11 May 2010

A Field Guide to L.A. Preppies

A field guide to L.A. preppies

The ’80s fashion statement is back. And in some parts of Southern California, it never went away. Where to find the look and the scene, with a West Coast sensibility.

By Adam Tschorn, Los Angeles Times

April 25, 2010

It's all but official: Preppy is back. But can Los Angeles — the laid-back land of mañana and margaritas, ever rise to the level of a prep paradise? It may surprise you, but it already has.

You wouldn't know it from the definitive text on the topic. When "The Official Preppy Handbook" was published in 1980, it didn't just give the West Coast the short end of the lacrosse stick, it practically smacked the City of Angels upside the head with the milky white sole of a Sperry Top-Sider. The few references to L.A. were more like admonitions. As a ski area, Mammoth Mountain was maligned for being "too close to L.A.," and the chapter on vacations deemed Los Angeles "strictly slumming material."

Which was understandable given what passed for preppy at the time: an insular WASP tribe clustered around New England, with wardrobe and social habits bizarre enough to warrant the satirical field guide that sprang from the minds of the handbook's Lisa Birnbach and co-authors John Roberts, Carol McD. Wallace and Mason Wiley.

Now with Birnbach soon to publish a sequel, we must recognize that the prep diaspora has continued unabated, and today the full trappings of a prep-centric lifestyle are just as likely to be found on Catalina as on the Cape, and the prototypical prep might just as easily hail from Manhattan Beach as Manhattan.

To that end, we've compiled a shortlist of L.A. locales and labels that today's Binks, Bunnys, Bitsys and Biffs might find worthy of a soft, well-mannered golf clap.

Read on...

Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times


ADG said...

I was going through security at LAX last year with my typical post meeting...exhausted and glad to be going home garb on. Blazer...501s...tattered Hopkins baseball cap...cordovan tassel loafers...knit collar and blazer lapels turned up. A nice lady behind me said..."you don't live in L.A. do you".

K.S. Anthony said...

Questionable assertions: the makers that the author mentions lack provenance, though some of them do make some very nice clothing.

But...Band of Outsiders? Really? I don't care how many pictures they take of models sitting on a boat: The brand is pure mod. Some of their shirts look like Ben Shermans circa 1988: collar button, back pleat w/ hanging loop etc etc.

Better, methinks, to look to the Nic Cage epic Valley Girl and the unforgettable Fast Times at Ridgemont High than this article.

My two cents, straight outta my shoes.

Anonymous said...

The article is a load of bosh. A lady friend and I met with Creed's man Roberto in Needless Markup over the weekend. I wear Green Irish Tweed and would like a fragrance to wear in humid Washington, D. C. this summer. Give our regards to the California savages.


Belle de Ville said...

When the preppy explosion hits LA let me know. Outside of a couple of beach clubs and country clubs I don't see it...but I'd like to.

K.S. Anthony said...

The piped blazers always remind me Patrick McGoohan in The Prisoner.

Karena said...

I am seeing it all, yes the prep look is going on but other styles as well! More and more casual and colorful definitely!


Art by Karena