Tag Archives: juicy couture

Flash Sales: Are They Really Bargains?

Hello-Hello, and happy new week!  Your moronic somewhat frazzled correspondent inadvertently hit the ‘publish’ key for this post earlier today, please accept our apologies for that blunder, this is the complete post as it was meant to be published. (Still pounding head on keyboard, wall, floor, large bruises appearing on forehead, Silly Tilly the Tubby Bulldog continues to gaze in this direction with wonderment.)

Today we conclude our reports on sale sites. Previously we had something of a ‘flash sale primer,‘ followed by a look at preppy brands sold on the sites. Today’s topic is one many of us have wondered about, how good are the deals?

The sites use the scarcity of merchandise as a major marketing ploy, but how tough is it really to find the brands many of us like on sale? In actuality, not that difficult at all for many lines. Below we share a partial list of companies offering their wares at flash sales several times a year:

  • APPAREL: Lilly, Vineyard Vines, Nanette Lepore, Tahari, Juicy Couture, Pink Tartan, Kenneth Cole, Calvin Klein, Hanky Panky
  • SHOES: Børn, Reebok, MBT, Ivanka Trump, Juicy Couture, Paris Hilton, Mephisto, Jessica Simpson, Donald J Pliner, Steve Madden,
  • HOME: The MacBeth Collection, Safavieh, Amy Butler, Kosta Boda, Waterford, Frette, Tommy Hilfiger Home, Preppy Plates, Bungalow Scout
  • KITCHEN: Henckels, Kitchen Aid, Staub, Zak Designs, Kalorik, Cuisinart, Pfaltzgraff
  • FOOD/OTHER: Mrs. Prindables (around major holidays), Hey’s Luggage, Samsonite Luggage, Victorinox

While yours truly isn’t a fan of several brands listed, it does demonstrate how often one can find merchandise. Multiply this by hundreds of other consumer brands and you have a sense of the dizzying volume of inventory available at discount prices. (Saying these lines are available on a ‘frequent’ basis is an understatement in some cases, a few of these are in almost constant rotation on the sites.)

Let’s look a label many readers are fond of, Lilly Pulitzer Here are three of the deals at last week’s Lilly Pulitzer sale on RueLaLa.

Rue La La Thursday June 7, 2012

A Bowen dress originally selling at $268 for $99.90 was a good buy indeed. As were the Cabana Sun Readers ($35.90 as opposed to $60) and the Mitzie Forever pant (they were $49.90, the MSRP is $128). In reality, everything offered seemed to be quite a bargain, and much sold out rapidly, as is usually the case with Lilly.

But savvy online shoppers also use other sources for good deals: many check the wildly popular Re-Lilly page on Facebook, along with other FB pages offering the opportunity to buy, sell and trade Lilly Pulitzer goods. And they watch eBay, as well as staying in touch with their local Lilly stores online and off to track sales. In the offline world many visit TJ Maxx, Marshall’s and other off-price stores, and some travel to the semi-annual warehouse sales near the Pink Palace. (This spring’s sale starts June 14, more info may be found here, a Facebook page for the Warehouse Sale is also set up here.)

Back to the bigger issue on pricing, here is more from a CNBC story:

The limited quantities of merchandise and tight time limits create a sense of urgency that can goad consumers into making impulse purchases, but it only takes a few times before savvy consumers realize that they can often find the same merchandise for less elsewhere.

Two companies making things for the home (as opposed to fashion) that we are accustomed to seeing on flash sale sites are Cuisinart and Kitchen Aid.  We are big fans of our Kitchen-Aid stand mixer and our hand mixer here at the Prepatorium, they are in use constantly. (Only on those rare instances when Cook has the night off, of course. Ahem.) For the sake of today’s exercise we will look at a Kitchen Aid 5 Speed Mixer in Onyx Black.

In December on Beyond the Rack the Mixer was shown at $54.99 (“compare to $79.99 MSRP”) seen below on the left, below right we show it at the Kitchen Aid site, where the mixer was being sold at $39.99 with a MSRP of $49.99.  The mixers seem identical, both seem to come with the same package of “turbo beater accessories,” including dough hooks, a blender rod, and more.

So the question becomes, why would I want to buy it from Beyond the Rack for roughly $15 more?

The NY Times ran a story titled “Bargain Hunters: Hold That Click” in October of last year.

Flash sales are the highest expression of shopping as competitive sport. To win, you must be among the first customers to put an item into a virtual cart, then commit to buying it minutes later or else watch as it — poof! — disappears from the cart. As those precious seconds tick by, there is hardly time to comparison-shop on other Web sites.

Let’s do another example, back on January 26 Kitchen-Aid was back on Beyond the Rack. There were some good deals, but in terms of scarcity, no one can make the case the Raspberry Ice Stand Mixer shown below was difficult to locate. In the graphic below we show it for sale at Beyond the Rack for $339.99, at 6 other retailers it was approximately $10 more. Determining the best “bargain” was essentially a case of comparing shipping fees and return policies.

On March 28th, the same mixer was back on Beyond the Rack at $344.99, proving the “get it quick before it’s gone” argument for buying is often erroneous.

This CNBC story underscores the point:

The limited quantities of merchandise and tight time limits create a sense of urgency that can goad consumers into making impulse purchases, but it only takes a few times before savvy consumers realize that they can often find the same merchandise for less elsewhere.

Again, the sites count on and exploit that sense of frenzy, more from a retail expert via CNBC’s Consumer Nation:

…it comes with an excitement factor since merchandise can sell out fast.

“I think the sense of urgency is very powerful in terms of eliciting consumer behavior. They are tapping into something fundamental in terms of how humans respond to urgency and sales,” said Lipsman.

Let’s stay with the not-really-scarce Kitchen Aid for a minute, they were also selling on Ideeli in December, on December 12th we looked at a different Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer.  We’ll compare prices for the 5 Quart Stand Mixer in Empire Red; “on sale” at Ideeli it was $299, but at Amazon the mixer was $239.

We did our best comparing apples to apples: both have a 5-qt. stainless steel bowl, both come with a flat beater, dough hook, and wire whip, both have the 325 watt motor, both have the 2-piece pouring shield with large chute for adding ingredients. Shipping and handling at Ideeli was $9.95 for a total of $308.95, at Amazon S&H was $20.92 for a total of $260.91.

Another example, also in the Kitchen/Bakeware category, is seen with this set of 3 OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls.  January 22nd of this year the set was $50 on Gilt.com

Gilt.com January 22, 2012

The price at Amazon for the same item that day: $29.99

Amazon.com January 22, 2012

Last Friday we decided to do some more random price-checking. Many items we saw at RueLaLa were good buys, here are a few examples:

RueLaLa.com

We did another comparison at Haute Look, the Nordstrom-owned flash sale site.

Haute Look

March 28th we saw a demonstration of the maxim about knowing your prices and taking time to shop around. A Tommy Hilfiger “Captiva” Duvet and Sheet Set was $149.90 at Rue La La, while the same 7-Piece Set was $109.99 at Overstocks.com Both retailers offered a duvet cover, two shams, flat sheet, fitted sheet, two pillowcases.

RueLaLa/Overstocks

Back to the NY Times story by Stephanie Rosenbloom:

ON Gilt.com, where shoppers vie for limited-time discounts on designer brands, a Kate Spade cabana-stripe medium tote bag was recently $169, plus $5.95 shipping. That same day, the bag was on KateSpade.com for $130 with free shipping — about $45 cheaper.

On HauteLook.com, another so-called “flash sale” site, a navy dress by Decode 1.8 was $75, plus $7.95 shipping. But at Overstock.com, the dress cost $55.99 and shipping was free. Savings: $26.96.

It is also important to know precisely what you are buying. Gilt did an event January 21-23 called “Wear Now: Sweaters with Style,” offering a number of labels one would associate with a department store: White & Warren, Pink Tartan, Autumn Cashmere, etc.. But some of the brands didn’t sound at all familiar, like “Barrow & Grove,” I didn’t remember ever hearing of it. There is a reason I hadn’t, it turns out ‘Barrow & Grove’ is a brand created and sold by Gilt, the company filed for the trademark last August.

Gilt.com

Gilt describes itself this way:

“Gilt Groupe provides instant insider access to today’s top designer labels, at up to 60% off retail. Join today to receive insider pricing on designer fashion, jewelry…”

Barrow & Grove doesn’t fit in my definition of top designer labels. It begs the question, where and when were the cashmere sweaters now “on sale” at $109 and $99 sold at $262 and $242? And it raises the issue of transparency, one is given the distinct impression they are purchasing ‘designer’ goods offered at upscale stores like Saks or Neimans when shopping at Gilt, not merchandise created specifically for Gilt.com. I’m sure the Barrow & Grove sweaters were lovely garments, but I would prefer knowing they are made for the site, as opposed to being told this:
Nothing says luxury like cashmere, and nothing says top-notch cashmere like one of our favorite new labels, Barrow & Grove.
Another site we enjoy (and have purchased from) is One Kings Lane, specializing in home design and interior decor.  But at times the items up for sale are… well, a little odd, to say the least. Our friend Meg, the delightful mind behind Pigtown Design, has done an outstanding series of posts under the banner OKL Madness. For example, she wondered about this item, a “Vintage Green Tackle Box” that was offered at $79.

One King Lanes via Pigtown Deisgn

As Meg noted in her post, the condition looks more like: “rusting and dents”. Another example she shared is this 1970s Vera Framed Scarf offered last week. For $849.

One Kings Lane

This example resonated because yours truly has quite a few vintage scarves by artist Vera Neumann in her possession, several in mint, pristine condition. And The Consort has had a vintage scarf or two framed as artwork in the past, so we’re well aware of prices for vintage silk scarves by name designers, as well as costs for very nicely framed items of this kind. IOHO referring to this as ‘madness’ is kind.  (BTW, for those on Pinterest Meg even has a OKL Madness board.)

When purchasing from any of the sites it is imperative to know shipping and return policies, this can be especially important if purchasing oversized or unusually shaped items for the home, StyleList offers more:

…although One Kings Lane offers returns on some products within a 14-day window, most items are marked final sale. Also, Gilt Home has a similar policy, stating they do accept decor returns but not “on discounted home items, as well as those delivered via in-home and special delivery services,” which pretty much includes all furniture.

In summation, it all comes down to knowing what you are buying, not just the price and availability of an item, but also shipping and return policies at any given site.  In order to make an educated purchase those factors should trump desire for the item, and the delivery timeline should also be factored in.  Knowing other available outlets for purchasing the item(s) should also play a part, both online and off-line, including what were once unconventional resources, like the Re-Lilly FB page.  Of course, if it’s merely a case of “see it – want it – buy it” then the impulse wins and none of this much matters. (Umm, we have also done that too.)

Part 1 of the series is here, Part 2 is here. If, after reading all of this yawn-inducing background you are interested in signing up for any of the sites, here are links to some where I have shopped *and* enjoyed a positive experience. Another interesting facet of the flash sale business model are the varying rewards offered for those referring customers, most offer merchandise credits of anywhere from $10 to $25 if someone uses your invitation link and also purchases something.

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Filed under preppy, Sales & Savings

Monday Musings: Liz at QVC, In the Pink

Hello-Hello, and Happy Day to all, especially those enjoying a day off, a little respite from their normal schedule!

We must begin by sending great good wishes, big smiles, hugs, prayers and lots of love to two of our favorite bloggers who started on a new path this weekend….

Courtesy Classic Confection Cakes

Courtesy Classic Confection Cakes

Congratulations to the one and only Muffy Martini and Daisy JD (Just Daisy), they married the loves of their lives Saturday.

Courtesy BlissTree.com

Courtesy BlissTree.com

And now they are off honeymooning, whoo-hoo! (Note: photos are not from either wedding.)

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Moving on, big news for anyone who enjoys Liz Claiborne:

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The line is being moved exclusively to Penney’s. Both the men’s and women’s labels are making the move; if things are going well after five years, Penney’s can even buy the name.

John Aquino/WWD

John Aquino/WWD

Liz Claiborne New York, moves to QVC and the company’s outlet stores.  The WWD story on this notes something TP has wondered about for some time: the perils of watering down a designer’s caché by creating multiple labels sold in similar stores.  As the firm’s CEO, William L. McComb, put it:

“It was time to break the conflict inherent in the strategy that had a lower-priced offering of the Liz Claiborne brand at one department store in the mall [Penney’s] and a higher-priced version of it in a department store across the mall [Macy’s],”

This brings comparisons to American Living, the Polo Ralph Lauren brand sold at Penney’s. Below, a fashion look and a table lamp, both from that collection.

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It’s unlikely there is much brand dilution with this line; most retailing insiders believe the line really bears little resemblance to standard PLR merchandise.

Other retailers have done well with designer collections specifically for their customers, such as the Simply Vera by Vera Wang and Dana Buchman lines  at Kohl’s, and Tommy Hilfiger is now sold only at Macy’s or Hilfiger stores.

From a big picture perspective this also allows the Claiborne company to focus more attention on several brands many readers are familiar with: Kate Spade, Lucky Brand Jeans, and Juicy Couture.

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We have a few more Pretty in Pink things to share, starting with an extra cute pair of Keds.

kicker_7_bcrfThe Keds Champion Pink Ribbon sneaker benefits the Breast Cancer Research Foundation – the company is donating 100% of proceeds to the BCRF.

Speaking of shoes, how about these Ragg Kids Puppy for infants and toddlers?

7954-203391-dOr these Bibi Kids Laceups, also for infants and toddlers?

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If TP and the Consort had been blessed with human children we would be bankrupt; every single cent would be spent on shoes for the little ones, they are simply too cute!

Another delightful find, Kate Spade’s Bon Vivant Lilia, actually something of a bargain right now.

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Because of the chilly temps outside, we have to share the Pink Funnelneck coat from Old Navy.

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We leave with a look at the next generation Armani phone.

Courtesy Photo via WWD

Courtesy Photo via WWD

It does look sleek and elegant – dare we say understated?

Courtesy Photo via WWD

Courtesy Photo via WWD

However, we’re more than content with our iPhone tucked into its shocking pink case and we also have a greater understanding of just how easily one might become addicted to dependent upon the technology.

Until tomorrow,  we send smiles to each and every cherished readers!

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

No More Dirty English & Mad for Plaid

Greetings from a sodden, sopping, and soaking wet Prepatorium.  Well, not here inside the Palace exactly, but just generally in The Great Midwest. It’s terrible timing really, as Misadventures of a Newlywed is in the region and we wanted her to enjoy her trip.

We start with news from Juicy Couture they will shut down Dirty English, their Men’s clothing line. The final shipment for the collection will be this fall.

PHOTO Juicy Couture via WWD

PHOTO Juicy Couture via WWD

As reported in WWD (Women’s Wear Daily, subscription req’d.), the line never really took off:

“The unabashedly girly Juicy brand was a bad fit for a men’s business, and Dirty English lacked recognition, the company admitted.”

In another SOTT (Sign of the Times) many readers will have already heard about, news that Conde Nast is shutting down their business magazine, Portfolio.

We enjoyed this one from its inception, but never subscribed as we simply have too many magazines already. But then Conde Nast closed Men’s Vogue and we had to select a ‘replacement’ subscription from the publisher, so we opted for Portfolio. Now we’re wondering what to pick next…?!

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Also in WWD, their look at fall accessories.  The story notes the influence plaid is having on the category.

PHOTO: Robert Mitra

PHOTO: Robert Mitra

Above, Polo Ralph Lauren mixes the popular animal print with plaid and below, Longchamps use plaid for one of their classic looks.

PHOTO: Robert Mitra

PHOTO: Robert Mitra

Of course TP also includes madras in the plaid category, like these J. Crew shorts:

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We have a few more Sales and Savings to mention:

  • Both Ann Taylor and lower-priced sister store, Ann Taylor Loft, are doing their Friends and Family promotion. Use promo code FRIENDS at checkout to receive a 30% discount on purchases.
  • Today is the last day to receive 30% off all regular-priced handbags at Shopbop. Use the code ARMCANDY at checkout.

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Although we go to great lengths to remain apolitical here at the Prepatorium, we make no secret of our efforts to buy American when acquiring goodies for the Preppy Princess.  Today we were pleased to receive a note about President Obama showing off the Made in the USA label inside his Hart Schaffner Marx suit.

White House Photo by Peter Souza

White House Photo by Peter Souza

We can only hope that HartMarx (parent company to Hart, Schaffner Marx and Hickey Freeman) is able to resolve the financial difficulties currently facing the company.  The Consort will be crushed if either or both of these labels were to disappear from his retail landscape.

White House Photo by Peter Souza

White House Photo by Peter Souza

And it would seem the Commander in Chief might also be wardobe-challenged without the upscale clothier. Above Mr. Obama is in Hart Schaffner Marx suit pants, and yes, that is Vice President Biden engaging in a little Friday Fun on April 24th alongside the President.

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We close with a couple of Pretty in Pink items to brighten your day, beginning with this treasure at Pink & Brown Love, a companion site to the Pink and Green Scene mentioned in this post.

