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“Far too Preppy”? Also, Luxe Leisure by Banana Republic

Hello-Hello and good gracious… is it Thursday already? How did this happen?

We have lots of little tidbits of a preppish nature, beginning with an update on that Polo Ralph Lauren collection at JC Penney.   Some may recall the initial marketing campaign that featured photography by the amazing Bruce Weber.

Bruce Weber via NY Times

In a recent analysis about Polo Ralph Lauren’s overall performance an industry expert commented:

“… after almost 3 years in JC Penney, the American Living brand continues to underperform original expectations in almost all categories… according to multiple industry sources. Prices have been lowered from original targets and quality has slipped along with those adjustments.”

We originally posted about the line here, back in October.  As a quick explainer on the brand we share a few items – the Side Knot Wrap Dress and Men’s Classic Rugby are from the apparel line.








The group includes a Children’s collection.

JC Penney

And there is also the American Living Home Collection portion of the joint marketing endeavor.

JC Penney

From casual observations online, we have yet to be ‘wowed’ by this group, but to be fair, we have not seen any items from the collection in person.

More from that analysis:

“The American Living brand remains far too preppy for the prevailing tastes of the JC Penney consumer and it has not succeeded in attracting a new consumer to any meaningful degree.”

Hhhmmmm. This prompts us to impose upon our cherished readers, posing a question: does this slipper shriek Ralph Lauren to you?

JC Penney

Do tell, expiring minds are dying to know.


Next, some of this spring’s new looks at Talbots.  Many readers may have received this in their mailbox this week.

Courtesy Talbots

Some of the styles hold promise.


We like the Textured Sheath and the Animal Print Sheath.  More looks from the spring collection.

And two more…

The black and white combination seems to work well with this group.


We have word from WWD (Women’s Wear Daily, subscription req’d.) about a new mini-collection (aka ‘capsule collection’) from Banana Republic.

Courtesy Photo via WWD.com

The group will not be sold everywhere:

“… a 40-piece range that includes swimwear, tunics and other beachy attire to be sold 12 months a year at its warm weather stores, as well as a handful of other locations.”

Essentially a resort collection with richer, deeper hues, the name for the line is Luxe Leisure.  Despite that moniker the WWD story says prices are going to be about the same as the core collection.

Courtesy Photo via WWD


Maybe it is because so many of our friends are expecting blessed arrivals, perhaps it is simply because we adore most things nautical. Either way we close today’s post with a look at one of the cutest darn baby items we have seen in some time.


The Infant Tee shirt at Spoon Sisters showcases an anchor tattoo with the word Mommy… “darling” comes to mind.  We originally learned about Spoon Sisters from the Coterie blog, they have a fabulous assortment of gift items, well worth a fly-by (in a cyber sense). Who wouldn’t melt at the sight of this?


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

A Logo the Princess Loves, Savings of a Preptastic Sort

Hello-Hello and Happy Wednesday, it is bright, sunny and beautiful here at the Prepatorium! May it be so in your corner of the globe.

We begin with something whimsical today, the Tory Burch Barbie.

Courtesy Photo via WWD

More accurately, the Tory Burch accessorized Barbie. Some readers may recall the Barbies featured at New York Fashion Week last year in honor of the doll’s 50th Anniversary.  A Women’s Wear Daily story explains this newer version:

“Mattel recently introduced a Barbie Basics doll, who wears a simple little black dress and can be easily accessorized and personalized by their owners with special accessories kits featuring such items as scarves, purses, shoes or jewelry.”

The CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) has twelve special Barbies getting glammed up to be auctioned on eBay starting tomorrow. Other designers include Kate Spade and Alexis Bittar, whose doll is seen below.

Courtesy Photo via WWD

The starting bid for each Barbie is only $100, a wonderful entry point for such a fun item. (Keep in mind, this perspective comes from the individual still carrying scars from her childhood Barbie vs. The Beauty Parlor Doll trauma. Indeed.)


We now share something that may stun readers.  So shocking in fact, we suggest those with any frailties or infirmities may want to be seated while reading this next tidbit.

Are we ready?

All right, here it is: We are loving the logo on this Polo Ralph Lauren shirt.

This is not a typo, nor are we are taking hallucinogens.  The polo shirt in question is seen below.

Polo Ralph Lauren

Why are we not foaming and frothing with maniacal articulating a minor concern that our Logophobia may be triggered by said logo? Because of what is on the back of the shirts.

This is the knit top Polo created to help raise funds for the United Way’s Disaster Recovery Fund. The Haitian flag is seen on the front of the shirt in addition to that annoying the pony logo.  Above you see the back of the shirt with the United Way logo, click here to see all versions of the shirt.

The good folks at Polo Ralph Lauren are setting a high standard, donating 100% of proceeds from shirt sales to the United Way Humanitarian efforts in Haiti. And while it isn’t a look we would sport (preferring to keep activities of this nature private), our hat is off to the retailer.

Loads of designers, organizations and retailers are doing varying things for varying charities and we have no intention of talking about too many of them. However, we are happy to share efforts from a few of the more ‘preppish’ companies, like the PRL example discussed above, or this campaign by Lilly Pulitzer.

Lilly is promoting their donation of 10% of sales proceeds from six different items to the Red Cross.

As always, we feel compelled to recommend that those considering donations to any non-profit take a look at the organization’s operations via Charity Navigator or Charity Watch.


Next, a quick peek at a brand we occasionally mention, APC. The spring/summer lookbook is now available.

Courtesy APC via HighSnobette.com

We initially saw the images via High Snobbette about ten days ago and liked several styles.  The images may also be seen on the APC blog.

Courtesy APC

The navy skirt in the shot just below looks wonderful.

Courtesy APC

We do like a number of pieces in this collection, the clean lines and lack of frou-frou are qualities we appreciate!


We leave you with a few quick Sales and Savings reminders.

  • The J. Crew Extra 30% off Sale promotion ends at midnight tonight. To receive the additional discount, use promo code EXTRA30 at checkout.

Almost everyone has taken significant markdowns on merchandise, including the major department stores.


We leave you with news from Spanx, a brand we know many readers like.

From a quick perusal of the styles shown on the website it seems the swimsuits range from attractive to frightening, but this may be reflective of our lack of experience with the brand.

Do let us know what you think, we love your insight!


Filed under Logos, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Sales & Savings