Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thursday at Tiffany's

Have you seen Tiffany & Co's official YouTube channel? You should! Check it out here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Well, I Never!" Wednesday

Don't you love the classic Southern phrase...."Well, I never!"?  I do....It's one of my favorites.  As a matter of fact, I think it should replace the more common (and I mean "common" as in "vulgar" as well as in "used constantly") WTF?   I think I will start referring to WIN and see if it catches on!!

Having said all that, I think it might be more appropriate to title this post "What Were They Thinking?" Wednesday.  I would like to say I was shocked (but I wasn't) and appalled (definitely was!) on hearing about the push-up bikini top that Abercrombie and Fitch was marketing to little girls.  I don't mean small boned teenagers, either.  We are talking seven year olds here!!

You can see a Today Show segment about it by clicking here.

Picture from Abercrombie and Fitch website

Swimsuits for little girls should be simple, sweet and age appropriate.  What has the world come to when babies and toddlers are being dressed like strippers?  (If you watch any of those "beauty pageants for children" tv shows, you know what I mean!)

Of course, I am, as always, a throwback to tradition.  Miss Betty bought me some cute bathing suits when I was a little one.  I lived the first couple of years of my life in Virginia Beach, and the rest of my growing up days in Delray Beach, Florida, and living at the beach meant being in a swimsuit more often than not.  One of the cutest suits was a darling little thing from Bergdorf Goodman's.  Miss Betty saved it with many of my other baby clothes...and 33 years later, my own daughter wore it... and it was just as cute.  She received so many compliments, and Miss Betty (and I) really enjoyed seeing her in it!  It is packed away safely, in case I ever have a granddaughter who might like to wear it! (Unfortunately even the cutest suits today have so much elastic and other materials that don't wear well, and it's hard to save much.)

 The Cavalier Beach Club, Virginia Beach, Virginia 1960

Litchfield Beach, South Carolina, 1993

Looking at all these swimsuit pictures makes me think I better go hit the treadmill! But before I go, check out some cute and more appropriate options from Lilly Pulitzer.

Photos from

See you tomorrow!!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tulips for Tuesday

I love tulips!  Of course, I didn't really grow up with them, as I was a South Florida girl surrounded by gardenias, orchids, and hibiscus, but once I got "up north" to the deep South, I soon grew to love them.....and they are the first sign of real spring to me...

Dear Husband and I were married on a beautiful spring day in April, and at our Wedding Breakfast (luncheon reception) there were tulips galore!

When we had a Colonial Revival house on Monument Avenue, I had the backyard landscaped as a formal English garden (thank goodness the house was built on three lots, so we had room), and Miss Betty and I designed it so the center, with an amazing armillary in the middle, was surrounded by four beautiful parterres.  There I could have tulips and other appropriate plantings.  Our current house is French Provincial. Its landscape plan is very different and I really haven't found a place for tulips in the garden..but hey!..they're at the florist, so I can still have them in the house!

All the tulip photographs in this post are from the Netherlands.  My dear cousin, Christine, sent them to me last week, and they made my day...which was full of rain and hail... more springlike!  Enjoy!!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Miss Betty Monday: Traveling In Style

One of the most visible blog changes for this second year is the background.  Originally it was the view from an airplane window...but that was just too busy for the page.  So it's simpler now....just great vintage luggage and a white background.  I hope you like it!

Travel has always been a big part of my life.  I started flying from here to there in infancy,  and Miss Betty traveled from being a young woman until practically the day she died.  The last couple of decades were challenging for her, though....Not because of any physical limitations..... She just couldn't understand...nor would she accept... the cultural change of travel attire! 

You see, Miss Betty dressed. Always. No matter what.  No matter where.  She got that from her mother, I think......and even her earliest pictures attest to that fact. I think she was so well known for it that she was actually asked to model for a South Carolina department store in an ad highlighting "Back to College" travel attire. Here are the cover photos and a scan of part of a huge ad that was in the Greenville, SC newspaper!

Miss Betty held fast to her standards of proper  travel attire and accessories throughout the years.  I still have her gorgeous matched set of leather luggage, and it's on my to-do list to have it restored and use it.  Her main mode of transport was the jet airplane (and the propeller version before that), and we (my brother and I) were dressed to fly as well.  (My dad was always in a jacket and tie, so Miss Betty never had to worry about him.)

Miss Betty also liked train travel.....At least train travel as it existed from the 1930's to the 1960's.  She used to tell me about all of her wonderful train trips back and forth to New York in the 1940's, when she was a young woman and moved from South Carolina to Manhattan.  That's when train travel was an art.  Porters, smoking cars, dining cars, and beautiful service.  That exists today on the Orient Express, I suppose, but not elsewhere.  (Amtrak keeps trying....bless their hearts!)

She liked traveling by ship as well, although she was a "crosser" more than a "cruiser." I have material for an unlimited number of posts about her 1952 crossing on the original Queen Elizabeth.  Also, in the first class section on that trip were the writer, Agatha Christie, the actor, Joseph Cotten, and several other interesting sorts, many of whom are mentioned in the journal she kept (along with her sister and traveling companion, Frances).

Miss Betty is the blonde on the left, and her sister, Frances, is the blonde on the right.  
They were traveling with their aunt and uncle.

It's a different day and age now.  Last year on an early morning flight to Atlanta, I swear I saw people traveling in what appeared to be pajamas!!!

What do you wear to travel?  I try to choose things that are chic, classic, and comfortable....especially comfortable, because one must practically "undress" at security.

Do you have any hints for our readers?  Do tell!

PS.  For newer readers, Miss Betty was my mother, and quite a character, to boot!  More Miss Betty stories can be found here ("Growing Up Lillified"), here ("Classic Preppy and Miss Betty") and here ("Weddings and Anniversaries/Curtsy to the Queen").

Images not from my personal collection are from Google images.  If I have used anything improperly, please let me know!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Special Edition

Nothing out of the ordinary to report, but wanted to say again that I was working on some blog changes that I hope will be fun and informative.  Each day of the week may (or may not) have a theme, and we will be focusing even more on making the traditional fun....bringing the past into the present and positioning ourselves for the future.  I really mean it when I say that being a Classic Preppy means living a life of ease and elegance (with a big shot of tradition and fun).  Ease and elegance have nothing to do with money or living spaces, either.  One of the most elegant people I know lives in a small, modest house, but when you step inside, you are transported to a different world.  Her world.  Her life. Her history. Her contagious enthusiasm.  Living life to its fullest, but living simply is what being "classic" is all about.

Possible themes you might see in the coming months....
-Marvelous Monday, Monday at the Movies, Miss Betty Monday, Monday Menus, Marvelous Manners Monday
-Tuesday Tips, Tradtional Tuesday, "Think Pink" Tuesday, Tuesday (House) Tour
-Wonderful Wednesday, Wednesday Wishes, (and my personal favorite) "Well, I Never!" Wednesday
-Thursday at Tiffany's, Thirsty Thursday, Thoroughly Modern Thursday
-Friday Finds, Fabulous Friday, Friday Fun

Again, thanks for visiting The Classic Preppy...See you tomorrow!


(Picture above from Google

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday Safari

I don't usually post on the weekend, but I just had to share this recently received picture from Ralph Lauren.  Don't you just love their new leather Safari Camp Chair?  I do!  Reminds me of the old days of safari outfitting, when Abercrombie and Fitch was the epitome of elegance and was the place to go to buy a pith helmet or a beautifully constructed tent.  (One thing that Miss Betty threw away when she sold our Florida house was my dad's pith helmet.  Oh, how I wish I still had it!!)  These days, there are places like J.L. Powell, which can outfit you nicely.....

The days of elegant outdoor travel and living are dwindling down to a lingering few, but they still exist.  Come on this beautiful virtual "vintage safari" with me today! (Video from Vintage Safari's YouTube channel.  I don't know anything about this company, and this is not a recommendation....but their trips look fascinating!)

Watch for another special edition post tomorrow....when I will explain some of the changes in themes/posts that are upcoming!

Have a great weekend....


Friday, March 25, 2011

Birthday Abbracci

Dear Readers,

I have been thinking about you all day today....and before I call it a day, I want to say once again what a joy this year has been for me!  I can't wait to get started on the next year of The Classic Preppy!

This video is for you!

The Classic Preppy Is A Year Old!

One year ago today was the start of it all.....and how much fun this year has been!  We have just passed the 250 posts mark and there have been thousands of visits to the blog.  Although I have done some smaller blogs on and off since 2007, this is my first public one, and it has been a great experience.  Thank you all for visiting with me!  I am celebrating this milestone with a new blog design and some new ideas for daily themes and posts.  Check back on Monday to see what's up!

