Tag Archives: sperry topsiders

A New Heel Height? We’re In. (Version 2.0)

Hello-Hello, welcome to a Wednesday. There is white matter falling from the sky and yours truly is perilously close to becoming Little Miss CrankyPants about the weather.  Harrumph.

We soldier on with a post we are completely flummoxed about, one that is shown as being in draft mode. Yet apparently it has been published at some point, somehow, as a dear friend has discussed it with The Consort, so confusion reigns here at the Prepatorium.  Please forgive the tedium if you have already seen this, my addled brain is beyond baffled at this point. (But if you do remember seeing the not-ready-for-primetime-post in all its ghastly horror of rampant typos, misspellings and other signs pointing to an illiterate Princess, don’t be shy about letting us know, it would be appreciated to the nth degree!)

Moving on.

Today we share news that made us smile when first reading it a few weekends back: according to an article in the Journal, we may be seeing the return of more sensible heel heights.

The age of the relatively sensible heel—about 3½ inches and under—is upon us. “After so many seasons of aggressive platform shoes, these new single-sole, lower-heel silhouettes are a palate cleanser,” said Anamaria Pimentel, accessories director for Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman.

The piece, titled “Sweet and Low-Down Heels,” is written by Meenal Mistry, gives one hope we might finally be able to bid adieu to styles like these.

Refinery 29

Refinery 29

More from the story:

Even without punky hardware, low heels—despite their associations with more staid looks—have developed a cool cachet, simply by zigging while other shoes zag.

Obviously there’s many a flat we’re fond of, these are just a few from Tory Burch.

ToryBurch.com

ToryBurch.com

But the new trend isn’t limited to flats, far from it. There are kitten heels and chunky heels, like these from Stuart Weitzman, as seen at Zappos.

Stuart Weitzman

Nor does it mean goodbye to all platforms, below we show Stuart Weitzman’s Platswoon, a 3-1/2″ heel on a 1/2″ platform, making these more than manageable.

Stuart Weitzman Platswoon

The story does have some good reminders about switching to the lower height.

Switching to a lower heel partly requires a perception shift: The eye has to become accustomed to a different proportion. More concretely, the adjustment can mean hemming your trousers so they don’t drag, or opting for slimmer silhouettes that are still flattering without the boost of an extra 3 or 4 inches.

There are some darling little kitten heels this spring, like Manolo Blahnik’s Lisane Bow, as well as cute Manolo sandals, below right we see the Carolyne.

Manolo Blahnik at Neiman Marcus

Manolo Blahnik at Neiman Marcus

Not that we don’t love the venerable “Reva” by Tory Burch in a variety of finishes.

ToryBurch.com

ToryBurch.com

Or the vast array of Belgians available.

Belgians #1

Belgian Shoes

It’s just that it is nice to have options that fit between these:

Sperry

Sperry

And these, as seen on Eva Longoria.

Just Jared

Just Jared

More like these from Kate Spade. On the left we show the Paloma (heel height 3.5″) and the Karolina (heel is also 3.5″).

Kate Spade Paloma & Karolina

Kate Spade Paloma & Karolina

Or these from Gianvito Rossi and Valentino.

Gianvito Rossi & Valentino shoes via the Wall Street Journal

Gianvito Rossi & Valentino shoes via the Wall Street Journal

Or these by Jimmy Choo; on the left we see the Baxen Peeptoe Wedge, on the right, the Nova Glittered Platform Slingback.

Jimmy Choo at Neiman Marcus

Jimmy Choo at Neiman Marcus

I’m happy to see what I call “silly shoes” fading in popularity; I’ve long thought that when someone is struggling to walk in ridiculously high heels it detracts from the clothing and the person wearing the clothing. But then, I’ve been known to embrace my inner frump (heh-heh-heh), so clearly I’m not one to dispense style advice. :)

You can read the story in its entirety here.

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Filed under preppy, Preppy Fashion

All Kinds of News About Sperry, Including That New Collection Milly Designed!

Hello-Hello, we hope you are in the mood for some Friday Fun, that is today’s mission.

We begin with a look at last night’s big bash launching the new Milly for Sperry collection.

Photos via MillybyMichelle & ylianayepez Twitter Feeds

While the collection officially made its debut at the party, some readers may recall this post showing a few styles from the line at the Milly runway show last fall.

What I Wore Tumblr

This particular collaboration does not require a vast stretch of one’s imagination, it is more a blending of two brands favored by many preps. As this story in Racked shares:

Milly founder Michelle Smith says she has always, “adored preppy, nautical style, and was thrilled to put the Milly spin on an icon of American fashion.”

The collection includes the CVO Laceless in Navy Links, Coral, and Roses.

Milly for Sperry Top-sider

The Links and Roses patterns are classic Milly designs, it is fun to see them incorporated in the line. There are also a variety of heels, below we see the Women’s Authentic Platform.

Milly for Sperry Top-sider

The collection offers 13 styles, including the women’s Authentic Original in several colors.

Milly for Sperry Top-sider

The nautical influences are easy to spot, the sailboat lining on the Cunard is cute, the Southport’s rope ankle-wrap also gives off that vibe.

Milly for Sperry Top-sider

There is lots to like in the group, even for those of us who embrace our inner frump. (Heh, heh, heh.)

That wasn’t the only big news for Sperry this week, the company also opened its first store in the city.

Melissa Horn/NY Magazine

The store is in the Flatiron District, officially opening on Wednesday.

Melissa Horn/NY Magazine

NBC New York has an interesting piece on the store:

As a girl who grew up in Westport, CT playing tennis, rowing crew and even being voted “class prepster” by my senior class, you might think I came out of the womb wearing a pair of Sperry Top-Siders. But truth be told, that was not the case (I really do wish it was, though). I discovered the classic Sperry Top-Sider, also known as a “boat shoe” in college, and I never looked back.

Another image from inside the shop.

NBC New York

If that looks more like the back room, this explains why:

The front half of the store has all the styles beautifully displayed, and the back half is a “self service boat house” in which customers are free to help themselves to try on or be helped by an employee, an option which I think is just great. There’s nothing worse than sitting in a busy shoe section and being completely helpless (Ok, maybe there’s a few things that are worse…). In the new Sperry store, it’s your choice–help yourself or be helped. I’m excited to see this concept in action.

The notion of being able to help yourself in the ‘Boat House’ is appealing.

The final bit of Sperry news involves a significant expansion of the company’s offerings, including:

…Sperry Top-Sider bags, belts, swimwear, eyewear, scarves and hosiery for men and women, among other categories. The brand extensions will debut for spring ’13.

Women’s Wear Daily had the story Monday, according to the company’s CEO “The brand has picked up some significant momentum in the marketplace”.  As The Cut blog put it:

…it could be good news, even for folks who don’t “summer” at “the Vineyard,”…  The brand extensions, set to drop for spring 2013, will soon include apparel, if all goes well. While it’s doubtful that their future offerings will be any different from what you can already find in the L.L. Bean or Vineyard Vines catalogues, at least it’ll provide magazines with one more source for those “Preppy Is Back!” editorials.

It’s nice to know we aren’t the only ones amazed at how many ‘preppy is back’ editorial stories there are on an annual basis.

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Also today, a brief glance at next week’s Vintage Fashion & Textiles Auction at Kerry Taylor Auctions. Yours truly would *adore* the Chanel suit seen on the left, today’s Pretty in Pink. (Don’t ask what we would do about the length of the skirt, perhaps I’d frame it and hang on the wall here at The Prepatorium.)

Kerry Taylor Auctions

Both suits shown above date to the 1980s.

Below we share two relics from an earlier age, Lot #34 includes a damask ball or bridal gown adorned with pink satin ribbons, circa 1895, and an 1860s ball gown.

Kerry Taylor Auctions Lot #34

Remind anyone of something Scarlett might have worn to enchant Ashley Wilkes and all the other young men visiting Tara?

The auction is next Tuesday (the 7th) at Kerry Taylor in London.

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A final reminder for anyone who has been out of touch and perhaps neglected to enter our Jack Rogers Navajos giveaway, entries close at midnight tonight (Friday, 2.3.2012), be sure to throw your name in the virtual hat!

