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"Preppy" Is Back, and Then Some!

A century after the word was coined, and 30 years after the iconic handbook was written, "preppy" has returned.

It will be found everywhere this fall, according to "Early Show" style contributor Katrina Szish, who declares, "The All-American preppy aesthetic is back and bigger than ever," from penny-loafers to plaid, and the boarding school look and Bloody Marys, and all things in-between.

Long before preppy was stylish, Szish says, it was simply a way of life.

The term was originally coined a century ago to describe wealthy students at Northeastern prep schools.

They shared a common lifestyle and look, which gradually came to be defined as preppy.

In the 1950s, preppy's blueblood began seeping into society, due in part to America's fascination with preppy's first family, the Kennedys.

Preppy, says Szish, travelled west to Hollywood, where screen icons Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn managed to dress down with sophistication.

But it wasn't until the '80s, some 30 years later, that it burst into the mainstream, when "The Preppy Handbook," a tongue-in-cheek best-seller, laid out preppy essentials for the masses.

Film and fashion quickly followed suit.

Clothes were just as memorable as characters in the timeless films of director John Hughes… where princesses and even punks were a little bit prep, Szish points out.

Designer Tommy Hilfiger got his start selling jeans from his basement. Now, he outfits preppies and hip-hop stars alike. He says preppy is "here today and here tomorrow. And it's something that will never really go out of style."

After lying low in the nineties, preppy has once again reinvented itself, this time led by pop stars and gossip girls.

And Tuesday, the updated preppy handbook, "True Prep," hits bookshelves, providing guidelines for the new generation.

Szish offered some guidelines of her own on "The Early Show" on preppy styles and many other aspects of preppiness circa 2010:

Details on the outfits seen in the video above:


On Blair

ZARA coat, $129, ZARA stores
Tommy Hilfiger navy dress, $148,
Radley London Berkhamsted large bucket tote bag, $178,
LL Bean Signature shoes, $79,

On Clarence

H&M blazer, $129, H&M stores
Old Navy sweater, $29.50,
Lands' End Canvas shirt, $40,
Lacoste jeans, $130,
LL Bean penny loafers, $99,


On Cassidy

Tommy Hilfiger blazer, $178,
Hunter Dixon shirt
Tommy Hilfiger pants, $148,
Tommy Hilfiger belt, $48,
Tommy Hilfiger duck boots, $298, Tommy Hilfiger Fifth Avenue Flagship, 681 Fifth Avenue 212-223-1824

On Brant

LL Bean Signature sweater, $99,
J. Crew shirt, $49.50,
Ralph Lauren polo shirt, $75,
LL Bean boots, $129,
Tommy Hilfiger pants, $88,


Murray's Toggery Shop plain Nantuckets Reds, from 69.50,
Smathers & Branson
Belts, from $165,
Dog collars, from $75,
Key chains, from $25,
Wallets, from $115,
Sperry Top-Sider Authentic Original, $70,
Bloody Mary Kit by Jack Spade for Renaissance Hotels
True Prep by Lisa Birnbach with Chip Kidd, Knopf Books
Take Ivy by Teruyoshi Hayashida, powerHouse books
LL Bean tote, $24.95,

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