Tag Archives: madras

That Ivy Style Exhibit

Hello-Hello, happy middle of the week to everyone.

Today’s schedule mandates brevity, so we’ll keep the post to one topic. It is a subject I should have written about months ago, hopefully it isn’t tedious for too many readers.

Hickey Freeman Blog

Hickey Freeman Blog

We’re talking about the Ivy Style exhibit at the Fashion Institute of Technology Museum, unfortunately it closed in January. More from the Museum’s show notes.

“Ivy style” is one of the most enduring and recognizable sartorial modes in the world. It began as the “Ivy League Look” on the quads and in the libraries of elite, all-male, American universities, and consists of a small repertoire of classic items, such as Shetland tweed jackets and Oxford button-down shirts, plus the more casual madras shorts and khaki pants.

Yours truly is beyond chagrined at not having written about this sooner, at the very least before the exhibition closed, arrggh. Several pieces from the show: left to right, a Brooks blazer with 1923 Princeton insignia, another with Princeton’s 1919 insignia, and a 1916 Yale emblazoned blazer.

The Museum at FIT

The Museum at FIT

More from Hickey Freeman’s blog:

Many forget that the “Ivy style” as we know it began as a more formal way of dress on campuses like Harvard, Yale and Princeton, which eventually spread beyond those all-male universities. In blue blazers with gold buttons, madras prints, bowties and pocket squares, the exhibit proves this iconic way of dressing continues to influence today’s designers.

Three more pieces from the exhibition, a classic raccoon coat, a Chipp madras jacket and linen suit, correctly described by Art Info as Ivy staples.

ArtInfo.com

ArtInfo.com

Art Info’s story includes perspective from the Museum’s deputy director:

While the Ivy look is pretty democratic these days, with everyone from H&M to Hermes turning out brass button peacoats and embroidered smoking slippers, this wasn’t always the case. “If you look at pre-World War II images, you’re talking about more of an elitist group of people, people with more money who could send their children to college” Mears said.
More recent looks.
Via StyleSight

Via StyleSight

From The Journal’s review of the show:
Brooks Brothers, J. Press, Arrow, Hathaway and Gant—these are Ivy eternals. Chipp, an offshoot of J. Press, would expand and popularize the “Go to Hell” look, a mix of bright colors normally considered outside the masculine palette—coral, yellow, mint—and constituting a casual smack at the status quo.
Below, one of the tableaux from the exhibition via the Princeton Alumni Weekly.
Photo by Eli Schwartz, Princeton '60 via Princeton Alumni Weekly

Photo by Eli Schwartz, Princeton ’60 via Princeton Alumni Weekly

Back to The Journal piece by Laura Jacobs:

Ivy-style clothes need not come at great expense; they need not be new; but they must hit the ineffable balance between carefree, careless and correct. I have never forgotten the scorn of a young man commenting on Nantucket Reds that weren’t bought at Murray’s in Nantucket. They would never fade to the proper shade of shrimp pink and so they were impostors—”not our sort of people” pants. Getting the uniform wrong locks you out of the tribe.

Below left, items circa the twenties, on the right, an Arrow shirt signed by Harvard’s 1933 Football Team.

MFIT Ivy Style Microsite

MFIT Ivy Style Microsite

From Women’s Wear Daily’s story:

Ivy League style permeates nearly every fiber of American fashion, and a new exhibition at The Museum at FIT delves into its history.

It explores the “decline and resurgence” of Ivy League fashion and the rise of the preppy movement.

George Chinsee/Women's Wear Daily

George Chinsee/Women’s Wear Daily

The WWD article quotes Town & Country’s G. Bruce Boyer, he was a collaborator on the show:

Boyer said the show is “very timely,” since “every Italian brand today is trying to do the authentic Brooks Brothers button-down. And look at Thom Browne and Michael Bastian — they take great traditional looks and make them hip and contemporary.”

I didn’t realize the origins of the polo coat, more from the exhibit microsite:

Many garments have been derived from the game of polo, including this camel hair overcoat that was originally used as a “wait” coat by British polo players during “chukkas” (the term for polo’s periods of play). In design, it was at first little more than a heavy bathrobe type wrap coat, but when British polo teams began making regular visits to the U.S. in the 1920s, it was modified and became popular on elite college campuses.

Ivy Style Microsite

Ivy Style Microsite

Details magazine offered this:

While traditional J. Press and Brooks Brothers gear features prominently in the exhibit, it’s fun to see styles loosen up and evolve over the years, from the formal evening ensembles of the 1920s to the preppy sweater-and-shorts combos of the fifties and sixties.

Details

Details

Even though I missed seeing the exhibit in person, there is a wonderful book of essays accompanying the exhibition, edited by Ms. Mears.

Yale University Press

Yale University Press

More on the book from its publisher, Yale University Press:

Ivy Style celebrates both high-profile proponents of the style—including the Duke of Windsor, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and Miles Davis—who made the look their own, and designers such as Ralph Lauren, J. McLaughlin, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Bastian, and Thom Browne, who have made it resonate with new generations of style enthusiasts.

Ivy Style is also available at Amazon and other outlets.

One of the best parts of the exhibit is the way curators drew upon the blogging community, several of my favorite blogs were involved in a variety of ways. Christian Chensvold over at the Ivy Style blog has an essay in the book discussed above, he has several stellar posts on the show. One offers a delightful video walk-through of the exhibit hosted by Richard Press.

Muffy Aldrich of Daily Prep renown is another author I admire tremendously and love reading, she donated items for use in the exhibit. I think you’ll enjoy this April post showing preps for the show. TDP was also featured in a Symposium affiliated with Ivy Style, for a real treat spend some time on this post, the entire slide show about Muffy’s blog is viewable.

John Tinseth writes The Trad, always enjoyable and a place where I have lurked for years, he was part of the Symposium as well. In this post you can see loads of photos from the exhibit, including the vintage dorm room shown below.

The Trad

The Trad

Dusty at Maxminimus is yet one more writer I regard with great admiration, he was also part of the Symposium and this post details that experience brilliantly.

The show may have closed in January, but hopefully you will be able to enjoy it virtually via some of the links included above.

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One more tidbit, anyone interested in a new personalized phone case might want to visit the always-wonderful Nautical by Nature blog. We’re just tickled to be sponsoring a giveaway for one of our Preppy Planet custom cases.

Nautical by Nature

Nautical by Nature

Even if you don’t need a case, pop in and say ‘hey’ to Kate, she is the bee’s knees.

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Preppy People

Shoshanna Sneak Peek, Sales of a Preptastic Sort!

Hello-Hello and happy almost-weekend to everyone! We are simply awash in the bright and beautiful day here in the Great Midwest!

We are all about apparel and accessories of a springy nature today, hopefully that is in keeping with your frame of mind! Earlier this week we mentioned the Shoshanna Trunk Show at Saks next Thursday; sadly, TP will not be popping in. We shall be trapped like a rat working spending our day lolling about the Palace. However, thanks to the good folks at Shoshanna, we’ll help everyone who can’t go feel like they were there. Sort of. In an abstract, far away manner of speaking.

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As we did not (and are not) scooting out of town to a warmer spot this winter, just looking at clothing designed for warmer temps does our heart good.

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Our thanks to Lindsey for the photos.

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Remember our post about the next design collaboration Target is doing, this one with designer Tracy Feith?  The always-on-top-of-things-Bust has shared some photos of the Collection, due in stores and online in mid-May.

Courtesy Bust.com Blog

Courtesy Bust.com Blog

The dress above is to retail at $29.99, the one below at$44.99.

Courtesy Bust.com Blog

Courtesy Bust.com Blog

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The title for the post referenced the remarkable number of sales and clearances; the notion of sharing some with readers had merit, so we start with Brooks Brothers.

While certainly not what anyone would mistake for a “screaming deal,” at least not when contrasted with recent pricing, there are savings in every department. In honor of Nautical by Nature, we show the Country Club Canvas Sailboat Tote in navy dotted with nautical flags.

At $88, it may not represent what most would term a bargain, but if you purchase one tote, a second tote can be had at %50 off that price. For much better buys, click on over to the clearance section for some fabulous markdowns on shoes, boots, shirts and just about everything else.

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Next on our hit parade, J. Crew, still offering a significant amount of merchandise in their Final Sale sections and on line.  Additionally, select women’s shorts are 20% off, select women’s women’s swimwear is up to 25% off, and there is up to 30% off select women’s tees.  Our favorite? The Clea Ballet Flat, now$49.99.

A cautionary note on these: we did not see a broad selection of sizes, so proceed accordingly.

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Also offering substantial markdowns, Banana Republic.

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Talbots is taking larger markdowns than normal at this time of year with their One Sweet Sale promotion.  These basic pumps are $34.99, down from $118.

Don’t forget to peek at the retailer’s Last Chance Clearance section of the website.

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Polo Ralph Lauren is offering an additional 20% off sale prices on ‘select items’ for a ‘limited time’. The Carole Taffeta Dress is $229, from $598.

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Combining two topics, a SOTT (Sign Of The Times) and a sale, we move to upscale accessories house Lambertson Truex.  The company has filed bankruptcy, and closed their shops in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.  Frankly, we enjoyed the Las Vegas store, and we are sorry to see it closed. On up note, efforts will be made to keep the website in operation.

The Large Margo minaudière is now offered at $345; the original pricepoint was $1145.

While most bags are not for us, we simply liked the idea of the shop being there for us to pop into when we were on the road. Selfish? Yes. An unusual sentiment? Doubtful.

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Our final preptastic mention for the day comes via the wonderful Just Madras, where there are some fabulous new treats as well as outstanding bargains! The Newport Clutch is darling, and at only $15, too good to pass up!

Just Madras Newport Clutch

The Pink/Green Patchwork Small Bucket is easy on the eyes as well as the pocketbook!

Just Madras Bucket Bag

Just Madras Bucket Bag

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And because we so adore all things pink, and think so highly of Isaac Mizrahi, today’s Pretty in Pink features one of his last designs for Target, the Herringbone Party Coat in “Pink Glow” that reverses to black. We have been fond of that colorway name for months, pink gloooooowww.

Target.com

Target.com

And talk about a price that is friendly from a fiscal responsibility perspective, the coat is on sale for a mere $22.49 – the original selling price was $89.99. And it appears to be available in all sizes, amazing this late in the season. Besides, it really is a collector’s item in a sense, from Mr. Mizrahi’s final collection at the retailer before his departure to run Liz Claiborne.

If that isn’t pink enough, perhaps the 23″ pink LCD TV will work:

Target.com

Have we shown this before dolls? We hope not, but if so, it probably merits a second look. How often do we see pink televisions?

On that cheery note, enjoy a splendid weekend!

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Filed under nautical, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink, Sign of the Times

Cyber Wednesday Sale at the Preppy Princess & Giveaway Update

It’s Cyber Wednesday at The Preppy Princess!

TAKE 20% OFF EVERYTHING!

Hello everyone — we must be brief as we are helping the Consort with orders at The Preppy Princess during our big Cyber Wednesday Sale! The sale gives you 20% off the entire site!

That means 20% off our Preppy Placemat™ collections, like these holiday placemats accented with our favorite grosgrain ribbon from the Christmas Candy Cane line:

 

Candy Cane Placemat

Candy Cane Placemat PreppyPrincess.com

Or our Holiday Snowman placemats.  These are all reversible so you get the value of two looks for the price of one, they are Made in the USA of 100% cotton, and they go in the washing machine and dryer! (Many consider this to be the best attribute, no dry cleaning for these upscale linens!)

 

Rolling Snowman PreppyPrincess.com

Of course you want to have matching napkins, also reversible in 100% cotton, Made in the USA and washing machine friendly. The solid red and green is a tad more sedate, but our preference is the whimsical red/greenstripe with a solid red or green on the other side. (You get to choose the reverse side color.)

xmasredgrnnapkins1xmasredgrnstripenapkins

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Knowing how much most preps love their flip-flops *and* their grosgrain ribbon, the Sale offers a wonderful opportunity to buy yourself a pair, or perhaps a ribbon belt as a gift …?

