Tag Archives: J. McLaughlin

That Ivy Style Exhibit

Hello-Hello, happy middle of the week to everyone.

Today’s schedule mandates brevity, so we’ll keep the post to one topic. It is a subject I should have written about months ago, hopefully it isn’t tedious for too many readers.

Hickey Freeman Blog

Hickey Freeman Blog

We’re talking about the Ivy Style exhibit at the Fashion Institute of Technology Museum, unfortunately it closed in January. More from the Museum’s show notes.

“Ivy style” is one of the most enduring and recognizable sartorial modes in the world. It began as the “Ivy League Look” on the quads and in the libraries of elite, all-male, American universities, and consists of a small repertoire of classic items, such as Shetland tweed jackets and Oxford button-down shirts, plus the more casual madras shorts and khaki pants.

Yours truly is beyond chagrined at not having written about this sooner, at the very least before the exhibition closed, arrggh. Several pieces from the show: left to right, a Brooks blazer with 1923 Princeton insignia, another with Princeton’s 1919 insignia, and a 1916 Yale emblazoned blazer.

The Museum at FIT

The Museum at FIT

More from Hickey Freeman’s blog:

Many forget that the “Ivy style” as we know it began as a more formal way of dress on campuses like Harvard, Yale and Princeton, which eventually spread beyond those all-male universities. In blue blazers with gold buttons, madras prints, bowties and pocket squares, the exhibit proves this iconic way of dressing continues to influence today’s designers.

Three more pieces from the exhibition, a classic raccoon coat, a Chipp madras jacket and linen suit, correctly described by Art Info as Ivy staples.

ArtInfo.com

ArtInfo.com

Art Info’s story includes perspective from the Museum’s deputy director:

While the Ivy look is pretty democratic these days, with everyone from H&M to Hermes turning out brass button peacoats and embroidered smoking slippers, this wasn’t always the case. “If you look at pre-World War II images, you’re talking about more of an elitist group of people, people with more money who could send their children to college” Mears said.
More recent looks.
Via StyleSight

Via StyleSight

From The Journal’s review of the show:
Brooks Brothers, J. Press, Arrow, Hathaway and Gant—these are Ivy eternals. Chipp, an offshoot of J. Press, would expand and popularize the “Go to Hell” look, a mix of bright colors normally considered outside the masculine palette—coral, yellow, mint—and constituting a casual smack at the status quo.
Below, one of the tableaux from the exhibition via the Princeton Alumni Weekly.
Photo by Eli Schwartz, Princeton '60 via Princeton Alumni Weekly

Photo by Eli Schwartz, Princeton ’60 via Princeton Alumni Weekly

Back to The Journal piece by Laura Jacobs:

Ivy-style clothes need not come at great expense; they need not be new; but they must hit the ineffable balance between carefree, careless and correct. I have never forgotten the scorn of a young man commenting on Nantucket Reds that weren’t bought at Murray’s in Nantucket. They would never fade to the proper shade of shrimp pink and so they were impostors—”not our sort of people” pants. Getting the uniform wrong locks you out of the tribe.

Below left, items circa the twenties, on the right, an Arrow shirt signed by Harvard’s 1933 Football Team.

MFIT Ivy Style Microsite

MFIT Ivy Style Microsite

From Women’s Wear Daily’s story:

Ivy League style permeates nearly every fiber of American fashion, and a new exhibition at The Museum at FIT delves into its history.

It explores the “decline and resurgence” of Ivy League fashion and the rise of the preppy movement.

George Chinsee/Women's Wear Daily

George Chinsee/Women’s Wear Daily

The WWD article quotes Town & Country’s G. Bruce Boyer, he was a collaborator on the show:

Boyer said the show is “very timely,” since “every Italian brand today is trying to do the authentic Brooks Brothers button-down. And look at Thom Browne and Michael Bastian — they take great traditional looks and make them hip and contemporary.”

