Tag Archives: Vineyard Vines

CK Bradley’s Latest, Those Prep School Lacrosse Names, & Preppy Wine

Hello-Hello, happy Monday-before-Christmas!

The crush of business and volunteer commitments prompt us to do yet another one of these dual posts that shall have to suffice for both today and tomorrow (Tuesday), we are just crazy busy right now. (And guessing most of our cherished readers are as well, it is that time of year.)

We have loads of little tidbits and treasures, beginning with a look at some of the Fashion Business Faux Pas in 2010, at least as determined by BNET (the CBS site).  A few include companies with a preppish bent, here is a sampling:

  • “Talbots’ flagging effort to dump the frump -– The women’s apparel chain squeezed out a profit in the last quarter, but it’s scarcely out of the woods. And it doesn’t look like it’s going to see the light of a real sales boost any time soon, even with a profusion of trendy leopard prints. Talbots needs to get an infusion of original designs and a new merchandising scheme in place -– fast.”
  • “Ralph Lauren’s little brand-equity shredderJCPenney’s (JCP) management sipped too much of Ralph Lauren’s (RL) red-white-and-blue Kool-Aid. Indeed, the retailer’s agreement with the designer (which came with a hefty $1 billion sales tag) stipulated that any unsold apparel and home furnishings with labels and logos that could not be removed without damaging the merchandise had to be destroyed. Though it’s fairly common practice among retailers with overstock to ship the goods en masse to the bargain bins of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls (TJX) -– the destruction clause is surprising (not to mention tacky) coming from the always-impeccable Lauren.”

Ouch. To read Lydia Dishman’s story in its entirety, click here.

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Next, a look at what CK Bradley has been up to since closing down her eponymous accessory company.

CK Bradley

As she hinted earlier this year, the talented designer is now making skiwear with a new line called Après by CK Bradley. Below, hats from the collection, they are hand-knit in Vermont.

Apres by CK Bradley

More pictures of the new styles.

Bibs will run $450 and the jackets are going to be $550, those wonderful hats, $65.

The line is officially launching in January, but items can be pre-ordered by emailing ckbradley13@gmail.com.  Click here to see the Facebook page for the line if inclined to learn more. (This definitely brings back memories of our first trip down Vail Mountain, it seems forever ago!)

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Also today, we get to indulge in one of our favorite annual rituals: sharing the Inside Lacrosse All-Name Team. Every year the publication goes over rosters of actual lax players at schools across the country, selecting those with the preppiest sounding names for inclusion on the All-Name teams, published in the magazine’s Face-Off Yearbook.

Last year’s post on the topic better explains the practice:

“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.”

Here is a sampling of the players selected this year:

  • Baxter Lanius IV, Defense, Lehigh
  • Brewster Knowlton, Goalie, WNEC
  • Remington Steele, Goalie, Limestone
  • Seabrooke Carter, Attack, Florida Southern

As you can see from looking at some of those names, the Prep-O-Meter is almost peaking in the red zone.  We love the photo illustration accompanying the story.

Matt Cain/Inside Lacrosse

But here is the best part about this year’s update: editor-in-chief John Jiloty tells us they have added a Women’s All-Name team. How about these names?

  • Fielding Kidd, Defense, Yale
  • Beasley Hays, Midfield, Colgate
  • Sheehan Mulholland, Attack, Niagara,
  • Kearney Sneath, Midfield, Quinnipiac
  • Seton Hartnett, Attack, Holy Cross
  • Kirby Mundorf, Goalie, Monmouth

Call us crazy, but the Women’s All-Name team is much deeper than the Men’s, and shows much stronger bench strength than the Men’s, no doubt about it.

Again, it is all in good-spirited fun, as explained by Mr. Jiloty:

“As with every All-Name Team, I feel required to post the obligatory line about how this is all in good fun, and we’re just playing around with a funny, tired lacrosse stereotype.

Please take no offense at inclusion on this team. Wear it like a badge of honor … on your Vineyard Vines blazer.”

Both the magazine and the Yearbook may be purchased online, click here for more info.  Of course, if ever looking for gifts for your favorite lax player, our Personalized Lacrosse plates are always fun, and the lacrosse ribbon in our Custom Belts continues to be a hot seller.

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We leave you with something we learned about from the always-on-top-of-things Meg over at The Preppy Life.

Preppy Vines via The Preppy Life

Popped Collar Pinot” and “Preppy Vines Pinot Noir” are actually new offerings from Preppy Vines Winery.

Preppy Vines

The wine may be ordered online, if interested in a discount code for the pinot or pinot noir, pop over to the Preppy Life and read Meg’s post. To learn more about the wine visit Preppy Vines, or chat with them via their Twitter link or their FB page.

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We leave you with this seasonal image of Silly Tilly, she was feeling festive over the weekend and got into the computer in a desperate attempt to elf herself.

Sadly, there was some sort of operator error technical malfunction. There is no dancing Tilly video to share. We shall persevere in our efforts to create such a thing.

With that, g’bye until next time!

 

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Filed under preppy, Preppy Fashion, Tilly

Preppy is Back (Version 29… or thereabouts) & Identifying the North Shore Prep

Hello-Hello, and Happy-Happy Friday to everyone!

Yes, we do think today merits two Happies, it has been that kind of week. We remain mystified at our ongoing delusion that tomorrow shall possess a marked diminution in stress and activity, it is that point in the season where allofthedaysruntogether.  But it is loads of fun and we are grateful to be doing what we love, if we were still doing television it’s likely we would currently be engaged in weather coverage (you know what we mean, portraying a little snow as apocalyptic, the forecast requiring DEFCON 4 status, that sort of thing) at this point.

As our headline notes, Preppy is Back! Again! To be honest, we have nary a clue if this is Version 29 (as cited in the post title) or 42 or 18; we haven’t kept track in our 774 posts (eek!) of all the times we have reported such declarations and pronouncements.  This time CNBC is the media outlet sharing the ‘news’.

To be fair, the cable news channel’s story approaches the topic from a business perspective. “Straight Up or With a Twist, Preppy’s Back” looks at retailers benefiting from a resurgence of the styles some associate with the preppy aesthetic.

“The preppy style is making a comeback, but before you go digging through your father’s polos and grabbing your grandmother’s pearls, know that this time around “picnic chic” has some new twists.”

The story references Russell Simmon’s Argyleculture brand.  (FYI, the image below is not from the CNBC story, just one we selected when seeking images to better familiarize ourselves with the company.)

Via Blackpreneur

Writer Ashley Kalinke spoke with a stock expert for her article:

“Preppy is starting to make a comeback,” says Christine Chen, a retail analyst at Needham & Co. “It isn’t quite mainstream yet other than in the teen market where you see the varsity jackets, but it’s definitely making a comeback. We’re still very much stuck in the ’80s, and seeing ’80s [inspired trends] in the stores. But, that’s done. The shift is happening. “

Ahem.  A shift? Nay, nay sayeth preps everywhere.

The story looks at several versions of “prep” previously discussed in this space, notably “urban prep,” “hipster prep,” along with other styles not applicable to our personal taste. The ‘shift’ described in the article is attributed to consumers growing tired of denim.

“As a result, the style evolved to corduroy and khaki, which are inherently dressier fabrics that create more formal everyday style. This look can even conjure up a nautical feel that then lends itself to boat shoes, Breton stripes and a navy blazer, and eventually you begin to see a more classic preppy look emerge.”

The story lists LL Bean, Brooks Brothers, Vineyard Vines and Lilly Pulitzer as brands benefiting from the increased focus on classic styles.

True Prep author Lisa Birnbach is quoted in the story; we couldn’t agree with her more about a brand currently occupying a place on the AntiPrep Wall of Shame.

“There is some debate whether Abercrombie is a true prep, despite its polos and button-down shirts. Birnbach says it’s not.”It’s not preppy anymore,” she says. “What they are selling now is sex on the coattails of a brand name that’s elegant, and ‘American,’ but it’s not the same.”

Amen to that sentiment.  As always, we smile at the return of something that never left, but in this case we can see where evolving styles have impacted sales and profits at certain retailers, prompting CNBC’s coverage.  Click here to read the story in its entirety.

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The Trib (Chicago) also had a preppish piece, asking “Who is the North Shore Prep?” Here are a few identifying traits from the story.

  • “The North Shore prep lives in Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Lake Forest, Lake Bluff and Kenilworth. They typically hug the coast (preppies like water)”
  • “Highland Park was said to have too many “new money” families to be prep; while at the Lake Forest Book Store, owner Sue Boucher illustrated the difference: “Someone was just honking (outside the store), and I kept thinking, ‘We don’t honk here.’ In Highland Park, they honk. Decorum is what it’s all about.”‘
  • “…not prone, for instance, to wearing the ostentatious new Ralph Lauren shirts “with the giant Polo pony horrifying to anyone of a true prep sensibility” — so described by Lance Lawson, whose clothing store, space519, in the 900 Shops on Michigan Avenue, has become a North Shore magnet. They gravitate more to regulation L.L. Bean duck boots.”

Writer Christopher Borelli’s piece merits a read, at least for those of us spending a little time on that side of The Large Lake; it also offers a “Select Preppy Reading List”.  (We do count on Third Coast Prep, Preppy Little Dress, La Belette Rouge, Tippy L and others to advise us of any egregious errors in Mr. Borelli’s story.)

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A few additional tidbits:

  • Nashville preps will be happy to know Vineyard Vines will add a second store in that city, the new one is slated to open in February.
  • J. McLaughlin celebrates its new Westport (CT) store this Sunday.

J. McLaughlin

  • Dior’s flagship store on 57th Street reopened this week after a major remodeling, a number of celebrations marked the occasion. On hand at the store, actress Amy Adams and Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester.

Our favorite look had to be Karolina Kurkova’s (L), while Natalie Portman was stunning.

As many readers know, Miss Portman’s “Black Swan” open across the US tonight, that one is near the top of our list.

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Tomorrow we have a special treat, a visit from the Queen Bee herself.  The Bee is going to be popping in now and again to share some of her thoughts and insights on April’s royal wedding, and tomorrow is the first of her posts. We are very excited the inimitable Bee is going to be visiting!

On that sunny note, may everyone revel in a stellar weekend filled with cheer and charity.

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ADDITIONAL PHOTO CREDITS:

  • Dimitrios Kambouris/Wire Image
  • Steve Eichner/WWD
  • Jason Kempin/Getty

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Filed under Argyle, Logos, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Preppy People, The AntiPrep, True Prep & TOPH

Lisa Birnbach Wishes She Was Betty Draper Sometimes

Hello-Hello, what a delightful Tuesday it has turned out to be, we hope yours is the same, filled with sunshine and lots of laughter.

It seems like a good time for an update on True Prep, there have been oodles of articles on the book, as well as loads of parties and book signing events, like this one at the Sperry Top-sider store in Kansas City.

Tim Umphrey/Getty Images

And this one at the Lilly Mother Ship store in King of Prussia.

Michael S. Wirtz/Philadelphia Inquirer

There has also been a significant amount of news coverage for many of the goings-on as well. We adore the way this Palm Beach Daily News story begins:

“In the beginning, there was pink and there was green. They mixed, quietly, beyond the fray of fashion magazines and designer mandates.”

Fortunately, the always-gracious Lisa Birnbach us fit into her more-than-busy schedule, we were able to catch up for a chat about the book’s progress and reader reactions.  We started out discussing the book’s popularity, something the author calls “humbling,” sharing that she has been “… surprised at how many people show up at things!”

She has also been taken aback by the intense affection people still have for The Official Preppy Handbook, saying she didn’t realize how much it meant to people, let alone the impact some readers say it had on their lives.

“The number of ‘you’ve changed my life’ stories people are telling me is amazing, I never expected that.”

Reading about the antics of preps getting together in other parts of the country is always fun, below we see two of our faves, Hopsy (aka Monograms & Manicures/Kappa Prep) as well as Miss Tickled Pink & Green at the Dallas event in October.

Photo via Kappa Prep

Discussion about the “commercialization of prep” as it relates to the book prompted us to ask Ms. Birnbach about products and brands heavily showcased in the new book and/or at events on the book tour.
“Is there some sort of quid pro quo with Brooks Brothers? Absolutely not. Not at all, there’s no cash exchanged for events being held at their stores, no. It’s very simple how this all happened, we were very late calling merchants to provide things to photograph for the book, and when I called Brooks brothers they decided they really wanted to get involved.”
The conversation digressed (at length) with chatter about some of the natty Brooks apparel Ms. Birnbach has been sporting at B2 book functions.  Your trusty correspondent has been a little gaga about several dresses worn by the author, especially the one seen below left in Adam Tschorn’s photo.  We think it is the Black Fleece Silk Button Back Dress shown below right. (For more on the Brooks Brothers launch party, click here.)
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Back to that nasty and oh-so-not-done conversation about True Prep and merchandising, there are products being marketed for which Ms. Birnbach does receive some compensation. The licensing agreement with Vineyard Vines is a good example of such an arrangement.

Vineyard Vines

The collection includes a True Prep Polo, a tie and Beach Bag.
We then moved on to the next topic, asking Ms. Birnbach about reader reactions to the book.
“Some people want more rules, there are people who are really not happy about the inclusiveness, this is the area that seems to provide the most controversy.  I don’t think it’s nice, it’s not appropriate.”
As an FYI, the harshest criticism the author can level at someone or something is that it “isn’t nice.”  And when discussing the “too inclusive” crowd, she is understandably emphatic.
“They are old school and they don’t like the way the world is shaping up, and the worst thing is, they spew and use new media and its anonymity to post their rage online, where they can say anything and be safe from other points of view. We have to draw a line in the sand.”
It is at this point where both Ms. Birnbach and TP commiserate about “how things used to be”.
“Life was much more pleasant, I did have to dress up to fly, I miss the soft-spoken courtesy in the world I grew up in. Now my kids know more about plastic surgery and violence and other things that I never knew about at that age.”

“But then, we didn’t have access to so many things that we do now as far as careers and other things go… am I grateful for the opportunities I have had because of the way the world has changed? Of course I am, there is a part of me that is very pro First Amendment, and very independent as a woman, but there is a part of me that wishes for that world where we were polite, and people were admired for actually accomplishing something… sometimes it all makes me wish I was Betty Draper.”

Makeover by The Consort

Amen to that sentiment.

One nice thing about the book parties has to be the food, where else would one see Sperry cupcakes? (Thank you for the photo Miss Wendy!)

Wendy's Picture

And since we are talking about cupcakes we simply had to share these darling pink whales from the big party celebrating Vineyard Vines’ grand opening of its new store in Palm Beach Gardens.

Vineyard Vines Blog

We’ll have a look at some of the reviews for True Prep later this week.

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A quick note geared more toward the MOTH (Man of the House) in your life, the first involving a Princess fave, Bill’s Khakis.  In honor of its twentieth year in business, Bill’s is launching a special pair of khakis, the Camerton Twills.

Bill’s Khakis

A portion of proceeds will benefit the USO, another reason we adore Bill’s.  Our thanks to The Trad for the tip.

On that note we say g’bye until next time!

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Filed under Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Preppy People, True Prep & TOPH

Those Ivy League Scarves & Talbot’s Next Celebrity Model

Hello-Hello, we are smiling this morning as we are off to visit the Queen Mother for a day of meetings and shopping.

We begin with word of another delightful post over at our pal Christian’s site, Ivy Style.  The latest is another gem from Rebecca Tuite, she also did a piece on Vassar students and the Ivy league look. This recent contribution is entitled Tied Together: Ivy Guys, Vassar Girls, and the College Scarf, giving us a look back at a classic tradition.

““The most fashionable girls had a long wool scarf from a men’s college,” remembers a Vassar graduate from the class of ‘59. “These conveyed to other students that the wearer had a serious boyfriend at one of these prestigious campuses. However, a young woman might actually have bought it for herself.”

Indeed, such a student would never have admitted this fact: With the scarf, she now appeared to be not only effortlessly stylish, but involved with a guy from the Ivy League.”

Perhaps our favorite part of the post is this 1954 image from Vogue.

One of the few places we’re familiar with offering scarves in the vintage tradition is the UK’s Smart Turnout.

 

Smart Turnout

 

Below we see Smart Turnout’s Princeton scarf, crafted in 100% wool and hand pressed at $99. On the right we show the Women’s Scarf sold at the U-store on campus, made of 100% Kashwere and selling at $35. (We suspect Kashwere is not a naturally occurring fiber.)

The tradition of wearing one’s college colors started with British and Irish students, Smart Turnout carries accessories for every major school and regiment in the UK, while Ryder Amies offers scarves for Cambridge’s many colleges.

As in so many cases, there is no shortage of vendors offering merchandise, the trick is finding quality products. And we are sticklers for the unspoken understanding that one doesn’t wear the colors of an institution one did not attend.

Of course, there is always someone who doesn’t play by the rules.

 

Tilly T. Bulldog

 

Tilly admits she’s no Handsome Dan, but says she can’t give up one of her favorite pieces for snuggling when winter rolls around.

 

Does this make me look fat?

 

We’re thinking Handsome Dan might give Tilly a pass.

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One other item of note today, Talbots has announced their next celebrity model.

 

Frederick M. Brown/Getty

 

Actress Julianne Moore is set to start shooting for the retailer’s spring catalog this week. AOL’s StyleList has more on the selection, with this comment from the company’s CEO.

“She will make our brand feel modern, which is what the 40-ish woman is. She’s effortless — an effortless beauty.”

There was substantial buzz this summer about Ms. Moore’s nude ads for Bulgari.

 

Bulgari

 

Most recently the company used Linda Evangelista for its fall catalog and advertising.

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We leave with one quick reminder for anyone who might not have entered our Giveaway for copies of The Official Preppy Handbook and True Prep.

TP is Giving Up One of TOPH Copies!

You can enter until midnight tonight, we’ll announce the winner tomorrow. (There are lots of other goodies included from brands like LL Bean Signature, Vineyard Vines and Cole-Haan, do meander on over if so inclined.)

 

Giveaway Goodies

 

Until next time, g’bye!

 

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Filed under preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Tilly

Win True Prep *and* an Original Preppy Handbook + Preppy Goodies

Hello-Hello, here at the Prepatorium it is a stellar Thursday, in part because we are *finally* getting around to our much-delayed giveaway!

The good folks at Random House sent us an amazing gift bag filled with all manner of treasures, we’ll get to those momentarily, however, the first gift bag business involves reading material: the giveaway includes both “True Prep” from Lisa Birnbach and Chip Kidd, as well as an authentic copy of The Official Preppy Handbook.

 

"Two! Two! Two Preps in One!"

 

Yes, TP is surrendering one of her copies; we must all make sacrifices, and today we offer this up for The Planet’s greater good. (Heh, heh, heh.) With 1.3 million copies of TOPH sold, and True Prep’s continued presence on the NY Times Bestseller list, clearly this is paradise for one lucky prep.

Also included in the fabulous prize package:

 

LL Bean Signature

 

 

Vineyard Vines

 

We admit to being excited about our Giveaway; it’s crisp and cool outside, a good time for a little fun and frivolity, oui?  Here is the scoop on how to enter.

  • For one entry, leave us a comment, any old comment will suffice;
  • For a 2nd entry, post the Giveaway on your blog or Facebook page & leave a comment telling us you did;
  • For a 3rd entry, Tweet about the Giveaway on Twitter & let us know you did (here’s the Princess on Twitter);
  • For another entry, become a Preppy Princess fan on Facebook & let us know you did (If already a fan, just let us know so you receive this additional entry!)
  • For another entry, become a True Prep fan on Facebook & let us know you did (If already a fan, just let us know so you receive this additional entry!)
  • For multiple additional entries, tell a friend! For each friend leaving a comment that mentions your name (or your blog or email or other means of identifying you) you receive two additional entries!

Entries will be accepted until midnight on Wednesday, October 13th and we shall announce the lucky winner in Thursday’s post.

Enter early, enter often, and please come back to visit with us again!

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, True Prep & TOPH

The Nation’s Preppiest Writers, True Prep Updates, Fashion Notes

Hello-Hello, and welcome to another day of wackiness here at the Prepatorium.

We begin with a glance at “Our Generation’s Preppiest Writers,” at least as listed by Flavorwire. The list includes several names our treasured readers will recognize, like Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Prep, and American Wife.

Sloane Crosley (I Was Told There’d Be Cake) is included.

Also on the list, Jonathan Dee, perhaps best known for The Privileges, a book we just never seem to get to, it remains near the top of our list.

Several selections make perfect sense, while others are conspicuous by their absence, we would think that the list might include Tad Friend (Cheerful Money), Bill Buckley, Hobson Brown, Lisa Birnbach, unless the latter three are not considered of this generation….?

At any rate, this brings us to our True Prep updates. With the book officially on sale for a full two weeks now, there are scads more reviews and news stories, and party pix seem to be popping up everywhere. We shall invoke the ‘brevity is a virtue’ sentiment, sharing some of these as quickly as possible.

We start with a picture from the Georgetown Vineyard Vines stop on the book tour, our friend Wendy still has her Preppy Bear from the 1980s!

Via True Prep Facebook site

A better look at Wendy’s bear, we are mortified to admit we definitely remember when these were introduced!

Via Wendy

“…this slim novelty “guidebook” is supposed to be the tongue-in-cheek update for our texting times. Unfortunately, it offers few laughs or insight into prepdom today, nor does it make a case for why anyone — even Muffy — would care.”

That seems a bit stern, we thought there were smirks and giggles aplenty in the book, yet must also acknowledge that for some the book is a disappointment. A follow-up simply cannot recreate the impact of the Original (TOPH), and while much is lighthearted and humorous, there are also moments of awkwardness. We are enjoying the divergent reactions to the book, but also worry about those uncomfortable sharing criticism of the new book, for it is the healthy debate on the topic that we relish.

“True Prep” is frivolous, but comprehensively, amusingly and intelligently so. All too few books fit that description. Like its predecessor, this is a fond and inventive satire for the ages.”

  • In a story many readers have already heard about, NPR poses the question: “Did Sleaze Bring Preppy Back?” Simon Doonan, Barney’s fashion pooh-bah (among many responsibilities and skills Mr. Doonan has), is asked about the trend; his response follows.

“I think there’s a renewed interest in preppy. And I think it’s probably a function of how slutty and trashy everything got in the last few years, like the “Real Housewives of Orange County” or the “Jersey Shore.” There’s this super porno chic that sort of dominated much of pop culture. And it’s natural that there’s this sort of conservative reaction to that and that people might rediscover the sort of simple WASP-y elegance of preppy style.”

Thank you Mr. Doonan, thank you.

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Next, a couple of tidbits to share, including a Times story last week on British retailer Jack Wills.

“Most Americans have not heard of Jack Wills, but that is something the British sportswear retailer intends to change.”

Below, several ensembles from the retailer.

Labeled as a special report (we’re not sure why), Katie Wiseman’s story offers an introduction to the brand.

“For autumn, Jack Wills is stocking women’s wear like tweed riding jackets starting at $379, soft cotton Henley shirts and gathered skirts, while the men’s line ranges from flannel shirts starting at $69 to Fair Isle and fisherman sweaters. It also has home accessories, eyewear, fragrances and limited-edition items like an equestrian jacket selling at $449.”

The piece also inquires about the wisdom of any retailer expanding in These Difficult Times.  These may well be two of the items referenced above.

We first chatted about the US expansion here, back in April, noting the stores opening in Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, two über- prep locales.

The brand markets to a younger, more collegiate crowd; much of its merchandise has become logo-heavy, one could be forgiven if mistaking it for something by Abercrombie or Hollister, a comparison that riles company executives.

“There are the inevitable comparisons to Abercrombie & Fitch, something the Jack Wills executives loathe — and some industry experts dispute.

While definitely not a brand with a long and storied pedigree, Wills still offers some excellent pieces, although they are few and very far between.

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There is speculation that one of our favorite brands, J. McLaughlin, may be for sale. In another story that was temporarily lost in the Fashion Week shuffle, WWD reports about the company’s ongoing expansion… and perhaps more.

“Don’t be fooled by the laid-back, prepped-out, country club aura of the brand — J. McLaughlin is a business on the move.

“The McLaughlins’ elevated profile and pumped-up store program is raising speculation about selling the business or seeking outside investment to further the growth.”

Below, our favorite dress from the retailer (as of today, this changes frequently), and on the right, a cardigan we are fond of, the Seville.

The firm also introduced a limited edition line for the Tiny Prep at your palace this summer.

J. McLaughlin

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We also have a look at this year’s Ryder Cup uniforms for Team USA. (Disregard the red arrows, an editing error on our part.)

.)

The Saturday look is seen above left; the charcoal gray on the right is for Sunday’s matches.  A snippet of reaction to the styles from Golf.com:

“… we are not sure how well these clothes work on, say, a Dustin Johnson. Preppy crests and soul patches are not a natural match. It will also be interesting to see how shaggy-haired Ricky Fowler, a motocross enthusiast when he is not on the links, looks in a purple Perry Como cardigan and dark pinstripe trousers. These clothes are a bit fuddy-duddy for him.”

The Opening Ceremony uniform is more formal, while the rain jackets look standard issue.

The uniforms are by Peter Millar, an upscale firm specializing in golf apparel and accessories. The Cup gets underway October 1 in Wales.

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We leave you with news from the folks at Oxford University Press, publishers of the Oxford Dictionary, among other things. Are you ready for new additions to the Dictionary?

BFF n. (pl. BFFs) informal a girl’s best friend: my BFF’s boyfriend is cheating on her.
– ORIGIN 1996: from the initial letters of best friend forever.

TTYL abbr. informal talk to you later: Anyway, gotta run now! TTYL.

unfriend v. [with obj.] informal remove (someone) from a list of friends or contacts on a social networking site: she broke up with her boyfriend, but she hasn’t unfriended him.

The OUP Blog also lists the many new phrases added to the list, here is a sampling.

my bad informal used to acknowledge responsibility for a mistake: Sorry about the confusion. It’s my bad.

the new black a color that is currently so popular that it rivals the traditional status of black as the most reliably fashionable color: brown is the new black this season.

Finally, we have the new meanings for old words; a few favorites:

channel emulate or seem to be inspired by: Meg Ryan plays Avery as if she’s channeling Nicole Kidman.
cougar informal an older woman seeking a sexual relationship with a younger man.

friend noun – a contact associated with a social networking website.
verb – add (someone) to a list of contacts associated with a social networking website.

hate (hate on) informal express strong dislike for; criticize or abuse: I can’t hate on them for trying something new.

tweet
– a posting made on the social networking site Twitter: he started posting ‘tweets’ via his cell phone to let his parents know he was safe.
– make a posting on the social networking site Twitter.

Please don’t hate on us for feeling the need to occasionally Tweet and share things on our Facebook page, we do hope you will friend us. (Dopey Princess.)

Until next time, may your day be splendid!

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Filed under Logos, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, True Prep & TOPH, Updates

A Conversation With Lisa Birnbach

Hello-Hello, welcome to a Wednursday (Wednesday + Thursday) post, we are so swamped this shall have to count for two days.

Today we share our interview with the woman we call the Grand Pooh-bah of Prep, Lisa Birnbach, the author of True Prep.  Yesterday was the book’s official release date, and we still cannot believe she found time for an interview; some readers may recall Ms. Birnbach’s day started with an appearance on the Today show, and it only grew busier after that.

NBC Universal

To say we were flattered to even be on the interview list, let alone on the book’s first day, would transcend understatement. (We will share a little secret: at the last moment throwing on a strand of pearls seemed prudent, because after all, she *would* be able to tell through the telephone what we were wearing here at the Prepatorium, right down to the accessories.  Somehow. she. would. know.)

Ummm, not exactly. From the outset Ms. Birnbach was warm and witty, if anyone was wooden and stiff… well, yes. It was I. Me. Us. (Whomever, honestly Princess, get a grip!)

Sadly, our first question was truly tasteless, we asked the obvious, what (who) were you wearing on the Today show?  It turns out the ensemble was a combination of new and old, both the skirt and the blouse were Brooks Brothers (although we have to apologize for being a witless wonder right off the bat, one was Black Fleece and the other regular Brooks, but it appears we were quite incapable of properly noting which was which), and the shoes were older Manolos. (Because they are still perfectly good shoes.)

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Almost all of the jewelry was on loan from Verdura, including the Beehive Pendant Watch, not unlike the one shown below in a 2007 Christie’s catalog.

Via Christie's

Verdura is covered in Chapter 4, “I Just Found it in My Closet,” sure to be a favorite for most fans, as it covers the contemporary sartorial choices one confronts in clothing and accessories.  Ms. Birnbach explained a bit of the process for borrowing the jewelry, it is not something undertaken lightly.  As mentioned, not everything was on loan, the pinky ring worn by Ms. Birnbach was her own, marking the occasion of her son’s birth.

We only had one other matter to handle before getting into the meat of the interview, a minor issue we felt compelled to discuss before we could comfortably move into more intense conversation.

TP: “There is just one little thing I need to bring up before we move on, um…well….uh, it’s….ah, it’s just something that is very troubling, actually, it’s fairly traumatic, I think some people might classify it as bordering on tragic. I’m worried it might derail our whole conversation, but have to bring it up anway.”

LB: “Oh, really? What is it??”

TP: “The Top-Siders featured on the Today show this morning.”

LB: “The Top-Siders are tragic? How are the Top-Siders tragic?”

TP: “They’re metallic.”

(As a brief refresher, below we share a snippet from our post on the topic earlier this year:

“The women’s Original 2-Eye metallic boat shoe seen below is at Crew, offered in platinum.

J. Crew/Sperry Top-Sider

(TP has stepped away for the moment, she is struggling with the word ‘metallic’ adjacent to the words ‘boat shoe’.)”

There, enough of that tedious blather the background, now back to yesterday’s conversation.

Ms. Birnbach was gracious in responding to our angst about the shoes.

LB: “Susan, let’s talk about this, allright? I know what you’re saying, I really do. But the metallic Top-Siders are sort of like the bad boy in school. You remember? You knew he was not the guy for you, you absolutely knew he was not the guy, and you may even have been repelled by him, but at the same time, there was this attraction, something drawing you toward him. I think the Top-Siders are kind of like the bad boy.  I’m not saying you should get them. I’m just saying I’m open to new ideas.”

TP: “Oh. Okay.” (Heh, heh, heh.)

Of course that exchange was understood by both parties as being in jest. Fun. Funny. Entirely couched in humor, intended to be taken as such, and returned in the same vein.

And Ms. Birnbach is *very* funny, immediately grasping the enormity of a “Princess tragedies” on the level of a metallic Top-Sider. This was helpful, allowing us to feel safe bringing up the next crisis.

TP: Since we’ve dealt with the shoe, can we talk about the skull? Did you see the CBS Early Show Monday morning, that segment on hypothetical Preppy Fashion? They said ‘The new preppy icon is the skull.” What is up with that?!” (Insert a full blast of righteous indignation to achieve the proper sense of total outrage.)

LB: “The skull? No, no, no.  Just no.  The skull of course, is rugby.  And rugby and preps do go back. It’s the Jolly Roger pirate, it’s everywhere, Smathers and Branson have the pirate, all sorts of things have the pirate, the Jolly Roger is everywhere. But it isn’t the new preppy icon.”

Phew. Another close one.

For a sense of that CBS story, here is one line:

“After lying low in the nineties, preppy has once again reinvented itself, this time led by pop stars and gossip girls.”

Indeed.

During the interview we had a splendid talk about the breadth of choices available these days when looking at clothing and accessories, from relative newcomers like Smathers and Branson or Tucker Blair for needlepoint goodies, or Vineyard Vines, to old standbys like Brooks Brothers and Lilly Pulitzer.  The number of bright, gifted entrepreneurs now making things appealing to preps of all ages continues to grow.

The writer shared a story about her own preppy look from years ago when she had one of her very first jobs in the business, this one at the oh-so-liberal (the horror) Village Voice newspaper.  As might be expected, the style was très casual, everyone dressed down. Way, way down. What was a prep to do? Ms. Birnbach went wild, and purchased a Lacoste polo shirt. In black.

No one will be surprised to learn we had fun talking about the Anti-Prep Wall of Shame, we sensed unspoken approval of our existing members. For the uninitiated, this select group includes both humans (think Paris Hilton), as well as other entities (Abercrombie & Fitch) displaying gross negligence to standards of good taste, good manners, or basic decency .  The conversation moved on to the sorry state of what passes for “celebrity” these days.

“Doesn’t anybody miss the day when you actually had to accomplish something to be a celebrity? What is it that says being on a reality tv show makes someone a celebrity or authority on life?”

Amen.

We talked about the challenge of writing True Prep. It was not easy, the enormity of following an iconic book like The Original Preppy Handbook was more than daunting.

“It is scary to come out with this book, it really is.  The writing part itself, the sitting down and typing the words actually wasn’t the difficult part… it was the going through the day, trying to look at every single thing that could have changed in the last thirty years…that part was hard. I hope people have fun with it, I hope they enjoy it, I always worry.

We also chatted about what I perceive as the challenge of the upcoming book tour and other public appearances, almost everyone approaching with a “Why didn’t you include _____________________ in the chapter on preppy colleges?” Or, “I cannot believe you think that _______________ is preppy.”  Miss Birnbach explained that she is not saying absolutely, unequivocally, that a certain school, or community, or club, or sport, or item of clothing, or anything else is the “one and only.” Nor that it should be. And she also said she learns an awful lot when from questions and comments, she very much sees the process as a learning experience.

Again, we stress the fun factor, using the following as a brief example of the writing style:

On thrift:
Do keep repairing old appliances to try to extend their lives. Don’t store them on your front porch or driveway.”

It is very much like the witty irreverence found in TOPH back in 1980.

As far as we’re concerned herein lies the crux of the interview, as well as the new book, the old book, and the entire topic: this is not meant to be taken seriously now, nor was it ever intended to be.  A simple look at the book’s classification makes things clear.

humor, n.

  1. The quality that makes something laughable or amusing; funniness: could not see the humor of the situation.
  2. That which is intended to induce laughter or amusement: a writer skilled at crafting humor.

Both True Prep and its predecessor, TOPH (The Original Preppy Handbook) are meant to be humorous, one need look no further than the chapter and section titles: “Rehab: The New Boarding School,” “What Happened to Mummy’s Face?” and “Truly, Madly, Deeply Preppy: The Second Wedding.”

We didn’t have enough time to cover a few of our most whined-about issues favorite topics, like the documented increase in diagnosed cases of Logophobia, or the deplorable loss of civility accompanying all this new technology (need we even say the c— p—- words), nor were we able to get a verdict on things like Spanx, or an even bigger issue: the Snuggie. (What do you think of one for… oh, let’s say Groton, or perhaps Spence?)

In wrapping up the conversation Ms. Birnbach mentioned the possibility of another gabfest at some point in the future, something we would enjoy enormously. She is much more than fun, and bright, and sophisticated, she is simply a delight to spend time with.

Perhaps the best way to understand Ms. Birnbach is through her simple post last night on the True Prep Facebook page, an example of very few words saying quite a bit.

“I hope all of you enjoy the book. I’m under a lot of pressure to make you happy. I’m a giver, but I’m only one slightly used preppy woman. Hoping you all have a great DAY ONE. xLisa

One quick note before leaving, if there are questions you might have for Lisa, do leave them in a comment; we’ll gather them up in a bit and put them aside for a future (cross your fingers) conversation with Ms. Birnbach in the next few months.  Again, our thanks to Lisa Birnbach, and also to Sara at Random House, they made things fun.

Until next time, g’bye!

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