 

Ribbon Flip-Flops & Belts at PreppyPrincess.com

Ribbon Flip-Flops & Belts at PreppyPrincess.com

Maybe a collar for the Preppy Pooch in your world, done in that same great preppy ribbon:

 

Stewart Plaid ribbon Dog Collar at PreppyPrincess.com

Stewart Plaid Ribbon Dog Collar at PreppyPrincess.com

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Also an outstanding gift, the personalized Note Paper and Clipboard from Whitney English.

wens3083ribbonstripepinkgreenwens3086madraspatchnavy

TSU (The Spousal Unit) is rather fond of the Blue Madras set for a certain nephew.

The Sale runs through midnight tonight, and there is no need for a promotional code or other information; the savings are automatically deducted at checkout.

Also, the Great Giveaway continues, with our next drawing scheduled for next Wednesday morning, the 10th. The prize package includes the Princess’s exclusive Have a Whale of a Holiday boxed note card set.

 

Whales Notecards set at PreppyPrincess.com

Whales Notecards set at PreppyPrincess.com

The winner also receives a set of our Whale Classic Guest towels, lush, plush and perfect for your guest bath!

 

Whale Guest Towels at PreppyPrincess.com

Whale Guest Towels at PreppyPrincess.com

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And we also include a tote from the frequently tough to find Bungalow Scout line. The winner receives the always-better-than-a-plastic-bag Black Baguette tote, ideal for trips to the market because it is so roomy inside.

 

Scout Black Check Baguette Tote

Scout Black Check Baguette Tote

To enter just leave a comment with a wish for the holidays. That’s it! Simply leave a comment with one wish and you’re in!

TPC (The Princess Consort) is giving us what is generally referred to as the “death stare” here at the Palace, so I’d best toddle on over to order fullfillment and get busy or he may take away my tiara! Oh No!

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Filed under preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle

Is J. Crew Discounting Too Much? And the Free Preppy Goodies – Enter Now!

Courtesy J. Crew

Courtesy J. Crew

Most readers have seen this email alert from J. Crew.  As many are no doubt aware, it is just one of many promotional efforts from the retailer that have hit our electronic in-bins recently.  And the company is not alone in its aggressive promotional moves; we are hard-pressed to come up with any retailers not currently promoting some sort of discount or sale to customers.  (If anyone is not aware of the discount shown in the photo above, it offers 20% off full-price sweaters and ends Thursday night at midnight; the promo code needed at checkout is SWEATERS.)

However, elsewhere on the J. Crew site one finds this:

Courtesy J. Crew

Courtesy J. Crew

… and this sale is not a discount or promotional price that ends tomorrow at midnight, as with the sweaters. This is an ongoing sale offering very deep discounts, especially for a retailer of Crew’s caliber, with items like the Men’s Patchwork tartan vest that originally sold at $228 now offered at $59.99.  The Princess is no mathologist, but it seems to us that is almost 75% off the original price.

And the site is full of merchandise on Sale, not all at this level of markdown, but a hefty amount nonetheless.  Why are deep discounts, other than the obvious appeal they hold for most of us, an issue? Because they make investors in the company’s stock nervous.  From Thomson Financial News:

“Shares of the preppy clothing company run by Wall Street darling and former Gap Inc CEO Mickey Drexler fell 14 percent to their life-time low of $11.90 in morning trade.”

The article cites a memo written by a stock analyst:

“…’The worst is yet to come for J. Crew, which has continued to reel under a weak economy’ …analyst Eric Beder wrote in a note to clients…”

“…surveys and store tours have shown J. Crew is becoming “more and more aggressive,” to clear out inventory….

While TP is always excited to see merchandise offered at more fiscally friendly price points, Crew cannot be making much profit on this Cashmere Sequin Shell being sold for $49.99, roughly 70% less than its original price of $158.

The story also quotes the analyst:

“We do not believe the J. Crew business model works at the current levels and depth of price cuts,” he wrote.”

J. Crew Group’s stock closed at a new all-time low this afternoon, $11.64 per share. Ouch. We wish we were a bigger and better person Ladies, but let’s face it: their pain is your gain.

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A quick reminder on the Great Preppy Giveaway: enter to win this Scout Zip ‘n Tuck Market Tote by leaving a comment before midnight tonight telling us one thing about America you are grateful for.

PreppyPrincess.com

PreppyPrincess.com

…just anything at all about the United States that you are thankful for, and you are entered to win the tote! And if you mention the giveaway on your blog, then you will automatically be able to send the Preppy Princess Madras Photocards to anyone you choose! And we pay the shipping on everything!

PreppyPrincess.com

PreppyPrincess.com

Tomorrow we will reveal the lucky winner(s)! And don’t forget we’ll be starting a new Thankful Thursday Giveaway tomorrow too, so pop in and say “Hi” when you have a spare nanosecond. We’re always glad to see you!

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, preppy lifestyle, preppy stationery

Michelle Obama Inauguration Dress, More Election Night Fashion, More Preppy Sales

Happy Thursday to everyone!  We are more than pleased to see the weekend approaching. For some reason The Princess finds herself more than a little weary this week and the thought of relaxation is appealing.  Is it just us, or are you also feeling a bit sluggish?

We will update our recent posts on election night fashions momentarily, but first, an online site is reporting they know who is doing Michelle Obama’s inaugural gown!

According to theYBF (Young, Black and Fabulous) blog, an Atlanta designer has already been asked to create the dress.

“We’ve also learned from Atlanta Gossip that Mrs. O got a jump start on her Inauguration dress plans last week. She already tapped famed African American NY designer Cassandra Bromfield to custom make her Inauguration dress.”

We visited the Bromfeld site, and share one of the gowns featured online:

Courtesy Cassandra Bromfield

Courtesy Cassandra Bromfield

From the designer’s bio:

“Bromfield’s wedding dress and bridal designs range from African American wedding dress designs… like patchwork detail couture, an elegant silk taffeta halter dress topped with a satin faced organza duster with delicate French cuffs, to a sophisticated matte-jersey creation that gracefully drapes the body.”

Ms. Bromfield also writes a popular wedding blog.  We will await confirmation of the news on the gown’s designer and share it with you as soon as we know the information.

Now back to fashions already worn; we have a little more information on the Narciso Rodriguez dress seen below (for more photos click here) as worn by Michelle Obama election night.

Stan Honda/AFP/Getty

PHOTO: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty

The dress has been widely criticized, near and far. Here is a snippet from one of the Obamas’ hometown newspapers, the Trib:

“Unfortunately, two key tweaks to the runway version of the dress, presumably made to take it from cocktail-sexy to first-ladylike, disrupted its intentions and architecture.

First, the lengthened bodice. Second, the cardigan that Obama layered on top.”

And that is some of the milder criticism. Ouch!

George Chinsee

PHOTO: George Chinsee

Next, the navy suit worn by Alaska Governor Sarah Palin Tuesday evening.

Rick Wilking/Reuters

PHOTO: Rick Wilking/Reuters

Amid much speculation about the suit’s designer, several blogs discovered it is an Elie Tahari creation. However, it is not available at every location carrying the Tahari line, as the navy colorway shown above is exclusive to Neiman Marcus. Below, a composite from New York magazine showing the suit in the Neiman’s catalog and Ms. Palin on Tuesday night in Phoenix.

Neiman Marcus, Getty

Photos: Neiman Marcus, Getty

An individual appearing to be in the know left comments on fashion blog Trendbites in response to posts about the attire worn by Ms. Palin at the vice presidential debate:

“On behalf of my company…Tahari Arthur S. Levine (a division of Elie Tahari)… Dawn is CORRECT… the black skirt suit that Sarah Palin was wearing at the RNC VP Debate was in fact a Tahari Suit. In addition, she has also been seen wearing the same suit (which was made for Neiman Marcus as a special cut in blue) where she wore the blue jacket over the black skirt, getting more mileage for her money. Lastly, she has also worn numerous suits from our many divisions: Tahari Arthur S. Levine suits which are priced on average at 179.99 – 199.99 and which have been bought at either Macys, Lord and Taylor department stores…”

Below, a photo of Ms. Palin at the vice-presidential debate.

Rick Wilking/Reuters

PHOTO: Rick Wilking/Reuters

But here is the really big mystery: who did the dresses worn by Malia and Sasha Obama?  We have received multiple inquiries here at Princess InterGalactic HQ about those darling dresses.  Below, Malia in a red bubble-hem dress with center bow at waist and a cropped cardigan, both in red.

Jae C. Hong/AP

PHOTO: Jae C. Hong/AP

Many think Malia Obama is wearing this Biscotti dress, although with a different belt than the one sold with the dress.  We show it at Nordstrom; it is available at $110. There is a matching/coordinating cropped cardigan Biscotti offers as well, but that does not look to us like the one Malia was wearing.

Here is a better shot of both girls with their father, the President-elect.

Jason Reed/Reuters

PHOTO: Jason Reed/Reuters

Now to avoid any controversy, we do want to share that we have also confirmed who the President-elect was wearing Tuesday night:

He was wearing a Hart Schaffner Marx custom suit very much like the one worn at the Democratic Convention. There are more detail and photos of that suit here, our post with “The Inside Story on the Candidate’s Suit.”  Selecting this suit was another wise choice: it looked great and the Hart Schaffner Marx manufacturing facility is in the Obamas’ home state of Illinois.  Click here to see an almost identical HSM suit.

An update on markdowns being taken by retailers everywhere, beginning with J .Crew, now offering an additional 30% off their sale merchandise.

This will also act as our Argyle Update for the day, as we show the Boys’ cotton-cashmere duke-argyle vest, now more than 50% off its original selling price, before the extra discount is added to the mix. (“Subtracted” from the mix?)

Crew is also offering their wonderful Madras cabana bag; it is also discounted by more than 50%, and this is before the additional 30% discount.

Of course regular readers know we are fiends for madras, as evidenced by our goodies at the Preppy Princess Emporium, like our lush and lovely Set Point Towels.  (Psst…hunting for a gift? The monogramming on these is included at no extra charge!)

PreppyPrincess.com Set Point Towels

PreppyPrincess.com Set Point Towels

PreppyPrincess.com

PreppyPrincess.com

Neiman Marcus continues their online clearance:

Nordstrom is offering their Half Yearly Sale for Women and Kids.

And the online clearance is still ongoing at Talbots as well as their Collection Sale with merchandise like this Collection Jacket in Ivory.

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And finally, for today’s Pretty in Pink, we share one of our major obsessions here at the Prepatorium: the Globetrotter Vanity Case at Vivre, from Globetrotter’s Candy Collection.

The lining is done in an exquisite Liberty of London print. (The store on Regent Street is on TP’s list of Top 5 shopping meccas in Europe.)

If one requires a tad more room for their belongings, there is always the Trunk, also from the Candy Collection, and also exclusively at Vivre.

If anyone has info on the dresses worn by the Obama girls, please share!

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Filed under Argyle, Obama Fashion & Politics, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle

Everyone Discovers Preppy! From Barneys to the Miami Herald (Complete with a ‘How-To’ Guide)

It has come to our attention recently that everyone… simply everyone… has discovered or re-discovered ‘preppy’. The list is endless. Tonight we’ll share a few of those who are talking preppy, starting with the advertisement below, compliments of our good friends over at Barneys.

 

The above is but one example of the many emails in today’s cyber inbox admonishing us ‘don’t forget’ this Sunday; you are probably seeing loads of them as well. Now, in terms of being a ‘Preppy Dad,” Daddy most definitely qualified. But even if he we were still with us (sigh…), some of today’s ‘preppy’ styles might be a tough sell.

Psycho Bunny Short Sleeve Polo Psycho Bunny Short Sleeve Polo at Barneys

For example, at Barneys, suggesting a snappy pair of Trovata Raft Shorts in Madras could be a push, or the Psycho Bunny Short Sleeve Polo? Not happening. Now on a personal level, we do find the polos quite a bit of fun. In fact, The Princess *so* loves the name of this line she sometimes wonders how things would be if she were the zippier sounding ‘PreppyPsychoPrincess’ instead of just plain old PreppyPrincess… hhmm. Perhaps we’d best move on….

To the Miami Herald’s article on preppy style, complete with instructions, “How to be preppy: The style makes a comeback.” Herald writer Enrique Fernandez authored the story, saying the “classic American style is enjoying a renaissance.” Indeed. Fernandez references the popularity of the 80′s looks made popular by Armani, Versace and other highly tailored lines, but tells us that “classic American style is enjoying a renaissance.”

J Press Handout photos of Shirts

Photos used in the Herald story appear to be ‘handouts’ (meaning the paper did not take the photos; they were provided by an outside source), as in this case: the pictures above are from J Press and the shots below are compliments of Brooks Brothers.

Brooks Brothers LookBrooks Brothers

The story carries a primer on textiles: madras, seersucker and khaki, and the point is repeatedly made that traditional styles were ‘out of fashion’ a number of times, for varying lengths of times.

During the countercultural ’60s, the peacock ’70s, the power ’80s and ’90s, preppy style not only fell out of favor but also had dorky connotations. Now, fashionable men are rushing back to trad, while its steadfast adherents argue passionately online about what a J Press ”Burlington Knot” tie means. The braided belt, once considered the height of preppy obnoxiousness, gets a display in GQ (last month, it was the deck shoe).

The Princess is nonplussed. She doesn’t remember those times and when queried, Mr. Princess didn’t remember them either. It would have been best had we not raised the topic with him; it proved to be a little unsettling. “What precisely went out of style?” and “Do they mean to say it was ‘out’ when I wore it at the Club or the cottage or at the office, or are they saying it was out all the time?” are the sort of questions being asked here at the Prepatorium. I know, I know. But then when reading the portion of the Herald article shown above with the ‘dorky connotation’ reference, he said, “gosh, I really feel nothing but sadness for the ink-stained wretch who wrote this story.” Oh my.

Dum spiro, spero, right? Yes, so how about a story from the Argus-Leader in Sioux Falls, South Dakota? The story, Pretty in patchwork starts out by saying, “If you’re mad about plaid, you’re not alone this season” and extols the virtues of madras. The majority of the items in the article are sadly, not pictured, but TP put her detective skills to work and thinks she knows which $17.99 Merona shorts in madras the writer is referring to at Target.

Target Merona Madras shortsMerona Madras shorts at Target

(Just one little FYI to the Madras Pooh-bahs at the Boutique: there are only two reviews of the shorts online and they clearly come from fans, but they are not very sounding very fan-like about the quality of the shorts.)

We’ll leave our little preppy overload for the time being; we wouldn’t want anyone getting cross-eyed on madras and seersucker. Besides, we just have one more tidbit to leave you with at this hour. Late word tonight from Caroline Tell at WWD (Women’s Wear Daily) that some Secret Service agents were positively melting in the beastly temperatures today outside a certain 7th Avenue business establishment. Why were they hovering for so long, you may ask?

Can you say Cindy McCain pays a visit to the Oscar de la Renta showroom? As Ms. Tell so deftly describes things in the story:

With two beige Suburbans and a team of sweltering Secret Service in tow, Cindy McCain paid a visit to Oscar de la Renta’s showroom this afternoon to peruse Washington’s favorite designer’s rack of White House-worthy clothes. How long exactly had the potential First Lady been shopping?

“Waaayy too long,” replied one of her fully dressed security agents, who was posted in the New York heat outside 550 Seventh Avenue, moving only to wipe the sweat from his Ray-Bans.

And there you have it.

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