I didn’t realize the origins of the polo coat, more from the exhibit microsite:

Many garments have been derived from the game of polo, including this camel hair overcoat that was originally used as a “wait” coat by British polo players during “chukkas” (the term for polo’s periods of play). In design, it was at first little more than a heavy bathrobe type wrap coat, but when British polo teams began making regular visits to the U.S. in the 1920s, it was modified and became popular on elite college campuses.

Ivy Style Microsite

Ivy Style Microsite

Details magazine offered this:

While traditional J. Press and Brooks Brothers gear features prominently in the exhibit, it’s fun to see styles loosen up and evolve over the years, from the formal evening ensembles of the 1920s to the preppy sweater-and-shorts combos of the fifties and sixties.

Details

Details

Even though I missed seeing the exhibit in person, there is a wonderful book of essays accompanying the exhibition, edited by Ms. Mears.

Yale University Press

Yale University Press

More on the book from its publisher, Yale University Press:

Ivy Style celebrates both high-profile proponents of the style—including the Duke of Windsor, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and Miles Davis—who made the look their own, and designers such as Ralph Lauren, J. McLaughlin, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Bastian, and Thom Browne, who have made it resonate with new generations of style enthusiasts.

Ivy Style is also available at Amazon and other outlets.

One of the best parts of the exhibit is the way curators drew upon the blogging community, several of my favorite blogs were involved in a variety of ways. Christian Chensvold over at the Ivy Style blog has an essay in the book discussed above, he has several stellar posts on the show. One offers a delightful video walk-through of the exhibit hosted by Richard Press.

Muffy Aldrich of Daily Prep renown is another author I admire tremendously and love reading, she donated items for use in the exhibit. I think you’ll enjoy this April post showing preps for the show. TDP was also featured in a Symposium affiliated with Ivy Style, for a real treat spend some time on this post, the entire slide show about Muffy’s blog is viewable.

John Tinseth writes The Trad, always enjoyable and a place where I have lurked for years, he was part of the Symposium as well. In this post you can see loads of photos from the exhibit, including the vintage dorm room shown below.

The Trad

The Trad

Dusty at Maxminimus is yet one more writer I regard with great admiration, he was also part of the Symposium and this post details that experience brilliantly.

The show may have closed in January, but hopefully you will be able to enjoy it virtually via some of the links included above.

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One more tidbit, anyone interested in a new personalized phone case might want to visit the always-wonderful Nautical by Nature blog. We’re just tickled to be sponsoring a giveaway for one of our Preppy Planet custom cases.

Nautical by Nature

Nautical by Nature

Even if you don’t need a case, pop in and say ‘hey’ to Kate, she is the bee’s knees.

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

An Anti-Prep Crosses the Line, We Are In the Pink & Brooks Brothers’ New Blog

Welcome to another week, we hope yours is filled with the promise of spring.

We begin today with a story you may have already heard about, we felt it merited discussion because of our chat last week about “letting girls be girls,” the egregious nature of the topic also contributed to our decision to cover this today. Below, just one of hundreds of headlines about the topic, and images of the item under discussion, they come from from the Abercrombie Kids online store:

Who Wouldn’t Get Their 7-Year-Old A Sexy Padded Bra?

Abercrombie Kids via The Daily Mail

The headline comes via Gothamist, it is indicative of the tone seen in most stories about the bikinis, although we should point out Abercrombie is not selling girls’ undergarments, but bikini bathing suit tops.  From the Gothamist story:

“Parents are outraged that the company has created a line of push-up bras and bathing suits for girls as young as seven-years-old.”

Our friends on the far side of the pond may have initially broken the story, here is part of The Daily Mail’s coverage:

“…the fashion chain was the subject of outrage today after it released a range of bikinis for eight to 14-year-olds with padded cups.

The Abercrombie Kids ‘Ashley push-up triangle’ top, which retails for $24.50, features thick padding in the cup to give the illusion of a larger chest size.”

