In HuffPo’s revelatory list of the nine preppiest colleges in the country posted on Wednesday, Princeton was rated—wait for it, wait for it—number two. If the only part of this tidbit that shocks you is the fact that Princeton was number two, you’re probably not alone.
So here’s the question I know you’re all asking: how did we miss the gold? Did the judges miscount Princeton’s population of seersucker shorts, pastel sundresses, and Docksiders? Perhaps not. In fact, HuffPo quotes James Axtell’s book The Making of Princeton University: From Woodrow Wilson to the Present, in which he called the “boat shoe” a “numinous symbol of Princeton.” And apparently, also according to Axtell, Princeton students even speak their own language: “Princeton patois.”
The gold went to Virginia’s Hampden-Sydney College, which The Preppy Handbook apparently calls “The finishing school for Southern gentlemen.” The list also included Duke, noted for its “prep band” amongst other preppy organizations; Trinity College, which HuffPo noted has been called the “epicenter of preppy partying in the Northeast” (should we take offense to that one, Princeton?); SMU, a choice HuffPo supports by citing the school’s line of Tag Heuer watches and soon-to-be George W. Bush Presidential Center; and Connecticut College, nicknamed, um, Abercrombie U.