Tag Archives: old school

Ladurée Does…Cosmetics? Also, Santa’s Preppish Traits

Hello-Hello, Happy Hanukkah to our friends who are celebrating, and Merry Almost-Christmas!

It’s wonderful to be back blogging. Between business obligations and other commitments it has been more than a little crazy here at The Prepatorium, a big “Thank You” to The Consort for his kind contribution Tuesday.

Once again we are brief, sharing a few tidbits we hope provide a modicum of entertainment, beginning with word that everyone’s favorite macaron company is planning an expansion; Ladurée will be launching a cosmetic line. Women’s Wear Daily has the story:

….the collection centers on 20 different blush colors in the form of cameos. Also in the line are liquid foundation and lip color.

The collection will debut in Japan early next year, prior to a European and US introduction.  It really isn’t that big a departure from the brand’s existing lines, they already offer the Ladurée Beauty collection: candles, bath salts and other goodies.


We always enjoy even the tiniest taste of the company’s macarons, and the packaging is always exquisite – how pretty is the new Houndstooth collection?!

Via Secrets of Style

We call that ‘bliss in a box.’


Our other item also comes via WWD (subscription req’d.), and it deals with a familiar character.

You see, every week the publication selects a Man of the Week and dissects his style; to be honest, the critiques aren’t always flattering. But today’s feature looks at someone who is a household name and applauds his timeless look, here is a snippet from Man of the Week: Santa Claus.

  • He’s ahead of his time: Beards are the “It” trend in men’s grooming.
  • He rocks the red velvet leisure suit.
  • Faux fur trim is the must-have of the season, but Santa has known it all along.
  • White gloves are a little debutante, but necessary to keep his fingers clean after eating all those cookies.

It almost sounds as if Mr. Claus has some prep in his background: timeless style, practical apparel and accessories, a refusal to be dictated to by the fashion crowd….hmmm. You know what that sounds like to me…!


We leave you with today’s Pretty in Pink, the American Retro Estate Wagon.

American Retro Estate Wagon at Barneys

We found this one at Barneys in the Girls department, clearly a classic.



Filed under preppy

In Which We Speak of The Blue Book (No, Not The One About Cars)

Hello and welcome to a Tuesday here at The Prepatorium, where we have been confronted with yet another sign the apocalypse could be nigh.

It all started with the morning newspaper perusal. Yes, we still read an actual paper newspaper every morning, deriving some silly comfort from the tactile sensation of bona fide newsprint between fingers, pages spread out everywhere, swapping sections with The Consort. We happen to have The Journal delivered daily, much as we enjoy The Times, it is stuffed with such copious amounts of good reading it began to feel like we had an obligation to the paper and we weren’t keeping up our end of the deal (seriously). Thus we resorted to the online subscription for that publication.

At any rate, here is a headline that from The Journal that sent the morning a tad off kilter:

Denver’s Society Bible Hits the Skids

From the story:

DENVER—The Social Register and Record has been publishing the accomplishments of this city’s well-bred and well-to-do since 1906. But the gold-embossed edition that came out last month may be the last volume of the Denver Register ever printed.

It won’t be deeply missed.


The books served a very good purpose for decades, originally created for those visiting other cities, or contemplating whether or not to allow someone to make a social call at their residence.  Such customs may seem downright quaint in today’s world of instant-everything, the I-want-it-now-or-not-at-all philosophy has sadly become more pervasive, but that wasn’t the case years ago.

Matthew Staver for The Wall Street Journal

Yours truly resided in Denver for 17+ years; while never listed in the Blue Book, many friends and some not exactly friends and associates were included.  Not all Registers were/are actually blue books, some readers are likely familiar with Washington’s Green Book.

The Green Book

New York’s distinctive black cover with orange printing is easily recognized.

Social Register Online

The New York Book seems much healthier than Denver’s, here is more from the WSJ’s Metropolis blog:

The main edition, published in November, lists almost 25,000 families and provides their addresses and phone numbers, academic affiliations and memberships in clubs, business associations and charitable groups.

The Metropolis story quotes an editor who notes that many members aren’t necessarily technological whizzes, and they would rather have a physical book to read. However, the group doesn’t ignore the internet.

The secret advisory board that reviews nominations for new listings has been known check out prospective members online, scanning for embarrassing videos, compromising photos or blog posts unsuitable for a paragon of high society.

“That,” Prychodko says, “is a tool we all use these days.”

Someone even tried doing a new version for San Francisco in 2009, “San Francisco Social: The New Social Register“. We’re guessing Amid Privilege might have some thoughts on the newfangled version as well as the original. (Of course she is much too circumspect

San Francisco Social

According to Amazon’s listing for the book it even comes in a Kindle version.

Back to Stephanie Simon’s story from today’s paper and the situation in Denver:

In recent years, however, the cachet seems to have worn thin. Fewer families are applying for inclusion in the Register (to be considered, they must be nominated by a current listee).

And fewer listed families see enough value in the book to pay $65 for the latest edition. A decade ago, Mrs. Piper says, she was easily selling more than 800 books a year. This year, she sold just 392.

The online version of the story also features a photo piece entitled High Bred, Little Read (double owie), we reveled in chapter titles from older versions of the Book:

  • The Smart Set
  • The Young Set
  • Eligible Men
  • Types of Denver Beauty
  • Fashionable Residence Districts
  • Worth Over a Million

Matthew Staver for The Wall Street Journal

Many registries do utilize contemporary technology, New York’s book allows downloading of appropriate forms and applicable paperwork, as well as on online version of the Register supplemented with additional information.

There are other registers that aren’t published at all, like The Social Register of Las Vegas, its information is all online, including its Facebook page. Below a snippet of its Mission Statement:

The primary mission of The Social Register of Las Vegas is to bring a higher level of business networking and socializing to Las Vegas, while providing numerous philanthropic opportunities to give back to those less fortunate in the Las Vegas community. The Social Register offers two distinct, private membership divisions: the Business Professional Networking/ Marketing Division and the Social & Philanthropic Division.

Call me crazy, I’m not hearing TQM or GAM (Great Aunt Molly) endorsing ‘networking’ as a proper activity; you won’t be surprised to read they were/are more of the “one’s name need only be published three times: upon birth, marriage and death” school of public imagery.  However, we ladies work nowadays; while in most careers it’s not an issue, in some endeavors that requires one’s name in the paper, on the radio, online, you know the drill.

It would seem to our little pea-brain that if not enough people find value in Denver’s Blue Book (sniff), then perhaps it should belong to the past. Our issue would never be with the fact there aren’t enough people who find the book vital to their world, we can be anachronistic enough to fret over the social situation creating that condition, not its resultant impact on Blue Book sales.  We’re also pragmatic enough to revel in a more egalitarian world, where we get to work everyday, where life is more inclusionary, and where TQM doesn’t cringe quite so much when yours truly lands on the teewee while chatting about the latest fashion ensemble worn by Kate Middleton as part of her J-O-B.

Comme Ci, Comme Ça, oui?


Filed under preppy, preppy lifestyle

That New Preppy Style Book & When Anti-Preps Attack…Each Other

Hello-Hello, happy Thursday, it is another glorious day here at The Prepatorium, hopefully the sun is shining wherever you may be. (Unless you are in Texas, where we would wish a nice, steady moderate rainfall for you. TUWBVB, I Pick Pretty, Hopsy, all of you, we feel your pain.)

We begin today with an update on something we have chatted about previously, the upcoming release of Preppy: Cutivating Ivy Style.


WWD carried a story about the book today; photos from the upcoming publication are shown, including this image of men from Deerfield‘s class of 1961.

Private Collection photo via WWD

(Can we talk about all of that fabulous madras?!)

The book remains on track for an October 4 release, David Lipke’s story is titled The Progression of Preppy Style, an apt description.

“The book, out in October, is a scholarly exploration of the roots of preppy style, enlivened with a treasure trove of historic photos and illustrations. The photos of boarding school students from decades past are particularly fascinating, as they show how consistent the look has been, even to this day.

Another image from the book, one that many readers will recognize, a still from the film Love Story with Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw.

Photofest via WWD

More from Mr. Lipke’s review:

President Kennedy’s influence on preppy-dom is recounted, as are the contributions of other pillars of prep, such as Katharine Hepburn in her tweed skirts, Grace Kelly in her cashmere twinsets and Howard Hughes in his golf knickers. Edward, Prince of Wales, is of major import for many reasons, key among them that he popularized sporting clothes as casualwear and insisted on unstructured designs with minimal linings.

Getty Images & Rizzoli via WWD

The writers are Jeffrey Banks and Doria de La Chapelle, the duo co-authored “Tartan: Romancing the Plaid” back in 2007.

“Preppy isn’t just a way of dressing, it’s a culture and a language,” explained Banks, in a navy Lacoste shirt and red chinos. “It’s all about nuance.”