Pop over to see Erin at Decor by Color or at Pink & Brown Love to learn how to add that poster to your walls if so inclined. Also, Kate Spade’s Union Square Satchel at Bloomingdale’s.

May your day be bright and beautiful!

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Filed under Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink, Sales & Savings, Sign of the Times

SAY HELLO: Juicy Couture, Tory Burch, Nordstrom SAY GOODBYE: Harold’s, ‘O at Home,’ Club Libby Lu, Men’s Vogue

Well if it isn’t the economy, then it’s the economy!

Yawn. (Please have the houseman send two Excedrin. STAT.)

Before we do all the dreary-dreary, let’s start with some fun news, like Tory Burch opening her Palm Beach store today!

Conveniently located right on Worth Avenue, this is the designer’s 16th store; next month her 17th opens in New York’s meatpacking district.  This reminds us, has everyone seen the new Reva in suede?

Another designer landing nearby on Worth? Michael Kors, with a new boutique he has planned for a long time, according to a story in the Palm Beach Daily News:

“In America, the warm-weather place to be is Palm Beach,” he said. “Palm Beach has always been on my radar.”

Also, Nordstrom *finally* opened their new store in Naples last Friday. At last!  And the Juicy Couture flagship on Fifth is now open, following Thursday night’s big do. Below, co-founders Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor.

Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Juicy Couture

Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Juicy Couture

From the halls of popular prep school drama Gossip Girl star Blake Lively was on hand for the Juicy festivities.

Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Juicy Couture

Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Juicy Couture

Co-star and real life significant other(?) Penn Badgley was on hand along with Jessica Szohr

Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Juicy Couture

Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Juicy Couture

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Many readers are probably familiar with most of these dreary headlines, but just in case anyone missed them along the way…we start with Saks announcing last week that it is closing the Club Libby Lu stores; that is almost 100 shops in total.

The company expects to have all closed by the end of their first-quarter in 2009.

Then we had surprising news today about perennial Wall Street favorite J. Crew, according to an AP story via CNBC:

“Shares of J. Crew Group Inc. fell to an all-time low Monday after an analyst said she expects weaker results from the apparel and accessories retailer…”

And now we are ever-so-glad the Queen Mother wasn’t planning to purchase the new flat-screen at Circuit City, with their bankruptcy announcement today.

But here is the loss that really hurts, hitting too close to home for our sensitivities. Harold’s.

Courtesy Harold's

Courtesy Harold's

During our years doing tv in Oklahoma City we frequently found ourselves at the Harold’s at Penn Place if shopping in town. Our favorite out-of-town Harold’s haunts were at River Oaks, The Galleria in Dallas and on Lover’s Lane; we would also pop into the store at Tyson’s when visiting that part of the galaxy.  Even TSU (The Spousal Unit) went nuclear upon hearing the news.

The liquidation sales started last Friday; the company expects it will take approximately four months to finish selling the merchandise.  Sniff.  Tissue please.

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The word came last week that “O at Home,” the quarterly spun off from “O: The Oprah Magazine,‘ will cease publishing with the Winter issue.  Any future issues will be part of O.

The Princess Consort was concerned when he learned that Men’s Vogue will essentially cease publishing, although technically it is being ‘absorbed’ by Vogue, and hopes to publish twice a year.  (Okay… truth be told, the Consort won’t miss this one iota, it is I who enjoyed flipping through the pages.)

mens-vogue-covervoguememo-pad1

And here is one that rapidly became one of our more enjoyable business reads, Conde Nast’s Portfolio. It is dropping from twelve to ten issues a year.

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We are in peril of becoming completely distraught, so rather than going off the deep end we shall mention the Great Preppy Giveaway here at  Preppy Princess Intergalactic Headquarters, where it is *always* pink and green.

You can win an outstanding Bungalow Scout Tote, simply by leaving a comment mentioning something about America you are thankful for… that’s it!  Just fill in the blank: “I am thankful __________” and leave a comment and you are entered!  Plus, if you mention the Giveaway on your blog and you win, you receive a fabulous set of oh-so-preppy Madras Photocards as a second gift that we’ll send to anyone of your choosing! And we pay the postage on all of this!

PreppyPrincess.com

It is our way of saying ‘Thank You’ to all of our faithful customers and blogging friends! This contest closes at midnight Wednesday night, and the next one begins early Thursday, so have some fun…you just might be the lucky winner! For more information, click here to read detailed specifics and background!

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For today’s Pretty in Pink item we honor Club Libby Lu (not that TP has ever set foot in one, but we have heard about them…does that almost count?!) with the Pop Sugar Polka Dot Cupcake PJ Set in pink.

Club Libby Lu

Club Libby Lu

Until later… grins and giggles.



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

Fiscally Friendly (On Sale!) Goodies: J. Crew, Barneys, Bloomingdale’s, Brooks Brothers, Saks,

The only thing about the stock market yesterday that brought a smile to our face:

Timothy Clary/AFP/Getty

Photo: Timothy Clary/AFP/Getty

Apparently a satire group performed some sort of skit right outside the Exchange, and they had a dancing bear on hand to represent the mind-numbing bear market.  Not seen here? The dancing girls accompanying the bear. The whole thing shrieks “radio station promotion” but we elected not to investigate that possibility.  We were laughing inside. (Not. Even. Close.)

It has been awhile since The Princess went shopping online and while you know we are loathe to discuss anything related to the “M word,” it seems to be the only topic on anyone’s mind right now. So we thought it our duty to share a few retailers with you that are determined to help us weather these challenging times. We start with the Barneys Good Guy sale.

And with offerings like the Trovata madras shorts, or perhaps a Rag & Bone blazer, or Rogan windbreaker

Or one of their silk ties in a rich print, stocking up on some basics could be in order. Maybe a lush pair of socks from Italy?  Whatever “guy stuff” one might need, odds are it is available at Barneys; likely even at a savings.

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Then of course, we have those free shipping offers…

Our good friends at Brooks Brothers are sharing the Fall Homecoming season, and want us to enjoy complimentary shipping when we spend more than $200. This runs through 11:59pm on Sunday, October 19th. No special code needed.

Free shipping on orders totaling $100+ at J. Crew requires one act post haste, you will need to be rather speedy; that little bonus ends at 11:59 pm ET on Wednesday, October 8, 2008. The coupon code is ACORN. An FYI: the discount does not apply to orders over the phone.

Of course, there are loads of goodies still on hand in Crew’s Final Sale section, like the Cashmere Boyfriend Cardigan.

Looking for something oh-so-snuggly for the Young Miss in the family? How about the J Crew Crewcuts Girls’ Popover Hoodie, fiscally friendly at more than 50% off its original retail price?

If you need something for the Young Man of the house, the Crewcuts Boys’ Cotton argyle V-neck sweater is very stylish.

Saks is doing its part as well with significant savings throughout the store.

This Ralph Lauren Cashmere Cardigan for Infants is available in pink or blue.

The Tory Burch Canvas “T” Tote is also reduced in price.

Bloomingdales is also doing their part to pitch in and lower prices. The Cole Haan Patent Elly Clutch is bright and vibrant.

The Princess is not fooled by the sunny and warm-for-this-time-of-year climate; the Lilly Pulitzer “Swellie” Rain Boot is just what the weatherman ordered! Especially when Bloomies has it on sale and in the pink houndstooth or the purple and pink spatters. (Our name.)

And let us not forget that Juicy Couture is finally open on Fifth! The new flagship store opened yesterday (the cross is 52nd Street) and it looks like lots of fun.

WWD/Kyle Erickson

WWD/Kyle Ericksen

Complete with tracksuit bar…

WWD/Kyle Ericksen

WWD/Kyle Ericksen

And Juicy Couture Kids…

WWD/Kyle Ericksen

WWD/Kyle Ericksen

We do hope these brighten your day!

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

Maria Sharapova & Gymnast Nastia Liukin Front Row, Anna Wintour & Sarah Jessica Parker Throw a Party

Well, it is a Friday.

And that means NY Fashion Week is kicking off, with more parties, functions and events that any human can possibly attend. And that’s before we even talk about the actual runway shows! TP is not at all disappointed to be passing on the big do this time around, and if pushed, would acknowledge a slight sense of relief at this fact. PreppyPrincess.com is consuming all our time and energies when we aren’t fulfilling social, charitable or familial obligations, which is as it should be.

Above we have a couple of advance sketches from designers, including a ‘nature-inspired sleeveless dress’ from Tracy Reese, and an enchanting floral halter “diary dress” designed by Wenlan Chia for Twinkle. The latter link is a delightful little site full of surprises and information in addition to the fabulous clothes, incuding the 2008 Holiday Collection. If interested, there is a great blog or running commentary that even has pictures of the models they selected for their show, some fun behind-the-scenes stuff for Fashionistas.

And should you fancy Tracy Reese, there is a quite substantial sale underway if you care to shop online. For example, the Flared Skirt with Pockets in Marine is discounted 60%, as is the Large Tote in its vivid turquoise and green tones (and lots of other goodies!).

While celebrities have always been a part of Fashion Week, this year there will be even more athletes and sports celebrities also in attendance. Tennis star Maria Sharapova invited Olympic Gold Medalist Nastia Liukin to attend the Peter Som show with her, something the teenage gymnast is very excited about. But that isn’t the only show for Nastia; she is also going to Isaac Mizrahi and Cole Haan. Below, Ms. Sharapova at the Valentino Couture show in Paris this July.

Photo by Eric Ryan/Getty Images

Photo by Eric Ryan/Getty Images

Here, a photo of Nastia in Beijing, wearing all of the medals she won at the Summer Games, followed by a promotional partnership benefiting the Susan G. Komen Fund.

The talented teen has been hyper-busy since returning from the Beijing Summer Games, inking sponsorship deals, making appearances and trying to relax. She is already working with Vanilla Star Jeans to launch Nastia Liukin Gold tops and bottoms in time for the holiday selling period, and hopes to do some designing herself. She is signed with Cover Girl Cosmetics, Adidas, AT&T, and a host of other companies. The Texas superstar is slated for an appearance of Gossip Girl. And then there is the Wheaties box….

One reason the Vanilla Star Folks are pleased to be partnering with the gymnast is explained in a MediaPost story:

“…Liukin embodies the brand’s “anti-jean” philosophy by opposing the trend of exploiting young teens’ bodies in its ads. “We always try to find personalities that our core Vanilla Star customer is attracted to and will set a good example…”

The company’s slogans are “Smart girls rock,” and “Live the dream.” And don’t we find that refreshing, albeit somewhat ironic, as the Fashion Week celebration of the “You can never be too thin…” philosophy gets underway.

Below we simply had to include what is arguably TP’s alltime favorite photo of Miss Liukin, taken at the Liukin’s training facility in northern Texas before the Games. We love the sensation of floating, weighlessness, as it appears she is simply suspended in air, all symmetry and lines, grace and strength, captured in this one shot.

As far as runway shows go, one of the first this weekend is Lacoste, at 10am Saturday, in the tents at Bryant Park seen below. Others we have an interest in are Carolina Herrera on Monday morning, the edgy Z Zegna and Ports 1961 are both Monday afternoon, Monique Lhuillier Tuesday morning, Milly and Oscar de la Renta both next Wednesday, plus Ralph Lauren on Friday morning. And that’s a very disciplined and highly edited list from the Princess!

Above, a shot of the tents in Bryant Park as preparations turn into realities, with shows starting today. Unfortunately the area stands to get as much as 4-6″ of rain from Hurricane Hannah, and that could be a challenge. Here’s something of a hot ticket, depending upon one’s political persuasion and capacity to donate their way into the party….

The Runway to Change party is Tuesday night, co-hosted by Le Wintour and Sarah Jessica Parker; it will be held at desinger Charles Nolan’s studio. There is a *long* list of “Participating Designers” on the invitation, including Beyonce, Vera Wang, Russell Simmons, Zac Posen, Jay-Z, Juicy Couture, Isaac Mizrahi, and many more.

For those who are interested, don’t forget that Monday’s season opener for Oprah features 150 Olympic athletes and others, including Debbie Phelps accompanying Michael Phelps. Here are a few behind-the-scenes shots:

Chicago Tribune photo by Michael Tercha

Chicago Tribune photo by Michael Tercha

Chicago Tribune photo by Michael Tercha

Above we see Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, Olympic gold medalists in volleyball, arriving at Millenium Park for the shoot. Below, the family that fights together stay together…or something like that, here are Steve, Mark and Diana Lopez, Olympic taekwondo medalists, followed by members of our Gymnastics team, also all medalists.

Chicago Tribune photo by Michael Tercha

Chicago Tribune photo by Michael Tercha

Tribune photo by Michael Tercha

Tribune photo by Michael Tercha

May everyone enjoy an absolutely divine weekend free of stress and nasty weather!

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The Ultimate Preppy Tea Sandwiches, “The Towering World of Jimmy Choo” & Saks Sales

Happy Thursday, ’tis The Princess back again from visiting the Queen and still in a dither about the Princess Consort’s revelations yesterday. Really. I thought we had agreed some things just didn’t need to be made public, lest people think less of The Princess. And then he just goes and tells everyone about his fear of swimming in the ocean, and the time he “…hired a man to swim in the ocean for me”. How embarrassing for everyone to know he hires people to do his swimming for him!

On a side note, all Wall Street reporting aside, one would not know from the number of cars in the Nordstrom parking lot they hadn’t been enjoying a completely stellar year; they were quite busy yesterday. But then again, their sale section seemed really very large, especially when one considers this was not their Anniversary Sale section, but a “regular sale area,” an oxymoron at Nordstrom, for until recently (this year we believe) the only sales were the Anniversary Sale and the Shoe Sale.

We couldn’t resist putting up this image of pink and green sandwiches, the shot was simply too good not to post! It is from flickr, posted almost three years ago. The description follows:

pink and green tea sandwiches: egg with capers and smoked pimentón, turkey with a cranberry-pecan-orange zest cream cheese, smoked salmon with cucumber and an herby cream cheese.

The fillings sound yummy although TP isn’t sure how she would do with the bright and vibrantly-hued bread! Now the next item on our hit parade,

isn’t available until March of next year, but we couldn’t resist at least alerting you to its impending arrival. The Towering World of Jimmy Choo: A Glamorous Story of Power, Profits and Pursuit of the Perfect Shoe comes to us via Bloomsbury Publishing, and is written by Laura Goldstein Crowe, the former (and fab) Fashion Inc. blogger at Conde Nast’s Portfolio magazine, and Sagra Maceira de Rosen, an executive specializing in Luxury and Retail investments for Reig Capital.

One of our favorite websites, the Business of Fashion, managed to get an early and exclusive look at the book. As they put it, “The book is sure to cause a frenzy when published…” and we couldn’t agree more. This one sounds like it has all the makings of an outstanding non-fiction book so filled with inside stories it’s better than many a fiction book. Or, as you frequently hear from TP: “…I couldn’t make this stuff up…” on some of the more unbelievable posts.

Continuing with the Jimmy Choo track, Saks has several pair on sale at markdowns that are significant if these are your style. The Elm Water Snake Sandals start us off, with what TP is tempted to describe as “only a 4.5″ heel,” the way things are shaping up. (And up…and up!) These have “…Glamorous water snake metallic wraps at the cut-out ankle.” Indeed. Originally $920, these are now just $367.90.

Additionally Saks offers the Aeon Lizard Sandals, also originally $920, now $551.90.

A few more sale samplings at Saks, including the Burberry Infant’s Stripe Skirted Onesie at $62.90 from $95; it has snaps at the shoulders, tough to see in the photos, we know.

Also available if you’re looking for something a bit subdued for yourself, the Carmen Marc Valvo Polka Dot Dress is light and foofy, originally $330 and now $197.90.

Because we don’t want to show specific items that have limited quantities, here are just a few overview page links to designers at Saks we know you love, so you can just scan all of their sale items rather than seeing one specific item here that has long since sold out.

Their was a fair amount of Lilly Pulitzer left, some Shoshanna bathing suits and cover-ups, a smattering of Tory Burch goodies definitely worth looking at, a good amount of Hugo Boss for him, and a substantial amount of Juicy Couture. There is simply oddles more, this is just after The Princess did a quick graze to satisfy her concerns that these merit your time and attention.

We close with a few image of the plans for what is expected to be the ‘world’s largest fountain,” set to be built in Dubai. Situated next to the Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest structure as of July 4th, with an observation deck slated for the 124th Floor when the building is completed sometime in 2009.

As the company’s news release explains:

The fountain on Burj Dubai Lake is more than a visual spectacle that adds to the aesthetics of Downtown Burj Dubai. It is an engineering marvel and will further contribute to Dubai’s rich array of tourist attractions.

The Tower will have one of the first Giorgio Armani hotels in the world, the “Dubai Armani Hotel.” A visit to the Burj Dubai website is an eyeopener; you can also enter a contest to actually name the enormous fountains.

As TP is truly something of a geek inside, she can’t resist sharing this image of “3 Upcoming Architectural Wonders in the UAE,” courtesy of the Hotel Club Travel Blog.

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