Prep Family

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You're Preppy. Preppy? What do we mean by that? Yes, what is the meaning of Preppy? Preppy is an abbriviation and the term refers to Americain Prepatory Schools. Upperclass children attended these very expensive private schools; children who were well aware of their roots and backround.

This awareness was reflected in a way of living and dressing. Eventually a lot of these children were accepted by prestigious IVY league universities at the east-coast such as Harvard and Yale. In these universities this singular style was sustained en cultivated even more.

First there was the IVY league style and Preppy evolved from this. Basically Preppy refers to a certain class and social backround.

In the Northeastern parts of the United States a social class developed that is defined as WASP (white anglo saksian protestant). This upperclass consists for example of the desendents of the first Europeans that entered Northern America. Today we refer to this kind of people as "High Society".

It's understandable that inside this class a rich variety of all kinds of code's en rules developed that were used to set themselves apart from the common people. "Waspy" people disired to be sophisticated and that was evident in a lot of things, for example in the way they dressed.

This upper class off old and new money could easily affort all kinds of luxery and did invest lots of time in leasure and in sports. A countryclub membership was certainly a must en and ownership of a nice lodge or cabin on the shores of Saranac Lake was a nice hideway from the crowded city. Top of the bill was the possesion of a Cris Craft wooden boat to show off on the water. This upper class developed an own style of speaking, manners and dressing.

From around World War 1 until the fifties of the last century the children of this class contributed to a revolution in dressing in the direction that now is known as 'Preppy'. They did not rebel against the style of their parents, rather they copied their style and modernised it, resulting in a varied use of coulors, materials and dressing styles. Rebellion only meant sometimes wearing ones clothes until they were threadbare.

The Preppy style we know today, evolved during decades and easaly absorbed elements from other fashionstyles. For example, American soldiers who returned from the Filippian-American War (1899-1913) introduced the chino. Later on the chino won popularity on IVY leagues campusses en is now an essential part of a decent Preppy wardrobe.

The many G.I.'s, the soldiers who after World War 2 were, thanks to the GI-bill, able to go to university, influenced and democatizsed the Preppy style further. One must go back to the beginning of the last century to find out how sportheroes (tennis, polo and golfplayers) combined sportsclothing with traditional clothing, and got many eager followers.

Also Jazz contributed to the popularity of the preppy style. Jazzmusicians frequently visited J. Press and Brooks Brothers, stores that in the fifties and sixties supplied a large quantity of seersucker, tweeds, blazers etcetera. With the history discribed as above, Its not difficult to imagine this style contains quiet a bit of cheerfulness, fressness and colour, being stylish en traditional at one side as sporty and relaxed at the other.

In the sixties the preppy style lost influence because youngsters turned away from the so called established order and everything it represented, until during the seventies the preppy style resurfaced and was firmly commercialised. Designers like Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger really contributed to this revival. While the preppy clothes of the seventies resembled those of the sixties, a complete new touch wad added. Nowadays the preppy style is a fashion phenomenon that is hard to ignore.

After all this theory, what's the purpose of Prep Family? To introduce you to this fresh, casual and yet dressy style.Their are no specific rules, even the guru's of the preppy world do avoid this, but Prep family wants to show you how to dress as a real Prep, even with a small budget. If you would lack style, even the famous Brooks Brothers and Brioni won't help you. If you have style, even with limited funds you can present yourselve as a gentlemen or lady. Voila! Be Preppy!

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