Tag Archives: Preppy Women’s Clothes

Polo Ralph Lauren Olympic Games Collection, J Crew and the Madewell Brand

Canada Day Heart Flag GIF

We celebrate with our friends across the border! Happy Canada Day!

With 8.8.08 only 5 weeks away, it is good to see that the smart minds at Polo Ralph Lauren have made some of the Olympic Collection available. We thought it wise to follow their lead, as they frequently do know what they’re about, and share some pieces from the line with you.

We start with the Men’s Classic-Fit Olympic Games Polo in white, and then we have TP’s favorite: the Olympic Games Newsboys Hat.

Polo Ralph Lauren Men\'s Olympic Polo Classic Fit

Polo Ralph Lauren Olympic Newsboy Cap

Below is the Men’s Slim Custom-Fit USA 08 Polo (both front and back), available in three of TP’s favorite colors, red, white and blue! This one is constructed of cotton mesh, comes complete with the official embroidered logo of Team USA for the 08 Olympics, and runs $125 retail. We’re thinking it will be a big seller for some reason… people will favor the back, as you don’t generally have that sort of lush look with Lauren until you hit the rarefied strata at the Lauren Collection level.

Polo Ralph Lauren Slim Custom-Fit USA 08 Polo

Polo Ralph Lauren Slim Custom-Fit USA 08 Polo

Ralph Lauren Slim Custom-Fit US Shield Oxford

Polo Ralph Lauren Olympic Games Track Jacket

Above we show the Slim Custom-Fit US Shield Oxford described as:

Long-sleeved shirt cut for a trim, modern fit in preppy oxford-woven cotton and featuring the embroidered US Olympic shield logo at the chest pocket.

Also above, the Olympic Games Track Jacket in cotton mesh. Below we show the Olympic Games Cargo Pant, available in white only, with some interesting visual points of interest.

Polo Ralph Lauren Cargo Olympics Pant

And now, another of our favorites, the Olympic Games Bucket Hat, which looks pretty cool, even with the guy on the horse.

Polo Ralph Lauren Bucket Hat Olympics 08

Now we move on to the Ladies apparel, starting with the Womenswear version of the Olympic Games Pony Polo, available in white, or navy as shown.

Polo Ralph Lauren Olympics Women\'s Pony Polo

Polo Ralph Lauren Women\'s Pony Polo for Olympics 08

Similar offerings for women are seen below with the Olympic Games Character Polo,

Polo Polo

Also seen below, the Olympic Games Rings Polo.

Polo Ralph Lauren Olympic Rings PoloPolo Ralph Lauren

And finally, there *is* a tee available in both men and women’s. Here is a look at the ladies version.

Polo Ralph Lauren Tee Shirt Olympics Beijing 08

If you are looking for Children’s Olympic merchandise, it is on its way. (According to the website.) If this is something that is of interest to you, TP recommends checking the Polo website regularly or being in touch with your favorite salesperson at your local Polo store. But you already knew this.

All told, there isn’t anything groundbreaking here, nothing that makes us want to race to the nearest phone, dialing up TSU (The Spousal Unit), shrieking carrying on about our great shopping discoveries. There are some very solid pieces, and a few of the hats display a touch of whimsy. Of course, all of the pieces carry an unmistakable Polo air of preppy confidence and nonchalance. An added element this go-round is a touch of patriotic team spirit on some level The Princess is unable to discern…hhmm.

We can tell you there is more Men’s merchandise in the Collection than Women’s by good measure, even allowing for the four different varieties of hats or caps shown on the Men’s pages. Several of the “cooler” items are also clearly on the Men’s side of the store, in a virtual sense, such as the Slim Custom-Fit US Shield Oxford, and the Olympic Games Cargo Pant. We’re sure there is a rational retailing reason for this we simply aren’t aware of, and we will make every effort to learn what that is.

In other Preppy News…

Just so everyone doesn’t think the only thing going on at the White Elephant on Nantucket is a massage after golf, an update on J. Crew’s youthful Madewell 1937 brand actually came from there last week. In reality, it came in the form of comments from Chief Financial Officer Jim Scully during the huge financial conference held every year at the hotel. Scully said the company will decide sometime before the end of the year whether or not to expand the brand.

Madewell is the brand created by J Crew to appeal to a younger, more trend-driven demo than those shopping their J Crew stores. Below we show a few looks from the Madewell Fall 2008 collection.

Madewell #1Madewell 1937 2008 Fall Peek

Price points on the merchandise are substantially lower than at J Crew, which could make the hipper, edgier stores a more popular shopping spot during an economic downturn. That could also make marketing and merchandising mavens at shops like Gap and American Eagle Outfitters a little nervous; unfortunately, there are currently only eight Madewell stores open, with plans to open two more this year. Additionally the company plans to make the Madewell website operational for online shopping later this summer; that would be a plus as currently it is a very hip, slick and annoying place to be IMHO.

Madewell 1937 #3Madewell 1937 #4

6 Comments

Filed under 2008 Beijing Olympics, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle

The Hose Knows, Thomas Pink Loves the Ladies & More

Good Monday to all…we trust everyone enjoyed a pleasant weekend. Or, are a few others struggling with a touch of that flat, blah feeling…..? We hope not. The Princess openly admits to being afflicted with more than a touch of that syndrome, else this particular post might have been done in less than the current eight nine ten hours (and counting) we have been toiling away at it. That is more or less, with the emphasis most decidedly on more. (Well… surely we weren’t the only people in the western hemisphere who watched Smackdown Torrey Pines are we…? Waaahhh!!)

In an effort to perk things up a bit, there is nice news for a young designer that is also delightful news for those of us loving the lush-but-limited womenswear offerings from Thomas Pink: we’ll be seeing a new collection from designer Richard Nicoll, considered by some to be the “king of the blouse,” an appropriate moniker considering Pink’s rich heritage. The Richard Nicoll for Pink collection will include shirts and blouses as well as skirts and dresses. We share a small sample above; look for the collection at the end of August. Of course, since we are discussing a retailer, and with economic realities being what they are, we feel compelled to advise you of the ongoing SALE at Pink. (Although the offerings are quite limited, as in extremely limited: four polo shirts at last glance, but because sharing *is* caring…you know the rest.)

Now before we talk any more at all about shopping or any other frivolities, here is a troubling topic. And it is one that has The Princess more than a little mystified. It is a sensitive topic and one most certainly influenced by one’s generational status. And… are you sitting down? (You may want to have Nanny take the children outside.) Now we learn that Her Princess-ness is officially a Fashion Criminal. Pourquoi? The Hose Knows. The issue is addressed in a recent article in the Journal:

Yet the transition has highlighted a generational divide. For women who entered the work force before the 1990s, hose were considered as necessary as underwear. But many twentysomethings have never worn panty hose at all.

If you don’t favor reading the entire column, then do scan the memo from the President of a Kansas Credit Union updating that company’s Dress Code to cover this specific issue. And while we don’t favor anyone getting their whiskers in a wad, somewhere in the 8 (yes, can you imagine eight?) pages of intense, provocative, at times extremely emotional comments! Little did we know this one gets the blue blood in the veins to moving, sometimes outright boiling! Oh my!

Coincidentally, FashionJunkie also has a recent column on the topic, much shorter than the Journal story, perhaps a bit pithier.

“In my humble opinion, wearing nude hose – especially during summer months, is one of the worst fashion crimes you can commit.”

It is in the reading of the FashionJunkie column we discovered we had committed a crime; worse, we are probably more like a hardened criminal. We ask only that when they haul us off to prison we be allowed to take this month’s T&C (Town & Country) and Vanity Fair to the clink with us, ‘kay? More importantly, do they have special quarters for Royalty? What about the qaulity of the help?

In lighter news some may recall the Mad for Plaid portion of our post from last Friday; among many lovely items featured in a montage were a stunning Shoshanna Bandeau Bikini Top and plaid Bow Brief. Those fortunate enough to wear Shoshanna swimwear before know tops and bottoms are always sold separately (you can always spot the mind of a Nightingale alum at work – we love this entire line) so the resulting fit is as nature intended: perfect. The links we used connected to ShopBop, an outstanding retailer that The Princess adores. However. We have standards. And when it comes to your pocketbook, well… there are few retailers we double-dare-adore more than Nordstrom, especially when they have those same Shoshanna swim separates at vastly superior price points. Click here if you ‘heart’ the top. (Are we becoming hip, slick and cool with our lingo?)

Shoshanna Madras Top at Nordstrom Shosahanna Bikini Madras Bottom at Nordstrom

And here for the bottom. And here for a link to Nordstrom’s current swimsuit SALE inventory for Women. The markdowns are equally healthy for Men, Young Men, Brass Plum and Children. BTW, have you noticed our new affectation (as if we need more), of using all CAPS when typing the word SALE? How bad is this on the Annoyance-o-Meter? Peaking in the Red Zone, or merely a pest? Okay, next on our hit parade:

J CRew Sale GIF 6/16/08

It now seems every time we manage to navigate the path to our electronic inbox our good friends at J Crew have a new and different SALE offering. So if you still need just a skosh more for the initiation fee at the Club, or you don’t want to take out a second on the third (home-away-from-home, and trust us on this, you do not want to go down this road) here is one more way to save: spend $125 at J Crew and you receive 20% off your order! The ‘offer code’ is PRIVSALE. While neither the email nor the website specifically state this, it would appear this offer is applicable only to online sales as indicated by the presence of the ‘offer code.’ What is clear is that this is a “3 Day Only” sale, thus concluding Wednesday night at midnight by our math. But remember, we spent our career in TV precisely because we did not do math. At least not well. Let that serve as a warning. But don’t let a that offer keep you from enjoying what must be a more public offer:

J Crew Swim Sale June 16, 2008

Actually, J Crew could be moving right up there alongside Brooks Brothers in consistent use of email marketing, come to think about it. And yes, Brooks did send a new offer this week, basically amounting to “Cheap Shoes for All!” TP apologizes for using that hideous word, but other word applies? Hello?

Brooks Bros Week of 6/16

And on this note we conclude the written portion of today’s post. We hope to do better tomorrow. Following are a few visual offerings enhanced by a bit of input from the Buffalo News.

Tim Russert at Luke\'s 1st Birthday

Luke, Tim & Big Russ at Bisons Game

Buffalo News Front Page 6/14/08

From The Buffalo News:

When Russert’s father, Timothy J. Russert Sr., who was immortalized in “Big Russ/Father and Son: Lesson of Life,” learned his famous broadcasting son had died, the 83-year-old retired truck driver broke down in tears. His son’s death came at an especially heartbreaking time — two days before Father’s Day.

He was in the Orchard Park assisted living facility, where his son had helped him to move just a week ago.

“Big Russ knows his son died. He’s crying right now,” said Joseph Passafiume, the son of Jean Passafiume, Big Russ’ companion for three decades.

Mary Matalin, James Carville & Tim Russert

Nov. 26. 2007

Mary, JC & Tim

 Mary Matalin & James Carville

June 15, 2008


4 Comments

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

The Return of Bonwit Teller and Not so Goody’s News

Happy Monday to all…hopefully everyone’s time out of the City this weekend was restorative and rewarding.

A few very brief snippets, at least for this early post. First, the fabulous news about the return of Bonwit Teller. At one time this ranked high on the list of the Princess’s favorite retail emporiums, at least of the large, department store variety. As this vintage ad demonstrates (at least if you can see it, and then use your imagination just a bit), Bonwits was a superb outpost of refined elegance and discreet good taste, traits infrequently experienced in today’s retail culture.

Vintage Bonwit Teller ad for House of Bianchi Wedding Gown

Many of us of ‘a certain age’ fondly (yours truly *most* definitely included) recall the look of this fabled logo, as seen in this instance on an old credit card. That was being auctioned on eBay. (That had all of the identifying information out there for the world to see. We did ask Mister Princess to fuzzy up the individual’s name and address. Honestly.) But we do bring it to you as it is our only method of sharing that brilliant logo. We were always just a bit gaga over the Bonwits shopping bags, they were so very pretty.

Vintage Bonwit Teller Card

At any rate, here’s a bit of info from a story that crossed on the Business Wire a few weeks ago:

“The iconic brand helped launch the careers of notable designers such as Henri Bendel and Calvin Klein, and “Bonwit’s” stores and brand-building efforts featured the work of renowned artists such as Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, Richard Avedon, and Robert Rauschenberg. Bonwit Teller is widely given credit for pioneering the notion of shopping bags-as-advertisements through the use of its “violets” logo, still fondly recalled.

“Bonwit Teller set the standard for the high-end shopping experience for a century,” said Najjar. “I am excited to revitalize Bonwit’s heritage for today’s marketplace. Bonwit once outfitted fashion icons such as Jackie Kennedy and Grace Kelly – the new Bonwit will evoke that sense of glamour, with a modern twist.”

The initial flagship store in New York should be open by the end of next year with another store in Los Angeles opening shortly after that. Whoo-hoo! This is such happy-happy and hubba-hubba news, it’s even better than the Lilly store opening on Madison!

But in not-so-wonderful news, word today that struggling Goody’s Family Clothing, the Nashville-based chain of 300+ stores, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company plans to close 69 ‘underperforming stores’; Georgia and South Carolina will be hardest hit by the closings.

Goody\'s Ashley Judd Banner

Apparently the retailer’s Ashley Judd line may not be doing as well as hoped because of its higher price points. Here is a quick pic of an Ashley Judd Silk Blouse in pink, originally priced at $44 it is now about $31; it is also machine washable silk.

Goody\'s Clothing Ashley Judd Silk BlouseDuck Head Madras shorts at Goody\'s

Goody’s spent $4 million almost 5 years ago to buy the Duck Head trademark, in part because of its high consumer recognition ratings in the southeast. Above we show Duck Head Jeans Co. Patchwork Plaid Madras Shorts for men. The Princess hopes the company is able to pull out of its slump and promises to keep you updated.

A Princess Note: Some information in the Bonwits post provided by Business Wire and WWD.

16 Comments

Filed under preppy

When Preppy Goes Wrong, (How Thom Browne Helps Brooks Brothers Make the Cut)

Oh dear. Oh my goodness. You know, The Princess had concerns upon hearing the news that designer Thom Browne was to be the company’s first Guest Designer for the newly created Black Fleece line at Brooks Brothers. Not to say Mr. Browne is not fully credentialed in his craft, as he most certainly is. Our question was, and remains, is this the sort of attire one associates with the Brooks customer?

In case you missed (there’s a generous use of the word) Mr. Browne’s collection for the 2007 Fall/Winter season, here is a sampling. Most may be found at select brick and mortar stores and at Brooks Brothers online. While TP detests conversations involving the M word, we do feel compelled to venture onto such loathesome ground in an effort to better illustrate the concerns. Many of the Browne Black Fleece items are on sale and significantly discounted. The Men’s Boiled Wool Morning Coat was originally $2900 and may now be acquired for a mere $1450, while the Down Vest is available at $750, half of its original price. Yours for the ordering.

Now to be fair, TP feels compelled to share some of the Women’s line from Mr. Browne, as it held promise. There were several items we wouldn’t be completely ashamed to haul out of the walk-in, as seen below. We don’t know exactly where we would find ourselves adorned in the elegant Cashmere Morning Coat, but we do completely adore the grey Cashmere Coat Dress.

Brooks Brothers Thom Browne Women\'s Cashmere Morning Coat Brooks Brothers Thom Browne Women\'s Coat Dress

It is simply the overall collection that is well… ahhh… well, it is basically hideous when the conservative customer base Brooks hypothetically caters to is taken into the equation. Really. This defines the popular question: What were they thinking? Oh, but perhaps you were harboring hope that the Spring/Summer Collection would be an improvement?

Brooks Brothers Thom Browne Madras Suit

Brooks Brothers Women\'s Linen Dress Broosk Brothers Women\'s Tunic Thom Browne

We can only imagine your haste to purchase the Classic Madras Jacket for the man in your life, and at $1,900 (with matching pants available for an additional $700), how can you go wrong? Yes, quite. The Women’s Cotton Double-Breasted Jacket also has matching pants, and is not quite the disaster the men’s madras is, but we don’t know too many women who shop Brooks who would be comfortable with this sort of suit. However, once again we must be fair: Mr. Browne provides the Women’s Collection with some tasteful additions, such as the lovely Linen Pleated Back dress (although we could find no photos showing the back of the garment), along with the Linen Cropped Sleeve Tunic. But overall, we remain stunned by the sheer level of the debacle the Men’s line represents. Is the Brooks customer, the preppy traditionalist interested in the sort of attire shown in the Browne collections? You be the judge.

2 Comments

Filed under Help Me Understand, preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, When Preppy Goes Wrong