Tag Archives: British preppy style

Martha Stewart at Penney’s Might Not Be A “Good Thing” & “New Preppy Style”

Hello-Hello and welcome to a Tuesday.

Today we offer a few Bits and Bytes, beginning with a follow-up to a story we shared in February, “Now, Now, Now, Can’t We All Play Nice?” Some may recall the brouhaha, it involves Martha Stewart’s announcement she was selling part of her company to JC Penney, who would then sell Martha’s merchandise in its stores. The only problem?


Macy’s sells the brand in its stores, they have for years.  Executives at Macy’s were understandably upset, not only had they made a huge investment in Martha Stewart, they were apparently blindsided by the news she was jumping ship and going to a competitor.  As you might imagine, things went downhill in an hurry: Macy’s sued Martha in January for breach of contract, Ms. Stewart countersued in February, and everyone landed in court last Friday.

The judge in that hearing ruled in favor of Macy’s, issuing a preliminary injunction against Martha Stewart. More from Women’s Wear Daily:

A New York State judge granted Macy’s a preliminary injunction, barring the home goods firm from selling Martha Stewart-branded bedding, bath, kitchen textiles, dinnerware and cookware in Penney’s stores. That shuts Penney’s out of some of the brand’s key categories for now.

Macy’s says they will continue selling Martha Stewart products until 2018. And what does Penney’s plan to do? They say they will still open the planned Martha Stewart mini stores inside its stores beginning next year.  For the average customer things appear to be normal, there is still plenty of Martha for sale at Macy’s, below we show a screen grab taken this morning from the retailer’s website.


But the drama isn’t over. The injunction wasn’t the end of the line, merely a step along the path to a full trial; that is scheduled for November.


Our other tidbit today involves a look at “new preppy style” (cough-cough) via MSN for Her (?), a UK site.  More from “Get Ready for the New Preppy“:

The Preppy Handbook gets a re-write for autumn with bold checks, vintage lines and heritage styling. Here’s how to make the look work for you…

The preppy look is one of the easiest trends to re-create, whether you choose prim blouses and pencil skirts, polo shirts and cargo pants or masculine tailoring in tweeds and brogues.

One of the suggestions: Peter Pan collars.

Preppy style is about neat collars, tucked-in shirts and conservative lines and this autumn the Peter Pan collar gives the school girl look a new sophisticated edge.  Wear on a simple dress like Emma Stone, (or) with smart tailoring like Alexa Chung…

Via MSN UK Style

Other tips include looking at Ralph Lauren, especially pieces influenced by English heritage style, that makes sense for a site in the UK. Other ideas offered: tweeds, tartan, and the varsity look.

No prepster’s wardrobe would be complete without a varsity jacket and college scarf. For authentic pieces it’s worth scouring charity and vintage shops.

MSN UK Style

A jacket or scarf from one’s own school? Sure, always fun and classic. From some other establishment one has no affiliation with? Probably not. Because there is no fuddy-duddy like an old fuddy-duddy.

The story does a good job pointing out the benefits of vintage finds:

‘Fifties style was dominated by Christian Dior,’ says Angela. ‘He dispensed with the utility look and introduced a new silhouette of the tiny waist and a full skirt accessorised by a wide belt. Then came pencil skirts and cigarette pants teamed with off the shoulder tops.’

To read the piece in its entirety, click here.

Goodbye until next time!


Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion

Preppy Glamour, More Bad News at Talbots

Hello-Hello, we are running amok here at The Prepatorium today, it seems there a bajillion (is that more than a Gazillion?) little tidbits with a preppish slant, so we’ll jump right in and share a few.

The first is about one of our very favorite companies, Kate Spade.  The brand has just launched its first store in London, here is how The Telegraph describes the company:

“Lady-like American brand, ‘kate spade new york’, beloved of Upper East Side ladies and Jackie O enthusiasts hits the UK with two shops in London.

As some readers may be aware, Kate Spade’s design director, Deborah Lloyd, is British.  As always, there is a delightful graphic about the opening on the company’s website.

Kate Spade

More from The Telegraph’s story.

The British consumer can’t get enough, it seems, of the grown-up preppy glamour that dominates the middle market on the American high street. Banana Republic, J Crew, Banana Republic and Tory Burch – all recent transplants to the UK from New York – have a certain aesthetic: classics with a twist, grown-up and as Lloyd says, “lady-like”.

Below we see Ms. Lloyd outside the new store in Chelsea.

Via Vogue UK

The new store is just off Sloane Square, a perfect locale for this brand. You know how much we enjoy hearing perceptions on prep style from places outside the US, this is Elle UK’s take on the brand.

“The label known for its fresh-faced, retro-preppy clothes and classic handbags started 18 years ago as a handbag line. Its bright, optimistic vision of ladylike dressing has drawn the fancy of Zooey Deschanel and Emma Roberts.”

And here is how InStyle UK’s describes the company.

Kate Spade is renowned for its ladylike handbags, vintage-style accessories and quirky but sophisticated stationery.

Kate Spade’s other London store is in Covent Garden.


Next, more tough news for Talbots. Women’s Wear Daily reports today that business has not improved and a key executive is gone.

Trudy Sullivan, president and chief executive officer of The Talbots Inc., today ousted the company’s chief creative officer, Michael Smaldone, and blamed “high levels of promotional and markdown activity” for second-quarter losses of $37.3 million.

As anyone shopping online or in-store knows, there has been a significant amount of merchandise marked down. Among the sale merchandise one finds things like the Luxe Sparkle Sequin Tank and the Keyhole Sleeve top.


Call us crazy, but both items are well off the mark for both existing Talbots shoppers as well as the target demographic the company is trying to lure into stores.

More on the situation from Reuters.

Talbots said it plans to close about a fifth of its stores, bring in new merchandising and marketing people and rework merchandise to get customers back to its stores.

Ouch.  The Reuters story talks about closures in depth.

The company plans to close about 110 stores, including 15 to 20 consolidations, through fiscal 2013. Of this about 83 stores are expected to be closed in fiscal 2011.

As always, we hope they can dig out and return to profitability.


We have something of an update to yesterday’s post about a leading retailer’s merchandise being sold on a flash sale site.  In the post we cited Brooks Brothers as an example of companies who use such sites not only to unload excess merchandise, but to get more exposure for the brand.

Lo and behold, look what I clipped from my Rue La La email last night.

Rue La La

Brooks Boys’ and Girls’ merchandise is available as part of Rue La La’s Little Rue launch, the site’s offerings for children; previously only adult apparel and accessories were carried.

Rue La La

The sale runs through tomorrow and has merchandise for both boys and girls.

Rue La La

There still seems to be a sizable amount of merchandise available, including today’s Pretty in Pink, the Pink Corduroy Down Vest is $49.90 and the Pleated Skirt is $25.90.

Brooks Brothers/Rue La La

As always, if in need of an “invite,” just click here.

With that, goodbye until next time!


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