Friday, January 29, 2016

What Being Preppy Actually Means!

So, you want to be preppy, eh?!  Generally when we imagine preppie people, for many the only thing that comes to mind is a bunch of "gossip girl" b*$%hes who spent their days terrorizing other young girls in high fashion haute couture.  However for the rest of us not born in the 2000 era, we all know that preppy got it's image from Ivy League students who were well educated and in many instances, well off.  However not every preppy dressing individual is rich and a graduate from Harvard.  Nonetheless, its not uncommon to find this fashion sense of style does go hand in hand with this type of population because its roots did start in this manner.  Yet with all that being said, being preppy is more of a lifestyle than a fashion statement!  Food for thought.....

When I was working in NYC on Wall Street, I dressed very preppy.  My closet was mostly Banana Republic (which oozes preppy like no other) and I only owned, maybe, one pair of jeans and one pair of sneakers.  However the rest of my days (when not wearing a suit) were spent in knee high skirts, relaxed dress pants, loafers, ballet flats, cardigans and the likes that made the average non-prepister want to beat the hell out of me.  However, I stopped at headbands.  As much as they seem lovely (seem) that's beyond my limit of comfort.  Nonetheless, the rest of me screamed a J. Crew catalog!

My husband and I decided early on that all four of our kids would be dressed in the preppy style.  None of my child own graphic style clothes at all.  They all wear either solid colors or prints (patterns) but nothing with images on them.  They do own sneakers, but as well, shoes that are comfortable to walk in that still scream PREPPY!  None of them own sweat pants or sweat shirts and would never be allowed to walk outside the house dressed like this, unless they were going to play sports!  We make sure their image is that of a young "professional" child who isn't caught up in trendy clothes but well dressed in 'fashionable' clothes.  It is very important to us that our kids dress in an image that represent both my husband and me background and education.  We both tend to air more on the preppy side and less on the fast fashion side.  We normally buy clothes that are not fads, high fashion, or that will go out of season next week.  We stick with what we know, classic pieces and what works so that we can wear it year around without feeling like we got pushed off the run away high fashion train.  To use, dressing preppy has to do with our way of life, way of thinking and how we were raised.  If you ever studied this type of "culture" you would learn that this is more of a lifestyle and less of a fashion statement.  However for the sake of this article, we will use both terms interchangeably depending on the content of the paragraph.  

So if you are interested in joining the "preppy" lifestyle, below are a few tips to help you achieve this! 

Play Attentions to Brands! Brands are important due to the type of clothing style (and not designers) they can offer!

While preppy people do care about brands, it isn't the high fashion brands they go after, but rather the ones that can offer them the classic look they are going for.  Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Tommy Hilfiger, Tory Burch, Gap and the likes all offer preppy clothing that one would be looking for.  They are known for offering the docker pants, cardigan sweaters, ballet shoe style flats and the colors and patterns ones need to pull this look off.  However with that being said, preppy people don't push brand names either.  You won't see them walking around with a Calvin Klein label hanging off the front of their shirt.  So be conscious that while brands matter in order to offer you the style of clothing you are looking for, making sure the public knows which designer you are wearing does not.  Nothing only is that not preppy, but its down right obnoxious.  Preppy people are suppose to be very polite, well mannered and conservative.  Remember that before you buy something that looks to hot, sexy, flashy or too fashionable for everyday wear.

When looking for preppy clothing, be alert of a few things.   Preppy clothing is less about fashion and more about a statement!

1. While preppy people love colors to accentuate their clothes, don't go too over the top with flashy colors that scream "what the hell".  They normally stick with pastels and earth tone colors.  Bright pink magenta might be off their plate.  

2. Moreover they mostly tend to wear plain t-shirts (colored or not), solids, strips or pattern shirts WITHOUT graphics.  button up blouses/shirts, kahakis, dockers, skinny jeans or relaxed dressed pants. Polo shirts and boat shoes are a staple in this category.  And no, Its not a stereotype, its just how it's done!  Cardigans, sweaters, fashionable blazers, and dresses are always in their closest.        

3.  Shoes tend to be oxfords, loafers, ballet flats, riding boots, or stylish heels that don't scream Louboutin.  Again, remember, preppy people are stylish not flashy.  Not saying they won't own Louboutin, just says it won't be one of his eccentric designs. 

4. Purses, while they are a big thing, generally tend to be totes (monogrammed) or arm bags that are classical but not a one season wear.  

5.  Jewelry and accessories are important but again, cant be over the top.  So pearls, studded earrings and tasteful gold or silver is allowed.  One ring on each hand is ok.  All 10 fingers coated in metal is not.  Solid leather belts, cuff links, ties and yes in some cases handkerchiefs are acceptable for men.

 Grooming is a very serious issue in the prepster lifestyle.  No serious preppy person would be caught dead with dirty hair, hands, body or clothes.  So grooming is a must.

1. Make sure your hair is always washed, clean, cut properly and not all over the place.

2. Long and shoulder length hair can normally be found amongst this crowd.  Make sure your hair color is either your own or one that looks like its naturally yours.  Blonde hair that looks fake or black hair that looks goth is not found in this arena.  

3. Makeup is normally worn in a very natural looking way.  Naturally looking skin is always key in this group. Stay away from crazy over the top eyeshadow, harsh contouring, disco ball highlighting or eyeliner that looks like it can grow wings and fly!  Eyebrows should always be groomed and filled in to look natural and not like they belong on Instagram!   Men tend to be well shaven, groomed hair and showered.  Clear skin for both sexes is normally looked after in order to ensure it looks healthy.  Now-a-days white teeth is common among people.  So keeping your smile white and bright wouldn't hurt either with a dentist or OTC treatment. 

4. Diet and exercise is key in this group because form fitting clothes is mostly worn versus baggy styles.  so eat right, exercise and stay healthy for your well being.  

5. Keep your nails manicured whether you are a guy OR girl.  Nothing says nasty like dirty finger nails and ragged cuticles.  Biting your nails is bad as well.  Make sure your hands make a statement about you and not a deterrent against you.  Moreover, preppy girls tend to wear either natural looking nail polish, clear polish or the french manicure.  Wild, bright or vivid colors are seldom found here. 

 Attitude is everything!  So get it together with this one!!  No amount of money or clothes can ever cover up an ugly heart!

Again, being preppy is a lifestyle and not just a fashion statement.  While fashion is a large part of it, but being educated and mannered is an even bigger deal.

1. Be polite, no one likes rude people.  As much as you might (like to think) identify with NYC attitude and culture, the large majority of us know when you crossed over to the "oh no know he/she didn't" side.  Confidence is not the same as rudeness.  Being assertive, a straight arrow and dominant can all be done without putting anyone down, pushing people to the side or stepping over people.

2. Manners always rule in this arena when it comes to eating.  So, if you don't have table manners, learn some.  You can watch a youtube video, read a book or ask someone who has etiquette in this area.  Lack of etiquette, especially at the table speaks volumes about you.  So be careful how you tread in this area.

3. Be classy when it comes to dressing, walking and talking, as this is very important.  Wear clothes that flatter you and not make you look trashy, sleazy or unkempt.  Learn to speak without using curse words in every other sentence or argue without cursing people out.  This only shows your limited vocabulary and lack of etiquette when dealing with others when confronted with unpleasant situations.  Keep your cool (and tongue) at all times.  Walk tall with proper posture.  Shoulders back, stomach in and no slouching!

4. Plays sports like golf, rugby, cricket, tennis, ballet, swimming, hockey, soccer, horse backing riding and so on that demonstrate your athletic skills and team player personality!  That is always a winning personality trait when you can get along with others even in a competitive situation.

5.  Read books and not just fiction.  Learn about world events, sports, economic issues, religion, science and all things that well educated people would talk about at a dinner party or in general.  Your latest reality show in this circle might not cut it.      

6.  Be nice, polite, helpful and well mannered.  The better well mannered and educated you are (in all areas) the more likely people are to get along with you, respect you and want to get to you know versus those who are seen as stuffy, uptight, disrespectful and completely unmannered.  Those people don't really go far and have few very intimate close friends no matter what they think or say. 

7. Above all have an award winning character and integrity.  Because, well, if you don't have that...then really don't have anything.

So there you have it!  My tips on how to be a prepster!! Do you know any others I might have missed?

Keep Smiling!


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