Brooks Brothers Sneak Peek & Maritime Prep?


Before we jump right back into the fun and frenzy that is Fashion Week, a quick look at the styles seen on a few of the celebrities we frequently track here at the Prepatorium. Below, Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester at the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday.

PHOTO: Peter Kramer/AP

PHOTO: Peter Kramer/AP

Costar Chace Crawford gets more than a little edgy for this fashion shoot in Wonderland magazine.


Alexi Lubomirski/Wonderland Magazine

The looks seen in the magazine spread are really quite a departure from Mr. Crawford’s clean-cut appearance in G2. (That shot above is ideal for “Excedrin Headache #273, and the spitting image of how we’re feeling at the moment, read on to understand the cause of our exploding brain.)

Alexi Lum

Alexi Lubomirski/Wonderland Magazine

Blake Lively helps us segue to the topic of Fashion Week; below, she is seen at the Diane von Furstenberg show.

Bryan Bedder/Getty

Bryan Bedder/Getty


In yesterday’s post we looked at the insanity of Thom Browne’s Spring 2010 Collection, and Monday we did the Lacoste Collection. This brings us to the Brook Brothers offerings for next spring.

PHOTO: Adam Tschorn/Los Angeles Times

PHOTO: Adam Tschorn/Los Angeles Times

The line is full of promise, with regatta stripes, madras and the classic combination of all-American red, white and blue.

PHOTO: George Chinsee/WWD

PHOTO: George Chinsee/WWD

From reading the LA Times review it would seem this collection has something to set every little prepster’s heart aflutter:

“…the storied American clothier  jaunting off to the Hamptons… Palm Beach (in a Lily Pulitzer-worthy color scheme and motifs that included embroidered pink seahorses and green palm trees), San Francisco… the back nine (martini glass and golf flag embroidery) and the backyard.”

PHOTO: George Chinsee/WWD

PHOTO: George Chinsee/WWD

We found a statement from the retailer’s CEO astonishing in this WWD review (Women’s Wear Daily, subscription req’d.):

““This is the first time everything is wearable,” Claudio Del Vecchio, chairman and chief executive officer of Brooks Bros., said of the Thom Browne-designed Black Fleece. “Even the statement pieces.”

It is here that we stray deeply into Help Me Understand territory. Because we are incapable of grasping the concept of previous collections being sanctioned if they included clothes that were not wearable.

TP is confused, positively addled by this notion. As fine as their apparel and accessories are, Brooks Brothers is not engaged in the business of haute couture. The firm designs, manufactures and markets Ready To Wear.  Ready. To. Wear.  Why would any responsible businessperson allow valuable resources to be expended in the creation of merchandise that was anything but wearable?!?

Ohmyohmyohmy, TP is more-than-flummoxed. (We’re thinking we might need to take serious action, joining hands across the internet to sing kumbaya or something, honestly, this may be the only way to keep us from burning our 1978 navy men’s B2 polo in effigy, using this fall’s catalogs as an accelerant.) Thoughts dollfaces? What’s a Princess to do to combat such insanity?

Rather than wallow in this confused state we’ll turn our attention back to the company’s 2010 Collection as seen at the firm’s flagship store this week. Nautical things tend to cheer us up, as the inimitable Nautical by Nature knows.  More from the LA Times:

“The predominant nautical/beachy theme pulling into port all over town this week was also in evidence, including patchwork madras, jackets with white accent stripes that recall naval uniforms and a Black Fleece collection tailor-made for Fleet Week, complete with a tone-on-tone all-over anchor embroidery on seersucker pieces…..”

PHOTO: Adam Tschorn/LA Times

PHOTO: Adam Tschorn/LA Times

The jury is out on the oversized nautical print; we like it on the skirt, but in men’s separates or suiting? We think not – it looks seriously wrong on the inner leg of the trousers seen above.

However, much more works with the collection than in previous years, and we have hopes B-squared will lead the recovery in this sector of the retail market.

On a different ‘maritime fashion’ note, we offer this from an AP story about another menswear collection:

“Think Ivy League yacht club on a stevedore’s budget.
John Bartlett calls it “Maritime/Prep” and presented it as his spring 2010 line for Liz Claiborne.

PHOTO: Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

PHOTO: Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

In photos from the presentation we see lots to like, but did not notice loads of nautically inclined pieces. It does appear there are many casual alternatives to Brooks or J. Press or other retailers.


We close with a few looks from the Dennis Basso show, because we need some cheering up after the Brooks Brothers debacle. Also because they are just yummy!

What better way to perk up an afternoon than a little pouf in a party frock?

PHOTO: Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

PHOTO: Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

The word ‘confection’ comes to mind.

PHOTO: Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

PHOTO: Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

These lift one’s spirits considerably, making it impossible to be a Grumpenstein.


PHOTO: Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

So we close with a smile for each and every reader, grateful for  your kind tolerance of our little tirades. We promise to be a happier Princess tomorrow.


Filed under Help Me Understand, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, When Preppy Goes Wrong

12 responses to “Brooks Brothers Sneak Peek & Maritime Prep?

  1. I love Dennis Basso, especially his furs! Is that totally politically incorrect to say…? Also dig nautical, but that suit gives me a headache.

  2. The floral evening dress is delightful :)

    I’m with you, the men’s nautical suiting is WRONG WRONMG WRONG. In my opinion, unwearable…the CEO and I are clearly in disagreement.

  3. I am totally loving all the preppy looks that you’ve featured for Spring! I love the color scheme and the nautical stripes…although I could do without that large nautical print…it’s a little overpowering. I would totally rock that striped dress pictured in the 5th photo…ahoy!

  4. no words for that nautical themed suit!


  5. LPC

    Princess I had just clipped the short version of the Basso flowered dress. As an example of High WASP style. You have confirmed my hunch.

  6. MCW

    Those dresses are just to die for. The nautical suite…not so much.

  7. Those last dresses are so lovely that they almost make up for the fact that the LA Times misspelled LILLY Pulitzer. Of course it is LA–not exactly the epicenter of preppiness! :)

  8. Eek — agree with you on that nautical print on men’s pants!

  9. Jen

    The Basso dresses are decadent and beyond wonderful. On another note, Pret a Porter is just what it says. Maybe those at Brooks Brothers have been hitting the Whiskey Sours a little too hard these days. Ticking off their conservative clientele does not a happy balance sheet make.

  10. Those dresses are amazing – they look like spun sugar!

  11. Leighton had the best look of the night! I really love her cool shoes and all! She is perfect!
    I also Love to see the US Open finals! I knew I saw Gwen at the stadium! Thanks so much for the confirmation friend!

  12. I agree-the oversized nautical print is ok on the skirt but I don’t love it on the guy’s suit.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s