In the meantime, I thought if this was good enough for the Queen Mum on her 100th, it certainly was good enough to celebrate The Classic Preppy's big day!

Have a great weekend....and check back tomorrow and Sunday for special weekend posts!!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday Treat : J'Adore Hermes

I love, love, LOVE Hermes!!  You may remember my tweeting about one of my trips to see friends in Florida, arriving only to find this amazing Hermes scarf waiting for me in the guest room, with a lovely "welcome home" note propped up against the iconic orange bag....

I went back to Florida a couple of weeks ago, and you better believe I was wearing my precious scarf!

I may not be one of the world's largest Hermes collectors, but I am one of their biggest fans. I am blessed to have some scarves, a scarf ring and a belt with a beautiful buckle.....and 24 Faubourg is my signature scent. More importantly, I have unlimited respect for the workmanship that goes into each and every one of their designs.  Those of you who love Hermes scarves might enjoy this video from their YouTube channel showing how the "hand-rolled hems" are actually done....


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wednesday Words

There are lots of words on preppiness in the April issue of one of my favorite subscriptions.... Virginia Living Magazine.  This is a great magazine, always full of interesting articles and fascinating people. Although you cannot read the article online (unless you subscribe to the magazine), you can see pictures from the photo shoot. Check it out here!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tuesday Tip: Online Organization

Photos courtesy

As I told you yesterday, there has been a lot of website "decluttering and organizing" here at The Classic Preppy.  There's been some of that going on in my house and in my life as well, and I will be sharing my successes (and challenges) in the weeks to come....

Today I want to share with you a website I found not too long ago and with which I am totally in love!  I have been looking long and hard for someone/something that will help me get on top of my clutter and chaos.  It doesn't rule my life, but it is definitely creeping into parts of it, and causing me some stress.  I have tried various other sites and services, and they have helped a little, but I just didn't completely "click" with the program.  (I guess it's like a diet....different programs work for different people.)  The reason I am writing about this today is that is having an online webinar tonight (9pm EDT) for their members and it looks like it is going to be amazing.  One of Clutter Diet's many outstanding features is that it lets you try it out for very little money...and then, if you decide to stay with it (like I have), the monthly cost is less than ordering a pizza!  (Which we do way too much of around here, because I am not always organized enough to cook dinner and do a million other things...)

Clutter Diet's founder, Lorie Marrero, is also a spokesperson for one of my favorite charities, Goodwill. Have you seen their awesome online donation calculator?  Love, love, LOVE Goodwill!!!

Ok, Preps.....We all like clothes, and we all have closet issues.....Check this out!

I am not sure exactly what it is about Lorie and her program that works so well for me....I like the FlyLady and others like her, too....but Lorie and her website really speak to me. Love her YouTube channel!  The Clutter Diet site is graphically clean/well-organized/friendly, and her topics hit right at the heart of where I need help!  The professional help and advice you get costs a lot when you hire a professional to come to your house.  Check it out yourself by clicking on the link in the side bar....I never thought about officially recommending something from my blog before, or associating it with another group, but is worth "spreading the word" about!

Don't forget their special online webinar tonight! It's a chance to talk, ask questions, observe, whatever you like.  I will be participating...Just look for "ClassicPreppy!" (Again, it is for members only, so you would have to sign up for the monthly $4.95 intro fee.)


Monday, March 21, 2011

Blog Changes and Birthday Celebrations

Hi!  This week you will start noticing some changes on the blog.....and as for birthdays, this Friday is the one year anniversary mark for!  (Earlier this month, I had my own birthday, but we won't mention that number!)  I can't believe it's been a whole year since I started The Classic Preppy, and I am so excited about the future as well.....There are changes afoot!!

The first change is the design of the blog.  I am doing some decluttering and reorganzing, and what you are seeing now is almost final.  The background is the view out of an airplane window (more about that next Monday, when we return to "Miss Betty"), and the template is almost set, with just a few more additions to come.

The second change will be how each day's theme is presented....more decluttering and reorganizing! "It's a good thing!"   Final decisions are being made about that, and there are some new topics as well as some "vintage" things I want to cover, so be ready for some fun new posts....

Finally, I have run across some great new blogs/websites that I want to share with you, so look for more of that, starting tomorrow!!!  Everything else should be up and going on Friday.


UPDATE:  The Bloggers Day of Silence raised over $54,000 for Japan.....and the goal was $5,000.  Thank you all for your generosity!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Friday: Blog Day of Silence

This is for tomorrow.....but I think it's a great way for the blogosphere to get involved.  Please click on the link to learn about this project!

Thanks and blessings,
The Classic Preppy

Tiffany & Co. Thursday : The Amazing Donald Claflin...

A name that resonates in the design halls of Tiffany & Co. is that of the great Donald Claflin.  Donald had a style quite his own, and like the amazing Jean Schlumberger, his pieces of jewelery were works of art! He designed for Tiffany & Co. in the 60's and 70's.

A lady I knew in Atlanta had an incredible Donald Claflin pin called The Winter Mask.  I wish I had a picture of it, as it was absolutely stunning, but alas, I don't.  Just take my word for it...It would stop you in your tracks!

Here are some pictures of just a few of his jewelery designs....

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wonderful Wednesday

It's a wonderful day, indeed, when the mailman brings you this, just as you are planning your trip to the Williamsburg Outlet stores!

Love, love, LOVE the Ralph Lauren Polo stores.  Of course, having Younger and Older Daughter with me means that the shopping is more for them than their mother, but that's fun, too!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday Thought: Life Is Like Coffee

"Do you know people that just seem to be happier in general? Do you say to yourself, "I want to be more like them"? Often, the happiest people in the world don’t have the best of everything...they just make the best of everything!"

Life is like Coffee Movie

Monday, March 14, 2011

Miss Betty Monday: Blessings

Miss Betty was a big believer in blessings....and miracles!  A few weeks ago one of our dear friends introduced me to a book by Gary Smalley called The Blessing, and I have to tell you, it is one of the finest things I have ever read.  I downloaded it through Kindle and had great reading for Spring Break....

Today, a dear cousin sent me an email link to An Irish Blessing by Roma Downey.  My cup overfloweth with blessings!  Wanted to share that with you all today....Just click on the link below (and make sure your volume is up)!

An Irish Blessing

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Home Again....And Obsessed

Totally and completely obsessed (once again) with Les Miserables....Have you seen the 25th Anniversary Concert on PBS? I don't want to spoil too much for you if you haven't, but (SPOLIER ALERT!) as an encore, members of the original cast take the stage and sing. One of the highlights (if not THE highlight) of that, is the original Jean Valjean (Colm Wilkinson) singing Bring Him Home with three other Valjeans. Wow!!

Here is Colm, singing Bring Him Home at the 10th Anniversary Concert.....Very much like his original powerful!

And, the finale!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Checking In From Paradise

Wasn't planning on blogging from vacation, but received several emails this morning telling me that my blog and I were featured in the Palm Beach column of the New York Social Diary this morning! What an honor.......just had to share it! (Mr. Mayhew has long been one of my favorite writers, so it is a double honor!!)


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Classic Preppy

Don't you love this picture of Lauren Bacall, from this month's issue of Vanity Fair?  I do!!   Looks like pink and green was a hit in 1955, too...

Younger Daughter and I are headed to Preppy Paradise tomorrow through I will be away from the blog, but will be Twittering away!!  Come on along and join us....and bring your suit!  The pool looks great.....

See you soon!


Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Find: Elegance In Design (And The Royal Wedding)

All one has to do is look through a Tiffany & Co. catalogue (present or past) to see the importance of simplicity and elegance in design.  Many other companies specialize in elegant design as well.....but many don't!

I have been reading a lot about the souvenirs that are being produced for the royal wedding, and I must say that few of them pass the elegance test in my opinion.   There is at least one exception to this, however, and today is a very special day in that regard!

Halcyon Days enamel boxes ("Battersea boxes") were always one of my favorite things at Tiffany's.  We had special designs the company produced for us and they continue to this very day, even producing a special line for the noted designer (and Richmond, Virginia native!!) Charlotte Moss and her company.

When I was on Ms. Moss' website not to long ago, I was taken to the Halcyon Days site, and saw the enamel box they had created for the royal engagement.  

Today....March a very special day for the company, too, as it is the day they launch their official souvenirs of the wedding..... CLICK HERE to see the collection!

One of the many dear little things I inherited from Miss Betty was this sweet little crystal vase....

It is simple and elegant in design......and if you look very closely, you can see it is etched in honor of the 1981 wedding of Prince William's parents.

Again....simple and elegant. (And very dear to Miss Betty (and me), because I believe it was given to her by her dear friend, Aileen, who hails from Scotland.)

Simple.  Elegant.  There's no other way to go, if you want to be a "classic preppy!"