I often receive emails inquiring about my favorite preppy books, so I decided to compile a list. This list is by no means complete. Please feel free to add your favorite books.

  • A Season in Purgatory – Dominick Dunne
  • A Separate Peace – John Knowles
  • Bergdorf Blondes – Plum Sykes
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote
  • Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
  • Emily Post Etiquette 18th Edition – By Peggy Post, Anna Post, Lizzie Post and Daniel Post Senning
  • Gossip Girl series – Cecily von Ziegesar
  • Goodbye, Mr. Chips – James Hilton
  • Prep: A Novel – Curtis Sittenfeld
  • Sex and the City – Candace Bushnell
  • Take Ivy – Shosuke Ishizu
  • The Ex-Debutante – Linda Francis Lee
  • The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Official Preppy Handbook – Lisa Birnbach
  • This Side of Paradise – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • True Prep – Lisa Birnbach with Chip Kidd


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With Halloween just around the corner, I’m sure you are looking for that perfect Halloween party get-up. Here are a few of my fav DIY preppy costumes.

  • Audry Hepburn ala Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Black dress and pearls
  • Princess Kate – Perfect excuse to wear a tiara and put on a pretty dress.
  • Tennis player – Wear your tennis whites, the more retro the better.
  • Sailor – The preppiest of costumes, grab a striped shirt and your boat shoes and you are all set. Rope bracelet optional.
  • International Spy – Great excuse to stay warm, wear dark glasses and a Burberry raincoat.
  • Valley Girl – 1980s prep style
  • Private School Student – Wear your old uniform, even better- wear your old gym uniform. This only works if you are past your high school days.
  • Lilly Pulitzer – Excuse to wear all of your favorite Lilly clothes and accessories at once.
  • Lacrosse Player – Everyone loves a lacrosse player!

Now that the Halloween costume is covered, check out these great tips for spook-ifying your house.

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2010 was a great year at the Preppy Life. We answered a lot of fantastic emails, had a top tweet according to Washington Life Magazine, and even placed second as the Best Pop Culture Blog for the 2010 Mobbie Awards. Here’s to an even better 2011!

Check out the top 10 posts of 2010:


Your prep school needs a new athletic facility? The sailing club needs new uniforms? The ski team wants to go to Switzerland? It’s Bull Roast time. Bull and Oyster Roasts are the unofficial preppy fund raisers. It’s like a grown-up tailgate minus the flat beer. What better way to raise money, then by socializing with 300 of your closest friends? For the un-initiated, Bull Roasts are not as gruesome as they sound. Imagine a room full of preppy people chatting, sipping cocktails and snacking on pit beef, mini-crab cakes, oysters, and fancy hors’ dourves. Often times held in large tents, popular Bull Roasts sell out quickly, so be sure to reserve your table of ten in advance.

Bull Roast Must Haves:

  • Classic Rock Band
  • Middle-Aged Prepsters
  • Cocktails
  • Roast/Pit Beef
  • Crab Cakes
  • Steamed Shrimp
  • Roasted or Mashed Potatoes
  • Cheese Plate
  • Fancy Desserts

Who doesn't love dining in a tent?


School Uniform Blahs

Three little words that still make me shudder. There is nothing worse than after a long summer of fashion freedom to be stuffed back into the often conservative and confining school uniform. Oh, but wait, there is a small glimmer of hope. Even the strictest of uniform codes…and I am talking no ankle socks, nuns measuring the length of your skirt, allow for a little room to express yourself. You just need to get a little creative.

Girls – Layer it!

  • Sweaters: If you don’t have to wear a gross polyester blend from the school uniform company, sweaters are a great way to express your individuality. J. Crew, Old Navy, and Land’s End have many styles of cardigans to choose from. Cardis are great because you can even customize the buttons.
  • Shoes: I had to wear saddle shoes—yes ladies—saddle shoes. But many schools who are more lenient in the shoe department. Most department stores carry cute styles of oxfords, flats, brogues, and penny loafers. I am sure you can find at least one pair to your liking…and who said you had to wear white crew socks?
  • Jewelry: Whether you love traditional styles like signet rings and pearls or if boho jewelry more your thing, bracelets, rings, and earrings are a great way to show off your fashion sense (and comply with your school’s dress code.)
  • Watch: Everyone is allowed to tell time, aren’t we? From silver to grosgrain, watches come in a variety of sizes and styles.
  • Hair: Hairbands and barrettes just to name a few hair accessories. Time to try some new styles.
  • Nails: Many schools do not have a rule about nail polish, so stock up on all of the fun shades.
  • School bag: Who said you have to carry a traditional backpack? Try a stylish tote or a funky over-sized purse instead.

Guys – Color it!
Guys have it so much easier than girls in the uniform department. As long as you have a tie and a buttoned down shirt, you are golden. Many schools do not specify what color shirt or tie to wear, if that is the case at your school, you should take full advantage of it. Try pairing unexpected colors like a navy blue gingham dress shirt with a green tie.

  • Sports jackets: Brooks Brothers, J. Crew, Jos. A Banks, Nantucket Reds, take your pick. Spruce up your look with a fancy handkerchief and a funky needlepoint belt.

Do you have any helpful tips on how to make your school uniform more fashionable? Send it here.

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