Tag Archives: The Anti-Prep

Don Draper and the Anti-Preps, Plus “Do The Preppy Thing”

Hello-Hello, what a gorgeous spring day it is. We are in the middle of a major heat wave, it is supposed to be 86° here today, more-than-unusual for March in The Great Midwest.  But as you might imagine, there are no complaints from these quarters, we are reveling in every nano-second of it.

Today we take a look at something characterized as a “war of words,” a “spat,” “fight,” and too many other names to list. It involves Don Draper Jon Hamm, coming as we approach this Sunday’s launch of Mad Men Season 5. (We can’t resist showing this still from one of the upcoming episodes, that madras jacket ‘Pete’ has on is just too cool.)

Michael Yarish/AMC

We’re talking about comments actor Jon Hamm made on the cult of celebrity (note: there is an f-bomb mostly deleted in the quote) in Elle UK’s April issue.

“Whether it’s Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian or whoever, stupidity is certainly celebrated,” said Hamm. “Being a ****ing idiot is a valuable commodity in this culture because you’re rewarded significantly.”

As some readers may recall, both Ms. Hilton and Ms. Kardashian are among our original AntiPreps, longtime members of the Wall of Shame. Mr. Hamm’s comment was part of a much lengthier story, in which the actor also says “Incuriousness has become cool… It’s celebrated. It doesn’t make sense to me”.

As one might expect, Ms. Kardashian responded, using her Twitter account to make her point:

Twitter via The Daily Mail

To his credit Mr. Hamm remains steadfast in his opinion, telling E! Online:

“It’s surprising to me that it has become remotely a story,” he told E! News. “I don’t know Ms. Kardashian, I know her public persona.

“What I said was meant to be more on pervasiveness of something in our culture, not personal, but she took offense to it and that is her right.”

The subject was raised again on Monday’s Today show appearance promoting the show’s return.

The Today Show

Host Matt Lauer asked about the kerfluffle (technical phrase):

‘I don’t think [my comments] were careless. I think they were accurate.’

The Today Show via The Daily Mail

That is from the Daily Mail’s story, here is more.

He pulled no punches as he made another attack on the culture of reality television.

It’s a part of our culture that I certainly don’t identify with, and I don’t really understand the appeal of it other than in a sort of car crash sensibility,’ he said.
By the way, Pete (shown above in the snappy madras) Vincent Kartheiser concurs with Mr. Hamm, back to E! Online.
“I agree,” he said. “He said it very eloquently. I agree with everything he said. I think our society enjoys to turn on the television and see someone who’s maybe awful and they can say, ‘Maybe I’m not as terrible as that person.’ “
The most interesting thing about all this? We’ll let the Ministry of Gossip point it out:
Meanwhile, Paris Hilton is actually looking pretty smart in all this, for going happily on with her Twitter life and not saying a thing.
Perzactly.
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Also today, a glance at “Do The Preppy Thing,” a series of links to other sites with hypothetical preppish styles.

Styel.DailyBuzz.com

Most didn’t work for us, but some are fun to look at, including the link to “Under $100: Perfectly Preppy Spring Must-Haves” from Fit Fab Cities.

Fit Fab Cities

There is also a fun one from the always-delightful Pretty Worthy, a collection of things for the “Rainy Day Prepster“.

"Pretty Worthy" Blog

If interested in seeing all of the sites/stories linked to in Do The Preppy Thing, click here.

Our final tidbit is the lucky winner of our LL Bean 100th Anniversary/Preppy Princess 100th Post giveaway:

That is Stacy L., her favorite LL Bean product is her Boat Tote, she gets the fabulous 100th Anniversary Book and the world’s cutest key fob. (Stacy, I am sending you an email today.)

LL Bean

Many thanks to everyone who entered and shared their favorite LL Bean products and stories!


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Itty Bitty Things, Is An AntiPrep’s Manicure Ducky?

We have a number of tidbits to share today, so we’ll jump right in with a look at something that is just fascinating, especially for those fond of the Brontë sisters.

Here is an incredibly tiny book written by Charlotte Brontë.

Press Association via The Daily Mail

From a Daily Mail story:

The 4,000-word piece is handwritten on 19 pages each barely larger than a credit card and needs a magnifying glass to be read properly.

Written in 1830 when she was only 14, Bronte’s story contains scenes which bear a striking resemblance to Jane Eyre, her novel published 17 years later.

Press Association via The Daily Mail

The book is headed for the auction block, it will be offered at Sotheby’s December auction of English Literature.  More on the tiny tome’s background:

The story has been held in a private collection and its owners are said to have had no idea of its significance until they approached Sotheby’s in London about selling it.

To see the entire article click here.
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Another itty-bitty item we wanted to share, below we see an Alexander McQueen shoe. (For reasons unknown, yours truly has a fascination with miniatures that clearly hasn’t gone away with adulthood.)

"Shoes for Show" via The Sun

That tiny item is part of an exhibition, Shoes for Show, put together by online shoe store Javari.  Also included in the weekend exhibition, Christian Louboutin’s 8″ ballet stilettoes, created as a fundraiser for the English National Ballet. (It may be difficult to see, but yes, the soles are red.)

Christian Louboutin/Swarovksi

It looks like a fabulous show, if only it were on this side of the pond. Sigh.

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As frequent readers know we occasionally look at collaborations, like the Versace for H&M collection (available November 19,more in this post) or next year’s Jason Wu for Target line.  Mr. Wu has been busy, this one actually surprised me.

Brizo via Huffington Post

Jason Wu for Brizo makes sense in terms of the business relationship, the company has sponsored Mr. Wu’s runway shows since 2006. While we very much like Jason Wu’s design aesthetic, this one reminds us of the Vera Wang mattresses.

Brizo via Huffington Post

Items come with prices you would expect from a designer line, the Soap Dispenser on the left will run $105, the Odin Lavatory Faucet $799.  Perhaps Lynn from Decor Arts Now or Tina from The Enchanted Home at or Stacey at Quintessence can enlighten us on this trend in the home decor and home furnishings market.

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A Gossip Girl fashion update, related to a collaboration mentioned above and actress Blake Lively. Below we see her at last night’s Versace for H&M launch party.

Getty via Red Carpet Fashion Awards

Here is what Red Carpet Fashion Awards says about the look:

I love Blake, so this is going to sting.

She looks uber tacky. The Vivienne Westwood look aside, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her look so bad.

This black and white mini dress with grommet embellishments is way too tight. Just look at her bust and hips for confirmation.

Trust us when we say that launch party was *quite* the soirée, below we see Ms. Lively’s co-star Chace Crawford and Jennifer Hudson.

Getty Images

Definitely the place to be last night.

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One more tidbit, looking at a manicure seen on the hands an original AntiPrep.

Ian Gavan/FashionMagazine.com

The savvy folks at Fashion Magazine noticed the nails:

It’s a trend we’ve been trying to ignore for a while, but Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi keeps trying to make it happen—the duckbill nail. Dubbed as such because of the way the nail gets wider at the ends, it takes a long afternoon at the salon to achieve this extremely fake nail look.

Another day, another look.

Via

There are no words.

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Finally today, if anyone is still thinking about a way to honor those who served between now and Friday, these suggestions come via My Veteran’s Day.

MyVeteransDay.org

My Veteran’s Day is an offshoot of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, a place the Consort has been fortunate enough to visit, a spot very high on my ‘must see’ list.

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That New Preppy Style Book & When Anti-Preps Attack…Each Other

Hello-Hello, happy Thursday, it is another glorious day here at The Prepatorium, hopefully the sun is shining wherever you may be. (Unless you are in Texas, where we would wish a nice, steady moderate rainfall for you. TUWBVB, I Pick Pretty, Hopsy, all of you, we feel your pain.)

We begin today with an update on something we have chatted about previously, the upcoming release of Preppy: Cutivating Ivy Style.

Rizzoli

WWD carried a story about the book today; photos from the upcoming publication are shown, including this image of men from Deerfield‘s class of 1961.

Private Collection photo via WWD

(Can we talk about all of that fabulous madras?!)

The book remains on track for an October 4 release, David Lipke’s story is titled The Progression of Preppy Style, an apt description.

“The book, out in October, is a scholarly exploration of the roots of preppy style, enlivened with a treasure trove of historic photos and illustrations. The photos of boarding school students from decades past are particularly fascinating, as they show how consistent the look has been, even to this day.

Another image from the book, one that many readers will recognize, a still from the film Love Story with Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw.

Photofest via WWD

More from Mr. Lipke’s review:

President Kennedy’s influence on preppy-dom is recounted, as are the contributions of other pillars of prep, such as Katharine Hepburn in her tweed skirts, Grace Kelly in her cashmere twinsets and Howard Hughes in his golf knickers. Edward, Prince of Wales, is of major import for many reasons, key among them that he popularized sporting clothes as casualwear and insisted on unstructured designs with minimal linings.

Getty Images & Rizzoli via WWD

The writers are Jeffrey Banks and Doria de La Chapelle, the duo co-authored “Tartan: Romancing the Plaid” back in 2007.

“Preppy isn’t just a way of dressing, it’s a culture and a language,” explained Banks, in a navy Lacoste shirt and red chinos. “It’s all about nuance.”

There is also a look at different interpretations of the style, below we see an image from the immensely popular blog Street Etiquette, the site did a piece last year on the “Black Ivy“.

Courtesy of Street Etiquette

On a related note, The Times has a story today with the founders of Street Etiquette, Joshua Kissi and Travis Gumbs. There is an accompanying photo essay, “The New Dandies: Prep Fashion With a Twist”.  From the story, “Pushing the Boundaries of Black Style“:

“Instead, this generation emphasizes the basics: great fabrics, aggressive tailoring, thoughtful accessorizing. It’s a return to style as a source of dignity, a theme that has run through generations of black American style, from Reconstruction to the Harlem Renaissance to the civil rights era to the mixed messages of the hip-hop era.”

Back to the book, more from the WWD story:

“Modern-day designers like Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger have transformed preppy style with their own versions of the campus classics.

“Ralph Lauren made preppy lusher and more desirable,” said La Chapelle. “Every generation has its own interpretation of preppy.”

An advertising image from the 1997 Polo by Ralph Lauren collection is included.

Courtesy Polo by Ralph Lauren via WWD

We look forward to reading this one, it is available for pre-ordering through Amazon.  Rizzoli is also publishing Ralph Lauren’s eponymous book in October.

Via Rizzoli

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Speaking of Mr. Lauren, Women’s Wear Daily also had a brief preview of his spring 2012 mens’ collections:

“The flagship Polo collection continues to speak to the “diehard preppy,” Lauren said, with natural-shoulder three-button jackets with wider lapels and traditional patterns of herringbones, gabardines or plaids.

John Aquino/WWD

The trade publication noted there is a “country-club grouping with seersucker and patchwork patterns”.

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Finally today, something for our “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” category. The story is about something we used to call ‘reverse compensation’ when working in tv; it refers to a practice that became common in the 1990s when local tv stations had to start paying the networks to be affiliates. In the former business model the networks paid stations to be affiliated with them.

At any rate, you can probably imagine where this is going: yesterday’s carefully timed publicity stunt news that über-AntiPrep retailer Abercrombie & Fitch has offered to pay another AntiPrep to *stop* wearing its clothing.  Really.

Elisabetta Villa /Getty Images via MSNBC

From an Abercrombie publicity release news release, evidently referencing someone referred to as “The Situation” from Jersey Shore. (The entire cast of this program have been declared AntiPreps.)

 “We are deeply concerned that Mr. Sorrentino’s association with our brand could cause significant damage to our image. We understand that the show is for entertainment purposes, but believe this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand, and may be distressing to many of our fans.”

The Times has a story on the topic, including these side-by-side photos of Abercrombie bags and Mr. Situation.

Benoit Tessier/Reuters (L) Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images (R) via The NY Times

Two things come to mind:

  1. “Hello Pot? This is Kettle calling”.
  2. They deserve each other.

On that note, goodbye until next time!

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Filed under Collaborations, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Brooks Brothers Spring Preview

Hello, happy Wednesday!

Just when we needed a little bright and sunny pick-me-up, we fell upon this at Brooks Brothers (in a cyber manner of speaking):

Brooks Brothers

The company’s Spring Preview is now online.

Brooks Brothers

Men’s designs are also shown.

Brooks Brothers

Many looks were shown in our ‘sneak peek’ at the line back in September, for that post, click here.  A few more men’s styles.

Brooks Brothers

Here are more photos from that September post.

PHOTOS: Robert Mitra/WWD

We were particularly intrigued by the heavy nautical influence seen throughout the collection.

PHOTOS: Robert Mitra/WWD

The seafaring motif is also evident in the children’s styles.

Brooks Brothers

We like many pieces already shown in this year’s Resort Collection, including the Girl’s Striped Sailor Dress and the Boy’s Embroidered Swim Trunks, both items available now.

One quick aside, like so many other shops, Brooks is doing its semi-annual clearance (including goods for the Young Man & Miss at your palace) and there are some amazing savings, especially on Black Fleece.

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In other news (ahem, there’s a loose interpretation of that word), yet another update on one of our original Anti-Preps. It seems that the Kardashians have a rather large clothing line launching at Sears.  More from Women’s Wear Daily:

“The seemingly ubiquitous reality television sisters, Kim, Kourtney and Khloe, are set to unveil merchandise on a bigger retail stage when the Kardashian Kollection launches exclusively at 400 Sears doors in August…”

“The Kardashian Kollection is the latest in a Kardashian fashion and beauty empire that started with the Kardashians by Bebe line, which finishes with resort 2011. Among other things, Kim and mother Kris Jenner are spokeswomen for Skechers’ Shape-ups; the sisters front an apparel line sold on QVC called K-Dash; Kim Kardashian has a namesake perfume and is the face of FusionBeauty’s lip plumpers…”

We giggled when reading a friend’s comment on the upcoming launch: “They are Paris Hilton with boobs.”  Ms. Hilton is yet another of our original Anti-Preps.

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We have a couple of quick links for Lilly lovers to enjoy, the first is a story in Lonny magazine’s latest issue, “Pulitzer Prize“.

Lonny Magazine

The story focuses on just how the design team comes up with all of the different patterns and pieces for the multiple collections and pieces. Fashion Director Janie Schoenborn is featured, as are many others, and it is a delightful read.

Lonny Magazine

The second link is to a piece in The Daily Basics on the Lilly spring line of home goods at Garnet Hill, with loads of fodder for our Pretty in Pink and Green list!

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Our final photo symbolizes our sympathy for all of our friends coping with the insane amounts of snow, some of it in the strangest of places.

Tiffany

The Mittens Charm may be found at Tiffany.

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Filed under nautical, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Pretty in Pink, Sales & Savings, The AntiPrep

“Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn?” & Bestselling Author Pamela Keogh

Hello-Hello, and Happy Friday. This seemed like a long week, was it that way for anyone else?

We have a special treat today, a visit with bestselling author Pamela Keogh, most recently noted for writing this outstanding book.

Gotham Books

Are You A Jackie or A Marilyn? Timeless Lessons On Love, Power and Style is simply wonderful, far deeper than one may initially think.  Some Princess readers are already familiar with Ms. Keogh for many of her previous works, including Audrey Style and Jackie Style.

Audrey Style @ amazonJackie Style at Amazon

The author was kind enough to fit us into her busy schedule for an interview, so we move back to her latest work with a snippet from the publisher’s description of the new book:

“Any woman who has aspired to Marilyn’s sultry allure or Jackie’s unstoppable elegance (or who wants to balance sexy and serious) will love these entertaining lessons on channeling your inner Jackie or Marilyn in any situation, from throwing a dinner party to penning a love note.”

The volume begins with a quiz (more on this shortly) and then moves into more detailed looks at everything from how the two cultural icons approached fashion and personal style, to interpersonal relationships.  The book isn’t limited to comparing and contrasting the two women, there are also surprising tidbits, e.g., we had nary a clue that Jackie Kennedy Onassis donated money to help fund the Ms. magazine launch in the early 1970s, or that Marilyn Monroe was a big fan of the hand-written note.

Ms. Keogh is more than well-suited for the task, as she is herself attended Vassar like the former First Lady.  In addition to chatting about the book, we asked the author how she felt the two women would handle today’s electronic and technological intrusions into every facet of one’s life.

“Jackie would have loved Facebook for the JFK Library, and would have used it to keep in touch while also keeping everyone at bay. And she would have shopped, absolutely, at sites like Net-a-Porter, Gilt, Chanel. But her email address would be like the nuclear code, probably three people would have had her email address.

“They both had somewhat addictive personalities, Marilyn would lose a lot of stuff, probably leave her phone in the back of a cab. She would use Facebook to stay in touch with her fans, she had an obsessive need for publicity, Facebook would have been perfect for that.”

The two women are transcendent in stature and continue to influence today’s culture; we asked Ms. Keogh how she thought they would fit into a society obsessed with celebrities. (The talented author’s response even referenced one of our original Anti-Preps!)

“Their attractiveness came from their accomplishments.  They were both very dignified women, they would *not* have done reality shows. Neither one of them would have done endorsements of things, unless maybe Marilyn Monroe was asking people to donate to something like the ASPCA.

They both also had mystique and you don’t have mystique when you’re followed around by TV cameras. [Marilyn] wasn’t like Kim Kardashian.”

One of the nicest things about the book has to be the exquisite illustrations by Meg Hess.

If the style looks familiar, it may be because Ms. Hess has also done covers for all of Candace Bushnell’s books, among other commissions.

We also spoke of designers the women might favor should they still be with us today. Ms. Keogh believes Jackie Kennedy Onassis would still be sporting Oscar de la Renta, perhaps Ralph Rucci, others creating classic, good-looking fashions.  She thinks Marilyn Monroe would be wearing Alexander McQueen were she twenty years old today, but in reality, probably more dignified labels like Valentino.  As with other assertions made during our conversation, her observations in this arena were spot-on.

The conversation on fashion delved into the issue of sizing and how we perceive ourselves relevant to that topic:

“American women get so obsessed with a number on a scale. A number is a number, it doesn’t give you beauty, or humor, or grace.”

Ms. Keogh again spoke of a vital element woven throughout the lives of both women, something sadly missing from the resumes of many or today’s most idolized individuals:

“What holds us to them is what they did, their grace and style, the way they kept going in spite of what was going on in their lives, their indomitable spirit.”

We can only offer an amen to that sentiment. Perhaps the most amazing thing we learned in our conversation with the author is that prior to her death Jackie Kennedy Onassis spent hour after hour in front of her fireplace, burning correspondence, piles of it. That is one way to ensure that private matters remain just that.

Back to the quiz mentioned above, Vanity Fair carried a copy of the questions – here is a small sample.

1. DURING TIMES OF STRESS, YOU …

a) go for a walk on the beach.

b) meditate.

c) pour gin in your tea.

9. IN YOUR OPINION, MONEY IS …

a) everything.

b) no, we mean it—everything.

c) not that important—as long as you have a roof over your head and Veuve Clicquot in the fridge, you’re cool.

Click here for the quiz and you can start exploring which woman you most closely resemble.

Gotham Books

We are excited to offer one of our treasured readers an autographed copy of Pamela Keogh’s book, via a special giveaway. For one entry leave a comment saying which woman you think you are most similar to. For a second and/or third chance to win, become a fan of the Preppy Princess FB page (if already a fan just let us know that) and/or the Jackie or Marilyn FB page, and for more entries follow us on Twitter, or follow Pamela on Twitter.

We want to extend an enormous “Thank You” to Pamela, for she is not only talented and gracious, but also delightful, much more fun than one might expect from such an esteemed writer.

With that we say g’bye until next time, and hope everyone enjoys a splendid weekend!

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A New Member Named to the AntiPrep Wall of Shame

Hello-Hello!

How happy are we all that it is Friday? Really a very silly sentiment, particularly when one considers the holiday-shortened week, honestly.

This is definitely a “when it rains it pours,” situation; we go weeks without any Gossip Girl news and then suddenly it seems we have almost-daily happenings! Today we share updates on two of the show’s more notable stars, seen Wednesday at the gala hosted by Valentino at Château de Wideville, the retired designer’s home.  Women’s Wear Daily covered the festivities, below we see their photo of Blake Lively with Gwyneth Paltrow.

Stephane Feugere/WWD

The party is the traditional conclusion for Paris couture week, and as one can see, the Château is an inspired location for the gathering.

Stephane Feugere/WWD

Another G2 star, Leighton Meester, is seen at the party with designer Marc Jacobs.

Stephane Feugere/WWD

We love this image of Lee Radziwill on the left; on the right we see Jane Fonda with the host.

Definitely the place to be for the fashion crowd on Wednesday night.

One other Gossipy note, the show continues shooting in Paris for the new season, below we see both Ms. Lively and Ms. Meester on the set.

Via Celebrity-Gossip.net

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Our other television related item involves Mad Men‘s costume designer, Janie Bryant and her upcoming clothing collection for QVC.

The line won’t be available until the end of September, but Women’s Wear Daily (subscription req’d.) had courtesy images of several styles, including the two above.  We like the coat on the left (and actually have a very similar vintage piece) but feel lukewarm on the other items.

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Next, our first look at the Keds – Gap collaboration, below we see the Womens’ styles.

Courtesy Photo via StyleList.com

The Mens’ collection features neutrals in cotton canvas.

Courtesy Photo via StyleList.com

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Vera Bradley fans will be happy to learn the company is now offering backgrounds for one’s phone, iPad or desktop.

VeraBradley.com

Click here to see the offerings.

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We do have news of a new AntiPrep. Can you guess who or what or why?

Bruce Weber for Abercrombie via Fashionista.com

Word that Abercrombie and Fitch is bringing back its catalog prompts the addition to the AntiPrep Wall of Shame.

The company announced last week that its racy catalog, gone for the last seven years, is returning this month. Fashionista has the story, and some photos: “Exclusive: Inside the New (and Very Naked) A&F Quarterly“. The picture shown above is about the only one safe enough for today’s post.

Other news about the retailer concerns bugs, more specifically bedbugs.  Last week an infestation of the creepy critters closed both a Hollister store and an Abercrombie in the city.

Image via Racked.com

The witty minds at Racked came up with the image seen above, we couldn’t resist sharing it.  Both stores have since reopened, but NY magazine asks if the Hollister problem is really solved in this interview with an expert on the topic:

We also just learned that Abercrombie on the Seaport has bedbugs, too. What does that say about the problem?
The worst-case scenario is one of their warehouses had it. And if that’s the case, that’s frightening, you know what I mean? Because you’re not just talking about a few stores anymore. But I think it’s actually really scary that it’s more than one location. They have so many employees at Hollister and we don’t know whether any of them have it at home or not.”

Absolutely. Hideous.

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We leave you something a tad more upbeat.

Timex

Timex

That is a Timex Design Your Own watch created by yours truly for today’s Pretty In Pink; click on the link to go make your own. Our thanks to the folks at High Snobette for the tip!

With that we bid adieu until next week, may everyone enjoy a splendid summer weekend!

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Filed under Collaborations, Friday Fun, Gossip Girl, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Pretty in Pink, Sales & Savings, The AntiPrep