Tag Archives: preppy clothing

The Wednesday Outlook: May 11, 2011

Sun is coming out. The bluejays are gettin’ busy.

This is the first year I’ve noticed just how rambunctious and war-mongering bluejays are. What does it say about me that I suddenly notice and care about bird activity? That I’m getting old?

Well, I am wearing some Old Lady Shorts today. They are hot pink but they have an elastic waist with a tie. I promise never to wear them anywhere other than in the yard and to walk the dog. But they are so comfy. Yes, I got them at JC Penney. Sometimes I can’t resist going there and buying old lady clothing. It seems so taboo. Something you would never tell anyone. Maybe I should write it on a postcard for PostSecret.

Speaking of old lady clothing, I am considering starting a store on etsy, along with the rest of hipster America (if you can’t beat them, join them and make fun of them while doing it)! My hope is to focus primarily on preppy clothing, as it’s one of my new obsessions. I love preppy clothing and I love the mix of Preppy/Punk. Or Preppy/Grunge. Or Preppy/Metal. Observation: I am wearing my Old Lady Shorts with my Van Halen t-shirt.

Note: I am not saying Van Halen is metal. I think of them more as rock. Monsters of Rock, to be exact!

So I’m on a quest for preppy clothing (etsy stipulates that vintage clothes have to be at least 20 years old, so I’m trying to stick to that and have “1991 or older” firmly fixed in my head but I buy other preppy items as well hoping to be able to have a pop-up shop in Minneapolis at some later date).

For preppy clothing advice, I’ve got my manuals: True Prep and The Official Preppy Handbook to guide my way. Also trying to settle on a name. Any suggestions??? I’ve got a short list but nothing that I’m cra-a-zy for.

As I’ve started my clothing search I’ve come across the wonderful world of preppy blogs and I thought I’d share some of the stand-outs here because you might be interested in penny loafers, sailing, gin and tonics and bright colors too!

Unabashedly Prep (this is a pretty big one/well-known)
Ivy Style
The Daily Prep (really love that her name is Muffy)
The Preppy Princess

Nautical By Nature (my fave title)
The Classic Preppy

Well, that should be enough to get you started. As to what else I’m up to…

Reading: The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau (as if I need help…), The Pets by Bragi Olafsson and News From the World by Paula Fox. I have a bad habit of reading several books at one time.

Watching: We’ve been on a disastrous movie streak. We turned of the 1980s classic Roxanne halfway through and then suffered through all of Morning Glory. I’m convinced that Harrison Ford suffered a stroke in the past few years, partially paralyzing the left side of his face. Has anyone else noticed this? Not that this has anything to do with the quality of Morning Glory… he would have successfully chewed the scenery with or without partial facial paralysis. That movie had pretty good reviews so it greatly saddened me to find it so… mundane and badly written, acted.

Doing: Trying to get the yard in order. After attacking the bushes at the side of our drive and hacking them down to just about nothing (assisted by my parents) I’ve gone on to trim bushes, dig up weeds and do some planting. Yesterday I just about killed myself out there. I went into Gardener Zombie mode where all I could see was the next weed to be pulled, the next branch to be cut… and I forgot about things like drinking water, staying out of the blazing sun and not straining my knees too much. All the while the bluejays were having their fights in the trees. What can I say? I love a sharp hedge clipper and lots of perennials to put into the ground. Especially when I should be inside figuring out my job situation. Ahem.

Anticipating: The movie Bridesmaids comes out this weekend… maybe that will provide the comic relief I’m looking for. Also, in Minneapolis, the Linden Hills neighborhood is having its annual garage sale. I’ve scored lots of good stuff there before, including a favorite vintage sweater for $1! Could it be a preppy clothing bonanza?

The Official Preppy Handbook: Dressing Preppy

green_whale_pinkIf you’re looking to express your offbeat, kooky personality, dressing preppy probably isn’t for you. The number one principle is sameness. Sameness from day-to-day but also sameness with your fellow Preps. You have your sturdy go-to wardrobe staples – your beige corduroys for the weekend, your tennis whites, your navy blue suit, pink polo for picnics – and then you never need to think about wardrobe ever again.

Still intrigued? Here are some basic tenets to follow when dressing, courtesy of the Handbook:

1. Conservatism
2. Neatness – Yes, you do need to tuck in your shirt.
3. Attention to detail – skimp on the details and everyone will spot you for a fake!
4. Practicality – forget stiletto heels; embrace the classic pump
5. Quality – No, you don’t go to Forever 21 and load up on trendy clothes.
6. Natural Fibers – synthetics scream disco era, poor taste, lack of money.
7. Anglophilia – Except maybe for Burberrys, now that they’ve cheapened the brand.
8. Specific Color Blindness – pastels do go with primary colors!
9. The Sporting Look – even if you’d never hunt down a spider in your bathroom in order to flush it down the toilet, it’s best to look as if you’re joining a fox hunt in ten minutes. Or going off to flush pheasants from your hedges. But beware: the deer hunting look doesn’t pass muster.
10. Androgyny – your khakis, rain gear, wool sweaters and tweed jackets should look just as good on Muffy as they do on Bink.

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