In ALL, PREENING by Stephanie Klein37 Comments

j.crew just vomited all over me.  I can’t help myself; I am such a preppy girl at heart.  It reminds me of sleep away camp, cabins, and guys dressed in layers come evening.  Oars.  It also reminds me of Trading Places, The Flamingo Kid, and Caddyshack. Revenge of The Nerds, too.  Oooh, Dead Poet’s, Oxford Blues, and Mona Lisa Smile.  I always wanted to be one of those girls in the cable knit and pearls.  Someone named Muffy or something.  The ones who somehow were raised on a horse and always have a crop and riding hat on hand.  She has a perfect golf swing, glossy ponytail, and a complete handle on aspic.  I’m too loud to be properly preppy. Besides, I hate playing golf, and when I was eight, I was bucked off a horse.  So now, I stick to warn in dark faded jeans, a tight little cable knit sweater, and a striped long scarf.  A hunter green wool blazer with an upturned collar.  Hot damn I want to go roll around in a pile of fisherman’s sweaters.  There might be nothing hotter in the world than argyle socks.  I need a room.

Favorite purchase: white puffer vest.  Yum.


  1. Got my LL Bean Irish Fisherman sweater on now. A cold wet day in the Pacific NW, and all that I need is this, my levis, wooly socks, and my docks. Got it covered!

    Yeah, for a guy, I totally go for the wool.I do wool most of the year-I play that awful game that you hate, and I have a few lamb's wool sweaters(again Bean, Land's end) that make great on-course coolers. I have my REI ragwools that I cherish(Hiking, Climbing, and Camping up here-necessity!), and of course, the fishermans sweaters. Ah, I could live in this one in particular. I have had 2 GF's borrow it(eventhough it was huge on them, it is warm and even makes a good blanket), and I had a GF of a friend of mine borrow one of my ragwools. She didn't give it back for a few months, and then it smelled like "Obsession". I remember the first time I got it back, it was as though I was meeting an old friend again. But then I smelled it, and don't get me wrong-it was nice(ok, f'ing hot), but it was as though she violated my sweater. Needless to say, she never borrowed it again.

  2. Ah, J. Crew. My formative years of catalog shopping. J. Crew's and Tweeds' were the first catalogs I ever received, back in the late 80s when I was in college. I lived with male roommates, and they soon noticed that every female model had big boobs (a quality I did not possess). I much preferred the Tweeds catalog, mostly for its romantic clothes but also for its gorgeously imaginative names for colors, like Oxblood.

  3. I'll take cashmere over wool any day. Love the whole preppy thing – but it's not something i could wear every day – only occasionally. My fav preppy outfit – monogrammed cream cashmere sweater over a dusty pink monogrammed oxford OVER a cream ralph lauren polo (collar up with a pearl necklace, of course) – yes – that's 3 layers – brushed khakis and the ralph lauren penny loafers with the penny actually tucked into the opening. I would also attempt to wear a head band with this outfit – but they would always give me a headache after 20 minutes, so i rarely wore them.

    Mind you, that outfit is from 7th grade – but damn.

  4. I went golfing the other day in a pink cable knit ralph lauren polo sweater over a beige polo shirt. And there were pearls. I was told that I looked like I was going to Nantucket.

  5. Um, whatever happened to a blue oxford, faded jeans and a corduroy blazer with choco-brown bucs?

    I think women's fashion changes a lot more regularly (and far more frequently) than does mens, and I'm grateful. I've got three "sets" of jeans — one which fits me normally, another that fits me loosely, and another which has an extra 1.5 inches that drags on the floor when I walk. They're all faded blue, more or less, and I just rotate them in or out depending on what my significant other tells me to wear ;)

    I know where my butter is breaded ;)

  6. I'm an Anthropologie girl myself, all their outfits make me think of wandering the foggy moors, or having the neighbor's round for afternoon tea.

  7. I grew up preppy and married a preppy guy. I love his argyle socks, even the ones with the holes. I find myself borrowing from his sweater drawer these day, maternity preppy is hard to find. Thankfully my tweed blazer still fits, shoes, headbands, and pearls always fit. JCrew went through a rough spell, but they're doing preppy much better now.

  8. If you're too loud, then try being J Crew part of the day, and jeans and sneakers girl part of the day. I'm a standup suit and tie guy for 40-50 hours a week, and then I become jeans and sweatshirt guy for the remainder of the week.

  9. oh yeah, went to j.crew last night myself and purchased a great top and fantastic ribbon belt. i'm addicted!

  10. I so miss being my total East coast preppy self in Vermont. i was lusting in Banana Republic and The Limited when i was 10. But, I was told, recently, in a bar in Homer, Alaska that I was too classy to be in a place like that (by a middle aged wanna-be Seattle type), so I must still have it! (I told him, 'gawd i hope so' and finished my Tanqueray and tonic and hoofed it out of there)
    Long live the 4" come snow and 20 below!

  11. Unfortunately, I can't afford to dress the part of my name :)

    This Muffy would love for J.Crew to vomit all over her.

  12. steph. you would love brooks brothers for women. their outerwear is stunning….and their sweaters will make your turtles look extra warm and yummy

  13. I flip through the J Crew catalogue and then go to Target to figure out how to do the looks for cheaper. Does that make me a preppy wanna-be? Oh well.

