Hello cherished friends, and welcome to another gorgeous springtime week in The Great Midwest.
We begin with a few more looks at the preppish aesthetic from the far side of the pond, beginning with an in-depth piece on Tory Burch in the Telegraph. Friday’s “Tory Burch interview: America’s new fashion sweetheart” asks: “… will her wasp style win over the British?”
The story continues:
“Tory Burch is an embodiment of her brand. It’s not just the physical attributes – though her very petite, very blonde, very pretty looks are certainly not a hindrance – it’s everything from her privileged background to her impeccable Upper East Side lifestyle, her ubiquity on the New York party circuit to her complicated private life, her Hamptons mansion to her much-photographed personal style.”
The article takes a solid look at the company and its success, a worthy read on a brand and designer we are fond of here at the Prepatorium.
Another prep-style brand was also profiled this weekend; The Guardian has a stellar story in “Jack Wills: the Sloane Ranger Rides Again“. Here is the subhead:
“Clothing brand Jack Wills is a raging success. It doubled its profits to £42m last year and turned British teenagers on to the allure of preppy dressing. But where did it come from, what does it want, and why is it so mysterious?
Many readers know that most consider Sloane Rangers to be England’s equivalent to our preps. Yesterday’s Guardian story begins this way:
“You know what’s everywhere? Jack Wills clothing. Like Starbucks and Glee!, Jack Wills snuck up on us from behind and overwhelmed us without us really noticing.”
“Five minutes ago, our impressionable youth was a varied bunch. They were dark, distressed and emo, or a bit too tarty for their age…. Now they’re a sea of wannabe preppy – of branded jersey, stripy scarves and rugby-referencing detailing.”
Clearly this references the brand’s popularity in Britain,, not stateside. But as discussed in our recent post, “A British Invasion Hits the Vineyard,” the company’s first US store has opened on the Vineyard, with more coming to preppish locales like Nantucket, Boston, part of the broader Wills expansion plan for growth on this side of the pond.
We liked the writer’s test of the brand; Polly Jordan actually tried on many of the styles.
And Ms. Jordan’s reaction to the styles?
“… how transforming. I do not look like me. Not at all…. I imagine myself inhabiting the bouncy, youthful world in which these clothes belong. A world free of the tyranny of high heels, middle age, underwire bras, hang- overs, tube commutes and the nine-to-five slog. I want in! And then… I take the clothes off. I am 38 years old and entirely subject to the tyranny of high heels, underwire bras and so on. I make my escape from the store.
We thought most everything looked splendid on Ms. Jordan. There’s no denying that Wills offers some cute, enticing pieces:
As an expert interviewed for the story puts it:
“The collection is actually very relevant this season. The Jack Wills staples – the varsity jackets, the flippy skirts – it’s on the money for the sporty/ preppy trend.”
Toddle on over and read the article if so inclined, it is fun for anyone, but of special interest for students of marketing and public relations.
We have one more lengthy newspaper story to share, there is also a recent article looking at a brand now openly committed to distancing itself from the ‘preppy’ moniker, J. Crew. The San Francisco Chronicle story probes how J. Crew fits in with other mass-marketed menswear brands, ultimately deeming it the best of that genre.
I was in … for an informal tour of mass-market menswear. I skipped the department stores (apologies to Tommy, Calvin and Ralph), in favor of a spin through the stand-alone shops, the majority of which conformed to type almost perfectly.
I finished my tour with what is increasingly the best bet for fashion-conscious American men (and those who aim to dress as if they don’t eat in a dining hall), when it comes to mass-market, midpriced mall fare: J. Crew.”
Below we share a look from J. Crew’s fall Men’s collection.
Kudos to Crew for the plaudits.
Additionally the story offers a brief overview of the just-launched LL Bean Signature and Lands’ End Canvas lines.
“Two other venerable catalog companies have recently introduced lines aiming for a bit of the dressy-preppy-heritage market. Could their success bring a fleet of brick-and-mortar stores, too?”
Below, two looks from the Signature women’s collection.
From Mr. Britt’s story:
“Twill blazers rub elbows with gingham shirts; canvas pants in colors that won’t scare the locals and shawl-neck cardigans lend a breezy August-in-Kennebunkport vibe…. “
More from the story:
“Lands’ End’s Canvas line comes in a tick less pricey than Bean, but offers a similar look. Windblown American sportswear with a decidedly midcentury turn is the game here…”
Below, a Lands’ End Canvas style:
For the entire story, pop over here.
We leave you with a very special Pretty in Pink.
Is this not the cutest gift bag ever? This pink and green faux Bermuda Bag arrived here at the Prepatorium filled with all sorts of long-distance love. And as much as we adore our goodies, we also went gaga over the bag, wishing we had a gazillion or so, we would definitely offer them to our Princess clientele!
On that pretty image we say G’bye until next time!