Tag Archives: abercrombie

The Nation’s Preppiest Writers, True Prep Updates, Fashion Notes

Hello-Hello, and welcome to another day of wackiness here at the Prepatorium.

We begin with a glance at “Our Generation’s Preppiest Writers,” at least as listed by Flavorwire. The list includes several names our treasured readers will recognize, like Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Prep, and American Wife.

Sloane Crosley (I Was Told There’d Be Cake) is included.

Also on the list, Jonathan Dee, perhaps best known for The Privileges, a book we just never seem to get to, it remains near the top of our list.

Several selections make perfect sense, while others are conspicuous by their absence, we would think that the list might include Tad Friend (Cheerful Money), Bill Buckley, Hobson Brown, Lisa Birnbach, unless the latter three are not considered of this generation….?

At any rate, this brings us to our True Prep updates. With the book officially on sale for a full two weeks now, there are scads more reviews and news stories, and party pix seem to be popping up everywhere. We shall invoke the ‘brevity is a virtue’ sentiment, sharing some of these as quickly as possible.

We start with a picture from the Georgetown Vineyard Vines stop on the book tour, our friend Wendy still has her Preppy Bear from the 1980s!

Via True Prep Facebook site

A better look at Wendy’s bear, we are mortified to admit we definitely remember when these were introduced!

Via Wendy

“…this slim novelty “guidebook” is supposed to be the tongue-in-cheek update for our texting times. Unfortunately, it offers few laughs or insight into prepdom today, nor does it make a case for why anyone — even Muffy — would care.”

That seems a bit stern, we thought there were smirks and giggles aplenty in the book, yet must also acknowledge that for some the book is a disappointment. A follow-up simply cannot recreate the impact of the Original (TOPH), and while much is lighthearted and humorous, there are also moments of awkwardness. We are enjoying the divergent reactions to the book, but also worry about those uncomfortable sharing criticism of the new book, for it is the healthy debate on the topic that we relish.

“True Prep” is frivolous, but comprehensively, amusingly and intelligently so. All too few books fit that description. Like its predecessor, this is a fond and inventive satire for the ages.”

  • In a story many readers have already heard about, NPR poses the question: “Did Sleaze Bring Preppy Back?” Simon Doonan, Barney’s fashion pooh-bah (among many responsibilities and skills Mr. Doonan has), is asked about the trend; his response follows.

“I think there’s a renewed interest in preppy. And I think it’s probably a function of how slutty and trashy everything got in the last few years, like the “Real Housewives of Orange County” or the “Jersey Shore.” There’s this super porno chic that sort of dominated much of pop culture. And it’s natural that there’s this sort of conservative reaction to that and that people might rediscover the sort of simple WASP-y elegance of preppy style.”

Thank you Mr. Doonan, thank you.

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Next, a couple of tidbits to share, including a Times story last week on British retailer Jack Wills.

“Most Americans have not heard of Jack Wills, but that is something the British sportswear retailer intends to change.”

Below, several ensembles from the retailer.

Labeled as a special report (we’re not sure why), Katie Wiseman’s story offers an introduction to the brand.

“For autumn, Jack Wills is stocking women’s wear like tweed riding jackets starting at $379, soft cotton Henley shirts and gathered skirts, while the men’s line ranges from flannel shirts starting at $69 to Fair Isle and fisherman sweaters. It also has home accessories, eyewear, fragrances and limited-edition items like an equestrian jacket selling at $449.”

The piece also inquires about the wisdom of any retailer expanding in These Difficult Times.  These may well be two of the items referenced above.

We first chatted about the US expansion here, back in April, noting the stores opening in Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, two über- prep locales.

The brand markets to a younger, more collegiate crowd; much of its merchandise has become logo-heavy, one could be forgiven if mistaking it for something by Abercrombie or Hollister, a comparison that riles company executives.

“There are the inevitable comparisons to Abercrombie & Fitch, something the Jack Wills executives loathe — and some industry experts dispute.

While definitely not a brand with a long and storied pedigree, Wills still offers some excellent pieces, although they are few and very far between.

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There is speculation that one of our favorite brands, J. McLaughlin, may be for sale. In another story that was temporarily lost in the Fashion Week shuffle, WWD reports about the company’s ongoing expansion… and perhaps more.

“Don’t be fooled by the laid-back, prepped-out, country club aura of the brand — J. McLaughlin is a business on the move.

“The McLaughlins’ elevated profile and pumped-up store program is raising speculation about selling the business or seeking outside investment to further the growth.”

Below, our favorite dress from the retailer (as of today, this changes frequently), and on the right, a cardigan we are fond of, the Seville.

The firm also introduced a limited edition line for the Tiny Prep at your palace this summer.

J. McLaughlin

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We also have a look at this year’s Ryder Cup uniforms for Team USA. (Disregard the red arrows, an editing error on our part.)

.)

The Saturday look is seen above left; the charcoal gray on the right is for Sunday’s matches.  A snippet of reaction to the styles from Golf.com:

“… we are not sure how well these clothes work on, say, a Dustin Johnson. Preppy crests and soul patches are not a natural match. It will also be interesting to see how shaggy-haired Ricky Fowler, a motocross enthusiast when he is not on the links, looks in a purple Perry Como cardigan and dark pinstripe trousers. These clothes are a bit fuddy-duddy for him.”

The Opening Ceremony uniform is more formal, while the rain jackets look standard issue.

The uniforms are by Peter Millar, an upscale firm specializing in golf apparel and accessories. The Cup gets underway October 1 in Wales.

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We leave you with news from the folks at Oxford University Press, publishers of the Oxford Dictionary, among other things. Are you ready for new additions to the Dictionary?

BFF n. (pl. BFFs) informal a girl’s best friend: my BFF’s boyfriend is cheating on her.
– ORIGIN 1996: from the initial letters of best friend forever.

TTYL abbr. informal talk to you later: Anyway, gotta run now! TTYL.

unfriend v. [with obj.] informal remove (someone) from a list of friends or contacts on a social networking site: she broke up with her boyfriend, but she hasn’t unfriended him.

The OUP Blog also lists the many new phrases added to the list, here is a sampling.

my bad informal used to acknowledge responsibility for a mistake: Sorry about the confusion. It’s my bad.

the new black a color that is currently so popular that it rivals the traditional status of black as the most reliably fashionable color: brown is the new black this season.

Finally, we have the new meanings for old words; a few favorites:

channel emulate or seem to be inspired by: Meg Ryan plays Avery as if she’s channeling Nicole Kidman.
cougar informal an older woman seeking a sexual relationship with a younger man.

friend noun – a contact associated with a social networking website.
verb – add (someone) to a list of contacts associated with a social networking website.

hate (hate on) informal express strong dislike for; criticize or abuse: I can’t hate on them for trying something new.

tweet
– a posting made on the social networking site Twitter: he started posting ‘tweets’ via his cell phone to let his parents know he was safe.
– make a posting on the social networking site Twitter.

Please don’t hate on us for feeling the need to occasionally Tweet and share things on our Facebook page, we do hope you will friend us. (Dopey Princess.)

Until next time, may your day be splendid!

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

Weird, Wonderful & Wacky: the Top 15 Searches at The Princess

Hello-Hello, happy Tuesday!

We are blessed with a gorgeous day here at the Prepatorium and hope you are enjoying the same wherever you may be.

In yesterday’s post about making it (miraculously) to the million mark in blog viewers we promised to share the highest ranking search engine terms.  We’re going to share the Top 15, doing most of the list in a visual way and in reverse order.

We will start with the 15th and 14th most searched terms as they are so similar: Number 15 is “preppy blog” and Number 14 is “preppy style”, both equally difficult to describe with just one image.  The best we can do is share the brief back story on an ancient item of clothing, a basic turtleneck we purchased ‘back in the day’ when Abercrombie & Fitch stood for something worthwhile. When its name was Abercrombie and Fitch Country Clothiers. When the most one would see of a logo on anything carrying the brand’s name was this. Below left, the inside of said turtleneck and below right, the external tag at the hem of this piece of perfection.

For those interested in more on the topic (at least from our very early archives), we discussed the topic in Those Abercrombie Abs…Part One and Part Two, also probably the earliest mentions about our horrific case of LogoPhobia.  (Of course we still wear the turtleneck, it is in perfectly good condition!)

Number 13 is perhaps better explained by a map.

Fodor's

(The Hamptons.)

At Number 12,  a brand that once shone brightly in our little corner of the globe.

Lacoste

Number 11 covers a topic sadly featured in many posts, we’ll go with an image from The Snuggie at Fashion Week last fall.

PHOTO: Jason DeCrow/AP

Number 10: This individual is mentioned in multiple posts, but here (more than 2 years ago) we officially confer Anti Prep status upon her. And yes, we are aware the young woman has undergone some significant image rehabilitation, but official Anti-Prep membership carries lifetime status.

(Kim Kardashian, famous for being Kim Kardashian.)

Number 9 comes to us from TSU (The Spousal Unit, aka TC), in his post titled The Consort’s Version of Cash for Clunkers, or Carpe Auto:

Yugo? No go.

This one came as a surprise to us, here is Number 8:

Via Two Barking Dogs

The search is just one word, “fireworks”, not a term we would associate with the Princess blog, this oddity addles our little brain.

Very similar to Numbers 15 and 14, at Number 7 we have “preppy” and rather than search for one comprehensive or spectacularly preppish photo we shall take the wimp’s way out and simply show the full image from whence we found our avatar.

PHOTO: TQM

It would seem our affection for madras is deeply rooted.

Number 6:

NYC Prep Cast

Courtesy Bravo TV

This image may be one of the least familiar to our readers, it is the cast of NYC Prep, the one-season wonder chronicling the lives of ‘real prep school students’. Ahem.

Number 5 (from multiple posts on a Princess favorite, Goyard):

Courtesy Goyard

Number 4 (from multiple posts):

Kris Connor/Getty

Number 3 from Why There is no Preppy Princess Post Today:

The actual search term is iPhone, again – utterly baffling. Why on earth would anyone come here for that topic?

Coming in at Number 2:

Andrew Eccles/The CW Network

(Actor Chace Crawford in a publicity still from the inaugural season of Gossip Girl.)

And now (drum roll please) we share Number 1:

Andres Eccles/The CW Network

Our Number 1 most searched term also hails from the cast of Gossip Girl: Blake Lively.

As of this writing 19,538 searches for Blake Lively have brought people to the blog. Is anyone else troubled by this fact? Especially when we confess to never having seen a full episode of G2?

With that, we must solicit your thoughts: did any of these surprise you?

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Filed under Gossip Girl, Logos, Posts by the Princess Consort, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, The AntiPrep

“Herds of Thundering Preppy Clothiers”

Hello-Hello, and welcome to another wacky week of preppy insanity here at the Princess!

We begin with more in-depth looks at the new LL Bean Signature and Lands’ End Canvas lines, most notably on AOL’s Walletpop blog and in Luminosity Marketing, an online journal.  The first item is titled “LL Bean’s New Signature Line: The preppy look gets a risky makeover“. 

“After all, Bean isn’t just a brand; it’s an institution, a torchbearer, a monument to a bygone lifestyle. Along with Brooks Brothers, Sperry and a few other labels, it represents one of the last survivors of the great age of prep, when vast herds of preppy clothiers thundered across the American retail plain, dispensing tweed and bespoke throughout the land.”

We absolutely adore the “thundering across America” imagery, hordes of preps armed with canvas totes and headbands, wielding strands of pearls like slingshots.

“And while the new clothes are recognizably Bean, they sport a more tight-fitting, body-conscious style that should draw in Gap, Abercrombie, J Crew and Banana Republic fans.”
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We don’t recall seeing a madras scarf before and think this item could merit a second look. One more line from the story, this raises an interesting topic:
“In fact, many of its items are often less expensive than comparable garments at Gap, which has long been perceived as the well-made, reasonably-priced choice for the casually preppy look.”
We are curious to know your thoughts on the issue, do you find Gap prices higher than Bean?

Now to the post from Luminosity Marketing, “Geek Out: Lands’ End and L.L. Bean’s Preppy Resurgence“. Geek out. Hhhhmmm. From that story:

“With preppy, All-American fashions enjoying a nice comeback, we’ve seen many brands that have been able to successfully leverage the trend.”

As always, the “preppy comes back” theme prompts an inner smile here at the Prepatorium; from comments in the past on the topic, many readers share this reaction. Back to the story by Lamont Swittenberg:

“We’ve commented here on the resurgence of Sperry Topsiders, but brands like J-Crew, Barbour, Lacoste, Brooks Brothers, Clark’s and a host of new labels have also been successful at taking advantage of this shift in consumer preference. Before recently however, two of the most iconic preppy brands, Lands’ End and L.L. Bean, had remained curiously silent.”

We apologize for this temporary break from our point, but we have to insert this tongue-in-cheek item from Lacoste, the Comic Croc Shopping Bag:

Back to the primary point of today’s post, new styles from Bean and Lands’ End; below, a Webbed Belt from the Canvas line and the classic Tretorn sneaker.

Our hats are off to Mr. Swittenberg; he purchased a substantial amount of merchandise from both the Signature and Canvas lines to better judge the end products from both companies. Ultimately the story makes this point:

“It’s great when brands have the product development and marketing smarts to update their image while maintaining their essence. It’s a delicate balance that’s not easy to pull-off. The tendency is either to jump too far onto the latest bandwagon or to dogmatically stick to the tried and true past (while slowly becoming a dinosaur). Kudos to both Lands End and L.L. Bean for showing us all the way forward.”

Both pieces make for a good read.

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A few more tidbits:

Lord & Taylor is promoting ‘preppy sneakers’:

Lord & Taylor

While The Fashion List talks about the upcoming limited edition collection from Sebago.

Courtesy Photos via The Fashion List

The firm is celebrating 40 years of their Dockside shoe, Sebago’s counter to the Sperry Topsider.

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We wrap up with two quick items, including today’s Pretty in Pink:

Rosie Campbell is a talented designer we were fortunate enough to discover when she entered our most recent giveaway.  We fell in love with her belt buckles, handmade in the USA.

We close with yet another popular culture phenomenon we were completely clueless about: the micro pig.  (With apologies to any Facebook fans who may have seen this mentioned on that venue.)

We had to include it because of one of the creature’s bigger fans is one of our original AntiPreps.

Hello! Magazine

And because the little critters were included as part of this year’s Golden Globes swag bags. (Yes, we put this in the “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” category.) The LA Times has more:

“The pet pigs usually sell for about $5,000, the suite people tell me, but the visiting celebrities would be able to get one for free. All they’d have to do is complete a one-hour course on how to treat the li’l porkers and present a certificate of completion.”

There you have it.

On that note, g’bye until next time!

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Filed under Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink, You Can't Make This Stuff Up

The Eyes Have It, Store Openings

Hello-Hello and welcome to another week, didn’t Saturday and Sunday just fly by?

We begin with a look at the new Tory Burch sunglasses, as seen on the designer herself in this ad.

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Courtesy Tory Burch

This post on the Style File blog has more:

“The collection also features oversize squares and oversize rounds à la Jackie O, both with fairly subtle logo detailing on the arms.”

The line includes these foldable aviators.

cdocuments-and-settingslsteinbedesktoptburcheyewear_blog

Courtesy photo via Style File

Below, the Oversized Squares, and on the right, Rounded Aviators.

TB_TY7004_BLACK-SCREEN-GREY-FADETB_TY6006_GOLD-TB-GOLD-LENS

We don’t want to forget a reminder about the ongoing sale at Tory Burch:

fall_sale_newThe selection is being winnowed down, so scamper over for a look-see if so inclined.

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Ms. Burch is not alone in entering the optical market, Lilly Pulitzer is as well.

opticalblast

Courtesy Lilly Pulitzer

Here is a style we like, although they do not really exemplify those vibrant colors and cheery textiles associated with the “Lilly Look”. This is the Ella frame, and we adore the clean, spartan lines.

showimage-1

Courtesy Lilly Pulitzer/Kenmark

More in keeping with Lilly’s bright and sunny colorways, the Dasha frame:

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Courtesy Lilly Pulitzer/Kenmark

Below, the ‘Lillian‘ model at Best Buy Glasses.

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The eyewear is also available in children’s styles, a nice touch. Below, the Gaby frame:

showimage-3

Courtesy Lilly Pulitzer/Kenmark

A closer look at a pair from the Girl’s collection.

ken-lilly-girls-minnie-417x350

Courtesy Lilly Pulitzer/Kenmark

It is fascinating to see firms like Lilly and Tory Burch expand their product offerings.

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Many readers know how we feel about the current incarnation of Abercrombie & Fitch, as detailed in this post (“Those Abercrombie Abs Part 1“) and in this post (“Those Abercrombie Abs Part 2“), in which we discuss the retailer as it used to be, back in the olden days, when the label looked like this, reading ‘Abercrombie and Fitch, Country Clothiers.’

DSC00177

TP's Turtleneck

The turtleneck partially shown above was just removed from storage and placed back on the shelf for another season of wear, despite the fact many might refer to it as ‘vintage clothing’.  It could be 25 to 30 years old, we really don’t recall, we only know it is très comfy and also retains a high snuggle factor, imperatives here at the Prepatorium.

800px-Aafc2

Wikipedia

(No, not this old, that’s from 1909!)

Back to the issue at hand: the wretched retailer opened its first store in Italy last week, only its second in Europe. On hand for the festivities surrounding the grand opening?

abercrombie-and-fitch01

Courtesy photo via WWD

The young men are models for the new store in Milan.

Indeed.

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Also opening a new store (and with properly clad employees), Louis Vuitton.

vuitton-store01

Courtesy Photo via WWD

The new shop is also at one of our favorite haunts when seeking retail therapy, NorthPark in Dallas.

vuitton-store03

Courtesy Photo via WWD

We’ll trust Hopsy and other Dallas bloggers to fill us in on how the new establishment is in person.

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It wouldn’t be the Monday after Halloween if we didn’t gratuitously post about the costumes sported by Gossip Girl stars and IRL sweethearts Blake Lively and Penn Badgley. Ms. Lively was a flight attendant…

blake-lively-flight-attendant-halloween-costume

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty via Just Jared

…while Mr. Badgley was unclear on exactly who/what he was portraying; he also happened to be celebrating his 23rd birthday.

We must excuse ourselves now and seek out a quiet place to ponder the events of last night.

20091102_madmen_560x375

Courtesy AMC

We are more than concerned about Don and Betty.

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Filed under Gossip Girl, Logos, preppy, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink