Cashmere Coats and Pearls

The latest buzz on campus for the past two days was a letter to the editor written by an alumna who graduated in the early 80s and is currently an alumni club president of Westchester county. The reason why the letter spread like wildfire (even though no one really reads the school newspaper much anymore) was due to the intensely homophobic, xenophobic, elitist, racist language and tone of the letter, which I will refrain from posting in its entirety here because it's REALLY that bad, but here is an immortal line in which she laments:
"I can tell you that the days of white, wealthy, upper-class students from prep schools in cashmere coats and pearls who marry _____ men are over."
I omitted the name of the traditionally, in the past all male, "elite" college nearby in order to preserve some personal privacy and not stalk me and/or kill me in my sleep however essentially you can insert the name of any prestigious university/liberal arts college in the country. If you've ever watched Animal House, you get the whole Ivy men marrying all women's college students idea. So how does this relate to the blog?

As an ardent fan of the PITA (Preppy/Ivy/Trad/Americana) aesthetic, all the bad press this clearly blue-blooded WASPy old money alum has generated further deepens the kind of stylistic identity crisis I have been suffering ever since last summer. This perhaps seems all rather superfluous and superficial to tie a serious socio-economic issue of America today to the wardrobe but I do believe that what you wear is a reflection of how you choose to present yourself, and therefore by extension the kind of beliefs that you upheld. Maybe I'm reading this a little too closely and it is silly to wholeheartedly believe that a few items of clothing can single-handedly reveal all there is to know about a person. However you cannot deny that although stereotypes are stupid, certain demographics will latch onto a particular range of products (because of similarity of lifestyles among other reasons to say the least) so that all brands will have some connotations attached to them.

The PITA influence in my wardrobe stems from the fact that I attended a private, college preparatory boarding school, which I am sure this alum would most definitely approve of. Nevertheless, this does not mean that I am either a) white or b) wealthy, only that I have hardworking parents who were prudent and wise with their money and wanted the best possible education for their daughter. In this sense, I acknowledge and will never forget the fact that I am incredibly privileged to have grown up in a stable home. Even though I've come to loathe the kinds of imagery the world "preppy" now conjures, its aesthetic and appeal have themselves embedded deeply into my identity whether I like it or not. This is the kind of world I have constantly been exposed to ever since my arrival in the US as a highly impressionable thirteen year old. Of course I should never forget to mention that this particular alum is the bad apple of the lot, since I do have many school mates who fit her description and yet are also part of the highly motivated, talented and passionate lot determined and committed to fighting worldsuck. Should I follow the wise words of Orson Welles and just don't give a damn, even if my association with all things preppy never ceases to tug at my conscience? Oh dear friends and readers of the blog, what should I do?

One of my more preppier outfits: Boots, Hunter; Chinos, Lands' End; Vest, Fred Perry; Top, UNIQLO.

P.S. There will be no more future fashion week review type of posts, unless I find there is a show so spectacular that it merits an entire post dedicated to its awesomeness. Otherwise they will all be located in clearly marked boards on my Pinterest. I will use Pinterest more often in the future, so please follow me!

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