Tag Archives: Stanford

Preppy Back to School? & Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

Welcome to a one-topic Tuesday, it is another insanely busy day, so brevity guides our post.

Once again it is that time of year, when parents and children alike ponder the available back to school offerings. One can almost hear the conversations at local department stores:

  • “No, you will not be wearing that to school this year.”
  • “I don’t care what Olivia and Chapin are wearing the first day, I am not buying that.”
  • “Well, then I guess you will be the only one at school wearing _________ .” (Fill in the blank.)
  • “I said no and I meant no.”
  •   “What do you mean everybody wears that? Name one person in ‘everybody’.”
  • “No daughter/son/other of mine is wearing that. Put it back on the rack.”

It is also the season for media stories heralding “preppy” back to school styles.  The following is from a Bloomberg story entitled “Gossip Girl Couture is Back to School Boon“.

“Sears… also is featuring preppy fashions over casual wear, pushing back-to-school gear from MTV star Audrina Patridge and reality socialite Kim Kardashian.”

Because nothing says ‘preppy’ like the new Kardashian Kollection at Sears.

Kardashian Kollection at Sears.com

More from the Bloomberg story, still referencing Sears.

“The department store, which is offering $38 polo shirts and $30 Dockers pants, introduced a “Varsity Prep” line.”

A few offerings from the Varsity Prep collection.

Sears "Varsity Prep"

The line is for young men, not teenage girls or ‘tweens’ as they are now called. (Ahem.) Three more items are shown below.

Sears "Varsity Prep" Collection

Many pieces in the collection look fairly standard, polo shirts, tees and the like. But some are far removed from what readers would refer to as ‘preppy,’ that sleeveless t-shirt on the right is one such item, while the sweatshirt in the middle looks like it could have come right out of an Abercrombie & Fitch store. (Another Anti-Prep.)

The good news in the Bloomberg article is that many of the shoppers interviewed say they plan to move away from the jeans and tennis shoes look.

“Angela Ricci is shopping for lacy tops, ruffled skirts and floral dresses to wear when she begins her senior year of high school in Pittsburgh. One thing she won’t be buying: jeans.

“I want to show a new kind of style and make a better impression,” said Ricci, 17. “I think that my generation is inspired to dress up a little more.”

That might seem like a good thing to many moms, but there is one caveat, the impact on your pocketbook.

“Teens like Ricci are following the example of television shows such as “Gossip Girl” — in which actress Blake Lively prances to class in couture — as they head to stores to stock up for the new school year. Retailers, stung by slowing sales growth and record cotton costs, are obliging with blouses and dresses that sell for higher prices.”

The story makes for an interesting read, click here if you would like to read it in its entirety.

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Staying with the back to school topic, the new Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection is now available online.

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

In case the graphic above doesn’t show the schools currently part of the new line, here is a better image.

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

Much of it looks like what we expected, sweaters and ties emblazoned with the school crest, like these from Stanford. (Where a tiny piece from my heart remains.)

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

Or these from Notre Dame. (A sliver of TQM’s heart lies among the shamrocks at this university.)

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

The ties are silk, made in the USA, they are $79.50. The polo shirts are classic Brooks, 100% cotton with the school crest on the sleeve, they are $69.50. These two are from the Boston College group of merchandise.

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

The element that is baffling? The school name or initials on the dress shirts, as shown below right.

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

We can’t think of one Princeton (or Yale or BC or Stanford or Notre Dame or…well, you get the drift) graduate who would ever feel it necessary to wear something like this:

Brooks Brothers Collegiate Collection

A dress shirt with your school name on the cuff? Once again we quote Nancy Reagan: “just say no.”

This clearly goes in the “Help Me Understand” category, as we are completely mystified by this aspect of an otherwise fine collection. We prevailed upon a friend for his opinion; here’s what Bumby of the Preppy Chronicles (also Princeton, class of ’87), had to offer:

“The only advantage of having the name of your school tattooed on your cuff: After the police, put you in the back of the car they know where to drop you off.”

Perhaps Christian at Ivy Style or Alexander Grant can pop in and provide a little elucidation on the topic, as yours truly is beyond baffled.  (Speaking of Christian, the topic of Friday’s post is related, looking at club ties and where one should/shouldn’t wear them. The comments are what really make the post sing, fascinating, all of them.)

Thank you for coming to visit!

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Filed under Collaborations, Gossip Girl, Preppy Fashion

“Prep” Author’s Book About to Hit, Gossip Girls Have Fashion Week Plans!

h Happy Monday…! What an absolutely luscious Labor Day weekend it has been! But of course, that is only in the Great Midwest; naturally our thoughts and prayers and donations go south to those experiencing a far different weekend.

It wouldn’t be a complete summer if people weren’t getting all worked up about a new book. This year it seems “American Wife: A Novel” by preppy author Curtis Sittenfeld seems to be the target of increasingly heated discussions.

The high-pitched chatter is understandable. The book’s initial release is tomorrow (Tuesday, 9/2), timed perfectly to coincide with the Republican Convention. Focused on a ‘fictitious’ First Lady, the primary character’s background is strikingly similar to First Lady Laura Bush. Jan Hoffman at the NY Times condenses the pertinent details far better than TP ever could in her story about the book from:

“Set in Wisconsin rather than Texas, the novel is about Alice Blackwell, a quiet, perceptive woman who is marred and marked by extraordinary circumstance. When Alice was 17, she ran a stop sign, killing a popular high school boy. As a 31-year-old school librarian, she married the coarse, rakish, heavy-drinking son of a rich Republican family. He buys a baseball team, sobers up, is elected governor and even, for heaven’s sakes, president of the United States.”

