Invasion of the Preppies

This morning I woke up to the first day of snow. Still adjusting to the cold temps I spent my afternoon holed up in the university library flipping through old yearbooks. I focused on the ’80s, an era that I haven’t dedicated much time to posting about, but I was motivated by some ’70s/’80s pics from HTJ. As I was scanning a 1982 Wittenberg University yearbook I came upon a page containing a short write up titled, “Invasion of the Preppies.” I couldn’t resist sharing.

Invasion of the Preppies

In case you haven’t noticed (and you must be blind not to have noticed), the Preppy look has returned to Wittenberg. Certainly there were preps here before, but with the conservative outcome of the 1980 elections, it has become almost a patriotic symbol to wear the well-known alligator over one’s heart. The Izods, Oxford Cloth shirts, straight leg pants, penny loafers, and neat, short hair all parts of the total prep image. These fashions are not limited to the humanities departments as one might think: topsiders and Izods have been spotted in the chem lab and art building.
80s Girl in Button Down Polo shirt

Of course in our nation of free choice not everyone has jumped on the prep bandwagon. Some anti-preps have gone far as to wear buttons with slogans such as, “Save the alligator, shoot a preppy.” Anti-preppy joke books question the intelligence of the average prep. Example: Why do preppies put their initials on everything they own? Answer: They can’t remember their own names.
80s Preppy College guy in shetland sweater
College girl in shetland sweater 1

Any true prep will not lower himself to respond to these taunts. Rather, he will continue prepping in his or her unobtrusive little way. Have courage all you Missys and Tiffys and Kips. It’s an awesome world out there, but don’t forget – if it gets too tough simply reach for a bloody.


oxford cloth button down
Jerrod Swanton is a simple man interested in simple, classic, and traditional style.

5 Comments on "Invasion of the Preppies"

  1. Marcinho Savant says:

    Preppy waaaaaaaaaaay before the handbook was published by Ms. Birnbach… (i own the original, and the “True Prep” follow-up (!!!!!!!)— and i cannot TELL you how outstanding it is to see that true tradition never dies!

    This new crop of Preps will, doubtless, keep the torch burning, for the next generation— long after I’ve outlived my Weejuns OR my Wingtips. Or my Mizzen Boom drops into the SEA! THRILLED, I say! That there is a NEW generation that will speak the LINGO! A new, national, cadre of Add-A-Bead, and nautical flag tile, erudite semaphore-versed, Madras-worshipping, Labrador-loving, ASPEN (and GSTAAD) wooshers!!!! They will INSIST on driving that Mercedes, or Porsche, SUV— because. it’s. #PRACTICAL, and #GREEN! AND… all adroit at the acronyms that are the very ESSENCE of exclusivity! Only with a modern EDGE!

    Par example (!!!!):

    “Tiffy!? IDK but that girl wearing the BOGO skips!? Really!?!? REALLY! TTFW! She is DNOKD! In the extreme! I’d die at the mere THOUGHT of having her over for G&Ts at the club! She’d crush all the ground-cover with those Manatee flippers of hers. Quel dommage! It’s truly OOC! Le petit morte— in the BAD way!

    Daddy HATES (!!!!!) her parents! He said they were a Gaffe Fest at the Princeton Club brunch! WHINING, incessantly, that the Bloodies were too STRONG! QUOI!?!?!?!? #ASIF!

    In any event… want to join me, and Biffy, for some Za, and Bergdorf’s, before field hockey practice!? I’LL treat— NEXT TIME!” 😛

    #PREPPYFOREVER #SemperPreparatus! #THATSignetringisturningyourfingerBLACK___WHOTHEHELLARRRRRREYOU!?!!!??!?!?

  2. Old Trad says:

    The first comment represents everything that I find distasteful about preppies and their lifestyle. The only thing I have in common with them is (to some extent) similar taste in clothing.

  3. Paul Oler says:

    I just found your blog and couldn’t stop reading it. Outstanding comments, information and direction. Our style and obsessions (meant in a positive way) are similar. I’m curious where you shop as it’s more and more difficult to find really quality traditional clothing. Thank you for providing a great place to pick up solid sartorial tips.

    – Paul

  4. Farrah says:

    In the ’90’s (when I was in high school), I was quite the outcast, but I’m glad of it’s resurgence in the last few years. However, this isn’t true prep like the ’50’s and ’80’s. However, I’ll take it. Preppy Power!

  5. hardline_42 says:

    Cool find, Ox! I have to admit I’ve had an affinity for the look in the second pic (Kelso look-alike w/ dog) lately. I usually don’t like 5-pocket pants but I picked up a pair of Levi’s needle cords and they make great weekend wear with blucher mocs, OCBD and a Shetland. I’ve been going back and forth on a pair of Padmore and Barnes Wallabees but that pic might put me over the edge (maybe). Thanks for posting.

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