Tuesday, March 08, 2005

I sincerely apologize...

I don't know where I've been for the past few weeks. Actually, not true. I've been weighed down by school, especially midterms. Still, I don't know how I can make up for an entire month's worth of neglect...

I guess the good thing is that spring break is coming up and I have been out on the streets of the west village, getting my suitcase ready for the warm Palm Beach weather. That, for one, is where I'm planning to spend my days off. Ah, the warm weather and palm trees. I don't think I could ask for more. Actually, I could. The condition of the trip is that I have to deal with my step-grandmother figure. She's perfectly sweet of course. It's just...well this is off topic.

Let me instead tell you about the pleasures of packing for a preppy spring break. There is nothing better than going through your summer wardrobe and taking you credit card to JCrew. Which, I will argue, is an up and coming trendy preppy favorite. If you haven't seen this spring's collection, I suggest you get off your couch and go.

So, the essentials, you ask. Yes. These are the key pieces for the beach:

Polo shirt dress, preferably in a pastel color.
Bermuda shorts. mine personally are reds.
Flip flops. mine match my ribbon belt, but I'm a tool. what can i say.
Short sleve polos.
Rugby halter top.
Lightweight chinos, a little worn from walking in the sand.
LLBean tote, for which to carry your books and your ipod. yes, even preppies tote their ipods.

So I'm off to Palm Beach. Tennis, the pool, the beach, and golf (well, if i golfed. my sister will be the one swinging.) Bisous!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

the city prep: slightly more sophisticated.

and i mean that in the fashion sense, of course. many preppies live in the city and spend their weekends in the country. this life surrounded by tall buildings and speeding taxicabs of course does not make you any less preppy. it simply means you probably wear more black, have a couple more designer handbags, and don't know how to drive too well.

of course, there is another difference between the "burbs" of the upper east side and the fashionistas downtown: the latter obviously much more trendy. trendy, of course, with a conservative eye. there are still the lacostes, but less plaid and less loafer below houston. in fact, anywhere below the park. which is a tragedy, but vogue considered, hard to help. this preppy still feels out of place shopping on mulberry in her weejuns.

this is not to say that the city prep is more "cool" than the country prep. it may just be that they care more about being cool, in a world that is dominated by materialism and trends that are so hot they're on their way out by the time their spreads hit newstands. (sometimes i do wish i was that cool. unfortunately, like i said, i wear loafers in soho.)

on the other hand, there is a lovely few blocks along Madison starting at 48th street that you would look "off" if you weren't adorned in prep. (oh and the shopping there is slightly more suited to my reined in tastes). in fact, when I walk to my gym (which is smack dab in the middle of it all) i feel like i should be walking down Lafayette to Crunch, and not Madison. but what can i do? im always in the right place in the wrong clothes.

too much for now.

but for all you who are in this gorgeous city for the next few weeks, the 80s preppy flashback (and blackout) party is slowly but surely approaching...start shuffling through your parents closets. aviators will be making a strong comeback. as will tom collins.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

ah, differentiation: it does apply.

well, welcome to february, preppies. that means only two months of winter left...which, depending on the sort of prep you are, means two months of northeastern skiing remaining or "thank god its almost over!" i myself feel a mix of both, as a result of having to slog to class through slush and snow.

as i waited in the back of a cab for soho traffic to clear this evening, i found myself returning to a conversation i had recently with my roommates, at the announcement of a friend and mine's party. we'd thought of the (terribly clever) idea to throw an eighties prep theme party, to bring back the weejuns and izods that had long been missing from american culture. of course for my roommates, this means digging around vintage stores to find appropriate preppy outfits. well, thats what i thought it meant for them.

T (she will remain nameless) didn't seem to understand what i meant by "preppy". i could tell, since she reacted quite distastefully when i denied her outfit future admission to my party. Black pleated mini skirt? i think not. but apparently she had seen something similar in an abercrombie display window...i gasped outloud. abercrombie? (in the immortal words of my friend S - "i just threw up in my mouth"). after a half an hour of attempting to convince her, i gave up. people just don't seem to understand that trendy "preppy" is not preppy.

but as i was trying to explain this difference to her, i did realize that there is not just one kind of preppy. although there is a strong set of base characteristics, i have encountered many varieties of preps in my day. and so the definition may seem quite vague to those who don't understand the culture -- the lifestyle.

so here is my solution to this pressing problem: over the course of a few posts, i feel the need to explain the many shapes and colors that preppies come in. the true diversity of a prep. and i will say this before i begin: those who adorn themselves in a&f may not define themselves as preppy. although a few quality items from the store that used to supply our kind with sporting equipment are acceptable...they are most certainly neither necessary or sufficient conditions for being a true prep.

well i see ive stated my piece.


Friday, January 28, 2005

long weekend? ski prep.

Ah, the much anticipated long weekend. We all get them once in a while, even those of us up in snowy New England boarding schools, where they mean that much more and have affectionate nicknames (winter thaw, exonians?). Well since President's day is right around the corner, everyone must start planning to get away. Where to start?

In winter, you do have quite the number of options -- besides the typical selection of Parisian weekends and the shores of Nantucket (and trust me, we still go to the cape in the winter), you have the ultimate: skiing. east coast only, of course. This is when we pack our turtlenecks, oxfords, fair isles, and of course, or equipment, and climb in our saabs and bmws to escape to the mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont.

Top selections this year? Obviously Stowe, a classic. In addition, check out Killington, Mount Snow, and Okemo -- all three have a solid base of at least 25 inches of snow and the majority of their many trails have been open for weeks and are well groomed. Not to mention roomy lodges with blazing fires, and condos right on the mountains.

So buy your lift tickets, plan on waking up early and the most important: stay warm. work the layers: every good preppy skiis in at least a turtleneck, a polo, an oxford, a wool sweater, a down jacket, and the warmest ski pants you can find. Oh and for the latest (and best, personally) equipment, check out www.head.com/ski. (and while youre there, might as well shop around for some new tennis gear as well).

Well this has been long enough. Cross your fingers for fresh powder. Oh, and one final thing.

no snowboards.

keep it parallel (and make sure your jacket has a pocket for your flask).

Thursday, January 27, 2005

manners, people! at least some...

well normally i try to keep these snippets as impersonal as possible, if thats possible at all. but this phenomena must be brought to the table this morning, as i have just gotten back from class and feel the need to know if this apparent lack of manners radiates from all universities.

i know lectures are tedious. i have to sit through at least two a day, so trust me, i understand the agony of a boring professor or a slow clock. but we should have words if you find yourself suffering to the point where you leave early, start talking to friends on your cell phone. or just start rattling around and making a sufficient amount of distracting noise.

sit still! if the rest of the class can wait for the professor to finish speaking, then you can too. i'm amazed at the level of disrespect that apprently runs rampant in lecture halls. does anyone have any common decency anymore? at least some of us try!

so just a note. and this applies to more than just class. a preppy always minds his or her manners, even if they may become a bit distorted while under the influence... but in the dining halls, chew with your mouth closed and use napkins, not your hands. don't talk in class, on your cell phone or not, while your professor is talking. and try to be on time -- none of us are getting much sleep. common decency ladies and gentlemen!

im sorry for the tone. its been quite a rough morning, but i pride myself on not drinking before dinner (mostly) and so am leaving you all with this (maybe rude?) vent.

keep your collars popped :)

Saturday, January 22, 2005

tipsy in madras. an interesting investment.

it had to be done. its been bought and its been read, although on a whim and for its humourous and cliche content. yes, i purchased "tipsy in madras" and amazon got it to me only a few days ago. well here's what i have to say...


i admit, it was funny. i was entertained by subtle observations of the preppy way of life, and there were some fabulous drink recipes (finally, everything i want to mix all in one book). but at times, it was just too much and i felt i was being mocked: "unless you want to give dear Bitsy a concussion with a jet-propelled stray cork, here's how to open a champagne bottle with safety and aplomb". but maybe that's just me being sensitive. and good thing i dont have any friends named bitzy.

it was unfortunate that they were blatantly (and admittedly) trying to knockoff a version of the infamous preppy handbook (which on the contrary i beleive was well done, although you can see its quite outdated.) i mean pastel madras as a border? hmmm, oddly familiar...

but i did walk away more educated in the areas of drinking that i do not practice as much. for instance, i rarely drink beer or red wine, so there's some lessons. (heres where one might say i only drink white because im a woman, but put me in Savoy and i'd be in heaven either shade). i had no idea what the "33" on rolling rock was until this book. i also didn't know wine came in a box, which seems peculiar to me...

but this is getting long. and last night i did have a few greenies...

so ill leave you. and if your curious about this new "analysis" on 80s preppy drinking, www.tipsyinmadras.com has been up and running for some time. even if it does seem like theyre trying a little bit too hard...

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

the art of the loafer. in the winter.

ahh, the loafer. wearing this shoe right is indeed an art, one that many preppies have mastered, and the rest have inately inherited. no matter the season, no matter the year, no matter the place, these fantastic shoes appear frequently on the feet of every genuine preppy.

now there are many different brands, styles, leathers, etc. but lets just mention the basic: the penny. popular ever since elvis and his blue seude shoes (except we rarely wear them in blue and suede, but still...he had the shoe part right). mostly leather and brown (although currently cute in pastel colors meant to match khakis and spring cardigans) these comfortable shoes become a lifelong accessory that are worn with pride.

and without socks.

even in the winter.

we preppies can handle the cold and the blisters (if for some reason your loafers are new). you'll even see us wearing flipflops in the winter and the snow. but we can not handle socks. i myself only own several pair.

no, no socks. that is even more crucial than whether of not your loafers are gucci or LLbean (girls: you should have both).

off for drinks. (sockless, of course).