Bohemian Prep

You are most welcome to the Wonderful World of The Boh-Preps. A coddled Bohemia for bohemians with manners and literary leanings. Who have the bohemian spirit but lack the unruliness and obstreperous dispositions of bohemians of the past.

preppy hipster

This term is first seen in “The Preppy Handbook” by Lisa Birnbach. This term ironically merges the ‘traditional’ Bohemian as defined by Stover be it “errant spirits” with Birnbach’s concept of Bohemian Prep someone with a “freer spirit.”

Boh-Preps are likely to be named Catherine, Sophia (pronounced like sapphire) or Evelyn. Boys names ranging from Oliver, Sebastian and Jack. Sometimes after a flower like Violet or certain cities like Florence (because that is where Mummy was swept up by Daddy’s guitar-playing in a rustic barn-house restaurant in Tuscany where she was conceived.) Most decisions like spelling choices are dictated by literary heroes for instance it’s not boh-prep to name your son Alan it must be Allen after Ginsberg. Occasionally some odd-ball names like Franny and Zooey because of Salinger. (I really shouldn’t have to explain this to you.)

Likely to listen to Gainsbourg on Sunday afternoons. Not afraid to admit our shallow leanings and not everything we like has to be sophisticated we are dilettantes much like our cousins Nouveau Bohemians alas we do not necessarily have their funds. We may be as educated as Preppies though channel it into the arts and culture. Boh-Preps are unlikely to be doctors or engineers. Life’s too short to be conventional.

As cultured as we may be we are not materialistic because we adore Kerouac so much and are always a sucker for a Beat Bohemian. It’s not our fault those wayward bartenders-guitarist-starving artist types are so cute! Minimalism is likely to be a phase you have wandered into. Naturally, it didn’t last long as you have a fondness for antiques, flea markets and err… Rodeo Drive. We are a contradiction in terms.

We are likely to wear what can only be described as a Blue Shirt Lullaby. Pale blue shirt, skinny jeans navy or black with white tennis shoes and a Nehru Blazer (again navy or black.) Blazers are usually collarless because we like to be rebellious and it annoys our Preppy cousins! Both sexes will own and often wear a navy and white (breton) striped shirt.

We only wear cotton like our cousin The Preppies and like them share the ethos that style must be effortless and tailored.

If you’re a bit rebellious you’re likely to pop on your brown fedora. 

Handbags are always tan leather.

Breton stripes are a wardrobe staple paired with a navy cardigan if its chilly. Sometimes sporting a beanie. Oooo especially if it has a fur pom pom! Long sleeved crew neck tops in winter in either navy, grey, white or black. With a long skirt, don’t be surprised if it’s down to the ankles we like to be covered up. Modesty is a style virtue. Men will pair up a long sleeved top or shirt with cinos in navy or beige. In the summer months we might wear a polo shirt, ladies wear with a long skirt, never with trousers.

We like to vacation by the sea, the only festivals we attend are literature one as music ones are too vulgar these days i.e. celebrity-filled thus attracting philistines. Hobbies include writing poetry and essays on obscure topics, painting, flirting with artists (or Professors), searching for first editions, gallivanting around European museums and making baklava from scratch.

Often found in the countryside on weekends picking wildflowers and petting squirrels, may stay in the city and hog a coffee table for half the day on their own or with loquacious pals. Typically has a longstanding artsy or community-based project to complete like a novel, learning braille or setting up a workshop series to help troubled teens heal through art.

Like our conformist cousins The Preppies we feel a great amount of duty and responsibility so are likely to volunteer in some capacity. Finally, like our 2nd cousins the Hippie’s we feel a desire to change the world in some small way.

Leave a comment if you are a Boh-Prep – we need to unite and connect our tribe!


Poem: Lost Generation (Book: The Quarter Life Crisis Poet)




We are the heir
To Blair
In academia we make our bet
They get into debt.

Fortune is linear?
Starve, charge and never recharge.
Let’s get skinnier.

We are living it up
Naivety of a pup
In the workplace we are like slaves
Then at night we rave.

Our big break will come.
Chase, trace and encase.
To the beat of our drum

But I will not succumb

You are all so dumb
Here I become

And then some…

An artist.

I escaped to Bohemia

Away from academia
Ran from the curse
In my converse
And then some

Ran away from academia
Away from the curse
In my converse
To Bohemia


The Analysis:

Originally I had discussed the meaning of the poem in this interview Q&A for author of The Heart trilogy book series Audrina Lane found here.

It was written 30th September 2010 after I dropped out of Law school and I was just unleashing my frustrations at academia and the political system in general. The title is an homage to the Beat Generation. The poem is essentially a vision of how my life would unfold. And who knows maybe now I’ve became the Artist? It has a rhythmical pace in the last two stanzas expressing the circumnavigational nature of life which contrasts with an earlier rhetoric: Fortune is linear? This echoes how society dictates how life should unfold. Though truthfully the path to success is more curvaceous it ebbs and flows yet peaks and troughs.

Looking back it’s so ironic that poetry was my source of unleash and then it was like I just stopped and didn’t pick it up again until January 2013 which was one heck of a pivotal year. 2013 was truly the year of The Search of Everything… But that’s for a future blog post.

I didn’t read other poets I just had so much pain and distress and it just manifested in these poems- it needed release. The only poetry training/teaching I’ve had is GCSE English Literature which ended at age 16.

This poem grapples with Quarter Life angst and the futile promises made to Millennials that we could achieve anything we wanted. It’s the most self-explanatory poem and the most foretelling as it was devising my own buried dreams for a Bohemia, a life filled with artists and poets one I wouldn’t attempt to forge until 2013. Subconsciously, I had finally walked off the path of convention and was ready to Manifest Destiny... I just didn’t know it yet!

Have I arrived in Bohemia? Not just yet, there’s still a long way to go…

The only thing getting in my way (at the time of writing) was the guy in the poem that followed after it called 2am…


M o r e   a b o u t   C a t h e r i n e ‘ s   p u b l i s h e d   w o r k s :
Twitter: @CattVaughan
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“Elixir Pursuits” documentary series following creative careers: starring Hereford Author and Poet Catherine Vaughan

Elixir Pursuits is a new documentary series created by Hooty a Vintage clothes shop owner where she films and interviews local talents in Herefordshire who are pursuing their dreams. The aim of her series is to uncover the elixir found in these creative careers and share guidance for creative and entrepreneurial souls.

This episode features me in depth behind and behind the scenes of the Poetry Slam I organized, hosted and performed in. There is an interview of me before the show and after.

Here’s some background into the series and you can hear more about Hooty watch the video on Youtube.

Show your support for our Indie Docu-maker and Store owner by visiting her shop and liking her Facebook Page.