The Ashley Bikini Top is still on the site, evidently the level of controversy has prompted the company to change the name, removing the “push up” portion.

Abdercrombie Kids

Below we see the original description of the top, followed by the description as seen today on the website.

To be fair (must we strive for fairness when discussing this company?), Abercrombie Kids describes itself as serving 7 to 14 year olds; the company could claim to be targeting the top at 13 and 14-year-old girls as opposed to younger children. But that prompts an obvious question: do we need those young ladies, at an age when one’s self-image and self-confidence are at their most fragile, having this sort of product promoted to them?

As many readers are no doubt aware, this isn’t the first time the tasteless retailer has crossed the line, here is more from The Daily Mail:

“A range of thongs bearing the words ‘wink wink’ and ‘eye candy’ sold by the retailer for the same age group in 2002 sparked a similar debate, but Abrecrombie Kids refused to recall the line.

Abercrombie: taking vulgar to new lows.

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On a more upbeat note, we turn our attention to a retailer that does offer age appropriate clothing for children; Fred Perry has launched its new Kidswear line.

Fred Perry

We liked just about everything we looked at online.

Fred Perry

We also think the young man in the photos is beyond darling, no?

Fred Perry

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We move on now to springy things, it may be chilly but the sun is shining and bright colors may help bring spring closer. We start with the Furla Candy Bags, definitely Pretty In Pink (and Green).

Furla Candy Bags

Also offering vivid colors, Kenzo, a brand we rarely talk about here on the blog, the bags look like Easter candy.

Kenzo

The handles on these remind us of a telephone cord. For the younger set, we used to use two-piece telephones, there were cords connecting the two separate parts. 🙂

Two more from Kenzo in shades of pink.

Kenzo

D&G offers shoes that also remind us of Easter eggs.

D&G

D&G actually has a variety of cute pieces for your Tiny Miss, including the Junior Shirt for Infants, the bloomers come with the top.

D&G at 6pm.com

The plaids from Vivienne Westwood are fun.

Vivienne Westwood

These next two items may be pink, but it is unlikely you will see them at The Prepatorium, below left, the DSquared2 Clear Bootie and a Roberto Cavalli boot on the right.

6pm (the Zappos discount site) has some wonderful shoes in our favorite color, the Chuches Infant/Toddler Cotton (top) and Pampili Toddler Flat (bottom) are both sweet.

They also have multiple offerings for Mom, including the Jackie Flat and the Holly Pump, both from Paul Smith.

We move over to one of our favorites, J. McLaughlin, for more goodies. Below left, the St. Kitts Rattan bag,and on the right, the Seville Print Cardigan.

Also at J. McLaughlin, the Marcy Henley top, and the Harbor Dress.

Being Pretty in Pink isn’t limited to apparel and accessories, why not put the color front and center on your tabletop? The Melamine Dinner Set in Tutti-Frutti can be found at Le Boutique Targét, along with the Set of 10 Double Walled Tumblers.

There are also a number of items for one’s boudoir, we show the Room Essential Floral Quilt on the left and the Xhilaration Floral Paisley on the right.

Our friend Erin over at Pink & Green Scene recently shared a blinding very bright pillow (L), as well as a darling little piggy bank from Mud Pie.

That may be just enough pink for today!

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We leave you with news about a storied prep brand boosting its online presence even more:

Of Rogues and Gentlemen

That is a look at the new blog from Brooks Brothers, aptly titled Of Rogues and Gentlemen.  The blog launched at noon today, with sections on topics like “Style Commandments” and “Fabrics“.

Of Rogues & Gentlemen blog by Brooks Brothers

Brooks shows its social savvy by offering content not limited exclusively to posts tied to its merchandise, offering articles like “Give Me The Keys,” about vacationing in the Keys.

Of Rogues & Gentlemen blog by Brooks Brothers

We do hope to see content directed to female interests as the new site matures, although the blog’s tagline leads us to believe we shall be disappointed: “Style Advice, Tips, and Essentials for the Modern Man.”

The blog adds to the company’s already robust Facebook following and a strong presence on Twitter.

Goodbye until next time!

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

Preppy is Back (Version 29… or thereabouts) & Identifying the North Shore Prep

Hello-Hello, and Happy-Happy Friday to everyone!

Yes, we do think today merits two Happies, it has been that kind of week. We remain mystified at our ongoing delusion that tomorrow shall possess a marked diminution in stress and activity, it is that point in the season where allofthedaysruntogether.  But it is loads of fun and we are grateful to be doing what we love, if we were still doing television it’s likely we would currently be engaged in weather coverage (you know what we mean, portraying a little snow as apocalyptic, the forecast requiring DEFCON 4 status, that sort of thing) at this point.

As our headline notes, Preppy is Back! Again! To be honest, we have nary a clue if this is Version 29 (as cited in the post title) or 42 or 18; we haven’t kept track in our 774 posts (eek!) of all the times we have reported such declarations and pronouncements.  This time CNBC is the media outlet sharing the ‘news’.

To be fair, the cable news channel’s story approaches the topic from a business perspective. “Straight Up or With a Twist, Preppy’s Back” looks at retailers benefiting from a resurgence of the styles some associate with the preppy aesthetic.

“The preppy style is making a comeback, but before you go digging through your father’s polos and grabbing your grandmother’s pearls, know that this time around “picnic chic” has some new twists.”

The story references Russell Simmon’s Argyleculture brand.  (FYI, the image below is not from the CNBC story, just one we selected when seeking images to better familiarize ourselves with the company.)

Via Blackpreneur

Writer Ashley Kalinke spoke with a stock expert for her article:

“Preppy is starting to make a comeback,” says Christine Chen, a retail analyst at Needham & Co. “It isn’t quite mainstream yet other than in the teen market where you see the varsity jackets, but it’s definitely making a comeback. We’re still very much stuck in the ’80s, and seeing ’80s [inspired trends] in the stores. But, that’s done. The shift is happening. “

Ahem.  A shift? Nay, nay sayeth preps everywhere.

The story looks at several versions of “prep” previously discussed in this space, notably “urban prep,” “hipster prep,” along with other styles not applicable to our personal taste. The ‘shift’ described in the article is attributed to consumers growing tired of denim.

“As a result, the style evolved to corduroy and khaki, which are inherently dressier fabrics that create more formal everyday style. This look can even conjure up a nautical feel that then lends itself to boat shoes, Breton stripes and a navy blazer, and eventually you begin to see a more classic preppy look emerge.”

The story lists LL Bean, Brooks Brothers, Vineyard Vines and Lilly Pulitzer as brands benefiting from the increased focus on classic styles.

True Prep author Lisa Birnbach is quoted in the story; we couldn’t agree with her more about a brand currently occupying a place on the AntiPrep Wall of Shame.

“There is some debate whether Abercrombie is a true prep, despite its polos and button-down shirts. Birnbach says it’s not.”It’s not preppy anymore,” she says. “What they are selling now is sex on the coattails of a brand name that’s elegant, and ‘American,’ but it’s not the same.”

Amen to that sentiment.  As always, we smile at the return of something that never left, but in this case we can see where evolving styles have impacted sales and profits at certain retailers, prompting CNBC’s coverage.  Click here to read the story in its entirety.

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The Trib (Chicago) also had a preppish piece, asking “Who is the North Shore Prep?” Here are a few identifying traits from the story.

  • “The North Shore prep lives in Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Lake Forest, Lake Bluff and Kenilworth. They typically hug the coast (preppies like water)”
  • “Highland Park was said to have too many “new money” families to be prep; while at the Lake Forest Book Store, owner Sue Boucher illustrated the difference: “Someone was just honking (outside the store), and I kept thinking, ‘We don’t honk here.’ In Highland Park, they honk. Decorum is what it’s all about.”‘
  • “…not prone, for instance, to wearing the ostentatious new Ralph Lauren shirts “with the giant Polo pony horrifying to anyone of a true prep sensibility” — so described by Lance Lawson, whose clothing store, space519, in the 900 Shops on Michigan Avenue, has become a North Shore magnet. They gravitate more to regulation L.L. Bean duck boots.”

Writer Christopher Borelli’s piece merits a read, at least for those of us spending a little time on that side of The Large Lake; it also offers a “Select Preppy Reading List”.  (We do count on Third Coast Prep, Preppy Little Dress, La Belette Rouge, Tippy L and others to advise us of any egregious errors in Mr. Borelli’s story.)

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A few additional tidbits:

  • Nashville preps will be happy to know Vineyard Vines will add a second store in that city, the new one is slated to open in February.
  • J. McLaughlin celebrates its new Westport (CT) store this Sunday.

J. McLaughlin

  • Dior’s flagship store on 57th Street reopened this week after a major remodeling, a number of celebrations marked the occasion. On hand at the store, actress Amy Adams and Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester.

Our favorite look had to be Karolina Kurkova’s (L), while Natalie Portman was stunning.

As many readers know, Miss Portman’s “Black Swan” open across the US tonight, that one is near the top of our list.

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Tomorrow we have a special treat, a visit from the Queen Bee herself.  The Bee is going to be popping in now and again to share some of her thoughts and insights on April’s royal wedding, and tomorrow is the first of her posts. We are very excited the inimitable Bee is going to be visiting!

On that sunny note, may everyone revel in a stellar weekend filled with cheer and charity.

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ADDITIONAL PHOTO CREDITS:

  • Dimitrios Kambouris/Wire Image
  • Steve Eichner/WWD
  • Jason Kempin/Getty

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Filed under Argyle, Logos, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Preppy People, The AntiPrep, True Prep & TOPH

The Nation’s Preppiest Writers, True Prep Updates, Fashion Notes

Hello-Hello, and welcome to another day of wackiness here at the Prepatorium.

We begin with a glance at “Our Generation’s Preppiest Writers,” at least as listed by Flavorwire. The list includes several names our treasured readers will recognize, like Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Prep, and American Wife.

Sloane Crosley (I Was Told There’d Be Cake) is included.

Also on the list, Jonathan Dee, perhaps best known for The Privileges, a book we just never seem to get to, it remains near the top of our list.

Several selections make perfect sense, while others are conspicuous by their absence, we would think that the list might include Tad Friend (Cheerful Money), Bill Buckley, Hobson Brown, Lisa Birnbach, unless the latter three are not considered of this generation….?

At any rate, this brings us to our True Prep updates. With the book officially on sale for a full two weeks now, there are scads more reviews and news stories, and party pix seem to be popping up everywhere. We shall invoke the ‘brevity is a virtue’ sentiment, sharing some of these as quickly as possible.

We start with a picture from the Georgetown Vineyard Vines stop on the book tour, our friend Wendy still has her Preppy Bear from the 1980s!

Via True Prep Facebook site

A better look at Wendy’s bear, we are mortified to admit we definitely remember when these were introduced!

Via Wendy

“…this slim novelty “guidebook” is supposed to be the tongue-in-cheek update for our texting times. Unfortunately, it offers few laughs or insight into prepdom today, nor does it make a case for why anyone — even Muffy — would care.”

That seems a bit stern, we thought there were smirks and giggles aplenty in the book, yet must also acknowledge that for some the book is a disappointment. A follow-up simply cannot recreate the impact of the Original (TOPH), and while much is lighthearted and humorous, there are also moments of awkwardness. We are enjoying the divergent reactions to the book, but also worry about those uncomfortable sharing criticism of the new book, for it is the healthy debate on the topic that we relish.

“True Prep” is frivolous, but comprehensively, amusingly and intelligently so. All too few books fit that description. Like its predecessor, this is a fond and inventive satire for the ages.”

  • In a story many readers have already heard about, NPR poses the question: “Did Sleaze Bring Preppy Back?” Simon Doonan, Barney’s fashion pooh-bah (among many responsibilities and skills Mr. Doonan has), is asked about the trend; his response follows.

“I think there’s a renewed interest in preppy. And I think it’s probably a function of how slutty and trashy everything got in the last few years, like the “Real Housewives of Orange County” or the “Jersey Shore.” There’s this super porno chic that sort of dominated much of pop culture. And it’s natural that there’s this sort of conservative reaction to that and that people might rediscover the sort of simple WASP-y elegance of preppy style.”

Thank you Mr. Doonan, thank you.

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Next, a couple of tidbits to share, including a Times story last week on British retailer Jack Wills.

“Most Americans have not heard of Jack Wills, but that is something the British sportswear retailer intends to change.”

Below, several ensembles from the retailer.

Labeled as a special report (we’re not sure why), Katie Wiseman’s story offers an introduction to the brand.

“For autumn, Jack Wills is stocking women’s wear like tweed riding jackets starting at $379, soft cotton Henley shirts and gathered skirts, while the men’s line ranges from flannel shirts starting at $69 to Fair Isle and fisherman sweaters. It also has home accessories, eyewear, fragrances and limited-edition items like an equestrian jacket selling at $449.”

The piece also inquires about the wisdom of any retailer expanding in These Difficult Times.  These may well be two of the items referenced above.

We first chatted about the US expansion here, back in April, noting the stores opening in Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, two über- prep locales.

The brand markets to a younger, more collegiate crowd; much of its merchandise has become logo-heavy, one could be forgiven if mistaking it for something by Abercrombie or Hollister, a comparison that riles company executives.

“There are the inevitable comparisons to Abercrombie & Fitch, something the Jack Wills executives loathe — and some industry experts dispute.

While definitely not a brand with a long and storied pedigree, Wills still offers some excellent pieces, although they are few and very far between.

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There is speculation that one of our favorite brands, J. McLaughlin, may be for sale. In another story that was temporarily lost in the Fashion Week shuffle, WWD reports about the company’s ongoing expansion… and perhaps more.

“Don’t be fooled by the laid-back, prepped-out, country club aura of the brand — J. McLaughlin is a business on the move.

“The McLaughlins’ elevated profile and pumped-up store program is raising speculation about selling the business or seeking outside investment to further the growth.”

Below, our favorite dress from the retailer (as of today, this changes frequently), and on the right, a cardigan we are fond of, the Seville.

The firm also introduced a limited edition line for the Tiny Prep at your palace this summer.

J. McLaughlin

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We also have a look at this year’s Ryder Cup uniforms for Team USA. (Disregard the red arrows, an editing error on our part.)

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The Saturday look is seen above left; the charcoal gray on the right is for Sunday’s matches.  A snippet of reaction to the styles from Golf.com:

“… we are not sure how well these clothes work on, say, a Dustin Johnson. Preppy crests and soul patches are not a natural match. It will also be interesting to see how shaggy-haired Ricky Fowler, a motocross enthusiast when he is not on the links, looks in a purple Perry Como cardigan and dark pinstripe trousers. These clothes are a bit fuddy-duddy for him.”

The Opening Ceremony uniform is more formal, while the rain jackets look standard issue.

The uniforms are by Peter Millar, an upscale firm specializing in golf apparel and accessories. The Cup gets underway October 1 in Wales.

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We leave you with news from the folks at Oxford University Press, publishers of the Oxford Dictionary, among other things. Are you ready for new additions to the Dictionary?

BFF n. (pl. BFFs) informal a girl’s best friend: my BFF’s boyfriend is cheating on her.
– ORIGIN 1996: from the initial letters of best friend forever.

TTYL abbr. informal talk to you later: Anyway, gotta run now! TTYL.

unfriend v. [with obj.] informal remove (someone) from a list of friends or contacts on a social networking site: she broke up with her boyfriend, but she hasn’t unfriended him.

The OUP Blog also lists the many new phrases added to the list, here is a sampling.

my bad informal used to acknowledge responsibility for a mistake: Sorry about the confusion. It’s my bad.

the new black a color that is currently so popular that it rivals the traditional status of black as the most reliably fashionable color: brown is the new black this season.

Finally, we have the new meanings for old words; a few favorites:

channel emulate or seem to be inspired by: Meg Ryan plays Avery as if she’s channeling Nicole Kidman.
cougar informal an older woman seeking a sexual relationship with a younger man.

friend noun – a contact associated with a social networking website.
verb – add (someone) to a list of contacts associated with a social networking website.

hate (hate on) informal express strong dislike for; criticize or abuse: I can’t hate on them for trying something new.

tweet
– a posting made on the social networking site Twitter: he started posting ‘tweets’ via his cell phone to let his parents know he was safe.
– make a posting on the social networking site Twitter.

Please don’t hate on us for feeling the need to occasionally Tweet and share things on our Facebook page, we do hope you will friend us. (Dopey Princess.)

Until next time, may your day be splendid!

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

Fashion Week: Brooks Brothers

Hello-Hello!

Welcome to another wacky day here at the Prepatorium, it is one-topic Tuesday, we have a look at Brooks Brothers for spring, along with some changes for this season. Below, some of next spring’s nautically influenced styles.

PHOTOS: Robert Mitra/WWD

Like many other firms, Brooks does not do a runway presentation during Fashion Week, instead opting for a static presentation.

Robert Mitra/WWD

Readers may recall Brooks’ recent ventures into new venues, including collaborative partnerships with outside entities, like Levi’s (more in this post), and the Social Primer Bow Tie collection (click here for more on this endeavor), steps into new venues with items like the Mad Men suit (more here), as well as continued expansion of the Black Fleece label, with the opening of standalone Black Fleece stores on both coasts.

Brooks Brothers

Women’s Wear Daily reports that online Black Fleece operations will soon be separated from the Brooks Brothers website; the launch of BlackFleece.com is expected some time in October.  More from the spring 2011 collection, we believe the following looks are Black Fleece styles by Thom Browne.

PHOTO: Robert Mitra/WWD

A few Black Fleece items we thought looked lovely, in the photo on the left we adore the dress with its darling bow at the neckline, and the blouse/skirt combination in the photo on the right (we’re presuming the top isn’t as sheer as it looks).

The black and tan group is particularly striking, although it is unlikely the men’s styles will make an appearance here in the Corner Condo; a little ‘too-too’ for The Consort.

Another group.

PHOTO: Robert Mitra/WWD

And one more group from what we believe are Black Fleece pieces.

PHOTO: Robert Mitra/WWD

Some accessories that are very Thom Browne, his signature stripes lead us in that direction.

We move on to another specialty line, the recently announced collection to be marketed under the ‘St. Andrews Links Exclusively for Brooks Brothers’ label.

Brooks announced the partnership back in March, this is the first opportunity we have had to see any of the pieces from the new group. The long-term St. Andrews agreement names Brooks Brothers as a worldwide partner, and looking at the rather sparse offerings in the Country Club offerings online, we have put in an inquiry to see if the St. Andrews merchandise will replace the Country Club collection.

Back to spring styles in regular (non golf or Black Fleece) merchandise; we like the primary colors.

Not to mention the madras….

While not fond of the logoed sweatshirt, we do like the apparel in the next two images, as well as the code flags suitcase.

The suitcase bears a striking resemblance to one of our Preppy Pillows, the Regatta model.

PreppyPrincess.com

More nautical flair.

Classic Brooks Brothers styling was evident throughout the presentation.

As well as updated style for the new children’s Fleece line.

This may be the most promising seasonal preview we recall seeing for quite some time.  Jean Palmierei’s story in WWD also noted the addition of three new Black Fleece fragrances, slated for a November launch.

“…there will be three separate bottles, called Red, White and Blue, which are signature colors of the collection.”

Robert Mitra/WWD

We are back tomorrow, with more grins and giggles!

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

The Princess Has a New Hero

Hello-Hello and happy Thursday!

Things here in the Corner Condo are crazy-busy, so our post is once again more fluff than stuff (translation: more photos than prose).

We start with a look at today’s story in the Times about a classic prep item, the needlepoint belt. “Belts That Spare Muffy the Heartbreak” is a delightful read; it begins with a bit of background on the phenomenon for those not as familiar with the topic.

“THEY used to call it the breakup belt. Women (and it has always been women) of a certain sort and class historically committed themselves to memorializing the bonds of a relationship by stitching a needlepoint belt for the Loved One.”

The focus of the story is Smathers & Branson, below we show a sampling of belts from the firm.

We simply adore the treatment Guy Trebay gives the topic, especially this sentence: 

“…despite the sartorial horrors visited on us lately under the guise of a preppy revival,

Thank you, thank you, thank you Mr. Trebay, you are definitely our new hero at the Prepatorium.  Frequent readers know of the incessant whining and caterwauling occasional concerns shared in this space about the merchandise passing for prep these days, and “sartorial horrors” is a perfect description.  Back to your story:

“… needlepoint belts are jaunty and casual but also so clearly handmade that they achieve an offhand formality equally suitable for wear with shorts or a summer suit. Anyway, the best ones do.”

We are fond of almost every style, but especially like the Islander, the Dark ‘n Stormy, as well as the Elephants with Martinis.

The company also offers a collegiate series.

Back to Mr. Trebay’s story, and his explanation for focusing on Smathers & Branson.

“Other labels were there already: J. McLaughlin, Vineyard Vines and the neo-preppy Tucker Blair all offer their own ranges of hand-stitched needlepoint products. But unlike the competition, Smathers & Branson both indulges the preppy clichés (burgees and Labrador retrievers) and takes a sly wink at them.”

The cummerbund, ample evidence of that wink.

We recommend reading the story in full, our synopsis really can’t do it justice.

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A story in today’s Post provides a clue on today’s other topic of note: “Why We Love Don Draper“. SPOILER ALERT: Do NOT click on the link if you don’t want to know about Sunday’s episode!

Below we see Don actor Jon Hamm at Tuesday night’s premiere of Mad Men Season 4 in Los Angeles.

Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Although the new season doesn’t debut to the public until Sunday night, a select few were on hand for Tuesday’s event, including Mr. Hamm’s costars Elizabeth Moss (L) and Christina Hendricks.

Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

We aren’t going to mention any names, but some friends are even counting down until the show is on the air.

Courtesy of the Divine Miss ATS&P

Perhaps the most catching image is that of little Sally Draper at Tuesday’s sneak peek.

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Actress Kiernan Shipka looks so different from last season!

Back to that story in the Post:

“So, what’s his appeal? Simple. Don Draper represents, in his repressed way, everything we’re either not supposed to do or are even allowed to do anymore.

He smokes fantastic amounts at work, in restaurants, at home and in the car with his kids.

He drinks at lunch, at work, at home and before getting into his car. He’d rather have sex than babysit.

His favorite food group is steer.”

Hmmm, it probably is a sensible theory. We aren’t exactly into all the analysis about why we watch, we just watch, proof positive that behind the moat and drawbridge, we’re just a couple of simpletons lolling about the Palace! (Heh, heh, heh.)

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We leave you with a Sales & Savings opportunity.

Courtesy Target

Le Boutique Targét is playing upon the Black Friday insanity, and doing an online only promotion, Back in Black Friday tomorrow.

Until next time, g’bye!

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