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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Frugal Preppy: Preppy Frugal

In betwixt and between grading this and that, and reading George Herbert, I am continuing my search for frugal gems in (seemingly) non-frugal places.

Imagine my surprise when I came upon a plug for frugality in a preppy blog! The writer, known--natch--as Muffy, evaluates various preppy offerings and discriminates among the many shades of preppy, from the vrai to the faux.

For a whole lot of reasons, by chance and by choice, I am very, very far from preppyness, or preppydom. When I went to college in 1971, I couldn't understand why everyone at my purportedly left-wing college was wearing the SAME Norwegian navy sweater with little cream dots. Or why all the girls on my floor--save me--had Lanz nightgowns.

Anyway, I found a wonderful paean to frugality chez Muffy. With pictures of various items in both their new incarnations and their holey, fraying, mended older selves, Muffy avers that even the older versions are atill serviceable, and still (her word) loved.

And I love this acknowledgment of the preppy paradox: A frugality combined with an appreciation of more expensive items, and Why well-off people embrace and expect the use of well-worn items.

Love: that must explain why I am drawn to the still-worthy and serviceable, but sometimes worn, and definitely unloved items I see at thrift stores. In fact, over the past year, I've gotten two of those iconic LL Bean Norwegian sweaters at Goodwill: a grey with navy pullover for Mr. FS, and a navy with cream cardigan for me.

Speaking of paradoxes and love, George Herbert writes beautifully of both. Here is the last poem in The Temple):


Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack'd anything.

"A guest," I answer'd, "worthy to be here";
Love said, "You shall be he."
"I, the unkind, the ungrateful? ah my dear,
I cannot look on thee."
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
"Who made the eyes but I?"

"Truth, Lord, but I have marr'd them; let my shame
Go where it doth deserve."
"And know you not," says Love, "who bore the blame?"
"My dear, then I will serve."
"You must sit down," says Love, "and taste my meat."
So I did sit and eat.


SewingLibrarian said...

What a beautiful poem! Thank you for posting it.

FB @ said...

TOTALLY unrelated, but in response to your post a whole while back about another good PF blog to read.. I highly recommend Single Mom Rich Mom.

I ADORE her blog now. I'm devouring her archives.

Duchesse said...

Frugality meets prep b/c the clothes really never go out of style. I see kids in the same stuff my sister wore in the '50s! Prep would never ever buy a little top from H&M and throw it out in 3 months.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Sewing--I love Herbert and posted another poem today. You can see all his poetry on

@FB-Thanks for the tip. You are right. She is great.

@Duchesse--Love the "timelessness," but the clothing doesn't do much for me. Except for the sweaters. I love wool sweaters.

Duchesse said...

I like twinsets, slim wool ankle pants, simple a-line skirts and even kilts and the occasional piece of madras. But khakis, no. An older woman dressed preppily sure beats one in tight jeans trying to look "young".

Frugal Scholar said...

Duchesse--You are so right. I like all your choices and was actually tempted by a madras tote bag last summer.