It has come to our attention recently that everyone… simply everyone… has discovered or re-discovered ‘preppy’. The list is endless. Tonight we’ll share a few of those who are talking preppy, starting with the advertisement below, compliments of our good friends over at Barneys.
The above is but one example of the many emails in today’s cyber inbox admonishing us ‘don’t forget’ this Sunday; you are probably seeing loads of them as well. Now, in terms of being a ‘Preppy Dad,” Daddy most definitely qualified. But even if he we were still with us (sigh…), some of today’s ‘preppy’ styles might be a tough sell.
For example, at Barneys, suggesting a snappy pair of Trovata Raft Shorts in Madras could be a push, or the Psycho Bunny Short Sleeve Polo? Not happening. Now on a personal level, we do find the polos quite a bit of fun. In fact, The Princess *so* loves the name of this line she sometimes wonders how things would be if she were the zippier sounding ‘PreppyPsychoPrincess’ instead of just plain old PreppyPrincess… hhmm. Perhaps we’d best move on….
To the Miami Herald’s article on preppy style, complete with instructions, “How to be preppy: The style makes a comeback.” Herald writer Enrique Fernandez authored the story, saying the “classic American style is enjoying a renaissance.” Indeed. Fernandez references the popularity of the 80’s looks made popular by Armani, Versace and other highly tailored lines, but tells us that “classic American style is enjoying a renaissance.”
Photos used in the Herald story appear to be ‘handouts’ (meaning the paper did not take the photos; they were provided by an outside source), as in this case: the pictures above are from J Press and the shots below are compliments of Brooks Brothers.
The story carries a primer on textiles: madras, seersucker and khaki, and the point is repeatedly made that traditional styles were ‘out of fashion’ a number of times, for varying lengths of times.
During the countercultural ’60s, the peacock ’70s, the power ’80s and ’90s, preppy style not only fell out of favor but also had dorky connotations. Now, fashionable men are rushing back to trad, while its steadfast adherents argue passionately online about what a J Press ”Burlington Knot” tie means. The braided belt, once considered the height of preppy obnoxiousness, gets a display in GQ (last month, it was the deck shoe).
The Princess is nonplussed. She doesn’t remember those times and when queried, Mr. Princess didn’t remember them either. It would have been best had we not raised the topic with him; it proved to be a little unsettling. “What precisely went out of style?” and “Do they mean to say it was ‘out’ when I wore it at the Club or the cottage or at the office, or are they saying it was out all the time?” are the sort of questions being asked here at the Prepatorium. I know, I know. But then when reading the portion of the Herald article shown above with the ‘dorky connotation’ reference, he said, “gosh, I really feel nothing but sadness for the ink-stained wretch who wrote this story.” Oh my.
Dum spiro, spero, right? Yes, so how about a story from the Argus-Leader in Sioux Falls, South Dakota? The story, “Pretty in patchwork“ starts out by saying, “If you’re mad about plaid, you’re not alone this season” and extols the virtues of madras. The majority of the items in the article are sadly, not pictured, but TP put her detective skills to work and thinks she knows which $17.99 Merona shorts in madras the writer is referring to at Target.
(Just one little FYI to the Madras Pooh-bahs at the Boutique: there are only two reviews of the shorts online and they clearly come from fans, but they are not very sounding very fan-like about the quality of the shorts.)
We’ll leave our little preppy overload for the time being; we wouldn’t want anyone getting cross-eyed on madras and seersucker. Besides, we just have one more tidbit to leave you with at this hour. Late word tonight from Caroline Tell at WWD (Women’s Wear Daily) that some Secret Service agents were positively melting in the beastly temperatures today outside a certain 7th Avenue business establishment. Why were they hovering for so long, you may ask?
With two beige Suburbans and a team of sweltering Secret Service in tow, Cindy McCain paid a visit to Oscar de la Renta’s showroom this afternoon to peruse Washington’s favorite designer’s rack of White House-worthy clothes. How long exactly had the potential First Lady been shopping?
“Waaayy too long,” replied one of her fully dressed security agents, who was posted in the New York heat outside 550 Seventh Avenue, moving only to wipe the sweat from his Ray-Bans.
And there you have it.