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Preppy Style has been taken away from the Preps

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by TheHoboPrep, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. TheHoboPrep

    TheHoboPrep Member

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    Preppy Style has been Taken Away from The Preps.

    It's now nothing more than a Madison Avenue plaything. I was going to post this on my website but I thought it would be more important to ask you here about it first. How many of you, who are True Preps, are wondering just how far this will go? Madison Avenue and a host of bloggers (think Fred Castleberry aka Mammoth Men (WTH?)) who have nothing that looks like a prep tradition to me have taken it all away.

    Our Heritage. Gone. Taken away by a bunch of people who don't understand What Prep Is.

    And that's the thing about Prep. It is a heritage. It is a set of values. It is not a fashion, or a fashion item, made in Bangladesh or somewhere else. As a Prep, the thought of that actually makes me feel ill, and I've been to Bangladesh, and never got ill there.

    I'd like to know yours.

    THP
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2014
  2. YRR92

    YRR92 Well-Known Member

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    I'm picturing black-glad beatniks scaling fences and pulling oxford shirts off the lines, before launching a daring raid on a locked cedar closet. The park on the beach without a permit, much less a long line of old permit stickers running down the windows of the Wagoneer, wearing their ill-gotten cashmere crewnecks with madras belts, their pink pants stained a deeper red by the blood of anyone with the temerity to oppose them. They ride off in a hijacked Volvo 240 into the night. Tonight, Nantucket. Tomorrow: the world.

    Other people liking something doesn't ruin it. I liked that song "Pumped Up Kicks" before it was popular. Then it was really popular. Now, of course, it's fallen way back in terms of popularity. A lot of people who liked it when it was on the radio probably don't care about it now. Some people probably still like it, as part of a grab bag of other pop music. Some people probably heard it, fell in love, and changed their tastes around it -- listening to as much or more of that kind of music than I do. Their claim to be a fan of the song is as strong as mine, even though I got it when I was reviewing stuff for a 'zine and they heard it on Z100.
     
    2 people like this.
  3. gringodaddy

    gringodaddy Well-Known Member

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    Ha! My 4 year old loves that song, but thankfully doesn't understand the lyrics!
     
  4. GusW

    GusW Well-Known Member

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    I grew up in a preppy village outside of NYC in the 60's where 20% of the males left the school after 8th grade to attend prep school (often the same as their father and or grandfather). A significant number of classmates went on to attend Ivy League colleges. Almost everyone belonged to the local Field Club or Golf Club.

    Preppy, at that time, reflected a lifestyle of education, travel, interesting experiences and social sports yet never, ever being "showy". A true preppy wardrobe consisted of clothing that was considered to be practical, classic, durable and a good value.

    I think these values came from several influences:
    1) Generational- the WWII generation was more thrifty and practical
    2) Yankee- With most prep schools located in New England and the eastern seaboard there was an influence of old Yankee practicality( i.e. buy things that last, take care of them, pass them along to the next generation)
    3) Generational Wealth- most of the families I knew came from affluent families that seemed to instill certain values to maintain the family lifestyle. One of these was to be financially prudent.
    4) How You Express Yourself- you were encouraged to express yourself through sports, education, travel, adventure. Conspicuous displays of spending money were for the foolish.

    Of course, times changed. In the 70's most of America embraced "status" symbols. Preppy became a fashion statement and a "look" to be purchased in department stores and boutiques. Prep schools and Ivy league Universities became less WASP dominated and reflected a greater cross section of ethic groups.

    I don't think that prep has been taken away from anyone. A prep lifestyle still exists if you seek it out. It just won't be the one from the 60's..... the world has changed, and thank god it has!
     
    6 people like this.
  5. teddyc4

    teddyc4 Member

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    I'm related to a lot of true preps (Hotchkiss, Yale, New Canaan, Adirondack great camps, tennis, sailing, blah, blah blah). It seems to me the absolute unpreppiest thing to do is to talk and think about being prep. True preps just are.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. comrade

    comrade Well-Known Member

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    I understand your sentiment, but you are anachronistic, superficial, and confused . The Volvo 240 was introduced roughly 15 years after the appleation " Beatnik" was widely used to identify a subculture. You probably meant "hippies, but hippies were not known to favor black apparel.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volvo_200_Series
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  7. Claghorn

    Claghorn Well-Known Member

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    In terms of style, is there any marked difference between prep and trad?
     
  8. gyasih

    gyasih Well-Known Member

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    I think prep still existed in the late 80's, early 90's especially in Northwestern New England-Deerfield Academy in the house
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  9. comrade

    comrade Well-Known Member

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    Trad is for all ages.Prep is a subset that tends to be for the
    younger crowd. So a nailhead worsted three piece suit with
    side vents and very natural shouders probably undarted, would
    be trad, more than prep. I own such a garment ( without the vest).
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  10. YRR92

    YRR92 Well-Known Member

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    Well, yes, but quite on purpose -- I went for the most "Preppy" touchstones I could think of. Heck, I've never been to Nantucket, and I think the 240s have gotten too ratty for even the kids to drive by now.

    Based on the folks I've known, teddyc4 has it right. If the mark of the hipster is denying being a hipster, then it seems to me that a lot of very preppy folks just kind of acknowledge it and move on -- socially, it seems a scene more concerned with other people within it, rather than one focused on its own relationship with the outside world. Not that I'm certain, of course. It's not quite my scene, though thanks to geography and genealogy, I've seen a bit of it.
     
