23 responses

  1. Judy
    August 3, 2009

    I would love to see a discussion about brands that are preppy and brands that are High WASP approved. It seems that if I look at the preppy-girl blogs, I see a lot of Lilly and a lot of pink-and-green and a lot of make-sure-everything-is-cute-and-matches. Yet the High WASPs of my youth were more into LL Bean boots, their brother's old Eddie Bauer jacket, Mummy's khakis, their sister's hand-me-down Jacques Cohen espadrilles, and everything wasn't all brand new nor was there a big fascination with shopping and continually updating one's wardrobe. Maybe their grandmothers wore Lilly, but they (the grandmothers) would just as easily have worn a pale pastel cashmere twin set with nondescript, practical black pants.
    Indeed, the imprimatur and the attitude of nonchalance — so it's old and worn, so what? — is part of what I associate with High WASP. I'm interested on your take on this. Maybe this is Northern vs Southern?

    12:53 am
    Leah said...


    Yes, that is the difference between Northern WASP and Southern WASP.

    (My Granny, born and raised in Virginia, practically LIVED in her Lilly Pulitzer and thong sandals. She was obsessed with tennis, sailing and smoking.)

    Southern WASP is bright, fresh, summery, preppy, lots of Lilly, lots of pink and green, very sweet…

    Northern WASP is far more dignified in a way… it’s a lifestyle and attitude much closer to that of European old money, where the elite wear wellies, old pants, and tromp through the manor grounds with their hunting dogs. They wear the same high quality classic clothes for decades- repairing rather than replacing. They will wear one strand of pearls only, because it’s a family heirloom and that’s all a girl needs, really. A man will wear boat shoes not because because they’re trendy but because he literally will be on a boat sailing all day. Function, comfort and timelessness always trump trend and branding in the Northern WASP world.

    Brands like Tommy Hilfiger are chasing the WASP lifestyle of the North but they do not represent it. In fact they miss the point entirely.

    8:32 am
    Lisa said...

    Leah, I think you have it right. Somebody ought to write up ALL the regions!

  2. theprovidentwoman
    August 3, 2009

    I wish I knew more about fashion!

  3. Ashley
    August 3, 2009

    i always find your posts interesting, and i don't mean this question in a rude way at all, but for my lack of knowledge: Are there really actually a group of people out there who associate themselves as "high wasp"? and truly do uphold the sort of standards you outline? is there a different between a family with money and a high wasp family? does your family really look down on you for wearing certain brands? (many brands i must add, that seem like good ones to me. like for ex, when you mentioned disdain over yor banana republic). just curious since i come from a family where my dad thanks i'm frivolous bc i spend more than $30 on jeans. :-)

  4. Ashley
    August 3, 2009

    also, i hate when i look back and see these silly errors in my comments like "yor" and "thanks" instead of "thinks" haha.

  5. Hannah
    August 3, 2009

    I would argue that we dislike Juicy because it is ugly. Well, maybe ugly scares me. And others like me.

  6. Imogen Lamport
    August 3, 2009

    I hate stuff with branding on it – they should pay me to walk around like a billboard with their logo on it – I want my branding on the inside not the outside!

  7. Her Preppiness
    August 3, 2009

    Great post.

  8. LPC
    August 3, 2009

    There isn't a group of people who think of themselves as High WASPs, at least not that I know of. I think I made the term up. But the standards are real. The mores are real. They just aren't ever voiced. Or rarely, I should say, since I now have 41 posts with this tag:). In terms of the relationship of the High WASP concept to the prep concept, I'm not an expert on prep. I can only deconstruct what I know. And I have a deep desire to avoid anyone feeling excluded in any way. I want to tell my story because I can't help it, to say what is, not what is not. My guess is that regional differences exist. But maybe in future posts I can elucidate. Oops. Already used up my big word of the day…

  9. Lipstick
    August 3, 2009

    Excellent post. ok, LPC…seriously, I am going to have to think of a different way to start my comments of you are going to get grouchy at me! :)

    my fave point that you make is that high WASPs value self over brand. the overall look/quality is so much more important than all the logo-insanity.

    BTW…Juicy Couture just makes me nauseous. I'm not even high WASP. I'm just plain-old WASP. LOL.

  10. Jan
    August 3, 2009

    *hides White Stage capris*

    Thank you so much.

    Juicy Couture is evil – they replaced my beloved Liz Claiborn women's outlet at the Prime One mall in Grove City, PA last year, forcing them into a dark corner in the back of the regular retail store.

    I'll never, ever forgive them. Nope.

  11. Jan
    August 3, 2009


    That's White STAG.

    It's been a long day…

  12. f8hasit
    August 3, 2009

    Personally, not that you asked but I'm going to tell everyone anyway, I don't care for any outside branding. I've bought Burberry, but nothing with the plaid, I've bought Chanel, but not with the CC's showing, I've bought even Gap, but please, no logos.

    I like things crisp and simple. Show me a good seam and I'm in. Great fabrics rule. Attention to detail a must.

    If it feels good, I must have it. As long as there is nothing to show where it came from. That's me, now.

    But I might have changed my mind if I were able to feel that purple bag you bought a few days ago….

  13. Sher
    August 3, 2009

    I wore a Juicy bathing suit top this weekend. Call me trashy LOL!

    I prefer subtle branding like St John Knits with their signature buttons. I have a ton of Ralph Lauren and you have to search for the name on buttons or clips. Tommy Hilfiger, you will only know if you lift a shirt tail up or actually take the clothes off ;D

    But I'm not a label snob. If I like something I buy it. I shop all ends of the spectrum.

  14. Little Bow Prep
    August 3, 2009

    I still have some items from my middle school Juicy phase, but as a general rule I'm not a huge fan.

    As for North Face- I agree. But I still wear mine. It's relatively lightweight but so warm at the same time.

  15. Peonies and Polaroids
    August 3, 2009

    Branding with a big B is very very Bad and makes me shudder. I think I might have a little High Wasp in me.

  16. Brown Eyed Girl
    August 4, 2009

    Juicy scares me b/c of the writing on the rear… it's a little lolita-ish to have all these underage girls parading around and having (mostly innocent, good) men distracted by that!

    Obvious branding is my biggest ick factor when it comes to clothes.

  17. The Preppy Princess
    August 4, 2009

    Fabulous post Miss LPC, just wonderful. You perfectly describe the aesthetic and practices. "Form and function" trump brand and frequently price, hands down. And generally things that aren't "too loud," things so distinctive they are remembered year in and year out, thus the "Lilly conflict" as we have referred to it.


  18. LPC
    August 5, 2009

    Thanks TP.

  19. teaorwine
    August 10, 2009

    While shopping in recent years, I steer clear of clothing that “speaks”. Logos, ponies, gators, specific plaids and branded monograms, I repel. I prefer apparel and accessories crafted from superior textiles and materials, consideration of detail, lined with care, and stitched with seamstress proficiency.

  20. Belle de Ville
    October 31, 2009

    Beladora…the ultimate high wasp brand.

  21. HIFI
    May 31, 2016

    What’s up, I check your new stuff daily. Your writing style is awesome, keep up the good work!

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