They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To


They sure don’t make ’em like they used to.

What’s that, preppy clothes?

No, preppy films.

Last week saw the opening of “The Preppie Connection,” based on a true story of a student in 1984 who smuggled cocaine into the prestigious prep school Choate Rosemary Hall. The New York Times writes that not only is the movie flat and dull, it fails to evoke the music and clothing of the era.

That in itself, as the kids like to say today, is unacceptable.

Here’s the trailer. — CC

12 Comments on "They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To"

  1. I just watched the trailer.
    Could an Ivy cognoscente please tell me what was wrong with the clothing?

  2. Chewco L.P. (Offshore) | March 30, 2016 at 12:54 pm |

    Just saw the trailer *Barf* Funny how parodies of preppidom are actually more accurate than these depictions that take themselves too seriously. By parodies, I mean: Making The Grade or even the holy handbook written by Lisa Birnbach.

  3. It begs the question…..what are some of the top preppy movies of all times.

    I’ll have to start things off with either School Ties or The Talented Mr. Ripley

  4. Trailer added to post…

  5. I don’t recall, but did Ivy Style run a story about Phillips Exeter dropping their dress code? I believe they were one of the last traditional prep schools that still required young men to wear a tie to class.

  6. My all boys school’s dress code (McCallie School) has become more relaxed since I attended, but it’s still stricter (and more strictly enforced) than many prep schools these days. Regular school dress requirements/prohibitions are as follows:

    1. Students are expected to wear a solid colored dress shirt with tie (tie should be within one inch of top button on shirt), long pants with a belt, visible socks, and shoes.
    2. Students should tuck shirts in so that belts are visible.
    3. Denim pants are not allowed.
    4. Clothing depicting alcohol, tobacco, drugs, or other objectionable material is prohibited.
    5. Shoes should be leather and/or canvas. Shoes should be of an approved color. The approved colors are black, blue, brown, gray, green, tan, and white. (this in particular has relaxed since my day–used to, the shoes had to be all leather uppers and could only be black/brown and maybe tan. This was often broken by students wearing gray New Balance 574s, so the administration must have buckled)
    6. Sandals, open-toed or backless clogs, and military boots are not permitted. (people got busted for wearing Birkenstock clogs all the time)
    7. Hair should be kept neat and clean and be out of the eyes, clearly off the collar, and not below the ears. No bizarre or trendy haircuts are allowed. Sideburns should not extend below the ears.
    8. Caps or hats may not be worn inside buildings.
    9. Facial hair, earrings, body piercing, and tattoos are not allowed.

  7. Vern Trotter | March 30, 2016 at 4:44 pm |

    Tea and Sympathy. Deborah Kerr, John Kerr and Leif Erickson. Off the top of my head, the best prep movie of all time. Was good on Broadway also.

  8. Dead Poets Society

  9. In 1984, I was attending a private New England college, where one of my fraternity brothers was a member of the Choate class of ’82. But that doesn’t qualify me to comment on what Choate students were wearing in the early to mid-1980s. I never visited the campus, and I have no idea whether my fraternity brother’s wardrobe was typical of Choate in that era.

  10. Charlottesville | March 31, 2016 at 10:38 am |

    Josh – Thanks for commenting. It is always a pleasure when someone under the usual 30-and-up crowd contributes, particularly when they are bearers of glad tidings as you are. I am pleased to hear that here in Virginia the proper sartorial muscles are still being developed. I think that the formation of good habits, and the simple comfort and timeless look of the classics, make it likely that the trad/preppie wardrobe will stick with you and your fellow Tigers long after graduation. Very best wishes!

  11. The NY Times wrote:

    “This film fails even to evoke the ’80s in costumes”.

    I’m still waiting for the Ivy cognoscenti among the readers of this blog to explain to me what was wrong with the costumes.

  12. I found the film on Amazon video and watched it yesterday afternoon. It held my interest, but it seemed more like 90s preps to me. The movie had the feel of a 1994 Winona Ryder movie called “Boys” which takes place around an all boys prep school in the 90s grunge era. The main girl’s hair was a little too flower child and her clothing had that thrift store that looked like a theater major. The music was totally nondescript. It didn’t belong to any era, much less the 80s prep scene. I swear if I hadn’t known better, I would have thought this film was set in the mid to late 90s. Wasted opportunity.

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