"It's like taking a nap on that little rug when you were in kindergarten."

I Used to be a Yuppie, but I’m Still a Preppy


Jay-Z, Beyonce, preppy, plaid   preppy, carrie underwood

I WAS a Teenage Yuppie

Yuppie – short for young urban professional” or “young upwardly-mobile professional.

Honestly, you grow up your whole life hearing people say, “Time goes so fast. When I was your age, I never thought I’d get older.” Wow, now I’m saying that to my kids and other people I know.

So … yeah, I have two problems with being a yuppie today:
1) I’m not young anymore!
2) We live about 75 miles from the nearest “urban” area.

I’ve always sported the preppy look – though not so much the preppy lifestyle – even before the tongue-in-cheek “The Official Preppy Handbook” came out in October 1980. Don’t pretend some of you haven’t heard of that book – I’m looking at you, Biff and Muffy; it was everywhere back in the day.

It’s a Classic Look

Maybe it has to do with the fact that the clothes are “classic” and I don’t have to worry about changing to the newest trend out there. Or could it be that I can still get preppy garments at my local Goodwill or Salvation Army? Yep, this guy’s a little thrifty when it comes to rubbing a couple of pennies together.

Regardless, preppy is a style that’s always worked for me. You’re welcome for the picture of MJ Bieber:

MJ, Preppy, Penguin

To be very clear, though, the part of prep that I’ve embraced more than anything has been plaid. There’s something comforting about the sturdy, timeless, go-with-anything tartans, Madras, or glen plaids. Just a quick snapshot of my closet gives you a glimpse into my style:

mj, plaid, preppy

My very own wardrobe of plaid!


It’s Now

I’ve never been ashamed to be a proud plaid-wearer, and I’ve written about it before here. It’s not just golf wear. It’s for every day. And clearly it’s not just for clothes. It belongs on coffee mugs – see my bio picture in the  upper right of this blog.

And of course, the preppy plaid has always been a part of our culture. Here’s a great shot from the acclaimed show “Mad Men”:

There must be many more like me out there. Someone took the time to break down the percentage of plaid wear, by character no less, for the hit comedy Parks and Recreation:

Keep up the good work, Jerry.


In Conclusion (I’ve always liked that closing)

Whew! I’ve covered a lot of ground in this piece. Having moved out of the yuppie phase and into what I call my “suppie” – senior (almost) upwardly mobile professional – phase, I stand fast in keeping the plaid faith. Hmm … it could be worse; MLB read the title and thought it said, “I used to be a yuppie, but I’m still a puppy.” It’s a dog’s life after all, right??

For me every day is Plaiderday.


  1. Even here in Okieland plaid is proudly worn. FD has quite a few plaid shirts for his office job. Me? You know country girls rock in plaid with pearl snaps! Glad you are back, my friend!

    • I knew there was something other than being a fellow Bugeater!! That FD has real class and of course, we knew you did already! Hope you are well in red-dirt land, Lori.

  2. You are welcomed back to the ‘sphere, plaid and all. Me I HATE most plaids. I swear I never got a hand-me-down that wasn’t’t plaid.

  3. I’ve never heard of The Official Preppy Handbook. Of course my wardrobe consists of solid color tee shirt material tops, sweaters, jeans and leggings…and pretty much always has. For winter, I do have three flannel shirts that I will wear over the tee shirt tops (I clarify because they’re NOT tee shirts). So I missed the yuppie phase…but will always be a proud member of the comfortable slob club. 😀

    MJ…good to see you back again! By the way…is that a CHECKED shirt I see hanging in front of the plaids????

    • OMG, KK, I can’t believe you haven’t heard of that book! Then again, it was before your time. Glad to here you’re rocking flannel. Those have to be plaid-like, at least, right??

      I was waiting for someone to spot the checked shirt in front. Leave it to one of my writerly, observant friends! 😉

      • Kristy K. James says:

        I don’t know that it’s so much that it was before my time as that I’ve never really had any yuppie tendencies. In fact, I’m not sure there has ever been a category I’d fit into, lol, but I’m okay with that. :)

        Of course I noticed the checked shirt. :)

        And finally! That younger picture of you has been driving me crazy…you remind me of someone and I finally figured it out. Not sure if the link will work, but you could be Jon Heder’s twin.


  4. Sadly, we have no plaid……..

  5. Welcome back to the blogosphere! No problem blogging occasionally. Some bloggers post stuff whether they have something to say or not. I skim or skip a lot of those.
    And I was also out of the loop all summer – busy with a family reunion in the Michigan wilderness with no internet connection, as well as trying to finish up a book for publication.
    I, too, like plaid! It’s a comfortable and sociable fabric. I remember it mostly from the fifties – and from farm country. Plaid flannels are especially nice.

    • Wow, Joanne, I hope you enjoyed the MI reunion. It’s weird being without internet these days, isn’t it?

      I’m 100% with you on plaid being “sociable and comfortable.” That describes precisely how I feel about plaid!

  6. You’re in luck, my friend — plaid is everywhere this season!! (Much to my son’s dismay because he hates it). I rather like plaid myself, though only relatively thin folks ought to wear it. Just sayin’. I mean, what’s a flannel shirt unless it’s plaid?!

    • Someone hates plaid, Debbie?!? Say it ain’t so! :)

      Hmm … I never thought of plaid as making people look heavier. I’ll have to ask my co-workers, “Does this shirt make me look fat?” lol

  7. I search thrift shops for shirts style worn by Kramer on Seinfeld. So tacky, yet so cool.

  8. critters and crayons (@critterscrayons) says:

    I like the term “Suppie”. I aspire to be as cool a Suppie as you, Mike!!!!

  9. When my girls were young, they used to ask: “What’s your favorite color?” I’d always say “plaid.” It was enough to convince them that if they ever wanted a straight answer they’d have to look elsewhere. :-)

    Actually, the only plaid shirt I have is a comfy, long-sleeve one that I wear when it’s cold. Otherwise, my go-to wear is “Life is Good” T-shirts.

    • Oh my gosh, Judy, I’m using that line about plaid being my favorite color. That is awesome!

      I love the “Life is Good” t-shirts, but you must expand your plaid, my friend! 😉

  10. So glad you’re back, MJ! I spent the seventies in Pendleton Black Watch plaid–a long cloak, plaid suits that my mom promised were ‘classic’ but now look like something Pee Wee Herman pulled out of the closet. But a truly classic look that will NEVER get dated (au contraire!) is a man in a proper plaid kilt.

  11. Ha ha Hang on – how did Ron Swanson not totally dominate that pie chart?!

  12. Technically, one of the plaids on that pie chart is gingham. I’m looking at you, Tom! :) Don’t worry about sporadic posting, MJ. A little is better than none at all…

  13. I hear plaid is the new black. 😉

  14. Happy Plaiderday x 365!

  15. J. Timothy Quirk says:

    Very nice, MJM! They say Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid….(1982)

    • I LOVE that movie, Joe! It’s been years since I’ve seen it. Of course, I really should wear plaid when that time comes for me in the very, very distant future!

  16. suppie phase – too funny! ☺

Love to hear from you.

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