In the Times’ actual book review, writer Michiko Kakutani also describes the similarities :

“In writing this book Ms. Sittenfeld — who wrote a 2004 Salon.com essay in which she touted Mrs. Bush as “a true role model” who “takes her responsibilities seriously” while maintaining “a life separate from her husband” — has changed just enough details to avoid accusations that she has completely plagiarized the first lady’s curriculum vitae.”

Wondering about the author’s political leanings? The review includes a condensed version, quoting from that Salon.com essay, which was entitled ‘Why I Love Laura Bush‘:

“…a staunch enough liberal that I take would-be epithets such as ‘flaming,’ ‘knee-jerk’ and ‘bleeding heart’ as compliments,” and a registered Democrat who regards Why I love Laura Bush’s policies as misguided at best “and at worst evil….”

Indeed. At issue (among other things) are the ‘steamy’ sex scenes contained within the 514 pages of American Wife, which MSNBC.com said were “too graphic to reprint.” We won’t attempt to recount the book’s many sins or assets (or a combination of both) depending upon one’s perspective.

Some may remember Ms. Sittenfeld’s other novels, including “Prep,” published in 2005 to much critical acclaim, followed by “The Man of my Dreams.” (Full disclosure: TP struggled through Prep, encountering difficulty connecting to both the characters and the storyline. Clearly we need remedial assistance on some level.)

The writer attended Groton, and graduated from Stanford University.

 

Dilip Vishwanat for The New York Times

Photo: Dilip Vishwanat for The New York Times

Should one plan to be in or near our nation’s capital on September 9 and have a desire to see Ms. Sittenfeld in person, have your social secretary pencil in Politics and Prose (Georgetown, on Connecticut at Nebraska) for 7pmish.

In the midst of the feeding frenzy over the Gossip Girls script leak

PhotO Courtey Gawker.com

Photo Courtey Gawker.com

…and no, TP is not about to reveal the contents of the ‘leaked’ script, nor where the plot goes in the fifth episode because it just wouldn’t be proper.  However, if every semblance of self-control has evaporated and one simply *must* know, then this link to Gawker.com’s story may provide the answers you seek. In honor of the new season we thought we might mention one stop we know that Gossip Girl stars Blake Lively, Leighton Meester and Taylor Momsen plan to make during Fashion Week.

Word is they’ll be going to Abigail Lorick’s show this Thursday, September 4, which makes sense as it is the clothing used for the fictitious clothing line owned by Eleanor Waldorf on the show.

Getty Images for IMG

Phot: Getty Images

This will be the first time Ms. Lorick has shown a Collection at Fashion Week. The designer, a former Ford model herself, describes her customer in part this way:

“The Lorick Lady silently speaks stories of Classical and Contemporary Charm…”

There are some wonderful looks on the Lorick website; below we show two from the Fall 2008 Collection.

One could describe pieces in the Collection as having a ‘preppy aesthetic’ if so inclined. It will be fun to see the Lorick show and then see it repeated as part of an actual episode. It was quite amazing to watch this evening’s episode with its ‘White Party’ scenes (including Tinsley Mortimer’s appearance). The party is the scene that essentially no one showed up to be in when an open casting call was held somewhere in Southampton back in June. Remember?

“We were told to come “dressed upscale and camera ready,” which had us a little nervous as to whether we’d be up to the competition — but then … there wasn’t any. The massive line of Gucci-clad teenage girls never materialized. Instead, the line maxed out at just four people (including us) and none of us were teenagers. We were amazed. How could only four people want to be on the BEST SHOW EVER?”

That is from the delightful story by Lauren Le Vine in New York Magazine about the event…. or non-event as it turned out to be.

Oh, one more quick pic (which we’ll justify by saying the show *is* about a preppy school) from the weekend, Chace Crawford at the U.S. Open, an outstanding choice for weekend relaxation.

Things quieted down here at the Prepatorium and we were able to finish reading a few magazines from the absolutely immense stacks scattered about the place. It’s awful, and we know many of you are buried under the same towering piles of Fall Fashion reads, upcoming auction catalogs from Sotheby’s and Christies, other literature, and ephemera!

Speaking of auctions, there is a rather fabulous Jewelry Auction at Sotheby’s New York in September, and while we are not in any kind of acquisition mode, browsing the catalog is always loads of fun. We were particularly intrigued by a Pearl Necklace and Bracelet lot, above left, and thought we fancied a pair of black and white diamond rings, but upon closer inspection determined they are just not Princess. If you aren’t a subscriber to the catalogs, you can almost always view them online; really a marvelous and inexpensive way to entertain oneself for an hour or two.

BTW, if one of the things you were reading of late was the Town and Country sister publication, Town and Country Travel, well, ‘late’ would be the operative word, RIP. For those not familiar with T&C Travel, (or for for those like TP who tends to lose track of it occasionally), it was a quarterly that the Hearst folks once thought might become a stand-alone magazine. Word came late last week that the most recent issue is the last, Hearst Magazines has opted to close it permanently.

That is a shame, we rather enjoyed that particular view of the world. Sigh.

‘Night.

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion