As we head into spring I can’t help but notice the preppy undercurrent of products offered for sale by retailers. The bright colors the stripes and polka dots all remind me of my high school days [pre-hippiedom] The fashions shown at this years “Fashion Week” were innovative to say the least and will inevitably influence the style for this coming fall. That’s the catwalks, not the street wear that Americans favor. The preppy style is innately a part of our culture and we just can’t shake it’s firm hold on Americans taste in clothing.
Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger have never strayed far from their classic American styles and their success proves my point. Fashion is one thing but preppy sells. Banana Republic may send up the Mad Men look [which was country club preppy anyway] but there merchandising is firmly rooted in classic American styles. Women are far more drawn to “fashion” than men, although the young female suburban mom will wear black at night, she favors jeans with a bright top under a quilted vest for shopping at Whole Foods.
Whole Foods Staple
The coastal thirty-something Metro-sexual male will adopt a trendy look readily,but not so for the aging male baby boomers who are seeking their days of the “Beach Boys” and a slimmer waist line [Spanx for men is proof] I have recently made a few purchases from an online retailer Bonobos.com , responding to their pitch of a flattering fit,which at my age is most appealing. I will admit that their apparel is all that it claims to be, I like their products. Browsing their site I was surprised to see how prep they are, were talking plaid, embroidery on corduroy and magenta teamed with nautical woven belts and topsiders, you can’t get preppier than that. Makes me nostalgic, good marketing guys.
Bonobos believe in Color
I think the economy also has something to do with our clothing choices. Good clothing is not cheap, we have become more conservative in our purchasing habits. It’s the “I want to wear this for more than one season” that predominates in dressing rooms all across the U.S. This spring designers have cast off the pastels of every past spring season. Instead we are seeing brights,even red [which rarely appears for spring] Color is a deliberate ploy to encourage sales. The combo of color and a preppy look is a sure-fire winner this spring. I’m not so sure about those magenta pants, I will stick with black or denim bottoms, thank you.