Category Archives: The AntiPrep

A noun used to describe that which is the most antithetical to preppy. (This one is a blast!) We are always looking for your nominations too!

Polo for “People in Seersucker,” Le Boutique Targét’s Next Designer (After Missoni)

Happy beginning of a new week to everyone, thanking you for popping in for a visit.

Did you spend any time watching this yesterday?

Michel Spingler/AP Photo

While not one for the ages, it was nice to see these two duel again.

Laurent Baheux/AP Photo

Vogue’s Anna Wintour appeared to enjoy the match, in front of her we see Mr. Federer’s wife Mika.

Lionel Cironneau/AP Photo

We did not see the historic women’s final, where Li Na became the first Asian player to win a Grand Slam singles title. Below the champion poses with her trophy during a photocall after the match.

Charles Platiau/Reuters

Next up on the circuit, Wimbledon, starting in just about two weeks.

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In other sporting news….(kinda’ sorta’) this weekend was the annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic on Governor’s Island.

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

On hand this year, Deborra-Lee Furness, Julianna Margulies, Naomi Watts, Donna Karan, Wyclef Jean, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher and Paul Haggis. Mr. Jackman was the emcee for the afternoon’s activities.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

The Times’ City Room blog carried an interesting story that had a bit of a bite:

“For a few hours on Sunday, Governors Island became something of a Hamptons satellite, dotted with people in Nantucket reds, linen suits, Lilly Pulitzer pinks and sunhats that seemed as wide as a city block.

They came for an exhibition polo match put on with the intention, according to the organizers, of bringing the elite sport down from on high. But the thousands of spectators, who sipped Champagne costumed in high Hamptons style, seemed intent on just the opposite.”

The event draws an interesting crowd. Below left, Andre Balaz and Naomi Watts, on the right we see one of our Anti-Preps, Nicky Hilton.

Below we see designer Keren Craig with Olivia Palermo, on the right, Nacho Figueras.

Mr. Figueras models for Polo Ralph Lauren and also plays for the Black Watch, a team sponsored by PRL.

Back to the City Room post:

But even with the free admission and ferry ride, polo populism still seemed a far-off dream. Champagne, at $17 a flute, seemed to be the drink of choice. And though there might have been some who went to Governors Island instead of a Yankees game (the Yankees were playing in California, anyway), most of the pinstripes were on seersucker suits.

Frankly, we think almost any free sporting event is a good thing. But to pretend that this is a sport for everyone and anyone borders on the ludicrous.  More from the City Room’s piece:

Mr. Figueras, who is known as Nacho, said the event was intended to “bring polo to the people.”

“For a kid to wake up in the morning” he added, “and say, ‘Dad look, let’s go watch the polo instead of the Yankees game’ – ultimately that would be my dream.”

Mr. Figueras estimated that high-level horses – “we are talking about Formula One horses,” he said – cost up to $250,000.

Considering admission to a Yankees game requires a second mortgage a significant cash outlay, perhaps that isn’t far off the mark. On a more positive note, Ms. Karan’s party was also a fundraiser for Hope Help and Rebuild Haiti.

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A sporting event on the far side of the pond also drew attention this weekend. Many in the royal family turned out to watch the Queen’s horse race in the Epsom Derby. The Queen was in hot pink, definitely today’s Pretty in Pink.

Much of the buzz surrounded an appearance by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate.

The Mirror

The couple looked relaxed and happy for their first public outing since their wedding. Princess Eugenie was in black and white polka dots, Princess Beatrice also looked lovely in a floral print.

Akira Suemori/AP

Kate wore another Reiss dress with LK Bennett accessories. To see details on the complete ensemble, visit our sister blog, What Kate Wore.

Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

It seemed that everyone had a good time, despite the Queen’s horse throwing a shoe and finishing third.

WENN

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We have several tidbits about an item many of us couldn’t live without, from a wardrobe perspective, the polo shirt. Today’s Valet carries a good backgrounder on the shirt’s origins, including how it came by its name after René Lacoste decided to create tennis shirts that would be more practical and comfortable:

“…Lacoste set out to make a more comfortable, short-sleeve style. He was inspired by Anglo-Indian polo players, who managed to play in extreme heat and bright sun thanks to their lightweight pique cotton jerseys.”

The story is part of Valet’s “Anatomy of a Classic” series, examining iconic items found in a gentleman’s wardrobe.  Today’s post includes a look at some of the logos seen on the shirts.

Via Valet

Many not as familiar with the tennis champion might find some of Mr. Lacoste’s other creations to be of interest:

Rene Lacoste was never much for rules. He often thought he knew better and oftentimes, he did. A world-class tennis star by the time he was 20, he would later go on to revolutionize the game with such inventions as the ball machine and the steel racket, but it was his innovation while he was still playing that had the largest impact on the world. And it’s the reason why you know of him today—the polo shirt.

We recommend the story, it’s a nice, quick read.

Our other note on polo shirts involves Hermès, the company has just launched its own version of the classic.

Hermès

Fond as we are of this brand, we can only say that $455 for a polo shirt borders on lunacy. Really. I’m sure they are done in a rich, lush cotton with a fabulous hand and incredible drape, but really. To quote Nancy Reagan, just say no. Harrumph.

Finally today, word on Target’s next designer collaboration: the retailer is partnering with Josie NatoriWomen’s Wear Daily has the story (subscription required):

The designer will introduce a limited edition collection with Target, called Josie Natori for Target, that will be a tightly focused group of bras, panties, sleepwear, loungewear, camis and chemises. The Natori line represents Target’s first limited edition foray into lingerie and loungewear.

The line will launch in October, just in time for Christmas, with a second collection scheduled to arrive in January, perfect for marketing to Valentine’s Day shoppers.

On that note we say g’bye until next time!

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Additional Photo Credits:

  • Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images
  • Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
  • AP Photo/John Giles/PA Wire
  • Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

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Filed under Preppy clothing & brands, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink, The AntiPrep

An Anti-Prep Crosses the Line, We Are In the Pink & Brooks Brothers’ New Blog

Welcome to another week, we hope yours is filled with the promise of spring.

We begin today with a story you may have already heard about, we felt it merited discussion because of our chat last week about “letting girls be girls,” the egregious nature of the topic also contributed to our decision to cover this today. Below, just one of hundreds of headlines about the topic, and images of the item under discussion, they come from from the Abercrombie Kids online store:

Who Wouldn’t Get Their 7-Year-Old A Sexy Padded Bra?

Abercrombie Kids via The Daily Mail

The headline comes via Gothamist, it is indicative of the tone seen in most stories about the bikinis, although we should point out Abercrombie is not selling girls’ undergarments, but bikini bathing suit tops.  From the Gothamist story:

“Parents are outraged that the company has created a line of push-up bras and bathing suits for girls as young as seven-years-old.”

Our friends on the far side of the pond may have initially broken the story, here is part of The Daily Mail’s coverage:

“…the fashion chain was the subject of outrage today after it released a range of bikinis for eight to 14-year-olds with padded cups.

The Abercrombie Kids ‘Ashley push-up triangle’ top, which retails for $24.50, features thick padding in the cup to give the illusion of a larger chest size.”

The Ashley Bikini Top is still on the site, evidently the level of controversy has prompted the company to change the name, removing the “push up” portion.

Abdercrombie Kids

Below we see the original description of the top, followed by the description as seen today on the website.

To be fair (must we strive for fairness when discussing this company?), Abercrombie Kids describes itself as serving 7 to 14 year olds; the company could claim to be targeting the top at 13 and 14-year-old girls as opposed to younger children. But that prompts an obvious question: do we need those young ladies, at an age when one’s self-image and self-confidence are at their most fragile, having this sort of product promoted to them?

As many readers are no doubt aware, this isn’t the first time the tasteless retailer has crossed the line, here is more from The Daily Mail:

“A range of thongs bearing the words ‘wink wink’ and ‘eye candy’ sold by the retailer for the same age group in 2002 sparked a similar debate, but Abrecrombie Kids refused to recall the line.

Abercrombie: taking vulgar to new lows.

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On a more upbeat note, we turn our attention to a retailer that does offer age appropriate clothing for children; Fred Perry has launched its new Kidswear line.

Fred Perry

We liked just about everything we looked at online.

Fred Perry

We also think the young man in the photos is beyond darling, no?

Fred Perry

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We move on now to springy things, it may be chilly but the sun is shining and bright colors may help bring spring closer. We start with the Furla Candy Bags, definitely Pretty In Pink (and Green).

Furla Candy Bags

Also offering vivid colors, Kenzo, a brand we rarely talk about here on the blog, the bags look like Easter candy.

Kenzo

The handles on these remind us of a telephone cord. For the younger set, we used to use two-piece telephones, there were cords connecting the two separate parts. :)

Two more from Kenzo in shades of pink.

Kenzo

D&G offers shoes that also remind us of Easter eggs.

D&G

D&G actually has a variety of cute pieces for your Tiny Miss, including the Junior Shirt for Infants, the bloomers come with the top.

D&G at 6pm.com

The plaids from Vivienne Westwood are fun.

Vivienne Westwood

These next two items may be pink, but it is unlikely you will see them at The Prepatorium, below left, the DSquared2 Clear Bootie and a Roberto Cavalli boot on the right.

6pm (the Zappos discount site) has some wonderful shoes in our favorite color, the Chuches Infant/Toddler Cotton (top) and Pampili Toddler Flat (bottom) are both sweet.

They also have multiple offerings for Mom, including the Jackie Flat and the Holly Pump, both from Paul Smith.

We move over to one of our favorites, J. McLaughlin, for more goodies. Below left, the St. Kitts Rattan bag,and on the right, the Seville Print Cardigan.

Also at J. McLaughlin, the Marcy Henley top, and the Harbor Dress.

Being Pretty in Pink isn’t limited to apparel and accessories, why not put the color front and center on your tabletop? The Melamine Dinner Set in Tutti-Frutti can be found at Le Boutique Targét, along with the Set of 10 Double Walled Tumblers.

There are also a number of items for one’s boudoir, we show the Room Essential Floral Quilt on the left and the Xhilaration Floral Paisley on the right.

Our friend Erin over at Pink & Green Scene recently shared a blinding very bright pillow (L), as well as a darling little piggy bank from Mud Pie.

That may be just enough pink for today!

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We leave you with news about a storied prep brand boosting its online presence even more:

Of Rogues and Gentlemen

That is a look at the new blog from Brooks Brothers, aptly titled Of Rogues and Gentlemen.  The blog launched at noon today, with sections on topics like “Style Commandments” and “Fabrics“.

Of Rogues & Gentlemen blog by Brooks Brothers

Brooks shows its social savvy by offering content not limited exclusively to posts tied to its merchandise, offering articles like “Give Me The Keys,” about vacationing in the Keys.

Of Rogues & Gentlemen blog by Brooks Brothers

We do hope to see content directed to female interests as the new site matures, although the blog’s tagline leads us to believe we shall be disappointed: “Style Advice, Tips, and Essentials for the Modern Man.”

The blog adds to the company’s already robust Facebook following and a strong presence on Twitter.

Goodbye until next time!

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink, The AntiPrep

“Preppy Fabrics” and A Ring for Snooki

Hello and welcome to a Wednesday here at the Prepatorium.

We begin on the far side of the pond for a trip to the track (gasp). We can all remain calm, this is not some nefarious excursion, we are talking about Ladies Day at Cheltenham. Below, two of the many hats seen at the event.

We were chatting with the Queen Bee about Cheltenham, and both of us thought Zara Phillips looked very well put together.  The young woman, who is an Olympic level equestrienne (and 13th in line to the throne) sported a flat cap today, eschewing the more elaborate styles seen on others.

Not only is Cheltenham always a sure sign of spring, we enjoy seeing what everyone wears, as the “go big or don’t go at all” credo always seems to be a strong influence at this event.

David Davies/PA via The Guardian

Now that is some serious pink.

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Next, a delightful little photo piece done by the good folks at House Beautiful, “Preppy Happy Fabrics“. The story showcases a variety of bright, vibrant textiles from the home furnishings industry.  On the left we have lime seersucker from Holland & Sherry, accompanied by an updated and elegant argyle by Tillett and T4 on the right.

From the story:

“The preppy look is back. With designs ranging from argyle, seersucker, and cable knit, consider this a handbook on how to bring the happy look into your home.”

Other fabrics showcased include the popular “Color me Coral” pattern from the soon-to-launch Lilly Pulitzer for Lee Jofa line (L) and an Ikat style by Quadrille.

Click here to see the entire piece.

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Chanel’s new campaign for its Mademoiselle handbags has officially launched, we thought we would share a look at some of the upcoming ads featuring Gossip Girl Blake Lively.

Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel

Miss Lively is described as the “Ambassadress for the Mademoiselle Handbag collection”. The new bags come in a variety of sizes and finishes.

One more image from the campaign.

Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel via Fashion Gone Rogue

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Today’s final item involves one of our more recent additions to The AntiPrep Wall of Shame.

World Wrestling Via TMZ

Apparently the Snooki unit is going to be wrestling. From the Pro-Wrestling.com (what, you don’t have it bookmarked?)  website:

“World Wrestling Entertainment issued a press release touting Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi’s appearance at WrestleMania XXVII, proclaiming “Snooki Mania.” The Jersey Shore star will team up with John Morrison and Trish Stratus to take on Dolph Ziggler and LayCool.”

LayCool… do you think that is their real name?

With apologies, we are brief today, TPP duties are calling!

ADDITIONAL PHOTO CREDITS:

  • Alan Davidson/The Picture Library Ltd.
  • Sam Furlong/SWNS.com
  • Eddie Keogh/Reuters

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Filed under Argyle, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Pretty in Pink, The AntiPrep, You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Black Fleece Spring 2011, The Apocalypse is Here

Hello-Hello, and happy Friday to all those anticipating a little rest and rejuvenation this weekend.

We begin today with an early look at this spring’s Black Fleece line from Brooks Brothers.

Brooks Brothers Black Fleece

There are a number of looks we find very appealing. We realize frequent readers may be surprised by this opinion, considering our tedious, relentless excoriation less-than-positive thoughts on Black Fleece designer Thom Browne’s previous collections.

Brooks Brothers Black Fleece

To be sure, not everything works for us.

Brooks Brothers Black Fleece

The staggered hemline on the navy skirt above left isn’t a look we are fond of, but the grosgrain trimmed cardigan holds promise. The pleated skirt is something we’ll want to try on, it is one of those pieces that is all about fit and drape: it is either going to look stunning or make women look three miles wide.

Mr. Browne’s tailoring prowess is especially evident in the outerwear.

Brooks Brothers Black Fleece

Unfortunately that talent cannot rescue the men’s collection for spring.

The designer’s shrunken silhouettes hold no appeal for The Consort; he embraces his fuddy-duddiness, clearly these are not looks for him.

It appears most of the accessories retain their classic lines.

Robert Mitra/WWD

This is true of both the men’s and women’s collections, captured by WWD‘s Robert Mitra at the Brooks’ spring preview.

The designer’s signature grosgrain stripe can be seen on many styles.

There are several dresses we are eager to see in person, the eggshell with ruched/shirred bodice, and the black with the center bow on the front, a style we have coveted since first seeing it back in September.

Frankly, we are more than surprised by our positive reaction to the spring line. Black Fleece targets a far hipper, trendier place than that occupied by your faithful scribe here at The Prepatorium. Truly, we nurture our inner frump, our optimism about the group is rather unusual. If you would like to see the spring lookbooks, click here to visit the Black Fleece FB pages.

One additional Black Fleece note, the Brooks Brothers clearance sale underway does offer significant savings opportunities on exquisite pieces, like the Knit Jacket shown lower left at $275 (it was $550), the silk dress is similarly priced, as is the entire fall/winter collection.

For those more interested in standard fare, the retailer has added more images to its FB albums for standard Brooks Brothers apparel and accessories.

Brooks Brothers

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We do have an update on one royal wedding gown: Charlene Wittstock, Prince Albert of Monaco’s fiancee, has selected Giorgio Armani to create her dress for the July nuptials.

Via Hello!

The former Olympian has shown a fondness for the designer’s work, above we see her in two different Armani styles.

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Finally, another sure sign The End Times are near.

Via CNN Marquee

Our Twitter friend KK pointed out the news that a novel hypothetically penned by one of our Anti-Prep Wall of Shame members is a Times’ bestseller.  Behold this Sunday’s list:

NY Times

Clearly in our You Can’t Make This Stuff Up category, here is how the Snookums reacted to the news via her Twitter feed:

Via CNN Marquee Blog

Indeed.

On that terrifying thought we bid you adieu until next time, may everyone stay safe and dry this weekend!

 

ADDITIONAL PHOTO CREDITS:

  • Robert Mitra/Women’s Wear Daily

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Sales & Savings, The AntiPrep, You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Brooks Brothers Spring Preview

Hello, happy Wednesday!

Just when we needed a little bright and sunny pick-me-up, we fell upon this at Brooks Brothers (in a cyber manner of speaking):

Brooks Brothers

The company’s Spring Preview is now online.

Brooks Brothers

Men’s designs are also shown.

Brooks Brothers

Many looks were shown in our ‘sneak peek’ at the line back in September, for that post, click here.  A few more men’s styles.

Brooks Brothers

Here are more photos from that September post.

PHOTOS: Robert Mitra/WWD

We were particularly intrigued by the heavy nautical influence seen throughout the collection.

PHOTOS: Robert Mitra/WWD

The seafaring motif is also evident in the children’s styles.

Brooks Brothers

We like many pieces already shown in this year’s Resort Collection, including the Girl’s Striped Sailor Dress and the Boy’s Embroidered Swim Trunks, both items available now.

One quick aside, like so many other shops, Brooks is doing its semi-annual clearance (including goods for the Young Man & Miss at your palace) and there are some amazing savings, especially on Black Fleece.

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In other news (ahem, there’s a loose interpretation of that word), yet another update on one of our original Anti-Preps. It seems that the Kardashians have a rather large clothing line launching at Sears.  More from Women’s Wear Daily:

“The seemingly ubiquitous reality television sisters, Kim, Kourtney and Khloe, are set to unveil merchandise on a bigger retail stage when the Kardashian Kollection launches exclusively at 400 Sears doors in August…”

“The Kardashian Kollection is the latest in a Kardashian fashion and beauty empire that started with the Kardashians by Bebe line, which finishes with resort 2011. Among other things, Kim and mother Kris Jenner are spokeswomen for Skechers’ Shape-ups; the sisters front an apparel line sold on QVC called K-Dash; Kim Kardashian has a namesake perfume and is the face of FusionBeauty’s lip plumpers…”

We giggled when reading a friend’s comment on the upcoming launch: “They are Paris Hilton with boobs.”  Ms. Hilton is yet another of our original Anti-Preps.

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We have a couple of quick links for Lilly lovers to enjoy, the first is a story in Lonny magazine’s latest issue, “Pulitzer Prize“.

Lonny Magazine

The story focuses on just how the design team comes up with all of the different patterns and pieces for the multiple collections and pieces. Fashion Director Janie Schoenborn is featured, as are many others, and it is a delightful read.

Lonny Magazine

The second link is to a piece in The Daily Basics on the Lilly spring line of home goods at Garnet Hill, with loads of fodder for our Pretty in Pink and Green list!

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Our final photo symbolizes our sympathy for all of our friends coping with the insane amounts of snow, some of it in the strangest of places.

Tiffany

The Mittens Charm may be found at Tiffany.

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Filed under nautical, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Pretty in Pink, Sales & Savings, The AntiPrep

“Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn?” & Bestselling Author Pamela Keogh

Hello-Hello, and Happy Friday. This seemed like a long week, was it that way for anyone else?

We have a special treat today, a visit with bestselling author Pamela Keogh, most recently noted for writing this outstanding book.

Gotham Books

Are You A Jackie or A Marilyn? Timeless Lessons On Love, Power and Style is simply wonderful, far deeper than one may initially think.  Some Princess readers are already familiar with Ms. Keogh for many of her previous works, including Audrey Style and Jackie Style.

Audrey Style @ amazonJackie Style at Amazon

The author was kind enough to fit us into her busy schedule for an interview, so we move back to her latest work with a snippet from the publisher’s description of the new book:

“Any woman who has aspired to Marilyn’s sultry allure or Jackie’s unstoppable elegance (or who wants to balance sexy and serious) will love these entertaining lessons on channeling your inner Jackie or Marilyn in any situation, from throwing a dinner party to penning a love note.”

The volume begins with a quiz (more on this shortly) and then moves into more detailed looks at everything from how the two cultural icons approached fashion and personal style, to interpersonal relationships.  The book isn’t limited to comparing and contrasting the two women, there are also surprising tidbits, e.g., we had nary a clue that Jackie Kennedy Onassis donated money to help fund the Ms. magazine launch in the early 1970s, or that Marilyn Monroe was a big fan of the hand-written note.

Ms. Keogh is more than well-suited for the task, as she is herself attended Vassar like the former First Lady.  In addition to chatting about the book, we asked the author how she felt the two women would handle today’s electronic and technological intrusions into every facet of one’s life.

“Jackie would have loved Facebook for the JFK Library, and would have used it to keep in touch while also keeping everyone at bay. And she would have shopped, absolutely, at sites like Net-a-Porter, Gilt, Chanel. But her email address would be like the nuclear code, probably three people would have had her email address.

“They both had somewhat addictive personalities, Marilyn would lose a lot of stuff, probably leave her phone in the back of a cab. She would use Facebook to stay in touch with her fans, she had an obsessive need for publicity, Facebook would have been perfect for that.”

The two women are transcendent in stature and continue to influence today’s culture; we asked Ms. Keogh how she thought they would fit into a society obsessed with celebrities. (The talented author’s response even referenced one of our original Anti-Preps!)

“Their attractiveness came from their accomplishments.  They were both very dignified women, they would *not* have done reality shows. Neither one of them would have done endorsements of things, unless maybe Marilyn Monroe was asking people to donate to something like the ASPCA.

They both also had mystique and you don’t have mystique when you’re followed around by TV cameras. [Marilyn] wasn’t like Kim Kardashian.”

One of the nicest things about the book has to be the exquisite illustrations by Meg Hess.

If the style looks familiar, it may be because Ms. Hess has also done covers for all of Candace Bushnell’s books, among other commissions.

We also spoke of designers the women might favor should they still be with us today. Ms. Keogh believes Jackie Kennedy Onassis would still be sporting Oscar de la Renta, perhaps Ralph Rucci, others creating classic, good-looking fashions.  She thinks Marilyn Monroe would be wearing Alexander McQueen were she twenty years old today, but in reality, probably more dignified labels like Valentino.  As with other assertions made during our conversation, her observations in this arena were spot-on.

The conversation on fashion delved into the issue of sizing and how we perceive ourselves relevant to that topic:

“American women get so obsessed with a number on a scale. A number is a number, it doesn’t give you beauty, or humor, or grace.”

Ms. Keogh again spoke of a vital element woven throughout the lives of both women, something sadly missing from the resumes of many or today’s most idolized individuals:

“What holds us to them is what they did, their grace and style, the way they kept going in spite of what was going on in their lives, their indomitable spirit.”

We can only offer an amen to that sentiment. Perhaps the most amazing thing we learned in our conversation with the author is that prior to her death Jackie Kennedy Onassis spent hour after hour in front of her fireplace, burning correspondence, piles of it. That is one way to ensure that private matters remain just that.

Back to the quiz mentioned above, Vanity Fair carried a copy of the questions – here is a small sample.

1. DURING TIMES OF STRESS, YOU …

a) go for a walk on the beach.

b) meditate.

c) pour gin in your tea.

9. IN YOUR OPINION, MONEY IS …

a) everything.

b) no, we mean it—everything.

c) not that important—as long as you have a roof over your head and Veuve Clicquot in the fridge, you’re cool.

Click here for the quiz and you can start exploring which woman you most closely resemble.

Gotham Books

We are excited to offer one of our treasured readers an autographed copy of Pamela Keogh’s book, via a special giveaway. For one entry leave a comment saying which woman you think you are most similar to. For a second and/or third chance to win, become a fan of the Preppy Princess FB page (if already a fan just let us know that) and/or the Jackie or Marilyn FB page, and for more entries follow us on Twitter, or follow Pamela on Twitter.

We want to extend an enormous “Thank You” to Pamela, for she is not only talented and gracious, but also delightful, much more fun than one might expect from such an esteemed writer.

With that we say g’bye until next time, and hope everyone enjoys a splendid weekend!

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Filed under Friday Fun, preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, The AntiPrep

Preppy is Back (Version 29… or thereabouts) & Identifying the North Shore Prep

Hello-Hello, and Happy-Happy Friday to everyone!

Yes, we do think today merits two Happies, it has been that kind of week. We remain mystified at our ongoing delusion that tomorrow shall possess a marked diminution in stress and activity, it is that point in the season where allofthedaysruntogether.  But it is loads of fun and we are grateful to be doing what we love, if we were still doing television it’s likely we would currently be engaged in weather coverage (you know what we mean, portraying a little snow as apocalyptic, the forecast requiring DEFCON 4 status, that sort of thing) at this point.

As our headline notes, Preppy is Back! Again! To be honest, we have nary a clue if this is Version 29 (as cited in the post title) or 42 or 18; we haven’t kept track in our 774 posts (eek!) of all the times we have reported such declarations and pronouncements.  This time CNBC is the media outlet sharing the ‘news’.

To be fair, the cable news channel’s story approaches the topic from a business perspective. “Straight Up or With a Twist, Preppy’s Back” looks at retailers benefiting from a resurgence of the styles some associate with the preppy aesthetic.

“The preppy style is making a comeback, but before you go digging through your father’s polos and grabbing your grandmother’s pearls, know that this time around “picnic chic” has some new twists.”

The story references Russell Simmon’s Argyleculture brand.  (FYI, the image below is not from the CNBC story, just one we selected when seeking images to better familiarize ourselves with the company.)

Via Blackpreneur

Writer Ashley Kalinke spoke with a stock expert for her article:

“Preppy is starting to make a comeback,” says Christine Chen, a retail analyst at Needham & Co. “It isn’t quite mainstream yet other than in the teen market where you see the varsity jackets, but it’s definitely making a comeback. We’re still very much stuck in the ’80s, and seeing ’80s [inspired trends] in the stores. But, that’s done. The shift is happening. “

Ahem.  A shift? Nay, nay sayeth preps everywhere.

The story looks at several versions of “prep” previously discussed in this space, notably “urban prep,” “hipster prep,” along with other styles not applicable to our personal taste. The ‘shift’ described in the article is attributed to consumers growing tired of denim.

“As a result, the style evolved to corduroy and khaki, which are inherently dressier fabrics that create more formal everyday style. This look can even conjure up a nautical feel that then lends itself to boat shoes, Breton stripes and a navy blazer, and eventually you begin to see a more classic preppy look emerge.”

The story lists LL Bean, Brooks Brothers, Vineyard Vines and Lilly Pulitzer as brands benefiting from the increased focus on classic styles.

True Prep author Lisa Birnbach is quoted in the story; we couldn’t agree with her more about a brand currently occupying a place on the AntiPrep Wall of Shame.

“There is some debate whether Abercrombie is a true prep, despite its polos and button-down shirts. Birnbach says it’s not.”It’s not preppy anymore,” she says. “What they are selling now is sex on the coattails of a brand name that’s elegant, and ‘American,’ but it’s not the same.”

Amen to that sentiment.  As always, we smile at the return of something that never left, but in this case we can see where evolving styles have impacted sales and profits at certain retailers, prompting CNBC’s coverage.  Click here to read the story in its entirety.

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The Trib (Chicago) also had a preppish piece, asking “Who is the North Shore Prep?” Here are a few identifying traits from the story.

  • “The North Shore prep lives in Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Lake Forest, Lake Bluff and Kenilworth. They typically hug the coast (preppies like water)”
  • “Highland Park was said to have too many “new money” families to be prep; while at the Lake Forest Book Store, owner Sue Boucher illustrated the difference: “Someone was just honking (outside the store), and I kept thinking, ‘We don’t honk here.’ In Highland Park, they honk. Decorum is what it’s all about.”‘
  • “…not prone, for instance, to wearing the ostentatious new Ralph Lauren shirts “with the giant Polo pony horrifying to anyone of a true prep sensibility” — so described by Lance Lawson, whose clothing store, space519, in the 900 Shops on Michigan Avenue, has become a North Shore magnet. They gravitate more to regulation L.L. Bean duck boots.”

Writer Christopher Borelli’s piece merits a read, at least for those of us spending a little time on that side of The Large Lake; it also offers a “Select Preppy Reading List”.  (We do count on Third Coast Prep, Preppy Little Dress, La Belette Rouge, Tippy L and others to advise us of any egregious errors in Mr. Borelli’s story.)

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A few additional tidbits:

  • Nashville preps will be happy to know Vineyard Vines will add a second store in that city, the new one is slated to open in February.
  • J. McLaughlin celebrates its new Westport (CT) store this Sunday.

J. McLaughlin

  • Dior’s flagship store on 57th Street reopened this week after a major remodeling, a number of celebrations marked the occasion. On hand at the store, actress Amy Adams and Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester.

Our favorite look had to be Karolina Kurkova’s (L), while Natalie Portman was stunning.

As many readers know, Miss Portman’s “Black Swan” open across the US tonight, that one is near the top of our list.

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Tomorrow we have a special treat, a visit from the Queen Bee herself.  The Bee is going to be popping in now and again to share some of her thoughts and insights on April’s royal wedding, and tomorrow is the first of her posts. We are very excited the inimitable Bee is going to be visiting!

On that sunny note, may everyone revel in a stellar weekend filled with cheer and charity.

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ADDITIONAL PHOTO CREDITS:

  • Dimitrios Kambouris/Wire Image
  • Steve Eichner/WWD
  • Jason Kempin/Getty

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Filed under Argyle, Logos, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Preppy People, The AntiPrep, True Prep & TOPH