It's hard to believe, but The Official Preppy Handbook is thirty-five years old this year. It was released in October 1980, and I think I purchased my copy around January or February of 1981. I can't tell you the impact it made in my life.
Form middle school on through high school and early college, I was already cultivating my clothing style and "look," leaning toward a more traditional look, but truly "wing it" without a guide or direction. The Official Preppy Handbook gave me that direction. My parents taught us the importance of dressing well and the art of good manners, so I was already following some of the "rules" of prepdom, but is wasn't until I discovered the Handbook, that I finally felt I had found my niche.
All of my life, while everyone else was wearing very casual t-shirts and jeans, I was wearing khakis and button downs. In fact I never even owned a pair of blue jeans until I was in college (yes, I know this seems odd since I grew up on a farm in rural Iowa). This book taught me that I wasn't such an outsider after all, and gave me direction as I fine-tuned my personal look.
This article on the Garden and Gun Blog, gives us a great insight into the impact The Official Preppy Handbook had on people at the time. Hopefully you will enjoy this article (and the book if you can still find it) as much as I do.
***How has The Official Preppy Handbook impacted your life?