Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Psychopreppy: Qu'est-ce que c'est?

If "psychobilly" can be the love child of punk and rockabilly music, then surely style can have a similar spawn. Hence, "psychopreppy," the product of prep and cynicism, aka sweetness with a snarl.

I was thinking about the need for psychopreppy as I got dressed the other day; I selected a shrunken Lacoste faded brilliant-green polo (just *made* to be worn with pink) and a faded heavily appliqued skirt from Anthropologie, circa San Francisco 2004. This I wore with a messy tall topknot and my Acne sandals from last summer.

Today it was my other Lacoste, a faded sky blue, paired with faded J Crew reddish-pink shorts. Lacoste with l'attitude.

If I were anywhere in the United States with "Cape" or "Island" in its name, I'd have fit in, but I am not near those places at the moment, so my attire looked out of place, but happily so.

Actually I have a love/hate relationship with preppy looks.  Clothing for women is either shapeless (potato-sack shift dresses) or infantilized ("critter" and other "cute" prints) or both (hello Lilly Pulitzer).  Its bright colours can lend a costume-y feeling, as if adults are playing dress-up, which is particularly noticeable in groups--a costume ball perhaps? 

But a lone preppy dresser (in faded colours), a true fish out of sartorial water, appeals to me precisely because it's got that odd-girl-out appeal. Think hydrangeas in August as they take on a genteel shabby chic.

So it's not the perky preppy that I like, but the moodier psychoprep.  Just waiting for the Talking Heads to put it to music.


thatdamngreendress said...

I do believe psycho-preppy must be somewhere in J Crew's mission statement these days?

actually,I would kill for that faded rust silk blouse that is no doubt from season's past?

Miss Cavendish said...

Yes, seasons past, alas!

WendyB said...

I bought the Preppy Handbook when it first came out! #blastfromthepast