A Special Guest Visits The Princess

Hello-hello, welcome to a Wednesday, a special day for us here at the Prepatorium, because we have a fabulous guest post today.

The one and only Jennifer Solow, an amazing author and advertising whiz (she created the famous “Wendy” Snapple campaign, among many others), has a new book out next week, and it’s simply delightful.  Reading Jennifer’s The Aristobrats marks the first time in years we’ve read a book targeted at “tweens”. (Jennifer and I have discussed the fact that back in the day, we were merely “eleven” or perhaps “twelve,” life was much simpler then.)

To be candid, we were quite a tad skeptical about the book, especially considering the audience.  Silly Princess. We were more-than-pleasantly-surprised at how entertaining the story and characters were! As Jennifer explains, the book is about four close friends who’ve been waiting their whole lives for eighth grade.

“It’s finally their big year and they’re determined to set a good example for the underpopular. With main characters who are undyingly loyal and, hello…nice, it’s a kind of anti-Clique book in my mind.”

Jennifer drew upon her own background in writing the book:

“The uber-preppy world of their story was inspired by my own experience at prep school: Madras plaid, Tiffany lockets, grosgrain ribbon watchbands, L.L. Bean Blucher moccasins, wool duffel coats.

In chatting with Jennifer we discovered we share many of the same interests, including something close to the heart: clothing, shoes, accessories…. you know the drill.  We ended up thinking it would be fun for Jennifer to write a little post about her imaginary wardrobe, not unlike the one yours truly has dreamed about.  Sigh.  So without droning on further, here are some of Jennifer’s thoughts on the topic!

Literary Must-Haves

The best thing about writing is all the free stuff. No, that doesn’t mean that John Galliano, upon reading my latest endeavor, immediately sends over a rack of couture gowns for me to wear to my book launch party. And no, the security guards from Harry Winston haven’t shown up either. The stuff is in my imagination – a veritable Vogue closet of the mind.

It’s quite unlike real life, where my own pursuit of the perfect white shirt has lasted more than two decades resulting in an overspending of the ugliest kind, and an entire section of my closet devoted to entirely un-perfect, and somewhat never-worn, white shirts. On paper, “the perfect white shirt” is just four little words; one doesn’t have to spend several hundred hours in the dressing room of Banana Republic growling and sweating (not that I do that or anything).

The “stuff” that surrounds fictional characters, and I count movies here along with books, has incredible power over me. My life changed when I first met Holly and the “ragbag colors of her boy’s hair, tawny streaks, strands of albino blond and yellow,” and her “slim cool black dress, black sandals, a pearl choker.” How many boxes of hair color did I buy in college in an attempt (a highly unsuccessful one, I might add) to define my own “ragbag of colors”? And my pursuit of that “slim, cool, black, Breakfast at Tiffany’s sort of dress” rivals that of my perfect white shirt.

And is it just me or is there a pink cashmere sweater that Lauren Hutton wears in American Gigolo that is the be-all-end-all of cashmere sweaters? I remember one very clearly even though I haven’t seen the movie in years. All those Armani suits? All that Richard Gere hunkiness? What do I remember – the thirty-second appearance of a cashmere sweater to die for.

For years the image of a specific trench coat stuck with me. It was from Lorrie Moore’s short story How to Be the Other Woman. It seemed to me the most wonderful image of a trench, quintessential in all its trenchy-ness. But I hadn’t read the story for a while so I just looked it up to see what all my fuss was about. This is all it says regarding my fantasy trench: “Meet in expensive beige raincoats, on a pea-soupy night. Like a detective movie.” Why did that stick with me for all those years? Even my Burberry can’t compete with that lingering image. So few words and Lorrie said it all.

And I admit – I’d love to own a pair of those boots Julia Roberts wears in Pretty Woman. You know the ones. Thigh high. Patent leather. (You’ll note the purely coincidental presence of Richard Gere once again.)

But I’ve actually tried these boots on, (I believe they came in size 6 to size 14, if you know what I mean) and they’re truly a terrible sight to behold…and uncomfortable as all get-out. But it doesn’t mean I still don’t want them – I just want the imaginary ones in my mind, the ones that glide effortlessly up my perfectly formed body-double’s legs.

Or…hmm…maybe I need to go shopping for a necklace later today. Specifically Kitty’s necklace from Anna Karenina: “The black velvet of her locket nestled with special tenderness round her neck. This ribbon was a darling; at home, regarding her neck in the looking glass, Kitty had felt that velvet was speaking.”

Doesn’t it sound simply divine? Do you think they have it at Neiman’s?


We can’t thank Jennifer enough for sharing such a wonderful post, just a taste of her abundant talents. (Also proof positive of why she’s a professional, and we’re just…well, an amateur!) But we must admit, that picture of the Pretty Woman poster is rather terrifying… to think the film came out in 1990?? Eeek!

At any rate, The Aristobrats comes out next Tuesday, it is loads of fun, as well as a good message for the young ladies we know, without being preachy or tedious.  To learn more, former Elle Editor Melissa Walker has a nifty post about the book today, or you can pop into the new Facebook page.

That’s it for today, we’ll be back tomorrow with more madness!


Filed under preppy

6 responses to “A Special Guest Visits The Princess

  1. LPC

    Thank you for joining us here. The mythology of our garb is so rich. Thank you also for writing a book targeting that age group. They are in need of wise voices.

  2. what a selection of movies, you pick two of my faves!



  3. Thanks for the tip on the new release.
    Have a happy rest of the week.

  4. Thanks to all the Preppy Princesses – in means a lot to me to have the stamp of approval!

    You’re all welcome to drop by and say hello anytime (bring cookies!)!

  5. totally giggled about the search for the perfect white shirt….it seems like every time I go shopping I buy a white shirt

  6. UPDATE: Crazy news!

    Okay, so today, in less than ONE day, it would appear that we’ve sold out of every copy of The Aristobrats in existence.

    It’s an OMGasp moment and a testament to what bloggers can do because not a single newspaper or magazine gave a peep about it.

    All I can say is – if you can get your hands on a copy, let me know. I couldn’t even get one! I might have to start bidding on Ebay.

    And warm up those printing presses!

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