Tag Archives: Pendleton

Is Pendleton….Hip? Also, J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons Profiled Everywhere

Well now, didn’t yesterday turn out to be more than a little wacky? With all that shakin’ going on and Hurricane Irene looming, we take a moment to send good thoughts to everyone impacted, batten down the hatches.

We move on to chatter about a company we have long been fond of, Pendleton; it’s one of those brands many of us grew up with, representative of what many refer to as ‘pure prep’.  It is still a name we think of every now and then, the memory jarred by a decades-old skirt hanging in the winter closet, or a neatly folded sweater stashed away until colder temps return. We also enjoy popping into our local Pendleton boutique, the quality of the clothing is one reason we harbor such positive feelings about the company, everything is very well made.

But let’s be honest, when you hear ‘Pendleton,’ is this what you think of?

Pendleton Woolen Mills

Would you be surprised to learn these are also part of the fall collection?


Above left is the company’s Soho skirt and on the right, its Consuela Short Skirt.

Last week one of our favorite columnists at The Los Angeles Times wrote a piece asking the question “Can Pendleton conquer the hipster class?” More from Times fashion critic Booth Moore:

For many, the brand is associated with career clothes and mom jeans, with Indian blankets and plaid shirts worn by the Beach Boys.

Pendleton via The LA Times

The picture is from 1963, it was used on the cover of the band’s “Surfer Girl” album. In a recent story Mr. Moore delves into Pendleton’s history and future, with a detailed look at the brand’s upcoming Portland Collection.

But Pendleton has been working to attract a new generation of contemporary customers for the last few years… Now Pendleton Woolen Mills, Oregon’s 102-year-old, dyed-in-the-wool blanket brand, is continuing its move into the boutique fashion business by tapping into the indie cool of Portland…

Styles from the Portland Collection.

Courtesy Photos

More styles.

Courtesy Photos

Back to Booth Moore’s article:

“The clothes nod to the season’s western trend, but in a quirky, alterno kind of way. The Pendleton jacquards, done in black and white, read more graphic and modern than Santa Fe style circa 1990. And the famous plaids aren’t outdoorsy so much as they are nerd-chic.”

Clearly, your trusty correspondent is unlikely to be found in pieces from the new line; we applaud Pendleton’s efforts to evolve the brand while remaining true to its core audience. As Mr. Moore’s story points out, they aren’t alone in this kind of endeavor.

Pendleton, headquartered in downtown Portland, follows several other American heritage brands in looking to the past to forge the future (Lands’ End, L.L. Bean, Woolrich Woolen Mills).

An image from the firm’s website shows a reference to its storied past with the ‘Right Then, Right Now’ graphics.


We have previously looked at Pendleton’s evolution, including this post in 2009 previewing its collaboration with the oh-so-hip Opening Ceremony.

The Portland Collection launches right after Labor Day and will even be available at some Anthropologie stores.


Also today, word of some unhappy J. Crew customers in Canada. The retailer opened its first store there last week and pricing differences between the two countries has upset shoppers. From a story in the Globe and Mail:

“For online customers, taxes and duties raised the final price for orders in some cases by as much as 50 per cent compared with the U.S. site they previously ordered from.”

One challenge facing anyone opening new markets: technology that simply wasn’t around fifteen years ago, making pricing information available to anyone.  Back to the story:

“…the quick and angry response from customers to J. Crew’s hiking of domestic prices underscores its customers’ familiarity with its products and prices, and the easy access to its e-commerce site to make fast price comparisons.

Here is more in a story titled Why is J. Crew charging us so much?:

“The disparity is particularly noticeable online, where the final prices on J. Crew’s Canadian site are as much as 40 per cent higher than on its U.S. site once taxes and shipping are added.

For example, the U.S. price for a pair of Café Capri plaid wool pants is $138 while the Canadian price is $160, a difference of 15 per cent. Once shipping and taxes are added, the U.S. price is $159, while the Canadian price is $223, a difference of 40 per cent.”

Below we show two pair of the Café Capri pants, in Plaid and in Houndstooth, both are priced at the amount mentioned above, $138.

J. Crew Café Capri pants

In all fairness, most retailers entering the Canadian market charge higher prices, it is more expensive to do business in that country for a variety of reasons: higher taxes, additional fees, fewer (if any) distribution points, etc.  More from the Globe’s story by Marina Strauss:

Other retailers have felt consumers’ wrath about higher prices in Canada compared with the U.S. Last spring, a study found that Canadian prices were 20-per-cent higher than those of the same products in the United States, while two years earlier the spread was less than 7 per cent.

Crew is also launching online shopping in the UK soon, its experiment selling through Net-a-Porter has been so positive a dedicated website is in the works, more from The Telegraph:

“Admirers of Michelle Obama’s colourful style will be happy to hear that J.Crew, her go-to retailer for affordable and stylish additions to her wardrobe (and that of her two daughters), is to launch in the UK at the end of the summer.

Although yet to be confirmed, prices are likely to come a little bit higher than in the US due to import duty, as reflected in their offering on Net-a-Porter.”

There have been several recent profiles of Crew’s CEO Jenna Lyons including a Q&A format in the National Post and New York magazine’s in-depth piece, it goes back to Ms. Lyon’s early days with the company

J.Crew was a small company in 1990, when Lyons went in for an interview. The brand styled itself as an energetic all-American label that was neither Talbots nor Ralph Lauren nor L.L. Bean. “J.Crew was the life that you could have,” Lyons says. “It was about hanging out. There was no price of entry. You might have a house in Maine on the beach, but you didn’t have a yacht and twelve horses.”

Below we see Ms. Lyons at work.

Martine Fougeron for New York magazine

More from Molly Young’s article.

Where feathers and sequins meet J.Crew is largely a matter of styling, and though Lyons dislikes the word preppy, her choices always invoke the core prep values of ease, cleanliness, and conservatism. If her company has always prized a kind of sartorial comfort—nothing too tight, too short, too synthetic—then Lyons, with her bare face and occasional bralessness, is what happens when comfort meets chic.

I very much enjoyed the story, click here to read the entire piece.

We leave you with this image from the just launched Lulu Frost for J. Crew collection.

Lulu Frost for J. Crew

The collection is now available in stores and online, princes run from $45 to $135.

Until next time. have a splendid day!


Filed under preppy

Ralph Lauren’s New Home, George & Bar at Houston Fashion Week

Hello and greetings on a day filled with fun and surprises.

We begin with the announcement of our True Prep & Official Preppy Handbook Giveaway winner….

The lucky lady is Southern Sweetie Katie!  We used Random.org to pick the winner; the number chosen is actually for one of the additional entries Katie received for sending someone else to the contest.We want to thank everyone who joined in the fun, we admit being amazed by the number of entries.  If there were to be an award for the best effort in getting others to add entries in her name, that would go to Courtney. And the most delightful comment on Courtney’s behalf comes from her mother, Kathi, we were in stitches when reading this:

“My darling daughter, Courtney Rounds, has begged and pleaded with me to leave a comment. I’ve gently reminded her that a true preppy does not beg or plead. I fear having to remind her does not speak well of my influence during her formative years. I did try. Her nursery was green and pink. Her name, Courtney Elizabeth, offered numerous acceptable nickname opportunities. Her bedtime stories alternated between select readings from my well worn copy of “The Preppy Handbook” and Shel Silverstein. I was properly supportive when she pledged a well established sorority. From an early age she could immediately recognize her monogram. She knows that there is no such thing as too many Sperry’s, plaid shorts or headbands. She has never had big hair. She never will have big hair. Courtney Rounds has a Proper Preppy Princess Pedigree. She is, after all, the progeny of a Preppy Queen and an aging frat boy.”

Courtney’s father is equally creative, here is his comment:

“Courtney is to preppy as Nietzsche is to pietzsche.”

Honestly, we have more fun doing this kind of thing, we try to be restrained so it doesn’t become tedious, but the Fun-o-Meter was peaking in the red zone on this one.


Next, a few quick tidbits we are overdue in mentioning, with linkage should any of the stories hold appeal:

1) Following a June story in the Times on the popularity of ‘heritage brands’ the Journal ran a similar piece at the end of September, “Is LL Bean Driving the Runway?

“Besides the re-emergence of L.L. Bean and Pendleton, other vintage brands such as Stetson, Woolrich, Levi’s and Britain’s J Barbour & Sons are having second comings, either independently or collaborating with high-end runway designers.”

We love the illustration accompanying the story, “The Heritage Hipster Matrix“.

Wall St. Journal

2) Speaking of heritage, we offer this from the Yale Daily News:

“This November, American heritage clothing brand Gant will open a new store at the corner of York and Elm streets, almost 60 years after it opened its first store in New Haven.”

We have offered a number of post drooling chatting about the upcoming Gant womenswear line, it is wonderful to see the company opening a store back where they first started in 1941.

3) Women’s Wear Daily reports on the new Ralph Lauren women’s flagship store in the city.

Grand in scale and luxurious in its decor, the new store opens to the public tomorrow.

On the Upper East Side, the new digs are across the street from the recently reopened men’s store in the Rinelander Mansion (Madison & 80th).

The new store is also where shoppers will find the brand’s Home Collection.

4) Houston Fashion Week had its share of celebs on hand, including a rather famous set of grandparents.


Bob Levey/Wire Image


President and Mrs. Bush were in the audience for the Lauren Pierce show, granddaughter Lauren’s eco-friendly line, making its debut at HFW.


Yesterday we updated you on Talbots‘ next celebrity model, today we have news that Heidi Klum is replacing Naomi Watts as Ann Taylor’s newest face.

Ms. Klum appeared in the retailer’s holiday campaign last year, but Page Six says she is ‘replacing’ Ms. Watts.

Thank you again to everyone who entered the contest, we are thinking we may need to do a similar project next month….hmmmm, that’s a thought to ponder.  Until next time, we hope you enjoy a lovely day!

ADDITIONAL PHOTO CREDITS: Ralph Lauren Interiors: Robert Mitra/WWD



Filed under preppy

It’s Pendleton, but is it Preppy? Also, the Latest Gossip Girl Item

Hello-Hello, and happy Monday/Tuesday!

We hope everyone is still savoring just a smidgen of Christmas and/or Hanukkah afterglow. Here at the Prepatorium we are grateful for time spent with family and friends, reminded again why we left the insanity of television for our own little corner of the world.

We begin with a look at the upcoming collection Pendleton has done with Opening Ceremony.

Courtesy Photo via High Snobiety

Perhaps not the style one automatically envisions when thinking Pendleton. Mention this brand and we generally have images of something like this:


Or perhaps something like the item on the left, one of the company’s classic woolen blankets inspired by the Zapotec Indians.  On the right, Opening Ceremony reinterprets and updates the look.


Pendleton’s plaids are also legendary. (We should have used these in last week’s post on preppy plaids.)

This heritage can be seen throughout the Opening Ceremony group.

More pieces in this classic pattern….

Plaid is equally evident in the men’s designs for the collection.

The collaborative line is slated to be in stores for spring/summer 2010.

Despite being far too old and decrepit (heh-heh-heh) to wear these styles, we do like this group, and can envision many of our younger friends sporting these pieces.

Courtesy Photo

Some items from the winter collaboration between Opening Ceremony and Pendleton are still available online; better yet, many have had markdowns taken from their original prices.

Speaking of Pendleton (you had to know this was coming), we glanced at a few items whilst pondering their site.  (Honestly, it has become an occupational hazard, there’s really nothing to be done for it save computer abstinence.) We learned a lot. Like the fact they have done a line with Jill Rappaport, and it includes items for the four-legged family members.

But then, we didn’t know who Ms. Rappaport was and had to look that up; we are woefully unhip. Tragically uninformed.  Below, an item we look at every time we are on the site.  Every. single. time.


The Hand-crocheted Lamb Hat has the Cute-o-meter peaking in the red zone, it is simply adorable.


We have news of another collaboration: contemporary designer Jodi Arnold is doing a collection for The Limited.  Below, two pieces from Ms. Arnold’s own line.

Jodi Arnold

Here are two styles from the upcoming Limited line, the photos by John Aquino accompany this story in WWD.

Style List has also posted about the upcoming collection.

Courtesy Photos via Style List

Dubbed “Craft,” the collection launches at The Limited in Mid-March.


And because too much is never enough, we have yet another installment on that incredible cultural phenomenon known as the Snuggie; behold the Nike version of this item.


Called the Nike 6.0 Snuggie, here is a better look at the logo, downright discreet as these things go. There may be a reason for such understatement.


We could not locate the orange marvel on the Nike 6.0 site, nor could we find one of these to purchase anywhere, raising the question: is it a counterfeit, yet another photoshopped creation? We do not know, but would certainly welcome input or guidance from someone in the know.  After all, we pride ourselves on keeping pace with all things Snuggie. (IOHO this is not an authorized product, but a creation of the internet and active minds.)


And because we are nothing if not practical (despite occasional forays into the land of that which is anything but!), a note about fiscally-friendly opportunities at one of our favorites, Garnet Hill.  Like the company’s Cashmere Cardigans, now offered at $74.99; they were originally $188.

Garnet Hill

The quality of GH cashmere is outstanding; trust TP on this one.  We also liked the Dot Baby Coat (rivaling the Lamb Hat shown above for cute overload), and the Baby Gripper Slippers (originally $24, now $14).

Also fun, the Multi-stripe Tights for Girls, and the Pattern Tights, both available in sizes 12 months to 14.

Back to Mom, the Cashmere Split-Neck Sweater has potential, especially now that it is $49. The Acorn Slippers look super-snuggly they are now $49, the orginal price was $88.

The bargains abound, and everything seemed to be available in a broad range of sizes as well. Happy hunting. :)


Because we don’t want to let the week pass without yet one more moronic morsel of inanity a little Gossip Girl update, we bring you news of this:

Courtesy Photo via MTV

Yes, it is a Gossip Girl comic book, done in the manga style so popular today.  MTV has an exclusive preview of the comic books.

Gossip Girl/Alloy Entertainment/Hachette Book Gr

From what we can glean these will run a bit more than the Archie and Veronica comics we read growing up; it looks like the price is going to be $8.99.  They also look a little racy, but that is probably more a reflection of our conservative outlook (TP’s motto? ‘Prudish and Proud” hee-hee!) than contemporary standards.

Called “Gossip Girl: For Your Eyes Only,” the comics will be based on the same series of books as the television series. But according to this MTV story, the comics will also provide:

“an original re-imagination of the girls’ senior year focusing on the lives of Blair and Vanessa.”

And on that comforting note, we say g’bye until next time! May everyone enjoy a little bit of holiday sunshine, be it in the skies overhead or in one’s heart.


Filed under Gossip Girl, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Sales & Savings

Harvard’s New Clothing Line. Seriously.

Hello-Hello and Happy Friday!

Today we have a rather bizarre tale to share, one that, to borrow a phrase, left us absolutely gobsmacked.  But first we must ask a question: when asked to ponder the notion of apparel sold under the auspices of Harvard (as in The University), what comes to mind?

The classic sweatshirt, right?

Courtesy Harvard Bookstore

Courtesy Harvard Bookstore

Or perhaps a standard-issue long-sleeved tee, like this?

Courtesy Harvard Book Store

Courtesy Harvard Book Store

Of course.

Well, there’s a little update; we hope you are sitting down.

Look at the latest apparel authorized by Harvard. The University. (Really. Most readers have a passing acquaintanceship with at least one individual who refers to it this way. Come now, you know precisely what we mean, the pronunciation and emphasis suggesting there really is no. other. school. in. the. western. hemisphere. Indeed.)

At any rate, back to the topic at hand, the new Harvard Yard clothing line.

PHOTO: Robert Mitra/WWD

PHOTO: Robert Mitra/WWD

Would it ever have crossed your mind that The University would get into the business of fashion?  It has.  Here is another look from the Harvard Yard label debuting next spring:

PHOTO: Robert Mitra/WWD

PHOTO: Robert Mitra/WWD

Actually many of you may have already read about this; WWD broke the story yesterday.  From their article:

“So it was perhaps just a matter of time (and business acumen) before somebody tapped the source of that look — Ivy League universities — for a brand.”

Brenner Thomas makes a good point in his story about the launch, it really was only a matter of time.  As he stresses, it isn’t the first time style has been associated with the school:

“It also served as the font of Ivy League style in the late Fifties when its undergraduates flocked to stores such as Brooks Brothers and J. Press to snap up what would become prepster staples: button-down shirts, flat-front khakis and penny loafers.

Below, a classic look from J. Press:

Courtesy J. Press

Courtesy J. Press

The new line will feature:

“… short-sleeve plaid shirts, Liberty print wovens, seersucker shorts, regimental stripes, sporty knits, patterned jackets and fancy pants — all in a contemporary, tapered fit.”

Another look from the upcoming collection:

PHOTO: Robert Mitra/WWD

PHOTO: Robert Mitra/WWD

A few points about the Harvard Yard line we need to make:

  • the only time one will see the name “Harvard” is on the inside of the pieces in the label
  • there will ultimately be a collection for women and for children if all goes according to plan
  • prices for the menswear are expected to run between $195-$495
  • there will be a lot of the color crimson used in the line

The collection is aimed at “… alums and fans of the (Ivy League) universities…” according to the WWD story; somehow we don’t see too many alumni purchasing the line, but we have been wrong before.

What do you think?


Speaking of a long and storied history, another article in WWD reminded us it is Pendleton’s 100th Anniversary.

Courtesy Pendleton via WWD

Courtesy Pendleton via WWD

Pendleton is doing all manner of exciting things for its big birthday, including collaborations with ever-so-hip companies like Opening Ceremony, Vans and Nike.


And speaking of collaborative efforts, there was word this week Target’s next designer collection will be done by Rodarte, the edgy line created and designed by sisters Laura and Kate Mulleavy. Below, a montage from their Fall 2009 collection:

Courtesy Lola 29

Courtesy Lola 29

This edition of Target’s Go International line will hit stores December 20, with prices ranging from $9.99 to $79.99

For today’s Pretty in Pink we stick with the Boutique, showcasing the discounter’s Kid’s Modern Polka Dot Chair in Candy Pink.



We must toddle along, we’re off to the Large Lake for a wedding. We hope everyone has an absolutelty splendiferous weekend!


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

Westchester WASPs Declining? Also, Classic Preppy Style and Argyle Update

Monday’s Journal News has a fascinating story “Westchester WASPs on decline, still prized,” one that is being printed out and hand carried to a few relatives who will find it more than intriguing. The publication covers the lower Hudson Valley, essentially Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties.

The story starts out this way:

“Fifty years ago, it was easy to tell who was on top.

The men wore suits from Brooks Brothers or J. Press, the women white gloves and pearls, and places like Westchester County were their natural habitat.”

It goes on…

“… it seems now more than ever the WASP has left its central position on the historical stage, even in places like Westchester and Putnam counties.

It may be time to send in a final thank-you note for all the memories.”

The story quotes author Susan Cheever at length; here is a brief excerpt:

“Preppy style is one of the few things this country has managed to export in fashion. You could argue that style is an echo of WASP elitism, and it’s huge in Japan and Europe,” said Cheever, 65. “The clothing also connotes a certain kind of ethic, the old preppy ethic. But it’s interesting to see what gets passed along with the clothing, and what doesn’t.”

Speaking of J. Press, they do have an inordinate amount of marked down merchandise available, like the Blackwatch button down, as well as the Madras shirt.


And now we have an argyle update, as we follow up on the sweaters posted a few weeks back.  We stumbled across this Fred Perry Short Sleeve Argyle Sweater at Nordstrom whilst grazing the online pastures in search of a few holiday treasures to buy and hide away for TPC (The Princess Consort).

Unfortunately this one felt a little…well, a little “nerdy,” if that is the appropriate term we hear the younger generation use today? We also stumbled across these Perlina pumps (lower left) in a chocolate and pink combination at Zappos.  Lower rght, the Juicy Couture Margot slipper, which didn’t make us ga-ga either.


Below, the Volcom Prepster argyle sweater for Men.

Volcom 'Prepster'


It isn’t working for us, but then, Volcom isn’t exactly created with folks like TP in mind. It is more of a surfing, skateboarding brand, and while many of you no doubt envision The Princess barreling down the drive on a skateboard, that isn’t our M.O.  At any rate, what we really wanted to share was this, from the always-fabulous Rich over at Down the Line Tennis:

Down the Line

PHOTO: Down the Line

On the left we see the USA’s own Andy Roddick, and on the right in the photo Russian ace Nikolay Davydenko. Age 27. No, it isn’t his grandfather or even his father. Amazing what a little argyle can do for a guy. BTW, while visiting Rich, look for the feature on Rafael Nadal as fashion plate while receiving a major award Friday.

Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

PHOTO: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

Next, a story from the Times you might enjoy, a piece on classic clothing entitled, The Fashion Report of 1920. Written by Guy Trebay, who frequently covers fashion and style for the paper, it really is a gem.  Kim France, editor of Lucky magazine is quoted:

“There are all these great standbys that don’t really have anything to do with the lifestyle we lead here in New York and are totally underappreciated,” she added, referring to things like Red Wing engineer boots, Aran sweaters, Barbour jackets, Sperry Top-Siders, Woolrich jackets, Alden cordovan loafers and Pendleton shirts.”

Gregg Scaffidi for the NY TImes

PHOTO: Greg Scaffidi for the NY TImes

The photo above features a flannel-lined wool shirt by Woolrich, white Hanes T-shirt, Carhartt pants and Hunter Wellington boots.  The column continues:

“Versions of this stuff are popping up everywhere from Ralph Lauren to Rag & Bone to the neo-traditionalist collections Alex Carleton designs under the Rogues Gallery label, Mr. Fielden said. Anonymous, eminently functional and reasonably priced, the clothes seem perfectly attuned to times like these. That they are cool besides seems to derive not from any sartorial irony or nostalgia for the manual labor fast vanishing from the American landscape or even from a conservative cultural atmosphere. It is more simple than that. They do the job.”

Issac Turner

PHOTO: Issac Turner

Above, a photo of the Rogues Gallery store in Portland. Maine. You may read more about this wonderful establishment here.

And finally, for today’s Pretty in Pink photo, we share the darling Pretty Pink Princess Sky King Trike at Vivre. Created by Airflow Collectibles, it is too cute. Perhaps the only thing cuter from Airflow is the Princess Pedal Car, complete with chrome accents and a running board!

Happy almost-here Monday!


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