Author Lisa Birnbach, who famously co-wrote 1980's The Official Preppy Handbook, said that a Kardashian in a cardigan does not equal a true prep. And never will.
"Even if you went to Princeton, or Ransom Everglades and Rollins College, you still cannot be on a reality show and be a preppy," she said. "There's just no way, because we love our privacy. We don't want to share."
That's not to say one must have a Northeastern zip code as a prerequisite for being a bonafied preppy. Though Miami might be a stretch.
"Everybody thinks you have to live in New England to be preppy, but that's not true," said Birnbach, who was at Books & Books last night with her latest book, True Prep. "The Southeast is serious prep territory. But Miami is a whole other territory.
She joked, "I mean, where do I begin?"
Birnbach once attended all-girls boarding schools and was taught to curtsy when greeting people. She admitted to Niteside that revisiting "the whole preppy thing," as she calls it, was not in her game plan.
"I had no intention of ever writing another book about preppies," she said. "But a lot has changed in 30 years -- I felt like I was Rip Van Winkle, or as I call it Muffy Van Winkle, and when you look around, this world is kind of unrecognizable. To think Abercrombie & Fitch used to be where Teddy Roosevelt got his gun holsters."