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The Statesman


The Proper and Preppy Life Done Right

PROPERKIDPROBLEMSDOTCOMScreen Shot 2013-09-02 at 7.58.44 PM
“The Proper Life” is a website devoted to bringing back the preppy lifestyle, without bringing out the cash. (PHOTO CREDIT : PROPERKIDPROBLEMS.COM)

Who is Proper Kid Problems?

Mention the word “preppy” and two things may come to mind. The first may be New England Preparatory Schools, where blazers, chinos and loafers are worn on the regular; where cargo shorts are seen as unsightly; and wearing just a t-shirt seems to be infrequent.

Or, you may think of the Southern Proper, where ladies in Lilly Pulitzer and men in J. Press gather to sip sweet tea out of mason jars during warm summer evenings; and where cargo shorts, too, are a male fashion faux pas.

Blazers, chinos, boat shoes, cardigans, Oxford shirts and gingham—and nothing but quality on quality on quality. But both images have something in common: the individuals are envisioned as a part of the upwardly mobile, wealthy class.

“My argument is that there is a nonexistent connection between money and class (you can definitely have one without the other),” says the young man behind the anonymous twitter account, Proper Kid Problems, in an interview. His very philosophy, that being preppy is a lifestyle you live and not just a fashion statement, seems to be one of the main reasons he remains a cut above the rest and is increasing in popularity across all social media platforms.

Proper Kid Problems, or PKP, as many refer to him as, was created with the purpose of not only maintaining his anonymity, but to “bring back the idea of ladies and gentlemen as well as to awaken the concept of chivalry.” Ultimately, his goal was to reach out to college and high school students—people in his age bracket—to demonstrate to them the general ideals and morals that quintessential ladies and gentlemen uphold.

His philosophy has nabbed him over 50,000 Twitter followers and over 17,000 Instagram followers, with countless other social media platforms having similarly high numbers. He was even able to launch a lifestyle line of products that include t-shirts, bow ties and a host of other accessories. His ventures are successful.

To Proper Kid Problems, it is about the proper, preppy life done right.

“In retrospect, I think PKP was birthed because there was so many ‘preppy’ accounts that put forth this idea that you had to have money to be classy/preppy and I wanted to change that idea,” he said.

Lately, the explosion of “preppy” style has not only taken over the closets of many, but it has stormed Twitter with anonymous accounts that flash their creator’s wealth and demonstrate that wealth and class are one and the same. For PKP, the art of the gentleman has been lost.

“Though chivalry still resides within a handful of gents, it is quickly dying out,” PKP said.  “Being refined with morals and manners simply isn’t ‘cool’ these days because there are not enough role models that espouse those ideals to our generation.”

PKP acknowledges that he too is imperfect and that anyone can live life with “class.”

“I don’t want people to look at PKP [me] and think, ‘Wow.  I could never do that/be like that.’  I want people to look at PKP and think, ‘Wow. Why am I not doing that?’”

“The Proper Life” has become a small movement, making use of the term “stay classy” as a tag line.

Even in its explosion of popularity, PKP is unsure of where things will end. It is clear this “movement” is not a new concept but it is a revival of old ways the 21st century has seemingly washed away.

“It’s great to have ‘inspirational’ people in our lives, but I don’t feel I’m as ‘inspirational’ as people make me out to be.  Maybe I’m just being humble, but I’m not exactly reintroducing the wheel here…”

For the Proper Kid, the sky is the limit.

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