Tag Archives: preppies

Holiday Weekend Sales & Savings

Hello-Hello, happy almost-long-weekend!

Today’s Friday Fun is more of a fiscally friendly update, those who enjoy partaking of holiday Sales and Savings opportunities may find fodder here, we do try to focus on stores with a preppish aesthetic, in addition to the general department stores.

We begin with prep stalwart LL Bean, offering a 10% discount on everything, well as free shipping on every order.

LL Bean

Lands’ End is promoting its new markdowns.

Lands’ End

For those shopping online, Nautica offers 30% off everything with promo code WKND30.

Nautica

Eddie Bauer also is touting its markdowns.

Eddie Bauer

Other shops with savings:

ToryBurch.com

Neiman Marcus is promoting some fairly significant savings online and in its stores.

NeimanMarcus.com

In case that small print isn’t easy to read, Needless Markup Neimans is also offering free shipping on all orders with promo code SHIPNM.

Saks and Saks Off Fifth have solid bargains to offer, as does Neiman’s Last Call.

There are sizable savings at Ralph Lauren.

Polo Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren is also offering 25% off everything at its Polo factory stores, with an additional 20% off your entire purchase, that sounds like a fairly good deal, no?

There are also great offers at Ann Taylor and Loft, Banana Republic and Gap, and many other retailers.

We hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable weekend, I know we’ll be spending a little time enjoying some tennis. 🙂

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Filed under Friday Fun, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Sales & Savings

Goodbye To An Iconic Preppy Brand

Welcome to a Thursday. We feel as though we should have Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” playing in the background as we write, for today’s post brings news about the death of another storied brand, Priscilla of Boston. Here is what visitors to the website will see today:

Priscilla of Boston

When Women’s Wear Daily broke the news yesterday afternoon some might have expected the internet to explode with Facebook posts and Twitter updates. That was not the case, probably an indicator of the company’s lack of relevance to many of today’s modern brides. To be sure, not everyone is on Twitter and/or Facebook, but a very high percentage of young ladies Priscilla needed to attract as customers do use those online networks.

For those unfamiliar with the brand, it truly was the first, and in some cases only call one made after one’s engagement was announced.  Pure and simple, one went to Priscilla for a gown. Beginning and end of discussion. When yours truly set out with TQM on our hunt for the perfect gown Priscilla was our first stop. (Sadly, we did not have a positive experience, our gown came from Montaldo’s, another firm no longer in existence.)

Many notable names wore Priscilla gowns, among them several Presidential daughters. Below we see Luci Baines Johnson on her wedding day in August of 1966.

by © Bettmann/CORBIS

The design featured a nine foot Watteau train, so named because it falls from the shoulders, not the waist. Here is a better look at the dress.

LIFE Magazine

On a side note, we can’t resist sharing this photo of the Ms. Johnson’s bridesmaids, talk about some pink!

LIFE Magazine

Julie Nixon Eisenhower also wore Priscilla, her wedding took place just before her father was sworn into office.

Via Couture Allure

And Tricia Nixon selected a dress from Priscilla for her 1971 wedding to Ed Cox, the designer was John Burbridge, the company’s senior designer at the time. The fact the gown was sleeveless was *quite* the topic of conversation at the time, many considered the style much too informal for a wedding at the White House.

Via Simple Weddings

The company was founded in the 1940’s by Priscilla Kidder, below she is shown with a hand-embroidered ribbon that was actually sewn into Tricia Nixon’s hem, it says “Gown by Priscilla of Boston for the White House Wedding of Tricia Nixon to Edward Finch Cox” .

Harry Benson for LIFE Magazine via Couture Allure

Ms. Kidder designed the gowns for Grace Kelly’s bridesmaids.

One didn’t see too many sequins on gowns from Priscilla “back in the day,” but there was an abundance of hand-embroidery and exquisite lace. Sophisticated elegance was Priscilla’s hallmark, the company very much catered to an upper-crust clientele.  Here is a vintage Priscilla gown.

Via Dressing Vintage

A look at the details.

Via Dressing Vintage

Ms. Kidder sold the business in 1993, it has had multiple owners since then, most recently David’s Bridal.

Below, some more recent Priscilla dresses.

Via Women's Wear Daily

A bridesmaid dress.

Priscilla of Boston

Another contemporary wedding gown, this one from 2008.

Priscilla of Boston

Recently Priscilla tried marketing more aggressively, with promotions like an online contest (shown below) and a Facebook page.

Via Priscilla of Boston

More contemporary styles.

InStyle

So what brought about the end? That is a good question, we can only presume it was declining business in an industry that continues to consolidate into bigger conglomerates.

The company’s 19 stores will close December 31, and the following labels discontinued: Priscilla of Boston, Platinum by Priscilla of Boston, The Dress by Priscilla of Boston, Jewel by Priscilla of Boston, Melissa Sweet, Reverie by Melissa Sweet, and the Vineyard Collection (the Vineyard line was the more moderately priced group). No need for those who have ordered dresses to be concerned however, the company says current customers will receive their dresses.

Sniff. Does anyone have a tissue?

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“Happy Preppy Style” & School Daze

Hello-Hello, welcome to a Tue-Wednesday, business is so chaotic we are having to do a double post today.

We begin with a look at something with appeal for just about everyone, “Happy Preppy style,” part of a new book on interior design and decor, “Fresh American Spaces.”  The approach is intriguing.

We know what you’re thinking: you were there for the 1980s incarnation of preppy (and maybe even the 1960s original), and you cringe at the thought of crested blazers, the boat shoes you wore till the soles separated and your toes poked out, or your drawer full of wide plaid headbands. Relax. We’re not turning back the clock. We’re re-imagining preppy in a bold, modern way.

"Fresh American Spaces"

This is just one section of the new book from Annie Selke, it offers color palettes, themes, along with lots of photos and tips for achieving different looks, including one familiar to many of our treasured readers, nautical style.

"Fresh American Spaces" Make Your Own Signal Flags

There are plenty of “how-to” directions, including one on creating your own signal flags.

More from the book:

Happy Preppy is all about simplicity—function dictates form, appearance never outweighs comfort, and easiness is the word of the day. Is it still that happy-go-lucky style you remember? Absolutely. Is it kid- and pet-friendly? Check. Is it pretty? You bet. Is it precious? Never.

Much as we like to promote independent book stores, we also want to share Amazon’s page for the book, several videos are located on the page, including one on “Happy Preppy” style’s nautical flags wall we mention above.

"Fresh American Spaces" Amazon.com

This one is now on the “to read” list.

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Next, back to school styles, we have been seeing them everywhere online, as well as on some of the young ladies and gentlemen in the neighborhood crossing the palace moat on their way to class.  The offerings certainly are varied this year, it remains a mystery how parents can clothe and accessorize a child for anything less than half the national debt!

Below we show two ensembles from The Children’s Place.

The Children's Place

The store offers plenty of basics, like these Fair Isle Cardigans and the Polka Dot cardigan, all priced at $24.95.

The Children's Place

There are plenty of choices for your young man as well.

The Children's Place

On a fiscally friendly note, Children’s Place is running a special, everything is 15% off;  if shopping online use promo code Z4E2011 to receive the discount.

If opting for upscale looks, the fall Milly Minis collection offers some dressier looks, below we show the Cece Dress and Ribbon Cardigan with appliqued bows and grosgrain ribbon. (We’ll take one of the cardigans in sizes grown-up girls sizing.)

Barneys

Also cute, the Stone Island Long Sleeve polo for the young man at your palace, and on the right, the classic stripes of a sailor shirt on the Armor Luxe Breton top, all from Barneys.

Barneys

If looking for simpler styles, it doesn’t get much more basic than these Izod separates at JC Penney.

JC Penney

There are more basics, like the girls Polo Dress, the Long Sleeve Cardigan and the Girls Jumper, all pieces are by Izod and all are on sale for $17.99 – 18.99. The pieces are offered in many more colors than those we show here, brightening up the color scheme and looking a bit less uniform-ish.

JC Penney

Being more colorful doesn’t require a large outlay of cash,the American Living Plaid Sundress is $19.99, the eye-popping Pink and Green Zip Jacket is shown at a bargain price of only $5.99, and the Pants with Repp Tie Stripe Belt come in both navy and khaki, they are $14.99.

JC Penney

Moving again to pieces for your young man, JC Penney has a variety of options, below we show the Preppy Woven Shirt, $17.99 for boys sizes 8 – 20.

JC Penney

Kohl’s offers the Mudd Plaid Camp Shirts in a variety of colors for girls size 7-16.

Kohl's

Kohl’s has put together some outfits that have that “trying too hard” feel when taken all together, some of the elements might be cute on their own.

Kohl's

And there are always plenty of options for your little princess at Lilly. 

LillyPulitzer.com

Until next time, we hope all of your back-to-school adventures are excellent.

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Not Exactly Friday Fun

Today we dispense with the usual Friday Fun to concentrate on something more timely. And more serious.

NASA

How serious is it? Well, as our friend Whitney from the Pink and Green Pup noted at 6:30 this morning, “Actually Mr. Home Depot clerk, flashlights are NOT on aisle 15.”

Whitney/Pink and Green Pup

So we thought we would put our efforts to something that might be helpful as opposed to expending energy on the usual Friday frivolity.  We offer a few links that may be of interest and assistance, the first is My Fox Hurricane:

My Fox Hurricane

Here are others:

Good thoughts and prayers go out to everyone impacted. Be safe.

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Brooks Brothers Goes For The Younger Set and Those Grace Kelly Barbie Dolls

Welcome to another new week here at the Prepatorium, bright, beautiful and sunny, simply splendiferous.

We begin today with news about a new endeavor for Brooks Brothers, a new type of focusing on a younger demographic, WWD has the story.

Brooks Brothers will open a new concept store in the Flatiron District of New York City later this fall to cater to college students and young professionals.

Brooks Brothers

Customers needn’t worry about the retailer moving away from its core customer however, the quote below is from a senior officer at Brooks.

“This is not an effort to compete with all the young, trendy retailers out there. We are still very much taking our Brooks Brothers heritage and translating it for a younger consumer.”

This isn’t going to be the only store targeting a younger demographic, the company will open another just like it in Georgetown, on M Street. (The old Smith & Hawken/Pottery Barn space.)  More from David Lipke’s story:

“You won’t find a shirt-and-tie wall here,” said Lou Amendola, Brooks Bros.’ chief merchandising officer. “It’s a lot less formal than a traditional Brooks Bros. store.

Another image from the fall catalog.

Courtesy Photo via Women's Wear Daily

Perhaps one of the best ways to visualize the distinction between “regular Brooks” and “campus Brooks” might be in considering what is available for video inside the stores: the Madison Avenue flagship shows CNBC, the new store will have WiFi and old video games.

The story also notes that Brooks is looking at a children’s only store on the UES, when the renovation of the Madison Avenue store is completed next month the second floor will be dedicated to the women’s and children’s merchandise.  As always, these are fun to watch, with any luck we’ll have an opportunity to visit one of the new shops at some point in the not too distant future.

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We have news of yet another collaboration, the news also comes via WWD (Women’s Wear Daily), the trade publication took a look at the upcoming Jonathan Adler and Lacoste partnership in this story.  Mr. Adler’s needlepoint pillows have been featured frequently in this space, we are fond of his design aesthetic and heaven knows, we love our needlepoint.

Courtesy Photo via WWD

A June GQ blog post offers insight in to why Mr. Adler was interested in working with Lacoste:

Jonathan Adler: I have been rocking LACOSTE since I was 10, so I’m a long time fan and an addicted user. When LACOSTE approached me about this collaboration I was excited and inspired. I am very lucky to have a career that allows me to express myself in a myriad of ways, but the downside is that I rarely get truly excited. When LACOSTE approached me, I felt like a child hearing the ice cream truck coming around.

A look at the Special Edition polo shirt from the collection, it will come in a number of colors and be packaged in a special needlepoint case.

Courtesy Photo via WWD

The Special Edition polo will retail at $150 (it must be a very lovely case), a Limited Edition version will have actual needlepoint on the shirt, that will set collectors back $250. Those shirts will be available online and at Lacoste shops in November, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom are also expected to offer them.
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With apologies to our Facebook friends for a slightly repetitive posting, we wanted to share photos of the Grace Kelly Barbie dolls. Below, the “To Catch a Thief” doll, one of three versions showcasing iconic looks.

Via Barbie Collector

The doll shown above was released in June, it sells for about $35. The most recently released doll isn’t in the same price range, it is more of an investment. (Cough-cough.)

Via Barbie Collector

The Grace Kelly Bride Barbie is $175, it was released earlier this month. The level of detail looks very nice on this particular doll.

Barbie Collector

The third doll in the series is the Romance Doll, it will be released in October.

Barbie Collector

There are two ways of dressing this one, it will include a navy ensemble.

Barbie Collector

I wonder what the percentage is of adult women buying these as opposed to little girls eager to add them to their collection…?

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Finally, we couldn’t let an Anti-Prep’s weekend activities pass without at least noting the events. In our own snarkish way of course, via comments made on Twitter.

Via Twitter

Another one shared by the Huffington Post.

Via Huffington Post

And a final Tweet on the topic.

Via Huffington Post

Indeed.

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Filed under Collaborations, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Preppy People, The AntiPrep

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.

Rizzoli

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

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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”.

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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!

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