Sunday, January 22, 2012

For the Modern-Preppy...some sentimental missing of Preppy-Traditions-Past

Calling card image from Wikimedia Commons. Mine... I'd have to hand to you...

For a Modern-Preppy's lifestyle, there remains an almost overwhelming abundance of things, services, experiences, choices and such readily available 24/7 however, there are a few once-cherished elements of the past within traditional preppy lifestyles which this particular preppy does indeed miss including:
Non-tickey-tackey neighborhood Tea Rooms where ladies gathered for serene afternoon repasts.
The beautiful boutique-like stores of Smith and Hawkin, Waverly, Laura Ashley...perusing around them was such a pleasure...
Full-service gas stations where attendants even hand-swept out your car's floor mats.
Elevator attendants in department stores who wore uniforms and seemed so serious.
Wearing short white gloves and pretty hats to church every Sunday, not just at Easter.
Men wearing sharp hats with their suits and many sporting bow ties during the day too.
Being handed other people's calling cards... I still make use of mine which is such fun when people think you're handing them your business card instead.
People answering their house phone with, "This is the ____ (insert last name) residence, ____ (first name) speaking..."
Personal bookplates pasted inside the front covers of books friends passed around to share.
Using dumb-waiters, laundry chutes and actual bell pulls in one's house.
Putting charges "on account" by simply saying-so at the yacht club, city club, country club when one could easily do so as a really young child without being questioned at all by the staff.
Long, deep and hot-water-heat-holding bath tubs in expansive, small-tiled bathrooms.
The smell of pipes being smoked, where and when did that go away?
Those wooden-sided station wagons; gosh we had ours for so many years.
Actual letters and cards received in the mail, some with sealing wax stamps on the back.
And so forth n' so on. It's fun to think back to what once-was in appreciation of what it was to experience within a lifetime even if not for a complete lifetime. So much more of this kinda' stuff to list here but now tonight's insomnia is ebbing so, time to post this and head off to slumber.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Preppy's Winter-into-Spring Guide

Placing a bit of Spring within Winter days... Pretty and Preppy-practical
(painting: Girl Arranging Flowers by W.M.Paxton - Brooklyn Museum)

This time of year right after the New Year, it seems that Southern Preppies most especially get hints of Spring within our winter days which tease us just as (no doubt) we'll yet still be experiencing actual winterish weather with cold rainy and windy days remaining ahead of us.

There ARE ways however to put a little Spring into our Winter days while not freezing oneself: less wearing Sperry Topsider flipflop sandals and more layering with pastel-hued pashminas.

The following list is an idea-guide for us all to utilize as desired when so... desiring... Spring:

  • Layer with a pashmina shawl/scarf in a rose, lavender, celadon green, ivory hue

  • For the gentlemen, wear a pastel-hued dress shirt or tie underneath suits, sports coats

  • Pot an Orchid or Spring bulbs into a white ceramic or porcelain cache pot

  • Tie a piece of silky pastel-colored ribbon onto your pearl strand and/or pearl bracelet

  • Put a white or ivory lightweight spread or throw folded at the end of the bed

  • Enjoy candle scents like rose, freesia, hyacinth, lilly of the valley, peony and such

  • Likewise, enjoy these scents in body lotions, perfume and long leisurely bubble baths

  • Get thyself to a warm and tropical island destination asap or...

  • Get to a local Day Spa or create a spa in your bathroom with indulgent tropical products

  • Peruse through picturesque garden books and tropical travel destination/lifestyle books

  • Plan your garden, pottager garden, potted plantscape

  • Perch small pots of herbs on your kitchen windowsills or plant some of these from seed

  • Keep flowers abundant within the house but group in baskets, simple clear glass vases

  • Listen to the lightness of Japanese Flute music cds

  • Watch the film Enchanted April to vicariously get-away from winter's chill through it

  • Organize your boating, golf, tennis, fly fishing etc equipment for warmer months ahead

  • Go ahead, get that shorter haircut then wear chandelier earrings n' wrapped scarves with it

  • Switch much of a basic black or dark navy wardrobe over to using more light gray pieces

  • Wear a little sparkle but keep it light and airy as opposed to past holiday season's big-bling

  • Lighten occasional meals to being large salads, omelettes, cheese-cracker-berries trays

  • Add-in citrus fruit pieces, mint sprigs, cucumber slices to your usual fridge water pitcher

  • Occasionally replace red wine paired with an entree' for a fruity white wine with dessert

  • Switch needlepoint to petit point, oils to watercolors, pottery to jewelry-making for awhile

  • A little bit of bright or buttery yellow added in an outfit, room, atmosphere goes a long way

  • De-clutter, streamline and reorganize areas to further create light/air/space around you

There's so many festive-fun ways we can bring a "Springy-step" into our new year journeying without totally disregarding winter for what it is and its own aspects of delight.

Have fun with this list and post-over some of your own ideas as well if you'd like......... Best, L.

New Year's Eve outing... enjoying some old family-roots at turning of a new year

Posing at my great-great-great-great-great-aunt's portrait...then...

...later visiting her grave. Family history fun on New Year's Eve day!

This New Year's Eve celebrating, James and I decided to "go out" for a celebratory lunch on what was a very pretty day here in Savannah and then spend the evening-in instead of our usual out and about glavanting at parties n' such before the ball drops at midnight.

I really enjoyed this more laid-back holiday for us and was pleasantly-surprised when our lunch out consisted of going to an historic house turned into a restaurant for a delightful meal and.... sitting in the upstair's dining room within which one of my ancestor's portraits is featured over the mantle.

E is my great-great-great-great-great-aunt. I'm directly descended from one of her brothers and the reason why her portrait is in this restaurant is because she was the regal mistress of this house after it was built for her by her husband back in the late 1700's on land-grant property he had in-town. Its current use as an elegant restaurant is such a pleasure to see and experience.

It was fun to pose by E's portrait and then head over to the Colonial Cemetary to visit again her graveside. My family on both sides is so fortunate to have ancestors, and immediate family, eternally resting in such beautiful spots as the Colonial Cemetary and Bonaventure Cemetary.

So a New Year's turning which encompases old family-history? "So-Savannah" isn't it?! ;)

Preppy Inspiration from... The Royal Tenebaums

Preppy style-inspirations can come from films like The Royal Tenenbaums And create lifestyle-stylized-collages on style blogger's websites

But one little Preppy was a' wearing some of this long before the fim

and is tickled to see her childhood style featured in such a great film!

(Above images are credited: movieimagesources .com; polyvore .com; my late mother's camera; Film Comment magazine)

Old-School Preppy Fashion Inspiration:

Margo's "Preppy-Pathos" fashion styling in the film The Royal Tenenbaums is an odd inspiration perhaps for this new year but I find myself craving the wearing-of Lacoste' polo tops and knit dresses, cutting my blond hair back into a bob and rustling around the makeup drawer in my bedroom's vanity table for some black eyeliner. I'd switch the old fur coat for a well-worn trench coat with this being the warmer South and me not being a fur-wearer though I have inherited a few coats n' stoles from my mother and grandmothers. I'm also not a smoker nor depressed but I hope to keep on losing a few pounds and be sporting a leaner profile like the character Margo's (aka a pre-GOOP Gwyneth Paltrow)with now being-back to eating healthy half-portions post a very festive, and festive-foods-everywhere, holiday season.

This is one of my all-time favorite movies and it's on television this afternoon as I wait to watch some football playoffs.....

To me, this film is kind of like, "Faulkner goes to Manhattan and finds some Southern Gothic-ness up there to write about."

The striking settings indoors n' out, satirical atmosphere, snippets of Preppy-childhood elements, generous dollops of eccentricity amid layered family-dynamics and subtleties of sophistication amid the ruins and then rebirth of this cast of true-characters keeps me re watching this movie and continually enjoying it.

Hmmm.... time to search for eyeliner at least before the next football game commences.......

Happy New Year everyone and Happy Preppy Inspiration wherever we all find it!