A British Look at Preppy Style, Pain in Palm Beach, & Good News!

Hello-Hello, we hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!

We always savor the way preppy fashion is perceived in different cultures. President & Mrs. Obama’s recent G2 trip has turned up fun fodder.

Amidst the frenzy over First Lady’s fashion selections The Independent ran a story with this subhead:

“Its preppy, casual clothes are worn by actresses, housewives – and First Ladies. So why can’t we buy J. Crew in Britain?”

The story looked at similarities between J. Crew stateside and British equivalents like Jigsaw (womenswear), and Racing Green (menswear).

J. Crew’s… careful mix of the sort of casual and preppy items you find at Gap (like jeans, chinos and basic T-shirts), the smarter pieces from Jigsaw (workwear and smart separates), and the prettier, dressy pieces at Whistles …. Except all these styles are under one roof, and ever so slightly cheaper.”

Jigsaw actually uses US-centric names to market some merchandise; every hat on their website this spring is named after an American city: the Chapel Hill hat, the Kentucky Straw Trilby, etc.  Below, a look from Jigsaw look that appears très Banana Republic to us; what do you think?

Jigsaw

Jigsaw’s pure Cashmere Trim Cardigan also has the classic look many of us are fond of, timeless fashions that are always in style.

Jigsaw

The article details the frustration felt by Crew’s UK fans:

“J. Crew is basically what Next and Racing Green never quite managed to be for us, and what Marks & Spencer consistently fails to achieve: it’s chic and classy, with a pretty, trendy edge that that doesn’t look cheap, frumpy or too outlandish… And it’s infuriating once you get into the habit of it, because you can’t buy it over here, nor does J. Crew ship to the UK. “

Well, this is no fun for our friends on the far side of the pond.

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In light of this weekend’s wild play in Augusta (how fun was that?!) we thought we would share a few lines from The Augusta Chronicle. The paper’s story on spring fashion trends quotes students at Augusta Prep, like Laura Lemley:

“I’m most looking forward to wearing Lilly Pulitzer dresses and skirts, Jack Rogers sandals and white shoes,” she said.

Absent the white shoes we couldn’t agree more with Miss Lemley. The brighter, lighter, perkier clothing we can wear as a result of the warmer weather is probably our favorite thing about spring.

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We have a few quick shoe notes, starting with today’s Adventure in Argyle: the Ecco Casual Pitch Argyle Golf Shoe as seen at Golfalot.

Ecco Golf Shoe

This gem also comes in a camel brown colorway that is fetching.

Barneys is promoting this spring’s crop of wingtips, saddle shoes, and oxfords for both Men and Women.

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We share a few SOTTs (Signs Of The Times) relevant to preppish style:

  • Today’s USA Today has a story stating that retailer Eddie Bauer is facing a “…potentially dangerous level of financial duress…”
  • This weekend the Times ran a story about recession-caused pain in Palm Beach:

“More noticeable are the empty storefronts, which have started popping up even on Worth Avenue, the home of a Saks Fifth Avenue, a Chanel and an Hermès, to name just a few.”

“Caterers are finding that charity galas, long the core of the Palm Beach social scene, are either canceled or sparsely attended. We’re getting fewer requests for lobster and caviar,” says Charlie Crawford of the White Apron Catering Company, “and a lot more for mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese.”

Yikes.

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There are multiple sales and clearances underway at many of our favorite shops; we shall effort updates on them throughout the week. If you have any to suggest, do let us know so we can share with the rest of the class. 

We noted last week that J. Crew is now doing a Spring Sale; erstwhile prep purveyor Banana Republic is also offering substantial savings throughout the store, including 30% off the Nantucket Tote.

Banana Republic Nantucket Tote

The tote’s price is reduced approximately 30% from the original $130; it is now offered at $89.99.

Saks starts pre-sale today for their Friends and Family event that begins this Thursday, running through Sunday the 19th. The sale offers 15% off cosmetics & fragrances, an unheard of 20% off jewelry and 25% off just about everything else. The Coupon Code to use at checkout is SFAFAM8.  (Some brands are excluded in the jewelry category, but it is still a remarkable discount for a major retailer to offer.)

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In light of the spring season and cheerier spirits, we wanted to share some Good News of our own here at the Prepatorium:

Scout Good News Bagette Tote

We are so excited to finally have all of our Good News merchandise in stock from Bungalow Scout, including the Bagette Tote seen above.  The pattern features fun words and phrases with a bit of camp, like ‘sunshine’ and ‘my-t fine’ and ‘Sure!’, to name a few. It is one of of our most popular Scout patterns, selling out with amazing speed.

The Bagette totes are great bags, the perfect size to replace paper/plastic at the market, 15″ x 12″ x 12″, with dual handles allowing one to carry it over the shoulder or by the handles.  We aren’t sure which is better, the fact Bagettes are only $20 at the Princess, or knowing these are collapsible for easy storage. 

With such “Good News” it seems appropriate that we make our exit.  Team Princess sends everyone wishes for a blissful afternoon and evening!

13 Comments on A British Look at Preppy Style, Pain in Palm Beach, & Good News!

  1. muffy
    April 13, 2009 at 6:25 pm (6 years ago)

    INTERESTING POST! I didn’t realize you can’t buy J. Crew in the UK!

  2. Kathy
    April 13, 2009 at 7:09 pm (6 years ago)

    Scout makes a great bag for shopping, I use mine every week and I’m shocked at how much they hold.

  3. La Belette Rouge
    April 13, 2009 at 8:26 pm (6 years ago)

    It is nice to hear that the Brits envy us our JCrew. I do like the whit and whimsy that JCrew brigns to their preppy style.

  4. preppy player
    April 13, 2009 at 9:08 pm (6 years ago)

    Gotta love Scout bags! Poor Britain, our family would be lost without J Crew :)

  5. Mrs. Newlywed
    April 13, 2009 at 10:59 pm (6 years ago)

    I have those Ecco golf shoes…in pink! I bought them last year, and they are the most comfortable shoes ever!

  6. Annabel Manners
    April 14, 2009 at 1:09 am (6 years ago)

    Oh dear! Our poor UK prepsters! I like that BR tote…

  7. Little Bow Prep
    April 14, 2009 at 4:57 am (6 years ago)

    I adore that cardigan!

  8. Piper Jacquelyn
    April 14, 2009 at 2:25 pm (6 years ago)

    Wow, mashed potatoes & mac & cheese have never sounded so sad…ha! And I had no idea the UK could not order J.Crew! What a shame, for sure. One very good thing, those shoes at Barney’s. My bf loves a good wing tip, so I he will be very happy!

  9. Lauren
    April 15, 2009 at 2:03 pm (6 years ago)

    A discount on cosmetics? Wow!

    I hope you have a wonderful week!

  10. fashion herald
    April 15, 2009 at 6:53 pm (6 years ago)

    The brits envy us our JCrew, love that!

  11. Sharon Dubey
    May 4, 2009 at 11:45 pm (5 years ago)

    Please send me a spring catalog if available. Thanks

  12. Abigail
    August 27, 2011 at 1:47 pm (3 years ago)

    I’d just like to inform you that thanks to net-a-porter.com your British counterparts, like myself, can now get J Crew clothing from over the pond! Also thank you for keeping me always updated and entertained. :)

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