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Prepsters: A Dying Breed

There are times in our lives where trends come and go. One day a style is the hottest thing out there, and next thing you know, it’s on the sales rack. As millennials, we often want to be up-to-date with the latest fashions. Today, it seems like everyone is shopping around for ripped jeans and crop tops, but this was not always the case. The thing about fashion is that it can be drastic. I know that my style has changed dramatically and if I were to look back, I wonder what I was thinking with some of the things that I wore.

Back then, though, it was cool. With this in mind, one very extreme trend was the style of being “preppy.” Even if we weren’t ones to hop on this trend, we can’t deny its extreme popularity. However, today, it seems that “prepsters” are a dying breed.

There I was, my freshman year of high school looking for the best deals on Polo Ralph Lauren button downs and Lilly Pulitzer dresses. The sophisticated look of the Polo Ralph Lauren emblem and bright colored floral dresses were all the rage. As a student at a private school, it was even more popular. On our few dress down days that we had, everyone would come in Vineyard Vines T-shirts and Sperry shoes. Although everyone was dressed exactly the same, it seemed like the unique, trendy thing to do.

I have mentioned a few designers that took the preppy look to a whole new level, but I don’t mean this lightly. Lilly Pulitzer clothing has been around since 1959. When this designer became popular again, it was not just the clothing that every girl was wearing. Classrooms were filled with patterned planners, cups and even pens. If it was Lilly, everyone had to have it.

Vineyard Vines and Polo were two brands that appealed to both men and women. T-shirts, button downs, sweaters and hats have all been worn by both genders. Boys have wanted to make a prep statement just as much as girls, which is something that made this trend very unique. Normally, we don’t run to buy the same things as boys, but this phenomenon was tailored to everyone. Even parents wanted their children to dress preppy. It was a dream of many to have their future kids dressed in khakis, a polo and boat shoes, which mimicked a Chuck Bass look.

So if being preppy was such a trend, what happened to it? Well, I’d like to call prepsters a thing of the past. Although these styles are still sold, they are rarely bought. There was a time when big department stores such as Dillard’s began carrying Lilly Pulitzer, and everyone went crazy. Now, however, this clothing is just a display in the store that people walk right by. These top brands are often found on sale now. Some people never really appreciated a preppy style, but others lived by it.

If being preppy was popular for so long, I can’t help but say that other trends of our generation are going to disappear. Today, many people go for a more edgy look, which could be seen as a reflection of the times we’re living in. Fashion trends have gone from clean-cut, to laid back. This isn’t a bad thing; it’s just how fashion works. Although I don’t necessarily hate the clothing I’ve worn in the past, I am glad that my preppy phase is over.

The death of the prepster is never truly acknowledged. It came and went, but it could always come back. For now, I don’t see collared shirts and boat shoes coming back as a casual outfit anytime soon. With that being said, RIP to those with closets full of preppy clothes — what used to be a bold statement is now obsolete.

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