  14. i believe your love of prep stems from the idea that you are still searching for your identity and learning to be comfortable with that, your culture, ethnicity and other things. and i'm not trying to flame here, or judge, for that matter. just observing. it's one more piece of the stephanie puzzle, that's all.

  15. all my favorite dresses are j.crew….straight from ebay baby. I don't like going into the j.crew store. The blonde muffy's always look at me funny. Maybe it's cause i'm too loud too. And so far from being preppy…

  16. I tend to go through clothing phases – and there was one that definitely involved a lot of J. Crew trips. After I got hips, though, their pants stopped looking good on me (although I do still adore their dresses and skirts). Lately, it's Anthropologie. It makes me feel somewhere between tough and "I'm frolicking in a field of flowers".

  17. No no! Not too preppy. In fact, to me, it’s a sexy Martha Vinyardish look… It gives you that subtle tone of ‘dayummm I’m sexy’—yet in a conservative & classy way. To me, and speaking as a lesbian here, when I see a woman that interests me, this is what I look for…

    Class, eloquence, someone who doesn’t dress too trashy and reveal too much. If she reveals too much, it basically is leaving zilch to the imagination. Women, AS WELL as men love to have things left to their imagination. It’s just more fun that way.

    Big scarves and turtlenecks remind me of a cozy winter with a beautiful woman. Sitting in a cabin with a nice fire and watching the snow fall outside under layers of blankets has to be the best visualization for me… (Among other things of course)

    Anyway, embrace your layers and know that you are truly ‘class’…

  18. I am a prep from WAY back–must have been the monogrammed sweaters mom bought me as soon I was big enough to fit into one and the fact I have word pearl studs almost every day of my life since I was 12. That and my ribbon belt addiction!

    However I started dressing a little sexier for a while, til I recently realized covered up is a little sexier.:) And luckily I live in one of the prepiest cites in American, Boston, so preppy is sexy to a lot of people.

    Today it was jeans, heals, pop collar oxford, tweed jacket and pash around my neck. Pearls on the ears and neck, of course!

    Love the Tweeds catalog reference! Are they even still in biz?

  19. Oh and like people don't talk about themselves in 'blogs'? *chuckles* God forbid we mention one thing about ourselves on a blog.

    Steph—how could you?

  20. This makes me want to go out and have another shopping spree this weekend! I love J Crew and snaps to those to who love Anthropologie also because that is my new obsession. Anthropologie makes me feel really girly and it seems like no one else has anything like it on- at least no one around here. I just recently found the Anthropologie clearance closet thing at my local store and it's a goldmine!!

  21. The U.S. northeast definitely has it over the rest of the country when it comes to fashion. It works, it lasts, and it doesn't go out of style from one year to the next.

    If I could live in the basement of an LL Bean store – extra points for the flagship one in Maine – I would.

  22. U are so much better than J. Crew. In one of my miserably crappy temp jobs, I worked in their design studio for a week + was disgusted at the way they'd look thru Banana Republic + Burberry catalogs + make color copies of things to attach sticky notes that read:make this duller.

    I wont even mention how they pretended Jews, Asians & Latins (and dont even THINK about African-Americans) dont exist. Preppy is pretty, J. Crew is miserably, horribly ugly.

  23. Oh how well I remember the J. Crew catalogue. Linda Evangelista was one of their models and the catalogue was really tall and long – again, like the models. I used to scheme over what I would buy.

    Last year I went into the store and bought a bikini, thinking they were not made for women with breasts – then I realized that I hadn't ordered from them since I was 17 and I didn't really have breasts either…

    Ah, life. I still dream about that navy blue peacoat… was the one that got away.


  24. Good grief, you guys. If you don't like Stephanie's blog, then GO READ SOMETHING ELSE. Why do you find it necessary to cut down someone you've NEVER MET? Your shriveled little hearts must be made entirely of tar.

    There are plenty of other great blogs out there. I suggest you go looking for something that doesn't offend your picky sensibilities and stop being hateful.

    Keep up the great work, Stephanie.

  25. Who is this J. Crew guy? How rude for him to explode all over you. Next time he tries this kind of stunt, you ought to kick him in the bollix. With a very long leg, of course. Perhaps even a prosthesis of some sorts. A pole…even better.

  26. Hey, so…how many times do you think Stephanie has heard some comment or other about her narcissistic blog?


    Let's come up with something a bit more, oh…original.

    Even I'm getting tired of these comments.

  27. Hey, Steph…was looking on Amazon for your book and noticed that one of the titles that comes up (you know, "customers also looked at these books…" was a wedding book! Perhaps you are getting married soon?

  28. I am so feeling what you wrote about the ex-factor–my boyfriend and I were invited to a wedding recently where SHE was invited. I decided not to go (mostly for other reasons), but he did, and I felt all vomity and sick inside until he returned and said that she didn't go. I just couldn't face the possibility of meeting her, seeing the face he loved for 6 years, noticing the little quirks that must have been so endearing… I know he's over her, and I trust him, but I still obsessed over it for weeks beforehand.

    And I like to think of myself as a pretty secure, level-headed person–apparently not!

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