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!


Film review: Metropolitan



Doomed   |      Bourgeois      |        In Love

“Manhattan, Christmas Vacation, not so long ago…”

Oscar Nominated for Best Original Screenplay this film takes you into the lives of Manhattan’s elite. They’re young, beautiful yet doomed. A group of preppies sans Gossip girl overtones after all this was released before text messages even existed. It’s a nuanced debut film by Director and Screenwriter Whit Stillman.  Stillman made Serena a chic name in books, film and TV. He paved the way for beautiful and damned Manhattanites found in Cruel Intentions alongside Gossip Girl the book series and its eventual mega-hit TV show.

The film still above the original “you can’t sit with us” scene.

Meet the U.H.B. Urban Haute Bourgeoisie pronounced “Uhhb.”  You have Tom the auburn haired fellow with a penchant for socialism and is conflicted by his views on privilege to fully mingle with his new preppy friends. Audrey is in love with Tom, but he can’t get over Serena. The dark haired guy in the above photo is the dashingly witty Nick who serves the best lines:

“The Surrealists were just a bunch of social climbers.”

“Playing strip poker with an exhibitionist somehow takes the challenge away.”

“Rick Von Slonecker is tall, rich, good looking, stupid, dishonest, conceited, a bully, liar, drunk and thief, an egomaniac, and probably psychotic. In short, highly attractive to women.”

It’s a subtle plot. You are essentially spending the holidays in a W.A.S.P. way. There’s stimulating conversation and a foreboding of economic uncertainty present by the fact that even these privileged kids face the prospect of downward social mobility and that even these lucky kids see themselves as Charlie puts it “doomed.”

Tom Townsend once belonged, not to this particular set of friends but to their world: Prepdom.  Since his parents divorce he has lost his privileged access and lives as an ‘outsider’ in Upper West Side. Though he’s in love with the resident Preppy It Girl Serena Slocum, who is with Baron Von Sloneker who Nick detests and labels titled Aristocrats as “scum of the earth.”

Tom kind of annoys me: “I don’t read novels I prefer good literary criticism.”

Audrey is adorable and there’s not much revealed about Jane who looks like an American cousin of Nigella Lawson.

It’s witty, interesting and a traditional depiction of an extraordinary class. It’s delightful and there’s none of the stress and drama found in contemporary depictions of rich kids. You’ll either love it or you won’t. It’s an enjoyable film for those that get it.


Purchase the film on DVD 

More about Whit Stillman


Twitter: @WhitStillman
IMDb profile

Other films by him:
The Last Days of Disco
Damsels in Distress