Tag Archives: breakfast at tiffanys

A Special Guest Visits The Princess

Hello-hello, welcome to a Wednesday, a special day for us here at the Prepatorium, because we have a fabulous guest post today.

The one and only Jennifer Solow, an amazing author and advertising whiz (she created the famous “Wendy” Snapple campaign, among many others), has a new book out next week, and it’s simply delightful.  Reading Jennifer’s The Aristobrats marks the first time in years we’ve read a book targeted at “tweens”. (Jennifer and I have discussed the fact that back in the day, we were merely “eleven” or perhaps “twelve,” life was much simpler then.)

To be candid, we were quite a tad skeptical about the book, especially considering the audience.  Silly Princess. We were more-than-pleasantly-surprised at how entertaining the story and characters were! As Jennifer explains, the book is about four close friends who’ve been waiting their whole lives for eighth grade.

“It’s finally their big year and they’re determined to set a good example for the underpopular. With main characters who are undyingly loyal and, hello…nice, it’s a kind of anti-Clique book in my mind.”

Jennifer drew upon her own background in writing the book:

“The uber-preppy world of their story was inspired by my own experience at prep school: Madras plaid, Tiffany lockets, grosgrain ribbon watchbands, L.L. Bean Blucher moccasins, wool duffel coats.

In chatting with Jennifer we discovered we share many of the same interests, including something close to the heart: clothing, shoes, accessories…. you know the drill.  We ended up thinking it would be fun for Jennifer to write a little post about her imaginary wardrobe, not unlike the one yours truly has dreamed about.  Sigh.  So without droning on further, here are some of Jennifer’s thoughts on the topic!

Literary Must-Haves

The best thing about writing is all the free stuff. No, that doesn’t mean that John Galliano, upon reading my latest endeavor, immediately sends over a rack of couture gowns for me to wear to my book launch party. And no, the security guards from Harry Winston haven’t shown up either. The stuff is in my imagination – a veritable Vogue closet of the mind.

It’s quite unlike real life, where my own pursuit of the perfect white shirt has lasted more than two decades resulting in an overspending of the ugliest kind, and an entire section of my closet devoted to entirely un-perfect, and somewhat never-worn, white shirts. On paper, “the perfect white shirt” is just four little words; one doesn’t have to spend several hundred hours in the dressing room of Banana Republic growling and sweating (not that I do that or anything).

The “stuff” that surrounds fictional characters, and I count movies here along with books, has incredible power over me. My life changed when I first met Holly and the “ragbag colors of her boy’s hair, tawny streaks, strands of albino blond and yellow,” and her “slim cool black dress, black sandals, a pearl choker.” How many boxes of hair color did I buy in college in an attempt (a highly unsuccessful one, I might add) to define my own “ragbag of colors”? And my pursuit of that “slim, cool, black, Breakfast at Tiffany’s sort of dress” rivals that of my perfect white shirt.

And is it just me or is there a pink cashmere sweater that Lauren Hutton wears in American Gigolo that is the be-all-end-all of cashmere sweaters? I remember one very clearly even though I haven’t seen the movie in years. All those Armani suits? All that Richard Gere hunkiness? What do I remember – the thirty-second appearance of a cashmere sweater to die for.

For years the image of a specific trench coat stuck with me. It was from Lorrie Moore’s short story How to Be the Other Woman. It seemed to me the most wonderful image of a trench, quintessential in all its trenchy-ness. But I hadn’t read the story for a while so I just looked it up to see what all my fuss was about. This is all it says regarding my fantasy trench: “Meet in expensive beige raincoats, on a pea-soupy night. Like a detective movie.” Why did that stick with me for all those years? Even my Burberry can’t compete with that lingering image. So few words and Lorrie said it all.

And I admit – I’d love to own a pair of those boots Julia Roberts wears in Pretty Woman. You know the ones. Thigh high. Patent leather. (You’ll note the purely coincidental presence of Richard Gere once again.)

