A prep is NOT the three chicks from mean girls.
A prep is NOT the guy who makes fun of you for wearing all black.
A prep is a gently reared east coast (mostly) *preparatory school attending* boy or girl. A prep knows certain things such as how to pronounce Greenwich Village and Boca Raton, what to wear at a country club, what exactly an oxford shirt is, what chinos are, to pull out the chair of the girl to the right of you when at dinner, how to play tennis and golf, where Vineyard Vines is from and about how much their bags cost. A prep knows what Seersuckers are and owns often more than one pair, they shop at places like St. Johns, Ralph Lauren Purple Label (and blue), Lily Pulitzer, LaCoste and sometimes J. Crew and Burberry.
A prep is often Old Money, meaning that they have had money in their family for generations. They are usually a family of doctors, lawyers, and businessmen. The major difference between a Old Money prep and a New Money prep is that New Money flaunts their wealth, where an Old Money prep has had money in their family for generations and is more careful.
They vacation at Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod, Hilton Head, South Beach, Coconut Grove, St. Bart's, Barbados, Boca Raton, Fiji, Sundance, Sun Valley, Alta, Telluride and Duck. They usually have more than one house, a ski house and a summer house. They usually go to ivy league colleges, popular choices are Harvard and Yale.
To tell a *real* prep look for certain things:
In a girl:
1) cable knit sweater from ralph lauren or lily
2) matching bow in hair
3) a skirt or pressed khakis sometimes a prep wears jeans, but only Sevens, Citizens of Humanity or Diesel.
4) fashionable sunglasses, often Chanel or Dior but ones that aren't overly gaudy.
5) popped collar and often double polo
6) pearl earrings and necklace, often a tiffany's bracelet.
7) a ribbon belt
In a guy:
1) cable knit sweater vest
2) polo, often lacoste
3) plaid pants, or pressed khakis
4) boat shoes
5) a shag hair cut
6) a really expensive watch, often Rolex
Girl 2: "I'd love to! I have to finish writing my college essay though, my dad wants me to go to Yale."
Girl 1: "OMG! My dad wants me to go to Yale too! We can like, go together!!"
Has come to be an label for those who conform to typical teenage behavior, in areas like clothing, school behavior, and sports participation, because preps usually are more ambitious and/or image-conscious than others.
Popular belief is that preps hate nerds/goths/punks/etc, however, generally, preps pay little attention to other "types," and those who hate preps with the most passion are those who were once preps and have recently gone away from their previous behavior, and often people who are posers intent on protecting their alternative-ness.
Prep has become to be nearly synonymous with conformist, to the point where most preps have been in denial of their typecast, and it is seen as an insult in the eyes of many.
Preppy is the adjective form, Preppily is the adverb.
Bob wouldn't talk to Annie; He thought her interest in MTV and popular culture made her too preppy.
Tiffany started dressing very preppily over the summer, shedding her all-black dress code for the latest styles.
As someone else on here said, "preps are the downfall of society". and they are.
THOUGH, there ARE some people that are actually not snobby, wear the "prepy" clothes because they like them, and are smart and not shallow. These people are OK they are nice. They will not lead to the apocolypse like the rest of the preps.
prep: Lyk OMG I'm lyk ssooooo jumpin off a briadgee todai. OMGOMG who wantz to com.
Person 2: Yeah. I'll bet she's really rich.
-Are on the varsity football team, the cheerleading squad, or dance squad
-Wear clothes from stores such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister
-Have cellphones with ringtones
-Are the first in their class to have cars and other "adult" luxuries
-~:*TyPe LiK dIs On Da InTeRnEt*:~
-Know absolutely nothing about music outside of what is on MTV or the radio
-Know absolutely nothing about "nerd" things (anime, comic books, D&D, etc)
-Think goths are "evil Satan worshipping freaks"
-Do not play video games outside of sports/racing games and Halo/Halo 2 (males) -Do not play video games at all (females)
-Do not play musical instruments, write poetry, or have any artistic qualities of any kind
-Spend their weekends at the mall, at school sports games, or at parties, where they "get drunk off their ass"
-Are absolutely HATED by most intelligent people (including me) for their stupidity and snobbish attitude.
Me:...*wants to tear their head off*
Principal: "Now that's no way to talk about your fellow classmates. Zack Morris is one of the wealthiest students at this school... although he is known for his hillarious shinanigans."
Dirt poor bastard wearing clothes from Salvation Army: "Look, he's got that smaller poorer kid in a headlock."
Principal: "Oh I'm sure that kid deserves it, but you can see me in detention for using the curse word, 'prick'."