There is also a look at different interpretations of the style, below we see an image from the immensely popular blog Street Etiquette, the site did a piece last year on the “Black Ivy“.

Courtesy of Street Etiquette

On a related note, The Times has a story today with the founders of Street Etiquette, Joshua Kissi and Travis Gumbs. There is an accompanying photo essay, “The New Dandies: Prep Fashion With a Twist”.  From the story, “Pushing the Boundaries of Black Style“:

“Instead, this generation emphasizes the basics: great fabrics, aggressive tailoring, thoughtful accessorizing. It’s a return to style as a source of dignity, a theme that has run through generations of black American style, from Reconstruction to the Harlem Renaissance to the civil rights era to the mixed messages of the hip-hop era.”

Back to the book, more from the WWD story:

“Modern-day designers like Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger have transformed preppy style with their own versions of the campus classics.

“Ralph Lauren made preppy lusher and more desirable,” said La Chapelle. “Every generation has its own interpretation of preppy.”

An advertising image from the 1997 Polo by Ralph Lauren collection is included.

Courtesy Polo by Ralph Lauren via WWD

We look forward to reading this one, it is available for pre-ordering through Amazon.  Rizzoli is also publishing Ralph Lauren’s eponymous book in October.

Via Rizzoli


Speaking of Mr. Lauren, Women’s Wear Daily also had a brief preview of his spring 2012 mens’ collections:

“The flagship Polo collection continues to speak to the “diehard preppy,” Lauren said, with natural-shoulder three-button jackets with wider lapels and traditional patterns of herringbones, gabardines or plaids.

John Aquino/WWD

The trade publication noted there is a “country-club grouping with seersucker and patchwork patterns”.


Finally today, something for our “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” category. The story is about something we used to call ‘reverse compensation’ when working in tv; it refers to a practice that became common in the 1990s when local tv stations had to start paying the networks to be affiliates. In the former business model the networks paid stations to be affiliated with them.

At any rate, you can probably imagine where this is going: yesterday’s carefully timed publicity stunt news that über-AntiPrep retailer Abercrombie & Fitch has offered to pay another AntiPrep to *stop* wearing its clothing.  Really.

Elisabetta Villa /Getty Images via MSNBC

From an Abercrombie publicity release news release, evidently referencing someone referred to as “The Situation” from Jersey Shore. (The entire cast of this program have been declared AntiPreps.)

 “We are deeply concerned that Mr. Sorrentino’s association with our brand could cause significant damage to our image. We understand that the show is for entertainment purposes, but believe this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand, and may be distressing to many of our fans.”

The Times has a story on the topic, including these side-by-side photos of Abercrombie bags and Mr. Situation.

Benoit Tessier/Reuters (L) Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images (R) via The NY Times

Two things come to mind:

  1. “Hello Pot? This is Kettle calling”.
  2. They deserve each other.

On that note, goodbye until next time!


Filed under Collaborations, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Preppy Back to School? & Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kardashian Kollection at Sears.com

More from the Bloomberg story, still referencing Sears.

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

A few offerings from the Varsity Prep collection.

Sears "Varsity Prep"

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

Sears "Varsity Prep" Collection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

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

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

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

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

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

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

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

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

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

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

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

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

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

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

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

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

Thank you for coming to visit!


Filed under Collaborations, Gossip Girl, Preppy Fashion

That Preppiest Schools List Is a Little Different This Year & Lilly Pulitzer Fabric Update

Once again, it is time to chat about HuffPo‘s (Huffington Post) annual list of “The Preppiest Schools“. Be advised however, that this year’s list is a bit different from previous compilations. From the story accompanying the list:

“Once upon a time, the prep was a variation of a traditionalist, East Coast-born, equestrian-riding, upper class WASP that attended a northeastern private university and boarding school before that. But the elusive noun is ever-changing, and nowadays members of this subculture are more defined by their attitudes than their creeds: If they play lacrosse, wear boat shoes, and bring a date to a football game, they’re preppy.”

Here is the portion that most directly explains the somewhat different makeup of this year’s schools:

“The attachment to traditional “old school” beliefs and attitudes isn’t necessarily there, just an outfit that makes ’em look like their parents own several yachts and a place on the Vineyard. We’re ringing in an age of the “New Prep.”

In other words, the parameters used to determine the schools have changed a bit. Here is a partial list from Lindsay Dittman’s story, along with selected portions of her writeups on each school (I don’t want anyone to think it is my writing, that is why I am underlining that):

#1) University of Virginia:  “At a school that refers to the quad as “the Lawn,” it’s no surprise that many of the frat and sorority houses are situated along “Rugby Road.”

