Sunday, October 10, 2010

My First Love

Some refer to it as porn.  As distasteful as that word is, I came to understand the use after spending way too much time looking at what I now prefer to call "preppy porn."  

I was originally searching for a photo from a recent magazine that I wanted to feature in a post about tailgating.  What I found was a plethora of photos featuring my first love, the Jeep Grand Wagoneer.  The tailgating post will have to wait.  More Wagoneer posts will be forthcoming.

There really is no preppier automobile, the first “luxury” SUV.  What is more luxurious than plenty of space to spread yourself out? 

This is real cargo space!  Any self-respecting tag-saler knows that you could fit a whole day's worth of finds in here!

Although there appear to be several wonderful gentlemen who specialize in restoring this particular vehicle, there is one who stands out.  Leon Miller of Wagonmaster has turned his passion for the Wagoneer into an amazing service for lover's of this iconic car.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all make a profit from our passion?  The world would certainly be a happier place!

Leon Miller of Kerrville, Texas

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Apologetic and Unapologetic

I have not posted in three weeks, and for that, I whole-heartedly apologize.

Sometimes life gets crazy and I just can't do it all.  Something will inevitably have to give and this time it was posting.  Thankfully, it has been good-crazy, not bad-crazy. 

So that's it for the apologies.  On to something better...

I am of the opinion that there is nothing preppier than a William Hamilton cartoon.  I am in awe of his ability to put any topic into his magic crucible and distill it down to one sharp, witty, perfectly-crafted quip.  His charming characters are unapologetic about their preppy quirks.  It's refreshing.

"We decided to just stay preppy, as though nothing had happened."  
I've always read this one as referring to the changing whims of fashion, but now I wonder if this couple has fallen on hard times.  Regardless, they seem unapologetic to me.

"Darn it, I think up-tight is a fun life style!"  
Little Miss Up-tight correctly feels no need to apologize for what some may consider to be a life style that is full of rules about customs and clothing.  I say it's a liberating life style.  Hooray! 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Stephen Bonanno Sandals - Sale Ends Today!

Today, Saturday, September 18th, is the last day of the Annual End of Summer Sale on Stephen Bonanno Sandals.  Visit their website to view the offerings and to place your order.  (Note: You may want to place your order over the telephone due to the high volume of online traffic!)

Beware of imitators!  "Stephen Bonanno Sandals" are the best your money can buy.  They are a family-owned and family-operated business.  All Stephen Bonanno sandals are made in their Stuart, Florida factory.  Be sure to plan a visit on your next trip to Florida.  It is such a pleasure to see what care goes into each and every pair.

I am a HUGE fan of the classic "Palm Beach" sandal.  The Bonannos are wonderful about working with you to customize your sandals to fit your particular needs.  For example, I have a narrow foot, so I order size 8 sandals with size 7 tops.  The tops are tight during the first few wearings, but stretch quickly to give me a perfect fit!  I also prefer a "flat heel" which makes my podiatrist happier!  Nothing but bespoke for me, my dear!

I'm buying a neutral for once!

Check back soon for my interview with Vivian Bonanno!

TPP grade: A for Authentic Preppy!

Friday, September 17, 2010

I love Muffy!


Muffy Aldrich of The Daily Prep linked to one of my posts in her entry, Top Ten Reasons True Prep is Unreadable!

I feel so validated! (and cool)

Muffy’s blog is what inspired me to start this blog.  Each time I read one of her posts, I become more and more convinced that we were separated at birth, or share the same brain.

Her Top Ten Reasons so succinctly sum up the thoughts and feelings that I have not quite yet been able to bring myself to write about.  Her number three reason is actually reason enough to avoid True Prep.
This a book about people I don't like and places I don't like, and probably for people I don't like. I don't want to spend time in this world.
But like a train wreck, we can’t keep ourselves from looking at True Prep and marveling incredulously at what has happened to our culture in the last thirty years. 

Thank you for the ego boost Muffy!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Book Review - Losing Mum and Pup

My dear friend, Merry, was shocked and dismayed to learn that I had not yet read Losing Mum and Pup: A Memoir by Christopher Buckley.  She insisted on running straight to the bookstore to buy a copy for me, emphatically stating, “The Buckleys are THE preppy family!” 

What a delight!  The only child of conservative icon, William F. Buckley, Jr. and New York social doyenne, Pat Buckley, Christopher Buckley has written a beautiful memoir about the last days of his larger-than-life parents.  A parent’s death is a subject that has the potential to be awfully sad, not my preferred kind of read.  Instead, Buckley tells his story with his typical humor and irreverence, leaving me wanting more.

The back cover reads, “In twelve months between 2007 and 2008, Buckley coped with the passing of his dad, William F. Buckley, and his mother Patricia Taylor Buckley.  He was their only child and their relationship was close and complicated.  Writes Buckley: “They were not---with respect to every other set of loving, wonderful parents in the world---your typical mom and dad.”  Just as Calvin Trillin and Joan Didion gave readers solace and insight into the experience of losing a spouse, Christopher Buckley offers consolation, wit, and warmth to those dealing with the death of a parent—all while telling his unique, personal story of living with legends.”

Mrs. Buckley was a New York society doyenne for five decades.  I grew up reading my grandmother’s W magazines (still in newspaper format) and was therefore quite familiar with the images of the “chic and stunning Mrs. Buckley” that graced nearly every edition.  Upon reading the first pages of the book, I was surprised to find that she hailed from Vancouver, British Columbia.  The female Vancouver WASP is a rare breed.  They are known for their practicality and endlessly quotable declarative statements.  Readers will be delighted to discover the depth of this ‘staunch character’ and perhaps find themselves repeating her pithy dictums.

Prolific author, newspaper columnist, television host, mayoral candidate, and founder of National Review, William F. Buckley, Jr. was the voice of the conservative movement in the United States for half a century.  His myriad professional accomplishments boggle the mind.  This powerhouse of a man was also an avid sailor, a gifted linguist and musician, and a devoted Roman Catholic.  He was also very human.  His son openly relates both funny and heart-wrenching episodes of the family’s contentious relationships with one another.  Men like “WFB” don’t come along often enough.

But what made the Buckleys so preppy? 

Background certainly.  Mr. Buckley hailed from a large Roman Catholic family whose oil money was made by his father.  His young years were spent living in Mexico, France, and England.  The family later moved to Sharon, Connecticut which he considered to be his home.  Mrs. Buckley was the debutante daughter of a self-made Vancouver industrialist.  She was provided with the proper education for a young Vancouver lady.  Mr. and Mrs. Buckley met while he was attending Yale; she was his sister’s roommate at Vassar.

Certainly they epitomized preppy values such as conservatism, consistency, and noblesse oblige.  But what confirms their entry in the Prep Pantheon is perhaps the most important value of all prepdom---privacy.  As Christopher Buckley so aptly states, “For public people, they could be rather private.”

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Authentic" Preppy or "New World" Preppy?

Marie's succinct comment on yesterday's posting "True Prep and the Needlepoint Belt" has hit the nail on the head.
"More nouveau prep than true.  My biggest complaint is the emphasis on the "must have" items - rather than items that have stood the test of time."
I like to own things that I know will stand the test of time and will not need to be replaced for many, many years.  Preppies know that trends come and go, but certain things never really go out of style.

I'd love to know which items have served you long past others.  What items do you think are "Authentic" Preppy, "New World" Preppy, and just plain Not Preppy?

For example, LL Bean Boat and Tote bags are "Authentic."  (I've used one of mine for 29 years and it's still in great shape!)

Vineyard Vines totes are "New World."

Anything with an outrageous logo is Not Preppy.

I am going to work on a chart.  Your input is welcomed and appreciated.

Thank you to the readers who are posting comments.  Comments make this blogging thing so much more fun!
Images are from

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

True Prep and the Needlepoint Belt

Having placed my pre-order for True Prep months ago, it was with increasing apprehension that I awaited its arrival. Would I love it?  Would I hate it?  Would it come anywhere near to living up to its predecessor?  

I assumed that my favorite preppy blogs would be awash with reviews of True Prep soon after its release.  The silence is deafening.  My own mixed feelings have kept me from posting for days, but here goes!  My review will be delivered in several posts as the whim strikes.

It has been thirty years since TOPH was first published, yet it still gives readers a sense of the timelessness that is the true hallmark of preppiness.  There is so much in TOPH that remains relevant after thirty years.  A twelve-year-old could pick up an old copy and make sense of it despite the lack of coverage of the internet, Facebook, and texting.  Sadly, True Prep is already dated, but so are the clothes that you bought at Tory Burch last year. 

Lisa Birnbach knows her stuff, but I get the sense that True Prep was written, not for those of us who remember the Reagan administration, but for those who were born after 1980.  Perhaps the preppies of newer vintage will feel that this new version speaks to them (or for them).  I would love to hear from the under-thirty crowd on this point.

What gets under my skin in this new version is the focus on buying prep style instead of living preppy.  As I will say many times, pink and green does not the preppy make!  Case in point, an authentic preppy knows better than to buy a needlepoint belt (TP page 105), for goodness sakes!  Stitched in China?  My word!  Any authentic preppy knows that you shouldn’t don a needlepoint belt unless you can tell admirers exactly which family member stitched it for you and upon which life event it was presented.  (This rule applies to all needlepoint items, fictitious relatives permitted!)

I don’t want for my readers to think that I am not recommending buying True Prep.  You will certainly need a copy of both books to receive your diploma from The Prep Pantheon.  I just wonder if anyone else feels the same longing for those simpler days of the 1980’s when you actually mailed letters to your friends at prep school and stood in line in the dorm hallway to use the payphone?