Tag Archives: Black Fleece Brooks Brothers

Thom Browne, Sneak Peek at Alexander McQueen for Target

Happy sunshiny day!

We must take a moment and thank several more-than-generous Ladies of the Blogosphere for their kindness. We are ashamed to acknowledge it has been more than a week since the delightful Europa Fox and the stylish Winkie Houghton bestowed upon TP the Lemonade Award.

You know The Fox, tracking all things prep on the other side of the pond, and Miss Winkie, she of the outstanding recipes and shopping finds.

And then we open our email to read that Little Bow Prep, arguably the smartest teen we know, also conferred the Lemonade Award upon us. You are all much too kind, and we are very grateful you find the blog enjoyable; thank you! And now our face is going pink from blushing! (We will attempt to follow the rules about posting more blogs we enjoy, hopefully later in the week.)

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We know it may appear to frequent readers the Princess is not as upbeat as she might be when talking about menswear designer Thom Browne, known for his short men’s pants. Among other style preferences.  Of course, many readers think of Mr. Browne in conjunction with the Black Fleece line at Brooks Brothers.  Today we are being positive as we adore the men’s tennis socks:

Courtesy Selectism

Courtesy Selectism

They are only available at Colette.

Courtesy Colette

Courtesy Colette

As part of his collaboration with the French store, Mr. Browne also did a group of silk ties:

Courtesy Colette via

Courtesy Colette via

A reminder to standard Brooks Brothers fans, the Spring collection is on their website for your perusal.

Brooks Brothers Spring 2009

Brooks Brothers Spring 2009

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Our next item is an early look at the Pringle 1815 Spring Collection, a departure for the Scottish luxury knitwear maker. The line is aimed at a more contemporary (translation – younger), clientele.

Courtesy Pringle 1815

Courtesy Pringle 1815

The looks are bright and fun while also retaining the Pringle elegance.

Courtesy Pringle

Courtesy Pringle

We do love the graphic prints, although they are probably not for us. Our ancient age probably precludes several of the pieces.

Courtesy Pringle

Courtesy Pringle

This is a company we are happy to vouch for,  as we know their men’s sportcoats as well as their lush and lovely women’s sweaters.  If unfamiliar with Pringle, get to know them, as their merchandise is top-notch, of uncompromising quality and attention to detail.

Courtesy Pringle

Courtesy Pringle

Besides, the sweaters and jackets last forever. Forever.

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We were very excited when at our local Boutique Tarjsay yesterday, as we saw the Orla Kiely merchandise being placed into stock almost a week ahead of time! Very cute, fun, and all very Orla. Below, the Orla Car Print journal.

Orla Kiely at Target

Orla Kiely at Target

Our thanks to the good folks at Apartment Therapy for this next image:

Orla Kiely for Target Courtesy ApartmentTherapy.com

Orla Kiely for Target Courtesy ApartmentTherapy.com

We don’t believe it is only our Target that has the merchandise out early; if eager to acquire some of the collection, toddle on over!

Another Target tidbit, early looks from the Alexander McQueen for Target collection (previous post on this topic here.)

Courtesy Nylon

Courtesy Nylon

This collection is close to the designer’s McQ line in spirit and style.

Courtesy Nylon

Courtesy Nylon

Singer Leila Moss from band The Duke Spirit was something of a muse for the designer.

Courtesy Nylon

Courtesy Nylon

It appears we may not be hip enough for most of this group. Or age appropriate.

Courtesy Nylon

Courtesy Nylon

The collection is due in stores an online in March.

Until next time!

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

Brooks Brothers Gift Catalog, Zac in Black Fleece, a New Anti-Prep

Hello-Hello!

Has everyone received their Brooks Brothers Holiday 2008 gift catalog?

Brooks Brothers Holiday Gift Book 2008

Brooks Brothers Holiday Gift Book 2008

There really are some lovely items included in this year’s selections. If you didn’t receive the catalog yet, or don’t want to wait until yours arrives, click here to look at the goodies online.

Have you been wondering which younger stars are fond of Brooks Brothers?  (Just one more example of how The Princess is looking after readers, worrying about this sort of thing so you don’t have to! Heh-heh-heh.)

It seems that Zac Efron, star of the hit movie High School Musical 3 is a fan of the Brooks Brothers Black Fleece line TP has been known to excoriate relentlessly at any given opportunity ruminate about on rare occasion. The actor was photographed on the red carpet in the White Oxford Button Down shirt and something Brooks calls the Black Fleece Charcoal Thornproof Wool Patch Pocket Jacket, but we cannot find head nor hair of that item anyplace.

Peter Kramer/AP

PHOTO: Peter Kramer/AP

The young actor wore the pieces Tuesday evening at an event called the Us Hot Hollywood Party (?), whatever that may be. Evidently our invitation was somehow misplaced in transit and while we are crushed to have missed (ahem) this particular function, we will soldier on.  Somehow.  Above, Mr. Efron with co-star and off-screen significant other, Vanessa Hudgens.

Also at the function, Penn Badgley of Gossip Girl…..

Wire Images

PHOTO: Wire Images

And his co-star and off-screen romantic interest, Blake Lively.

Scott Wintrow/Getty

PHOTO: Scott Wintrow/Getty

Here we come to a most unattractive aspect of Hollywood’s conspicuous consumption: the “Swag Bags.”  For example, here is a photo from the “Celebrity Swag Suite” at the Hot Hollywood Party described above.

The Cobra Snake

PHOTO: The Cobra Snake

Here, Vanessa Hudgens shilling for Neutrogena, a co-sponsor of the swag suite.

Donald Bowers/Getty

PHOTO: Donald Bowers/Getty

Gifts, goodies, giveaways, by whatever name you call it, it is a vulgar practice that really needs to be abolished. The tease for this portion of the Us story reads:

“See what Vanessa Hudgens and Whitney Port scored at the Us Hot Hollywood Party”

Is there anyone who thinks any of these individuals needs another cell phone?

The Cobra Snake

PHOTO: The Cobra Snake

We all know TP is a raging capitalist.  But really, are there not people who are far more in need of a turtleneck sweater or a telephone than the celebrities seen here? Most readers are familiar with gift bags from our time planning charitable functions; it is a common practice.  That is far different from the sort of thing seen here. We understand companies like Neutrogena and Blackberry pay a great deal of money to sponsor such giveaways, to be included in gift suites and gift bags. We know the benefits of a product being seen in the “right hands.”

But really, enough is enough. Actually, in this case, it is too much.  We now declare the gratuitous and coarse displays of over-the-top Swag bags and suites to officially be on the Anti-prep list. There you have it.

To end things on a  slightly more upbeat note, we offer today’s Pretty in Pink.  Here is the Bookster Made-to-Order Show Jumping Jacket in a color we just adore.

Hand-crafted of lightweight wool, this beauty is available in a number of bright and vibrant colors.  One note: this was shown to us by a friend, it is on eBay, so it is not offered by a retailer or firm we can vouch for personally.  We are sure the vendor is more than reputable but feel obligated to provide this caveat.

We say ‘Ta for now; we hope you enjoy a stellar rest of today and a superlative Friday!

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Filed under Gossip Girl, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink, The AntiPrep

Brooks Brothers Black Fleece, Kate Spade & J.Crew Sales, Black Friday Ads Already!

What a bright and sunny day we are enjoying here at the prepatorium. It is just bliss.

Regular readers know of the continuing coverage (that’s an understatement) this column has dedicated to the Brooks Brothers Black Fleece Collection, and its designer, Thom Browne. There has been much speculation about the company opening a store dedicated to this part of the brand exclusively, and now the good folks over at The Life Vicarious shed a little light on the matter in a recent post:

Courtesy The Life Vicarious

Courtesy The Life Vicarious

Barely visible in the photo is the sign that says “Opening Fall 2008.” The blog also shares:

“… it only makes sense we check-in and follow-up on Black Fleece Bleecker Street. We’re pretty proud of our track record of not being wrong yet on breaking food and shopping news, but how long it takes for validation sometimes! We don’t know what’s going on inside here, but the first signs of life are finally showing and as we promised, they’re still predicting a fall opening.”

Since we are talking about Brooks Brothers, a reminder:

And since we are doing reminders, Lord and Taylor is doing their part to help shoppers out with their Friends and Family sale, underway today through Sunday.

And really, who can resist a Radley ‘Tear Away Mer‘ portrait handbag at L&T when it is on sale?

Not to be forgotten, Garnet Hill is also sharing some love, with their oh-so-snuggly Paintbrush Flannel sheets on sale….

As well as merchandise throughout the store with their October Sale.

The Kate SpadeFriends and Family’ sale gets underway today with 25% off everything in the store with the exception of merchandise already on sale. TP is beginning to feel like she suddenly has quite a lot of friends and family members.

The J. Crew Fall Sale continues…

Not be left out, Polo Ralph Lauren has added more items to their sale.

TP is always happy to see Saks in on the activity with their sale.

Also today, we continue helping to protect your pocketbook this holiday season; we thought it wise to share the news that the Black Friday website is up and active. The site acquires copies for ads that will run starting the day after Thanksgiving. In an online story about the site from Sign On San Diego, there is already information on the Ralph Lauren sale:

“A link on the BFAds site connects to Ralph Lauren’s site, where shoppers are invited to “join us after your Thanksgiving dinner” to get 20 percent off purchases of $150 or more at its outlet stores, most of which will open at the stroke of midnight.”

The story also notes:

“But the deals could come sooner than Black Friday.”

“According to BFAds, several retailers “have mentioned that they will be having competitively priced sales in the weeks before Black Friday. It looks like, once again, some of the best deals this year may be had before the doors even open on November 28th.”

In the Sydney Morning Herald this week a story a story in the Executive Style column posits that “Menswear is having an aristocratic moment,” according to reporter Rachel Wells.

“…classic menswear looks inspired by the English upper classes have flitted in and out of fashion. Of course, there are some sub-cultures – think of England’s Sloane Rangers and America’s preppy set – who have always looked to the aristocracy for fashion cues. And designers such as Ralph Lauren, Burberry and Paul Smith have built multibillion-dollar businesses on these classic looks.”

The article continues:

“After several seasons of skinny silhouettes, the return to aristocratic looks – complete with structured blazers, chunky knits, textured tweeds and wide-legged trousers that add bulk to the frame – comes as a somewhat seismic, not to mention, surprising, shift. Aristocratic style for the threadbare?”

An intriguing theory.

Next, everyone knows The Princess is more than obsessed interested in needlepoint. Doing it.  Looking at it.  Sitting on it and holding it. Therefore, we share news about an exquisite exhibition, Brigid Berlin, Needlepoint, now open at the John McWhinnie Gallery.  Many of the pillows in the show are from Ms. Berlin’s ‘Breaking News’ series.

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

Ms. Berlin was actually raised as quite the Prep.  As the brochure for the exhibit describes her background:

“Though raised in elite social circles, Berlin became a self-described “troublemaker” and spent most of her life reacting against, and sending up, the social conventions of her youth.  She met Andy Warhol in 1964 and was soon drawn into the downtown social set centered at the Factory. Berlin became a member of Warhol’s inner circle and a personal confidante.”

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

The show runs through November 22nd.

Back later!

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Filed under preppy, preppy lifestyle

The Shocking Pink Chair, Michael’s Million Dollar Donation, Thom Browne & the NY Times

This is one we simply couldn’t resist when we saw it online at the Boutique’s website. The Princess wasn’t looking for a chair, let alone a flaming fuchsia chair, but we somehow stumbled onto it whilst searching for a new Isaac Mizrahi Collection at Target.

The Pod chair in Hot Pink is available online; TP doesn’t know if one can purchase it in stores or not. Target is suggesting this zany lamp as a coordinating piece, but we don’t believe it works well in the Palace, so we shall have to pass on its unique design.

Have a tiny prep in the household who might enjoy this delightful little pink chair? This pint-sized piece of pink puffery is only $19.99 as of this writing, and it looks ever-so-cute. (“When all else fails, alliterate…”, from the film ‘Network’.)

If you are still looking for pink furniture, Target also offers the pink Cloud Chair & Ottoman. (Ouch.) Of course, there is always the Bungie Low-Back Chair in pink and black. A side note here: The Princess really feels compelled to share her impressions of the Cloud Chair. From our limited online perspective it looks like faux fur that may prove…ah…that may prove…um, may prove…yes, it could be difficult for the household staff to keep clean. What with the dog’s hair and all. We’re just looking out for your staff.

