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Gifts That Will Make A Man Weep With Joy & Being Thankful=Swag

Hello again, friends.  The Princess Consort is stepping mike-side to entertain you for these short minutes.  The Princess is in training for her Black Friday mission.  I know nothing of where she is going but she keeps talking about “Zero-dark Hundred” and the sudden need for a tactical web harness to carry her credit cards.  I see no good coming from this…

But there is a tremendous amount of good in what I want to share today.  The tumultuous markets may be playing havoc with your income/retirement.  Take heart – you can always dream.  Let’s spend some time fantasizing about how we’d spend unlimited funds this holiday season.  Since I am apologetically male the list will have a male slant.  I can’t help myself.  It’ll still be fun and might take our minds off the drudgery that is our new economic reality.

Let’s start with some basic hand tools.  Or, to be more precise, 1,470 Craftsman hand tools.

sears-craftsman-tool-kit2

Our friends at Sears have built a lofty reputation on their handtools.   Speaking from experience I can say they are fine for consumer use.  This conglomeration of tools covers everything from small specialty tools to impact sets.  Overkill?  I think not.  The most important tool invariably is the one you need and don’t have.  This tool set on steroids resolves that problem. With a price tag of about $8,600 it should solve any number of problems. If the complete set is too much or is a duplication of tools then you can pick and choose what suits you best.  Check with your local Sears for more information and, for the love of God, don’t even consider having the entire set shipped to your house.  That expense would just be wasteful in today’s economy.  Have your staff pick it up at the Sears store.

You’re going to need a place to store that monstrous set of Craftsman tools.  Consider this: You’ve just spent thousands of dollars for tools.  You need to keep them in something that can handle the load.

kobalt-chest1

This 53″ stainless steel tool chest from Kobalt is the answer.  Sixteen drawers, a Pioneer sound system, an onboard refrigerator, power strips and LED lights offer sufficient space and amenities to solve the housing crisis in several small cities.  A bargain at $1,600.  You might need two.  Check out your local Lowes home improvement store.

Now you have these great tools stored in an over-the-top tool chest.  You want a project.  Here you go:

aston_77_6_12801

Ah, yes.  The Aston Martin One-77.   This car, according to our friends at Luxist.com, will sell for more than US$1,498,701.10 (approximately).  That $1.5 Million dollars, friends.  Unless you were totally insane this car is not likely one you’d tinker with in your garage. Even with your fancy tools.  It has a V-12 engine, top speed of 200+ mph and goes from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds.   Only 77 will be made to individual buyer specifications.  Great.  I want a towing package on mine so I can pull my boat.  There’s a statement.

Here’s another statement.  Make sure you leave a comment here about something you’re thankful for and you could win some wonderful swag from www.PreppyPrincess.com.  The Princess will announce the winner on Thursday.  C’mon and enter.  You must be thankful for something…

I’m thankful for your willingness to indulge me and I say good-bye until we meet again.  Now please enjoy the musical efforts of The Remains.  They’ll be here all week.

Photos: Sears, Kobalt Tools, Aston Martin

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Black Friday Starts…TOMORROW. Seriously. And Preppy Bargains Abound.

Hello-Hello from a sublime and sunny day in the Great Midwest, so nice we can hardly believe it is November!

But we may want to fasten our seat belts, as it could be a bumpy ride this Fall, at least for retailers. However, storekeeper stress also means outstanding savings opportunities, so today we are simply discarding our usual neuroses about usage of the ‘M’ word, and offering what insight we have on hand.

For openers, K-Mart is starting their Black Friday offerings tomorrow.  As in Sunday, November 2, 2008.

For anyone unfamiliar with Black Friday, a previous post has a tad more insight on the phenomenon, including a mention of this Ralph Lauren Factory Stores ad, offering something called Midnight Madness.  The ad says, “Join us after your Thanksgiving Dinner. Most stores open at the stroke of midnight.”  Indeed.

Courtesy bfads.net

Courtesy bfads.net

Back to today’s post: the Kmart ad does not refer, or apply, to all parts of the store. In fact, it really only offer savings in one area of the store, as explained in Friday’s Advertising Age story:

“The retailer …  said it will offer the deals exclusively in the home-electronics category to help customers kick-start their holiday shopping. The category has become an area of particular concern for retailers, as consumers pull back on discretionary items.”

Should shoppers be looking for the special deals in their Sunday newspaper? Evidently not, at least as best The Princess can discern from yesterday’s story.

“Early Black Friday” sales on about 15 items will roll out in Sunday circulars between Nov. 2 and Nov. 23, as well as on Kmart.com. The deals are being worked into existing circular plans… “

And surprisingly, the discounts will be available for more than one day, different from ‘standard’ Black Friday sales:

“Kmart’s deals are also meant to make holiday shopping more convenient, Mr. Aiello said. Unlike typical Black Friday sales, which require an early wake-up call and heavily promoted limited quantities, the specials will be available for an entire week, with ample supplies in stock.”

Because we do heart your pocketbook (we have been told this is the proper way to use this verb) we went decided to be adventurous and go to the K-Mart website. These are the only two sale circulars we see that are applicable commencing tomorrow; the first seems to be primarily Disney and Hannah Montana related.

KMart Ad 11.2.08

Kmart Ad 11.02.08

And the second is a Dollar Days theme:

Kmmart Ad 11.02.08

Kmart Ad 11.02.08

Enough of Black Friday, let us move on to Bergdorf’s, shall we? Their Fall Savings event includes the Tory Burch North-South tote in this color is too fun.

Barney’s thinks their sale is groovy; we are not yet convinced, but are willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

The Prada Ruched Pump is not destined for our shoe rack,

But the Mawi Enameled Bangle is fun and comes in several colors, including our favorite.  And the pinstripe cashmere throw, as well as the eggshell with multi-color stripes both rank extremely well on the Snuggle Factor.

It seems that Brooks Brothers continues its aggressive marketing stance with their Preferred Customer Event.

This translates to a 25% discount if one uses their Brooks Brothers Platinum MasterCard Platinum, a mere 15% savings for those paying through other means.

J. Crew is pushing their ‘Fall Sale.’

And TP is simply ga-ga over the Clea Flats:

And speaking of J. Crew, a reminder on the next Men’s Shop:

Courtesy J. Crew

Courtesy J. Crew

It shall be interesting to watch the way Crew plays the Men’s Collection in this locale, as it is quite different from the ambience of the Liquor Store site.

Saks is also eager to assist one’s wardrobe enhancement efforts, offering multiple sales, like the Stuart Weitzman Patent Slide.  And ladies, TP can personally vouch for these; they are divine. Dowdy? Maybe. Frumpish? Perhaps. But they are us, and we don’t have the only toes clad in these at JL meetings.

Then there is the Lord & Taylor ‘Just in Time’ sale which has so many different elements we can barely keep them straight.

But because we want to do our best to help locate fiscally friendly merchandise for all of our Princess readers, we’ll give it a go. L&T is offering:

  • Additional 15% off Cashmere
  • 33% off Gloves
  • 25% off Handbags
  • Free shipping on all orders more than $99

J. Press is always an excellent choice, and this fall it is no different, with multiple markdowns throughout the store. These snappy madras trousers for The Spousal Unit at a superb price; they will be ideal during this winter’s annual getaway.

Their Short-sleeve New York Polo is also fun.

.

And so we might close with an ‘appropriate’ Pretty in Pink, here is the Lilly Pulitzer Infant’s Cover-up; Saks is offering this at an attractive markdown.

Happy Hunting!

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

NYC Sweatshop Raid: You Might be Surprised What Companies are on the List & the Self-Vibrating Mascara (Honest.)

Greetings and good Thursday to all! FYI, the next tidbit has absolutely *nothing* to do whatsoever with anything preppy, particularly since most of us aren’t exactly laden down with makeup. However….

we didn’t say we never touch the stuff! This is on The Princess’s “we want to try so we’ll probably buy” (maybe!) list, if only for the fun factor. You’ve probably already heard about it, or one of its competitors: this version is the Estee Lauder TurboLash Vibrating Mascara. If you aren’t familiar with it, we’ll just let the ‘official description’ as posted on Sak’s page do the talking for us:

“Turbo-charged” motion mascara with auto-powered, vibrating brush gives you volume, length, curl and separation all at once. Gently vibrating LashSonic Brush with micro-pulse bristles continuously separates and saturates lashes. Find lashes you didn’t even know you had and coat them instantly and perfectly. The motion brush keeps lashes clump-free so you can reapply several coats, even refresh during the day. A worldwide first.

One quick tip: this has already sold out on the Estee Lauder site. The most you can do is sign up to be notified when it is back in stock, so if interested, your best bet may be a quick trip to your local department store. It does look entertaining, although we’re a bit unclear on the locating of lashes we never knew we had.

We’re a bit behind on this next item, so we’ll do just a quick note on a little brand extension from Harper’s Bazaar: the magazine is launching a new glossy called Runway Report, launching July 27. Don’t look for it every month though, as this one is designed to be a quarterly, so if you like it, your next fix will be three months away! As Editor Kristina O’Neill describes the $6.95 publication: “”We know our readers love clothes, and this is really a full report on what we saw at the shows, and what they are going to want to be wearing as soon as the weather cools.”

We move to not-such-fun news, reports of a raid on a Queens sweatshop manufacturing clothes under allegedly illegal conditions. Two factories were busted; the Times reports in their online coverage today they made clothes for Macy’s, Banana Republic and Victoria’s Secret. The retailers the factories manufactured for that WWD listed in their coverage include Macy’s private label brands Ultra Flirt and INC, Gap, Banana Republic, Express, Victoria’s Secret, Limited and Coldwater Creek. If true, the conditions workers toiled under are disgusting, and the elaborate plans used by factory owner/management to avoid being found out even worse.

Here are some reactions from the companies as reported by WWD:

Macy’s said the allegations represented a “serious violation” of the company’s code of conduct and that it has “begun our own internal investigation on this matter.”

Jeffrey Parisian, senior vice president of administration at Coldwater Creek Inc., said the company was also launching its own internal investigation and would cooperate with the Labor officials.

Dan Henkle, Gap Inc.’s senior vice president of social responsibility, said the company took the matter seriously and would be cooperating with the state’s Department of Labor. “At this time, we have no production in this factory in Queens and we are suspending any future production with this facility until this investigation is satisfactorily resolved,” said Henkle.

The Princess is wondering, “Dan, how about no manufacturing at any time in the future with this company? As in Never. Ever. Again. How is never for you?” If they did it once they’ll do it again. Why reward bad behavior? Honestly.

Now we’ll move on to something far more frivolous: the Toy Watch Company’s Neon Plasteramic Collection. How is that for a Prepalicious name? If you have seen this one you know what we are talking about, because you cannot easily forget it!

They are just too fun, and some predict, soon to be as popular as Ray-Bans.

We’re loving this Italian range watches, amusingly dubbed the Toy Watch which comes in blindingly bright selection of primary and fluro colors. So enamored are we that we’re predicting that the Toy Watch could be the new Rayban Wayfarer.

We’re not sure about that, but we do love them. The names of the colors are what grabbed us… after the eye-popping timepieces themselves grabbed our attention. With names like Plutonium Pink, Kryptonite Green, you know you need one. In addition to the wild ones, TP favors another (of course) in a slightly more demure color. “It’s ceramic…no it’s plastic…IT’S PLASTERAMIC!” as the site says; this is the Pink we find so appealing.

Is TP the only girl in the galaxy who hadn’t heard of these? Oh well. Once again, proof that we aren’t exactly fashion forward! May the rest of your day be delightful!


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Thom Browne’s White House Eyebrow Raiser, Preppy Bobby Jones 75% Off!, J. Crew ‘Final’ Sale & Free Shipping Code

It’s no secret to most readers The Princess struggles with Black Fleece designer Thom Browne’s hemlines, in particular the high-water-line pants. Especially said pants. To help you understand our lack of understanding, below we show a look from Browne’s 2008 Black Fleece for Brooks Brothers line.

However, Brooks is pleased enough with Mr. Browne and the Black Fleece line (to which he is a major contributor) that they are expanding it and giving it a stand-alone shop. But TP isn’t the only one not in sync with the higher hemlines, as evidenced by the crowd at Monday’s White House gathering honoring American Design, hosted by First Lady Laura Bush.

Thom Browne, a two-time Fashion finalist, was honored just to be at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. “It’s always nice coming to the White House,” he said. Browne’s signature high-water pants drew more than a few curious glances, including those from several military guards.

Many have noted the trend toward shorter hemlines for men, including the Wall Street Journal. Like The Princess, The Journal is not exactly out in front of fashion trends, but they do pay attention, as shown by their recent online article by Ray A. Smith, “A Short Story: The Rise of Floods,” examining the hemline phenomenon. Fun reading for everyone that also fleshes out Mr. Browne’s philosophy, oddly not worlds apart from ours it seems.

One stop that is truly a must if you are still seeking a few pieces to fill out your summertime wardrobe is the sale event at the Bobby Jones Clubhouse Collection. At prices even The Princess found to be remarkable, this is just what the Wardrobe Doctor ordered to round out the summer selections you face every time you walk into the walk-in. Even if you simply want to scan the upscale items at bargain price points rarely encountered on this particular line, it is worth the time investment on your part.

Since we have been showcasing argyle, let’s look at the Bobby Jones Argyle Zip Front Sweater, available in this creamy colorway as well as a navy that just radiates understated elegance. This is available in a broad range of sizes, unusual for a piece that originally retailed at $265 and is now only $66.

Another basic at a price point that seems to be screaming “Buy me…buy me!” is the Solid Pique Classic Polo, shown below in ‘Reef’ but also available in ‘Calypso’ and ‘Key Lime.’ This classic is now only $26, down from $105.

The Grosgrain Trimmed Sport Cardigan is not a clearance item, so it is ‘only 50% off’ the original price and now $125, a classic embellished with our favorite ribbon.

Naturally the Preppy Plaid Skinny Pant (now $56, originally $225) would fit right in for a quick drink at the Club after a round with friends. If something fresh is needed to wear while actually playing that round of golf, the Preppy Plaid Skort at just $48 is a deal that one just can’t ignore!

Pair either with the Fleur-De-Lis 3-Button Polo in either the navy shown or red, now $23 (buy both at that price!); it appears to be available in a wide range of sizes. Now you know The Princess will be partial to the sunny Patchwork Printed Skort, and at $75 (from $150) it’s a bright and vibrant piece our walk-in wants!

And finally, the Society Cable V Neck Sweater is an item we just can’t seem to pass up, especially with the variety of colors offered! Our love of sweaters is rapidly hitting a point that could alarm The Princess Consort, always indulgent but now simply mystified by the “sweater thing.” Sigh.

When stopping by Bobby Jones, don’t forget to look at the Men‘s Sale, replete with equally remarkable prices, especially on some of their cashmere pieces.

Also, a little note in our Inbox reminded us it is time for J. Crew’s “Final sale”. At least until the Final-Final Sale… or whatnot. And remember, to receive Free Shipping on orders of $100 or more, enter the code SHOPNOW at checkout. As always, The Princess is trying to do her best for your pocketbook. 🙂

What cuter pair of shorts for your little girl than the Crittermania chino bermuda in either white or aquamarine? Originally $42, now $19.99 and just darling in our feeble-minded opinion.

Of course, she knows there’s one thing she must do: accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. That is easy to accomplish with the ever-so-classic Print Headband at $5.99, accenting her preppy Argyle Sweater just perfectly.

Of course there are pages upon pages of treats and treasures for the young man of the house, for Daddy and for Mommy, including one of TP’s alltime favorite shoes, the Jack Purcell Patchwork Sneakers (for Mom).

There’s no better note to leave things on than Jack Purcell, so we’ll just say ‘Bye until tomorrow, and happy hunting!

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Polo Ralph Lauren Olympic Games Collection, J Crew and the Madewell Brand

Canada Day Heart Flag GIF

We celebrate with our friends across the border! Happy Canada Day!

With 8.8.08 only 5 weeks away, it is good to see that the smart minds at Polo Ralph Lauren have made some of the Olympic Collection available. We thought it wise to follow their lead, as they frequently do know what they’re about, and share some pieces from the line with you.

We start with the Men’s Classic-Fit Olympic Games Polo in white, and then we have TP’s favorite: the Olympic Games Newsboys Hat.

