Now my boy B.F. (in red) is anything but TradPrep in this photo but he is, in all of his Scottish kit, one well turned out cat. And in addition to our shared Palmetto state heritage, (our mammas grew up in the same general neck of the woods) B.F. likes to scriven a yarn from time to time and like me, he’s crazy about clothes. When someone over at my tumblr axked the following question...Wasp style vs prep vs trad: what differentiates each? B.F. opined.
So for now, his answer to the question of Trad v. Prep v. WASP style is indeed, my answer…
“This is like the menu at a burger joint. You can slice and differentiate and subdivide until your fingers bleed. Southern prep, Anglo prep, can we get a big shout out for SURFER PREP? On the great Style Continuum, we are talking about a few centimetres out of a couple of city blocks. Pretty soon, it comes down to each person's style, and even that, of course, varies over time and space. ADG style, WT style, JFK style, A. Canine Dogg, IV, style...
I think there is something youthful-boyish about prep that may not necessarily be true about other forms of Trad. I am guessing "WASP" implies a little bit of proud New England stodginess and maybe a little more formality, though it would probably depend on what milieu we are discussing.
Much of our host's style is what we might call Dandy-Trad and I mean no disrespect when I observe that he seldom appears (at least in these pages) in the sober cloth of bankers and lawyers. But surely many of them are Trad to the Bone, aren't they? So if we take ADG in one of his houndstooth confections and plop him into the lobby at Brown Bros or the County Courthouse, it is pretty clear he is a client. But put one of those grey flannel guys in the reception area at Bushwood Country Club and people will assume he is there on business. And not the fun kind.
I do not intend to usurp the powers and prerogatives of the Mighty Mighty ADG, but I hope my opinions and thoughts may offer him at least a straw man to knock over as he expresses his own. Even though I find the distinctions fuzzy and ultimately unnecessary, I would say that Prep grows up and matures into Trad, while its cousin WASP may be more confident and playful, though sometimes a little down-at-the-heels. And damned proud of it.
You may print this out and take it, along with $5 to your nearest coffee house, diner, or eatery. They will probably give you a cup of joe in exchange, but I can't guarantee that.”