Most helpful positive review
49 of 69 people found the following review helpful
Still a guide for Biff and Muffy, but now it's for Li, Ravi and Runpeng, too!
on September 2, 2010
What is more recession-proof than preppy style? This sequel to the original The Official Preppy Handbook which came out in 1980 is even more fun! It's the perfect book to tuck into your handbag (or guys - wherever you are going to sneak peeks at this one).
The book is organized into 12 chapters. Each chapter's insights are designed like magazine articles - tons of pictures, sidebars and blurbs. Part of the sheer delight of this book is that you can flip it open to any page to start reading. The chapters cover:
1. The Building Blocks of Prepdom - i.e. the people and backgrounds in a preppy world.
2. "We Don't Talk About It" - how much private school costs, second homes, travel (important info like don't wear sweats on a plane and don't complain about jet lag!), the 43 Preppiest Places to have a summer house, and money.
3. Schools. Day schools, boarding schools, college (a lot about Princeton).
4. The Preppy's Wardrobe. How did we make it 30 years without an update on this one? It includes trench coats (Brooks Bros., Burberry and even Armani), accessories (Hermes scarves, belts, shoes,) trunk shows, logos, jewelry, vintage.
5. Unhappy Hours - i.e. work. The appropriate careers covered are especially updated for the 21st century (please note: preppy careers do not include doctor, computer scientist, CPA, engineer or manny!). For men, there's an explanation of the preppiest career - banking. For women, finally, the authors cover what the mom who read/lived the original Preppy Handbook in high school is doing now that her children are in school. She starts by becoming a decorator, then morphs into a real estate agent, then a docent, and finally something like a yogini/healer/shamon (the most important aspect of these careers, of course, is that she gets summers off!). Being a "pre-writer" is the preppiest of career choices. This is the perfect book for all of the very educated moms who left their careers to stay home with their children at the turn of this century.
7. "Poor Mrs. Astor. True perps." Crimes like lying, adultery, rehab.
8. "Drinks before Dinner." Cocktails, food.
9. "Happy Hours, part I: What We Do." Weekends, books and book clubs, sports, country clubs (and how refreshing to read a guide book that refers to the rule-maker at a country club as someone "[w]hen she's not telling everyone what to do, she knits with a ferocity to rival Madame Defarge." Your prep teenager will get the Dickens reference!), fish and shooting clubs, reunions, shopping, love.
10. "Happy Hours, part II: What we watch and where we go." Reality TV is not prep! What tote bags to take. Sailing. Also, what kind of book would it be without discussing L.L. Bean Duck Boots?
11. Etiquette - kissing in greeting, thank you notes, introductions, cell phone etiquette, privacy.
12. "Looking Good vs. Feeling Good." Preppies stay the same - they keep the same friends, hobbies, and still go to the office. To carry on, though, it helps that they've cultivated a lifetime of connections such as the right doctor and lawyer.
I've dog-eared so much of this book to chat about with old friends! I've already ordered a copy for my 40-year-old brother for his birthday this month, too. If you are between the ages of 14 and 104, and interested in a classic lifestyle, you will love this book!