Tag Archives: Ivy League Ties

Preppy Back to School? & Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

Welcome to a one-topic Tuesday, it is another insanely busy day, so brevity guides our post.

Once again it is that time of year, when parents and children alike ponder the available back to school offerings. One can almost hear the conversations at local department stores:

  • “No, you will not be wearing that to school this year.”
  • “I don’t care what Olivia and Chapin are wearing the first day, I am not buying that.”
  • “Well, then I guess you will be the only one at school wearing _________ .” (Fill in the blank.)
  • “I said no and I meant no.”
  •   “What do you mean everybody wears that? Name one person in ‘everybody’.”
  • “No daughter/son/other of mine is wearing that. Put it back on the rack.”

It is also the season for media stories heralding “preppy” back to school styles.  The following is from a Bloomberg story entitled “Gossip Girl Couture is Back to School Boon“.

“Sears… also is featuring preppy fashions over casual wear, pushing back-to-school gear from MTV star Audrina Patridge and reality socialite Kim Kardashian.”

Because nothing says ‘preppy’ like the new Kardashian Kollection at Sears.

Kardashian Kollection at Sears.com

More from the Bloomberg story, still referencing Sears.

“The department store, which is offering $38 polo shirts and $30 Dockers pants, introduced a “Varsity Prep” line.”

A few offerings from the Varsity Prep collection.

Sears "Varsity Prep"

The line is for young men, not teenage girls or ‘tweens’ as they are now called. (Ahem.) Three more items are shown below.

Sears "Varsity Prep" Collection

Many pieces in the collection look fairly standard, polo shirts, tees and the like. But some are far removed from what readers would refer to as ‘preppy,’ that sleeveless t-shirt on the right is one such item, while the sweatshirt in the middle looks like it could have come right out of an Abercrombie & Fitch store. (Another Anti-Prep.)

The good news in the Bloomberg article is that many of the shoppers interviewed say they plan to move away from the jeans and tennis shoes look.

“Angela Ricci is shopping for lacy tops, ruffled skirts and floral dresses to wear when she begins her senior year of high school in Pittsburgh. One thing she won’t be buying: jeans.

“I want to show a new kind of style and make a better impression,” said Ricci, 17. “I think that my generation is inspired to dress up a little more.”

That might seem like a good thing to many moms, but there is one caveat, the impact on your pocketbook.

“Teens like Ricci are following the example of television shows such as “Gossip Girl” — in which actress Blake Lively prances to class in couture — as they head to stores to stock up for the new school year. Retailers, stung by slowing sales growth and record cotton costs, are obliging with blouses and dresses that sell for higher prices.”

The story makes for an interesting read, click here if you would like to read it in its entirety.

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Staying with the back to school topic, the new Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection is now available online.

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

In case the graphic above doesn’t show the schools currently part of the new line, here is a better image.

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

Much of it looks like what we expected, sweaters and ties emblazoned with the school crest, like these from Stanford. (Where a tiny piece from my heart remains.)

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

Or these from Notre Dame. (A sliver of TQM’s heart lies among the shamrocks at this university.)

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

The ties are silk, made in the USA, they are $79.50. The polo shirts are classic Brooks, 100% cotton with the school crest on the sleeve, they are $69.50. These two are from the Boston College group of merchandise.

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

The element that is baffling? The school name or initials on the dress shirts, as shown below right.

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

We can’t think of one Princeton (or Yale or BC or Stanford or Notre Dame or…well, you get the drift) graduate who would ever feel it necessary to wear something like this:

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

A dress shirt with your school name on the cuff? Once again we quote Nancy Reagan: “just say no.”

This clearly goes in the “Help Me Understand” category, as we are completely mystified by this aspect of an otherwise fine collection. We prevailed upon a friend for his opinion; here’s what Bumby of the Preppy Chronicles (also Princeton, class of ’87), had to offer:

“The only advantage of having the name of your school tattooed on your cuff: After the police, put you in the back of the car they know where to drop you off.”

Perhaps Christian at Ivy Style or Alexander Grant can pop in and provide a little elucidation on the topic, as yours truly is beyond baffled.  (Speaking of Christian, the topic of Friday’s post is related, looking at club ties and where one should/shouldn’t wear them. The comments are what really make the post sing, fascinating, all of them.)

Thank you for coming to visit!

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Filed under Collaborations, Gossip Girl, Preppy Fashion