Tag Archives: Lilly Pulitzer

Oh, Those Preppy Struggles

Hello-Hello, and welcome to a weekend. (Well, it’s almost here.)

In the spirit of ‘let’s have a little Friday Fun,’ we present a few items from “17 Preppy Struggles,” a post on BuzzFeed’s Community page. The series of “struggles” was originally posted last weekend, on the 12th.

Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed

Here is the first item in the post.

Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed

Another ‘struggle’ on the list references Lilly Pulitzer.

Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed

Parenthetically, is this spring’s collection brighter or more neon-like than I noticed….?

Back to our list, here is #11.

Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed

Hmmm. That seems to be another challenge I haven’t yet encountered, the trendy prep. (Perhaps I live a sheltered existence?) This next photo was also included under Item #11. Presumably someone decked out a pair of pseudo-Sperrys? I can’t quite make out the brand name of the shoe pictured, but let’s be fair: there have been some Sperry designs of late that aren’t all that far removed from the shoe seen below.

Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed

Second on the list was this item:

Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed

Full disclosure: we may have uttered the occasional snarkism or ten or two when it comes to the hipster topic. Hipsters were targeted more than once on the list of Struggles.

Another item on the list.

Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed

Struggle #15 it may resonate far more than any of the others.

Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed

Thank heaven The Consort came along when he did.

And then there’s this, Struggle #16.

Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed

At least we can help out with this one. Behold, the personalized barrettes by the Preppy Planet.

Personalized Barrettes by Preppy Planet

Personalized Barrettes by Preppy Planet

These just launched last week, and they are already one of our top sellers for the month. The monogrammed barrettes (hair clips?) come in either an oval or rectangular shape, both measure about 3′ long by 1.5″ wide. The barrettes are $12 or two identical clips for $20. As always, we’ll even gift box and wrap them at no additional charge. Below, a few more designs.

Monogrammed Barrettes at PreppyPrincess.com

Monogrammed Barrettes at PreppyPrincess.com

Obviously the possibilities are endless when it comes to school colors and other themes (bridesmaids, sorority houses, etc.). We have already had inquiries about group buying rates (cheerleading squads, dance teams, etc.), we’ll certainly work with you on discounts for your organization or group. 😀

On that fun note, we hope you have a fabulous weekend and don’t let those ‘Preppy Struggles’ get you down. (Ahem.)

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Spring Surfing, A New Style of “Mommy & Me”

Hello-Hello, and welcome to a Friday, where once again we are seeing gray, gloomy skies. It is after all, February in The Great Midwest.

The abundance of dreary days spurred a spot of online window shopping this week, as we sought out some bright and vibrant hues. Fortunately, the springtime fashions are arriving in stores and online, so we were able to indulge in dreams of sunny skies and warmer temps. While looking at the styles we noted the preponderance of patterned sweaters that are made of printed fabric, as opposed to the pattern being woven into the material.

We have several examples of the technique, starting with Bean’s Lightweight Printed cardigan ($59.95). The material is described as “premium pima cotton for silky softness, nylon for extra durability and a bit of Lycra® elastane for a consistent fit”.

LL Bean Printed Cardigans

LL Bean Printed Cardigans

Many of us grew up wearing sweaters with the pattern woven into the garment, like these, also from Bean. The handknit Fair Isle ($199) is seen on the left, the iconic Norwegian sweater ($139) is on the right.

LL Bean

LL Bean

More examples of the printed sweaters, a springy style from J. McLaughlin. This is the Durango Sweater ($155), also printed (and in a lovely selection of color palettes!). It is a cotton/modal blend with a touch of spandex.

J. McLaughlin

J. McLaughlin

Talbots’ cardigans are often a blend of 60% cotton/40% rayon. It is a comfortable mix of fibers, I have one and it has worn well. Below left, the Tapestry Paisley Cardigan.

Talbots

Talbots

Lilly Pulitzer also offers printed cardigans.

Lilly Pulitzer

Lilly Pulitzer

Someone here at the Prepatorium has several has seen these in person (cough-cough), the newer technique allows patterns that are more intricate and detailed, and colors that are rich and bold.  Initially I wasn’t crazy about the method, but gradually have come to like it, deciding there is room in the closet for both styles. Does anyone else have strong feelings about the fabric…good, bad, never noticed?

