The End of the Preppy Era?

More

by Conor Friedersdorf

In a review of a new book about preppies, Mark Oppenheimer says the subculture will only survive if embraced by outsiders:

Perhaps young black and Jewish academics will take cues from their unrepentantly preppy elders, like Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Willard Spiegelman. Surely gay men will continue to do the tradition proud, and I suspect they are responsible for the current vogue for "heritage" clothing, which leads prep away from Anglophilia and into a rugged American past. As will conservative journalists: George F. Will, Tucker Carlson, Seth Lipsky. (Although female prepdom is beyond the scope of my expertise, I have noticed that hard-core preppiness among women has become hard to find, in part because preppiness is about what is old, and women do not wish to be identified with traditions that recall a more sexist era.)Perhaps there is a renaissance around the corner. After all, as one Harvard alumnus recently wrote, "I'm not sure that anyone in Regency England would have seen the Victorian era coming." But for prep to live on, it must mean something. True Prep is an enjoyable but maddening wake-up call that we are watching a culture unravel, one lambswool thread at a time. If we don't snap to attention, throw on our duckboots, thread the duck's-head insignia belt, leash up the English setter, have a Pimm's Cup, and figure out what this culture is, it will be gone.

My favorite preppies of all time: Alex P. Keaton and Brother Mouzone.

Jump to comments

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down