#2) University of the South (Sewanee):  “There’s no denying that Sewanee is a school founded on tradition… According to the school’s website, “You can’t be on campus longer than a few minutes before you notice that Sewanee students are dressed up for class…””

#3) Miami University (Ohio):  “Referred to as “J. Crew U…”

#4) College of Charleston: “Name-checked in the original “Preppy Handbook,” this Charleston, South Carolina school contains a lot of pink and green and a lotof monograms. The Spring graduation tradition? Women wear white dresses and descend from the steps of Randolph Hall, the college’s oldest building, while the men wear white dinner jackets and wait in the Cistern yard.”

The College of Charleston photo via The Huffington Post

#9) Claremont McKenna: The description of this school explains ” The CEO of Abercrombie, Michael S. Jeffries, graduated from the school in 1966.” Our thought? Clearly Mr. Jeffries has a short memory, nothing Abercrombie sells could even remotely be referred to as preppy.

There are a few more surprises on the list this year (including a university picked as the “Preppiest College” in a Social Primer list), we recommend a visit to the Huffington Post to read the story in its entirety.

As you might imagine, the story has generated quite a few comments.  Many wonder about schools not on the list (i’m not sure *any* of the 2010 schools made the list), asking about Elon, Middlebury, Colgate, Vassar, etc., others talk about what is/isn’t preppy and unsurprisingly, there are a few comments about Abercrombie.


Also today, another update on the new Lilly Pulitzer for Lee Jofa fabric collection.  High Street Market has a lovely post about the collection, showcasing some of the just-released patterns.

Lilly Pulitzer for Lee Jofa via High Street Market

The Lee Jofa site now has images online, including some of the trims that go with the collection, we’ll call these today’s Pretty in Pink.

Although The Prepatorium isn’t currently slated for any kind of interior design redo, we do enjoy looking at all of the pictures.

Lilly Pulitzer for Lee Jofa

Lee Jofa has a scaled down version of the catalog available for online viewing as well.

On that vibrant note, we say goodbye until next time!


Filed under Collaborations, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink

The International Debutante Ball, Young Royals to Go It Alone

Hello-Hello, happy back-to-the-routine Monday!

Did everyone enjoy the break from the humdrum, the everyday, the routine?  We reveled in doing the Prepatorium up properly this year, although we suffered a casualty to one of our collection of heart ornaments when de-Christmasing the house.

The Prepatorium

But it is only glass, and a small price to pay for enjoying the splendor of the season.


Back to more timely news, we start with an update on one of the more notable social celebrations of the year.

Béatrice de Géa for NYT

The 56th Annual International Debutante Ball was last Wednesday at the Waldorf.

Bryan Derballa for The Wall Street Journal

Like any coming out gala or cotillion, the Ball is replete with pomp and pageantry; more from WWD’s story:

“Military cadets in full-dress uniform bore flags from the debutantes’ country or state, marching through the ballroom to the echoing strains of the Lester Lanin Orchestra, who played the Beach Boys’ “California Girls” for a debutante from the Golden State, and “Yankee Doodle” for one from Connecticut.”

Kristen Somody Whalen/WWD

Below, two of the debs, on the left we see Meredith Bess Mosbacher (the family is known for its diplomatic service) in Monique Lhuillier; on the right, Olivia Laine Tyson (the family is in poultry).

The Observer’s story, “The Luckiest Girls in the World: White Tie Endures at the International Debutante Ball” is fun, with insight on why a certain group of escorts from a previous year were not have been invited back. Below, gentlemen from this year’s cadre of escorts.

Bryan Derballa for The Wall Street Journal

Below, Katherine Anne Bontecou DuVal dances with her father.

Bryan Derballa for The Wall Street Journal

Of course, The Dress is all-important. (Actually, a number of dresses are involved, with many girls opting for different gowns for different events, including one’s formal photograph.) The Post ran a feature on one deb’s quest for the ultimate dress: “Fitting for a Princess” focuses on Miss Quinn Jackson, a young lady determined to have the perfect frock for her official launch into society.

Caitlin Thorne Hersey

Above, Miss Jackson having her Vera Wang gown fitted. From the Post’s story:

“Quinn said she had the most fun hanging out at the ball with her friends from Chapin and Fieldston who she hadn’t seen since they all left for college . Her mother, though, had different plans.

“At one time, the ball was meant to introduce society girls and marry them off, and although that’s (not) the goal anymore, it’s certainly my goal!” she says laughing.

“Every second of the day!” says Quinn, shaking her head in amusement.”

Below, more prepping for pictures.

Kristen Somody Whalen for WWD

The Post also carried an article entitled “Glove Affair” that references the criticality of one’s dress selection:

“In 1922, Emily Post advised young girls being introduced to “polite society” at a debutante ball to say to their friends: “What a pretty frock you have on.” But never, under any circumstances, to ask “Where did you get it?”

That would be, of course, in “very bad taste.”

Of course. Two more of the debs below, on the left we see Claire Susan Crenshaw (her father golfs) and Dagney Rochelle Blomster.

One young lady receiving a significant amount of press prior to last week’s festivities, Hadley Marie Nagel. The young lady was profiled in the Times story, “Titans in Party Dresses“.

“…for much of her young life, Miss Nagel’s talents, unusual for a socialite, have been on rather dizzying display… An expert shooter in trap, skeet and clay, she was a blue-ribbon winner of a small-bore rifle competition.”

“By the time of her 2009 graduation from Nightingale-Bamford, the private all-girls school on the Upper East Side, Miss Nagel had founded Model United Nations and history clubs, a travel Web site for teenagers, playintraffic.com, and another site, americansformadison.org, intended to raise awareness of her hero, the founding father James Madison, and win him a federal monument.

Below we see Grace Elisabeth Quick (L) and Miss Nagel (R) in a formal portrait.

Caitlin Thorne Hersey/NY Post

Of course, it wouldn’t be a major social event if our friends on the far side of the pond didn’t offer their perspective. The Mail’s story touches on the notion Miss Nagel is the model for Blake Lively’s Gossip Girl character. It turns out the gown Miss Nagel selected for the big do is the same one worn by her mother for her coming out.

One young lady was forced to add a last-minute accessory, a sling crafted from raw silk.

Jason Kempin/Getty

Olivia Flores broke her collarbone snowboarding, her sling is surely one of the more elegant examples of the device we’ve seen, she looks utterly charming.

In Dipping With The Debs, the Times notes techniques used for the evening’s pivotal moment:

“The New Yorkers curtsied demurely; the uncharitable might even say their bows were boring. But so were those by debutantes from England, Alabama and Arkansas, though the Arkansan’s bouquet of pink and red roses touched with silver leaves fluttered, hinting at a tremor of fear that the genuflection induced.

And then the Texans swished into the room, across the dance floor and onto the stage.”

The post moves on to share the one young lady’s flawless execution of the Texas Dip.

“Claire Crenshaw, 18, lowered herself with such subtlety, it was as if hydraulics were hidden underneath her voluminous skirt. Once on the floor, she doubled over and buried her face in her gown like a person inhaling fresh laundry. In short, she milked it.”

The Journal’s story is accompanied by some lovely photos, including this one of Elizabeth Fischer, captured doing The Dip. (Yes, we do consider it a proper noun.)

Bryan Derballa for The WSJ

Our hats are off to all being launched this year, at this event and so many others.


Over the holidays there was also an interesting announcement regarding Prince William and his bride-to-be, Kate Middleton. From a story in The Telegraph

“We’ll manage without butlers or servants, say Prince William and Kate Middleton”.

His father famously employs almost 150 staff to cater for his every need, but Prince William has insisted he and Kate Middleton have no intention of taking on butlers or household staff when they begin married life in April.”

The story quotes a “senior royal source”:

““They want to do their duty and make sure they are a real asset to the country but they are private individuals who want to get on with their lives.”


““Prince William is not into extravagance and, like any other young officer in the armed forces, that is how he chooses to live his life. He and Catherine live without domestic staff and they wouldn’t do it any other way. That’s the life they want to lead.”

Click here for the entire story.


We close with news we know you will love: a Birkin bag for only $35!

Thursday Friday

Well, perhaps not the bag you had in mind, but one that is far more attainable (only $35) and loads of fun at the same time. We’re talking about the new “Together Bag” from Thursday Friday, a cotton canvas tote featuring an image of the iconic bag, available in three different colors.  Well, ‘available’ is used as a relative term here, for just like a real Birkin, these are backordered for some time, their popularity outpacing inventory levels.


A final note: we want to say “Thank You” to all who graced us with their presence in 2010, be it here on the blog, as a Preppy Princess customer, a Facebook fan, on Twitter, or in any other fashion. We are two of the luckiest people on the Planet, blessed to be doing something we love while also meeting some of the brightest, kindest, wittiest and most generous people one could hope to encounter. We are more grateful than we can say for your insight, your comments, your correspondence, and especially your kind and gentle criticism, for while that can be the most difficult of messages to convey, it is truly one of the greatest aides in helping us learn and grow.  You repeatedly offer us the most generous of gifts, the gift of your time. And there really aren’t  words to express how much that, and you, mean to us.

With that, goodbye until next time!

Deb story links:


  • Bryan Derballa for The Wall Street Journal
  • Jason Kempin/Getty Images North America


Filed under preppy

Rustic Prep: LL Bean Signature for Fall, & Alex Carleton on “Preppy Style Coming Back”

Hello-Hello, and welcome to a Wednesday!

We have to decree our love of technology this week. This afternoon I was able to watch a presentation from LL Bean Signature’s Creative Director, Alex Carleton, while staying right here at the Prepatorium.

Courtesy LL Bean

For a goofy old fuddy-duddy like yours truly, this is rather amazing. Here is a screenshot of the webinar (if that is how one refers to it..?).

Courtesy LL Bean Signature

We recognize this kind of technology is more-than-old-news to many of our treasured readers, but being able to watch Mr. Carleton as he discussed the Fall/Winter Collection was nothing short of amazing. (Keep in mind, you’re dealing with someone who spent 17 years in television *never* understanding how they make the pictures fly through the air.)

Courtesy LL Bean Signature

Mr. Carleton started the session by sharing some of his inspiration for this fall’s collection.

Courtesy LL Bean

As shown on the inspiration board, “Rustic Prep” and “New England Style” are important influences.  The designer talked about his vision for the line, discussing the color palette and detailing fabrics and materials used for the new season.

We originally shared some of the new pieces in this post, but were excited to learn more about the styles and fabrics.  One of the notable points was the variety of textiles used; there is a lot of rich texture this fall, including tweed, knits, and mohair.  Below, one of this year’s Mohair Sweaters paired with a Tweed Skirt, and on the right, a Knit Dress, reminiscent of the 70’s Isleboro Sweater dress. The model is also wearing one of the men’s Field Watches as an accessory.

Mr. Carleton also talked about the challenges of taking a line originally created as a menswear brand to be worn while duck hunting and making it appropriate for today’s fashion-conscious woman. Below, the Flannel Shirt and Skinny Jean, and the Ruffled Top.

Below we show the Alpaca Cable Sweater and Blanket Skirt, along with a Turtleneck we adore.

Some of the most interesting comments came during the Q & A portion of the presentation; Mr. Carleton has spoken about personalities that influence and inspire, among them Katherine Hepburn, Steve McQueen, Ali MacGraw, John Updike and John Cheever, and when asked about associating a celebrity (or celebrities) with the Signature line, he spoke at length about Bean’s humble beginnings and commitment to maintaining that humility.

Our favorite line from Mr. Carleton’s response:

“… LL Bean’s history is not flashy and not celebrity focused…. not needing or desiring a celebrity face…”

Hallelujah to that sentiment.

We move on to a few looks for your MOTH (Man of the House).

We like the Intarsia Sweater and the Men’s Flannel Shirt.

For more on the Menswear styles, pop over and visit Skip at Alexander Grant, he actually went to a Signature trunk show at the Mother Ship in Maine, and has marvelous photos.

Several pieces come in styles for both men and women, like the Tweed Coat.

Also available for both ladies and gentlemen, the Tartan Plaid pant, we show it in the navy and green colorway. On the right, one of our favorite ensembles showcases the vintage fisherman print on the shirt.

Back to inquiries from participants; a question was asked about recent media coverage of “preppy style,” referencing next week’s release of the classic Take Ivy reprint (explained here), and September’s new book from Original Preppy Handbook writer Lisa Birnbach (explained here and here).  There was also an allusion to Guy Trebay’s “Prep, Forward and Back” story in the Times, covered in this post. The designer’s response made perfect sense:

“People are definitely excited about preppy style, traditional clothes, traditional brands. Fashion is cyclical, we’re in this cycle and right now people are feeling (positively) about traditional ideas… in love with history and looking at fashion not being created in a vacuum, things that bring us back… a sense of nostalgia, a lot of people are feeling really good about preppy style.”

Mr. Carleton was clear about ‘preppy style’ being popular again, or statements that “preppy style is back”:

“It never went away. There is this media zeitgeist happening… a lot of people paying attention to it because of the media zeitgeist… it never went away.”


The LL Bean Signature Fall Collection is available next week.


Filed under preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, True Prep & TOPH