The Times Reviews True Prep, Mad About Emmy Party Frocks

Hello-hello, we are clearly embarking upon another wild and wacky week here at the Prepatorium, how are things shaping up in your corner of the globe?

We begin with a look at one of the first big reviews for True Prep, this one from Janet Maslin in the Times.  Ms. Maslin begins with a look back at the volume preceding True Prep, TOPH, along with another classic.

“But much of “The Official Preppy Handbook” just codified widely known information about high-WASP habits and affectations. (It also borrowed from “Take Ivy,” a 1965 style guide published in Japan.) Its original readers, whether they were knowing or curious, were apt to be of boarding-school age or a little older. Now they’re pushing 50.”

Above, that iconic cover of Take Ivy.

The review mentions some of the societal changes since TOPH was first published.

“Among the post-1980 phenomena with which “The Official Preppy Handbook” could not conjure are the Internet, the McMansion, the cellphone, synthetic fleece and the emergence of famous rehab facilities as today’s new boarding schools.”

Below, one of many illustrations in the book.

Random House/Knopf

As mentioned in previous posts (here and here), the book includes many contemporary brands and companies.  A few seen in the Casual Friday image shown above, LL Bean, Cole-Haan, and J. Crew (too much Crew); product mentions caught Ms. Maslin’s attention:

“Ms. Birnbach is best suited to the shopping guide and flagrant product plugs that are a large part of this book’s raison d’être.”

Overall Ms. Maslin’s review is positive, with appreciation for the book’s humorous style and efforts to update common topics. Click here to read the review in its entirety.

Also of note, this month’s Allure features a True Prep tie-in piece, our thanks to the Bellini Bunny for showcasing it on her blog. The story contrasts popular styles of today with styles back in 1980 when TOPH was published.

Allure magazine via the Bellini Bunny

For example, “Beauty Icons then” include Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn, “Now” it is Gwyneth Paltrow. (Ahem.)

Also meriting a visit, Apartment Therapy’s “Waspy Whimsey“.

Apartment Therapy

Guerrin Gardner and Mat Sanders put together a wonderful styleboard inspired by the book.

For anyone interested in the schedule with dates and times for True Prep Book Tour events, click here; the link takes you to a page with all that info and more, The Consort the IT department put it together for the site.


We quickly revisit some of last night’s fashionable (or not) moments at the Emmys. Below, three stars of Mad Men,  January Jones in Atelier Versace, Elizabeth Moss in Donna Karan, and Christina Hendricks in Zac Posen.

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Below, Sally Draper actress Kiernan Shipka at the event.

Here are a few of the Mad Men, along with the show’s producer, Matt Weiner.

Chris Pizzello/AP

Actor Jon Hamm and longtime partner Jennifer Westveldt both wore Armani for the big do, while Tina Fey opted for a stunning Oscar de la Renta gown.

Perhaps the most unusual dress was worn by Rita Wilson, seen here with husband Tom Hanks.

Michael Buckner/Getty

The dress and shoes were both from the Prada runway show, we don’t know who did the handbag.

We generally adore Ms. Wilson’s style selections, but this one just didn’t work; it was a classic case of the dress wearing her, not the other way around.

Actress Claire Danes was a knockout in Armani.

We leave you with two more images from last night’s festivities.

Until next time!


  • AP Photo/Chris Pizzello
  • Frazer Harrison/Getty
  • Jason Merritt/Getty


Filed under Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, True Prep & TOPH

11 responses to “The Times Reviews True Prep, Mad About Emmy Party Frocks

  1. I like Peggy and Sally’s dresses. The two other mad women’s dresses are maddening!

    Can’t wait for “True Prep” to hit the shelves!

  2. the last 2 photos are true (visual) perfection. thank you.

  3. What was your opinion of the Mad Men girl’s looks? Elixabeth Moss looked lovely. I kind of love January Jones’s dress. Not sure of the color of the Zac Posen gown….

  4. I thought Elizabeth Moss and Kiernan Shipka looked beautiful,but the other two Mad Men ladies’ dresses were just too much.

    Loved Tina Fey’s dress, too!

  5. ACH

    Thank you for all the True Prep updates!

  6. MCW

    Ms. Wilson looks like a pregnant Judy Jetson.

    Was not in love with any of the women from Mad Men’s looks…except for Sally Draper. So adorable.

  7. Little Red

    One can never go wrong with pictures of Clooney and Hamm in classic tuxedos!

  8. Loved the Mad Men ladies’ looks; the Sea of Shoes blogger Jane Aldridge has the same shoes as Ms. Wilson, and they don’t work for her, either.

  9. I didn’t get to see the show last night, so I enjoyed your pictures. Thanks for sharing. Love & blessings from NC!

  10. super bummed none of the actors from mad men won, but i had expected that outcome. my pick for best dressed is claire and i’m so happy she won for temple grandin. if you haven’t seen it, you must. she was amazing. truly deserves the emmy. thanks for sharing and take care.

  11. All the ladies looked great on Mad Men! I am not a fan of Rita Wilson’s dress or shoes. Tina Fey and Claire Danes looked stunning!

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 )

Connecting to %s