We take a moment now to revisit noted designer Thom Browne. (Regular readers have been subjected to enjoyed TP’s thoughts on Mr. Brown’s ‘look’ in previous posts.) It would seem his standalone menswear store has enjoyed a visit from the Times’ “Critical Shopper” columnist Mike Albo. Perhaps enjoyed isn’t the appropriate adjective; we’ll say ‘experienced a visit,’ that might be better.

Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times

Photo: Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times

Mr. Albo has also done Critical Shopper columns on the new Rogan store (click here for more) and the Brooks Brothers on Madison Avenue (click here for more of that column) at 44th. The photo above is from the February 2007 Brooks Brothers column.

How did Mr. Albo find his visit to Mr. Browne’s emporium, or more accurately Mr. Browne’s designs?

  • “Across from the gray-hued garments, for example, was a selection of jaunty sweaters. A $3,500 thick cardigan was striped in navy blue and red, and a V-neck tennis sweater for $2,875 looked as if it had been ripped off Jay Gatsby’s dead body.”

(Mr. Browne is seen in his own design above left.)

Mr. Albo is not without humor. In describing a brightly hued overcoat he says,

“Past the three-way mirror was a rack of hilarious outerwear, including an overcoat in a queasily cheery yellow plaid for $4,500 that no one should buy unless he is an exhibitionist looking for a more eye-catching cover-up before exposing himself on the subway platform.”

The entire column is not all pokes and jabs at Mr. Browne’s design aesthetic, who also designs the Black Fleece line for Brooks Brothers. It also makes numerous complimentary points, at one point describing the suits as “light and good-natured, not dogmatic and snobby.” Mr. Albo refers to formalwear as “…beautiful…successfully blended Mr. Browne’s traditional and experimental sides.”

Here at the Prepatorium we simply adore the Critical Shopper; previous columns covered Tory Burch, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and Steven Alan. (Note: these links are to the individual designer pages, not the Times columns.)

it is always fun to read another individual’s perceptions of the brand and/or the physical stores selling that designer’s apparel and accessories. Stop by the Times and read this Critical Shopper column, or better yet, peruse some of the back columns, including the previously mentioned Steven Alan review.

Many a preppy is familiar with Steven Alan; we were nudged to pop into the online shop when reminded by the Shopper’s column on the store. We feel compelled to let you know they have several of their men’s “basics” on sale, including the Hidden Button shirt, a classic.

Additionally, many of the Reverse Seam shirts are marked down along with other styles. On the Women’s side, TP is ecstatic to see the Dieppa Restropo Black Patent Lace-ups, although these treasures are not on sale. Of course not.

And while not for us, we do find the Hope Shirt to be absolutely adorable, perfect for someone perhaps a tad younger than TP.

Many of the Kids’ styles are on sale, and while adorable, they are also out of season, to be expected at this time of year. Below, the Girls Camisole Dress.

And ladies, after seeing a quick peek of the Spring 2009 line, we think you will find it more than appealing.

An update now on über-athlete Michael Phelps that many of you are likely to have already heard: he is donating his $1,000,000 bonus from Speedo to his charitable program. (You know, that little check promised if he won all eight Gold Medals.) You can see him below, receiving the symbolic check from the head of Warnaco, owners of the Speedo brand.

Business Wire

Photo: Getty Images/Warnaco

The Michael Phelps Foundation’s “Dream, Plan, Reach” program is going to focus on teaching more children to swim as well as instilling self-confidence in them. Phelps phans can see their hero on Oprah’s season-opener next Monday, along with 149 other Olympic athletes. The 8-time Olympic Gold Medalist was mobbed in Chicago when he arrived to tape the Oprah show.

AP/M. Spencer Green

AP/M. Spencer Green

Below you see Phelps helping a girl learn to swim at a Visa Grant for Early Swimming Program discussion at the McBurney YMCA in New York on Aug. 28th

REUTERS/Joshua Lott

REUTERS/Joshua Lott

Mr. Phelps has been a busy man. In addition to the many public appearances he is called upon to make, he has also purchased a 4000+ square foot apartment on Baltimore’s rejuvenated and renovated waterfront. The apartment has a stunning view, a Jacuzzi and many other accoutrements.

Good for him, he certainly has worked hard enough.

And one more update related to the Phelps family, with news that Debbie Phelps has actually signed a formal one-year agreement with Chico’s clothing. The deal calls for Ms. Phelps, who is a school principal in Baltimore (among many, many other responsibilities that can only have multiplied recently), to promote the company’s merchandise. In exchange Chico’s provides apparel, accessories, as they reportedly did for her appearance on that same Oprah Winfrey show. (You may want to take a glance at the Debbie Phelps Collection, recently supplemented with far more items than previously contained in the group.)

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

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

Happy Preppy 4th! The Coolest 4th of July Wedding Cake!

THOSE WHO EXPECT TO REAP THE BLESSINGS OF FREEDOM, MUST… UNDERGO THE FATIGUE OF SUPPORTING IT.

Thomas Paine

July 4th Fireworks over the Potomac

July 4th Fireworks over the Potomac

I WISH THAT EVERY HUMAN LIFE MIGHT BE PURE TRANSPARENT FREEDOM.

Simone de Beauvoir

July 4th Fireworks Spectacular Hollywood Bowl

July 4th Fireworks Spectacular Hollywood Bowl

Remember the post where we referenced Love Story to say “I’m sorry” to Thom Browne and Brooks Brothers (about the Black Fleece thing from way back) and used a lame photo of the book cover? It was really The Princess at her tackiest; we didn’t even use the original cover, ours was from a reprinted edition. Honestly. Think how much better it would have been if we had only known to use this completely and totally TDF cookie from the Whipped Bakeshop in Philadelphia!

Love Story Cookie

Love Story Cookie

The fabulous 4th cake you see up top is also from this divine establishment, an absolute masterpiece by Zoë Lukas, a wedding cake created for two actors who play Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross in Old Town Philadelphia. And for those who just have to know (like yours truly) the top two tiers are chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream, and the bottom tier is vanilla buttermilk cake with lemon buttercream (the applied decorations are paper.) As TP is frequently wont to say, how cool is that? You can also see see Zoë’s fine hand in these incredible cookie maps of London and Paris.

If you would like to feast your eyes on more of Zoe’s incredible creations, just click this Sweets by Zoë link to view her Flickr photos. Now Fair Warning: these are so luscious you’ll be bug-eyed; there are rumors about people who stared too long at the yummies they actually started gnawing on their keyboards. True story.

We leave you with this incredible photo from the Grucci Family. We have been fortunate enough to experience their work a number of times; they are also artists and masters of their craft.

State of Liberty Fireworks

State of Liberty Fireworks

FREEDOM IS THE OXYGEN OF THE SOUL.

Moshe Dayan

Happy Freedom 4th!

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Brooks Brothers & Thom Browne Decision, & First Look at Ralph Lauren US Open Collection

Love Story Book Cover

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

Those old enough to remember the 1970 film Love Story will surely remember that classic line; those not familiar with the movie must take our word that this is actually one of the ultimate ‘preppy films,’ with a plot revolving around a Radcliffe music student (Ali MacGraw) and a Harvard Law student (Ryan O’Neal) named Oliver Barrett IV. How’s that for a character’s pedigree, at least in a movie?

Brooks Bros Black Fleece Embroidered Knee High Socks

Black Fleece Brooks Bros Women\'s Navy BeltBlack Fleece Brooks Borthers Women\'s Spectator shoes

At any rate, The Princess begs to differ with this insipid statement, for the time has come that she must stand up tall, reach up to re-adjust the tiara, and say loudly and clearly for all to hear: “I am sorry. I was wrong” to designer Thom Browne and retailer Brooks Brothers. There you have it. ‘My bad’ as is said these days, I believe…?

