Tag Archives: Thom Browne Black Fleece

It’s A Little Racy & Not At All Preppy (Gasp!)

Hello everyone, happy-almost-long-weekend!

We didn’t plan to post about tennis togs or the US Open today, but have no choice, given the stories about Rafael Nadal emanating from Flushing Meadows. The topic?

PHOTO: David Gray/Reuters

PHOTO: David Gray/Reuters

The attire worn by Mr. Nadal, more precisely, the shorts.

PHOTO: Getty Images

PHOTO: Getty Images

Evidently the NY Post reported that the shorts are “slightly see-through.”  That original story has been picked up by all manner of publications, including NY Magazine.

“A funny feeling has come over us. We can’t be sure, but we think — just maybe — it’s called suddenly caring about sports. He is life-changing, that Spaniard.”

Lord, this is a wretched job, but we shall try to soldier on.

Indeed.

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Because it involves both the Open and Gossip Girl, we have a trivia question today: what G2 star is named after a brand used all the time in tennis?

4ball

In case anyone missed it, the answer would be:

Picture 43

Mr. Badgley is named after the tennis ball.  And because we haven’t yet done a Pretty in Pink today, here is something we haven’t featured, the Penn Pink Tennis balls.

penn-pink-balls

According to the website, Penn donates .15 cents of each can sold to ‘breast cancer research’. (We put that in quotes because we’re not fans of generalized statements when it comes to fundraising claims, we like very specific data points and names of organizations benefiting from the donated funds.)

Back to Gossip Girl, it seems there is a bit of chatter about an episode being shot this week; it features a 1920’s-era party, complete with flapper-style party duds.

article-1210807-064503AE000005DC-948_224x690article-1210807-064512CE000005DC-882_224x690

Above one can see actresses Hilary Duff and Blake Lively in their party frocks.

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Yesterday we mentioned the J. Crew sale underway, we also want to fill everyone in on the Brook Brothers promotion.

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Unlike many other retailers doing special sales and discounts around the holiday weekend, the Brooks’ Consolidation Clearance is at its retail stores, it is not an online promotion at this point.

As we’re speaking of the Brooks’ retail stores, we are beyond tardy with this, but simply must thank John Doyle at the company’s Cleveland store. He was more than helpful when we popped in, recommending a shirt we adore, as well as some other goodies we acquired. A gentleman in the truest definition of the word, Mr. Doyle was not only first-rate in the customer-service arena, he was loads of fun and totally understands the Brooks aesthetic. What a dear man.

We’re a little underwhelmed by the online selection at Brooks Brothers, have you looked at their offerings recently? The Country Club section is headlined “Spring 2009” and seems to have negligible amounts of merchandise, and Thom Browne’s Black Fleece section seem to be equally depleted.  The Men’s Paisley Trousers are marked down by 50%, as are the Women’s Seersucker style Jacket and matching Skirt.

men-outfit-944-zoomwomen-outfit-957-zoom

Every single pair of women’s shoes on the site is discounted at least 50% from its original selling price, including the Bow Peep-Toed Pump.

Z530_BLACKThe shoes are $86.40; these originally sold at $288.

The lack of updated inventory seems odd, as Brooks appears ready to market their fall line; the company is going to emphasize those items made in America.

Courtesy Photo via WWD.com

Courtesy Photo via WWD.com

A recent Women’s Wear Daily story has more on the campaign:

“In a campaign entitled Makers & Merchants, the 191-year-old retailer is shining a spotlight on iconic merchandise pieces that have been made in the U.S.”

There you have it.

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One last tidbit for those seeking reading for the extended weekend, Vanity Fair has an extended interview today with Mad Men’s Pete Campbell, seen to the right of Don Draper in the photo below.

Photo Courtesy amc-tv via Vanity Fair

Photo Courtesy amc-tv via Vanity Fair

Umm, of course we meant to say “an interview with Vincent Kartheiser who plays Pete Campbell, seen in this photo with Jon Hamm, who plays Don Draper.”

Of course we know they’re not real, honestly.

Heh-heh-heh.

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

Old School Preppy & More J. Crew for the First Lady,

Hello everybody, please accept our apologies for the lack of a post yesterday. We have been simply swamped filling all of the Lilly Pulitzer pre-orders we received here at the Princess! It seems TPC (The Princess Consort, aka The Spousal Unit) gave the minions the day off! All of them! (Ahem. Right.)

So it seems we shall be forced to engage in actual manual labor again today. Honestly! But someone must help pack these…

Lilly Latte Da! mugs at Preppy Princess.com

Lilly Pulitzer Latte Da! mugs at Preppy Princess

And these….

Lilly Pulitzer Notebooks at Preppy Princess

Lilly Pulitzer Notebooks at Preppy Princess

Controlled chaos, yes, that’s what we have!

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We move on now to a look at Southern Proper’s new looks from their outstanding  Southern Seaside Collection.

Seaside Blast from Southern Proper

Southern Seaside at Southern Proper

For those unfamiliar with this fine establishment, it is well worth an investment of time to gaze at their offerings.

lighthouse_blue_1_21shrimp_navy_3

Not only is the merchandise refined and elegant, it is also whimsical, a rare combination to find well done, as it is at this firm.

Southern Proper

Southern Proper

While the company specializes in ‘Haberdashery for the Gentleman,’ they do offer their Belle Bands for the ladies:

Southern Proper

Southern Proper

We have been planning on posting about the company for months, but receiving their Southern Seaside email finally nudged to do it and we’re glad we did; we always have fun looking at their superb merchandise.

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The Brooks Brothers Black Fleece shop received a visit from one of our favorite columnists, Cintra Wilson, another of the Critical Shopper writers at the Times.

In describing the look and feel of the store Ms. Wilson takes a shot at a retailer arriving more recently to the prep aesthetic:

“It’s a slightly gothic twist on the Old Money Athletic Club look, originally reified into postmodern absurdity when Ralph Lauren stuck crusty leather bridles and yellowing crew-team photos on mahogany paneling and pronounced it a lifestyle.”

Ouch! The story naturally focuses on designer Thom Browne, the man responsible for the Black Fleece collection; a few looks are shown below.

women-outfit-390-detailwomen-outfit-337-detail

BTW, the Black Fleece Chesterfield Coat (above left) is now selling at $598; it was originally $4200.  Also above, the Double-Breasted Chesterfield in navy, originally $3700, now $598.  Double ouch.

Ms. Wilson approached her assignment with some excitement, eager to try on the apparel, but she was disappointed.

“I found, in most cases, that the proportions were a bit off. The necks were too tight, the skirts too tentlike, the busts flattening.”

The writer does more comparing between Mr. Browne and Mr. Lauren:

“Mr. Browne, like Mr. Lauren, nurtures a fetish for the trappings of Old School Preppy, but the Thom Browne alumnus seems to be a bit more pale, less muscular and more (ahem) eccentric. Picture a cross between Pee-wee Herman and Nurse Ratched, only more obsessive-compulsive.”

Ultimately Ms. Wilson concludes Thom Browne is a “gifted designer,” but one who needs to figure out how proportions differ between men’s and women’s clothing.

“While superb on a mannequin, Mr. Browne’s designs don’t seem to possess any sympathy for the kinetic demands of three-dimensional hips and breasts.”

BTW, there do not appear to be any Black Fleece spring collection pieces online. It may be the company is slow in getting them to the web, or perhaps they need to clear out more old inventory before showing current looks.  And a significant amount of old merchandise remains at Brooks’ online shop.  We did not see *any* pieces that were not discounted by at least 50%.

The folks at Rare Daily also review the recently-opened store:

“The interior is a masculine contrast to Browne’s shrinking suits. It’s lavish and upscale.”

However, we do have to disagree with their statement that “… (Thom) Browne is the new Black this season.”

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We haven’t updated the goings-on at G2 (Gossip Girl) lately, we’ll just do a quick hit mentioning Blake Lively at the premiere of her new film, “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.”

Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

PHOTO: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Ms.Lively is wearing the Silk Trompe L’oeil Wrap Gown by one of our faves, Oscar de la Renta. (It is available online.) Also seen with the actress at the opening in Berlin, Zoe Kazan (R) and Robin Wright Penn (2nd R), and director Rebecca Miller (2nd L).

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Because we are just as concerned about your trust fund as you are, we thought it timely to share a few sales at retail establishments you may be fond of, like Banana Republic.  They have added to their already healthy clearance selection.

Banana Republic

Banana Republic

We received another email from Polo Ralph Lauren this morning, touting their markdowns as well, “Now up to 75% Off“.

And the J. Crew President’s Day sale at their Factory Stores offer “up to 50% off” in their “Goodbye Winter Clearance” as well as 20-50% off “select Spring arrivals.”  This promotion runs through 2/18.

Speaking of J. Crew, the retailer must have been thrilled to hear that Michelle Obama wears another of their pieces in the March issue of Vogue.

Annie Leibovitz

PHOTO: Annie Leibovitz

We close with a little nudge to enter our Lilly Pulitzer Stationery Giveaway, if you are so inclined and haven’t already entered!

Happy day and smiles to everyone!

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Filed under Lilly Pulitzer Paper & Gifts, Obama Fashion & Politics, preppy, Preppy Fashion

Thom Browne, Sneak Peek at Alexander McQueen for Target

Happy sunshiny day!

We must take a moment and thank several more-than-generous Ladies of the Blogosphere for their kindness. We are ashamed to acknowledge it has been more than a week since the delightful Europa Fox and the stylish Winkie Houghton bestowed upon TP the Lemonade Award.

You know The Fox, tracking all things prep on the other side of the pond, and Miss Winkie, she of the outstanding recipes and shopping finds.

And then we open our email to read that Little Bow Prep, arguably the smartest teen we know, also conferred the Lemonade Award upon us. You are all much too kind, and we are very grateful you find the blog enjoyable; thank you! And now our face is going pink from blushing! (We will attempt to follow the rules about posting more blogs we enjoy, hopefully later in the week.)

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We know it may appear to frequent readers the Princess is not as upbeat as she might be when talking about menswear designer Thom Browne, known for his short men’s pants. Among other style preferences.  Of course, many readers think of Mr. Browne in conjunction with the Black Fleece line at Brooks Brothers.  Today we are being positive as we adore the men’s tennis socks:

Courtesy Selectism

Courtesy Selectism

They are only available at Colette.

Courtesy Colette

Courtesy Colette

As part of his collaboration with the French store, Mr. Browne also did a group of silk ties:

Courtesy Colette via

Courtesy Colette via

A reminder to standard Brooks Brothers fans, the Spring collection is on their website for your perusal.

Brooks Brothers Spring 2009

Brooks Brothers Spring 2009

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Our next item is an early look at the Pringle 1815 Spring Collection, a departure for the Scottish luxury knitwear maker. The line is aimed at a more contemporary (translation – younger), clientele.

Courtesy Pringle 1815

Courtesy Pringle 1815

The looks are bright and fun while also retaining the Pringle elegance.

Courtesy Pringle

Courtesy Pringle

We do love the graphic prints, although they are probably not for us. Our ancient age probably precludes several of the pieces.

Courtesy Pringle

Courtesy Pringle

This is a company we are happy to vouch for,  as we know their men’s sportcoats as well as their lush and lovely women’s sweaters.  If unfamiliar with Pringle, get to know them, as their merchandise is top-notch, of uncompromising quality and attention to detail.

Courtesy Pringle

Courtesy Pringle

Besides, the sweaters and jackets last forever. Forever.

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We were very excited when at our local Boutique Tarjsay yesterday, as we saw the Orla Kiely merchandise being placed into stock almost a week ahead of time! Very cute, fun, and all very Orla. Below, the Orla Car Print journal.

Orla Kiely at Target

Orla Kiely at Target

Our thanks to the good folks at Apartment Therapy for this next image:

Orla Kiely for Target Courtesy ApartmentTherapy.com

Orla Kiely for Target Courtesy ApartmentTherapy.com

We don’t believe it is only our Target that has the merchandise out early; if eager to acquire some of the collection, toddle on over!

Another Target tidbit, early looks from the Alexander McQueen for Target collection (previous post on this topic here.)

Courtesy Nylon

Courtesy Nylon

This collection is close to the designer’s McQ line in spirit and style.

Courtesy Nylon

Courtesy Nylon

Singer Leila Moss from band The Duke Spirit was something of a muse for the designer.

Courtesy Nylon

Courtesy Nylon

It appears we may not be hip enough for most of this group. Or age appropriate.

Courtesy Nylon

Courtesy Nylon

The collection is due in stores an online in March.

Until next time!

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Updates

It’s Baaaack – Ultimate Preppy Names

Hello-Hello, and good thoughts hoping everyone is enjoying a splendid day, not too frazzled and frenzied by the holiday crunch.

We start with a holiday greeting from one of the employees here at the Prepatorium, perhaps the hardest working staff member. If you ask her. Frankly, we think she spends more time lounging around than she does testing products, which was part of her job description. (And she promised us she was qualified for this part of the job way back when we hired her to be part of the Princess Team.)

It’s not like it’s a hard job either. This is one of the products we needed her to try out:

Stewart Dog Collar at PreppyPrincess.com

Stewart Dog Collar at PreppyPrincess.com

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Heh-heh-heh. Yep. We are talking about Silly Tilly, the largest lounge lizard this side of the Mississippi. And she just couldn’t turn down the delightful Daisy’s request for a photo op.  Of course, this all started with the Princess Consort’s Giveaway Post.  (Don’t forget to enter! Just leave a comment asking him a question; the drawing is tomorrow night.)

Tilly's Christmas Wish for You

Tilly's Christmas Wish for You

Oh, and those fabulous grosgrain ribbon dog collars?  Miss Tilly is only allowed to wear a harness because of her throat issues, no more collars. (Don’t ask; we’ll just say the most recent surgery involved removing tonsils and trying to help her collapsed trachea. She is our little Bulldog Rescue girl, health issues and all!)

Besides, when it comes to work, this is Miss Tilly’s idea of a hard day at the office.

Tilly at Work

Tilly at Work

And after what Tilly refers to as “The Episode”…..

"Never Again!"

"Never Again!"

… we were advised that she was going on strike.  (Honestly, it was just a little fundraiser put on by Vet students at the The Great Midwestern University nearby.)

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Once again, it is time to break out the Prep-O-Meter; we need to rank some names in terms of their ‘preppiness.’

  • Caldwell Rohrbach
  • Thayer Damm
  • Skyler Hopkins
  • Porter Whitman
  • Wick Kelley

Yes, these are names of real people on Lacrosse teams at real schools. Every year Inside Lacrosse selects the preppiest sounding names, all in good fun, and puts together the Inside Lacrosse Yearbook All-Name Team.

Inside Lacrosse

Inside Lacrosse

As described by the editors:

“Lacrosse has long been known for its prep school roots. And while that changes and diversifies rapidly every year, it still crops up in some of the 1,000-plus names that appear in IL’s Face-Off Yearbook.”

The list is more than entertaining, click here to read all of the names on the 2009 rosters; many just shriek prep, or old school, or WASP.  If thinking about your very own copy of the Inside Lacrosse Yearbook, just click here.

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We have been sharing some of the Inaugural Day sketches submitted by menswear designers for President-elect Obama.  The request for the fashions came from WWD, and they have all been posted on their site as well as the looks, their visions of stylish looks for the next President.

Today a few of the suggestions for accessorizing, starting with Brooks Brothers and their Tie #1 in silk and cashmere:

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

And as seen in the catalog in a different colorway:

Brooks Brothers

Brooks Brothers

If you are looking for the tie Ms. Aniston wore on the cover of GQ, that is Brooks’ Black Fleece Triple Guard Stripe Tie in silk and cotton.  (No, we aren’t running the photo.) That tie is actually on sale, now $112.50 from $150.

An offering from Countess Mara:

Countess Mara

Countess Mara Tie

Having visited the Countess Mara site for the first time in forever we must say we find their marketing more than intriguing: “Countess Mara – Be a Gentleman.”

Countess Mara

Countess Mara

The next sketch is from Perry Ellis .

perry-ellis-tie

Perry Ellis

For today’s Argyle Update we offer a Black Fleece Argyle Sweater at Brooks Brothers. One of designer Thom Browne’s better looks, in cashmere with grosgrain trim.  (Quite the bargain too, originally $1000, now $600.)

Brooks Brothers Black Fleece

Brooks Brothers Black Fleece

We close with Miss Tilly giving you the look she generally wears:

Merry-Merry, Happy-Happy, & Joyful-Joyful!

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Filed under preppy

Brooks Brothers Black Fleece, Kate Spade & J.Crew Sales, Black Friday Ads Already!

What a bright and sunny day we are enjoying here at the prepatorium. It is just bliss.

Regular readers know of the continuing coverage (that’s an understatement) this column has dedicated to the Brooks Brothers Black Fleece Collection, and its designer, Thom Browne. There has been much speculation about the company opening a store dedicated to this part of the brand exclusively, and now the good folks over at The Life Vicarious shed a little light on the matter in a recent post:

Courtesy The Life Vicarious

Courtesy The Life Vicarious

Barely visible in the photo is the sign that says “Opening Fall 2008.” The blog also shares:

“… it only makes sense we check-in and follow-up on Black Fleece Bleecker Street. We’re pretty proud of our track record of not being wrong yet on breaking food and shopping news, but how long it takes for validation sometimes! We don’t know what’s going on inside here, but the first signs of life are finally showing and as we promised, they’re still predicting a fall opening.”

Since we are talking about Brooks Brothers, a reminder:

And since we are doing reminders, Lord and Taylor is doing their part to help shoppers out with their Friends and Family sale, underway today through Sunday.

And really, who can resist a Radley ‘Tear Away Mer‘ portrait handbag at L&T when it is on sale?

Not to be forgotten, Garnet Hill is also sharing some love, with their oh-so-snuggly Paintbrush Flannel sheets on sale….

As well as merchandise throughout the store with their October Sale.

The Kate SpadeFriends and Family’ sale gets underway today with 25% off everything in the store with the exception of merchandise already on sale. TP is beginning to feel like she suddenly has quite a lot of friends and family members.

The J. Crew Fall Sale continues…

Not be left out, Polo Ralph Lauren has added more items to their sale.

TP is always happy to see Saks in on the activity with their sale.

Also today, we continue helping to protect your pocketbook this holiday season; we thought it wise to share the news that the Black Friday website is up and active. The site acquires copies for ads that will run starting the day after Thanksgiving. In an online story about the site from Sign On San Diego, there is already information on the Ralph Lauren sale:

“A link on the BFAds site connects to Ralph Lauren’s site, where shoppers are invited to “join us after your Thanksgiving dinner” to get 20 percent off purchases of $150 or more at its outlet stores, most of which will open at the stroke of midnight.”

The story also notes:

“But the deals could come sooner than Black Friday.”

“According to BFAds, several retailers “have mentioned that they will be having competitively priced sales in the weeks before Black Friday. It looks like, once again, some of the best deals this year may be had before the doors even open on November 28th.”

In the Sydney Morning Herald this week a story a story in the Executive Style column posits that “Menswear is having an aristocratic moment,” according to reporter Rachel Wells.

“…classic menswear looks inspired by the English upper classes have flitted in and out of fashion. Of course, there are some sub-cultures – think of England’s Sloane Rangers and America’s preppy set – who have always looked to the aristocracy for fashion cues. And designers such as Ralph Lauren, Burberry and Paul Smith have built multibillion-dollar businesses on these classic looks.”

The article continues:

“After several seasons of skinny silhouettes, the return to aristocratic looks – complete with structured blazers, chunky knits, textured tweeds and wide-legged trousers that add bulk to the frame – comes as a somewhat seismic, not to mention, surprising, shift. Aristocratic style for the threadbare?”

An intriguing theory.

Next, everyone knows The Princess is more than obsessed interested in needlepoint. Doing it.  Looking at it.  Sitting on it and holding it. Therefore, we share news about an exquisite exhibition, Brigid Berlin, Needlepoint, now open at the John McWhinnie Gallery.  Many of the pillows in the show are from Ms. Berlin’s ‘Breaking News’ series.

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

Ms. Berlin was actually raised as quite the Prep.  As the brochure for the exhibit describes her background:

“Though raised in elite social circles, Berlin became a self-described “troublemaker” and spent most of her life reacting against, and sending up, the social conventions of her youth.  She met Andy Warhol in 1964 and was soon drawn into the downtown social set centered at the Factory. Berlin became a member of Warhol’s inner circle and a personal confidante.”

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

The show runs through November 22nd.

Back later!

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Filed under preppy, preppy lifestyle