W Magazine
Preppy 20 Image Credit: W Magazine
Preppy 20 Image Credit: W Magazine

Preppy 2.0

A guide to navigating this brave new world of genderlessbathrooms and Ivy League wannabes with your tartan intact.

Alex Hawgood

It’s not easy being a card-carrying Prepster in 2018. The tennis club now has genderless bathrooms, New York University practically acts like it’s part of the Ivy League, and, last October, J. Crew founder Arthur Cinader, one of the last great preppy-style deities, was finally bumped off the waiting list for that great country club in the sky. Don’t bother dusting off Lisa Birnbach’s Official Preppy Handbook, either. Published almost four decades ago, this book of once timeless how-to’s is, sad to say, about as relevant today as a black velvet foulard bow tie. So how, pray tell, is the modern Prep supposed to navigate these topsy-turvy times? Well, fair reader, you are in luck, because we here at W are going to help you figure it all out.

While we cannot offer guidance about whether the labradoodle, the sheepadoodle, or the bernedoodle is the right hypoallergenic pet for the modern preppy household, we can happily dispense our seasoned expertise on something far more urgent: updating the preppy dress code for 2018. Whether it’s Demna Gvasalia’s subversive CBGB spin on Connecticut boarding-school attire at Balenciaga, or Miuccia Prada dipping into fox-hunting drag at Miu Miu, looking the part no longer means sticking to the fuddy-duddy cult of forest greens and salmon pinks. (Unless, of course, you aspire to look like an off-duty Republican senator.) If you follow the abundance of wisdom on these pages, you’ll be able to


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