An Ode to the Preptastic
Jackie O. is one of my style icons. Like many womyn, I just think Jackie O., like Michelle Obama have an ease of style, youthfulness, grace, sense of appropriateness and fun to their wadrobe and dressing. For whatever reason, the summer makes me think more of Jackie O. – perhaps its those iconic Jackie O. shades. I think particularly of Jackie O. as she dressed for Cape Cod. It’s a style I hope to be able to capture one day: the ease, the comfort in the clothing, and yet looking put together, feeling put together. I love watching how Jackie Kennedy’s style evolved and changed, as she as a womyn, evolved and changed – got married, had children, lost husbands, built a career, and raised children. There is something simply elegantly preppy about her look – and its become my theme for the summer: everything will be preptastic.
I started the preptastic summer with this great orange and white striped Lacoste canvas tote. While perfectly beach worthy, the bag also fits my needs as a citified womyn: it’s large enough to carry to business meetings, it can carry, if necessary a laptop, it can carry books, sunglasses, et al confortably and without feeling too heavy. It will also transition with me to the beach when I go, so it’s a less guilt-inducing buy. Another source for preptastic wear with an edge include The Brooklyn Circus, which is just an overall great source of clothing and ideas, and the uber-preppy Vineyard Vines., and I would argue aggressively and intentionally signalling a particular kind of white Anglo-Saxon American ideal, still has some interesting pieces to incorporate – provided one focuses on the overall look and not attempt to attain the WASP identity actually being sold. I particularly like the “D-ring” belts with whales in navy and white. Overall, I think The Brooklyn Circus look is fantastic. I admire and heart the aesthestic they create.
I think both fit in with the aesthetic I’m trying to capture. Ease, comfort, and functionality, as captured here when Jackie O with her children Caroline and JFK Jr. strolling barefoot in a somewhat nautical themed outfit, with white pants.
You can’t go wrong with dresses to capture “preptasticness.” Here Jackie Kennedy uses gingham and cut to convey a sense of polish, but sticks to one garment for ease and elegance. Ann Taylor has a dress that telepaths this same feeling to me, and Liz Claiborne has a near replica of Jackie’s dress, designed and updated by Issac Mizrahi. I think the black and white photographs are wonderful, but for me they have misconstrued the color palette of “prep.” I’ve always thought of prep as an erasure of color, but in fact, prep has a riot of colors.