A true prep can very easily tell the difference between a real prep, and fake one. Most true preps attend private school, or at least have multiple family members that did. Most preppies come from WASP families. Don't think that just because you shop at J. Crew that you can be preppy. It's a lifestyle.
Preppies do tend to shop at L.L. Bean, Lands End, J. Crew, Brooks Brothers, Lilly Pulitzer, Vineyard Vines, and more. Preppies buy into these stores because of the better quality and appearance. Some common preppy shoes are top-siders (the classic sperry's), penny loafers, L.L. Bean boots, ribbon flip-flops, and others.
Preppies tend to vacation on Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and in Maine. They go there every summer and probably have houses there. Preppies usually don't say the full name of such places. For example they will say they are going to "Newport", "Edgartown", or even "I'm flying into ACK". Preppies love the outdoors and playing preppy sports, like lacrosse.
Preppies DO NOT:
- wear over-revealing or skin tight clothing
- pop their collars (this is debated but if you really are a TRUE prep, it is fine to pop your collar but for any semi-preps or fake preps you seem to be trying too hard and end up looking like a douche.)
- Wear an excessive amount of make-up ("less is more")
- Vacation at places like the Jersey Shore
- Talk about being preppy.
True Preppy: Hey, I like your nantucket reds and top-siders.
Fake Preppy: What are nantucket reds? And do you mean my sperry's?
True Prep: Nantucket reds are your red shorts. So you told me you sail- where is your yacht club? I have a couple friends at EYC.
Fake Prep- Oh my club's on the jersey shore. Where is EYC?
True Prep- It's the Edgartown Yacht Club.
Fake Prep- Oh. I knew that. Are you in boarding school?
True Prep- Yeah, I'm at Deerfield. How about you?
Fake Prep- No I'm in public school.
True Prep- Oh but both your parents went to private school right?
Fake Prep- No. (A semi-prep would say yes)
True Prep-Well I got to go to lax practice, see you around