"Take a deep breath and back away from the monogramming machine, Bootsy!"
Seriously....I have seen women who have so over-monogrammed/decked out their little boys that I have worried about the child's safety among his peers on the playground. It's like pinning a "kick-me" sign on his back! .....Is there a solution or compromise? Of course there is! A Lacoste or Ralph Lauren polo shirt and a pair of khakis. Preppy. Simple. Safe.
"Classic preppy" implies a sense of ease and nonchalance about one's life in general. You are just that way, your parents most likely were, and your grandparents, too. You appreciate quality and you realize that clothes and accessories are (or should be) a long term investment, so you look for good design, great fabric and excellent detailing/finishing. Although she may be a "cute preppy" in more casual daytime attire, a "classic preppy" woman tends towards very simple lines and colors in her dressier clothes. In the cooler months you tend to see a lot of navy, black, camel, gray and red (for a pop of color) on the "classic preppy."
The illustration at the top of the page is from The Vintage Shopping Guide. This link will take you to a page where you can read a marvelous article about a woman named Claire Watson and her work in the fashion industry. Vintage is often a treasure trove in classic design, cut, and construction, and the page links you to the best vintage shops in the best vintage city...New York. (And speaking of timeless....Just look at what Lilly Pulitzer is doing with its "Originals" line...Brilliant!!) If you are interested in reading more about classic women and their style, also check out Annette Tapert's book, The Power of Style.
February 28, 1958 (Rehearsal Dinner)
Here is a true Miss Betty Story, to close with.....Honest to goodness true!
Miss Betty had a stroke in the fall of 2008. Upon hearing the news, I threw some clothes in a bag, got to the train station in Charlottesville and took the overnight train down to her in South Carolina....the quickest, most direct way. When I arrived, she was having a hard time speaking and moving, and the nurses and doctor were not able to understand her very well. I was at her side for weeks but, unfortunately, all I was able to throw into my bag as I rushed out the door were jeans, a couple of tops and one other pair of "decent" pants, so my clothing choices were limited. As the second week of my stay began, I remember sitting in the chair in her hospital room, wearing my jeans, which I had washed and dried the night before, and one of the shirts. The doctor and nurse were also in the room, trying to talk to Miss Betty. They raised her head up to see if that would help, and when they did she looked over at me. In a voice rather loud and actually quite clear, she said,
"I have seen those same three outfits on you for the past week and you are starting to embarrass me. Please take my charge card and go to Talbot's to get something decent to wear!"
At that point the doctor and nurse were looking at the floor, trying not to die laughing. Normally I would have been mortified, but I was so happy to hear her speak, and absolutely thrilled to see that the old "Miss Betty" was back!"
Now here's something to consider.... I wonder what Miss Betty would think of a blog called The Classic Preppy? :) I hope she wouldn't use the "T" word!!!
Ocean Forest, 1940
At her sister's wedding, 1961....not long after my brother was born.
Boarding yet another plane, ca. 1971
Have a great weekend!
Cheers.... The Classic Preppy