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Preppy Is As Preppy Does

There I was on Monday, innocently reading Scout’s Swag, and she starts talking about being preppy. I went to high school and college in the 80s. I may have been a bit of a prep. Ahem.

These pictures are for you, Scout. The rest of you may want to avert your eyes.

February 1984. Eagle Eye sweater with strawberry grosgrain ribbon button band, oxford shirt, corduroys. You can’t see them but I bet I’m wearing Tretorns.

September 1984. Oxford shirt, knee length navy blue wool shorts, penny loafers without socks.

June 1985. White eyelet dress by Laura Ashley. Blue satin ribbon that matched my blue shoes. I changed the ribbon color to match whatever shoes I happened to be wearing.

September 1986. Champion Wheaton sweatshirt, knee length denim shorts, Tretorns, no socks. Please note the turned up collar from the Izod shirt I’m wearing under the sweatshirt. The kid belonged to a neighbor. She’s 24 now. Yikes.

June 1988. Laura Ashley dress. Please note the black and white striped hair bow. Oy. I had the most fabulous shoes that I wore with this dress. They were white leather and they looked like eyelet. They didn’t fit after I had Hannah and boy was I pissed about that.

I have many more pictures I could show you but I think I’ve made my point. Oxford shirts were a wardrobe staple for me, as were corduroys and knee length shorts and penny loafers. I had a navy blue blazer and a grey one, too. My dresses were usually either Laura Ashley or Eileen West and I had a Papagallo “Bermuda Bag” with covers in every color.

In short, I was a prep. Okay, you all can just stop laughing now.

This Post Has 79 Comments

  1. oh you were adorable. i don’t have many pictures of myself from that time. (i dont’ have many pictures period)

    i wasn’t nearly as preppy as you, but i came close.

  2. Wow, does that ever bring back memories! LOL If the dresses weren’t Laura Ashley, they were Gunne Sax (spelling?). I had the same hair, only it didn’t cooperate nearly as nicely as yours. And the indecision caused by the shear number of covers for the Bermuda Bag…I’m just shaking my head here… Those were the days, huh?

  3. Oh my gosh, how cute are you?

    I remember my beloved Capezio shoes from the ’80s. The ones that showed toe cleavage!

  4. I was a prep in high school too. I actually like a classic look now, too. It wasn’t the 80s, but I remember tretorns and “boat shoes” and the bermuda bag. 🙂

  5. Ah….Izod shirts and Tretorns…..
    I was thrilled to see that Tretorns seem to be coming back in again. They are the all time most comfortable sneaker!

  6. You’re simply adorable. I always wanted to be a prep, but grew up in the 70’s, so I settled for a hippie/disco/farrah fawcett look. Not a good combo.

  7. Well, now, weren’t you just cute as a button?? (still are, btw) My mom bought me all kinds of nice prep clothes when I was elementary school/junior high age, but come high school, jeans were it baby! Patched jeans, at that. I’m still pretty much always a blue jean baby. But I do love me some nice clothes once in a while. Thanks for the grins!

  8. No, I can’t laugh. Your Laura Ashley dress looks very similar to my prom dress circa 1984.

    I never realized how much your daughter looks like you until I saw those pictures!! A definite resemblance…….

  9. What’s to laugh about?! You were going to a preppy school and it was the preppy age. Nothing funny about that. Just normal. 🙂

  10. I think I had many of the same items, though you’re much more “coordinated” in your attire than I was. Did you have one of those handbags with the wooden handles and buttons, that allowed you to change the fabric covers to match your clothes? Those were cool.

  11. I have no preppy pictures, I’m afraid. I have a lot of black sullen teenager pictures.

    Honestly, tho, dearie, you really haven’t changed a bit. Not a bit. (Well, maybe less prep to the clothes, but you could just be your younger sister in those photos.)

  12. Honestly, I think it’s your Debbie Gibson hair in the fourth picture that is truly THE BEST THING EVER. Love. It.

  13. Those are great pictures. I was to young for that look, but did get in with the big hair and peg leg jeans.

  14. Holy crap. I didn’t know people were preppy in the 80’s. Wow. You sure were cute–especially with the beer in your hand. 😀

    Me, I was prep, but it was longlonglong ago. Before the Age of Aquarius. Jeez I’m old.

  15. Oh, the Bermuda bags. I even had a monogrammed cover. But living up in rural NH, I was a modified prep–I had the penny loafers & the Izod shirts, but I wore them with battle-axe earrings. Ah, those were the days. 😉

  16. Ah, I could only envy from afar – preppy was far more sophisticated than the Midwest ever got. But you looked Marvelous!

  17. Let’s do the time warp again!! I coveted hair like yours all through high school.

    Somewhere in my mother’s house there is a picture of me wearing a Gunne Sax ruffly lacy shirt with, I swear to God, corduroy knickers. Dressy corduroy knickers. Trying desperately to brush my hair into something like your hair is in the earlier pictures.

  18. Sigh. Laura Ashley. I can’t even get rid of all of mine yet. I was so sad when they closed the one in Hingham. Thank goodness the one in the mall stayed open just a bit longer. And the UK Laura Ashley…oh, how I loved it. I had my own personal revival among my friends there. They wouldn’t even consider LA till I started parading around in it.

  19. Straight out of St Elmo’s Fire…wow! You were very preppy, and very adorable! There could have been worse things to be!

    I wish my 80’s photos were as cute, but I think at that time I was in my Lisa Frank sticker stage and wore those godawful ruffly skirts and unicorn-imprinted tops!

  20. Your blast-from-the-past posts are always among my very favorites! I love Preppy Carole. 🙂

    I actually miss my penny loafers. Every now and then I think about getting another pair. Except I’d wear them with socks this time around…

  21. Me too, I thought “how cute and happy you look”! I was all about the Esprit, Limited and Guess in high school. Aye yi yi!

  22. oh my…you were the girl all my friends made fun of in high school (while we were hanging out in the smoking area with our jean jackets and bad attitudes) ;o)

  23. How cute! I am just lucky that I can’t find my photos. I got a Bermuda bag, Lilly Pulitzer fabric and a cover pattern not long ago. I used to make bag covers to match my dresses…

  24. I love the pictures. I wasn’t a total prep but I did have long navy blue corduroy shorts from Benetton that I wore with my Gap sweater. You know the one. It was THE sweater. I was just talking to a friend the other day about 80’s wear. I had a Gunne Sax dress that I loved.

  25. What?!? No pink or green, or turtlenecks with little whales on them? And you call yourself a prep.

    My 80’s uniform consisted of jeans or wide-wale cordoroys, the aforementioned turtlenecks with little whales/hearts/etc., the classic blue and white Norweigan sweater from L.L. Bean, and Bean’s Blucher moccasins with no socks. When I was feeling festive I’d wear a fair isle sweater.

    Thankfully, I don’t think many photos from that era survived.

  26. Haha, that first picture–February 1984–could practically be me. That was my senior year in high school, so…jeans, oxford shirts, crew neck sweaters. Yeah. 🙂

  27. Oh wow, you brought my little sister & bro to mind very quickly there, she was always puzzled by my more alternative clothing choices.

  28. That was totally me without the funny named shoes. But penny loafers – brown – with pennies. Yep. The hair, yep. Laura Ashley, yep. But my mom was sewing them for me instead of buying them at the store. My favorite perfume was Emma from Laura Ashley and in July 1985 I got married in a Laura Ashley dress bought at the Somerset mall in Detroit. Oh that was special.

    Not so many pictures of me but I should drag one or two out of the closet. If only I was still so slender (and I thought I was so fat back then!).

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