Tag Archives: prep

Lilly Pulitzer Furniture, Kate Middleton in Burberry

Hello-Hello, welcome to a wet and rainy Wednesday, truly a beautiful thing. (When contrasted to the other form of precipitation recently seen here in The Great Midwest, of the white, flaky variety.)

We begin with a note of appreciation to our treasured readers, we thank you for your gracious patience as we undergo a little redesign of our space here on Planet Blog, it really was quite unexpected and not something we intended to do at this particular point in time. Unfortunately, your trusty scribe struggled mightily in comprehending the distinction between the “Preview” and “Activate” buttons when wasting time casually surfing intently studying design options for the blog. You can imagine the conversation here at The Prepatorium once yours truly realized that “Activate” meant precisely that.

TP: Ummm, do you have a sec? There might be a little hiccup with the blog.

TC: Define hiccup.

TP: Ahh, well… the layout looks kind of different.

TC: What is ‘kind of different’? Do you want me to go look at it or something?

TP: Ummm…both? Please?

Following The Consort’s time researching and fixing what could be fixed glancing at the blog and making a few changes, a conversation ensued.  There was some discussion that included questions about just how a certain someone with a hypothetically high IQ moderately distinguished educational record and decades of successful business performance a little background in the business world might confuse the “Activate” and “Preview” words. Indeed.

So please bear with us as we get the “new look” sorted out and integrated into the blog. (In reality, it must be noted The Consort deserves sainthood or similar recognition for his gallantry and patience in coping with what could have been a truly disastrous situation.)


Next, an update on the Lilly Pulitzer Furniture Collection launching this spring.

HFI Brands Facebook Page

With apologies to our Facebook fans for any repetition in content, we thought it appropriate to let those interested in the topic know that the company making the collection, HFI Brands, has launched its Facebook page.

HFI Brands Facebook Page

HFI has posted an album with images of the new line, there is much to see.

HFI Brands Facebook Page

Lilly fans will appreciate the brightly colored interiors of pieces like the Ocean TV Cabinet in white and blue, as well as the Mirasol Jewlery Armoire with that bright pink inside.

The collection includes more than 200 pieces, with something for everyone.  Upholstery pieces featuring the new Lee Jofa Lilly fabrics, case goods, accent and occasional pieces, mirrors and more.

HFI Brands

For those not on Facebook, hopefully HFI or Lilly will share photos on its website at some point.

One more quick note on Lilly, the company is profiled in Rent the Runway’s Behind the Seams column. For those not aware of the company and how it works, the website says that customers rent upscale dress and accessory brands online for 10% of an item’s retail price. While not familiar with the service, it certainly seems to offer a novel approach for frugal fashionistas.

At any rate, there is a nice little story with Janie Schoenborn in the company’s blog, done in a Q&A format.  Here is a sample:

How do you celebrate finishing a collection?

When we have decided on the prints we celebrate by naming them. We pride ourselves on the funny names we give the print…sometimes a little naughty. The team all gets a coffee (meaning cocktail) and we sit together and name…laughing all the way!


Frequent readers know we occasionally share the ways other countries and cultures define preppy. In today’s offering, “A Guide to Preppy” from UK retailer YogoEgo.


From the montage, “This means preppy school girl classics with a twist of sophistication.”  Geared to the younger set, to be sure.


Finally today, Kate Middleton sported Burberry yesterday on a surprise visit to Belfast with Prince William yesterday.

PHOTOS: Reuters (L) & AP (R)

Miss Middleton was applauded by the media for showcasing a British fashion house, the wool cashmere coat retails for roughly $1050 at today’s exchange rates.  Also yesterday, Clarence House released private Middleton family photos of the future Queen on the official Royal Wedding website, including this one of the couple the day they graduated from St. Andrews.

Via Royal Wedding Website

On that note, goodbye until next time!


Filed under Gossip Girl, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Pretty in Pink, Royal Wedding

Fun Finds with Madras & Nautical Influences

Hello-Hello, and happy Monday.

It has been many moons since we did some virtual window-shopping, the day’s bright sun and warmer temps make us feel downright springy. Perusing spring and summer offerings online seemed a pleasant way to while away the morning while The Consort does all of the day’s work, we thought it might be fun to share just a few of the goodies we discovered. (Fair warning: today’s post carries absolutely no minimal content of substance.)

We begin with nautically-inclined items, below, LL Bean’s Casco Bay Regatta Tote (L), and Casco Bay Sailor Girl Print totes.

The Camden Embroidered Tote is a somewhat more substantial bag, with a zippered closure, available in Blue Anchors or Yellow Sailboats, as well as a whale pattern not shown here.

The nautical theme is also seen on the Camden Embroidered Daypack.

We have long been fond of a classic sailor shirt, Bean’s French Sailor’s Shirt comes in a variety of color combinations.

Our friend AgathaMChristie mentioned the fabulosity of Olive Juice clothing for her young Master & Miss of the house, we found this nautically-inspired tee there, it also comes in a variety of colors.

Summer’s heat and humidity may seem far away, but it won’t be long before the all-cotton Oceanside Sleep Shorts and a pair of Maine Isle flip-flops are just what Mother Nature requires.

The boating theme isn’t limited to our more practical purveyors, as evidenced by Oscar de La Renta’s one-piece at Saks, and Milly’s Charm Bracelet at Neimans.

Saks also has the darling Hartstrings outfit shown below left, while Florence Eiseman’s boy’s Marine Flags shortall is at Best Dressed Child, probably the single best source for infant and childrens’ sailor suits online.

Two more quick examples from BDC, both from Carriage Boutique.

If you are like us and madras makes you a little weak in the knees, we found a few possibilities. Bean offers a variety of madras bags, starting with the Leather Handled Madras tote in different sizes.

LL Bean

Madras may also be found in other styles, including this Patchwork Madras tote, but be advised it is a wee little thing, only 7″ x 7.5″.  The bag comes in two colors, the pink seen on the left and blue with Hibiscus leaves atop the patchwork fabric, not a look we are crazy about, but then, we aren’t exactly known for being fashion forward here at The Prepatorium.

There are charming belts in lovely colors at Bean, both the womens’ Seaport Seersucker Belts (L) and Seaport Plaid Belts (R) come in different colorways.

Staying with a nautical theme, the mens’ State of Maine belt is offered in both sailing and fishing designs.

If seeking additional grosgrain motifs we offer a multitude of choices here at the PP Mother Ship.

Our custom belts are available for kids, men and women, they run just $19 for children and $23 for adults.

Lands’ End carries many nautical items for the younger set, including the kids’ Sailboat Drawing and Sailboats beach towels. (We were curious about what distinguished a “kids” towel from others, these towels measure 30″ x 64″, while adult towels are 39″ x 78″.)

Lands’ End also has some enticing madras possibilities.  We begin with something for the MOTH (Man of the House), perhaps the Mens’ Bermuda Shorts will do.

For your little Princess, Lands’ End offers the Girls’ Washed A-line skirt in many different colors and patterns.

For the young MOTH, the Boys’ Long Sleeve Madras shirt is an option, as are the Boys’ Madras Shorts.

And despite our loathing of the logos at Polo Ralph Lauren, the company does madras well. Below left, the men’s Vaughn Sneaker, on the right, the Boys’ Blake Shirt.

The girl’s Madras Bucket Hat and boy’s Kensington Shortall are also cute.

One of the more intriguing items we saw at PRL is the pink madras Sandal & Bear Set for newborns. (It comes in gift packaging, making it an ideal shower present for those not bothered by someone else’s initials on their child’s footwear.)

Ralph Lauren

On that fun image we say goodbye until next time, may your Monday be marvelous.


Filed under Argyle, nautical, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink

Wedding Gowns at Costco, Uggs Launching Luxury

Hello-Hello, and happy almost-weekend.

We begin with news we initially shared on our Facebook page Wednesday night, word that Costco has jumped into the bridal business.

Via Costco

The big-box discounter has already launched the new gowns in its Reno store, here is more from WalletPop’s story about the move:

“The chain will roll out a collection of dresses from designer Kirstie Kelly. The Signature Collection is comprised of six different styles in sizes 2-24, ranging in price from $650-$1,400. And no, you won’t have to buy them in bulk or try them on next to the frozen foods or giant packages of toilet paper.”

Kirstie Kelly photo via All The Rage

The collection can be seen online at Ms. Kelly’s website, which also appears to have been launched recently, there are many “coming soon” categories.

Via KirstieKelly.com

Or one may look at the Kirstie Kelly Facebook page.

Via Kirstie Kelly

All the Rage has more:

“The Costcouture line is for the bride who wants to wear Kirstie Kelly Couture but get a phenomenal price point. We’re starting at 40% off regular retail,” said Kelly, whose gowns normally cost $2,000-$7,000.”

There is even a dress with what appear to be detachable cap sleeves.

Via Kirstie Kelly

Ms. Kelly previously designed wedding dresses for Disney.

While it may be easy to poke fun at the notion of finding a wedding gown in the same place as those pallets of peanut butter, the savings involved may allow some brides an opportunity at a prettier dress for their big day, and you won’t ever hear us laughing about that. To see a list of the Costco events, click here.


Since we are talking about weddings today and droned on endlessly did a spot of coverage on Oscar fashions this past Monday, we thought readers might be interested in knowing that Mandy Moore’s beautiful Monique Lhuillier gown is also available in white as a wedding gown.

Photo Montage via Brides.com


Next, a quick look at the dinner Chanel hosted in honor of Blake Lively Wednesday.

Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for CHANEL

The Gossip Girl star is the official ambassador for Chanel’s Mademoiselle handbag line.  The party at La Grenouille brought a number of notables to midtown, including designer Tory Burch and Lauren Remington Platt.

The fun wasn’t just for the ladies, actors Justin Long (L) and Vincent Piazza (R) took part in the festivities.

Below, Ms. Lively with Chanel COO John Galantic, and a tighter shot that better shows her dress, it is from the spring 2009 collection.


Our next tidbit offers news that may excite some while bringing others to the brink, it involves a line that is as polarizing as any we’ve seen: Uggs.  WWD (Women’s Wear Daily, subscription req’d.) reports Ugg Australia is launching an upscale, “rugged luxury” collection.  Below, a piece from the new group, a pony hair satchel.

Thomas Iannaccone/WWD

Here is more from the WWD story:

““A lot of our customers carry their designer handbag with the [Ugg Australia] classic boot, so we thought, Let’s give them something else that they can wear and still feel good [in],” said Leah Larson, vice president of product for Ugg Australia. “We’ve been known for quality, and we took that and put it into a couture fashion line.”

Thomas Iannaccone

The new line launches this fall, prices will run from $500 to $1200.  The Prepatorium is an Ugg-free Zone, but we do know many friends who swear by them.  One of our primary issues with the brand is that it is marketed as being from Australia, yet almost the entire line is manufactured in China.


Today’s Pretty in Pink comes to us via an old friend, Schwinn.

The Schwinn Debutante is no longer on the company’s home page, but listed at several other sites, we love the lines of this year’s model, it brings back many memories..

Until next time, happy pedaling!


Filed under Gossip Girl, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Pretty in Pink

Official Royal Wedding Website Announced & “A Dress for Diana”

Hello-Hello, and happy Tuesday!

We begin with some rather fascinating news from Clarence House, released via Twitter:

Via Twitter

Yeppers, an Official Royal Wedding website has been launched.  Here is a look at the Home Page for the site:

From The Royal Wedding

The announcement itself demonstrates the way the Monarchy has embraced social media:

“The website will bring together all of the official social media around the event, including the Clarence House and Buckingham Palace Flickr account, Twitter (@Clarence House), The Royal Channel on YouTube and the British Monarchy Facebook page, providing direct easy access to all channels of communication. Subject to further planning work, the website may feature a live web stream broadcast of the wedding itself.”

There are tabs with information on the service, the procession, the reception and more.

The site has one detail that is more-than-relevant to our post today:

“…on the day itself the site will be the first place to view information such as the details of Miss Middleton’s wedding dress.

It is all very wise on the part of the monarchy, an outstanding way to dispense, and control, wedding news.

Next, a wonderful post from our very own Royal Correspondent, Queen Bee Swain.


A Dress for Kate – A Dress for Diana – David and Elizabeth Emanuel

Kate Middleton clearly won last week with her first three official (and triumphant) appearances, at the military base in Anglesey, Wales, the 600th Anniversary kick-off of St. Andrews University in Scotland and at the signing of the condolences book for the victims of the Earthquake in New Zealand in London.  With a calendar that is yet to be announced of her next appearance, we appearingly must come down to earth again until she re-emerges.  (More on those appearances here.)

Via British Monarch Flickr Page

Without new footage of her latest comings and goings, the focus is certainly due to shift back to The Dress.  At this time, the designer is still yet unknown and it is said by reliable sources that it is being made inside Buckingham Palace as to be under the tightest security before April 29th.  Meanwhile, Princess Diana’s wedding dress was recently on the Today Show, appearing after a few months in Grand Rapids, MI and on exhibit in Kansas City through April, beginning this Friday.

Via Better World Books

This might be the most perfect segue ever to the book that the Emanuels (couple David and Elizabeth were the atelier who designed and made Princess Diana’s wedding dress) book titled “A Dress for Diana.”  This book is part memoir, part operations management case study; they reflect upon the very start of their business (not too soon before Princess Diana burst onto the scene), to when they first met Diana, to the process of creating one of the most photographed dresses of all time, to the run-down on the wedding day and tie it all up with the aftermath of the Big Day.  The book was put together in 2006 from the immense amount of papers, documents, photographs and bric-a-brac the Emanuels catalogued throughout the Dress process.

Via CocoPerez.com

The Emanuels and Princess Diana first crossed paths when British Vogue called their shop for a few items for a photoshoot.  They sent them over, not thinking much more than they had a chance of having a piece appear in the magazine.  Little did they know that Princess Diana’s older sisters worked for Vogue and were clandestinely amassing a selection for her Official Portrait as Princess in Waiting.  She spied the top, loved it and asked for the designer’s information.  From there, she rang the Emanuels to discuss the possibility of them designing The Dress.

From the get-go, you are lead through the expansive and imperative role and meaning of the creation and symbolism the Dress stood for.  Influences and inspiration were drawn from other Royal brides, portraiture of generations of family members and the Empire past, present and future.  Materials used, from the lace, to silk, to seed pearls to the flowers in the arrangements were too all be British- liaising and procuring these wares was a job in and of itself.  To top it all off were the security, protocol, media and deadline pressures and issues.


The Dress and the Blouse weren’t the only pieces Diana wore by the Emanuels.  As seen above with Prince Charles and her Sereness, Princess Grace (a few months before her own untimely death), was the dress the Emanuels designed that turned who the media had dubbed Shy Di into the English Rose of a Force that Princess Diana was in the fashion world.  Diana would continue to work with the Emanuels throughout the rest of her life to commission various pieces.

Via Wales Online

I spied this book when dropping a slew of old books off at the used book store a few years ago and continually find myself picking it up; the curatorial and operations management pieces of the creation of the Dress are ceaselessly fascinating and always draw me back to take a quiet look at how it all came to be.  Definitely worth scooping up on Amazon.com or requesting at your local library as we ride out the remaining fifty-some days until April 29th.

The Queen Bee, kHm

NOTE: More on the book is also available at Elizabeth Emanuel’s website.


Filed under preppy

A Young Couple’s First Official Royal Appearances + Gucci, Frette, Lilly, More

Welcome to a Friday, once again we bring you a post that is primarily photos, hoping they provide a bright spot in your day.

We begin with some fun from across the pond, a look at the first official appearance for Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The duo were in Wales yesterday to christen a lifeboat.

Phil Noble/Pool/AFP/Getty

Miss Middleton wore a Katherine Hooker coat she has had for some time; below, Hello! Magazine shows her wearing it in 2006.

Via Hello! Magazine

The herringbone coat has since been shortened, a smart way to update the look.  She accessorized with a fascinator by Vivien Sheriff Millinery and suede boots from Russell & Bromley.

PHOTOS: Pool/AFP/Getty Images

And while some UK publications are somewhat critical of the “recycled coat”, we applaud her Miss Middleton’s choices, particularly the decision to make her coat last longer, among other things, it sends a very good message.

The young couple has been busy, today marked their second official appearance together, they visited the University where they first met, St. Andrews in Scotland.

Toby Melville/Reuters

Here is a file photo of the two following graduation in 2005.

Associated Press

Prince William and the bride-to-be were on hand to help kick off the University’s 600th Anniversary celebration.

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

And they were also helping publicize an upcoming fundraising campaign for the University.  Miss Middleton looked lovely in a bright red suit, black boots and black gloves.


Both looked very much at ease during both appearances, they also looked very happy.

Phil Noble/Reuters

Sometimes still photos capture a moment better than video can.

Danny Lawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

If today’s crowds in Scotland are any indicator, Miss Middleton and her Prince are going to be a favorite with fans everywhere.

The couple wrapped up today’s official engagements in London, with a visit to the New Zealand High Commission.

Luke MacGregor/Reuters

They went to sign a condolence book for those impacted by this week’s awful earthquake, and were joined by William’s younger brother, Harry.


Next, word that luxury linen purveyor Frette has started a Baby line.

Courtesy Frette

In addition to linens for the crib there are sweaters, jammies, robes and more.

Not exactly what one might refer to as practical, but they do look ever-so-snuggly.


This next tidbit may come as quite a surprise, as we generally aren’t waxing rhapsodically about the House of Gucci.

Monica Feudi / Feudiguaineri.com

PHOTOS: Monica Feudi via Style.com

The company’s showing at Milan Fashion Week on Wednesday caught our eye.

PHOTOS: Monica Feudi via Style.com

No, we are not contemplating a wardrobe shift to neon bodysuits and slit-up-to-there overskirts, we simply found the colors and styles striking.

PHOTOS: Monica Feudi via Style.com

It also seems that Gucci thinks the dark, sharply defined “statement mouth” is making a comeback.


A few spots of Friday Fun, the first from our friend Sarah at The Village Palm, she posted this on The Palm’s Facebook page today:

Via The Village Palm

Lilly Pulitzer is offering another bicycle, this one in the Stuffed Shells pattern, it looks cute as can be.


Our final note relates to Sunday evening’s Academy Awards telecast. Have you ever wondered exactly what the envelopes were like?

Via FastCo Design

We have long been curious about what they “really looked like”.  Apparently they have been redesigned for a more updated look.

Via FastCo Design

Perhaps we shall try and Tweet while watching, we have sat in admiration of the wit and wisdom displayed on Twitter by many of our more fashionable friends as they watch red carpet events.

With that, we send wishes that all enjoy a weekend filled with happiness and sunshine.


Filed under preppy