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Prep School Movies: How I hate them

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by DanOregon, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Scent of a Woman was on tonight. One of the better movies set at a prep school, but for the love of God, does every movie set at one of these snob-factories have to end with a big "courtroom" scene?
  2. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Nationally, about a third of the students receive financial aid from the schools (amount based on need). I think maybe you believe Hollywood a little too much.

    I can't speak for all such schools, but the old, traditional one that gave me four years of scholarship money was much more of a meritocracy than the real world is. If you had the grades and test scores to get in, and you didn't come off like a creep in the interview, they would find the money to make it happen. The place was more diverse than my local high school, no doubt about that. I came from a town of 2,000 and the first friends I made there were from the slums of Philly and Brooklyn.

    There were rich kids, of course, and I got to know them, too. One thing about "old money" is that they tend to shun ostentatious displays of wealth as vulgar. They try to understate their wealth and background; it's tacky to flaunt it. For instance, wearing labels on one's clothing is not fashionable in those circles -- wearing a pony on your chest screams wannabe from the burbs. Those kids are most likely to be wearing L.L. Bean (no label), usually beat to hell.
  3. cougargirl

    cougargirl Active Member

    Many old money prep schoolers detest how they and their schools are portrayed in literature and film. For example, a former college roommate of mine is a Groton alum who snarls at any mention of the book "Prep" by Curtis Sittenfeld. She now writes etiquette books (no joke). Her family is also old New England money and like F_R said, never a family to flaunt their wealth. People knew, though, and at one point there was a rumor on campus that she owned a Bentley and she responded, "Good Lord, I don't even know how to drive! How could I even START a car?"

    Likewise, one of the first shopping trips we ever took, we walked by an Abercrombie and Fitch store and she explained to me for 15 minutes how Fitch is probably rolling in his grave, knowing that a once-elite brand of sportswear and outdoors goods (think L.L. Bean meets Park Avenue) is now "dumbed down and cheapened" for high schoolers. I never looked at A&F the same after that.

    However, lol, she still will never wear a polo shirt unless it has a Polo pony on it.
  4. JR

    JR Active Member

    A lof of my university friends were graduates of Upper Canada College (boys) or Branksome Hall (girls) the ultimate in Canadian prep schools. Most of them spent their last year of high school at a "finishing school" in Neuchatel, Switzerland.

    Yes, most of them didn't flaunt their money but make no doubt about it; it was and is a distinct class-based system.

    A little noblesse oblige goes a long way with the Muffy crowd.

    And the LL Bean thing is just reverse snobbery.
  5. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Don't think so. I think it's a matter of being secure enough to wear a $20 polo instead of paying $75 for the same thing with a wittle horsey on it. I think the mind-set is that they have no need to buy image like the insecure do. Without the label, the polo shirt could be L.L. Bean, it could be Cherokee (Target), no one will know since there is no label to exclaim to the world what it is called and how much it costs. I don't think that's snobbism, it's confidence.

    Don't get me wrong, I like some of Ralph Lauren's stuff. I have a suit, a belt and underwear. But I won't wear anything he or anyone else sells that has a visible logo. I'm not an aristocrat, but I'm not Ralph's walking billboard, either. I share that disdain for letting Madison Ave. tell me what's "in." I find typical prep school fashion pretty economical because the style NEVER changes.
  6. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    I can spot the difference between L.L. Bean and Cherokee at 10 feet. Don't tell me brand doesn't matter. Even if it's not expressly stated with an outward logo, it makes a difference.
  7. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Maybe you can, Cadet, but most people need that logo to help them when they size up the other person and they need that logo to feel good about what they wear.
  8. JR

    JR Active Member

    Frank, I know what you're saying--particularly about the label nonsense--but this whole "we don't like to flaunt our wealth" is practically genetically encoded. It goes along with their ingrained sense of entitlement.
  9. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    There are six "prep" schools like that in my paper's coverage area: Lawrenceville, Peddie, Pennington, Hun, Princeton Day, Stuart Country Day (girls only). Lawrenceville is oldest and most traditional of the bunch. Peddie appears to be old and traditional, but received an injection of big money 5-10 years ago when an almnus donated a couple of hundred million.

    So with 6 prep schools, 2 parochial (Catholic) schools, 16 public schools, I just call it "high school sports" and not "prep sports"
  10. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Cherokee polo shirts rule.

    Yeah, I said it.
  11. farmerjerome

    farmerjerome Active Member

    I find I do just fine when I wander over to the boys section of my store to pick up my Ralph Lauren polos. I pick them up for 12.99, plus my discount.
  12. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Collar up or collar down?
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