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What is the difference between a Preppy and a Trad?

Eustace Tilley

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Just a silly question I was thinking of. I'm guessing they're very similar, with the Trads focused on formal clothing from the 50s / 60s, with the prep look based on pastel colored casual clothing.

Anyone?
 

Kenneth Cole Haan

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I thought it was the opposite; preppy is the high school 50's & early 60's "good guy" style, in contrast to the "greasers" (leather jacket, cigarette case in t-shirt)

Trad is just the general type of American menswear, that predates preppy and outlasts it.
 

comrade

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Just a silly question I was thinking of. I'm guessing they're very similar, with the Trads focused on formal clothing from the 50s / 60s, with the prep look based on pastel colored casual clothing.

Anyone?

That's close. But as one who actually lived in that era and went to an Ivy League school, it's a bit more subtle.
Pastel clothing as such was not widespread in the late 50s early 60s, except for maybe madras jackets.
Preppy or Ivy for college guys was chinos or jeans an oxford shirt, crewneck sweater a "trad" sport coat,
white bucks, or penny loafers and a bit later, tennis shoes (falling apart). Outerwear included a balmacan
collared, raglan shouldered, rain coat or a barracuta or Londoin Fog jacket. For cold weather Loden or
Duffle coats were common. Down jackets and their ilk date the 70s. A wide rage of snow boots were worn
at my school. Except for LL Bean boots, none could be said to by Ivy or Preppy per se.
 
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Eustace Tilley

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That's close. But as one who actually lived in that era and went to an Ivy League school, it's a bit more subtle.
Pastel clothing as such was not widespread in the late 50s early 60s, except for maybe madras jackets.
Preppy or Ivy for college guys was chinos or jeans an oxford shirt, crewneck sweater a "trad" sport coat,
white bucks, or penny loafers and a bit later, tennis shoes (falling apart). Outerwear included a balmacan
collared, raglan shouldered, rain coat or a barracuta or Londoin Fog jacket. For cold weather Loden or
Duffle coats were common. Down jackets and their ilk date the 70s. A wide rage of snow boots were worn
at my school. Except for LL Bean boots, none could be said to by Ivy or Preppy per se.
Thanks - my understanding was that 'preppy' was very much an invention of the 70s / 80s (and hence, distinct from the Ivy look described here.) Perhaps I'm mistaken.

Interesting - thank you.
 
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Ianiceman

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I am absolutely no expert on this but still I might suggest that if you were to draw a Venn diagram of Preppy, Trad, and Ivy, you would probably find that the area common to all three would be greater than the areas common only to themselves.
 

Roycru

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It might be that one begins as "Preppy", morphs into "Ivy", then graduates and goes to work and morphs again, into "Trad", and then retires, and in one final morph, goes back to "Preppy" (but even 'Preppier") than at the beginning.

At least, that's the way it's been with me, although most of my morphing took place before the words "Preppy", "Ivy", and "Trad" were invented. We all just looked that way, but we didn't know that some day people would invent words for the way we all looked.
 

jrd617

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To me, "Preppies" are a douchebag subgroup of "Trads."

"Preppy" evokes images of pastel shirts, Nantucket reds, and madras.

Trad is more subdued Americana. Like what Comrade described a few posts up.
 
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poorsod

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Just a silly question I was thinking of. I'm guessing they're very similar, with the Trads focused on formal clothing from the 50s / 60s, with the prep look based on pastel colored casual clothing.

Anyone?

To me Trad is interested in recreating the precise details of Ivy League dress. Preppy is inspired by Ivy League dress but also includes the social class and lifestyle connotations, or at least the desire for it.
 
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comrade

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I am absolutely no expert on this but still I might suggest that if you were to draw a Venn diagram of Preppy, Trad, and Ivy, you would probably find that the area common to all three would be greater than the areas common only to themselves.

You are correct. I am not a canonical source of knowledge but as a participant observer, that is my recollection.
I also still dress in a style derivative of prep/Ivy/trad. However, I haven't owned a button down shirt in decades.
 

Kei-bon

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United Arrows' Kamoshita Yasuto was asked a related question in this interview. I guess Japanese "Ivy" is more or less "Trad" (a "to a distant observer" interpretation of it):

For The Discerning Few: You are a specialist of the Ivy League style. Could you please explain the difference between Ivy and Preppy?

Yasuto Kamoshita: It is mostly a difference of period. The Ivy League style was developed in the 1960’s before the Vietnam War whereas the Preppy movement appeared after the Vietnam War. In fact, the Ivy League style was based on American Brands such as J.Press, Gant and Brooks Brothers. Then with the Hippy movement the Ivy League style was mixed with some European brands; in the 1980’s it resulted in the Preppy Movement.

Furthermore, Preppy style is more dressed down than the traditional Ivy League style which was more about time, place and occasion. Preppy style is also a lot more colorful than Ivy style which is mostly about Navy, Grey and Brown.
 
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