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Deeper & Differing Looks at Preppy Style & Mad Men Cookies

Hello-Hello, we hope everyone is enjoying a splendid start to the week.

Many readers may have already seen the story we reference below, but with apologies to our Facebook fans, today we look at yesterday’s Fashion Diary column in the Times “Prep, Forward and Back“.  In his story, Guy Trebay looks at the return to heritage brands and styles:

“Ray-Bans were suddenly on a list of Old School must-haves and so were wool vests from the Filson, and Red Wing boots and Alden loafers and Gitman oxford cloth shirts and Sperry Top-Siders and Quoddy moccasins. Designers as varied as Thom Browne, Scott Sternberg of Band of Outsiders, Billy Reid and Frank Muytjens of J. Crew all made hay with the conservative classics. The style became so ubiquitous that, the designer Michael Bastian said, “The whole preppy machine requires a recalibration.”

If Mr. Trebay’s name sounds familiar, it is because we just featured the writer and his column on the needlepoint belt phenomenon, actually declaring him our hero for his comment about “…the sartorial horrors visited on us lately under the guise of a preppy revival,”. (Click here for that post.)

Back to the story in Sunday’s Times, “Studying the Preppy Look and its Reference Points“. Much of the piece looks at Take Ivy, the literary cult favorite we most recently chatted about here.

powerHouse Books

From Mr. Trebay’s story:

“Time, it develops, has done little to dim the allure of “Take Ivy,” with its guileless snapshots of handsome, fit and presumably bright young lugs disporting themselves in dining halls, on the College Green at Dartmouth, along Nassau Street in Princeton and in Harvard Yard.”

Teruyoshi Hayashida/powerHouse Books

The piece references another soon-to-be-released volume, True Prep.

““The reality is the people in that book at that time went to schools and belonged to clubs that most ordinary people couldn’t get into,” said Lisa Birnbach, an author of “The Official Preppy Handbook” and “True Prep.” ‘“Take Ivy,” Ms. Birnbach said, is a ruling class “look book,” a template for any budding Jay Gatsby.”

A slideshow accompanies the story, both are excellent reads.

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In a similar vein, The Gloss carried a post last week, Fashion 101: The New Preppy; the author approaches the topic from an entirely different perspective.

“I have never been preppy. When I was growing up, being labeled a ‘prep’ was almost as bad as being referred to as a ‘poser’, i.e. the uncoolest thing that could happen to you.  I avoided being preppy at all costs.”

“However, as we grow up and enter the business world, perhaps we have something to gain from tapping into the inner preppy.”

In her piece, Brooke Moreland visits the Puritan store on the Cape, long a staple in Chatham (and several other communities).

Brooke Moreland/The Gloss

The store’s manager, Michelle Wilson Blaze shared her perceptions on customers:

“Blaze explained to me that the men wear Polo. The old men wear the small horses and the youngs wear the big horses. They all wear khakis and if they are over 50, well, then it’s time to bust out the Tommy Bahama.

As well as impressions of those visiting the Cape: .

“Brands like Tory Burch and Burberry pop up in the store, adding a contemporary preppy twist on the classics. Ginghams, tunics and embroidered tops peer out from among the plaid and Bermuda shorts.”

And while most preps don’t pay attention to what is “in” or “out” at any given time, here is one last tidbit from Ms. Moreland’s story:

“The ‘it’ preppy shoe happens to coincide with the ‘it’ shoe of the rest of the world at the moment: the Sperry Top-Sider.”

To see Ms. Moreland’s entire story and learn her ultimate verdict on the merits of the style, click here.

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Our final item of note today deals with last night’s Mad Men season 4 premiere.

Michael Yarish/AMC-TV

It was divine.

Don’s still smoking, Pete remains sycophantic and clients don’t always concur with Don’s vision.

Michael Yarish/AMC-TV

There is continued recognition of the way women were treated in the early 1960’s.

AMC-TV

Betty seemed particularly petulant last night, and we remain concerned about little Sally Draper.  We love this shot of Betty, it seems to perfectly capture her simmering rage while also betraying her vulnerable and forlorn side.

Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC-TV

A quick rundown of stories fans might enjoy:

How popular is the show? Enough that star Jon Hamm will be in an upcoming episode of the Simpsons, portraying an FBI agent.  The Toronto Sun has details.

We leave you with pictures of these amazing cookies created by our friend Pink Martini & Pearls, part of her Mad Men Quiz Giveaway post!

Courtesy Pink Martini & Pearls

Look at Joan and Betty’s dress cookies!

One of our favorites? The snappy argyle socks, surely not anything Don would wear, perhaps Harry?

Courtesy Pink Martini & Pearls

Until tomorrow!

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, True Prep & TOPH

Lacoste Home Collection, Greek Life at one Ivy League Campus, Gwen Stefani Does Uniforms!

As the Princess and the Princess Consort are heading away from the Palace for an extended weekend, and the household staff doesn’t do posts, this one is a bit of what we used to call an “evergreen’ in the broadcasting industry, meaning it was always ‘green’ or good to go, not dated in anyway.

So we’ll start with a little update on Lacoste’s plans for its Home Collection, which is expanding on its still fairly new collection.  The growth is being driven by Philippe Lacoste, yes, son of company founder René Lacoste.

Some readers may be familiar with the two collections: the Club Collection with a more upscale emphasis and the Casual collection using brighter, more vibrant colors and featuring lower price points.  Above, the Cocoon bedding collection, and below we show the Madras Bedding Collection, both at Belk’s.

Trade journal Home Textiles Today reports Lacoste will start putting things like the single-unit golf and tennis towels in gift packaging and marketing them to golf clubs, spas, pro shops, etc. Additionally the Bath line which initially only included towels and rugs will expand to things like robes and gift items for the beach.

And perhaps most importantly for those of us disinclined to spend oodles of time at the local department store when considering bedding (and even less when traveling, preferring to peruse apparel and accessories if one is shopping), there will be a dedicated Lacoste Home website, a serious need as of this writing.

Moving on, those curious about Greek life in Hanover need only look at the Dartmouth Review for some insight. A couple of different articles talk about sorority/fraternity life on campus, albeit not in an entirely objective fashion. Monday’s “The Greeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Pen-Portraits of College Social Life” is rather entertaining, with fascinating commentary; some will provoke fond feelings of recognition for the traits attributed to specific organizations while other comments may cause irritation if they are not in sync with one’s personal perspective.


The Princess is using the Tri-Delt’s garb only because The Queen Mother was a charter member ‘back in the day’ at a MajorMidwesternUniversity (yes, that is all one word) and this mention will bring a smile to her face. BR as we see it. (Bloggage Perogative.) At any rate, Greek Life: A Freshman Girl’s Take by Katherine J. Murray is also enlightening, although probably not heart-warming for parents curious about Bitsy or Corbin’s first year on campus:

“My fridge was loaded with Jell-O shots and an oversized bottle of Malibu Rum. Wearing our very deadliest outfits, my new floor-mates and I assembled in my room to pre-game to the tune of “I Kissed a Girl.”’

Let’s all remain calm, it is merely one person’s experience, correct? Indeed.

How is this for a closing note? Word that pop star turned designer Gwen Stefani will be designing the uniforms you will see female bartenders wearing when you are having a cocktail at W Hotel’s upscale Gerber bars. The bars’ name comes from Rande Gerber, described as a ‘nightlife entrepreneur” on the Gerber Group’s website. Here is a glance at a sketch for the uniforms.

They will be made in a knit jersey, and they are black, not really evident in the sketches, probably because that color would not have shown the seam detailing on the dresses. Ms. Stefani, founder of the L.A.M.B. label says she wanted to uniforms to be “…sexy and comfortable…” no small feat for any creation. We don’t know your reaction, but we are holding our breath in anticipation of the men’s uniforms.

Until we next meet…

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

“Defining Scandinavian Preppy” & New Ivy League Cashmere Line

Here is one that caught The Princess completely flat-footed: a Swedish company called Boomerang.

Boomerang Scandinavian Preppy

The company’s site is very user-friendly, and pops up in English. In the catalog, the following aesthetic is found:

“Since the very start of Boomerang and the first collection in 1976, the designer’s task has been to define and redefine ‘Scandinavian Preppy’.”

And while our photos do not demonstrate this, the shop carries as much, if not more, women’s merchandise as men’s. The site feels very J Crew to TP, and while you can’t order online as best we could ascertain, you may request a catalog while visiting the site.

Boomerang Sweden

From the crisp clean feel of the beach to the more constrained in-town look of the Ivy League, we offer a peek at the new line of cashmere sweaters from 2108 Vintage, whose slogan is “Wear more cashmere.” The company’s first collection of cashmere sweaters is just making its debut, with several Ivy League schools available, including Dartmouth, Yale and Penn.

2108 Vintage Cashmere

The sweaters come in three version: a men’s and women’s v-neck, and a unisex crewneck, all in cashmere with the school logo appliqued on the chest; prices run from $180 to $200.

2108 Penn State Cashmere Sweater2108 West Point Sweater

2108 Vintage Cashmere Sweaters About Page

Plans call for adding Brown, Columbia, and Harvard this Fall, along with UCLA and the U.S. Naval Academy.

And while on the topic of Ivy League schools, the two co-founders at the oh-so-chic Azalea Boutique are Ivy League girls, both from Cornell. Which might explain why this Sonia Rykiel sweater has a certain preppy panache to it that makes it a must for your wardrobe.

Sonia Rykiel Preppy Sweater

The Princess is absolutely swooning over this one, and it’s not even our colors! It has to be the style, and perhaps the fact that it is (ssshh!) on sale!

Sonia Rykiel Preppy Sweater at Azalea Boutique

Besides the to-die-for sweaters and other fashions, the Boutique carries loads of great accessories, including Toms shoes. Why does The Princess love Toms? Because they are absolutely wonderful to look at and *very* easy on the feet; plus, for every pair purchased, Toms donates a pair to a child in need.

Toms Ramsey shoes at Azalea Boutique

How cool is that? To learn more about the shoe donation program, you can click here; or you can also go to the Toms site. In either event you can get to the link very easily for video on YouTube of the South African shoe drop, which is pretty amazing.

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Filed under preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle