Daily Press (Sunday)

Are preppy clothes back in style?

- Ellen Warren Answer Angel Send your questions, rants, tips, favorite finds — on style, shopping, makeup, fashion and beauty — to answerange­lellen@gmail. com.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Are preppy clothes back in style?

A while ago I walked into Target and the first thing I saw was this giant display of ultra preppy clothes and accessorie­s from a brand that I was unfamiliar with, Rowing Blazers. I’m talking green and blue wide-striped blazers with gold buttons. Plaids, repp stripe ties and sweaters striped in gold and navy. Even toggle coats like I wore back in college.

I felt like I’d stepped into a time machine. What’s up?

—Judy F.

Dear Judy: Short answer to your question: Yes! Preppy style is definitely back big time. Although, really, it never went out of style. Preppy = Classic so I hope you still have your toggle coat.

Your question sent me to the Target website where I determined that there’s virtually nothing still available from Target’s collaborat­ion with Rowing Blazers. Almost sold out. For more of this particular purveyor of preppy style — at prices that would have curled my hair if it weren’t already curly — go to the source.

The original rowingblaz­ers.com sells blazers for $700-$900. As for the preppy resurgence, if you think I’m kidding, here’s the headline from a recent story in the Harvard Gazette: “Call it ‘old money aesthetic’ or ‘coastal grandma’—it all comes back to preppy.” Accompanyi­ng the story was a photo of models on Miu Miu’s runway in polo shirts, plaids and pleated skirts.

If you’re wondering

(as I was) what “coastal grandma” style is, check out the trailer for Diane Keaton’s wardrobe in the 20-year-old movie “Something’s Gotta Give.” It’s a palate of creamy neutrals, sky blue/pink colors, linen, rattan purses, Eileen Fisher, cozy, easy and fresh hydrangeas (preferably blue). And you definitely do not have to be a grandma to wear the style.

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Please, oh please explain to me what is the attraction of these purses I am seeing in fashion blogs and magazines that have a handle (or, sometimes a double handle) but no shoulder strap. Why would anyone carry such a purse that is so inconvenie­nt without a shoulder strap?

—Melissa C.

Dear Melissa: I associate this type of purse or handbag with the stereotype of the “ladies who lunch.” That is, women who have plenty of time to have nice lunches with their well-dressed friends who don’t have to carry around a laptop, a change of shoes, a water bottle and other items that cry out for a purse that you can sling over your shoulder so you have hands free to go carry groceries or hold a toddler’s hand.

But, you are right that

fashion layouts online and in magazines are lately featuring an array of these bags that seem impractica­l. Maybe that’s the point. Several of the most coveted (and expensive) purses are from Hermes and don’t come with shoulder straps. Yet there are waiting lists and buyers are willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for them. I’m referring to the Birkin and Kelly bags. Go figure.

Reader rants

Marnie K. says, “I was disappoint­ed in your response to the woman who prefers bar soap. Your first inclinatio­n was to encourage her to switch to liquid soap. As the reader said, she likes bars because they are easy to use, cheaper and long lasting. But more importantl­y (for me at least), bar soap is way better for the environmen­t! I think we should all be looking for easy ways to cut down on the number of plastic containers we buy.”

Susan C., Sarah N., Chris D., Margaret F., Patricia

M., Mary B. and Bonnie J. shared the same sentiment.

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 ?? JULIEN DE ROSA/GETTY-AFP ?? A model walks on the runway Oct. 3 in Miu Miu during Paris Fashion Week.
JULIEN DE ROSA/GETTY-AFP A model walks on the runway Oct. 3 in Miu Miu during Paris Fashion Week.

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