Most of the best definitions of preppy have emphasized Northern or New England birthrite preppies, but let's not forget about Southern preppies, as in folks living in Mountain Brook, Alabama, or the West End, Virginia, or the Garden District in Louisiana, or Buckhead, Georgia, or Belle Meade, Tennessee (if you've never heard of these Old Guard, old-money, preppy southern suburbs, than you're not a birthrite prep). Southern preppies wear most of the same classic clothes and styles as their northern cousins, including Lacoste, Lilly, L.L. Bean, Vineyard vines, Topsiders, Brooks Brothers, tevas, Polo, and especially Patagonia (shorts and fleece are key for guys). And the more monograms, the better. Girls love grosgrain and totes from Vineyard Vines and Bean. They also like outerwear by Barbour, Cole-Haan bit loafers, and wallobies by Clark. Southern preppy girls have straight, shoulder length hair. Their preppy mothers and grandmothers may have stiff, helmut hairstyles that haven't changed in decades. Preppy guys have longish, shaggy, wind blown hair. So do their daddies. They look so much alike. Preppy Southerners would attend day schools such as Altamont or Westminster or Harpeth Hall or boarding schools such as Woodberry Forest or Baylor or Foxcroft or Madiera, rather than a New England prep school. For college, they may attend state schools such as Bama or UVA or UNC or private colleges such as Vanderbilt or W&L or Hamden-Sydney (the preppiest school in the country according to Lisa Birnbach). And they will almost always join a fraternity or sorority. Preppy families live in historic or historic looking houses in nice, woodsy neighborhoods, that are comfortable in size but never ostentatious (no electronic gates!) Inside, family antiques, silver, china and portraits are found and all rooms are always used. It is an elegant yet comfortable environment. Southern preppies and their families belong to private town clubs and country clubs such as the Piedmont Driving Club of Atlanta, the Commonwealth Club of Richmond, and the Mountain Brook Club of Birmingham. Southern preppy families don't emphasize cars as status, but typically drive volvo wagons, mercedes sedans, Jeep Cherokees, Hondas, and sometimes SUVs (although they feel guilty about them!). It is more important to have money in the bank than in the driveway! Southern preppies enjoy sports such as tennis, sailing, soccer, lacrosse, and golf, but also quail hunting (in season) and attend Steeplechases in Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia. And they love to watch and attend college football games in fall. Tailgate parties! While some southern preppies journey northwards to summer on Martha's Vineyard or in Maine, most old southern families summer on Sea Island or St. Simmons's Island in Georgia, the mountain towns of Linville and Highlands in North Carolina, or the north Georgia lakes of Lake Rabun and Lake Burton. Southern preppies believe strongly in giving back to the community and are active members of their church, sit on symphony and museum boards, volunteer at children's hospitals, and run historic preservation societies. In fact, most old-family southern debutantes are required to participate in volunteer work during their debut season. Old-family, southern debutante balls are still important and traditional rites of passage for southern preppy girls as debs and preppy boys as escorts or marshalls. All southern preppies seem to know one another and have a large group of friends and acquaintances. Southern preppies have large, extended families and lots of cousins. They always go to the family country place for Thanksgiving and play football and ride horses. Preppy as a fashion trend may come and go, by preppy as a lifestyle will always continue and exist, and probably more so in the South than elsewhere. Remember: the Virginia colonies were settled by England before Massachusetts and the rest of New England. And Virginia is very prep.
Kappa Sigma at Hampden-Sydney is full of blond, shaggy hair guys who play lacrosse and are from Buckhead.
by Alex September 22, 2004
A Prep is one who above all has class. Yes, some may be snobs - but its just to put others in their places. Only kidding. Preps have a good sense of humor, of course. A prep can be seen sporting Lacoste, Polo, J.Crew, Lilly, Rainbow sandals, boat shoes, etc. Popped collars and searsuckers are ALWAYS found in a preps closet. Girls are not seen without their pearls. Most venture out with purses that could have been their grandmothers, such as Vera Bradley, and they must be monogrammed! Croakies are worn to keep sunglasses on, and afternoons are spent on the boat, sailing, playing tennis, playing golf, at the fitness center, etc. Hair and nails are always perfect, and though preps do not wear make-up, they always look flawless. Pink is a must-have. Alwys looks as though dressed to have brunch at the club. Well-off. Two houses - one downtown, one on the beach. Nice cars - Mercedes, BMW, Lexis, or older models of volvos, jeeps, tahoes, etc. Private Prep Schools then Southern University. In a sorority or fraternity. Parents are lawyers or doctors, or just have family money.

Preps are conservative and classy. Preps are not: Abercrombie, American Eagle, Mall clothes, etc. Preps are not public school. Preps are not trashy.
While having tea with her grandmother at the club, the girl saw many other preps; all were wearing searsucker or nantucket red pants, lacoste shirts with the collars popped, croakies, rainbows or boat shoes, and the girls all had on their pearls.
by a prep July 09, 2005
Clothes:

-Brands: Brooks Brothers, J. Crew, Lilly Pullitzer,
Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, etc...
-Not: Abercrombie, Hollister, Charlotte Russe, etc...
-Occasionally: Something from American Eagle or maybe
some chino shorts at Old Navy
-Will Wear:
-Ribbon Belts
-Pearls
-Polos
-Cardigans
-Oxfords
-Bright colors but will also wear classics like navy
-Chinos
-Argyle Sweaters/Socks/etc...
-Bright headbands
-Madras shorts
-Will Not Wear:
-Denim minis
-Trends like leggings, boho skirts, UGG boots, etc..
-Skin tight clothing
-Revealing clothing

Make-Up
-In a few words: None or little

Activities:
-Tennis, golf, polo, ballet, etc...
-Isn't one to roam around the mall doing nothing on a
Friday night
-Summers in the Vineyard, Nantucket, the Hamptons, etc..
-Does well in school usually and will most likely go to
a private East coast college or an elite public
university like UVA.

Personality:
-Like any stereotype (goth, punk, jock), their
personality ranges from person to person. Some preps are
nice just like some jocks are nice. Some preps are mean
just like some jocks are mean. It just depends
Girl at J. Crew: "I love that pink and kelly green ribbon belt. Very preppy"

Girl at Abercrombie: "I totally wanna get that denim mini and sheer cami. I'm like so totally preppy."

by Goody Goody Gumdrops August 04, 2006
Concrete Definition of Preppy:

One who is stylish and spends a lot of money on their clothing. Typically dressed in Ralph Lauren Polo, Lacoste, and Lilly Pulitzer. A true prep goes to a prep school, be it a day school or a boarding school. Most of these schools are located on the East Coast. They are not religiously affiliated. There is no such thing as a true public school prep. Preppies are subtly flashy, and tend to purchase things for comfort and style. Silver jewelry is particularly common, as are pearls. Flip-flops and ribbon belts are must-have accessories, as well as real (or sometimes fake) pearl earrings. Preppies take good care of their nails, but do not get acrylic fakes. Many get their eyebrows waxed. Preppies strive always to appear to spend less time than they do on their appearance, and do not brag or draw attention to their achievements openly. Preppy clothes never truly go out of style, but are frequently replaced. Preppies love their khakis, especially males. They will pay three times as much for a polo player, alligator, or palm tree on their shirts. Common vacations include, but are not limited too: Massachusetts coast, skiing out west (it is more expensive), and Caribbean island vacations during the winter (also very expensive). Most preps have, in their life, skied, and played lacrosse, tennis, and golf. Preppiness is found in its truest form after several generations of wealth in the family. First-generation preps tend to be flashy. True Preparatory (Prep) schools have near 100 years of “experience in educating young men/women” and nearly all of them send 100% of their graduates on to college. Preps tend to proceed to Ivy League, or other “big-name” colleges. Their level of intelligence varies greatly. They may have, but do not need, trust funds.

Preppies value staying in touch, which is why many have cell phones. They claim to buy their more expensive items so that they “will last.” (Examples are Oakley sunglasses, Columbia Sportswear and LL Bean outerwear, and Polo shirts.)

Preppies are not slutty, and do not wear American Eagle or Abercrombie, except for some of their sweaters. They focus instead on the more expensive brands, since they can and will pay 50-75 dollars for a short sleeve shirt. Preppies strive to wear different shirts each time they are around the same person. True preppiness can not be adapted, but it is a part of birthright. Wanna-bee Preppies never quite achieve what true preps are born with.
"She mixes pink and green like a true preppy"

"Their hair ribbons are so preppy."

"I dig the preppy style."
by Meg February 16, 2004
Preppy is a lifestyle, not just a way of dressing. I am a southern prep myself, and this is how I would describe myself and my friends:

We're friendly, polite, and laid-back people. When it comes to fashion, we go for classics: polos, chinos, boat shoes, etc. We like Lacoste, Ralph Lauren, and J. Crew (a huge personal favorite of mine because of their extremely cute cardigans), but we can also shop at stores like Abercrombie and Fitch and American Eagle. However, when we shop at those places, we pass over the trendy, revealing clothing items and find our good old classics. Our closets are full of bright colors that we like and are easy to mix together. We don't wear makeup and our hair is simple, but pretty. We've been raised to enjoy the outdoors and sports such as tennis, golf, and lacrosse (mostly for the boys). True preps do not walk around with tights clothes and tons of mascara while ridiculing their peers; we preps are way above that, and instead like to try to reach out to everyone and never mind making new friends. A prep has a ready smile (not because we're brainless, but because we're kind and know how good a smile can make someone feel) and is always willing to discuss intelligent matters. (Keep in mind, there are exclusions to the rule. Yes, there are mean preps, and unintelligent preps, but on the whole, we are a good set of people.) True preps do not brag about tacky things like money. We don't feel the need to always have the absolute newest outfit (that's the whole idea of having a wardrobe filled with classics) and we don't over-accessorize, though we do like a simple string of pearls and a headband or ribbon. We wear our clothes for a very long time (until they wear out) and then we are very likely to replace them with something identical, or almost identical. We like to pop our collars, but we can also wear them folded and down. We are upper-middle class or upper class, but it's not a big deal.

Those of you that say preps are mean, slutty people have obviously never met a real prep, and I'm sorry that you have such a negative, skewed image of us. We're really just all-americans, after all.
Ellie smiled at her reflection quickly in the mirror, straightening her crisp, preppy, popped collar and her pretty argyle cardigan on her way out the door.
by Eleanor R. January 27, 2008
relating to or characteristic of well-educated, fairly wealthy young people who are known for their neat, traditional, often expensive clothing style.
The girl who goes to Phillips Andover is very preppy becuase she dresses neatly and is very well educated
by Amanda Fox March 11, 2004
An adjective that describes a lifestyle lived out by many small-town New Englanders. A prep hates to wear gaudy labels (such as Louis Vuitton) or slutty labels (such as Abercrombie & Fitch). It is a common misconception that Abercrombie & Fitch is the preferred clothing designer, but it's not. Classic designs by Lacoste, Ralph Lauren, Lilly Pulitzer, L.L. Bean, and J. Crew (for example) are where you can find a prep shopping. Vacation spots include all of the East coast (Florida, Nantucket, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Maine, etc.) and some small mid-west towns (Colorado, Utah, etc.).

A prep usually goes to a preparatory school for college, whether it is boarding or day then they will most likely continue on to a well-to-do East coast school.

Sports favored by preppy people are tennis, golf, squash, sailing, field hockey, skiing, lacrosse, ice hockey, raquet ball (ie. Country Club sports and sports offered at school).
That girl with the pearls is very preppy in her Jack Rogers and Madra pants.

That boy in the docksiders is very preppy in his aqua blue Lacoste shirt.
by The Preppy Girls Club February 18, 2004
Preppies live very privileged lives (and we all know it too) and they are grateful for the opportunities given to them. They realize that not everyone lives a charmed life and are therefore not brats such as those on MTV's Super Sweet 16, but rather they acknowledge how much mom and dad have done to give them a good life, and are properly grateful.

Another defining characteristic of preppies is their work ethic. Preppies work hard for top grades and to be admitted to top-tier prep schools and colleges. The myth about daddy paying for lazy kids to go to Yale is not true. Our parents feel we should work to get to the top, and our work ethic usually pays off, which is why you find us at colleges such as Dartmouth and Yale.

There is, of course, the matter of the distinct preppy clothing style. Rather than the mall shops such as Hollister and American Eagle where the so-called "mainstream preps" shop, a real New England preppy shops at stores such as Vineyard Vines, J.Crew, Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, and Murray's. These clothes are admittedly more expensive than those found in the mall, but they are of much better quality, and therefore last longer, proving to be a smarter, better investment. The reason we can get away with wearing clothing for so long is because preppies do not follow trends. Our style of polos (collars popped essentially until marriage), khakis, topsiders, and other classic pieces has been in style for decades, and will continue to be in style for decades to come.
A preppy has been given opportunities but rather than waste them or take them for granted he or she works to earn this privilege after the fact. Class act.
by Nantucketreds0527 April 08, 2010

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