Tag Archives: preppy handbags

Is the Gap Back? Also, ‘A Proposition for Prep’

Hello-Hello, happy top of a new week to everyone.

Today we begin with a look at a topic we have been pondering lately, how things are going for the Gap. Some may recall earlier posts in this space about challenges facing the retailer, this weekend’s Times carried an interesting story about the company, “A Humbled Gap Tries a Fresh Coat of Pep“.  The lead sentence makes perfect sense to someone like myself who has been following Gap’s misfortunes, and wondering about the company’s marketing plan.

“THIS can’t be a Gap: the mannequins look kind of happy.”

That covers a broad swath of things related to Gap’s ongoing dilemma, more on the company’s situation can be found in Stephanie Clifford’s story:

After defining 1990s khaki culture, Gap fell hard in the early 2000s. Management missteps, executive turnover and, not least, unappealing fashion punished sales. It was a remarkable comedown for a chain that once seemed to dictate how America dressed.

What went wrong? Dozens of interviews with current and former executives depict a company that chased after rivals, rather than charting its own course, and that cut quality and lost touch with customers. Simply put, it filled its stores with stuff that people didn’t want.

I don’t know about your Palace, but that second paragraph resonates here at The Prepatorium, especially the quality issue. Parenthetically, it is also a description one could apply almost verbatim to Talbots current status.

It looks like some basics are back on track, like Gap’s Oxford Shirts.


While not a close observer or customer of the Baby Gap line, it seemed from what we noticed in online and print ads that this part of the company retained its focus and core products fairly well….yes?  For those in touch with the children’s clothing, was quality an issue here as well, or not so much?

Baby Gap

The DVF for Baby Gap and Gap Kids line is insanely cute. (More on this collaboration may be found here.)

DVF for Baby Gap

Below, two marketing images from this spring demonstrates the retailer’s commitment to vivid colors.


More from the NY Times story:

But recent moves seem to be spurring sales. The clothes are bright and fabrics better. (Mr. Peck mandates a minimum weight for T-shirts and knits.) And Gap has added production flexibility so it can chase trends it initially missed — for instance, it just rushed in floral-printed jeans for women.

Again, the emphasis on plenty of brights.


The back to basics mantra is also influencing the men’s clothing and accessories.


Other initiatives don’t seem as popular, like the brand’s flip-flops, at least if judging by comments left on the Gap Facebook page, there is some push back on these when it comes to the price, $24.95.

The story closes with a paragraph about Gap’s collection for this winter.

Mannequins wore winter gear, like an updated cable-knit sweater with a slouchy fit. The rest of the collection was red, navy and camel — peppy and preppy.

It looked like something that had been missing for a long time: it looked like the Gap.

It would be wonderful to see Gap back again.


Also today, a quick look at a piece done over at The Bag Snob titled “The Top 5 Preppy Bags: A Proposition for Prep“:

The Bag Snob

In the story Bag Snob Tina writes:

The word “preppy” tends to have a very specific connotation. Somehow, eighties imagery of Lacoste alligators, Nantucket Reds, and Sperry topsiders (not that they’ve even left preppy dudes’ closets) still hover.

But I’m noticing a freshly cut crop of clean-cut bags that put the “hip” in “prepster,” if you will. Whether you carry yours with a hint of irony or without blinking an eye, it’s time to embrace a little bit of modern prep.

The Anya Hindmarch ‘Nevis’ color block tote is very attractive, that color combo is perfect for the summer!

Until next time may your skies be bright and beautiful!


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

It’s Time for Totes Pt. 2: Vineyard Vines, Lilly, Lands End, LL Bean, J Crew, Preppy Princess, Rachel Pally, Eric Javits, Hogan Sport & More!

Vineyard Vines Weekender Patchwork Tote Vineyard Vines Anchors Woven Classic Tote

The Princess hoped to have this posted yesterday, but when there is breaking sale news at J Crew, what’s a girl to do? Let’s start with the Vineyard Vines Patchwork Weekender tote, très merveilleux, oui? But TP remains partial to the Anchors Woven Classic Tote, also from the Vines. When it comes to preppy totes, it’s simply not a proper list without at least one example from LL Bean, such as their Camden Embroidered tote, always in style and available in a number of different colors and embroidered motifs.

LL Bean Camden Tote

We also adore Bean’s Tidepool Boat & Tote, “Made in Maine, proven around the world” as its described; an excellent bag that was showcased yesterday by brilliant blogger Muffy Martini. It’s shown below in both the Lobster and the Crab motifs, there’s also a Trout version and it is available in two different sizes.

LL Bean Tidepool Tote LL Bean Tidepool Lobster version Boat & Tote

Of course, Land’s End has been known to keep a few totes in stock, not the least of which is the Grosgrain Canvas Tote, seen below, as well as their Printed Box Canvas tote, also seen below.

Land\'s Lands End preppy Grosgrain Canvas Tote Lands End Printed Box Canvas Tote

We move to the other coast with this set of Half Moon Bay totes from the Preppy Princess, also available in a fabulous stripe pattern, the Charlevoix Tote set. In case you are not familiar with Charlevoix, it is located on neither the Atlantic or Pacific coasts, but smack dab in the middle of Michigan’s Gold coast. (Nor should it be confused with Chicago’s Gold coast either. So much to keep track of… oh my.) At any rate, both sets come with three bags that are just great for toting home the groceries, carrying beach towels and accompanying accoutrements, you name it, with the largest a healthy 20 x 11 x 13! (Okay, we admit to being very proud of these, but they *are* are a great buy at all three for only $36!)

Preppy Princess Half Moon Bay Tote Set

Preppy Princess 3 pack Charlevoix Totes

We promised more Lilly and here is the very basic, but oh-so-wonderful Lilly Pulitzer Large Via Palm tote, and it’s actually on sale at Village Palm. And because The Princess is always thinking of your pocketbook, here’s one that’s a borderline tote from J Crew, and it just happens to be on sale. We say borderline because it is not super-wide, but still, this Mayfair Magazine tote is sweet, sleek and oh-so-chic. What could be better to slip your magazines into for the walk to the beach?

Lilly Pulitzer large Via Tote at Village Palm J Crew Mayfair Magazine Tote

If you are looking for something a tad more elegant, then the Eric Javits Donut tote is a consideration in either the black or white version, and you should definitely think about the Hogan Sport Simple as well, both of them at Needless Markup, Neimans. Are they preppy totes in the classic sense of that term? No. Would either one make a great tote? Absolutely.

Eric Javits Donut Tote at Neiman MarcusHOgan Sport Simple Tote Neiman Marcus

This next one is a particular favorite for its clean lines and spacious interior: the Rachel Pally Striped Beach Bag. (I bet it could become a favorite of yours as well!)

Rachel Pally Striped Beach Bag tote Rachel Palley Striped Beach Bag tote

There are more of course, always more, but we have simply run out of time today. Fear not; appropriate high tech ( little stickies) measures have been taken to safeguard their whereabouts until next time. They shan’t be forgotten. Have a simply stupendous Thursday!


Filed under preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle

Goyard St. Louis PM Tote

Goyard St. Louis PM Tote

Here’s one we just adore; many of you might recognize the Goyard St. Louis Tote, the company’s signature bag. We remain simply enchanted by its clean lines and elegant profile. Barneys seems to be out of stock, so we’ll have to hunt elsewhere, and you should too. After all, it’s reversible, has the cute little attached wallet, and comes in something like ten colors. How can you not love a company that refers to handbags as “Ladies’ Articles” on their site?! You could try Barneys or Bergdorfs in New York, the Barneys in Beverly Hills, or the actual Goyard store on Powell (Union Square) in San Francisco.  

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Filed under Prepalicious, preppy, Preppy Fashion