Category Archives: nautical

Seeing the Good & Last Minute Preppy Giftables

Hello-Hello, and thank you for coming to visit on a day that still seems to have a pall; a nagging sense at the back of the mind that everything is not okay, that for many Christmas and Hanukkah were taken this year and will never be the same. Gifts were bought and trees decorated. Parties were planned. There are toys that were ready to go under Christmas trees. Now they are having funerals.

So it seems like a good day to share a few things that might boost spirits, and another of our little gift guides. Our first item is about the volunteers of Wreaths Across America. The organization was started in 1992 when the owner of a Maine wreath company had extra inventory, he asked officials at Arlington Cemetery if he could put the wreaths on the graves there.  They said ‘yes’ and now wreath-laying ceremonies happen in all 50 States.

Saturday was Wreaths Across America Day.

AP via Huffington Post

AP via Huffington Post

Wreaths were placed on graves at 230 national and state veterans’ cemeteries all over the country. Below, David Galloway with the Scottish American Military Society lays a wreath at Prescott National Cemetery in Arizona.

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier

Another look at Arlington on Saturday.

Wreaths Across America Facebook

Wreaths Across America Facebook

You can learn more by visiting the Wreaths Across America website, or the group’s Facebook page.

Our other tidbit is more of a link, one that many may have already seen in one of the mulitple variations now circulating. This one is on Buzzfeed and titled “26 Moments That Restored Our Faith in Humanity This Year.” It is just as it sounds, below, the first item shared.

Via Buzzfeed

Via Buzzfeed

That’s “The parents who made their son’s wheelchair into the best Halloween costume ever.” Another on the list, the free medical help offered to strangers after Hurricane Sandy.

Via Buzzfeed

Via Buzzfeed

Click here to see the entire Buzzfeed list, being reminded of the good in people was a boost. I don’t know about you, but I needed to see this.


Finally, a quick look at last minute giftables from the Princess.


Filed under Lilly Pulitzer Paper & Gifts, nautical, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands

A Lilly Book Review, MOTH Gift Guide & Flash Giveaway

Hello-Hello! Or should that be Ho-Ho, Ho-Ho?! (Insert goofy grin.)

We’re back with a few tidbits today, the first: “Greetings From Lilly Land,” a lengthy review of the new Lilly Pulitzer book that ran in the Wall Street Journal last Friday.

Lilly Land is as much an attitude as a selection of here’s and there’s—Nantucket, Bryn Mawr, La Jolla, Grosse Pointe, Scottsdale, Greenwich, Short Hills, Far Hills—anywhere that rich women want to dress as if they have imaginations, as if they are “interesting,” to use the word the way some women do, as the opposite of “mousy.”

A quick refresher for anyone who may not be familiar with the recently published book, the official title is “Lilly: Palm Beach, Tropical Glamour, and the Birth of a Fashion Legend,” written by Kathryn Livingston.

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble

Henry Allen penned the review, he is a Pulitzer Prize winner for criticism and knows the world of which he writes:

To my surprise, I learned that I kind of like her. Surprise because I grew up with my nose pressed to the window of Lilly Land, but I was looking out, not in, seeking freedom from Connecticut cocktail hours, rich people complaining that they were broke (“totally stoners”), mixed doubles in tennis, and porch parties where women wore hair pulled back as tight as the silk on Christmas-tree balls. Once in a while a man would wear a necktie as a belt, a Brooks Brothers buccaneer.

Mr. Allen diplomatically references the lack of Lilly’s involvement with the book, “There’s no sign that Ms. Pulitzer sat for an interview with Ms. Livingston.” Another portion of the review, this portion talking about Lilly customers and readers:

They should be warned that it gives short shrift to Lilly Pulitzer herself. Is the problem that she is not all that interesting? What they’ll get instead is a book that’s half society history—28 pages that take Miss Porter’s School back to 1843, 21 pages on the history of Palm Beach, and 53 pages taking the McKims, Pulitzers, Phippses, Guests, Carnegies and so on back to the 18th century.

Yours truly has yet to read the book, but I very much enjoyed the review. Click here to read it in its entirety, it’s well worth the short investment of time.


Today’s other topic, we offer a few gift ideas for the MOTH (Man Of The House) at your Palace.


We show (from upper left):

If helpful, all of the links up above go directly to the product and they all appear to be in stock. One item that didn’t quite fit in the Polyvore montage, another Consort suggestion, a Screwdriver Set at MOMA that he has, it has come in handy on more than one occasion.

Screen Shot 2012-12-02 at 9.51.56 PM



Our final offering today: a flash giveaway. (Is that even a term…?) At any rate, we just got these in yesterday and I love them.

Sloane Ranger at

Sloane Ranger at

What better stocking stuffer than… stockings? Socks actually, knee socks from Sloane Ranger.  Available in Scottie Dogs, Nautical Anchors, Whales and Owls, these are really cute as can be and $12. (Let us know if you would like them gift wrapped for no additional charge.)

Pop over to the shop and peek at our Sloane Ranger collection, then come back and leave a comment telling us what item you would most like to receive or give. We’ll take comments until midnight Thursday and pull a winner Friday morning,  with an announcement in Friday’s post.


Filed under nautical, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Preppy People

Just A Touch Of Window Shopping…With A Preppish Slant

Hello-Hello, and welcome to a Wednesday. It’s been quite awhile since we “went shopping” here at the Prepatorium, it seemed a good time to have a glance at some of the end-of-summer/almost-Autumn offerings at our favorite emporiums.

We started with a visit to LL Bean ( in a virtual sort of way) and peeked at a few nautically inclined items, like the Whale Percale Sheets (starting at $26) and Oceanside Sleepwear Shorts (now on sale at $19.99).

LL Bean

Lands’ End also offers some cute things for the kids and the adults. Below left we show the Anchors Away Hooded Towel ($35), it comes in a variety of colors.  They also have the hard to find Anchor Needlepoint iPad Case available again, and it’s on sale, discounted to $39.99.

Lands’ End

Bean also has Boys’ Chino Shorts with both anchor and marlin motifs. (Discounted to $16.99 from $22.50.)

LL Bean

Arguably the cutest nautical items I discovered come from Kohl’s, the Itzy Ritzy Reusable Lunch Sacks seem like fun ways to perk up a little one’s lunch bag.


They are BPA and PVC free, and can be machine washed; for $9.60 they seem like a good buy. Another cute item for your wee prep, the Carter’s Whale Sleep and Play set at Kohl’s ($10.40), how cute is that?


By the way, if this holds appeal but if you need something for a baby girl, it is also made in a sunny pink and yellow whales print.

The children’s divided Whale Tray by Jumping Beans also caught our attention, $3.59 at Kohl’s.


Rounding out the kids’ coverage, this pink and green Whale Sprouts Waterproof Bib at Kohl’s, we enlarged the print so you can better see the whales swimming across the bib.


At JC Penney we found a variety of budget-friendly jewelry pieces with aquatic themes, these are all from the company’s Mixit line.  The earrings run $10 and the stretch Crab Bracelet is $14.

JC Penney Mixit Jewelry

We decided to do a quick bit of madras meandering, you know how attached we are to our patchwork plaids.  Bean had some snappy pieces, the women’s Kennebunkport Bermuda Shorts are a good buy, on sale at $34.99.  The men’s Summer Weekend Shorts are not discounted, but still a good look for your MOTH (Man Of The House).

LL Bean

Remaining unapologetically fond of seersucker, we wanted to share LL Bean’s Seersucker Dress (on sale at $49.99), as well as this men’s Seersucker Bow Tie (also on sale at Lands’ End for $34.99).

LL Bean (L) / Lands’ End (R)

Lands’ End also has other pieces on sale, below we show Bean’s Essential Women’s Shirt in seersucker ($39.95) and the men’s Stripe Seersucker Buttondown (discounted to $39.99), both good buys at those prices.

LL Bean (L) / Lands’ End (R)

JC Penney has a pair of Seersucker Shorts for men ($17) from American Living (the brand by Ralph Lauren, soon the line will be discontinued, the partnership between the two companies has not been renewed) and an Alyx Seersucker Dress, $17 at JCP, a touch short and snug IMO.

