Critters on Clothing, Can Eddie Bauer Come Back? And That Big Soap Opera Shocker

Hello-hello, welcome to another crazy day at The Prepatorium.

Business commitments mandate brevity today (it is turning into “one of those weeks”), so we jump right in with a story about something near and dear to many prep hearts, embroidered critters on everything from clothing to key fobs.

“Not all critters are created equal: Dogs and waterfowl are popular, but cats barely make it onto the radar — at least when it comes to creatures featured on the preppy clothes and accessories that seem synonymous with spring.

Below, ties from LL Bean, the blue is decorated with a deer and the moss green is adorned with a trout.

The story is by Samantha Critchell, it has run in a number of papers already; here is a link to the piece in the Fall River Herald News.

“You also can’t go wrong with a whale or crab; girls love their ponies and butterflies; and boys have a thing for sharks.”

LL Bean design director Jim Hauptman shares his expertise in the article:
“Brown and black bears, however, which would seem natural for an outdoorsy brand, are tough because the embroidery can only get down to a certain level of detail. “Bears end up looking like blobs,” Hauptman said. A panda is the exception to the bear rule because of its definitive coloring, he adds.”
Below, our custom Key Fobs showcase some of the themes discussed in the story. (Still one of life’s all-time great bargains at only $6.)

Shep Murray from Vineyard Vines is also quoted in the story:
“Color can’t be underestimated, said Shep Murray. Brights draw in critter fans, while traditional colors, such as navy, khaki and white, suit those less adventurous.“We find if we put a fish — on khaki shorts with the simple outline of a navy fish — most guys will wear it. You can get those people a little less likely to wear a critter to wear it if you don’t color it so brightly,” he said, “but the guy who is a ‘total prep’ wants it pink and green.”
A pair of men’s Embroidered Whales Club shorts offered at VV.
Mr. Murry talks about the company’s new Kentucky Derby collection in the story, explaining customers will be seeing a lot of horses this spring. Below, a belt from that collection.
Brooks Brothers is also offering whales this spring in the Clark pants, the Seersucker Capris are available for the ladies, embroidered with lemons.

Four-legged family members demand equal-opportunity when it comes to personal adornment:

Courtesy Tilly T. Bulldog

Tilly enjoys stepping out in her harness from the Princess; Scooter-the-Wonder-Cat was happy when we read her this next part of the story, sharing Mr. Murray’s opinion :

“He said he’s going to revisit cats at some point since he personally is a cat person, but, again, it’s the issue of shape and color.

We’re proud that our vendor for critter ribbon belts, key fobs and pet collar/leashes does an outstanding job. Below, just a few of the offerings demonstrating the attention to detail in the designs:

Can you tell a book by its critters, so to speak?

“Regionally, New Englanders are partial to golden retrievers, boats and bluefish, while Floridians prefer flamingoes, marlins, sailfish and palm trees, Ian Murray said. Midwesterners like anything that reminds them of a vacation, he added, so the beach motifs do well there.”

The article is very well done, to read it in its entirety, click here. We are curious, do you wear embroidered clothing or accessories? What’s your favorite critter?


Next, a very quick update on what some refer to as a heritage brand, Eddie Bauer.  In today’s Women’s Wear Daily there is an interesting story about the company:

“Eddie Bauer invented the down-filled jacket, outfitted the first American ascent of Mount Everest and even patented the badminton shuttlecock — and the 91-year-old company that bears his name wants consumers to know that.”

An image from the spring catalog.

Eddie Bauer

Eddie Bauer faces a challenging environment, it is recovering from not just one, but two bankruptcies since 2003. Getting those of us once fond of the brand back into a store will be even more daunting.  For both The Consort and yours truly, this is a case of feeling like the brand left us, we didn’t leave the brand.

Below, a look at one of the newly reformatted stores.

Courtesy Eddie Bauer via

Reclaiming lost customers while also growing new fans is a key part of the company’s strategy moving forward.

Courtesy Eddie Bauer via

It is unlikely we will go out of our way to shop at Bauer, but knowing how hard the company is working at re-invigorating the brand, we may peek inside a store.


We leave you with a bombshell.  In fact, a personal admonishment to TQM: please seat thyself before reading further, lest you tip over from the shock.

Are we ready?

