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
Preppy is NOT about being a cheerleader who is very snobby. to be a prep you need to live on the northern east coast (no, preps are not from california). preps play sports but do not have to be athletic. these sports include tennis, golf, polo, horseback riding, sailing, lacrosse, baseball... etc. there is a huge controversy over the fashions that preppy people wear. preps do not wear revealing or tight clothing. polo shirt, capris, sweater sets, ribbons in the hair, ribbon belts,knee socks,and loafers are common preppy clothing styles. brands such as lily, lacoste, ralph lauren, and birkenstock are common. stores like a&f and american eagle are preppy too, but some clothes from these stores are too revealing or tight to be considered preppy. the most important thing to know is that preps are classy, put togther, and natural looking.
Pearls and a polo with a popped collar look very nice with capris.
by Rachel April 01, 2005
preppy- a true prep does not wear abercrombie and fitch, hollister, or american eagle.A true preppie always looks put together,clean cut, and crisp. We would never ever put on a slutty shirt from a and f. We like to dress to impress! like wearing clothes from ralph lauren polo, l l bean ect. we always have our colars popped up and most of the time have pearls around our necks. None of us would be caught dead in anything else. You might think that the kids at your school who wear a n f and hollister are preppy....but they are not. They are just trashy looking.
omg did you see kristie today? she was looking good in her pink ralph lauren polo with her colar popped up.
by polo prep July 19, 2004
A prep is someone who lives in new england, summers in nantucket, martha's vineyard or block island, and usually goes to a private school. preps come from old money, generally their families are old time new england families. preps go to colleges like wesleyan, swarthmore, harvard, bowdoin, risd, wellesly, and other colleges of the type. they wear j.crew, have a northface ski jacket with lift tickets attatched, carry a nalgene with them everywhere, and dont wear a whole lot of makeup. they consider themselves to be liberals, but tend to be more on the conservative end of liberalism.
they wont admit they are rich, but they are-they just arent showy with their money, and will buy a jetta over a porsche or a crv over an escalade. generally, they go for quality, not size/showyness.
person 1: you look so new england prep today
person 2: yeah i didnt feel like hiding it today
by K.A. August 01, 2005
I agree with most of the definitions. Preps always have to have there collars popped, they need to wear brands such as Lacoste, Ralph Lauren polo, Lilly, Brooks Brother, etc….. But the one thing I disagree with is that all preps live in New England. I live in Michigan, but I use to live in Connecticut, and I go to a prep school and I wear all of the brands listed above and I’m very preppy, so not all preps live in New England.
Look at that really preppy girl who dosnt live in New England.
by Lacoste chick May 01, 2005
most of the people on this site truly have no idea what preppy is. preppy is a way of life, a style, a feeling. it is NOT Abercrombie and Fitch or AE. Not classy enough.
Westfield, New Jersey
by sara March 11, 2005
This word found its start with the term "Prep School", or preperatory school, which is an elite high school where teenagers live in dormitories on campus. (i.e. Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts - shout out to all my girls at PA!!!) Since these schools are populated by a particular class of people, with a particular style, the adjective PREPPY emerged.
'Preppy' can refer to members of a certain social class, but can also be more generally used as description of personal style.
In terms of style, the stereotype is a mixture of pink-and-green. Pants are typically khakis, Nantucket Reds, and, for men, often khaki-cotton-material in bright neon colors such as pink and lime green. The epitome of preppy pants are the latter, decorated by a pattern of sewn-in whales of a darker contrasting shade. Classic button-down shirts, usually solid or striped, are common, as well as solid and striped polos. The collars of the polo shirts are always "popped", or turned up instead of folded over. Often, polos of different colors are layered, the one on the bottom matching the skirt/pants, the belt, or the headband. Flip-flops are the coup de grace, no matter what the weather. However, when our toes are absolutely freezing off, we wear Uggs, with the tops folded over to expose the fur and our jeans tucked in. We wear v-neck cable-knits and argyles over button-downs. North Face jackets are a must. Pearls are best for jewelry. Excess hair products, jewelry, and make-up is frowned upon. Accessories include Nalgene bottles and tote bags.
In terms of the lifestyle, "preps", or preppy people, typically live in the New England area. They usually belong to Yacht Clubs, Beach Clubs, or Country Clubs, depending on which crowd they run with (i.e. The Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead, Massachusetts). Their children go to private elementary and middle schools, and are attended by foreign female au pairs, to keep them out of their parents' way until they can be shipped off to boarding school (not that we mind much). They dress in preppy clothes (see above), and spend much of their time shopping to find them. The Jewish kids among them throw fabulous bar mitzvahs during middle school, and if the WASPs and Catholic kids get jealous, we throw even more fabulous Sweet Sixteens, which are similar to bar mitzvahs escept with less religion and more liquor. We all know each other. All of us. I know, it's hard to believe, but somehow we are all intermarried, or at least have some mutual friends. The women are either housewives on committees and boards and things, or they are incredibly successful professionals, like partners in a law firm or the head neurosurgeon at a hospital. The fathers make lots of money, and are always gone on business, and play lots of golf. Acceptable sports are lacrosse, soccer, crew, polo, and sometimes water polo. We are either radically liberal (like my family) or radically conservative, but we don't discuss politics unless everyone in the room is on the same side. We will all get into an Ivy League school. This is a necessity. We summer on the Cape, or the Hamptons, or Nantucket. We spend March break in Atlantis and Cancun and other trendy resorts. Contrary to popular belief, not all preppy people are wealthy - but the more money you have, the easier it is to fulfill the lifestyle and to enjoy its benefits.
The taller girl snorted out a laugh, and her nose ring wobbled a little as her face settled into a derisive sneer. "Look," she said derisively, her voice deliberately too loud, "the preps are slumming it on our side of town." The group looked up at the sound of her voice, scowling back at her triumphant smile. They looked like they had just stepped out of a J. Crew catalog, but were beginning to get the distinct impression that they took a wrong turn and ended up in hell.
by PA gal February 12, 2005
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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