Brooks Brothers Logo

For those not familiar with the saga, Thom Browne is a gifted fashion designer, a professional with many years in the industry and far too many honors and awards to mention. Mr. Browne is also the first individual retained by Brooks Brothers to be a ‘Guest Designer,’ asked to create a Collection for the company’s upscale Black Fleece line. As Brooks’ agreement with Mr. Browne was nearing its end, we did a little speculating in a post back on June 5th that the arrangement would not be renewed and the two entities would part company. This is where we were quite mistaken, with word today that Brooks and Mr. Browne have not only renewed their agreement, Mr. Browne will be with the firm through the Spring 2011 season. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa and congratulations to both parties!

Brooks Brothers Fleece IMage

In fact the company is so pleased with the micro-brand’s performance they are moving ahead with plans to open a freestanding Black Fleece store! Woo-hoo! (Calm yourself Princess.) As seen in the artist’s renderings below, this will be a new stand-alone Black Fleece shop in Greenwich Village!

Brooks Bros New Black Fleece Space

Brooks Brothers Black Fleece

Now just to be clear, we do stand by our comments regarding Mr. Browne’s design taste and talents as detailed in our May 29th post entitled “When Preppy Goes Wrong (How Thom Browne Helps Brooks Brothers Make the Cut)”. If you missed that particular day’s mindless meanderings thoughts on the topic, we were far kinder in our comments about the Women’s Collection than we were when discussing Mr. Browne’s designs for the Men’s line. Oddly (or not, knowing TP), this is completely out of step with actual sales numbers, which were lower than projected in Women’s, and higher in Men’s. Below, a few reasons why we find positive signs on the Ladies’ side of the store:

Brooks Brothers Black Fleece Button Back Tennis Skirt

brooks brothers Black Fleece Cricket Sweater

On the left we show a Black Fleece Women’s Button Back skirt and on the right the women’s Cricket Sweater, both of which we find to be quite fetching, although we would throw up a question here: how does the Black Fleece ‘Cricket Sweater’ differ from the Polo Ralph Lauren Wimbledon Collection Cricket sweaters? (We show those below.)

Polo Ralph Lauren Linen Cricket Sweater

Ralph Lauren Polo Wimbledon Cricket Sweater

We raise the issue acknowledging that when approaching this from a classic design perspective, there is little room for substantive alteration to the original. It just struck us as odd here at the Prepatorium; perhaps a simple case of too many tennis/cricket sweaters!

Also seen in this post, way, way, way up top we show a few Black Fleece women’s accessories: a pair of Knee-High Embroidered socks, a Navy Leather Belt, and a pair of Women’s Wingtip Spectators, all of which happen to be on SALE!

Since we have dragged Ralph Lauren into the conversation we’ll just move ahead with some early photos of the US Open Collection, available sometime in July, possibly as soon as tomorrow. All of the pieces are Limited Edition (ahem) items; most are constructed of very high-tech fabric that is just fabulous. Our ‘ahem’ is aimed at the ‘Limited Edition’ notion. I mean really…hhmm. We’ll do everyone a favor and slug back a Prozac Latte and save this topic for another day, but honestly… (Imagine the alltime big-big-biggety-biggest sigh ever heard being sighed here at the office. The weight of the world is on the shoulders of one small, old, Logophobic, cranky Princess. Imagine that sigh being sighed again. Sigh.)

Polo Ralph Lauren US Open Lineswoman Polo

US OPen Polo Ralph Lauren Lineswoman Polo

US Open Lineswoman Polo

Above we show the US Open Lineswoman Polo in stretch microfiber.

Now just below is the Official limited-edition US Open Ball Girl Skirt

RLX Ralph Lauren Tennis US Open Ball Girl SkirtPolo Ralph Lauren Ball Girl Skirt US Open

RLX Tennis Ralph Lauren US Open Ball Girl Polo

Ralph Lauren RLX Tennis US Open Ball Girl Polo

And finally we show the Official Limited Edition US Open Avondale Track Jacket, described as being made of “soft cotton jersey, knit with a hint of stretch for ease of movement on the court.”

Ralph Lauren RLX Tennis US Open Avondale Jacket RLX Tennis Ralph Lauren Official limited-edition US Open Avondale Jacket

And for trivia fans wondering about that insipid line in Love Story, it was actually spoken twice;

once by Jennifer when Oliver is about to apologise to her for his anger. It is also spoken by Oliver to his father when his father says “I’m sorry” after hearing of Jennifer’s death

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