Tag Archives: Royal Ascot

Is Lilly Appropriate For The Office?

Hello-hello, we hope you are enjoying a splendid week!

Today we share a fashion item that we found interesting, a piece in Monday’s Careerist blog titled “Lilly Pulitzer at the Law Firm.”

Lilly Pulitzer via The Careerist

For years we have seen the topic debated: is Lilly work-appropriate? This story addresses the issue as it relates to legal firms, it is written by Vivia Chen, who knows her stuff. Not only is she chief blogger for the Careerist, her bio notes she has been covering the “business and culture of law firms for a decade”. From the post:

Nine months of the year I’m cloaked in grays, black, and occasionally a dash of purple. It’s the New York uniform. It can take you to the office, a corporate cocktail party, or a memorial service for the senior partner. (Come to think of it, “funeral chic” describes a lot of law firm attire.)

But come summer I transform into someone decidedly unManhattanish: the Lilly Pulitzer girl. Unabashedly bright and nauseatingly cheery, Lilly Pulitzer prints don’t reflect my true personality at all. But for reasons that would take a Freudian analyst to explain, I can’t resist them this time of the year. I own about two dozen Lillys, and I can’t get enough of them.

Now, truth be told, yours truly lived in black when doing TV, with occasional pops of pink as well as the sporadic white contrast piece. (Early on when an intern and junior staffer I did wear bright colors, but we’re talking later in the career.) While many would argue that television is a creative field with plenty of room for personal expression via one’s wardrobe, you did not see me in Lilly in the office. Why not? Because I was in management. It wasn’t done.

As we changed stations and migrated back east and then moved about as far west as one can go the dress code loosened. When on the west coast I remember being… well, let’s just say I was ‘concerned’ when I realized that some female employees were not wearing hose. Oh, the horror. (Insert smirk.) Fortunately someone counseled me before I did anything, deterring any imposition of any sort of silly-dress-code-that-only-a-new-person-would-dream-up.

Life and lifestyles vary hugely in different parts of the country, and are even more broadly mixed depending upon one’s chosen industry. The dress code is further defined by the position one occupies within a place of business, but there really are not nearly so many absolutes about office attire these days.  Back to Ms. Chen’s story:

Luckily, I no longer have to stand out as the oddity in pink, green, and yellow, because wild prints are all the rage right now. Almost everywhere you look—J. Crew, Kate Spade, Jason Wu, Altuzarra—flashy, splashy prints abound. So the issue is this: How far can you go in sporting bright, loud designs while still maintaining professional dignity?

In my field—journalism/blogging—what’s acceptable as office wear is a nonissue.

Below, several Lily looks via the Zappos blog.

Zappos.com Blog

Clearly we’re not speaking about something like the shorts shown in the montage above. The debate is about dresses, tops and pants in Lilly’s splashy prints and bold colors, the very things that make Lilly “Lilly”.

I know several practicing attorneys who would not even contemplate wearing Lilly in the office. Wouldn’t consider it. They are in positions of influence, working in firms located on the east coast and in the midwest. Others who work in the southeast and southern California have worn it to the office, culturally it is a different ballgame where they are working. A friend who is in the corporate offices of a large financial firm would not wear it, but you do see sleeveless, or short-sleeved pieces in bold patterns on any number of personnel in the branch offices.

Ms. Chen offers some insight from those who specialize in workplace fashions, and then adds this:
Personally, I think you should dispense with the gradual approach and self-analysis. I say go whole hog with the crazy florals. If you are in the mood to wear an over-the-top print in the summer—assuming that the dress is simply cut and not too revealing—what’s the downside? It will probably make you cheerier—and maybe even lighten up the sullen souls around you.
Really, what law office couldn’t benefit from a dose of gutsy color?
You may read Ms. Chen’s entire post by clicking here, our pal Lisa at Amid Privilege offers a stellar perspective on office attire as well, in particular this post and this post resonate.
Ultimately it is like any other career decision: it depends upon your personal situation and your comfort zone. And while Lilly may epitomize a “fashion no-no” for a limited number of people, there are far worse fashion crimes committed constantly every day. Like at Royal Ascot today.

I’m curious to know your thoughts? Are you in an industry where Lilly is fine for the office?


Filed under preppy

Because It’s Royal Ascot, That’s Why + That New Tiffany Suite at the St. Regis

Hello-Hello, and welcome to a Wednesday, is is bright and beautiful here at the Prepatorium, we hope that is the case in your corner of the globe as well.

It’s one of our favorite events every year: Royal Ascot is underway on the far side of the pond and we get to look at some fun fashion and chapeaux.  Below, the Queen arriving yesterday with Prince Philip.

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

We love this image of the Queen chatting with Ascot board members.

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Prince Charles looked dapper, the Duchess of Cornwall (Camilla) is in the ensemble worn for Kate and William’s wedding, evidently channeling the “let’s recycle the clothing, shall we?” sentiment.

Also in attendance, Princess Beatrice (L) and her sister Princess Eugenie, far more understated than we have seen them of late.

Both young ladies looked very pretty, and rather elegant.

The overall atmosphere looks delightful, although this gentleman is clearly done in by the rigors of having to make betting choices whilst also enjoying a picnic.

Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

And then there are those hats.

Julian Finney/Getty Images

Most qualify as legitimate headwear.

Alastair Grant/AP Photo

Others, simply over the top. Below, hat designer Tracy Rose in one of her own creations.

PA via The Daily Mail

It’s no secret yours truly adores her iPad, but this is rather silly.

Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty

The unfortunate proliferation of creations made purely (we’re not sure we should use that word here) for media attention is growing tedious.  Below, a model wears a hat ‘created in honor of Royal Ascot’s 300th Anniversary.’

Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images

For a different perspective on the event, Tina Gaudoin’s piece for the Journal on Friday provides just that:

“I don’t mean to be sneery, but when was the last time you saw someone well-dressed at Royal Ascot or, indeed, at any horse-racing event?

What can you do when you are forced into an environment where your heels sink into the turf, the wind whips around your ankles and up into your petticoats, and there’s a silly rule about the wearing of headgear?

Ms. Gaudoin is the former editor of the paper’s Weekend magazine, she now resides in London and offers a different take on the event, including this point.

“The hats and outfits seen most often at Ascot are those put together by “day trippers” who compete to “outlandish” each other.”

Click here to read the entire piece, it’s a solid investment of time.

In a related note, this month’s Weekend has a number of splendid stories, including this one about the recently renovated Hôtel du Cap.

Matthieu Salvaing/WSJ Weekend Magazine


Also today, those fond of Tiffany may want to think about staying at the St. Regis next time you’re headed into the city. Behold, the recently unveiled Tiffany Suite at the hotel.

George Chinsee/WWD

Women’s Wear Daily has the story:

The 1,700-square-foot suite features neutrals such as whites, beiges, charcoal gray and silver accented with the signature Tiffany blue.

George Chinsee/WWD

Above, the foyer described in this portion of the story:

The foyer has a Tiffany-blue glass-beaded and silver-leafed handmade wall covering, while the entry console’s design is a subtle reference to one of Tiffany’s most iconic pieces, the engagement ring.

The bedroom.

George Chinsee/WWD

While your trusty scribe feels like she is writing about the Eloise suite at the Plaza, evidently there is some shared history between the two storied firms. Lisa Lockwood’s story explains:

“There’s a long history of the two brands [St. Regis and Tiffany] working together,” said a St. Regis spokeswoman. She said in 1991 John Loring, now design director emeritus of Tiffany & Co., designed a Tiffany suite at the St. Regis, which had more jewel tones (emeralds and sapphires), heavier woods and was more masculine in feeling.

Oh. Hmmm.

With that we say g’bye, we are off to swipe TQM’s new iPad over lunch, we have offered to help set it up. (How frightening is that?!)



  • Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters
  • Chris Jackson/Getty Images


Filed under Collaborations, preppy

Royals Descend on Sweden in Serious Party Frocks


We’re experiencing a bit of a Friday frenzy following yesterday’s delightful afternoon grueling team-building workshop.

The company’s off-site meeting was loads of fun very intense, and The Consort is sporting a sunburn new skills were learned at the seminar.  However, it was also time-consuming, so we’ve many little tidbits and lots of photos today, clearly a case of style over substance, with our apologies.  We begin with a quick reminder about the Kiel James Patrick giveaway over at Beach Bum and Baby.

Click here to scoot over to the Giveaway, entries close at midnight tonight (Friday, 6.18.2010).


We also have some final images from Royal Ascot, below we see Britain’s Princesses Anne and Beatrice arriving at Ladies Day yesterday.

Luke MacGregor

Next, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie appear to be pondering their race cards (L), on the right, Joan Collins was also at Ladies Day.

We loved these two images of Princess Eugenie.

Day Three at Ascot also featured Charlie Watts (the Rolling Stones) looking dapper, and even more interesting accessories.

We leave the topic with two related images, both sights we should have expected but failed to foresee: the Vuvuzela hat at Ascot, and on the right, Prince William with one of the horns, seen during his visit to a charity in Botswana he supports.



Next, a reminder for those who like to be the first person in the palace with the new things: Burberry Beauty debuts this weekend.

Davies & Starr via NY Times T Magazine blog

The new cosmetics collection launches at Burberry and also at Nordstrom tomorrow. Look for some stunning advertising images shot by Mario Testino.

Courtesy Images via T Magazine


Also on the calendar this weekend, what many are calling “the royal wedding of the year,” the marriage of Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling.

Leif R. Jansson/Scanpix/Reuters

Above, Crown Princess Maxima (L) of the Netherlands, Britain’s Sophie the Countess of Wessex (front, 2nd L), Crown Prince Willem-Alexander (C) of the Netherlands and Britain’s Earl of Wessex Prince Edward (2nd R) arrive for the Swedish Government’s pre-wedding dinner in advance of tomorrow’s ceremonies.

Above we see Princess Rym Brahimi and Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan (L), as well as Spain’s Infanta Christina and husband Inaki Urdangarin on the right.  Below, Denmark’s Princess Benedikte and Prince Richard zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (L), and Norway’s Princess Martha and husband Ari Behn,

Next, the Grand Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg (L) head into the dinner, as well as Norway’s Prince Haakon and wife Crown Princess Mette-Marit.

Here are the groom’s parents, Ewa and Olle Westling, we also see Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Crown Princess Máxima of the Netherlands.

Next, Princess Mathilde of Belgium in a bright pink gown, and Queen Margrethe II of Denmark in turquoise.

Below, Princess Alexia Morales and husband Carlos Morales, Prince Philipo, Ms. Tatiana Blatnik and Prince Nikolaos of Greece, Queen Anne-Marie and King Constantine of Greece

Bertil Ericson/AFP/Getty

We are talking about very. serious. party frocks.  Below we see the guests of honor as Princess Madeleine, Prince Carl Philip, Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling (L-R) arrive for the dinner.

Claudio Bresciani/Scanpix/Reuters

It would seem wardrobe mishaps may have been averted by Mr. Westling.

Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty

Fretting about the train on one’s gown can be nerve-wracking.

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty

Crown Princess Madeleine looked stunning.

Torsten Laursen/Getty

While her sister looked radiant on the arm of her soon-to-be-husband.

Adam Osterman/Getty

On that happy image we say adieu until next time!


  • Stuart Wilson/Getty Images
  • Indigo/Getty Images
  • Pascal Le Segretain/Getty


Filed under Friday Fun, preppy

The Consort Eyes Royal Ascot Fashion. Egad.

Hello-hello, friends and neighbors.  The Consort here gliding smoothly mikeside to entertain and confound you while The (lovely and talented) Princess enjoys an “offsite” day.  We anticipate her return tomorrow.  I’ve been reading her recent posts on the events at the venerable Royal Ascot and I am, quite frankly, concerned.  Not for The Princess, mind you.  She is capable of handling herself, thank you.  I am concerned for the assault on the senses that has been taking place at Ascot.  Let’s explore, shall we?

This poor woman apparently does not realize that there is a garden on her head.  Still, it’s a fetching look and takes a certain amount of style to carry off.  I’ve always found that understatement is lost on so many people.  That is certainly not at risk here.  What sort of woman dares this look?  If you guess only a leading edge fashion maven could handle this pressure you would be incorrect.

Getty Images

This beauty is aging gracefully.  I can only wish I do the same.  Because I’d look great in that hat.  Or there’s this look…

I don’t even know where to begin.  This is clearly a woman who knows how to “take it to the next level” (to use a trite middle-level management cliche’).  Her colorful headwear is only topped by her glorious manicure.  I’m speechless.  But wait, there’s more.

National pride is inspiring.  This woman apparently confused Royal Ascot with the World Cup.  She is clearly a fan of Germany.  And who can blame her after the German team’s 4-nil win over Australia.  What does that have to do with Royal Ascot?  Absolutely nothing.  Therein lies the magic of this creation;  art for art’s sake.  But sometimes fashion has a serious side.

This, of course, would not be one of those times.  Can you imagine the conversation at the milliners?  “Yes, I would like to have two swoopy tube deals coming out of a couple of flowers that we’ll hot-glue to my head.  At the end of those tubes put some random pointy things.  Smashing!”  I imagine the upside of this look is that with the proper wiring you would be able to receive high definition television signals.  Now that, my friends, has promise!

One of things that make Royal Ascot so special is the number of celebrities who make appearances.  Like Carmen Miranda…

Maybe I’m wrong on this one.  But you could slip a banana, grapes and some other random fruit in this creation and you’d have the look down cold.  But don’t think the women have this event all to themselves.  Not by a long shot.  Men are required to wear top hats.  And that’s where this gentleman went wrong…

He must know that a swan has landed on his head.  I have had some experience with swans.  They are mean, territorial and messy.  Clearly that pleases this man.  Or perhaps he has spotted the dinner platter in front of him and he is imagining swan for dinner.  “If my horse loses I’ll eat my hat!”  Indeed.

Walking the fashion razor’s edge is tiring business.   Sometimes you just have to settle down and compose yourself.

I confess this would be me.  However, I would be wearing my traditional white socks with my morning suit.  Classy.

Will you look at the time?  I must run so I’ll leave you with the usual reminder:  Take care of your waitperson because they’re working hard for you today.  Look for The Princess to be back tomorrow and life to return to what passes for normal here.  Now I’d like you to enjoy the musical stylings of four young men with a message.  Good night, all.


Filed under Posts by the Princess Consort, preppy

Royals, Ascots, and Royal Ascot


As promised in yesterday’s post, we are taking a more in-depth look at Royal Ascot.

Before delving into Ascot, a reminder the Royal Family does know how to dress; below we see everyone at this weekend’s Trooping the Colour ceremony.

Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty

Back to the subject at hand, yesterday was Day One at Ascot, and both the Queen and actress Amanda Holden opted for this season’s “it color”.

Today brought more pink; Princess Anne stood out amid a sea of black (L), and Jackie St. Clair (perhaps best known as Simon Cowell’s former girlfriend, good heavens) is on the right.

Clearly, dining before things get underway is a rigorous exercise.


Lending an entirely different meaning to the word “picnic”.

Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty

Back to our topic, the fashion sported by race-goers.

Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty

Above, a vertigo-inducing image,  and below, efforts to avoid a chapeau tragedy.

Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty

Lest there be any confusion regarding proper apparel for watching the activities from the Royal Enclosure, let us we remind readers there are rules.

“Her Majesty’s Representative wishes to point out that only formal day dress with a hat or substantial fascinator will be acceptable. Off the shoulder, halter neck, spaghetti straps and dresses with a strap of less than one inch and miniskirts are considered unsuitable. Midriffs must be covered and trouser suits must be full length and of matching material and colour.”

Also looking smart yesterday, a cousin of the Queen and 34th in line to the throne, Princess Alexandra (L); on the right, the BBC’s Kate Silverton.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex (perhaps better known stateside as Prince Edward’s wife) was in muted tones both yesterday (L) and today (R).

The dress code is not only applicable to the ladies, back to the Official Rules:

“Gentlemen are required to wear either black or grey morning dress, including a waistcoat, with a top hat. A gentleman may remove his top hat within a restaurant, a private box, a private club or that facility’s terrace, balcony or garden. Hats may also be removed within any enclosed external seating area within the Royal Enclosure Garden.”

Luke MacGregor/Reuters

Most of the gentlemen looked topnotch, including soccer star Michael Owen (injured, thus not enduring the vuvuzelas at the World Cup) on the left, and on the right, jockey Frankie Dettori.

To read the full dress code code for those heading for the Royal Enclosure, click here.

The hat on the left is shared on behalf of the delightful Nautical by Nature, on the right, an elegant ensemble in what we’ll call royal blue. (Clearly the Silly Princess was let out today. Sigh.)

We’re not convinced matching one’s escort is necessary.

Alastair Grant/AP

And we must query our cherished readers about this next image: is it just TP, or do these dresses look like something better worn in the boudoir? (They are prompting Paris Hilton Anti-Prep flashbacks for some reason, envision the involuntary eye twitch, the sudden jerking movement of the head.)

Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty

As someone who spent 18 years in broadcasting, naturally we read the Media Guide, you would expect no less. Trust us when we say it is full of amazing information, not all of it what we are used to seeing in such publications.

Vehicular Egress! Ladies, the easiest way to exit a vehicle is to take a firm hold on the back hem of the skirt, twist your body with your legs together until your legs are toward the exiting door of the vehicle, and then stand.

Stuart Wilson/Getty

We are wondering if Australian entertainer Holly Valance (above) needed those pointers?

Here is another tip from the Media Guide for the gentlemen:

Zips Gentlemen ensure these are always done up. A simple schoolboy error can spoil even the most distinguished of outfits!”


Here is a bit of insight from the Media Guide on an essential topic:

…And Hats Simply the Ascot accessory! Wear hats straight on the head or tilted mysteriously over one eye. How a hat looks from the neck up is most important.”

Stuart Wilson/Getty

The Guide also addresses the topic of footwear:

Feet! No pain, no gain! High heels look fabulous but don’t neglect your feet girls! The site is a quarter of a mile long so lady visitors may wish to consider their footwear carefully…or just wear the heels, everyone knows they look great!”

Luke MacGregor/Reuters

It seems someone elected to leave the pain and/or gain behind.

Next, this lovely image of The Queen on her way to today’s events, definitely a Pretty in Pink.

Press Agency

And if one were seeking a Pretty in Pink and Green from Ascot, we can supply that image as well.


If wondering whether Princes William and Harry are enjoying the races, that is a ‘no,’ they are in Botswana.

Chris Jackson/Getty

Above we see Prince Harry and Prince William holding an African rock python yesterday, at an Education Centre they support. The final stop for this Royal duo includes watching the England vs Algeria World Cup match in Cape Town.

The young men are not the only royals doing the World Cup; Spain’s Crown Prince Felipe, and Princess Letizia at today’s World Cup match between Spain and Switzerland.

Julie Jacobson/AP

The outcome was an upset, Spain (reigning European champions) did not win the match.

Our final tidbit in what has become “Your Royal Update from the Princess,” a reminder about this Saturday’s big event, the wedding between Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria and former fitness instructor Daniel Westling.

Jonas Ekstromer/Scanpix/Reuters

On the left, the Princess at a function last December, and on the right, leaving the Cathedral where the ceremony will be held.

We look forward to seeing the wedding gown the Princess will wear.

Until next time, may your afternoon be sunny and bright!


  • Stuart Wilson/Getty
  • REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
  • REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Getty Images


Filed under preppy