Tag Archives: preppy totes

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

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

It’s a Pink & Green Monday

Hello-Hello, happy Pink & Green Monday!


Today we must engage in crass commercialism, oh yes indeedy, reminding shoppers that goodies at TPP are 20% off until midnight tonight.

That means no matter which team you were pulling for, you can fly your colors at a great price with our Personalized Collegiate Garden & House Flags.


Personalized Onesies and Tees for the Tiny Prep on your list…

…are a great gift with monogram options like these whales, just a few of the many choices.

Personalized Plates and Platters are always a welcome gift, as are our Clairebella Cutting Boards.

Bright , whimsical lunch bags and Eco-Totes make nifty stocking stuffers.

It’s a great time to do Calendars and Agendas, including our Susan Wallace Barnes and our Cutie Calendars.

Greek goodies always make a nice gift, especially when they are as reasonably priced as our Donovan Designs note cards, luggage tags and notepads.

And you know our Lilly Pulitzer collection offers amazing possibilities for presents.

Jonathan Adler and Kiel James Patrick can help in those “Hmmm, what should I get?” situations.

A few of our best buys include our Magnet Packs ($10) in nine different sets of patterns and colors…

Our Boat Totes become an even better value with the discount, as do out other Totes and Bags.

But our hands-down, all-time best value remains our Custom Key Fob ($6 before the discount!), you get to pick the ribbon and the backing.

These are just a few ideas – if you don’t see what you need or have questions, just email (ThePrincess@PreppyPrincess.com) and we’ll do everything within our power to help find the perfect gift for those on your list… and don’t forget a little trinket for yourself, after all, who is more deserving?

We leave you with Silly Tilly’s thoughts on the Thanksgiving holiday.

Until next time, we hope your shopping carts are filled with fun and joy.


Filed under preppy, Prepalicious, preppy stationery, Lilly Pulitzer Paper & Gifts, Sales & Savings

‘Fleece’ by Brooks Brothers Sneak Peek

Hello-Hello, and Happy Monday!

With things crazy-busy here at The Princess, we jump right in with an early look at the new Brooks Brothers line for young ladies, Fleece.

Courtesy Brooks Brothers

These images were posted this weekend on the new Brooks Brothers Facebook page.

Courtesy Brooks Brothers

The new line is slated to launch in time for back-to-school shopping.

Courtesy Brooks Brothers

The Brooks Brothers Facebook page also shows this fall’s styles for the young master of the house, just click here to see the upcoming fashions; below we show the logo for the new line.

Courtesy Brooks Brothers

According to the Brooks FB page, information about a private Fleece Trunk Show for FB fans will be announced on their FB Wall (for those unfamiliar with Facebook, this is rather like one’s home page, for lack of a better term).  Our hats are off to the design team at B2, for the most part we think the girls collection looks promising.

While the majority of the Fleece styles for young men are also impressive, we have a moderate concern about this:

Courtesy Brooks Brothers

As many readers are more than tired of hearing aware, our LogoPhobia can be triggered by something like the item seen above, and in the case of Brooks Brothers, we are off the grid a bit sensitive to the topic, borderline hysterical concerned that logos on sweatshirts are merely the first step on a slippery slope. A slope that this company has judiciously avoided in most respects.


Saturday brought us our monthly issue of WSJ magazine, always a fun read. This issue was particularly enjoyable for any preppish reader, beginning with the cover story, “The Church of Mickey Drexler, Inside the world of J. Crew’s evangelical CEO“.

Courtesy WSJ Magazine

Tina Gaudoin’s profile is enlightening, and while we are not terribly fond of many Crew fashion decisions, we cannot fault Mr. Drexler’s business acumen.

Another interesting piece in this issue, an interview with designer Thom Browne.

Jeff Riedel/WSJ Magazine

Mr. Browne is perhaps best known to Princess readers as the designer of Brooks Brothers’ Black Fleece collections, as well as the man pushing higher hemlines. For men.

Finally, WSJ takes a fast glance at tote bags, commenting that “Preppy goes paisley and punchy with this summer’s take on the traditional tote.”

Nigel Cox/WSJ Magazine


We want to mention another children’s line, this one from Princess favorite, J. McLaughlin.

J. McLaughlin

We like a number of the dresses for girls, along with other offerings in the limited edition collection.


Here is one of the day’s Pretty in Pink offerings, Marilyn Monroe in her iconic Gentlemen Prefer Blondes dress.

The famous gown was sold at auction this weekend for a staggering $309,000.

For another Pretty in Pink that is also an Adventure in Argyle, we bring you this image via the always-on-top-of-things Erin at Pink and Green Scene.

Pink and Green Scene

For more on the Summer Oasis beach Towel, click here.


We leave you with this image as we celebrate and honor Flag Day.

Toby Talbot/AP

Goodbye until next time!


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

Nautical Notes, Lilly Warehouse Sale Info & Hamster Shoes

Hello-Hello, we hope everyone is enjoying their Tuesday.

We’re in that much-too-crazy zone created by TP’s the social secretary’s challenging time-management plan. (AKA insane over-scheduling.) Thus, another One Topic Tuesday, albeit something of a variation: the post is all images, but they’re unrelated other than by our fondness or fascination with them!

We are nothing if not nautically inclined here at the Prepatorium, so we begin with a few more treasures we have stumbled across of late, the first several items are from Elegant Baby.

If not concerned about matchy-matchy:

The Nautical Patch onesie from Old Navy made us smile, the socks are also cute.

The Sailor Dress is suited to more formal occasions; we think it qualifies as a Pretty in Pink, don’t you?  The dress is also available in navy.

Moving on to grown-up items, we share the Nautical glasses from Up2Code.com


Next, another Pretty in Pink…and Green; meet the Candy Stripe Tote by Dooney & Bourke.

No one will be surprised to learn we are rather fond of our own Scout Totes ($30), also perfect for a trip to the beach.

Our Uptown Totes ($21.50) are equally big and roomy, the heavy-duty nylon takes a beating.

Uptown Tote


Moving away from the beachside theme, we have two tidbits that may be of interest, the first is an update on this spring’s Lilly Pulitzer Warehouse Sale.

The fun begins at 5am June 9th at the Valley Forge Convention Center, click here for more info.

And a quick note about another Gossip Girl star on a magazine cover:

PHOTO: Mario Testino via Vogue.com

This is the second Vogue cover for Blake Lively; quite a coup. There is also a sizable photo feature, below the actress in a Versace dress.

Mario Testino via Vogue.com


And finally, a Help Us Understand candidate that didn’t make it into this post.

If Shoes Could Kill

There are no words.

On that bizarre note, g’bye until next time.


Filed under Gossip Girl, Help Me Understand, nautical, preppy, Preppy Fashion, Preppy People, Pretty in Pink, Sales & Savings

Spring Dreamin’ at the Preppy Princess

Hello-Hello, we are whining our way through yet one more experiencing another snowy day here at the Prepatorium. Truth be told dolls, we are in peril of succumbing to the glums, we are eager to see less snow and more sun. But because we are pure of spirit (ahem), we shan’t allow this to happen and are implementing drastic measures to combat our wavering spirits.

How drastic? Well, we going completely off the fashion and folderol grid. Instead we are looking at fun new goodies arriving (or already on hand) here at Princess InterGalactic HQ.  Watchwords for the day: bright, vibrant and Springtime-ish.

We begin with a simply divine new tote, the Greely.

Shown in Paris Paisley and Green Flair, we are making this today’s Pretty in Pink & Green. It’s likely TP will be appropriating test-driving one of these. (Sheesh, it is only out of concern and care for our treasured customers, you make it sound like I help myself to everything coming into HQ.)

The totes are oilcloth, making them very lightweight and also water-resistant, a definite plus in our mind.  The larger bag measures a more-than-healthy 14″ x 17″ x 8″, and comes with a matching wristlet* bag that is 5″ x 8″.  (*= we struggle with the ‘wristlet’ word, but not the concept, and must inquire: does anyone actually wrap the strap around their wrist?)


Also heading our way, an outstanding Adventure in Argyle:


This is one of our new gift items, the Soft Touch Manicure Set in four adorable argyle patterns.

Less than an inch thick, these are ideal for a young graduate, part of a bridesmaid’s gift bag, you name it. As we do love a bright pop of color, we have them in additional colors and patterns.

We like their $10 price point, just right for casual gifting.


Another new bag here at the Princess, the Pink & Green Paneled Zipper Tote.


The tote is also an outstanding buy at only $10; we’ll let the product description provide the other pertinent info.

“The bag has features normally found on a much more expensive tote such as an internal zipper pocket, an exterior pocket and zippered close.

This bag is up to your most demanding tasks because it’s made of an easy to clean poly material.  Each bag measures a robust 16″ W x 12″ H x 4″ D”

We love this one.


One of the most popular items in our new Jonathan Adler line is something new for us:


The Desk Dock Organizer is a fabulous little stand, helping one clear out clutter by providing handy places for pens, paper, and most importantly, the small electronics that seem to be taking over the Palace.

The Organizer is offered in two classic Adler patterns, the vivid Pink and Yellow Diamond or Green Greek Key.


Also perking up our corner condo, the newest batch of Lilly Pulitzer File Folders.

We love this spring’s patterns (Desert Tort, Crabtastic and Patchtastic) as much as the classic designs, they all enhance the environment significantly.


One of our favorite categories at TPP is the Preppy Pet. We are excited to be adding more patterns and ribbons to our American made custom dog and cat collars, like the Lilac & Green Argyle to go along with the Blue Argyle.

Silly Tilly enjoys sporting her custom harness in the pink and green paw print.

And we can say it has worked well with Tilly’s expanding… ah, Tilly’s ever-growing….girth.

She’s just big-boned. Really.


And finally, in the ‘just because we want to’ category, we may plant a few of these on the desk until we see real flowers blooming:

These are the Lilly Pulitzer pinwheels, and they are cute as can be, available in Later Gator and Desert Tort.

This has helped boost our spirits a bit, hopefully it has helped yours as well! Until next time, may your days be sunny!


Filed under Argyle, Lilly Pulitzer Paper & Gifts, Prepalicious, Preppy Fashion, preppy stationery, Pretty in Pink

A Derby Dust-up? And Finally, Mission Accomplished.

Hello and Happy Day to everyone!

Has everyone been reading about the tiff brewing over upcoming Kentucky Derby festivities? It seems some think the annual Barnstable Brown Gala has become a bit…well, tired. This is the 20th year for the big do, long considered one of the parties at Derby Week.

Twin sisters Priscilla Barnstable and Tricia Barnstable Brown host the Gala, a fundraiser for Pediatric Diabetes research, and generally a tough ticket.

Courtesy Southern Seasons

Courtesy Southern Seasons

Apparently the criticism involves a guest list many find…lacking. Last year’s names included Joey Fatone, several football head coaches, Heidi Montag & Spencer Pratt, chef Bobby Flay, Hugh Hefner, Edward Norton, and the Lachey brothers, to name a few. To be completely inappropriate, these are not exactly A-list celebrities. (Oooooh, the Princess is a Crankenstein!)

Courtesy Briar Rose Estate

Courtesy Briar Rose Estate

This year we have the horror of a competing another function simply titled the Briar Rose Derby Party, held on the historic Briar Rose Estate.

Courtesy Briar Rose Estate

Courtesy Briar Rose Estate

Held on the same night. At the same time. Hhhhmmm…. it seems we have dueling Derby dos.  In this environment we can only advise caution when picking one’s horse.  Trust TP on this one.


In other festivities, some may remember when we posted about the Derby Barbie a few weeks ago – now take at look at her celebrating Taste of Louisville!

Courtesy Lousiveille Courier-Journal

Courtesy Louisville Courier-Journal

(This photo comes courtesy the Louisville Courier-Journal.)

Of course, this year’s Derby also provides the backdrop for lots of other entertaining events, including another reality TV show debut: SOAPnet premieres its new docudrama “Southern Belles – Louisville” on May 21.

Courtesy Photo via Louisville Courier-Journal

Courtesy Photo via Louisville Courier-Journal

If interested in learning more about the Belles, just click here for the Courier-Journal’s story. And for those enjoying the “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” Southern Seasons offers their version of the real deal, as it were, in this month’s issue.

Courtesy Southern Seasons

Courtesy Southern Seasons

One more Derby note: J. Peterman, a southern gentleman by birth, has put together his own Derby Day party. That comes in the form of a sale with some wonderful markdowns on a well curated collection of Peterman goods, such as the Floral Spring coat.

J. Peterman

J. Peterman

As always with this savvy retailer, the writing doesn’t disappoint: “…watercolor shades of Pink and Green on Cream….”.  Lush, luscious, and ever-so-pretty. So much we are making it today’s Pretty in Pink.


Next, a quick tip of the hat to the folks at Glamour magazine.  Why? Because as Jezebel points out in this story, the magazine actually uses plus-size models in their May story on swimsuits.


Why do we care about such matters? Because to properly address diversity in fashion magazines, they must accurately reflect the cultures they serve.  (In the “Once Again, TP Reveals TMI” category, we are not a plus-size, nor do we consider being so a requirement for commenting on the topic. Harrumph.)


We have a number of Earth Day related updates, starting with a reminder that Target has their new Loomstate Collection available online and in stores.

Courtesy Target via TheFrisky.com

Courtesy Target via TheFrisky.com

The pieces in this line are created from 100% organic cotton, and also carry reasonable price points.


Also on the eco-friendly front, another player has entered the recycled sails market, 44 Knots.

Courtesy 44Knots.com

Courtesy 44Knots.com

The company is doing totes (as seen above) from the recycled sails, as well as scarves, something we’ve not yet seen in this material.

Next, we toot the Princess horn a little bit. While crazy about our Scout Totes, we have continued to search for a foldupable eco-conscious line of market totes, and finally….



We have liftoff!

It has taken us a long, l-o-n-g time to locate bags we felt merited your attention. Let’s face it: most people seem to understand the wisdom of using less paper & plastic and there are scads of eco-totes, grocery totes, market bags available now, but we had yet to see any we considered Preptastic.

Until we found the folks at RuMe Bags, which is essentially short for “Reuse Me”.



Additionally we wanted bright colors and patterns, high quality goods that were machine washable (sorry ladies, but after multiple tours of duty traveling from the market to the Prepatorium, and back again … ewww…. let your conscience be your guide). If not originating in the US, we also required a Certified Fair Trade manufacturer. You can probably surmise why The Consort & yours truly struggled mightily when sourcing these! Oh, and on top of all this, the bags had to be reasonably priced.

At $8.50 and $9.50 (and this includes complimentary shipping!) we finally feel like we found the ideal market bags.



They are big enough to carry a lot of groceries, 50 lbs. worth if need be….

Eco Prep Market Totes at PreppyPrincess.com041509_rume_400x400b


These also needed to be small enough for easy portability. Celebrity endorsements were not a requirement, but hey, we are not complaining, especially if its a preppy repp tie stripe Miss Ritchie is fond of!

After more than a year, we can finally say mission accomplished! Bright preppy colors and patterns do not have to exist separately from eco-friendly market totes. Hallelujah and good night.



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