Polo Ralph Lauren Men\'s Olympic Polo Classic Fit

Polo Ralph Lauren Olympic Newsboy Cap

Below is the Men’s Slim Custom-Fit USA 08 Polo (both front and back), available in three of TP’s favorite colors, red, white and blue! This one is constructed of cotton mesh, comes complete with the official embroidered logo of Team USA for the 08 Olympics, and runs $125 retail. We’re thinking it will be a big seller for some reason… people will favor the back, as you don’t generally have that sort of lush look with Lauren until you hit the rarefied strata at the Lauren Collection level.

Polo Ralph Lauren Slim Custom-Fit USA 08 Polo

Polo Ralph Lauren Slim Custom-Fit USA 08 Polo

Ralph Lauren Slim Custom-Fit US Shield Oxford

Polo Ralph Lauren Olympic Games Track Jacket

Above we show the Slim Custom-Fit US Shield Oxford described as:

Long-sleeved shirt cut for a trim, modern fit in preppy oxford-woven cotton and featuring the embroidered US Olympic shield logo at the chest pocket.

Also above, the Olympic Games Track Jacket in cotton mesh. Below we show the Olympic Games Cargo Pant, available in white only, with some interesting visual points of interest.

Polo Ralph Lauren Cargo Olympics Pant

And now, another of our favorites, the Olympic Games Bucket Hat, which looks pretty cool, even with the guy on the horse.

Polo Ralph Lauren Bucket Hat Olympics 08

Now we move on to the Ladies apparel, starting with the Womenswear version of the Olympic Games Pony Polo, available in white, or navy as shown.

Polo Ralph Lauren Olympics Women\'s Pony Polo

Polo Ralph Lauren Women\'s Pony Polo for Olympics 08

Similar offerings for women are seen below with the Olympic Games Character Polo,

Polo Polo

Also seen below, the Olympic Games Rings Polo.

Polo Ralph Lauren Olympic Rings PoloPolo Ralph Lauren

And finally, there *is* a tee available in both men and women’s. Here is a look at the ladies version.

Polo Ralph Lauren Tee Shirt Olympics Beijing 08

If you are looking for Children’s Olympic merchandise, it is on its way. (According to the website.) If this is something that is of interest to you, TP recommends checking the Polo website regularly or being in touch with your favorite salesperson at your local Polo store. But you already knew this.

All told, there isn’t anything groundbreaking here, nothing that makes us want to race to the nearest phone, dialing up TSU (The Spousal Unit), shrieking carrying on about our great shopping discoveries. There are some very solid pieces, and a few of the hats display a touch of whimsy. Of course, all of the pieces carry an unmistakable Polo air of preppy confidence and nonchalance. An added element this go-round is a touch of patriotic team spirit on some level The Princess is unable to discern…hhmm.

We can tell you there is more Men’s merchandise in the Collection than Women’s by good measure, even allowing for the four different varieties of hats or caps shown on the Men’s pages. Several of the “cooler” items are also clearly on the Men’s side of the store, in a virtual sense, such as the Slim Custom-Fit US Shield Oxford, and the Olympic Games Cargo Pant. We’re sure there is a rational retailing reason for this we simply aren’t aware of, and we will make every effort to learn what that is.

In other Preppy News…

Just so everyone doesn’t think the only thing going on at the White Elephant on Nantucket is a massage after golf, an update on J. Crew’s youthful Madewell 1937 brand actually came from there last week. In reality, it came in the form of comments from Chief Financial Officer Jim Scully during the huge financial conference held every year at the hotel. Scully said the company will decide sometime before the end of the year whether or not to expand the brand.

Madewell is the brand created by J Crew to appeal to a younger, more trend-driven demo than those shopping their J Crew stores. Below we show a few looks from the Madewell Fall 2008 collection.

Madewell #1Madewell 1937 2008 Fall Peek

Price points on the merchandise are substantially lower than at J Crew, which could make the hipper, edgier stores a more popular shopping spot during an economic downturn. That could also make marketing and merchandising mavens at shops like Gap and American Eagle Outfitters a little nervous; unfortunately, there are currently only eight Madewell stores open, with plans to open two more this year. Additionally the company plans to make the Madewell website operational for online shopping later this summer; that would be a plus as currently it is a very hip, slick and annoying place to be IMHO.

Madewell 1937 #3Madewell 1937 #4

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Filed under 2008 Beijing Olympics, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle