New York Vs. New England Prep: An Analysis

by TIFFANY ETESSAMI · March 18, 2010

We all watch Gossip Girl. We even checked out NYC Prep (admit it). But let's step out of the microcosm of Manhattan for a second, and check in on the equally preppy (though probably not as scandalous) girls of New England private schools.


Women's Wear Daily recently visited Concord Academy, Milton Academy and Phillips Andover to check out what the real Blairs and Serenas wear on an average day. You know you're curious...

Like most schools, there are girls who will stay in the library overnight in Uggs and American Apparel leggings. Then there are those determined girls who will not be caught dead out of four-inch heels (though at most other schools, its doubtful those heels are Chanel). When they were approached to be part of a photo shoot, some things were surprisingly similar: everyone showed up in skirts or dresses, and they all mixed in finds from thrift or vintage stores.

Some of the girls already have distinctive styles. Phillips junior Kerry Joyce is into the menswear trend. She heads straight to the boys' side at Brooks Brothers, and pairs vintage Donna Karan with Phillip Lim.

The preppiest of all, Milton Academy (which boasts Kennedys as alumni), has students that live up to the stereotypes. Seventeen year old Marilyn Petrowski sticks to clean, modern classics. Standards include obvious prepster chic choices like J.Crew, but the teen also boasts owning a coveted black, chain-strap Chanel purse.

“It was pretty much my whole Christmas. My dad doesn’t understand how a bag could cost this much,” she laughs. “I have to be able to give it to my grandkids.”

At Concord, Amelia Fitch goes against the norm by only spending about fifty a month, and scoring stuff from Ebay and vintage shops. Sticking to grunge finds like a faux fur vest, fishnets and Doc Martens, Amelia is not your typical prepster. And that's refreshing, because as much as we love Ralph Lauren, we like a rebel more.

Let's backtrack to that addictive NYC Prep, though. How exactly do the styles of Jessie, Kelli, Taylor and Camille compare to the teens of New England? Well, we've spotted Jessie around town before, and she is definitely not a leggings-and-Uggs kind of girl. She's always rocking black, edgy dresses paired with the latest Louboutins. The other girls, though, are not as intensely fashion forward. Kelli and Taylor can be found roaming the UES in gladiator sandals and skinny jeans on any given day. Camille (aka Blair Waldorf 2.0) has yet to be seen sans headband.

Hannah Kim, Marilyn Petrowski

Amelia Fitch

Camille Hughes, Kelli Tomashoff, Taylor DiGiovanni, Jessie Leavitt

[All New England photos by Meghan Colangelo for WWD]