Preppy can refer to a conservative, timeless style of dress and the simple choices of classic jewelry that evoke an air of confidence in one's natural beauty. But a true preppy attends a Boarding School. Their parent or parents often attended traditional boarding academies such as Phillips Exeter, Phillips Andover, Deerfield, Hotchkiss, St.Paul's, Groton, St.George's, Choate-Rosemary Hall, Lawrenceville and the like. They grew up knowing this was their likely educational path and never thought it was odd to leave home for High School. They hope to attend an Ivy, Stanford, Cal or one of the monied Northeast private colleges such as Middlebury, Williams, Trinity or Bowdoin etc.
They may have grown up in California but they likely have east coast family ties and live a pretty bicoastal existence once they start "Prep School". They usually play lots of sports and know where the squash courts are as well as what a "shell" is or they are a really accomplished musician. They look out their dorm window and see brick or Gothic stone; as well as Patagonia and North Face clad preps sometimes playing with little "fac brats" on the expansive grassy lawns. They often learn at oval tables rather than at traditional classroom desks. They are often sleep deprived because of the demands of 24/7 dorm-life, sports, clubs and study. They sometimes have to fake sick and go to the Infirmary since that is the only way to skip class and sleep without getting into trouble with warnings like "green cards" or "dickies". They sometimes get "put up" for discipline issues that would just involve being grounded if they lived at home. They sometimes get stressed and burned out and move back home. It's possible to be forced to withdraw from the academy. They often graduate with really tight lifelong friendships and are so loyal to their Alma Mater that when they die they leave generous endowments from their estate to their "Prep School" and hope their grandchildren will attend as legacies and enjoy the benefits of their alumni giving.
by JGS August 28, 2005
traditionally, attends a prep school; realistically, sophistocated, classic, stylish, somewhat conservative; optimistically, ridiculous, intelligent, kind; frequently blonde, fairly well-off, spends summers on the Cape; usually can be identified by clothes and car
anything polo, lacoste, burberry, maax, or lilly pulitzer; not really abercrombie; common colors include pink and green, among other pastels; accessories for girls include pearls, bows, sweaters around the neck, collars popped, ribbon belts and large "audrey hepburn" sunglasses
by mel p November 30, 2003
Someone who is preppy appreciates classic, conservative clothing. Contrary to popular teenage misconceptions, preppy people do not wear Abercrombie and Fitch, GAP, American Eagle; these clothes are trendy and entirely too flashy/showy for a true prep. Rather, traditionally preppy people wear Lilly Pulitzer, Polo Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, Brooks Brothers, or L.L. Bean. Preppy girls favor simple clothing and jewelry; polo shirts with the collar popped, simple sundresses with a cardigan tied round the neck, or ribbon belts. Preppy males also wear polo shirts with the collar popped, appreciate the simple polished asthetic of khakis, and generally do not dress like slobs.
"Doesn't Elizabth's pink polo shirt with the popped collar look nice?" whispered Robert, fingering his own khakis, and adjusting his tie.
by Pink and Green February 17, 2004
some very wrong people think that preps are just airhead boys and girls who are shallow, material, and shop at abercrombie.
real preppy people (and i know because i am one of them) go to elite new england prep schools like andover, exeter, choate, or deerfield. they do not wear abercrombie. they wear lily pulitzer, ralph lauren, vineyard vines, lacoste, and other brands that are often expensive, but look good. they like prints such as seersucker, plaid, argyle, and madras. they like polo shirts and grosgain ribbon sandals and belts. preps always look put together and don't wear tight, slutty, or provocative clothing, but that doesnt mean that they are all goody two shoes. they summer on natucket, marthas vineyard, cape cod, and bermuda, not florida and tropical islands. they drive hondas and jeeps, not ferraris or hummers. they are actually smart, since they go to good boarding schools, and if they weren't, where would excellent colleges like harvard get their preppy reputations? preps play sports like field hockey, polo, crew, water polo, squash, tennis, and lacrosse. preppies are not snobby or obnoxious, and although they are usualy well off, they are not huge, trashy, extravagant rich. many people think that preps are snobby, mean, and slutty, but those people are truly not preps. those are yuppie posers. preppy people aren't mean to punk or goth kids, they just prefer their own style. preppy is not just a style, it's a way of life, and just because some dumb public school kids will pop their collar on their abercrombie or hollister polo shirt when it's trendy doesnt make them preps at all.
muffy:hey, i love your lily dress!
martha:thanks, and your lacoste polo looks great with your pearls and eliza b. flip flops.
muffy: thanks! i'm going to nantucket tomorrow, we're summering there before i go back to andover in the fall.

jillian: oh em gee! lets go to abercrombie and spend our money on clothes that make us looks like sluts!
cassandra:yeah totally! on the way we can stop and pick up our other slutty friends.
erica: hey you guys! look at that wierd punk kid! hahaha loser! theyre so ugly! and we think we're hot because we're wearing skintight jeans and miniskirts and abercrombie tank tops that are way too small on us!
jillian: and on the way we can ride in our huge ugly hummers and listen to trashy gangsta rap!
by kiribatichristina May 04, 2006
When most of my friends try to act "preppy", they usually put their collar up, where colorful belt with patterns, and go to A&E, and, as everyone has been saying, A& well as the new edition which is very similar to both of them, Hollister (it's more Californian though). But they're incredibly wrong. While it's true that many preps put their collar up (which I admit that I have done it before because I have to wear polos at school because of my dress-code...), and pink and bright colors often will attract them, preps stick to classics, that are not very up-to-date. They do not change their style because of trends, like the "infamous" Abercrombie and American Eagle. While these two stores do have some preppy clothes, like khaki pants and polos, they mostly have trendy styles.

Let me get this straight, once and for all...preps are not trendy! I'm not saying this in an opinionated way, I'm saying it as preps don't change their style just because there's a new trend out there. Preps are preps, and they stick to it. And though there a popular preps, if you are a prep you are not neccessarily popular. That rumor and reputation of the preps is blown out of porportion.

Oh, and the next thing I will bring up: the "rumor" that preps are snobbish people who think they are better than everyone else. Well, I can very well understand why people think this; It's because preps where polos and slacks, and they are often pretty organized, but this cannot be assumed about ever prep out there. I know a prep who fits this snobby definition completely, but she's the only prep I know.

There aren't THAT many preps around. Sure, there are a lot of people that others think are preps, but usually they are wrong. Most of the teens that you see around are not really just of one fashion; they are usually just wearing the trends of today.

Here is a basic list of the traits that preps have.

They wear:
*basic polo shirts
*any color, though they are often found wearing bright colors, as well as the classic lights
*Slacks, usually khakis
*Ribbons and bows in hair often
*Ribbon belts

They do/are not:
*Try new trends
*Wear short-shorts and short-skirts
*Shop at Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, or most other trendy clothing stores
*Always the popular ones, and they usually aren't the most popular
*Wear a lot of makeup. They often don't wear any
Ex. 1: My friend is really preppy.
Ex. 2: Preppy people are not trendy.
by StEfFii* July 26, 2004
Loves beach music - R&B from the 50s and 60s, dances the shag at the Carolina Grand Strand. Ladies wear colorful flats or sandals with leather soles. Summer capris with martini glasses or palm trees and matching sleeveless tops - not low cut. In winter might wear plaid culottes and Christmas tree ornament earrings. Will wear sequined tops with oceanic creatures on them. Guys wear khakis and loafers with no socks. Also very fond of sixties music.
Another summer look for ladies - sleeveless oxfords with belted khaki shorts and flip flops. Very enthusiastic, go to church and join the Junior League or other community service. Big on football and basketball and golf. Will also dance barefoot. 60s flower power also big with the ladies. Love kitchy pocketbooks. Ladies have very big smiles. The flip and the bob are popular hairstyles for ladies. Houses loaded with family antiques.
This preppy girl's favorite brands of the sixties were John Meyer, Ladybug, Villager and Papagallo. She loved the bold prints of Merimekko. And always Lily. She Carolina shagged to "Sixty Minute Man," "Under the Boardwalk," "Ms. Grace," "A Quiet Place," and "My Girl." She danced to the Tams in a former tobacco warehouse, especially "Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy."
by sandflea September 16, 2005
Preps are often misjudged and wrongly labled. People often label preps as stuck up, self conceited and arrogant, thinking of themselves as better than others and thus looking down upon them. Though that is definately NOT the case. Preps as a group are generally extremely kind, caring, respectful, not snobby, considerate and polite people. Though they generally prefer to shop at stores like Lacoste, Ralph Lauren: preferably blue label, Lily, (jeans at Saks or Neiman) etc, and wear pastel colors it is all for the classic look, a simple well respected, decent and simple appearance. Preps absolutely love ribbons, ribbon belts(ralph lauren), flip flops and simple yet elegant jewelery. Preps DO NOT wear overly tight, or revealing clothing. But on top of the way one dresses, being preppy is also a way of life. Most preps are quite well off with parents owning a well to do buisness, were brought up to respect elders, be well mannered..etc...the basics. Though poeple sometimes think preps have parents who are clueless of their actions and behavior it is completely wrong. Though the parent are usually well off they do care about their children and take good care of them, keep and eye on them, provide smeone to take them to places, a housekeeper, and are home enough to spend family time togther. Preps are also brought to attend college and futher schooling and to become an important member of their community, and to lead a well respected, decent life. Preps often attend sports and are in good physique skiing. field hocky, swimming, tennis and lacrosse are a must. Though most preps attend private schools, preps do sometimes attend public schools though they're usually elite suburban public schools. Preps recieve extremly good grades, study hard, and have many friends. Usually preps have long hair, brunnette or blonde, and hold t hemselves in a manner to dosplay t hat one is proud to be oneself and will stay strong. Preppy girls usually like dating preppy guys and will in the end most probably marry one. Preps do not have to attend country clubs, and drink a lot. Also though most preps are caucasion there are some that come from mixed backgroud, example father caucasian mother asian..etc. Vactation spots are truely not limited though Nantucket, the vinard, White Mountains are wonderful places to go.
like wearing polo shirts
enjoy shopping at lacoste, Ralph Lauren..etc
are respecable polite, well behaved
are intelligent
do well in school
plan to go to college and bne successful in life
love ribbons!
know how to have fun
love the beach! and quite serene places
are generally well off
love literature, classics, arts, math, etc
tend to participate in sports like field hocky lacrosse etc
are brought up well
are not snobby
are conservative in dress
are hopefully conservative...though some are liberal..shame
do not wear a lot of makeup!
are into pastel colors
respect people and do not brag about staus, wealth, or nything in that genre.
"Beth is such a well behaved girl. Not at al like those modern rampaging teenagers you usually see. Actually i believe she's quite the opposite, polite, sweet, gentle, very well dressed..though simply..and oh such a darling face, what curious eyes. Ahh and i hear she's doing quite well in school, it seems that Johnathan and Anne were quite correct to bring her up in a way to live that so called "preppy life style". I'd say it's more of a classic way of life, simple, and sophisticated."
Free Daily Email

Type your email address below to get our free Urban Word of the Day every morning!

Emails are sent from We'll never spam you.