First off: You don't have to be from the north to be a prep. Let me make this very clear. What prep initially implies is that you went to preparatory school, hence the word "prep" (I'll discuss later how it's a cultural identity). There are plenty of good southern preparatory schools, which include Woodberry Forest, Virginia Episcopal School...you get the idea. There are good preparatory schools in every corner of this country, but it's the New England boarding schools that have assisted in establishing this stereotyped location.
Let's get on with true prep culture:
A prep's wardrobe consists of some expensive clothing, but they've had it for the better part of a decade--excluding the two Vineyard Vines polos they got for their birthday and the 50% off sale at Brooks Brothers--indicating the true preppy trait of valuing "classic" over "trendy". We don't buy into the Lacoste trend of now, but we will gladly wear "handed down from dad" Lacoste polo shirt when it still maintained an association with Izod, which was well before it became the token icon of a sold out, soulless and materialistic world.
And as far as the true prep's garage is concerned, you're more likely to find a boxy Volvo station wagon or sedan (ski rack clutching to the roof for dear life) than you are the Ferrari or Hummer that everybody seems to associate with a prep. You find cars like those in the garages of those obnoxious yuppies who liken themselves to human beings because of the sole reason that they have a body with blood (no matter how drug-laced) flowing through it.
Another typical misconception about preps is that we live in gigantic mansions on the 8th fairway of some country club to prove a point. Hell no. People who buy a big house with the sole intention of demonstrating that they have a lot of money are NOT preps. They are assholes or yuppies. The only time a prep will ever move into a big house (and even then, it will never be one that is likened to a McMansion)is if A) they have a large family or B) it was passed down for generations (refer to the "classic" versus "trendy" juxtaposition, because trust me, it applies right here). When it comes to housing, for a true prep, less is definitely more. A true prep will rent a studio apartment somewhere on the Upper East Side in lieu of purchasing a behemoth piece of archtectural vomit on the links, even though both probably wind up costing the same.
This brings me to education. Preps spend money on an education for the sole reason of having the proper tools to become successfully established with relative ease upon graduation. It's not for bragging rights, because anybody who brags about going to Harvard because it's "Haaaarvard" and not "the groundwork for their future success" usually winds up the victim of some form of brutal sodomy. A prep's tendency with regard to education is to go to a top College or University (generally on the east coast, but there's always Stanford and UCLA should a prep choose to make a respectable deviation from the norm). Private institutions frequented by preps include, but are certainly not limited to: Middlebury, Bowdoin, Duke, Tufts, Davidson, Lehigh, LaFayette, Colby, Bates, and every single Ivy League institution ever established. If for high school, a prep found Choate, Kent or Andover to be too small, they might choose to attend any of the following public universities: UVA, UNC, Michigan, UCLA, etc.
Finally, to put an end to an abhorrent misconception that everybody seems to maintain: NO, true preps do not buy their social status. Maybe we'll hang out at a ritzy bar if a friend is getting married, but normally, we avoid those scenes until we're at least 45 years old and drink scotch. The young people who frequent those places are just plain trying too hard. A true prep knows where to find a classy joint that won't break the bank or the heart. An amazing night on the town for a prep consists of dinner at J.G. Melon (11$) followed by an evening of wasting away on well-bourbon at T.J.'s (25$), which is an incredibly fun and inexpensive joint, considering it's in Manhattan. If that were my night, which it has been before, I would have just spent less in six hours than the pretentious bastard across the street did in the thirty seconds that it took him to order the Escargot.
A true prep is a classy individual. We know where to go, who to know and we seriously believe in class, and the true ones of us refuse to buy into pop culture. We do the right things, whether it's holding the door for a lady, mixing our Gin and Tonic with the right proportions, or double-spacing after every period when we write our essays. Truly, "prep" is not a trend, it is a classic way of life.
John: Ah yes, a true prep.
Brian: And look at that, he just gave his jacket to that incredibly tall, gorgeous blonde woman. Why can't my daughter find someone like that?
Now the real preps are generally smart, privilaged, and (very often) white. Their parents are usually doctors, lawyers, or buisnessmen, and all went to college. All preps will go to college, often Ivy Legue schools, or small liberal arts colleges in New England (Middlebury, Trinity, Colby, Etc.), though some will go to the elite west coast schools. Preps will generally fill their college resumes with multiple AP classes and will have SAT tutors or courses to assue their entry into these small, elite, and expensive private colleges.
In the end, these real "preps" are the new aristocracy of the United States. They live their lives sheltered from the hardships that the average citizen must deal with, going on about their way in refined luxury. Their lives are set up before they are born, most will go on to similarly professional, affluent, and prestigious careers as their parents, and they will soon give birth to the next generation of preps.