Tag Archives: Kate Spade tote

About Those Used Shoes Nordstrom Is Selling at The Rack

Hello-Hello, it’s a glorious sunny day here at The Prepatorium, we hope it is the same in your corner of the globe. Those hopes and prayers are meant especially for all our friends in those areas recovering from 72 hours of disastrous, deadly weather.

We begin today with a rather unusual story.


There’s quite a bit of chatter online about a story on CNBC’s Consumer Nation blog, it involves Nordstrom selling used shoes at its Rack stores:

High-end department store Nordstrom is funneling its returned and worn shoes to its Nordstrom Rack outlet stores. This practice is surprising since outlet stores are not known as second-hand stores. It’s a place for retailers to send their unsold merchandise each season.

More than anything the issue is about perception and possible damage to the brand; the story quotes several industry experts.

“On a perception level, it turns you into a junk store, a second-hand clothing store. And, that is something that now calls into question Nordstrom’s reputation as a first-rate, quality high-end type of brand retailer,” said branding expert Robert Frankel.

Evidently the practice is not new, a review posted on Yelp back in January of 2011 offers this input from a Rack shopper:

HERE’S the CLINCHER about Nordstroms……I didn’t notice til I got home and read the receipt (didn’t bring my glasses that day) that the flat slip-ons I purchased for $49.90 and retailed(supposedly) for $139.00 were tagged WORN AND REFINISHED SHOES. That’s right, people……….. USED, RESOLD SHOES.

Here is part of the company’s response.

Nordstrom Rack Spokesperson Kendall Ault said the shoes that are labeled as “worn and refinished” are gently worn (either tried on or accepted as returns) and then professionally cleaned, repaired and refinished as needed to return to a “near-pristine” condition.

Doing a quick check of the online Rack shoes I didn’t see any described as ‘refurbished’ or ‘previously owned’.

This just doesn’t make sense for a brand with Nordstrom’s history, let alone the stature it wants to maintain in the marketplace. And I say this as someone who has purchased and worn vintage clothing (1930’s – 1970’s) and handbags at consignment shops and thrift stores. (Fortunately Scooter-the-Wonder-Cat is vigilant in guarding such purchases.)

Rightly or wrongly, used merchandise carries a perception that doesn’t sync with the image of a higher end, upscale store, even if it is “only” being done at its off-price stores.

To read the entire CNBC story, click here. Thoughts? Reactions?


The sunny day and promise of much warmer temps this week has us thinking about spring styles. We start with a few totes, these two from Pucci are outstanding ($550 at Saks).

Pucci at Saks.com

Good news for those of us fond of Jonathan Adler, the designer has just launched a new line of totes.

Jonathan Adler

While wasting time researching the post I stumbled upon a number of things in one of my favorite color combinations this spring, hot pink and orange.

Kate Spade/Jonathan Adler/Rebecca Minkoff/Furla

These next three are all by Kate Spade.

Kate Spade

Here is a vivid group of apparel in the color palette, although the Milly may be more purple than fuchsia.


From left to right we show a pink sweater and cropped pants from J. Crew, a Kay Unger Watercolor Silk Gown i($650 at L&T), Milly’s Lindsay Push Up Dress (discounted to $227 at Saks), and the Alice & Olivia Claire Maxi Dress (on sale for $257 @ Saks).

The darling Polka Dot Dress is by etsy seller Precious Baby Bows.


Wile grazing on etsy we also found squarish Stud Earrings, a Chunky Necklace and Drop Earrings, all handcrafted by etsy sellers.


We even have goodies in the popular color scheme at the Princess:

Jonathan Adler &

From left to right, the Jonathan Adler Scarf for your four-legged family member ($14.50), Personalized Boat Totes ($19 and $26), and our Jonathan Adler iPhone covers, this one in Gothic Rose ($24.50). (Please forgive the neon photo above, we’ve no clue what we did wrong, but obviously something, none of the items shown is that bright!)

There are loads decorating options in this palette, Pillow Throw Decor created the pillows you see on the far left and right, the two in the center are by Festive Home

etsy sellers PillowThrowDecor and FestivHome

There are even lots of offerings for the tiny preps, including the Skip Hop Dunck Bath Toys at Boutique Targét, on the right we show a Paul Frank for Target Infant/Toddler bathing suit ($14).



We leave you with good news for fans of Downtown Abbey, here is the headline that had us smiling this weekend:

‘Downton Abbey’ Cast (Most Of Them Anyway) Sign On Through Season 5!

Almost all key cast players are re-signed for not just Season 3, but a fourth and fifth season as well, click here for the story.


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

Brooks Brothers With An Edge, the Azalea Maids Need our Help!

Good day from Snow Central in The Great Midwest!

Today we start with a few photos of what we call ‘edgy’ Brooks Brothers, the result of another collaboration with design genius Junya Watanabe.  First, a new twist on an old favorite, the madras blazer.


PHOTO: Snobiety.com

Along with a fresh take on the classic Brooks button-down.


PHOTO: HighSnobiety.com

Not something we are likely to see the Consort turn in his existing shirts for, but fun to look at nonetheless! Our thanks to the folks at HighSnobiety!  And in more “Brooks Brothers News,” imagine our surprise when we saw this headline and story in Racked.com (another one of our daily reads):

Discontinued: Brooks Brothers Folds Fifth Ave Store

A Racked tipster writes, “In a letter dated Jan 5th and sent to customers, Brooks Brothers indicated that they are relocating their staff and associates from the 5th Ave (and 53rd) store to their flagship location on Madison Avenue as of January 26th 2009.”

Apparently the departure is not related to the economy, at least not according to the Post’s story. And BTW, we continue to receive daily email from Brooks touting their Clearance Sale with ‘Up to 60% Off” original price points.


The last several daze days have been filled with little odds and ends of stories our cherished readers may find moderately interesting, so we’ll do another Preppy Digest this afternoon, starting with word from The Choosy Beggar in Friday’s post that Tretorn is having a great sale.

We liked the French Terry Hoodie because of its snuggle factor, clearly peaking in the red zone on the Snuggle-O-Meter. Also offering fiscally friendly prices, Kate Spade.  We are seriously considering the Holly Heights ornaments at only $38.

The two-tone Tracy Bucket Tote is now $139.

And did we mention the ongoing sale at Tory Burch? (Not to mention all of the Tory Burch on sale at Neiman’s, Saks, Nordstrom, etc.) The Lara Flat is reduced 33%, available in both navy and french yellow.


Fans of the oh-so-preppy-inspired Gossip Girl will be intrigued by the news that Chace Crawford‘s character (aka Nate Archibald) will be joined by a new character, a cousin.  And the new character’s name? Kip Vanderbilt.  Seriously. In other C2 news, the Leona Lewis music video Mr. Crawford is starring in debuts next week.

Dean Freeman

PHOTO: Dean Freeman


The Washington Post announced a winner in their “First Lady Formalwear Contest” in today’s paper. Readers were asked to submit their own designs for an Inaugural gown for Michelle Obama. WaPo fashion critic Robin Givhan selected the winning sketch from almost 200 designs submitted by the general public.

Katie Ermilio Photo

PHOTO: Katie Ermilio Photo

Katie Ermilio is the designer creating the sketch seen above; Ms. Givhan’s column detailing her reasoning for this choice is outstanding – a fabulous read.


For today’s Pretty in Pink we offer the utterly divine Pink Panther Collection by Thomas Pink.

Courtesy Selectism

Courtesy Selectism

The story idea and fabulous photos come via this story by the always-ahead-of-the-crowd folks at Selectism. Look for these treasures and a few more in February when the new Pink Panther movie is released.


And for our favorite photo of the day, we offer this stunning shot of the Azalea Trail Maids from Mobile, Alabama.

Presidential Inaugural Committee

Courtesy: Presidential Inaugural Committee

The Maids are beyond divine, but they need our help.  They are going to be in the Inaugural Parade in just over a week and are still raising $$$ to finance their trip to our Nation’s Capital.  A bit of background:

The Azalea Trail Court, which is widely recognized as representing the finest in Southern charm and hospitality, has grown from a 10 member court who gathered for 3 days, to a 50 member court who represent Mobile year round at hundreds of civic events.”

TP loves the Lawn Rangers, but let’s face it: the Azalea Maids are much prettier to look at, yes?

Until next time!


Filed under Gossip Girl, preppy, Pretty in Pink