent asks: “Are you Ready to get Preppy?” with the following as a subheadline:

“After 30 years in the doldrums, the relaxed East Coast look is back – along with a new handbook to help you wear it with elan”

The story is pegged to this fall’s release of “True Prep” from Lisa Birnbach and Chip Kidd, a topic covered previously in this space. Here is the story’s opening paragraph from writer Susie Mesure:

“Can’t tell your Top-Siders from your Sebagos? Unsure how high to roll your chinos? After some preppy shopping primers? Well, unfurrow your brows and raise a gin and tonic because help is at hand from a new book out this autumn that will exploit the current clamour for East Coast style.”

We doubt Princess readers are struggling with the issues mentioned above, but we could be wrong.  The photo accompanying the story shows looks from the spring 2010 Ralph Lauren collection (our post on the collection may be found here.)

Courtesy Polo Ralph Lauren

If given a choice of designers to illustrate the Independent story, we lean more toward these Brook Brothers promotional pieces…

Brooks Brothers

They promote the Summer at the Cape collections.

An editor from Gentleman’s Quarterly is quoted in the Independent story:

“Robert Johnson, associate editor of the fashion magazine GQ, said: “Preppy is back. Every season, particularly summer, there is always a nod to classic Americana but preppy is a big trend this year.” He partly attributed its popularity to the fact that people are “bored” with denim.”

To read the story in its entirety, click here.


One of our favorite blogs, All the Rage, also previews the upcoming book in this piece by Adam Tschorn.  This photo collage is used to illustrate his story.

Brooks Brothers & Tory Burch via All the Rage

Mr. Tschorn (aka ‘Cuffy’) offers the perspective of someone who actually attended prep school.  In today’s post his interview with Ms. Birnbach offers insight on what brands readers can expect to see in the upcoming book:

“…familiar favorites are revisited. Among them are Lacoste, Sperry Top-Sider, Brooks Brothers, and Ralph Lauren. “I was very, very stingy with [Ralph] in 1980. I think he’s referred to maybe once,” she said. “But this time he gets a lot of play.”

She said that some additions are labels that actually pre-date the first book, including Burberry, Barbour, Hermès, Verdura, Kenneth Jay Lane, Hunter Wellies, and J.M. Weston (“They have these beautiful loafers from France,” she explains).”

Many brands included in the upcoming volume did not even exist when TOPH (The Official Preppy Handbook) was published. More from Mr. Tschorn’s story with Lisa Birnbach:

““We’ve got Vineyard Vines – they started in 1998, and of course J. Crew — which wasn’t around then either [it launched in 1983 as a mail-order company]. And we’ve got some Kenneth Cole [1982] and a little bit of Robert Graham [2001].”

Below, two shirts from Robert Graham.

Ms. Birnbach also chats at length about Tory Burch in the story.  We recommend popping over for a read, it is a fun piece.


Perhaps the most amazing thing we’ve seen yet on the book was in today’s Book Bench from the New Yorker site.  In a post titled, “Prep is Dead, Long Live Prep” Meredith Blake mentions yours truly (prompting a most unPrincess-like shriek):

“While the original handbook advised that “you should appear in print only three times in your life—upon birth, marriage, and death,” today’s prep is virtually screaming for a little attention; the wasp mystique, it seems, has faded. Like everything else, we can blame it on the Internet, where there’s a thriving community of bloggers dedicated to all things prep-related. At the pink-and-green themed The Preppy Princess, Susan Kelly defends her love for Lilly Pulitzer, while Melissa Morris’s May December has such an impassioned following that its author was the subject of a profile in the newspaper of record. There’s also The Trad, a slightly more idiosyncratic blog dedicated to classic American-made garments.”

We conclude all this blather with a cautionary note: it is likely we shall encounter an increasing volume in the mainstream media about the preppy aesthetic being raised from the dead (ahem), in sync with the calendar’s movement toward True Prep’s September release date.
And with visions of books dancing in our head we say, g’bye!


Filed under Prepalicious, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, True Prep & TOPH, When Preppy Goes Wrong

18 responses to “Preppy is Back. Again. Also, Brands You’ll See in True Prep

  1. congrats on the shout-out, esp on such a big weekend for you- hope that some very good bubbles were popped to celebrate to the hilt!

    I am almost beyond myself already in anticipation of True Prep and we have months before it’s out!



  2. great post and again, congrats on the mention on the NY site. hope you had a wonderful anniversary weekend. is there a waiting list yet for “True Prep?” i need to get on it. i love Brooks Brothers. if only i could get my husband to wear nantucket red or seersucker. he sticks to their dress shirts, polos, dress pants and suits. have a great rest of the day and take care.

  3. Suburban Princess

    WOW! Congrats on the mention! Well done!

  4. OMG! CONGRATULATIONS! How very, very exciting and of course, deserved!

  5. How exciting!!! I can’t wait to read the article and the book. I am sure I have mentioned it before but one of my very best friend’s sister modeled in the original preppy handbook. It is a minor brush w/ greatness and yet one I am proud of.;-)
    Hope you had a preptastic anniversary.
    Big hugs, love and Lily kisses.

  6. p.s. CONGRATS on the shout out. I shrieked too.

  7. Miss Coco

    So silly. It’s never been a “fashion”. Once you dress like that, you always dress like that. I still wear my father’s Brooks Brothers bathrobe and I’m sure I’ll (once again) steal my next one from his closet when I need a new one. Considering the man has been shopping there since the beginning of time, he will replace it with ANOTHER one from there. Ditto with my mom. End of story!

  8. Amy

    Raised from the dead, huh? Guess I’ve been behind, since I’ve stuck with preppy all these years, or maybe I’m way ahead??

  9. Preppy313

    Preppy is Baaaaaaaaaack!!! So excited to buy “True prep” 🙂

  10. Congrats on the mention. One of the tried and true places for WASP and Preppy Mens’ clothing is of course J.Press, though, I have noticed that they are not mentioned… only in passing that is.

    Always Bumby

  11. BAH

    How exciting! I cannot wait to read True Prep!

  12. LPC

    Ah, Princess, there is no one so gracious as you or who deserves it more. The New Yorker. Ahem. Harrumph. Yes. Well. Good job. Nicely done.

  13. Love the prep look!


  14. VictoriaM

    So very happy for you! Wonderful post, your writing is radiant with wit, charm and grace 🙂

  15. loopyloo

    I pre-ordered True Prep on Amazon – can’t wait – but I’m wondering if there’s enough time for a re-write to limit all the J Crew references since it won’t really be relevant in the future?

  16. Oh TP, congratulations! I shriek with joy! Cheers!

  17. Just posted the True Prep video on my blog. There is a part where she say “have to be drunk”. Thought you would like it!

  18. Kelly

    This is such a fun, clean look. Using the JCPenney free shipping codes can save a lot on shipping.

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