Preppy 10 Commandments – Episcopal Style

Note:  You need not be Episcopalian to follow these blessed commandments,  for we are both traditional and prepumenical.  We welcome all who have been Madrasized into the household of preppiness.  
  1. Thou shalt honor thy mummy and daddy, for they control thine inheritance, and grow not hair upon thy face, for it displeaseth them to look upon it.
  2. Thou shalt not wear unnatural fibers, excepting that it be Polar Fleece, nor shalt thou adorn thy neck or hands with bling.
  3. Thou shalt not wear cargo pants; neither shalt thou wear a fanny pack nor a belt hang down, for such things maketh thee to resemble the heathen.
  4. Thou shalt wear natural shouldered sport coats with the blessed 3/2 roll and cuffed plain front pants, for the Lord despiseth pleats, which are the work of the Devil.
  5. Thou shalt not wear seersucker before Memorial Day nor after Labor Day, for reverence of summer pleaseth the Lord.
  6. Thou shalt not eat meat with a salad fork; neither shalt thou drink water from thy finger bowl, for such things are an abomination.
  7. Thou shalt not add ice to thy Scotch, for it doth please the Lord that the golden nectar shouldst be consumed neat, and uncorrupted.
  8. Thou shalt write thank you notes to those who sendest thee gifts, for good manners are pleasing in the sight of the Lord and encourageth future gifting.
  9. Thou shalt not abide in the realm of NASCAR races, for such things doth attract the Philistines, who wear neither shirt nor shoes, and leadeth thee in the paths of unpreppiness.
  10. Thou shalt neither dwell in a monster mansion nor commit other vulgar displays of wealth; for thou shalt live unseen by the heathen, reveling in the simple joys of popped collars and critter embroidered pants all the days of thy life.  Amen.

Amendment to the 4th Commandment – The Scottish Exception

Though the Lord doth look upon pleated pants for men to be the work of the Devil, His countenance doth look favorably upon pleated kilts worn by those of Scottish descent.  The Lord doth look most favorably upon this practice for family tartans.  Verily, I tell you that His mercy extendeth even unto to young ladies, though they be not of Scottish descent, at boarding schools with dress codes that requireth kilts.

New Preppy: Mainstream American and International

With designers like Tommy Hilfiger updating the preppy look for a younger mass market, as in Feast Interruptus with its Vampire Weekend soundtrack, it is no longer the exclusive domain that it once was.  You need not have attended an elite prep school to qualify as a preppy.  Assimilating the right look and attitudes –  conservative clothes, good manners, good sportsmanship, fun loving and carefree disposition and  appreciation of traditions – might be enough.  Lisa Birnbach makes this point in True Prep, her update of The Official Preppy Handbook published last year.  In fact, preppy has become mainstream in America and is now an international trend.  “Whereas once upon a time it seemed unlikely that Europeans would be attracted to our aesthetic,” writes Birnbach, “now they’ve adapted it and made it their own.”  A German college student/model in the video below looks right at home in his Nantucket reds, button down, bow tie, blue blazer and Clark’s Desert Boots.

In a new book from Rizzoli, Preppy:  Cultivating Ivy Style, Jeffrey Banks and Doria De La Chapelle, take off on the mainstream aspect of this way of dressing:  “Intrinsically American preppy has progressed, reflecting, in its way, the social and educational progress our country has achieved.  What started out as an exclusive, white-Protestant, male, clubby way of dressing for the Elite Few has morphed into an inclusive, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, pan-gender, meritocratic way of dressing for the Elite New.  Aspirational preppy is the American dream, and it speaks eloquently for us all over the globe.”  Nobody does aspirational preppy better than Ralph Lauren.

Keep in mind that preppy clothes can be very expensive at retail.  The purpose of my blog is to show you how to find the clothes you’re looking for in excellent condition at bargain prices.  Why pay retail when you don’t have to do so?