Tag Archives: Top-siders

Preppy is Back. Again. Also, Brands You’ll See in True Prep

Hello-Hello, happy new week!

We must begin with an enormous “Thank You” to everyone who left such kind and lovely comments following Friday’s post, not to mention the Tweets and Facebook comments.  There is no adequate way to explain how touched we were by the sentiments, it made our day extra special.

Today we have breaking news just in to the Prepatorium: there is another preppy resurgence! Oh my!

Umm… not exactly. We apologize for our poor step into hyperbole, we were unable to resist the temptation. The not-breaking-news comes via our friends on the far side of the pond.  In yet another look at ‘preppy style’ this story from Sunday’s Independent asks: “Are you Ready to get Preppy?” with the following as a subheadline:

“After 30 years in the doldrums, the relaxed East Coast look is back – along with a new handbook to help you wear it with elan”

The story is pegged to this fall’s release of “True Prep” from Lisa Birnbach and Chip Kidd, a topic covered previously in this space. Here is the story’s opening paragraph from writer Susie Mesure:

“Can’t tell your Top-Siders from your Sebagos? Unsure how high to roll your chinos? After some preppy shopping primers? Well, unfurrow your brows and raise a gin and tonic because help is at hand from a new book out this autumn that will exploit the current clamour for East Coast style.”

We doubt Princess readers are struggling with the issues mentioned above, but we could be wrong.  The photo accompanying the story shows looks from the spring 2010 Ralph Lauren collection (our post on the collection may be found here.)

Courtesy Polo Ralph Lauren

If given a choice of designers to illustrate the Independent story, we lean more toward these Brook Brothers promotional pieces…

Brooks Brothers

They promote the Summer at the Cape collections.

BrooksBrothers.com

An editor from Gentleman’s Quarterly is quoted in the Independent story:

“Robert Johnson, associate editor of the fashion magazine GQ, said: “Preppy is back. Every season, particularly summer, there is always a nod to classic Americana but preppy is a big trend this year.” He partly attributed its popularity to the fact that people are “bored” with denim.”

To read the story in its entirety, click here.

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One of our favorite blogs, All the Rage, also previews the upcoming book in this piece by Adam Tschorn.  This photo collage is used to illustrate his story.

Brooks Brothers & Tory Burch via All the Rage

Mr. Tschorn (aka ‘Cuffy’) offers the perspective of someone who actually attended prep school.  In today’s post his interview with Ms. Birnbach offers insight on what brands readers can expect to see in the upcoming book:

“…familiar favorites are revisited. Among them are Lacoste, Sperry Top-Sider, Brooks Brothers, and Ralph Lauren. “I was very, very stingy with [Ralph] in 1980. I think he’s referred to maybe once,” she said. “But this time he gets a lot of play.”

She said that some additions are labels that actually pre-date the first book, including Burberry, Barbour, Hermès, Verdura, Kenneth Jay Lane, Hunter Wellies, and J.M. Weston (“They have these beautiful loafers from France,” she explains).”

Many brands included in the upcoming volume did not even exist when TOPH (The Official Preppy Handbook) was published. More from Mr. Tschorn’s story with Lisa Birnbach:

““We’ve got Vineyard Vines – they started in 1998, and of course J. Crew — which wasn’t around then either [it launched in 1983 as a mail-order company]. And we’ve got some Kenneth Cole [1982] and a little bit of Robert Graham [2001].”

Below, two shirts from Robert Graham.

Ms. Birnbach also chats at length about Tory Burch in the story.  We recommend popping over for a read, it is a fun piece.

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Perhaps the most amazing thing we’ve seen yet on the book was in today’s Book Bench from the New Yorker site.  In a post titled, “Prep is Dead, Long Live Prep” Meredith Blake mentions yours truly (prompting a most unPrincess-like shriek):

“While the original handbook advised that “you should appear in print only three times in your life—upon birth, marriage, and death,” today’s prep is virtually screaming for a little attention; the wasp mystique, it seems, has faded. Like everything else, we can blame it on the Internet, where there’s a thriving community of bloggers dedicated to all things prep-related. At the pink-and-green themed The Preppy Princess, Susan Kelly defends her love for Lilly Pulitzer, while Melissa Morris’s May December has such an impassioned following that its author was the subject of a profile in the newspaper of record. There’s also The Trad, a slightly more idiosyncratic blog dedicated to classic American-made garments.”

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We conclude all this blather with a cautionary note: it is likely we shall encounter an increasing volume in the mainstream media about the preppy aesthetic being raised from the dead (ahem), in sync with the calendar’s movement toward True Prep’s September release date.
And with visions of books dancing in our head we say, g’bye!

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Filed under Prepalicious, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, True Prep & TOPH, When Preppy Goes Wrong

“Herds of Thundering Preppy Clothiers”

Hello-Hello, and welcome to another wacky week of preppy insanity here at the Princess!

We begin with more in-depth looks at the new LL Bean Signature and Lands’ End Canvas lines, most notably on AOL’s Walletpop blog and in Luminosity Marketing, an online journal.  The first item is titled “LL Bean’s New Signature Line: The preppy look gets a risky makeover“. 

“After all, Bean isn’t just a brand; it’s an institution, a torchbearer, a monument to a bygone lifestyle. Along with Brooks Brothers, Sperry and a few other labels, it represents one of the last survivors of the great age of prep, when vast herds of preppy clothiers thundered across the American retail plain, dispensing tweed and bespoke throughout the land.”

We absolutely adore the “thundering across America” imagery, hordes of preps armed with canvas totes and headbands, wielding strands of pearls like slingshots.

“And while the new clothes are recognizably Bean, they sport a more tight-fitting, body-conscious style that should draw in Gap, Abercrombie, J Crew and Banana Republic fans.”
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We don’t recall seeing a madras scarf before and think this item could merit a second look. One more line from the story, this raises an interesting topic:
“In fact, many of its items are often less expensive than comparable garments at Gap, which has long been perceived as the well-made, reasonably-priced choice for the casually preppy look.”
We are curious to know your thoughts on the issue, do you find Gap prices higher than Bean?

Now to the post from Luminosity Marketing, “Geek Out: Lands’ End and L.L. Bean’s Preppy Resurgence“. Geek out. Hhhhmmm. From that story:

“With preppy, All-American fashions enjoying a nice comeback, we’ve seen many brands that have been able to successfully leverage the trend.”

As always, the “preppy comes back” theme prompts an inner smile here at the Prepatorium; from comments in the past on the topic, many readers share this reaction. Back to the story by Lamont Swittenberg:

“We’ve commented here on the resurgence of Sperry Topsiders, but brands like J-Crew, Barbour, Lacoste, Brooks Brothers, Clark’s and a host of new labels have also been successful at taking advantage of this shift in consumer preference. Before recently however, two of the most iconic preppy brands, Lands’ End and L.L. Bean, had remained curiously silent.”

We apologize for this temporary break from our point, but we have to insert this tongue-in-cheek item from Lacoste, the Comic Croc Shopping Bag:

Back to the primary point of today’s post, new styles from Bean and Lands’ End; below, a Webbed Belt from the Canvas line and the classic Tretorn sneaker.

Our hats are off to Mr. Swittenberg; he purchased a substantial amount of merchandise from both the Signature and Canvas lines to better judge the end products from both companies. Ultimately the story makes this point:

“It’s great when brands have the product development and marketing smarts to update their image while maintaining their essence. It’s a delicate balance that’s not easy to pull-off. The tendency is either to jump too far onto the latest bandwagon or to dogmatically stick to the tried and true past (while slowly becoming a dinosaur). Kudos to both Lands End and L.L. Bean for showing us all the way forward.”

Both pieces make for a good read.

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A few more tidbits:

Lord & Taylor is promoting ‘preppy sneakers’:

Lord & Taylor

While The Fashion List talks about the upcoming limited edition collection from Sebago.

Courtesy Photos via The Fashion List

The firm is celebrating 40 years of their Dockside shoe, Sebago’s counter to the Sperry Topsider.

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We wrap up with two quick items, including today’s Pretty in Pink:

Rosie Campbell is a talented designer we were fortunate enough to discover when she entered our most recent giveaway.  We fell in love with her belt buckles, handmade in the USA.

We close with yet another popular culture phenomenon we were completely clueless about: the micro pig.  (With apologies to any Facebook fans who may have seen this mentioned on that venue.)

We had to include it because of one of the creature’s bigger fans is one of our original AntiPreps.

Hello! Magazine

And because the little critters were included as part of this year’s Golden Globes swag bags. (Yes, we put this in the “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” category.) The LA Times has more:

“The pet pigs usually sell for about $5,000, the suite people tell me, but the visiting celebrities would be able to get one for free. All they’d have to do is complete a one-hour course on how to treat the li’l porkers and present a certificate of completion.”

There you have it.

On that note, g’bye until next time!

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Filed under Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink, You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Adventures in Argyle, Preppy Sales and Savings

Hello-Hello, greetings for another week!

We have several Sales and Savings to report today; some may be repetitious but we thought they bore a second run, beginning with Brooks Brothers.

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Brooks has taken significant markdowns on many items, including several pieces that definitely qualify as Adventures in Argyle.

The Merino Argyle Cardigan is now $117.60 ($168), and on the right we have the Cashmere Argyle cardigan, now $208.60 (originally $298).  Both seemed to be available in almost all sizes as of this writing.

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The Country Club Mini-Argyle crew sock is now $16 (originally $40) and the Cotton Argyle Anklet now $6 ($15); both are offered in a variety of colorways.

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As The Consort has been heard to say: “You can’t go wrong with a good pair of socks from Brooks Brothers.”

Not on sale at Brooks, but definitely worthy of a mention, the St. Jude Collection, including the Brooksie ™ Bear.

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Courtesy Brooks Brothers

The retailer is donating $5 from the sale of each bear to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. There are several other items in this collection at Brooks Brothers, all with a portion of sales going to the hospital and research center.

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Also offering a sizable selection of Sale merchandise, Lacoste; the hat originally ($45, now $24.99) and gloves (originally $40, now $27.99) shown below definitely qualify as Pretty in Pink.

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Over at Bergdorf, their semi-annual sale is underway.

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J. Crew continues their ‘holiday sale‘:

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One item of note: Crew is also offering 20% off all orders of $150 or more; use promo code INSIDER at checkout. This is online only and ends Wednesday night (the 18th) at midnight.

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Nautica has a solid selection of discounted merchandise in their online Sale section.  We simply adore the Girls Anchor Print Skirt is now $14.99, originally it sold at $30. We also like the Girls Signal Flag polo.

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Two things we fell in love with: the Baby Anchor Print Hoodie (now $14.99) and the Baby Dreamer Sweater Coat (now $21.99)

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The item that really sent us over the moon? The Infant Plaid Trim Onesie.

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If that doesn’t qualify as Prepalicious we don’t know what will; it is off the charts on the Cute-o-meter. (It is also only $9.99.)

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We have an update to the Jimmy Choo for H & M post from Friday: it was bedlam at most H&M stores when the collection went on sale Saturday.  In Vancouver shoppers camped outside the store.

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Vancouver Sun

From a MarketWatch story:

“…the greater part of both Choo’s ladies’ and men’s collections sold out…. Even in Madrid, the epicenter of one of Europe’s most recession-battered economies, plenty of women and men could be seen toting glossy blue H&M bags Saturday afternoon.”

Below, Gossip Girl star Michelle Trachtenberg was among those shopping the H&M on Fifth this weekend.

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Rob Loud/Getty Images

Speaking of Gossip Girl, many of Ms. Trachtenberg’s costars were seen at last night’s private screening of ‘The Private Lives of Pippa Lee‘.

Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Blake Lively was at the screening, along with Keanu Reeves, Julianne Moore, Robin Wright Penn, director Rebecca Miller and Zoe Kazan.

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Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Many of the actress’s G2 costars were also in attendance, including Chace Crawford.

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Jemal Countess/Getty Images

And real-life sweetheart Penn Badgley was on hand as well.

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Jemal Countess/Getty Images

The film has a November 27 release date.



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Filed under Argyle, Gossip Girl, nautical, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink, Sales & Savings

Major Papers Talk Preppy Style

Hello-Hello and happy day to everyone!

We’ll jump right in today with a few things we never seem to fit in our daily posts, despite the fact we start out planning to include them every. single. day.  We are so slow in sharing them many readers are likely to have already seen them, yikes! Here they are in completely random order:

1) The Times had an outstanding story from David Colman a few weeks back in their Dress Codes series, “The All-American Back from Japan,” examining contemporary preppy style.  A sample from the article:

“There is madras everything, button-downs everywhere. Nantucket reds — washed-out pink pants — are the new khakis; Sperry Top-Siders are more common on roof decks than top decks; and the Polo pony and the Lacoste crocodile are now but two of the critters in a zoo of polo shirt insignia.”

The story is accompanied by a companion slide show, “Dress Codes: The Preppy Look” with excellent photos from Dean Isidro. Below, the gentleman wears Benjamin Bixby, Lacoste, Trovata, Brooks Brothers Black Fleece, Marc by Marc Jacobs.

PHOTO: Dean Isidro/NY Times

PHOTO: Dean Isidro/NY Times

The article looks at the history of ‘preppy fashion’ in the US (or more appropriately, that particular moniker for the style) as well as what Mr. Colman refers to as “…the Japanese penchant for Americana…”.

Some of the brands cited in the story and slide show are definitely not “your Father’s preppy style,” although again, TP’s family never referred to it this way. If asked and forced to describe the look TQM probably would have merely said it was conservative or classic, perhaps being so bold as to inquire  “why do you ask?” as it wasn’t something one consciously thought of or needed to discuss. The only possible exception might be if one the children dared desire something out-of-the-norm, in the “no, no, that’s not something we wear” category. How did your family refer to their clothing style? Or did they?

We highly recommend the story and slide show, they are great fun and offer a slew of new brands, some of which you have seen showcased in this space, such as Band of Outsiders, and others we probably won’t be sporting.

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2) Also on the radar for quite some time, this story from the Times of London’s online site:

Preppy power

From twinsets and pearls to cashmere hoodies — new fashion tribes are taking their lead from the Sloanes

The story is another fun read, offering a slightly different perspective as it originates from the far side of the pond.

Yet rapidly growing numbers of people are embracing the preppy look — whether it’s stripy boat-neck T-shirts, argyle sweaters, brogues or cotton pea coats. Look closely and you’ll see preppy is having a makeover right under our noses.”

The story breaks the preppy looks into five different styles, including Euro Preppy, Fashion Preppy and Power Preppy.  Prince Harry’s former flame, Chelsea Davy, is pictured as an example of Public School Preppy:

PHOTO: Antony Jones/UK Press/PA Photos

PHOTO: Antony Jones/UK Press/PA Photos

A reminder that in the UK ‘public schools’ are actually what we call private schools here in the States, for example, Miss Porter’s or Choate would be called ‘public schools’ in England.

The article also has scads more details with the writer’s ideas on what brands specific prep types would wear, their ‘best looks’ as well as “A Look Too Far,” our favorite sub-category.  Prince William’s girlfriend Kate Middleton is classified as a Euro Preppy, although the story notes:

“To be fair, Kate is more neo-Sloane ranger, but, for obvious reasons, the Euro preppy holds her in high esteem.”

As to the paper’s suggestions of a Power Preppy, they include First Lady Michelle Obama in this group. Rather than bore you with more recitation of the article’s content we suggest one toddle on over and personally read the story, we highly recommend it. A visit to the fabulous Europa Fox is also likely to provide far better insight than anything we offer.

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True Chanel addicts with pin money (okay, investment quality pins) to spare will be pleased to learn of the 1980’s and early 90’s Chanel jewelry and accessories now being offered at high-end vintage retailer Resurrection.  Some pieces serve to remind us that the development of LogoPhobia is not merely in reaction to recent creations:

Courtesy Photo via WWD

Courtesy Photo via WWD

If interested, the catalog of goodies can be downloaded by clicking here.

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TP is ever-so-excited to learn one of our favorite spots for retail therapy is undergoing a bit of a lift, so to speak.  Fashion Island in Newport Beach (CA) is going to have some work done, adding wonderful stores like Nordstrom to the roster of existing shops, including Neiman’s, Saks, and Bloomies.  Below, an artist’s sketch of the ‘new and improved’ Fashion Island.

Courtesy Photo via LA Times

Courtesy Photo via LA Times

The LA Times has the full story.

We leave you with some of the soon-to-be-out, or already available magazines one will spot at the local newsstand:

Courtesy Time Inc.

Courtesy Time Inc.

There are reports of at least two west coast memorial services, one on July 3rd, the other July 10th.

Courtesy People

Courtesy People

There is also a report that the Jackson family has been denied permission to bury him at Neverland Ranch.

Courtesy Post-Newsweek

Courtesy Post-Newsweek

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Filed under Lilly Pulitzer Paper & Gifts, Obama Fashion & Politics, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Preppy People, preppy stationery, Pretty in Pink, Sales & Savings