Tag Archives: preppy handbook

The Official Preppy Handbook Returns as “True Prep”

Hello-Hello, and Happy Thursday! With any luck at all you are enjoying a warm and sunny day filled with promise and thoughts of good things to come.

We are doing a one-thought-Thursday, focusing on news about TOPH:

Official Preppy Handbook fans and followers are sure to be elated by news that author Lisa Birnbach is coming out with a new version of that classic volume.

Courtesy Photo

The publisher’s notes detail the book’s direction much better than we can:

True Prep looks at how the old guard of natural-fiber-loving, dog-worshipping, G&T-soaked preppies adapts to the new order of the Internet, cell phones, rehab, political correctness, reality TV and . . . polar fleece.”

Clearly the update has merit, offering serious possibilities. How shall the notion of ladies playing on the men’s course be handled? What about the errant child wanting a tattoo? (The horror!) We expect Ms. Birnbach and co-author Chip Kidd will provide us with an entertaining perspective on the perils a prep faces in the new millenium.

We have long wondered if there would be an update to the original, as it seemed an idea begging to be done. And when we saw this blog site we had hope.

Alas, the “Official Updated Preppy Handbook” blog hasn’t been updated since last December and the total number of posts comes in at a scant 12.

Via idp05

We must be candid in our thoughts on the original: it is something we loved reading, we still have a copy here at the prepatorium. We adore the writing style, the goofy (but spot-on) illustrations, the fact the entire topic is approached from a tongue-in-cheek perspective. We consider it a classic. However (and this is where some may find us heretical), it is not our bible.

We don’t have a lifestyle bible. We simply are what we are. We were fortunate to grow up in circumstances similar to those depicted in the book, but we never made, nor do we now make conscious decisions to ‘dress preppy’.  When it comes to apparel we wear Brooks Brothers or LL Bean or Lilly because it is what’s in the closet, mixed in among the Target tees and polos found at an outlet mall.  We merely seek that which is classic, stylish and of good quality and we guess most readers are of a similar mind.

Back to the fun stuff, here is more from the publisher:

• Wardrobe: Recent prep brands we are forced to recognize. How to tell Casual Friday from, say, Saturday.
• Money: We never talk about it.
• Food: Does the Food Network mean we’re going to have to cook? Bake? Now you’re going too far.
• Scandals: Poor Mrs. Astor. When Mummy’s plastic surgery goes terribly wrong. Rehab and the slammer: the new prep schools.
• We’re outta here: When to name something after yourself, and when not. The right obituary. What to do with your dogs if you predecease them.

You know TP is simply *dying* to hear about those ‘prep brands we are forced to recognize‘.  We can’t wait to see how those pesky and persistent logos are treated by Ms. Birnbach. The subject opens a whole new world of possibilities, don’t you think? Who do you think belongs on the list of brands to be recognized and who do you should be placed in the Fashion No-No column?

Do tell, expiring minds are dying to know!

Smiles to all of our cherished readers, we do appreciate you visiting!


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

A Classic Returns to LL Bean: is it “Preppy 2.0”?

Hello-Hello and welcome to a wacky Monday here at the Prepatorium! We hope the sun is bright and shining on your corner of the globe.

We begin with a look at the return of a classic LL Bean sweater, better known  as “The Norwegian“.  Remember this?

Courtesy LL Bean

Courtesy LL Bean

The photo is from this year’s Fall/Winter catalog. Here is a better look at the sweater compliments of the sharp dressers at Valet Magazine:

Courtesy ValetMag.com

Courtesy ValetMag.com

If you noticed in the photo above, the image of the sweater immortalized in The Preppy Handbook is also shown. But back to Valet’s take on the topic:

Filson. Brooks Brothers. Sperry. There’s a slew of trad brands partnering with young, hip designers and offering subversive takes on classics. But for L.L. Bean, they’re simply digging into the company’s rich archive and reissuing iconic pieces—hold the irony.”

Bean has done a superb job marketing this, with the upcoming return receiving quite a bit of play recently in the blogosphere.  In reality, this has been reported since May, when news was released about the sweater returning to the LL Bean lineup. And Valet’s thoughts about the sweater sent to them for review?

“…happy to report that Norwegian Sweater version 2.0 is good. Like, really good.”

The Norwegian will be available in November, selling for $129.

(And we won’t say a word about anyone here at the Palace having once owned such an item only to have had a spouse  remove it under  cover of darkness determine it would do more good keeping someone less fortunate warm. Nope.  TP would never be so cruel and shortsighted.)


Next, a quick look at some upcoming items from the Hello Kitty 35th Anniversary Collection.  Below, the Anniversary Tartan products.

Courtesy Photo via WWD

Courtesy Photo via WWD

We love that bright pink plaid so much we’ll declare this group as officially rating a Pretty in Pink designation, accompanied of course, by all of our standard Logophobia advisories.

The actual anniversary is November 1, and according to the WWD story on the upcoming event there will be quite a few products released:

• Limited edition Asics sneakers.

Courtesy Photo via WWD

Courtesy Photo via WWD

• New products from Hello Kitty’s ongoing collaboration with the California-based streetwear label Tokidoki, known for its quirky Japanese-inspired anime illustrations.

Courtesy photo via WWD

Courtesy photo via WWD

• A series of Judith Leiber-designed items based on retro Hello Kitty designs.

Of course, in no way does Hello Kitty display a prep aesthetic, but the designs are so darn cute, and almost always have pink somewhere in the motif, sometimes we can’t help but be drawn to them.


Also featuring pink (but more frequently red) and also wildly popular: all things Twilight.


Including a new line of cosmetics:

Courtesy Photo via WWD

Courtesy Photo via WWD

According to our trusty Women’s Wear Daily, the beauty products will showcase two separate lines, the first aimed at younger fans:

“Volturi Twilight, named for a ruling vampire clan in the “Twilight” series, is aimed largely at teens and is launching the middle of next month at Hot Topic, Torrid and Ulta.”

Courtesy Photo via WWD

Courtesy Photo via WWD

Above, body shimmer from the Volturi group; prices for the Volturi items are to by $9 to $19.  And for the older crowd? The article explains that merchandise will be a little pricier, $18 to $34:

“Luna Twilight, a play on the moon themes in “Twilight,” is targeting older girls and teenagers’ mothers and is launching in the middle of next month at Nordstrom and Dillard’s.

Courtesy Photo via WWD

Courtesy Photo via WWD

True fans are no doubt already aware one can purchase Twilight Venom Lip Plumper & Shine at Sephora.


The final product announcement we share involves a brand we adore, Ferragamo. Unfortunately we are not feeling favorably about this one, it just doesn’t seem like a natural fit.

Courtesy Ferragamo via WWD

Courtesy Ferragamo via WWD

Your thoughts? Should the upscale shoe company stick to what it knows best, or do you believe this might be a good way for the firm to extend the brand?


And finally, don’t forget, tonight on David Letterman:

The September Issue

The September Issue

Yes, it is Le Wintour (Anna Wintour, Vogue Editor, aka ‘Nuclear Wintour’, etc.) promoting The September Issue tonight on CBS.  The documentary opens in New York this Friday; caustic columnist Maureen Dowd wrote about it this weekend in the Times:

“Just like Miranda Priestly, who dismissed her assistant with a cold “That’s all,” Anna frostily murmurs “That’s it? There’s nothing else?” as she surveys photos and clothes and prods a staffer: “It’s Vogue, O.K.? Please, let’s lift it.””

By all means. Perhaps we should cease the “Because life is better with a bow” credo and go for “Let’s lift it.”



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

NYC Prep, Tory Burch

Hello-Hello everyone, we are *so* excited here at the Prepatorium, it is truly luscious outside! We hope all our cherished readers are enjoying similar sunshiny circumstances wherever they may be spending the day!

We have previously mentioned the upcoming preppish docu-drama, NYC Prep.  The show is likely to be a competitor for Gossip Girl fans, most readers are aware that show focuses on students at a fictional school.

Courtesy Bravotv.com

Courtesy Bravotv.com

NYC Prep premieres June 23, but Bravo aired a preview last week. In case you missed the preview but would still like to see it, here is a link; it is available online.

It shall be intriguing to watch the fashions worn by the students; below, Sebastian Oppenheim. According to the show’s brief online bio, his mother cuts his hair, demonstrating the prep frugality to which we are all accustomed.

Courtesy BravoTV.com

Courtesy BravoTV.com

The show’s official website doesn’t provide the identities of the schools attended by the show’s participants, not will Bravo acknowledge or verify the schools. However, their identities and locales are commonly known and have been for some time.

Mr. Oppenheim is a sophomore at the Ross School in East Hampton. This is not an old guard school (not at all, it is fairly new), nor is it in the city, but as far as we know it is one of the only (if not the only) private school in the Hamptons.

The other male student in the show is Peter “PC” Peterson.

Courtesy BravoTV.com

Courtesy BravoTV.com

Next, 15-year-old Taylor DiGiovanni:

Courtesy BravoTV.com

Courtesy BravoTV.com

Miss DiGiovanni goes to Stuyvesant, not considered a ‘prep school’ as far as we know, but perhaps we’re just not as plugged in to things as much as we used to be. Other schools attended by students seen in the show include Birch-Wathen-Lenox and Nightingale-Bamford. (The latter being the school Gossip Girl is hypothetically based on.)

In a post about the two different shows (G2 & NYC) on the WSJ’s Speakeasy pages, a Chapin alum explains that the show:

“…misses the whole point of the East Coast attitude towards money, which is that you don’t show it, you don’t talk about it.  Living in LA now, I really see that contrast, and it’s huge.”


Ever-so-fun Preppy Handbook author Lisa Birnbach shares her thoughts on the ‘reality show’ in that same Journal post:

““The big hoax is the talent pool for this—no actual preppy kid would ever go to a casting call for something like this or want to be on a show like this at all—they present it as though all the people who go to these schools are from a certain world, and they’re not.””

Thank you. It makes our point perfectly.

Many Princess readers know the show is a fraud if the majority of students at these educational establishments are presented as being publicity-hungry like the teens in the show. Honestly, weren’t we were all taught the same mantra?

There are only three times a Lady’s name should be in the newspaper – upon the announcement of her birth, when she is married, and when she dies.

In these times, the practice is modified to accommodate some charitable and professional accomplishments, but honestly, discussing one’s financial situation, or being in an environment where it is a topic of discussion simply isn’t done.

Perhaps the biggest point of confusion for TP is probably going to be addressed in the actual show; this presumes we can bring ourselves to watch. But really, where are the teens’ parents? What are they thinking by allowing their children to participate in this?

That is all. For now.


For those interested in the goings-on at upper crust schools like those discussed above, this story about Miss Porter’s in the current issue of Vanity Fair is for you.

PHOTOS: Jonathan Becker/Vanity Fair

PHOTOS: Jonathan Becker/Vanity Fair

The lengthy article looks at legal action against the school initiated by the parents of a former student; a student who admits cheating on a test.  We shall keep our opinions to ourself here, invoking the “if you haven’t anything nice to say” maxim.


A reminder about the Tory Burch sale currently underway at invite-only shopping site Rue La La.  The sale ends June 17 at 11am; if you need an invite, just send us a quick email note.  One caution: the site was down at different times today; it seems functional now, but be prepared.

Speaking of Tory Burch, we have a few looks from her Resort 2010 show last week:

PHOTO: Thomas Iannaccone via WWD

PHOTO: Thomas Iannaccone via WWD

We’re lukewarm.

PHOTO: Thomas Iannaccone/WWD

PHOTO: Thomas Iannaccone/WWD

Underwhelmed best describes our reaction.


That does it for us today dolls, we are a bit under the gun this week with a heavy volunteer schedule and a trip to see The Queen Mother at her Palace, how fun!


Filed under Gossip Girl, It's Just Not Done, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle

The Official Filthy Rich Handbook: Sign Up for Your Very Own

Filthy Rich Handbook - Allison

It appears the upcoming release of the mostly-tongue-in-cheek (but not always!) “Filthy Rich Handbook” is creating a bit of a buzz. Oh my. Well, why not, we ask? Aptly subtitled “How the Other .0001% Live,” it is written by Christopher Tennant, one of the original founders of Radar.com magazine and website. The book, due out June 12, is amazingly akin to The Official Preppy Handbook (imagine that!) to which The Princess says, and….? Isn’t there something about imitation and flattery? Are we not feeling the love? Now there are *fabulous* profiles, such as “The Raider: Want a Friend? Buy a Dog” and “The Hedger: It’s Not Enough to Succeed, Others Must Fail,” and as seen above, “The Heiress: What More Can I Give?,” all of them more than entertaining. Is it tasteless and vulgar and crass? Of course. Is it possible we may have material for a future Anti-Prep posting or two? More than likely.

Below is a review from Vanity Fair and then a pre-pub blurb from Workman, the actual publisher, followed by a profile of The Nerdling as seen in the book.

Vanity Fair : “[A] decadent road map to help you navigate through private-school admissions, choppy regatta waters, and the global social circuit.”

“Fortunately, in the spirit of The Official Preppy Handbook—the 1.3-million-copy bestseller that taught all of us how to be WASPily top drawer—help has arrived. A dead-on, deadpan guide to living large in the land of plenty, The Official Filthy Rich Handbook yanks the monogrammed pashmina off a world few mortals ever get to see.”

Filthy Rich Handbook Nerdling

Now, for all of us MAPS (Midwestern American Princesses), we might take note of the fact that The Heiress is actually none other than Julia Allison of Star fame; she is the magazine’s Editor-at-Large and she also lists herself as a Dating Columnist for Time Out New York. (Seen below with Brooke Parkhurst, once on Fox News Channel, posing for a Gawker pic.) Ms. Allison is neither an Heiress nor filthy rich, but she is something of a celeb in town.

Julia Allison

The Princess thinks this will be a great beach read, likely to draw a few giggles and perhaps some outrageously inappropriate cackles. If you are reclining next to us on said stretch of sand, we apologize in advance for any outbursts.

Filthy Rich Handbook


Filed under preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle