Slow Burn

Decoder Ring: How Preppy Became Streetwear

Dec. 23, 2022

We bring you a special episode from the Articles of Interest podcast hosted by Avery Trufelman about the incredible reach and adaptability of preppy clothes. It’s a story about the great modernizer of Ivy style, Ralph Lauren, and how he and his label, Polo, were themselves modernized by customers who helped push preppy in a whole new direction, from the runway to the streets.  We encourage you to listen to the entire American Ivy series from Radiotopia. Articles of Interest is created by Avery Trufelman. It’s edited by Kelly Prime, mixed and mastered by Ian Coss, fact checked by Jessia Siriano, with music by Avery, Rhae Royal, Sasami, and the Beazlebubs, the Tufts University Acapella Group.  Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. We had mixing help on this episode from Sam Kim. Derek John is Slate’s Executive Producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is Senior Technical Director. If you haven’t please yet, subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends. If you’re a fan of the show and want to support us, consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to to join Slate Plus today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit neither hosts nor alters podcast files. All content © its respective owners.