JC Penney

Our friends at Country Club Prep have a wonderful blog post featuring the two women behind Just Madras, Kim Haney and Kimberly Hoag.

Country Club Prep

There’s no shortage of madras pieces at CCP, including this Pocket Square ($20), Montauk Madras Belt($60) and Jenny Change Purse ($26).

Just Madras at Country Club Prep

While the sun isn’t feeling quite as warm as it did in July, we’ll always enjoy a spot of seersucker and madras.

Until next time, may all of your whales be smiling.


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

It’s That Time of Year!

Hello-Hello, and welcome to a new week.  We’re in an especially celebratory mood here at the Prepatorium because it’s our Annual “I’m No Fool” Sale, with the entire store 20% off!

That makes it a perfect time for early ordering of wedding and graduation gifts, our monogrammed iPad accessories from Clairebella are ideal gifts for the grad.

Clairebella at

Always great shower presents, Clairebella’s Personalized Cutting Boards and Melamine Platters, at 20% off these become a smart buy for the discerning gift-giver.

Clairebella at

As mentioned in Friday’s post, we’ve included our brand new Pink Pineapple jewelry collection in the sale, below we see the Nantucket Spout Whale Toggle bracelets and the Port Anchorage Anchor Toggle bracelet, both make a wonderful gift for the grad with nautical inclinations.

Pink Pineapple Jewelry at

Each is only $25.60 with the 20% discount; as always, we’ll gift box and wrap them for you at no additional charge, just let us know in the ‘comments’ section of the order form, we’re happy to do it!

Another stellar gift idea, personalized stationery. Our Preppy Ladybug designs are always popular, the Icon Flat Cards come twelve to a set, they are just $10 today!

Preppy Ladybug at

Other great buys today include our personalized Collegiate House and Garden Flags.

Collegiate House & Garden Flags at

Not to mention all of our Lilly Pulitzer, this spring’s new Melamine and Acrylic pieces are bright and beautiful.

Lilly Pulitzer Nice to See You & Luscious at

We’ve just added the snappy Jonathan Adler Ear Buds to our inventory, they’re cute as can be, $16 with today’s sale.

Jonathan Adler Ear Buds at

The soft silicone buds fit perfectly inside your ear, 6 ear bud tips are included, and best of all, the 46″ cord comes with a free cord keeper, for those of us a little, ahh, ‘ear bud challenged.’  They also match our Adler iPhone 4 cases, offering the opportunity for a coordinated look.

The “I’m No Fool Sale” also offers outstanding bargains on merchandise being discontinued that is *already* on sale, like our Jonathan Adler iPhone 3 Cases.

Jonathan Adler iPhone 3 Cases at

Originally $19.50, they are retailing for $15, with the additional discount the cases are only $12, a great price for a designer iPhone case!

Also a big bargain, the Scout Original Dean-O totes in solid pink, green and blue.

Scout Original Dean-O Tote at

Another bag we are closing out, the Gina Tote from Milano, a fab bag with a magnetic closure, 2 zippered pockets on the front, 1 zippered pocket on the back plus 2 more pockets inside, a big help for those of us who like to have things organized.

Gina Tote at

Originally the Totes were $29.50, but they’ve been marked down to $19.50, more than 35% off; with today’s additional savings they’re only $15.60.

Today’s goofy little post doesn’t even mention our goodies from Sloane Ranger, Lovie & Dodge, Boatman Geller, Sailor Bags or Kiel James Patrick, but they’re all included in the sale. Just use promo code APRILDEAL at checkout to receive your discount.

As always, we’re here to help if we can, don’t hesitate to give us a call, the toll-free line is 877-353-7737.

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Filed under Lilly Pulitzer Paper & Gifts, nautical, preppy, preppy lifestyle, preppy stationery, Sales & Savings

Friday Fun That’s Peepalicious, A New Nautical Collection

Hello and Happy Friday.

We begin with one of our favorite events this time of year, the Annual Washington Post Peeps Diorama contest.  As explained in the paper’s story about the event:

After six years, our annual Peeps Diorama contest has become a survey of all that touches and taunts our collective consciousness, an anthology of absurd, artistic triumphs displayed through malleable marshmallow rabbits and chicks.

As always with this contest, art imitated life, highlighting the farcical fabulousness of human behavior long after submissions stopped pouring in.

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

This year’s winner: OccuPeep D.C., seen above and in the next photo.

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

One of the finalists played off a popular internet meme with “What People Think Peeps Are“:

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Below we see two examples of that, the one on the right  is meant to show how Peeps’ parent company, Just Born, feels about the concoction, portraying them as saintly beings generating a little cash.

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Of course we saw a takeoff on the Royal Wedding.

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

My favorite part of this one is the person carrying the bride’s train, “Peepa”.

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Semifinalists included the GOPeeps Peepadential Debate.

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

And a takeoff on a classic Beach Boys album cover.

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

A personal favorite is Welcome Home Peeps, showing a scene at BWI during a “Operation Welcome Home Maryland” event greeting returning troops.

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

There are loads more fun dioramas, including Peepdom Abbey, The Boston Peeps (as opposed to the Pops), even a scene showcasing one of our AntiPreps, Peeping up with the Kardashians. For all of the Post’s Peeps contest coverage, click here.

BTW, for anyone who may have given up sweets as a Lenten devotion there’s something that could help tide you over until you can say nibble on one, say hello to the Giant Peeps Plush Bunny.

Peeps and Company

It’s the traditional Peeps Bunny captured in a larger than life 2′ 7″ plush toy. They are awfully cute critters but the price is not as nice: $150, ouch.


Our other topic today involves a talented twosome readers have seen us write about before, Kiel and Sarah of Kiel James Patrick renown.

Kiel James Patrick Tumblr

In addition to everything she already does with the company she and Kiel have, Sarah Vickers is branching out.


Now on their way to the Prepatorium, those are pieces from the recently launched collection created by Stacie of the Pink Pineapple showcasing some of Sarah’s favorite motifs.  The “Cape Breeze” Bangles ($28) are in the top photo, one of the Port Anchorage Toggle Bracelets ($32) is shown in the lower photo.

Ms. Vickers has also debuted her own blog recently, “Classy Girls Wear Pearls,” as well as a rapidly growing Facebook page.

It’s no surprise the new collection has a decidedly nautical aesthetic. Below we show the Atlantic Triton Earrings ($25), Anchor Link Bracelet ($68) and the Enamel Anchor Cuff ($36), available in Aqua, Navy and White. The latter two items will be arriving in several weeks, but we are accepting pre-orders.

Below, Nantucket Spout Toggle Bracelets and one more Port Anchorage Toggle, all $32.

Click here to see the collection, we will be adding more styles to the line as early as next week.

A reminder for frugal shoppers, this Sunday and Monday is the Annual Preppy Princess “I’m No Fool” April’s Fool Day sale, with the entire store 20% off. That doesn’t include merchandise receiving additional discounts, like our Jonathan Adler iPhone 3 Covers, already discounted 23% to $15, that means they will only be $12 with your sale savings.

This year the Sale is a two-day event; the 1st is Palm Sunday and it wouldn’t do to suggest shopping on that day. For those interested in the new new collection, those items will be included in the sale, even those that are pre-order only pieces. We’ll have a full listing in Monday’s blog, to receive the discount be sure and enter APRILDEAL at checkout.


Filed under Collaborations, Friday Fun, nautical, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Preppy People

About Those Used Shoes Nordstrom Is Selling at The Rack

Hello-Hello, it’s a glorious sunny day here at The Prepatorium, we hope it is the same in your corner of the globe. Those hopes and prayers are meant especially for all our friends in those areas recovering from 72 hours of disastrous, deadly weather.

We begin today with a rather unusual story.

There’s quite a bit of chatter online about a story on CNBC’s Consumer Nation blog, it involves Nordstrom selling used shoes at its Rack stores:

High-end department store Nordstrom is funneling its returned and worn shoes to its Nordstrom Rack outlet stores. This practice is surprising since outlet stores are not known as second-hand stores. It’s a place for retailers to send their unsold merchandise each season.

More than anything the issue is about perception and possible damage to the brand; the story quotes several industry experts.

“On a perception level, it turns you into a junk store, a second-hand clothing store. And, that is something that now calls into question Nordstrom’s reputation as a first-rate, quality high-end type of brand retailer,” said branding expert Robert Frankel.

Evidently the practice is not new, a review posted on Yelp back in January of 2011 offers this input from a Rack shopper:

HERE’S the CLINCHER about Nordstroms……I didn’t notice til I got home and read the receipt (didn’t bring my glasses that day) that the flat slip-ons I purchased for $49.90 and retailed(supposedly) for $139.00 were tagged WORN AND REFINISHED SHOES. That’s right, people……….. USED, RESOLD SHOES.

Here is part of the company’s response.

Nordstrom Rack Spokesperson Kendall Ault said the shoes that are labeled as “worn and refinished” are gently worn (either tried on or accepted as returns) and then professionally cleaned, repaired and refinished as needed to return to a “near-pristine” condition.

Doing a quick check of the online Rack shoes I didn’t see any described as ‘refurbished’ or ‘previously owned’.

This just doesn’t make sense for a brand with Nordstrom’s history, let alone the stature it wants to maintain in the marketplace. And I say this as someone who has purchased and worn vintage clothing (1930’s – 1970’s) and handbags at consignment shops and thrift stores. (Fortunately Scooter-the-Wonder-Cat is vigilant in guarding such purchases.)

Rightly or wrongly, used merchandise carries a perception that doesn’t sync with the image of a higher end, upscale store, even if it is “only” being done at its off-price stores.

To read the entire CNBC story, click here. Thoughts? Reactions?


The sunny day and promise of much warmer temps this week has us thinking about spring styles. We start with a few totes, these two from Pucci are outstanding ($550 at Saks).

Pucci at

Good news for those of us fond of Jonathan Adler, the designer has just launched a new line of totes.

Jonathan Adler

While wasting time researching the post I stumbled upon a number of things in one of my favorite color combinations this spring, hot pink and orange.

Kate Spade/Jonathan Adler/Rebecca Minkoff/Furla

These next three are all by Kate Spade.

Kate Spade

Here is a vivid group of apparel in the color palette, although the Milly may be more purple than fuchsia.


From left to right we show a pink sweater and cropped pants from J. Crew, a Kay Unger Watercolor Silk Gown i($650 at L&T), Milly’s Lindsay Push Up Dress (discounted to $227 at Saks), and the Alice & Olivia Claire Maxi Dress (on sale for $257 @ Saks).

The darling Polka Dot Dress is by etsy seller Precious Baby Bows.

Wile grazing on etsy we also found squarish Stud Earrings, a Chunky Necklace and Drop Earrings, all handcrafted by etsy sellers.


We even have goodies in the popular color scheme at the Princess:

Jonathan Adler &

From left to right, the Jonathan Adler Scarf for your four-legged family member ($14.50), Personalized Boat Totes ($19 and $26), and our Jonathan Adler iPhone covers, this one in Gothic Rose ($24.50). (Please forgive the neon photo above, we’ve no clue what we did wrong, but obviously something, none of the items shown is that bright!)

There are loads decorating options in this palette, Pillow Throw Decor created the pillows you see on the far left and right, the two in the center are by Festive Home

etsy sellers PillowThrowDecor and FestivHome

There are even lots of offerings for the tiny preps, including the Skip Hop Dunck Bath Toys at Boutique Targét, on the right we show a Paul Frank for Target Infant/Toddler bathing suit ($14).



We leave you with good news for fans of Downtown Abbey, here is the headline that had us smiling this weekend:

‘Downton Abbey’ Cast (Most Of Them Anyway) Sign On Through Season 5!

Almost all key cast players are re-signed for not just Season 3, but a fourth and fifth season as well, click here for the story.


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

All Kinds of News About Sperry, Including That New Collection Milly Designed!

Hello-Hello, we hope you are in the mood for some Friday Fun, that is today’s mission.

We begin with a look at last night’s big bash launching the new Milly for Sperry collection.

Photos via MillybyMichelle & ylianayepez Twitter Feeds

While the collection officially made its debut at the party, some readers may recall this post showing a few styles from the line at the Milly runway show last fall.

What I Wore Tumblr

This particular collaboration does not require a vast stretch of one’s imagination, it is more a blending of two brands favored by many preps. As this story in Racked shares:

Milly founder Michelle Smith says she has always, “adored preppy, nautical style, and was thrilled to put the Milly spin on an icon of American fashion.”

The collection includes the CVO Laceless in Navy Links, Coral, and Roses.

Milly for Sperry Top-sider

The Links and Roses patterns are classic Milly designs, it is fun to see them incorporated in the line. There are also a variety of heels, below we see the Women’s Authentic Platform.

Milly for Sperry Top-sider

The collection offers 13 styles, including the women’s Authentic Original in several colors.

Milly for Sperry Top-sider

The nautical influences are easy to spot, the sailboat lining on the Cunard is cute, the Southport’s rope ankle-wrap also gives off that vibe.

Milly for Sperry Top-sider

There is lots to like in the group, even for those of us who embrace our inner frump. (Heh, heh, heh.)

That wasn’t the only big news for Sperry this week, the company also opened its first store in the city.

Melissa Horn/NY Magazine

The store is in the Flatiron District, officially opening on Wednesday.

Melissa Horn/NY Magazine

NBC New York has an interesting piece on the store:

As a girl who grew up in Westport, CT playing tennis, rowing crew and even being voted “class prepster” by my senior class, you might think I came out of the womb wearing a pair of Sperry Top-Siders. But truth be told, that was not the case (I really do wish it was, though). I discovered the classic Sperry Top-Sider, also known as a “boat shoe” in college, and I never looked back.

Another image from inside the shop.

NBC New York

If that looks more like the back room, this explains why:

The front half of the store has all the styles beautifully displayed, and the back half is a “self service boat house” in which customers are free to help themselves to try on or be helped by an employee, an option which I think is just great. There’s nothing worse than sitting in a busy shoe section and being completely helpless (Ok, maybe there’s a few things that are worse…). In the new Sperry store, it’s your choice–help yourself or be helped. I’m excited to see this concept in action.

The notion of being able to help yourself in the ‘Boat House’ is appealing.

The final bit of Sperry news involves a significant expansion of the company’s offerings, including:

…Sperry Top-Sider bags, belts, swimwear, eyewear, scarves and hosiery for men and women, among other categories. The brand extensions will debut for spring ’13.

Women’s Wear Daily had the story Monday, according to the company’s CEO “The brand has picked up some significant momentum in the marketplace”.  As The Cut blog put it:

…it could be good news, even for folks who don’t “summer” at “the Vineyard,”…  The brand extensions, set to drop for spring 2013, will soon include apparel, if all goes well. While it’s doubtful that their future offerings will be any different from what you can already find in the L.L. Bean or Vineyard Vines catalogues, at least it’ll provide magazines with one more source for those “Preppy Is Back!” editorials.

It’s nice to know we aren’t the only ones amazed at how many ‘preppy is back’ editorial stories there are on an annual basis.


Also today, a brief glance at next week’s Vintage Fashion & Textiles Auction at Kerry Taylor Auctions. Yours truly would *adore* the Chanel suit seen on the left, today’s Pretty in Pink. (Don’t ask what we would do about the length of the skirt, perhaps I’d frame it and hang on the wall here at The Prepatorium.)

Kerry Taylor Auctions

Both suits shown above date to the 1980s.

Below we share two relics from an earlier age, Lot #34 includes a damask ball or bridal gown adorned with pink satin ribbons, circa 1895, and an 1860s ball gown.

Kerry Taylor Auctions Lot #34

Remind anyone of something Scarlett might have worn to enchant Ashley Wilkes and all the other young men visiting Tara?

The auction is next Tuesday (the 7th) at Kerry Taylor in London.


A final reminder for anyone who has been out of touch and perhaps neglected to enter our Jack Rogers Navajos giveaway, entries close at midnight tonight (Friday, 2.3.2012), be sure to throw your name in the virtual hat!


Filed under Collaborations, Friday Fun, nautical, Preppy clothing & brands