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Filed under Collaborations, Friday Fun, nautical, Preppy clothing & brands

Preppy Design Collaborations & Those Racy Glee Pictures

Hello-Hello, happy Thursday! There are all manner of tidbits to share this morning, we’re thinking it could be a major Bits and Bytes kind of day.

We’ll jump right in with more news of collaborative fashion lines, here is a look at some of the new Lacoste and Levi’s denim.

The new collection launches in March, it is part of Lacoste’s effort to grow its premium denim line. WWD reports the women’s styles will include three different fits, as well as shorts.  We have previously posted about the Levi’s partnership with Brooks Brothers, although that collection is only available in men’s sizes.

Sperry continues to collaborate as well, here are the Sperry/Band of Outsiders Fuzzy Boat Shoes.

Now, our initial reaction was along the lines of “Heavens to Betsy, another Sperry-gone-wrong moment, how many can we take, the scars of the Sequin Sperrys are still fresh!”  But then we (took leave of our senses) paused for a nanosecond, and thought perhaps there was a certain snuggle factor inherent in the design that made these palatable. It was a fleeting thought.  Quote of the Day on these has to be The Consort’s, upon first seeing the photo he said, “That is just wrong. It looks like you have a dead puppy on your feet.”

It’s up to you dolls, as always, we post – you ponder. If you decide these are a must for your MOTH (Man of the House), they run $325, and are available in a number of fabrics.

Our reaction to this next item from Sperry may have you concerned we’ve really stepped off the grid.

We don’t find it entirely abhorrent. One won’t see the Women’s Abacos on Planet Prep, nor are they a Pretty in Pink, but there seems to be some merit to the style. We think.

Speaking of Brooks Brothers, the company’s Fall 2010 line features a number of tunic-style pieces, something different for the retailer. Below left we show the Silk Charmeuse Printed Tunic, on the right, the Cotton Silk Mandarin Collar Tunic.

While grazing we found ourselves intrigued by the Merino Three Button Jacket, shown here in blue, also offered in grey and a rich maroon. On the right we show the Elongated Jacket.

Per usual this time of year, Brooks has a number of delightful argyle pieces, including the Silk-Cashmere version shown below in two different colorways.

We mention this only because fashion writer Ralph DiGennaro has an interesting piece at Hamptons.com on the history of the argyle sweater.

BTW, it seems Brooks Brothers is expanding its social media presence, there are 263 responses to this inquiry on the company’s Facebook page:

“Without giving too much of the surprise away, we’d like your opinion. Choose one of the following names for a new online Brooks Brothers endeavor, our men’s blog: Of Rogues and Gentlemen or The Measured Man.”

It makes one curious about other retailers doing blogs, J. Crew has a FB presence, we have yet to see an official company blog.

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Next, news about some fashion photos many Glee fans are finding distasteful. GQ’s cover story “Glee Gone Wild” features stars from the show in fairly racy poses and apparel, or lack thereof, we picked two of the least revealing pictures from the story.

The photos of Michelle Lea, Dianna Agron and Cory Monteith are generating lots of buzz and probably boosting magazine sales. From this People story:

“The Parents Television Council slammed the photos, saying the spread “borders on pedophilia,” and Agron herself has apologized for them, saying the concept “wasn’t my favorite idea, but I did not walk away.”

Cory Monteith also appears in many of the photos, but is fully clothed.”

We do not watch the program, but from what little we have seen and heard, it seems the magazine photos are out of sync with the image created in the show. While it *is* an adult magazine, and Mr. Monteith is 28 and both young women are 24, general sentiment doesn’t seem to be favorable. Even the Fug Girls disapprove.

“Look, I get that GQ is kind of lad-mag adjacent and that the people on Glee are of age, but when you look at this cover and the shots inside and Dianna Agron looks like a nun simply because she’s wearing BOTTOMS, maybe we’ve crossed a PR-bridge too far.”

Quite.

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As proof of our airheadedness (as if any more was needed), we have to share the following image; this is something we actually saved for the sole purpose of concluding yesterday’s post! (A dreary little whineathon on the logofication of children’s apparel.)

Adam Tschorn writes about the artwork here.

With that, we say ‘bye until next time.

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Filed under Argyle, Collaborations, Logos, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, When Preppy Goes Wrong

A Conversation With Lisa Birnbach

Hello-Hello, welcome to a Wednursday (Wednesday + Thursday) post, we are so swamped this shall have to count for two days.

Today we share our interview with the woman we call the Grand Pooh-bah of Prep, Lisa Birnbach, the author of True Prep.  Yesterday was the book’s official release date, and we still cannot believe she found time for an interview; some readers may recall Ms. Birnbach’s day started with an appearance on the Today show, and it only grew busier after that.

NBC Universal

To say we were flattered to even be on the interview list, let alone on the book’s first day, would transcend understatement. (We will share a little secret: at the last moment throwing on a strand of pearls seemed prudent, because after all, she *would* be able to tell through the telephone what we were wearing here at the Prepatorium, right down to the accessories.  Somehow. she. would. know.)

Ummm, not exactly. From the outset Ms. Birnbach was warm and witty, if anyone was wooden and stiff… well, yes. It was I. Me. Us. (Whomever, honestly Princess, get a grip!)

Sadly, our first question was truly tasteless, we asked the obvious, what (who) were you wearing on the Today show?  It turns out the ensemble was a combination of new and old, both the skirt and the blouse were Brooks Brothers (although we have to apologize for being a witless wonder right off the bat, one was Black Fleece and the other regular Brooks, but it appears we were quite incapable of properly noting which was which), and the shoes were older Manolos. (Because they are still perfectly good shoes.)

NBC Universal

Almost all of the jewelry was on loan from Verdura, including the Beehive Pendant Watch, not unlike the one shown below in a 2007 Christie’s catalog.

Via Christie's

Verdura is covered in Chapter 4, “I Just Found it in My Closet,” sure to be a favorite for most fans, as it covers the contemporary sartorial choices one confronts in clothing and accessories.  Ms. Birnbach explained a bit of the process for borrowing the jewelry, it is not something undertaken lightly.  As mentioned, not everything was on loan, the pinky ring worn by Ms. Birnbach was her own, marking the occasion of her son’s birth.

We only had one other matter to handle before getting into the meat of the interview, a minor issue we felt compelled to discuss before we could comfortably move into more intense conversation.

TP: “There is just one little thing I need to bring up before we move on, um…well….uh, it’s….ah, it’s just something that is very troubling, actually, it’s fairly traumatic, I think some people might classify it as bordering on tragic. I’m worried it might derail our whole conversation, but have to bring it up anway.”

LB: “Oh, really? What is it??”

TP: “The Top-Siders featured on the Today show this morning.”

LB: “The Top-Siders are tragic? How are the Top-Siders tragic?”

TP: “They’re metallic.”

(As a brief refresher, below we share a snippet from our post on the topic earlier this year:

“The women’s Original 2-Eye metallic boat shoe seen below is at Crew, offered in platinum.

J. Crew/Sperry Top-Sider

(TP has stepped away for the moment, she is struggling with the word ‘metallic’ adjacent to the words ‘boat shoe’.)”

There, enough of that tedious blather the background, now back to yesterday’s conversation.

Ms. Birnbach was gracious in responding to our angst about the shoes.

LB: “Susan, let’s talk about this, allright? I know what you’re saying, I really do. But the metallic Top-Siders are sort of like the bad boy in school. You remember? You knew he was not the guy for you, you absolutely knew he was not the guy, and you may even have been repelled by him, but at the same time, there was this attraction, something drawing you toward him. I think the Top-Siders are kind of like the bad boy.  I’m not saying you should get them. I’m just saying I’m open to new ideas.”

TP: “Oh. Okay.” (Heh, heh, heh.)

Of course that exchange was understood by both parties as being in jest. Fun. Funny. Entirely couched in humor, intended to be taken as such, and returned in the same vein.

And Ms. Birnbach is *very* funny, immediately grasping the enormity of a “Princess tragedies” on the level of a metallic Top-Sider. This was helpful, allowing us to feel safe bringing up the next crisis.

TP: Since we’ve dealt with the shoe, can we talk about the skull? Did you see the CBS Early Show Monday morning, that segment on hypothetical Preppy Fashion? They said ‘The new preppy icon is the skull.” What is up with that?!” (Insert a full blast of righteous indignation to achieve the proper sense of total outrage.)

LB: “The skull? No, no, no.  Just no.  The skull of course, is rugby.  And rugby and preps do go back. It’s the Jolly Roger pirate, it’s everywhere, Smathers and Branson have the pirate, all sorts of things have the pirate, the Jolly Roger is everywhere. But it isn’t the new preppy icon.”

Phew. Another close one.

For a sense of that CBS story, here is one line:

“After lying low in the nineties, preppy has once again reinvented itself, this time led by pop stars and gossip girls.”

Indeed.

During the interview we had a splendid talk about the breadth of choices available these days when looking at clothing and accessories, from relative newcomers like Smathers and Branson or Tucker Blair for needlepoint goodies, or Vineyard Vines, to old standbys like Brooks Brothers and Lilly Pulitzer.  The number of bright, gifted entrepreneurs now making things appealing to preps of all ages continues to grow.

The writer shared a story about her own preppy look from years ago when she had one of her very first jobs in the business, this one at the oh-so-liberal (the horror) Village Voice newspaper.  As might be expected, the style was très casual, everyone dressed down. Way, way down. What was a prep to do? Ms. Birnbach went wild, and purchased a Lacoste polo shirt. In black.

No one will be surprised to learn we had fun talking about the Anti-Prep Wall of Shame, we sensed unspoken approval of our existing members. For the uninitiated, this select group includes both humans (think Paris Hilton), as well as other entities (Abercrombie & Fitch) displaying gross negligence to standards of good taste, good manners, or basic decency .  The conversation moved on to the sorry state of what passes for “celebrity” these days.

“Doesn’t anybody miss the day when you actually had to accomplish something to be a celebrity? What is it that says being on a reality tv show makes someone a celebrity or authority on life?”

Amen.

We talked about the challenge of writing True Prep. It was not easy, the enormity of following an iconic book like The Original Preppy Handbook was more than daunting.

“It is scary to come out with this book, it really is.  The writing part itself, the sitting down and typing the words actually wasn’t the difficult part… it was the going through the day, trying to look at every single thing that could have changed in the last thirty years…that part was hard. I hope people have fun with it, I hope they enjoy it, I always worry.

We also chatted about what I perceive as the challenge of the upcoming book tour and other public appearances, almost everyone approaching with a “Why didn’t you include _____________________ in the chapter on preppy colleges?” Or, “I cannot believe you think that _______________ is preppy.”  Miss Birnbach explained that she is not saying absolutely, unequivocally, that a certain school, or community, or club, or sport, or item of clothing, or anything else is the “one and only.” Nor that it should be. And she also said she learns an awful lot when from questions and comments, she very much sees the process as a learning experience.

Again, we stress the fun factor, using the following as a brief example of the writing style:

On thrift:
Do keep repairing old appliances to try to extend their lives. Don’t store them on your front porch or driveway.”

It is very much like the witty irreverence found in TOPH back in 1980.

As far as we’re concerned herein lies the crux of the interview, as well as the new book, the old book, and the entire topic: this is not meant to be taken seriously now, nor was it ever intended to be.  A simple look at the book’s classification makes things clear.

humor, n.

  1. The quality that makes something laughable or amusing; funniness: could not see the humor of the situation.
  2. That which is intended to induce laughter or amusement: a writer skilled at crafting humor.

Both True Prep and its predecessor, TOPH (The Original Preppy Handbook) are meant to be humorous, one need look no further than the chapter and section titles: “Rehab: The New Boarding School,” “What Happened to Mummy’s Face?” and “Truly, Madly, Deeply Preppy: The Second Wedding.”

We didn’t have enough time to cover a few of our most whined-about issues favorite topics, like the documented increase in diagnosed cases of Logophobia, or the deplorable loss of civility accompanying all this new technology (need we even say the c— p—- words), nor were we able to get a verdict on things like Spanx, or an even bigger issue: the Snuggie. (What do you think of one for… oh, let’s say Groton, or perhaps Spence?)

In wrapping up the conversation Ms. Birnbach mentioned the possibility of another gabfest at some point in the future, something we would enjoy enormously. She is much more than fun, and bright, and sophisticated, she is simply a delight to spend time with.

Perhaps the best way to understand Ms. Birnbach is through her simple post last night on the True Prep Facebook page, an example of very few words saying quite a bit.

“I hope all of you enjoy the book. I’m under a lot of pressure to make you happy. I’m a giver, but I’m only one slightly used preppy woman. Hoping you all have a great DAY ONE. xLisa

One quick note before leaving, if there are questions you might have for Lisa, do leave them in a comment; we’ll gather them up in a bit and put them aside for a future (cross your fingers) conversation with Ms. Birnbach in the next few months.  Again, our thanks to Lisa Birnbach, and also to Sara at Random House, they made things fun.

Until next time, g’bye!

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Filed under Lilly Pulitzer Paper & Gifts, Logos, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, The AntiPrep, True Prep & TOPH

Should a Wellie have a Wedge?

Hello-Hello, and welcome to a warm and already sticky delightful Tuesday here at the Prepatorium.

Despite our personal denial of an approaching change of seasons, professionally we understand many readers are eager for cooler temps and fall fashions. Thus, today’s look at new goodies for autumn, although we begin with a question about footwear from Hunter, one of our favorite spots for foul-weather gear.  Are we hopelessly behind the times once again, not realizing the company is doing sandals? Below, the Amber Thong Sandal.

Hunter

We were also not aware Hunter is doing a midheel loafer (rather an oxymoron, IOHO), the Newberry.

Back to those things the company is best known for, boots. There is a new Wedge-heel boot, the Interlaken, as well as a less pronounced wedge, the shorter Andora. How do you feel about wedges for the wellies?

If more of a mind to do something Pretty in Pink, the Women’s Original Tall boot may be the answer; if needing something for your tiny prep, there is always the Kids Original.  

Also Pretty in Pink, this Girl’s Cardigan by Juicy Couture at Saks, on the right, a trendier take is seen in the KC Parker Girl’s Argyle Cardigan, also at Saks.

For the young MOP (Master of your Palace), the Little Marc Jacobs Sweater offers an updated twist to the classic pattern, while the Burberry Vest is done in the more traditional design.

If your MOTH (Man Of The House) enjoys this motif, the cashmere Argyle Sweater at Polo Ralph Lauren is nicely understated, while Brooks Brothers has a Camel Hair Argyle pullover for Men.

Brooks Brothers also offers a divinely discounted men’s Argyle V-neck in that pink and navy combination we’re so fond of, we are half-tempted to purchase the smallest size available and roll up the sleeves!

Brooks Brothers

One of the more lighthearted argyle items we stumbled upon, the Argyle Heart Knee Socks at the Children’s Place, available in three bright and bouncy colorways.

The fun socks aren’t only for the younger set, grownup girls can enjoy them as well; these three pair are all found at the Gap.

Polo Ralph Lauren also has Argyle Leggings in a subdued navy and green design, sadly the logo looks like it is on HGH (horse growth hormones), while the pink and green Knee Socks add a spark of whimsy to one’s outfit.

Moving away from argyle while keeping our gaze on fall fashions, we look at several new offerings from another Princess fave, Sperry. The Angelfish is offered in graphite nubuck and patent.  (We have yet to reconcile using the words ‘Sperry’ or ‘Topsiders’ adjacent to patent leather, it isn’t a look we’re crazy about.)

Sperry Top-sider

This is a style we have always adored, the Heron Rubber Slip-on, available in a variety of colors.

New for men from Sperry’s collaboration with Band of Outsiders, the Reconstructed Penny Loafer (L). No one will be surprised to see we are especially taken with the Authentic Original 3-Eye, also from Band of Outsiders for men.

But then we saw this. On the Sperry site.

Sperry Top-sider Sienna Low Boot

The only word we can come up with to describe the boot is hideosity.  Recognizing (and respecting) Sperry’s heritage is wrapped in the company’s stylized rivets, we just don’t see them used at the top of a wedge ankle boot.

To calm ourselves we returned to a more recognizable design, the Toddler Boy’s Castaway.

Sperry Top-sider Castaway

A look at the Girl’s Bahama helped restore us to sanity.

Sperry Top-sider Bahama

All is right in the world.

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We leave you with an update on True Prep at The Princess, we are now officially taking pre-orders for the book.

We also took a plunge, adding cult classic Take Ivy to our offerings! This re-printing of the very-hard-to-find-original is being released August 31, just one week before True Prep.  From Take Ivy’s publisher:

“Madras plaid, Top-Siders, seersucker shorts, highwater trousers, tweed jackets, Brooks Brothers, J. Press, J. Crew. What comes to mind? Described by The New York Times as, “a treasure of fashion insiders,”Take Ivy was originally published in Japan in 1965, setting off an explosion of American-influenced “Ivy Style” fashion among students in the trendy Ginza shopping district of Tokyo.”

We leave you with three more additions to the store: on the left, the Lilly Pulitzer 2011 Wall Calendar, and on the right, Lilly’s Desktop Calendar for use with an easel, or without.

Also added recently to our collection of Personalized House Flags, military service designs!

And with that bit of shameless self-promotion, we say g’bye until next time!

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Filed under Argyle, Collaborations, Logos, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink, True Prep & TOPH, When Preppy Goes Wrong

Deeper & Differing Looks at Preppy Style & Mad Men Cookies

Hello-Hello, we hope everyone is enjoying a splendid start to the week.

Many readers may have already seen the story we reference below, but with apologies to our Facebook fans, today we look at yesterday’s Fashion Diary column in the Times “Prep, Forward and Back“.  In his story, Guy Trebay looks at the return to heritage brands and styles:

“Ray-Bans were suddenly on a list of Old School must-haves and so were wool vests from the Filson, and Red Wing boots and Alden loafers and Gitman oxford cloth shirts and Sperry Top-Siders and Quoddy moccasins. Designers as varied as Thom Browne, Scott Sternberg of Band of Outsiders, Billy Reid and Frank Muytjens of J. Crew all made hay with the conservative classics. The style became so ubiquitous that, the designer Michael Bastian said, “The whole preppy machine requires a recalibration.”

If Mr. Trebay’s name sounds familiar, it is because we just featured the writer and his column on the needlepoint belt phenomenon, actually declaring him our hero for his comment about “…the sartorial horrors visited on us lately under the guise of a preppy revival,”. (Click here for that post.)

Back to the story in Sunday’s Times, “Studying the Preppy Look and its Reference Points“. Much of the piece looks at Take Ivy, the literary cult favorite we most recently chatted about here.

powerHouse Books

From Mr. Trebay’s story:

“Time, it develops, has done little to dim the allure of “Take Ivy,” with its guileless snapshots of handsome, fit and presumably bright young lugs disporting themselves in dining halls, on the College Green at Dartmouth, along Nassau Street in Princeton and in Harvard Yard.”

Teruyoshi Hayashida/powerHouse Books

The piece references another soon-to-be-released volume, True Prep.

““The reality is the people in that book at that time went to schools and belonged to clubs that most ordinary people couldn’t get into,” said Lisa Birnbach, an author of “The Official Preppy Handbook” and “True Prep.” ‘“Take Ivy,” Ms. Birnbach said, is a ruling class “look book,” a template for any budding Jay Gatsby.”

A slideshow accompanies the story, both are excellent reads.

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In a similar vein, The Gloss carried a post last week, Fashion 101: The New Preppy; the author approaches the topic from an entirely different perspective.

“I have never been preppy. When I was growing up, being labeled a ‘prep’ was almost as bad as being referred to as a ‘poser’, i.e. the uncoolest thing that could happen to you.  I avoided being preppy at all costs.”

“However, as we grow up and enter the business world, perhaps we have something to gain from tapping into the inner preppy.”

In her piece, Brooke Moreland visits the Puritan store on the Cape, long a staple in Chatham (and several other communities).

Brooke Moreland/The Gloss

The store’s manager, Michelle Wilson Blaze shared her perceptions on customers:

“Blaze explained to me that the men wear Polo. The old men wear the small horses and the youngs wear the big horses. They all wear khakis and if they are over 50, well, then it’s time to bust out the Tommy Bahama.

As well as impressions of those visiting the Cape: .

“Brands like Tory Burch and Burberry pop up in the store, adding a contemporary preppy twist on the classics. Ginghams, tunics and embroidered tops peer out from among the plaid and Bermuda shorts.”

And while most preps don’t pay attention to what is “in” or “out” at any given time, here is one last tidbit from Ms. Moreland’s story:

“The ‘it’ preppy shoe happens to coincide with the ‘it’ shoe of the rest of the world at the moment: the Sperry Top-Sider.”

To see Ms. Moreland’s entire story and learn her ultimate verdict on the merits of the style, click here.

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Our final item of note today deals with last night’s Mad Men season 4 premiere.

Michael Yarish/AMC-TV

It was divine.

Don’s still smoking, Pete remains sycophantic and clients don’t always concur with Don’s vision.

Michael Yarish/AMC-TV

There is continued recognition of the way women were treated in the early 1960’s.

AMC-TV

Betty seemed particularly petulant last night, and we remain concerned about little Sally Draper.  We love this shot of Betty, it seems to perfectly capture her simmering rage while also betraying her vulnerable and forlorn side.

Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC-TV

A quick rundown of stories fans might enjoy:

How popular is the show? Enough that star Jon Hamm will be in an upcoming episode of the Simpsons, portraying an FBI agent.  The Toronto Sun has details.

We leave you with pictures of these amazing cookies created by our friend Pink Martini & Pearls, part of her Mad Men Quiz Giveaway post!

Courtesy Pink Martini & Pearls

Look at Joan and Betty’s dress cookies!

One of our favorites? The snappy argyle socks, surely not anything Don would wear, perhaps Harry?

Courtesy Pink Martini & Pearls

Until tomorrow!

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, True Prep & TOPH

Clothes for the Club, Mad for Madras & the Preppy Pet’s Nautical Bed

Hello-Hello and happy Wednesday, this seems to have been a rather intense several days, we’re wondering how it could only be Wednesday?!

We begin with a look at a brand some readers may not be familiar with, Kitsuné.

Kitsuné

Originally started as a music label, the Parisian firm’s design aesthetic is one we appreciate.

Most are simple pieces that can meet a myriad of  needs.

The lines are classic, with little or no frou-frou.

This fall’s collection is called Ivy League; below a few samples via the always-on-top-of-things folks at High Snobette.

Courtesy Images via HighSnobette.com

Here are two styles from the fall group we find rather fabulous.

A list of brick and mortar stores carrying the line is available here; the selection of shops where one might shop online is much broader.

And two very quick looks for your MOTH (Man of the House).

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In today’s Bits & Bytes:

  • There is news that Jaeger is launching an offshoot of the brand aimed at a younger demo:

via BeautyConfessional.net

Targeted at a younger demo, Boutique by Jaeger launches this July and according to British Vogue, the new group will retail for 30% less than Jaeger’s standard collection. Below, two looks from the new collection.

  • The Lilly Pulitzer Warehouse Sale runs from Wednesday, June 9 through Saturday, June 12 at the usual site, the Valley Forge Convention Center.  The fun starts at 5am on Wednesday.
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    We share a couple of cute finds in our Mad for Madras category, we simply couldn’t resist the Madras Toddler shoes, despite their distressed (we think that is the proper use of the term) design, they are too cute.

    .

    Readers may also appreciate the Sperry Madras tennis shoes for Boy seen below left. (These are designed to be sans laces – gasp.)

    Above right we show the Polo Ralph Lauren Madras Sandals, also for Boys.

    The Girls PRL Sandals (L) are peaking the Cute-o-Meter in the red zone as far as we are concerned, as are the Avril Casuals by Morgan & Milo shown on the right.

    When it comes to madras for Mom, we were surprised to discover a brand with a logo larger than Mr. Lauren’s. Silly Princess.

    The giant rhino is courtesy of Marc Ecko, both pair are seen at Shoes.com.  But then, we’re still fixated on these from F-Troupe at Gargyle.

    F-Troupe at Gargyle.com

    Sigh.

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    We close with what must be an adorable ensembles for the four-legged family members at your palace:

    Plaid and Hound

    By Puppia, the bright eyes at Plaid and Hound discovered the nautically inclined bed, and we simply had to share.

    With that we say g’bye until next time!

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    Filed under Logos, nautical, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion