Tag Archives: Andy Spade

The NY Times Does J. Crew’s New Men’s Store, Thom Browne Does More, & Ike Strikes The Princess!

Hello-Hello and Happy-Happy! We are most happy to be back in the land of functioning  technology. The Princess learned to live without the internet or telephones following 7″ of rain here at Preppy Princess InterGalactic Headquarters, compliments of Hurricane Ike’s remnants.

With things a bit out of whack for two days (an eternity when one feels out of touch with the rest of the world,) we enjoyed the benefits of catching up on paperwork whilst alternately shrieking and whining gently nudging the Vice-President of Technology (aka The Princess Consort) for updates. However, we have absolutely nothing to complain about when looking at those truly suffering as a result of the hurricane; out little outage does not even merit mentioning.

A quick note on chocolate for all of our readers who love to bake…

… more ‘premium’ baking chocolate is on the way from our good friends at Ghiradelli. Having reached the conclusion there isn’t enough high-end baking chocolate out there in groceryland, soon there will be more 10 oz. bags of the addiction-creating-ingredient on the shelves at your local market. (Unless it is already on the shelf, depending upon the part of the country where one resides.)

TP has already advised Cook of the news, although we aren’t entirely sure she will be overly excited, as we fear she procures her chocolate from a secret source known to only a few, a connection initially created by the Queen Mother years ago. To promote the new line Ghiradelli had a number of pastry chefs create new chocolate-filled delights; if one is inclined to experiment, here are the recipes. Whatever chocolate one elects to use for baking, we just couldn’t leave the topic without sharing these divine chocolate shoes from Gayle’s Chocolates, simply too pretty to eat, but divine when you do! Yum.

Chocolate Gift Shoes from Gayle's Chocolates
Chocolate Gift Shoes from Gayle’s

Regular readers may recall our early September post about the NY Times Critical Shopper’s column on their visit to designer Thom Browne’s store. The paper must be on a preppy style binge, as today’s Critical Shopper column is about J. Crew’s TriBeCa Men’s shop.

Donna Alberico for The New York Times
Donna Alberico for The New York Times

Most readers will remember the fanfare surrounding the store’s opening in mid-August, including our column on the topic. The menswear only store is located on (and in) the former Liquor Store bar, a noted TriBeCa landmark.

One of our favorite writers at the Times, Reporter Mike Albo pens a more than positive review of the “stylized lifestyle boutique for men” in his signature style.

“It’s a little embarrassing to think I once had a prep prejudice. These days the preppy look is to a guy’s wardrobe what corn syrup is to beverages. There is no way to avoid its presence. Everyone wants a good blue blazer, madras shorts and tweed tie. Unless you dress in moose pelts or your name happens to be Criss Angel, you can’t help but look slightly collegiate all the time.”

“You can’t blame J. Crew for cashing in on the megatrend. In collaboration with the Jack Spade founder, Andy Spade, J. Crew took over this neighborhood watering hole, which is on the ground floor of a landmark building dating back to 1825, and created a men’s boutique that still looks like an old-fashioned liquor establishment, except in place of bargoers and pint glasses, there is merchandise dangling on shelves and racks, as well as on top of the bulky, well-worn wood bar.”

Surprisingly, the sale of men’s clothing is actually on the rise as the opposite proves true for Women’s apparel and accessories. Some credit the trend to nattily-dressed characters in television shows, like the always-dapper Don Draper from Mad Men on AMC. (We couldn’t help ourselves on that one;  alliteration reigned triumphant in the construction of that sentence. )

Back to the review, one would not expect *all* of Mr. Albo’s comments to be positive, and they aren’t:

“Still, some items were so outrageously preppy, I felt my original odium for the style rising in my throat like bad grain-alcohol punch. A series of knit ties in bright colors, $49.50, brought to mind a tragically alcoholic dorm mate from college on his way to a football game, and a quilted patchwork tote, for $850, was something his equally blotto girlfriend would use to carry around her pumps and kegger go-cup.”

“A small glass case at the front of the store displayed vintage watchbands, belt buckles, aviators and pencils that have been chewed by the celebrated TriBeCan writer Max Blagg on sale for $25 each. Yes, that’s right —chewed pencils for $25.”

Indeed. To be fair, the pencils sale is noted in the column as a promotional gimmick; even so, it’s a bit edgy for TP. Pencils or not, we can’t wait to visit the store next time we are in the city.Whatever you do, don’t forget the Free Shipping on all sales over $100, ending tomorrow at midnight. The promotional code is SEPTEMBER.

On to the news that designer Thom Browne (seen above at the close of his runway show at last week’s NY Fashion Week) will be doing even more creating, in this case for upscale French firm Moncler.  Trade publication DNR reports today that Mr. Browne will be designing a Moncler Men’s collection for  the next three years. According to DNR:

“This brand strategy resembles that of Browne’s collaboration with Brooks Brothers, called Black Fleece. That union is lauded partly because Browne’s aesthetic is highly influenced by mid-century Brooks Brothers.”

TP has made no secret of her disdain for much of Mr. Browne’s initial Black Fleece Collections, more so on the Menswear side than with the Women’s collections. This year’s line shows far more wearable looks as noted in the photos below.

The Princess believes Moncler’s clientele may find Mr. Browne’s outrageous looks just grand and TP’s perception of them déclassé.

A few more quick reminders before we dash off for a little volunteer duty:

Kurt Iswarienko/Bravo
Kurt Iswarienko/Bravo

Enjoy! We’ll be back once we catch up on the frightening amount of email we missed in the last few days.


Filed under preppy

That Preppy Style Thing Again, J Crew Tribeca Store, L.A. Salvatore Ferragamo

Hello and Happy Friday! A few months back we did several posts marveling that so many different people and publications were alerting us to the fact “preppy style is back.” It seems the change in seasons or some other occurrence has hatched another slew of ‘preppy is cool” type articles, posts, stories, etc. Obviously this was not news back in June for most in our little online group, nor is it news now but it does provide for informative or entertaining (or a combination of the two) reading.

We’ll start with the one factor we know to be influencing fashion and style writers: Gossip Girl (or “G2” as we refer to it). The Chic Spy’s Character Dossier feature has a great story on the phenomenon this week. Below left is Serena (Blake Lively) in her Constance Billard school uniform along with Blair (Leighton Meester) in the not-really-meant-to-be-patriotic ensemble…or is it?

There is loads of info in the story, including a lengthy list of tips for getting your own similar look, not to mention the classic shot of ‘Chuck’ in a white suit with all the trimmings, a look that really must be seen to be appreciated. Then for fans who simply can’t get enough, US Magazine has put together an amusing series of “Before & After” photographs showing many G2 stars ‘back when…” before they gained such notoriety, and then ‘after,’ showing them now, present tense. Presumably everyone has seen the stills from the upcoming ‘catfight’ scene?

And did everyone hear that when Michael Kors isn’t busy running his clothing empire, or judging upcoming designers on Project Runway, he is doing a guest spot on the show? ‘Tis true.

Actually, when it comes to this fall’s small-screen viewing, we’re tickled to see that “Lipstick Jungle” is making a return. We thought the show was dead and buried, a victim of a poor time slot and too many chick-flick shows in prime-time. We happily discovered we were wrong when a promo for the popped up during the Olympics.

If you missed the first season, you can catch always play catch up at your leisure; put it in your queue at Netflix, or add another dollar to the College Fund by reserving it at your local library. TP’s library has no fees for videos but we can’t say what the policies are at your local lending establishment. The NBC site says the DVD is in ‘Anamorphic Widescreen,’ which besides sounding like a pornography film, is a term no one here at the Intergalactic Headquarters of The Preppy Princess has ever heard.


There is quite a bit of news for the guys when it comes to shopping this week, so much it’s tough to know where to start. We’ll begin with the new Men’s Salvatore Ferragamo shop at the Beverly Center in Los Angeles, actually open since the last week of June or so, a beauty from the looks of things. Sleek and elegant wood, soft as butter leather couches and über-elegant Italian clothing, shoes and accessories make for a luxe look and posh surroundings. Perhaps Miss Muffy has popped in for a visit with the oh-too-wonderful Skipp, and can file a west coast report for us on the store. (BTW, this is *not* to be confused with the Mens & Women’s store on Rodeo.)

Should you be thinking ahead (always a wise move for the busy Princess) with an eye toward early holiday gift buying, there is the alligator duffel bag (center row), or the rather unfortunate shade of green alligator tote, on the top row.


Next we visit the new J. Crew Men’s store in Tribeca that opened yesterday in the old Liquor Store location. They have done a simply splendid job blending the old with the new, right down to the exterior of the building.



Brian Berman for J. Crew

Brian Berman for J. Crew

For those spared the tedium of The Princess going ga-ga over J. Crew’s announced plans to open a men’s-only store and word that the old Liquor Store bar was going to be its home, well, we’ll only say this is a somewhat legendary locale, and electing to pay homage to its previous incarnation as opposed to gutting it was a stoke of genius.

Brian Berman for J. Crew

Brian Berman for J. Crew



The retailer included most of its basics at the new store, as well as some of its higher-end merchandise, like its Thomas Mason fabric shirts (left), and wool Cambridge ties that are TDF. Really, they are.

They also have their new Italian Slim Suit in a color they call dark graphite that is just smashing, a classic look with understated elegance. Very nice. Any and all J. Crew fans will enjoy a wonderful little video with Senior Design Director, Frank Muytjens explaining ‘How J Crew Does Luxe for Less‘ using this suit (we think) as the example.

The store was actually designed by Andy Spade, who has his own book coming out in September. A story in Men’s Style explains more:

“The new store’s sponsoring a series of workshops based on Spade and business partner Anthony Sperduti’s forthcoming book, What a Man Should Know (available there on September 1). So what should you know? Chess, wine, and figure-drawing, among other things. It’s never too late to learn.”

There are lots of other goodies at the Tribeca shop you won’t find at other J Crew stores, like vintage Timex watches and Baracuta Coats, the latter’s Harrington G9 jacket favored by a wildly diverse group including Arnold Palmer, Steve McQueen, Elvis, Frank Sinatra and The Clash.

And to bring a smile to our preppy friends who are lovers of all things nautical, we bring you this stunning example of horological magnificence via Artfact. The 1940’s Nautical Captain’s Desk Clock is to be auctioned on the 30th, just a week from now. This is obviously what Miss Nautical by Nature needs on her desk. It would make an excellent addition to the cottage, but it’s also ideal as an outstanding gift to anyone whose heart is always with the sea.

On that seaworthy note we’ll say bye for now with wishes everyone is about to embark on their own journey to a wonderful weekend. We’ll be back of course, bringing some convention fashion tidbits and US Open tales.


  • Gossip Girls Fashions all The CW Network,
  • ‘Catfight’ PopSugar
  • Lipstick Jungle courtesy NBCUniversal
  • Ferragamo Opening Nancy Pastor / For the Los Angeles Times
  • J. Crew: Brian Berman for J. Crew and Uncrate.com (photographer unknown)
  • Special thanks to A Continuous Lean for publishing so many of J. Crew’s photos!


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