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

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I know youv heard it before but it is extremely true: preppy is not about what u wear it is about the lifestyle. Most preps are born preppy into a preppy family. the most preppy is “waspy” families (white anglo-saxon protestant), followed behind by catholics and jews, although i have seen many black, hispanic, asian etc preps too.
-PREPPY CLOTHING: Preppy stores are mainly the ones you can find in nordstrom or bloomingdales: lacoste, ralph lauren, and many others. North Faces are the newest jackets for preps, and abercrombie could be considered the "neo-prep" by some, but dont overbuy abercrombie. Hollister and Aeropostale is not preppy, but preps can own clothes from there. American Eagle can be preppy, but as abercrombie dont overbuy. For males, polos are a must, in many colors. Khakis, rope belts and bracelets, sandals, sweaters or north face fleeces, etc. Girls have a larger variety, included polos as well, tanks, khakis, fitting sweaters, ribbons, rope belts, sandals etc ( beleive me there are a LOT more)
-PREPPY AREAS: Most preps live in the northeast, but many can be found in California. Westchester, NY; Greenwich, CT, etc are places where many preps can be found. Most attend prep or boarding schools, yet many attend suburban public schools. They do well in school, which runs in their family, and go off to similar colleges as their parents, primarily ivy league
-PREPPY CARS: Preppy cars are important for they are the first impression in many cases. Preppy families should have at least three cars: An SUV, a sedan, and a sports car. Mercedes, BMW, Lexus ect make great SUVs and sedans, as well as sports cars. But for sports cars, its necessary to think out of the box. Porsches are popular for preps
-PREPPY ATTITUDE AND OVERALL LIFESTYLE: Preps have many friends but may not be the most popular in their school. They are not stuck up and find no need to brag, people already know they are rich. Prep dads are business executives and real estate investors. Mothers are usually working mothers, either involved in their husbands business or successful on their own (for example successful lawyers). They are NOT stuck up, as their children, but they enjoy to spend time with families similar to theirs. They are not unaware of their children's lives, yet they dont need to be too involved because their children are doing fine on their own.
-PREPPY SPORTS AND ACTIVITES: Preps play sports they can play their entire lives, tennis and golf at their country clubs with their family and family friends, as well as lacrosse or soccer at their schools. Girls can be cheerleaders, but its not necessary
-PREPPY PETS: Preps do NOT have small ugly dogs that they carry around with them. Usually preps hav medium sized white dogs (such as bichons or poodles) or large, dark furred dogs with their heads high (such as Great Danes).
-PREPPY HOMES: Preps live in large houses, with European style exteriors and neo-classic, antique interiors. They also have other houses, such as winter homes in the mountains or summer homes. Florida condos are a popular vacation spots for preps. Winter is spent skiing, in Colorado and the Alps; Spring break is spent in the Hamptons, or Florida, or other vacation spots. Summer is spent in Europe and at the country club. Family trips dominate parent trips (usually to vineyards) but they are popular too.
Overall, preps are the ideal person, in the ideal family and the ideal school. They are moderately rich, and will be rich when they grow up. Many have "old money", but still some dont. They have an attitude that is NOT stuck up, yet still hav an air of importance. Preppy Brand names, country clubs, and trips to preppy vacation spots are important. And ultimately bragging is unnecessary, if you really are preppy and rich, people will know.
Preppy Mother: come, son, your dad's out in the mercedes ready to go play golf at the club and he wants you to join us!
by the drex April 22, 2007

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It seems that far too many people define a preppy as a snob who dresses like a slut, and who trashes others.

In fact, the exact opposite would better define a preppy. Preppies are known for their charm, their ability to make anyone feel welcome, no matter their background or lifestyle.

However, to be honest, preppies live very sheltered lifestyles and do not often have to interact with those labeled as "emo" or "gothic." The reason for this is that most young preppies have never experienced life outside of their prep school (boarding or day), country club, and summers on the cape.

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 good grades, and to be admitted to top-tier prep schools and colleges. The myth about daddy paying for stupid kids to go to Yale is not true. Our parents feel we should work to get ourselves to the top, and our work ethic usually pays off, which is why you find us at colleges such as Dartmouth, Middlebury, and Yale.

There is, of course, the matter of the distinct preppy clothing style. Rather than the mall shops such as Hollister, Old Navy, 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. Preppies have expensive clothes, but they hang in their closets for years, until they are no longer acceptable for public wear. The reason we can get away with wearing clothing for so long is because preppies do not follow trends. The preppy 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 girl can be spotted at Dartmouth because she is the one in the green lacrosse uniform, with a bright pink ribbon tied around her ponytail.

A preppy boy is the one sailing at Yale. He's wearing a classic hemp bracelet, and his skin is perfectly and evenly tanned from summering on Martha's Vineyard.
by Born and raised in Exeter February 04, 2008

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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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Most of these definitions are pretty accurate, but none of them mention Canadian preps. We enjoy the same lifestyle as American preps, but we live in places like Oakville, London (ontario), Kanata, PEI, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, And some parts of British Columbia. We sail our boats on lake Ontario, we ride our horses along the Trans Canada trail, we don't shop at the malls, and if we do, it's only because they have stores like J Crew, Banana Republic, Lilly Pulitzer, or Ralph Lauren. We don't shop at Abercrombie and Fitch or American Eagle. We summer on the cape of in the vineyard. We belong to country clubs, and party as hard as we work. We attend boarding schools in the USA, or Candian ones like Ridley. Or we attend private or gifted/enriched day schools. We usually have pretty good relationships with our parents. We respect them, and they are very good to us. We live in historic (or historic looking) houses with manicured lawns and well cared for gardens. We don't have gigantic stone gargloyles or electric gates; we are not flashy! We don't really watch TV that much, though their are some shows we enjoy. We do our homework and plan to attend Universities like Yale, Princeton, McGill, or Queens. We aren't snobby, we're generally pretty nice and friendly people. We were brought up well by old money families. We'll end up marrying well to do preppy boys and raising preppy children. Most preps are caucasion, but we can be any race. We usually have straight, shoulder length (or longer) hair. We carry LL Bean totes with monograms on them.

A typical preppy outfit for girls: Lilly Pullitzer polo, J Crew critter shorts, Eliza B. flip flops, and a ribbon in our hair, of course.

A typical preppy outfit for boys: Khaki pants, a Ralph Lauren polo (collar popped, of course), Rainbow flipflops, and a sweater knotted around their shoulders.

Preppy is a lifestyle. NOT a trend!

1 :
Mimi: Wow, Muffy, look at Babs today!
Muffy: I know, she looks so cute today in her Lilly skirt and her tiffanys pearl necklace
Mimi: Don't you love the ribbon in her hair? It's so preppy!

1:
Babs: Hey girls, want to study for the Algebra test at my house tonight
Muffy: Sure!
Mimi: Sorry, I have a tennis match
Babs: Good luck!
by Mitsy July 06, 2007

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Hey. Sure, Brooks Brothers is a standard preppy store, but don't forget BASS. Of course, they sew the Weejuns!
Bass Weejuns -- loafers with the money appropriately inserted.
by RT April 02, 2005

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Prep is as many of the people here have already said - classic, conservative, WASPy, tasteful, etc. What bothers me is the misconception that being "preppy" means being a snob. Snobs, by and large, are insecure middle class pricks. A real prep is confident enough in him/herself that he/she doesn't need to put others down for no reason. Preps are secure in who they are; they don't need flashy brand names to give them their self worth.
On a side note - Someone who is White, Anglo-Saxon, and Protestant is not necessarily a WASP; George Bush is a WASP, for example, while Bill Clinton is not.
A real prep wouldn't waste his time hanging with a snob.
by Chip November 26, 2004

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first of all, there are basically two types of preppy. while both date back to the original root of the preppy style. there is an east coast prep, and a west coast prep.
both of these types of preppy go back to the original polo shirts like lacoste, lilly pulitzer, ralph lauren, jcrew and other brands.
l.l. bean, lands end and patagonia are also preppy favorites.
while some west coast preps do shop at baercrombie, it's not for any tight or revealing clothing. it's for basic slimt fit chinos, nice skirts and oxfords. preppy does not mean snobby, and rich although most preps are from well off families.
preps are not mean, condescending people.
we often play sports like lacrosse, golf and tennis.
and while most of us do drive nice cars, and do pop our collars (without a crease, of course) we are not mean and rude to people.
a true prep respects everyone and is well mannered.
many times we volunteer our time to charity and helping the less fortunate.
more importantly we must always look collected and neat, have good manners and NEVER reduce ourselves to making fun of others.
most preps go to a private school, like myself, and stay with the classic preppy looking never trading it in, but sometimes it's nice to add something to the classic look.
anyway, people need to stop saying preps ONLY wear abercrombie and that stuff because actually, most of us don't.
we are not snobby as MANY of you have tried to say, if you get to know a prep we're actually really nice.
we love ribbons in our hair, printed belts, jane fox flip-flops and most importantly tote bags!

you all should really give preps a chance before you judge them as self centered rich kids!
catie looked super chic prep in her sky blue lacoste polo (collar up, no doubt!), khaki chinos and vera bradley tote, and the ribbons in her hair totally accentuated the look.
by bri August 16, 2004

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