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Another style we have noticed more this spring, the knit blazer. Below we show it as interpreted by Brooks Brothers.

Brooks Brothers

Brooks Brothers

Talbots also offers a knit jacket, this is the Ponté knit Colorblocked Jacket (149).

Talbots Ponte Knit Blazer

Talbots Ponte Knit Blazer

And here we see LL Bean’s version, the Comfort Knit Blazer ($49.95).

LL Bean

LL Bean

It brings to mind an old theory of mine: as a rule, if the word ‘comfort’ is in the name of a garment, it’s unlikely to be terribly chic or elegant. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but when viewing the gray version, in particular, the look goes a bit downhill.

Knits can be a beautiful thing, especially when traveling. Talbots has multiple pieces in the Ponté knit fabric shown above, arguably several would work on a business trip. The freedom from wrinkles alone make the textile meritorious of inclusion in many a wardrobe. But the knit blazer….? Below, Old Navy’s version ($34.94).

Old Navy

Old Navy

Observations? The jackets with patterns and/or tipping (the contrasting color edges seen on the Brooks Brothers & Talbots pieces) seem less offensive than the solid colors. Also, gray looks rather ghastly, reminiscent of sweatshirts and yoga pants. Again, nothing bad about those items in one’s closet, they have a place. It’s just similar material turned into a blazer looks very odd to yours truly.

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The final trend we noticed when surfing through some of our favorite sites, color blocking.

Via LilyWhiteClothing.com

Via LilyWhiteClothing.com

We see it in Lilly’s Heidi Cardigan ($148).

Lilly Pulitzer 'Heidi' Cardigan

Lilly Pulitzer ‘Heidi’ Cardigan

As well as J. Crew’s Colorblock Cardigan ($89.50).

J. Crew

J. Crew

And Kate Spade’s Colorblock Tees ($68).

Kate Spade

Kate Spade

As Lilly notes in describing its Irene Dress (below left), “We’re on a colorblock kick!” The frock on the right is the Colorblock Tiff Dress from Kate Spade ($358), on the far right, Kate Spade’s Colorblock Blanche Dress ($498).

Lilly Pulitzer/Kate Spade/Kate Spade

Lilly Pulitzer/Kate Spade/Kate Spade

More examples: the Long Sleeve Sunshirt in Caribbean ($78), Stretch Perfect Shirt in Hydrangea ($88), and Boys’ Pullover in Spearmint ($49.50), all from J. Crew.

J. Crew

J. Crew

I have long been fond of this style (in moderation), it adds zip to garments that usually have clean lines and minimal embellishment.

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Our final tidbit today has nothing to do with dressing humans, but rather, feline fashions. Behold, United Bamboo’s 2013 Cat Calendar.

United Bamboo

United Bamboo

Why are we so crazy about it? It is all about the sartorial selections of those starring in the pages of the Calendar.

United Bamboo

United Bamboo

How cute is the little Regatta Blazer?

United Bamboo

United Bamboo

Or the Ruffle Pleat Dress?

United Bamboo

United Bamboo

It kind of takes ‘Mommy & Me’ to an entirely new level.

United Bamboo

United Bamboo

With that we say Happy Weekend!

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Lilly’s Big Birthday Bash, Brooks Brothers New Digs

Today we share a look at Lilly Pulitzer’s 80th birthday bash, clearly the place to be this weekend for many of us who admire the iconic designer.

The event was at the Museum of Lifestyle and Fashion History, an ideal venue, the Museum has been featuring a special Lilly  exhibit.

Courtesy Life is Better with a Twist of Lime

As one would expect at such a festive occasion, there was an abundance of pink and green.

Via Southern Living Preppy Style

Here is how Lilly’s plate looked.

Courtesy Mary Lane

What does one have for dessert at a celebration like this?

Courtesy Southern Living Preppy Style

Our thanks to the always delightful Jennifer from Southern Living Preppy Style for sharing her lovely pictures, below we see her with the birthday girl.

Courtesy Southern Living Preppy Style

Mary Lane was chairwoman of the event, we see her looking ever-so-chic below left, and on the right…wait a minute, I know that guy! It’s the one and only Kiel James Patrick.

Courtesy Mary Lane (L) & Twist of Lime (R)

Fortunately Kiel’s better half friend Sarah Vickers was also at the party, we see her below (L) with Bethany of Maryland Pink and Green (C) and Wendy of Life is Better with a Twist of Lime, isn’t that a gorgeous group?

Courtesy Life is Better with a Twist of Lime

There was also a fashion show by a company that knows its Lilly, C. Orrico.

Courtesy Mary Lane

There were also vintage styles shown, yours truly actually owns the frock on the left.

Courtesy Mary Lane

The party was clearly an enormous success, our hats are off to those who organized the gala. We also want to thank Mary Lane and Wendy of a Twist of Lime for graciously sharing their photos!

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Our second topic today involves another storied prep brand, Brooks Brothers, the retailer opened its new Flatiron concept store this weekend.

Steve Eichner/Women's Wear Daily

More on the store’s different look from Women’s Wear Daily:

….represents a major departure for the retailer in terms of merchandising. While the entire apparel assortment is also found in the company’s traditional Brooks Brothers stores, it is brought together in a creative, playful way to attract its target customer: college students and young professionals.

The merchandise has an edgier appeal without detracting from the core brand.

Brooks Brothers Courtesy Photos

The company is wise to broaden its customer base, more on the tactic in this post on the concept store.

Steve Eichner/Women's Wear Daily

Speaking of Brooks, we wanted to share the latest celebrity to step out in the company’s formal wear.

Disney

That is one very dapper frog, it turns out he wears Brooks in his new movie that opens Thanksgiving.

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Is There A Change at J. Crew?

Hello-Hello and welcome to a new week here at the Prepatorium, we appreciate you stopping in for a visit.

We begin today with an update on J. Crew, a brand we haven’t spent much time chatting about recently.  Canada’s Globe and Mail took a look at the company in advance of its first Canadian store opening.  J. Crew Primping for its Canadian Debut examines some of the retailer’s recent business decisions, this initial portion references CEO Mickey Drexler.

Customers were complaining that his stores no longer carried the “cafe Capri” women’s cropped pants. The shelves were stocked with too many ruffled tops and mini-skirts, and too few classics such as Italian cashmere sweaters, ballet flats and knee-length pencil skirts.

Mr. Drexler felt the pain. The missteps caused J. Crew Group Inc. to stumble financially. Today….he feels the pressure to once again generate the fashion hits for which he is famous.”

We selected a few examples relative to what the story discusses, beginning with Crew’s Schoolboy Madras Blazer, an item more in keeping with what customers would consider the brand’s heritage.  Although the shrunken cut may fit too snugly, at least the garment harkens back to the brand’s ‘preppy roots.’  On the other hand, while a pencil skirt is always in style, efforts to ‘update’ the look don’t work in the ‘Pleated Pencil Skirt‘ seen lower right, the detail at the hip is unlikely to flatter anyone bigger than a Size 2. (As a sometimes Size 4 we figure we’re allowed to grip about such things.)

Back to the Globe & Mail’s story:

J. Crew’s recent fashion errors underline Mr. Drexler’s strengths and challenges. He knew quickly last summer that some of the new younger styles weren’t working, and that the stores were under-stocked on classics.

More pieces probably unpopular with “old style” core customers include things like an Heirloom Lace Vest originally priced at $295, and a $150 Sequin Sweatshirt (now $99), garments that are simply not going to work for many. 

More from the story:

We skewed a little younger than we should have – a little more trendy,” Mr. Drexler….said in an interview…“We ran out of a lot of our best-sellers. When you don’t have enough of the best, you skew too young – you have a tough time. It happened. Right now it’s kind of fixed.”

Other items in the too trendy category would likely include the Mona Shirtdress (left) and the $995 Plumage Skirt, covered in feathers, now on sale for $599.

We thought the company did a decent job maintaining a core of perfectly acceptable pieces, much like the Cotton Dress shown below.

To be fair, we never encountered any difficulty finding basic cashmere pieces, like the sweater below.

Via J. Crew

But then we didn’t look very often, at least not in the last several years. Once a core customer is turned off by a brand’s offerings they are not as likely to pay casual visits to the retailer, either in person or online. There are too many other choices available in the marketplace, the retailing landscape too crowded.

One of the more interesting things about the story is the way Mr. Drexler is referenced throughout the piece, here is one example essentially saying the company is dependent upon his talents:

“Drexler is human and obviously made some mistakes last year,” said Mark Cohen, a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business in New York and a former CEO of Sears Canada. “The good news about a one-man band is that, when in tune, the melody is awfully sweet. But when it’s off-key, the music is awful.

There is no reference to J. Crew’s President and Creative Director, Jenna Lyons.  However, it is possible the appeal she holds for many of the firm’s customers in the US won’t carry across the border until people are more familiar with J. Crew’s offerings.

In efforts to better engage customers the company has embraced social media, growing the content on its website in addition to using Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. For example, as in previous seasons, the fall lookbook is now available online.

Via J. Crew Tumblr

Here are three looks from the Fall 2011 line.

Via J. Crew

We do hope J. Crew is able to right the ship, for years the company did *many* things very well. More from this fall’s line.

Via J. Crew

What do you think, is the company getting back to styles you are more comfortable with?

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We leave you with a bright and fun image, actually a fundraiser for the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

National Aquarium

The limited-edition Lilly Pulitzer scarf is a fundraiser for the Aquarium, available now at the Aquarium’s gift shop. Here is a better look at the detail in the pattern.

National Aquarium

For an *outstanding* post on the topic, visit Let The Tide Pull Your Dreams Ashore.

Until next time, g’bye!

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

Gossip Guy Updates, Luxury Baby Clothes & An Homage to Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Hello-Hello, and welcome to a Tuesday here at the Prepatorium.

We have multiple tidbits to share today, most are of the hit and split headline only variety, with apologies, we are pressed for time.

1) It isn’t only the summer solstice, today also brings something of a holiday for many:

Lilly Pulitzer

It’s National Wear Your Lilly Day, and regardless of the weather, Lilly Lovers everywhere were sporting the vibrant hues and prints.  Below, the understated elegance our pal Lisagh was going to be wearing.

Here’s a peek at all of the fun back at the Pink Palace (Lilly Pulitzer headquarters).

Via Lilly Pulitzer

2) This Saturday we enjoyed a story in the Journal looking at the increase in children’s clothing collections from luxury brands.  From Sameer Reddy’s story:

“With the launch of several children’s lines from mega fashion brands like Fendi, Lanvin and Gucci, however, parental projection is going to a new level, with mini-me’s dressed to impress rather than for recess.”

The piece is accompanied by a number of photos with fashion montages styled many ways, including “Preppy Baby” (L) and “Hippie Baby” (R).

F. Martin Ramin for The Wall Street Journal

It makes for an interesting read, one we happily recommend; click here for the entire story.

3) It’s Men’s Fashion Week again and there are reports Gossip Guy Chace Crawford walked the runway for Versace at yesterday’s show in Milan. As best we can tell he did *not* actually model for Versace but he did attend the show.

PHOTOS: Getty Images

4) Another Gossip Girl star, Penn Badgley, has been chosen for the lead in one of the upcoming films about musician Jeff Buckley, prompting rumors he may need to leave the show to accommodate the production schedule for the movie. (Gasp.)

5) Theminute-by-minute (almost) schedule for the Canadian portion of the upcoming Royal Tour in Canada is now available, click here to see the details.

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What sounds like a must-see exhibit for anyone who is going to be in southern California is now open, “LBD (Little Black Dress) An Homage to Breakfast at Tiffany’s” can be seen at the FIDM Museum.

Via FIDM

The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising show isn’t huge, but looks at a subject matter near and dear to our heart, who doesn’t appreciate the beauty of a LBD … or several? Here is more from All the Rage:

“Standouts include Hubert de Givenchy’s line-for-line re-creation of the “Tiffany’s” dress (on loan from Hubert de Givenchy Couture) and glam takes on the staple from Christian Dior, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, Madeleine Vionnet, Valentina and L.A.-based designers Monique Lhuillier, Kevan Hall and Chan Luu.”

Kathryn Collings/MyStyle.com (R)

We hadn’t realized there were actually 4 of the Givenchy dresses made for Audrey Hepburn. The exhibit runs through August 13, and best of all, it is free.  For more you can also visit the FIDM Museum’s Shop page on Facebook.

Via FIDM Museum Shop Facebook Page

There is also more about the exhibit at the FIDM blog, it looks like a delightful way to spend one’s lunch hour!

On those lovely images we say goodbye until next time, may your day be as bright and filled with fun as the Lilly everyone is wearing.

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