Last year in the midst of the True Prep mania, I started thinking of my preppy roots and the bumpy road I took to end up with my current style. I come from preppy parents, had a somewhat preppy childhood (Adirondack summers, sailing and tennis lessons, Cotillion and an add-a-bead necklace that I didn't take off for years) and a mostly preppy adolescence. My Mom didn't make me wear fussy clothes..but she sure let me wear some short skirts! I wore a lot of hand-me-downs-some from cousins and some from my older brother.
Yet something went horribly wrong after graduating from St. Thomas and wearing a uniform every day, I entered junior high school and found myself surrounded by all different types of style. In 9th grade, the fluorescent phase hit Miami...looking back it is hilarious, there I was with my fluorescent graffiti sweatshirt on with matching bright fluorescent socks. These were worn with shiny white Keds of course. Other horrible trends followed and all of a sudden, my Mom stopped buying my clothes, insisting that if I was going to wear these crazy outfits, I would have to buy them myself. So, the babysitting kicked into high gear and I was riding my bike to babysitting gigs and then riding my bike to my favorite store, Chuckles. Looking back, I spent so much money there on the most hideous clothing. I don't blame my Mom for refusing to sponsor my fashion purchases.
It all came to a crashing halt one weekend visit to Palm Beach. My Mom and I visited our Great Aunt Edith to take her to lunch and shopping. She was always impeccably dressed and coiffed. After spending the day on Worth Avenue, she told my Mother that she was embarrassed to be walking around with me dressed so inappropriately. My Mom shared this with me on our drive home and for some reason, it hit me..I was heading down the wrong path. Also, I soon realized that if I dressed the way my Mother wanted me to, she would buy my clothes! No more babysitting every weekend!
I wore this pink Esprit shirt so much, I can't believe it didn't fall apart. I had my Official Preppy Handbook on my bedside table and took it so seriously. I stocked up on Polo shirts, penny loafers and was not seen without my gold shell earrings during the entire late 80s. Next phase..Laura Ashley and then..Ann Taylor. Oh..Ann Taylor-my first credit card!
More to follow...