we have a guest editor today, my 16-year-old son, Connor. He has been trying to explain to me the very subtle difference between a preppy look and a frat look for men. I made him put it in writing:
For high school men, clothing attire is a key aspect of their personalities. Two styles that are common among my peers are “prep” and “frat.” Prep, according to my definition, comes from the shores of Atlantic Ocean, while frat stems from the good ol southern roots of fraternities at the universities of Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee.
Both styles are classy. They involve semi-formal attire, as if one were attending a yacht club or a polo match. Prep involves light-colored collared shirts with a similarly light-colored pair of shorts. The colors must be bright as well as light. They must pop out and distinguish one’s shirt from his shorts. One would most often wear a nice pair of Sperry Top-Siders or another brand of boat shoes. Sweaters are often worn to protect oneself from the chilly winds of the Atlantic.
Frat does not stray too far from the formal look of prep. To dress frat would involve wearing darker shades than if you were going for a preppy look. A frat guy would never stray from good ol khaki cargo shorts unless the Georgia Bulldogs were playing (in which case he would break out his bright red shorts). Sandals are the usual choice of foot wear for the frat look (who needs socks anyways). While sweaters are worn up north, southerners simply put on long sleeve collared shirts to keep themselves warm.
Common prep brands are Vineyard Vines and J. Crew. These stores offer those bright colors that are trademarked prep and have a very modern formal nature. To buy the frat look, one would look no further than Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren Polo. These stores offer a very classic formal look and have dark strong colors.
Both styles serve a common purpose for high school boys: to impress our female colleagues. Either way guys, if you dress like you care, girls will be impressed. How my father ended up with my mom by dressing the way he does is beyond me. You strut in sporting your bow tie or your yellow shorts and you’ll immediately attract the attention of the young women in the room.
Ms. Farr, Mom, thank you. I’m extremely grateful that you’ve allowed me to contribute to your blog. I hope that I’ve given helpful and accurate advice. To all those who’ve read this, thank you, and check out Julia Farr because it truly is a fantastic boutique.
Images: Polo/Ralph Lauren