ABC cancels ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live,’ replaces soaps with lifestyle shows

Or, as our neighbor to the north put it

ABC Cancels Soap Operas, Hates Us All

The headline immediately above is from Macleans, here is more from that story:

“Okay, the news that ABC is canceling One Life To Live and All My Children is not a stunning surprise. It’s been a nearly-confirmed rumour for a few weeks. But look what they’re replacing them with:

ABC will debut two new daytime programs this fall and winter: “The Chew,” a program about food news and trends, and “The Revolution,” about health and lifestyle transformations.

That’s just cold.”

From TMZ:


One Life to Live has been on the air 43 years, All My Children for 41 years.


Good bye Erica. Goodbye Pine Valley.



Filed under nautical, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Tilly

16 responses to “Critters on Clothing, Can Eddie Bauer Come Back? And That Big Soap Opera Shocker

  1. Amy

    I love critters! I am so sad that JCrew stopped carrying their critter collection. My favorites are the lobsters…anything with lobsters gets my purchase! 🙂

  2. Well Princess, once again you have informed me of news that leaves me with my mouth in a circular motion and my lower jaw in a drooping position. Bye bye Erica.

  3. Preppy 101

    Has ABC had a stroke? Not a fan of soaps myself, but I think we have enough Lifestyle shows now!! Wow – I must be out of touch with daytime TV :-). I’m with you on EB. I’ll def. give them a look since they are “reaching out”. Have a great day! XOXO

  4. Another chapter of life ending! I grew up watching my mom fold clothes as she watched daytime fantasy! And, then, I had a few days of housewife bliss watching too! Seriously, my sons will tell you, I watched just to see the latest in fashion and home decor! I drove them crazy making them listen to my analysis’ and commentaries! The seasonal decor and fashion trends were always over the top! Loved Susan Lucci! Well…. my other favorite, “Days of Our Lives”, is still hanging on , (I think)! 😦

  5. I may have to give Eddie Bauer another look. I haven’t been in an EB store in years. Although, I haven’t watched AMC in years, I used to be a fan. Erica was married to Jeff (I think that was his name) when I first started watching.

  6. You know Rhett Butler is a fan of critter collars! (Lobsters to be exact.)

  7. I want to be a preppy .. because you make it so happy. A pink Brooks Brothers oxford sleeves rolled up, waist tied ala Ava Gardner with something black, lol. Would that work?

    Love the pets.

  8. I am totally shocked at ABC! When I heard the news I couldn’t believe it. I don’t watch the soaps, but I know a lot of ppl will be heartbroken.

    I love the critters. I think I will be ordering a key fob this afternoon!

  9. Not a critter fan myself but some adorable gifting options for those I know who are! Eddie Bauer has a big uphill battle – from what I can see the in-store design doesn’t look too inspiring. I was shocked when in the city yesterday to walk by the window of what I considered a men’s brand and see several very stylish women’s options in the window (wish I could remember who it was). I find it fascinating to see how companies are reinventing themselves. If I remember name I will report back – clearly more coffee is in order!

  10. We love critters in our house! Especially Spencer- he has oh so many Preston Ribbons collar/harness/lead sets. Have a great weekend! xo xo

  11. loopyloo

    Hooray for the return of critters!! I have insects pants (Crew – back when they were phenomenal with color combinations), lobsters (Lilly), and Labradors with pink collars (Lilly). All these are from about 7 years back, and I must say, I am impatient for their return. I am a bit over the nautical theme, so I would like to see a bit more novelty and humor – love VV’s Kentucky Derby motif on the ties and belts, but hey! Don’t forget the ladies!!

  12. I first watched AMC in 197o. Erica Kane was about 14 too, if I remember. Is she 54 now?:) Vale.

  13. Only Master P has Critter Clothing at the moment; the Anonymous Husband is still in denial about his prepitude, thus the critters would be a golden retriever too far. For whatever reason I prefer the little guys on my accessories versus my clothes but love the whole hog (or marlin, as the case may be) look on others.

    As for Eddie Bauer, they grew a smidge too frumpified for me to pay attention to, but if they show an effort a la Lands’ End Canvas I may be persuaded otherwise.

  14. I love anything with critters!

    Tilly looks adorable in her critters.

    I’m sad One Life to Live is ending. I just started watching during the baby’s nap. Darn!

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