  11. TheHoboPrep

    TheHoboPrep Member

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    Exactly the point I am making Teddy. You understand the anguish that a lot of preps feel from this internet nonsense about Prep. Without singling any blogger out, Castleberry's (of Ivy Style fame) move from surfer-cali-style-Mammoth Men to Prep (did the guy ever go to a prep or live a prep life?) is baffling. You see there are true Tiki Preps, or South Sea Preps, as I have named them, although there is no such thing as a hyphenated prep, because Preps Do Not Believed In A Hyphated World, from countries in the South Seas, and from Hawai'i, and places like Queensland, New Guinea, the Solomons, New Zealand, and Other Isles of the South Seas, but this cali-style thing he was doing before and then the transition to prep? It makes no sense to me. A lot of people have been jumping onto the prep style bandwagon without even understanding that prep is a lifestyle, and It Is One Not To Be Invented. As I write, easy to recognize, hard to define. For example, a Prince is Not a Prep, as He Is A Prince, and even in the most casual of circles Everyone Will Know, whereas a Prep can be a Far Wealthier Tycoon, or an Attorney of Law, or a Doctor of Medicine, or a Manufacturer of Apparel, or a Salesman of Goods, and will never disclose his title or status, in a Club Room, Bar, Wedding Party, On A Yacht, Or a Boat, Or Other Occasion unless pressed by his audience.

    The Mis-Appropriation of Prep as it is happening on The Internet is a disgrace.

    Trail of Prep Tears.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  12. comrade

    comrade Well-Known Member

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    Never been to Nantucket and you are permitted to post on Style Forum?
    Affirmative Action has gotten out of hand.
     
    2 people like this.
  13. Claghorn

    Claghorn Well-Known Member

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    Vineyard Vines makes terrible ties.
     
  14. TheHoboPrep

    TheHoboPrep Member

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    Sure.

    Prep is associated with prep schools (boarding schools such as PAA, PAE, Choate, Hotchkiss, Brown, and Others Elsewhere in this Small World In Which We Live) and to some extent was derived from the uniforms that prep students had to wear.

    Ivy is associated with prep, but is not prep. In fact, I think that Ivy, is not the same as Prep, For Many A Prep Never Went To An Ivy, instead Going Into Business In A Wall Streety Firm, a Workshop As A Craftsman-Apprentice, A Merchant-Apprentice or To A Tech like RPI or MIT.

    Trad is a means by which the established gentlemen of any profession, whether it be Law, Medicine, Investment Banking, Being a Merchant of Goods, Or Being a Doctor of Animals, would wear clothing, and Display Good Manners and Uniformity Without Being a Popinjay.
     
  15. YRR92

    YRR92 Well-Known Member

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    This is an early contender for Thread Of The Year 2014.
     
  16. TheHoboPrep

    TheHoboPrep Member

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    Well, it was posted last year...so perhaps it could still win last year's thread of the year award.

    Prep is such a thing that those who are Prep are loathe to see it being commercialized. The faux nature of the glossy families and young men and women all wearing a brand of clothes, made in Bangladesh by folks who would appreciate a basic state education and clean water for their children, and hocked off to members of the aspiractional classes (and unsuspecting preps) is quite odd. Perhaps it was always thus, and we never knew. But In This Small World In Which We Live and the Search Engine Age, people Now Know These Things.

    They've taking something special away, and mis-appropriated it for the benefit of some fashion label owned by a private equity company (which in turn is probably run and staffed by a bunch of my old friends from prep school).

    Trail of Prep Tears.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  17. steveabdn

    steveabdn Well-Known Member

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    Think yourself lucky, when the French decided to get rid of the privileged they chopped off their heads........

    The greatest form of flattery is imitation, stop being so precious about something you don't own and ultimately you have done nothing for to attain
     
  18. Blackhood

    Blackhood Well-Known Member

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    Most Preppy Trait: Buying block colour clothes that stand the test of time, and hiding their familial wealth.

    Least Preppy Trait: Whining that the kids are robbing you of your authenticity.
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. TheHoboPrep

    TheHoboPrep Member

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    Writing about Prep doesnt make me any more Prep, or any less Prep, in fact, I have one of the most no-nonsense sites there is about "Prep" - from one humble hobo prep's perspective, which is about "Prep" and decidedly isn't about "Prep Style" fashion at all (because Fashion Is Not Prep, and Prep Is Not Fashion), and at least as a prep I 1. recognize what's going on with the explostion of "preppy style" sites full of vacuous nonsense about how prep is a fashion, and 2. am doing my best to inform people of (and get your comments on) this little idea : "Reading something called "Ivy Fashion" or "Prep Fashion" and Dressing like a TH(I mean WTH?)/RL/BB catalog doesn't make you a better man - it takes other qualities" .

    If it takes a hobo to do that and make the kids realize that Prep is not a fashion, God help us all.

    PS If the only thing you have is a hammer*, everything looks like a nail.

    PPS *I see where you're from now. The Capital of Whining.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
  20. TheHoboPrep

    TheHoboPrep Member

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    Interesting idea.

    I do not own prep - nobody does - but there is an Irreducible Core to Prep, And What Prep Is - but I sure recognize it. As I have said, it is hard to define, easy to recognize. I have not attained it conciously, But Rather Every Prep Attains "Prep" Subconsciously, From His or Her Forbears, and In the Tender Years of Life, Until Old Enough to Appreciate Values And Strive Toward Them.

    Passing them onto his or her children.

    Yes, Preps do actually undertake responsibilities, tasks, life decisions, and ways of thinking that mean they attain Prep.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014

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