The male European preppy will generally start wearing a suit at a younger age than the American one. Armani is probably the best but there are many others too. The brand however must not be visible to the eye in any form of mark or label, which are to be torn or cut off the suit. A tie is generally not worn outside work. More casual wear is mostly bought from your hometown clothes shop run by some childhood friend of yours. You wear local brands rather than international ones. There are also a few decent department stores in the City. For ladies there are much more places to buy clothes from, and accordingly they spend much more time and money shopping than men do. The European preppy of either gender will not be caught dead in a mall. Or wearing Tommy Hilfiger.
The houses in your hometown cost enough to keep the poor out. Your parents have the house in your hometown and the fancy apartment in the expensive part of the City. You go to the university in the City or maybe abroad, a year or two in the States or at Oxbridge will look nice in the CV.
The Continental preppy is fluent in English. To not speak English means you've had a poor education or are a French or German hick. That is not to say that all Frenchmen and Germans are hillbillies. Just 90% of the farmers.
Different countries have different sports like rugby. Tennis and sailing are pretty universal for all European preppies, and in the winter you go skiing to a place that costs enough to keep the poor out. You don't play golf, your dad plays golf. Guys follow some major sports leagues, but hardly ever go to an actual match.
You have good grades in high school to get to the university, where grades don't matter anymore. You just need to graduate, which mostly is a hard job in itself. So if your parents don't pay you trough school and you have to simultaneously study and work to make a living you must be exceptionally talented and hard working to make it. If you have to work you'll also miss a lot of the parties where preppies have a good time and make life-lasting bonds with other preppies.
The European preppy is in deed even more likely to come from Old Money than the American. European preppy families pay high income taxes, but only to a certain limit. Most of the income is not "income", but profit for an offshore company. The middle class pays income tax. Sailing costs enough to keep the poor out. We are the descendants of those who didn't ever have to leave for America.
Norwegian preppy guy: Well, I got to give that one to the Swedes, we don't envy them like our parents did anymore. Oh man, I just saw that guy from Connecticut in a Versace suit with the textile rip-off-tag still in the sleeve!
German preppy girl: Damn Yankees gonna ruin Kitzbuhel. Look, there's that good looking French dude who doesn't speak any English.
French preppy girl: He might be good looking, but he's got no class. He'll miss out on the real after-ski with those few French redneck friends of his. I refuse to talk with him, he just keeps bragging on and on about his parents' vineyard.
Italian preppy guy: Let's go find a good new off-piste hill!
Wears, but is not limited to, Polo, Lilly, Brooks Brothers, Lacoste, LL Bean (ie duck boots), ribbon belts, prints (ie cords with embroidered whales, palm trees, etc), sweaters tied around the neck, collar always popped, looks neat and put together. Hair ribbons or ribbon headbands, pearls, and other classic jewelry pull the look together. Preppies are partial to monogrammed and engraved items (ie tote bags, oxford shirts, jewelry, money clips, etc). Colors are always brite (favorites include pink and lime green). Preppies may not always match EXACTLY but they are always coordinated. Hats are worn (ie polo player, Lacoste, Brooks Brothers), but they are unique- not designs you would see in the mainstream and the "mall".
Preppies often attend prep schools (ie Middlesex School, Governor Dummer Academy, and Belmont Hill) followed by New England private colleges.
They are confident and unafraid to express their own styles and be daring in their fashions. Preppies vacation on Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Delray Beach, and on the coast of Maine. These vacation locales are places their families have been going to for years, and have histories there.
It is a common misconception that preppies are snobs. Many people view them as unapproachable, and as a result mislabel them. Preppies are not as rich as people may think they are, but they are often well off. They buy into classics rather than trends, and don't change their lifestyles with fads.
Preppies tend to have bizarre connections with other preppies they meet, always finding mutual friends/ family and people that run in the same circle.
* Wear tight, skin exposing clothing (ie fitted Abercrombie sexual tshirts with tight flared jeans)
* Limit themselves to mall shopping and chain stores. They gravitate towards long-established classic stores and boutiques unique to quaint New England towns.
* Wear heavy makeup and endless hair products. The phrase "less is more" is a preppy creed.
* Glue purses to their arms, especially when going to school. Lip gloss and if need be, a wallet, are thrown into tote bags along with books.
Preppy as in boarding schools and summers on nantucket. Preppy as in WASP and old money. As in LL Bean fur moccasins and ribbons in your hair, and flip-flops when it's 10 degrees outside. As in sailing and Topsiders and looking back on your house from your boat and being so, so happy. Preppy as in buying clothes not for the label but for what they look like. Preppy as in collars up and Nantucket Red shorts faded to pink. As in crew, tennis, squash, lacrosse. As in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine. As in Ivy League and prep schools with the word "academy" in their names.
As you can probably tell, I've had a lot of experience with this sort of person...and I suppose I am one...but so what if I summer on the Cape and wear blue seersucker and play tennis? Preppy is not a trend, it's a LIFESTYLE...it can never go out of fashion. There will always be people trying to emulate the preppy clothes and thinking they are preps, but really it's about your background and your education and where you summer. Not everyone who wears Lilly is a prep-- there is certain fashion that preppies usually wear, but that doesn't mean someone can just pop their collar and pretend they went to Groton or Choate.
(so yes, those of you who define preppy as:LOVES A+F, PINK, MAKEUP,MAKING FUN OF GOTHS and CHEERLEADING!!!!! are wrong)
"preppy" is a lifestyle; that of many well-to-do and often "waspy" families of New England and New York; most preppy teenagers have been preppy since birth; have attended private/boarding schools in New England all of their lives; enjoy sophisticated, lifelong sports such as (but not restricted to)tennis, sailing, skiing, and golf. Many live in classically preppy areas such as New Canaan, CT; the North Shore, MA; Westchester County, NY; and Greenwich, CT. Many also have second or third homes in Vermont for skiing, or Nantucket/Block Island/Cape Cod for summers.
Many are legacies at boarding schools/colleges in the North East, many are talented but party as hard as they work; Most are old money (see wasp) but there are "nouveau riche" preps who may prefer more modern customs (ie. abercrombie etc) than the timeless classics of the "wasp" lifestyle.
Preppy clothing designers include (but are not limited to):
Lilly Pulitzer, Ralph Lauren, Petit Bateau, J.Crew, Anthropologie, Patagonia, Birkinstock, Brooks Brothers, Lacoste, C.K. Bradley, L.L. Bean, the North Face, etc.
Preppy Designers do NOT include:
Abercrombie and Fitch, Express, American Eagle, The Limited, Guess, Aeropostale, etc.
HOWEVER: preppy items may be found at many of these locations (ex: nantucket red girls chinos at American Eagle)
Preppy (girls) essentials include:
ribbon belts,minimal makeup (or better, none), minimal hair styling, pearls, oxfords, polos, chinos, birkinstock clogs, sauconys, headbands, cableknit sweaters, brightly colored pants, cropped pants, jack rogers sandals, lilly pulitzer sundresses, longchamp/herve chapelier/vineyard vines/ll bean totes, patagonia fleeces, reef sandals, JCrew bathing suits, rainbow sandals,moccasins/topsiders, and many more.
preppy (boys) essentials include:
brightly colored baseball hats, rainbow sandals, Ralph Lauren polo shirts (in ALL colors- the brighter the better), nautical rope bracelets, nantucket red khakis, messy/unkempt hair (or minimal styling), other brightly colored khakis/shorts, crewneck sweaters, flannel/plaid oxfords, rope belts, striped ties, vineyard vines ties, LL bean boots, patagonia fleeces, navy blazers + khakis, topsiders, and much more.
"Yea I know, and she is very classy too."