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Customer reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
21
Preppy: Cultivating Ivy Style
Format: Hardcover|Change
Price:$36.48+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on January 7, 2015
This is a great "coffee table" book; one that I actually read. It gives a great historical perspective to being "preppy". I really enjoyed it.
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on February 18, 2017
Excellent book about ivy style era loved it
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on March 1, 2016
Fantastic Book. Arrived in Excellent condition!
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on March 8, 2016
Great book!!
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on June 19, 2014
The pictures are wonderful as well as the history of the preppy lifestyle! I love this book and it looks great on my coffee table! :)
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on December 28, 2013
It's such an awesome book about a style I love. The pictures are amazing. However, there were a few typos.
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on November 4, 2011
Though highly promoted, this book just looks like a collection of old Ralph Lauren ads. Disappointing. Pictorial, with little substantial background re. development of "preppy" style. There is some history - but pretty lite.
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on October 12, 2011
I believe the first review above is a 5 star review, but the book a 2. I was truly underwhelmed for all of Brahmin's reasons noted above. I must echo the observation about copious amounts of Ralph Lauren ads. I expected more thoughtful content and original photos of nobody's who by nature of their use would be true somebody's!
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VINE VOICEon October 9, 2011
In a blog interview posted not long before the publication of True Prep: It's a Whole New Old World, Lisa Birnbach explained how, all those decades ago, her publishers wanted the book that became The Official Preppy Handbook to focus solely on clothing and accessories, and be titled "The Preppy Catalog." She argued, she said, that prep clothing couldn't be adequately or accurately described without the full context of preppy lifestyle, history, and worldview ... and thus "The Official Preppy Handbook," in all its satirical but affectionate beauty, was born.

Three-plus decades later, Jeffrey Banks and Doria de La Chapelle have finally given us that "Preppy Catalog" the original publishers wanted. It wasn't worth the wait.

The first several chapters are a whirlwind bus tour of the history of preppy dress, hitting all the requisite educational and literary sights and digging a few interesting photos out of the archive, but adding very little to what anyone who has a real interest in this already knows. Indeed, there is considerable debate in some circles about the extent to which "preppy" and "Ivy" overlap. Our authors don't seem to know or care: as the subtitle shows, they regard them as synonyms.

By far the most disappointing part of this book, however, is the final two chapters, when history is set aside and prep-as-she-is-lived-today is supposedly reviewed. An appendix lists a dozen or so "online prep" blogs, and there are probably a hundred more preppy-themed pages on Tumblr alone, which the authors could usefully have harvested to give us photos and stories of interesting people doing interesting things with classic preppy and Ivy ingredients. Instead, they prove the extent to which "preppy" really has become a commodity by defining modern prep solely through the work of mass-market fashion designers, advertising photographers, and a handful of celebrities. Every designer who ever buttoned down a collar seems to be name-dropped (author Jeffrey Banks has high praise for designer Jeffrey Banks), and a discouragingly huge percentage of the photos come from Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger advertising spreads.

On the whole, the authors' answer to the subtitular topic of "cultivating Ivy Style" would seem to begin and end with: Buy Ralph Lauren. Some people worry that the Internet is making books obsolete. "Preppy" is a case where the Internet makes a book unnecessary and irrelevant.
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on January 14, 2012
This is a remembrance book for those of us who lived this lifestyle during our college and early working years. I still have some of those items many years later...such as the single cable Perry Ellis sweater I bought for sking at Aspen. The book reflects on a time and a style and certainly captures those designers and influences that continue to exemplify the preppy status.
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