But I’ve actually tried these boots on, (I believe they came in size 6 to size 14, if you know what I mean) and they’re truly a terrible sight to behold…and uncomfortable as all get-out. But it doesn’t mean I still don’t want them – I just want the imaginary ones in my mind, the ones that glide effortlessly up my perfectly formed body-double’s legs.

Or…hmm…maybe I need to go shopping for a necklace later today. Specifically Kitty’s necklace from Anna Karenina: “The black velvet of her locket nestled with special tenderness round her neck. This ribbon was a darling; at home, regarding her neck in the looking glass, Kitty had felt that velvet was speaking.”

Doesn’t it sound simply divine? Do you think they have it at Neiman’s?

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We can’t thank Jennifer enough for sharing such a wonderful post, just a taste of her abundant talents. (Also proof positive of why she’s a professional, and we’re just…well, an amateur!) But we must admit, that picture of the Pretty Woman poster is rather terrifying… to think the film came out in 1990?? Eeek!

At any rate, The Aristobrats comes out next Tuesday, it is loads of fun, as well as a good message for the young ladies we know, without being preachy or tedious.  To learn more, former Elle Editor Melissa Walker has a nifty post about the book today, or you can pop into the new Facebook page.

That’s it for today, we’ll be back tomorrow with more madness!

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The Olympic It Bag, Shoshanna, Ralph Lauren Rugby Update, Sale Updates: J. Crew, Saks, Barneys, Boden

Hello-hello and happy Wednesday!

Because we have dabbled in the Olympic Fashion world for a few days, we thought it best to step away from the Olympic uniforms and look at some of the additional items being marketed as tie-ins to the Beijing Summer Games. We finally came across some photographs of a bag we’ve been reading about for some time; the PUMA Olympic “It bag.”

Might we also add that hunting up the PUMA bags for this column was an eye-opening experience, albeit a tad mind-warping. As we don’t generally spend time blazing new fashion trails, we had *no* idea that the selection of bags PUMA offers is so broad! Heavens to Betsy! Below, the PUMA Olympic Ring Bag.

Below are bags that also won recognition in this year’s CSM (Central St. Martin) Design competition sponsored by PUMA, including the Medallion Bag designed by George Omerod in either Gold or Silver, as well as the CSM Elastic Ring Bag. The Princess applauds PUMA for supporting young, independent designers, but is somehow not in sync with the medallion bags. At all.

If you would like to read and see more on Olympic fashions and design, Forbes Life has an interesting story and along with one of their wonderful slide shows.

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Many readers are familiar with The Princess’s disdain for inappropriate emotional displays, yet they have been witness to her inability to contain herself upon seeing the madras plaid swim separates by Shoshanna. It was dreadful, we were absolutely gaga and completely out of control, incapable of containing ourselves. (Below, the ever-so-preppy madras swim top at Nordstrom.)

In reality, there is little from this designer that we don’t like, as her lines are simple, the cut is classic and the end result is always one that is sure to flatter every figure. In many ways it is a ‘preppy’ design aesthetic.

To the right of the swimsuit above, the Mosaic Belted Dress at Saks in a bright and brilliant shade of blue. (A quick FYI if you are still looking for swimwear, all of the Shoshanna swimwear separates are on sale at ShopBop, and there is an additional 20% off the sale prices.)

If you like Shoshanna’s designs you’ll want to pop over to Ronda Carman’s fabulous blog, “All the Best” for her profile of designer Shoshanna Lonstein Gruss (below).

Learn which handbag she carries the most, her favorite luxury in life and who her style icons are, plus you can become acquainted with the blog, a daily read for us here at the Prepatorium.

We also adore the Shoshanna Tuxedo Halter Dress at Nordstrom, with its cutaway top and pleated waist, and simply love the Stretch Jersey Cap Sleeve dress at Bluefly, despite the fuzzy-wuzzy photo.

Scoot over to Ronda’s when you have a minute to get a peek at the person behind the Shoshanna designs and meet Ronda, well worth the trip itself!

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Natick Rugby Store

Natick Rugby Store

An update on last week’s post mentioning the upgrades being done to the Ralph Lauren Rugby website, including the added enhancement of being able to shop online at the site. The site is now open for business and you can actually shop the Rugby styles online!

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Once again TP feels compelled to tiptoe around the issue of m****, a topic you know that we never discuss, certainly not in a public forum such as this. However, there are times when economics mandate that one does what they can to pinch a penny or two along the way to livin’ the Prepalicious! lifel And TP is here to help, forever seeking measures and means to keep your pocketbook healthy and happy. (You know what a horrid chore it can be when you are forced to call up one of the Trustees and detail your plight.)

It is in this vein we always suggest the ‘Buy Ahead’ method for supplementing one’s wardrobe, acquiring pieces now that will be simply divine in the future. You know the basic boys button-down at Hickey-Freeman that is on sale now is ideal for this fall and winter, and no one knows what season it is because it’s a classic item made with superb materials and craftsmanship. Or the vibrant (that is an understatement) plaid sportcoat Thurston will wear to this fall’s holiday ‘do,’ similar to this Holiday Plaid Style on sale at Hickey Freeman.

Hickey Freeman Men's Holiday Plaid Sportcoat (on sale)

Hickey Freeman Men's Holiday Plaid Sportcoat

And don’t forget the edgier Hickey store, with goods aimed toward a younger and hipper clientele than those at parent store Hickey Freeman. They too have some fabulous men’s merchandise at outstanding price points, especially since they added ‘Take an Additional 20% off” to the deal. We are particularly fond of this Linen/Cotton Blend Chambray Shirt, a basic that will last forever. We are, of course, completely and totally ignoring those shameful buttons (gasp!) and the little leaf logo.

Hickey Linen/Cotton Blend Chambray Shirt

Hickey Linen/Cotton Blend Chambray Shirt

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Naturally there are loads of treasures at the J. Crew Final Sale that are simply perfect for everyone, but do be sure to check the markdowns on everything.

For example, the Cambridge cable crewneck sweater, a ‘must have’ basic available in loads of colors normally runs $74. It is now $69.50, not much of a markdown.

We are pretty excited about the Men’s Broken-in Madras Sneakers, now only $19.99, still available in a good range of sizes in both the Tidal Blue or the Montauk Patchwork.

Even getting the little ones properly clad for school can be accomplished in some cases at this sale! Probably not in the school days category, but still fabulous: these Callie Flats for the little princess in the family.

There is always the GIrls’ Polished Cotton Polo at $6.99, with lots of colors to choose from, or maybe the Girls’ Cashmere Argyle Cardigan, doesn’t that look elegant, yet über-snuggly for the Little Miss?

For the young master, how can you go wrong with a silk Lighthouse Tie that was $29.50, now $7.99, or the East Hampton polo shirt?

BTW, we’re just tickled that *finally* the New J. Crew store opened at the Galleria in Dallas. Only one store in a town that size was just silly.

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One wouldn’t want to pass up the Summer Sale at their local Saks, or the online store with all manner of things marked down, including this Stephen Dweck Bronze Ring. There are other treasures like the classic St. John Sport Boatneck Stripe Sweater in a timeless wool and rayon knit you will wear for years (not shown). The Princess is also partial to the Ann Demeulemeester Suede Sneakers in black.

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At Boden things are not discounted anywhere near the amounts shown above, but the there are savings to be had just the same, if you enjoy the company’s casual classics.

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Now don’t forget to stop by Barney’s Sale online, unless you’re in the city in which case it would be criminal to not get yourself to the physical warehouse sale. Already underway in LA, the online sale features deep markdowns and runs through the 26th, while the warehouse sale has even better markdowns, and you get the experience of someone ripping that top you were just looking at right out of your hands! The physical warehouse sale goes through the 1st of September.

And on that crazy note, the Princess will toddle off for a nightcap and some Olympics viewing!

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