The New True Prep

6a00d8341c630a53ef01347fc41456970cIn her 1980 bestseller “The Official Preppy Handbook,” Lisa Birnbach defined the prep as someone who had a classic outlook on life and a classic wardrobe to match. You might think that thirty years later, and with the economy in the tubes, a manual on all things preppy would be of no use to you.  But then Lawnparties found you scrambling for an appropriate outfit and then it’s already time to start thinking about job interviews for next summer, and you start to sort of wish you knew some of the inside secrets of this pastel world.

Thankfully, Birnbach and celebrated graphic designer Chip Kidd have released an updated version of the handbook: “True Prep: It’s A Whole New Old World”.  You can watch Birnbach talk about the new book on the Colbert Report here.

Our favorite suggestions on how kick it with the country-clubbers after the jump:

On Ivy League apparel: “You may wear a Harvard sweatshirt if you attended Harvard, your spouse attended Harvard, or your children attend Harvard. Otherwise, you are inviting an uncomforftable question.”

On manners: “It is important to make real eye contact when meeting someone for the first time. A good, firm handshake cements your initial impression and lets the other person know that you are really there. This applies to women as well.”

On Michelle Obama: “A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, she has arms that look sculpted out of onyx and, for covering up, often chooses cardigans from J. Crew.”

On High Heels: “You must be able to run in them—on cobblestones, on a dock—in case of a spontaneous footrace.”

On Booze: “Lunchtime drinking is not an obligation, but, well, yes it is”

On boarding school and/or screwing up: “Where you attend (and possibly get booted from) boarding school is one of the most important elements of your pedigree. And just as important is where you go to rehab to lose your addictions – the dangerous behaviors your parents sent you away to avoid, but you still managed to pick up anyway in the safety of the middle of the woods somewhere in deepest New England or outside Santa Barbara.”

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