Preppy is back! Three (very respectful, understated) cheers.

LL Bean SignaturePreppy is back, mamas, if you haven’t noticed.

My once and future idol, Lisa Birnbach of Preppy Handbook fame, is out promoting her follow-up book True Prep; loafers are everywhere; and Kanye West is influencing a whole new generation to choose blazers and suspenders over boxers and butt cracks.

In other words, it’s Katherine Hepburn’s world again, and we’re just living in it.

So I was thrilled to learn that the new LL Bean Signature shop is our newest sponsor (thanks for the support, guys!), because I looooove what they’re doing in their women’s line, thanks to creative director Alex Carleton. Like putting madras onto a wool bucket hat. Updating the shirtdress. And making the signature double-breasted trench coat more fitted and flattering, with a 3/4 length that’s a postpartum mama’s friend.

It’s a whole new wave of prep that’s come a long way from whale belts and ironically flipped collars and I’m liking it. Here are just a few items I caught on the site that I think are awesome.

LL Bean Signature shirt dress
could get so much use out of this black shirt dress in an easy,
sandwashed silk. Pair with loafers for PTA meetings, or high black boots
for the office.

LL Bean Signature boots
And there are those black boots right now, with just the right heel
height for me. Are they fabulous? Yes. Or as Mainers say, ayuh.

LL Bean Signature nubuck bag

is the time to put away the canvas, and swap out for one of these
casually chic Nubuck totes. Stash your essentials, the kids’ board
books, or even a small laptop for you working moms–which I doubt is
something Leon Bean could have conceived way back when.

LL Bean Signature trench coat
you’re going to invest in a trench, I think the 3/4 length is
flattering on everyone and camel is classic. This is a style you’ll wear
for years, and probably pass down to your kids. (How very prep.)

LL Bean Signature Madras Hat
Just say goodbye to baseball hats forever: This check wool hat is so fabulous,
whether you’re in Greenwich or Oakland. In fact, I bet all the fancy
city ladies will be sporting some version of this come fall.

LL Bean Signature stretch cord skirt
is very forgiving if it’s tailored well. This stretch cord pencil skirt
is adorable and I kind of love how a leather jacket gets softened by a
turtleneck and minimal jewelry.

LL Bean Signature Moc Wedge
to me may be the coolest item of all at LL Bean Signature–a moccasin
reinterpreted as a wedge. If it’s comfy, I would probably get as much
use out of that as my black boots and that’s saying something.

Now all I need is the summer home on Nantucket and a purebred Irish Setter named Winston. –Liz

LL Bean SignatureSpecial offer: Now for a limited time at LL Bean Signature, get free shipping on all orders with no minimum. Canada too!

We are so delighted to be working with our sponsor, LL Bean Signature. The content here is our own. We wish all the clothes were too.


Liz Gumbinner is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Cool Mom Picks network. This makes her very happy.


  • Reply September 14, 2010

    Isabel @AlphaMom

    The line really is classically stylish. Nice finds too.

    LOVE the madras hat.

  • Reply September 14, 2010


    I couldn’t be happier that preppy is back. Enough with sloppy dress. I can’t wait to buy my husband a Polo!

  • Reply September 14, 2010


    I grew up 20 minutes from the original LL Bean and the Signature line is a big step. I am ecstatic that preppy is back!

  • Reply September 14, 2010


    I’m so happy LL Bean is bringing preppy back.

    And thank you for letting me know about the new book… I think I have my parents’ original copy!!! Both the preppy look + preppy handback will never go out of style!

  • Reply September 15, 2010

    Plus Size GLiTZ

    We love the preppy look and a new wave of preppy is definitely good news. Love the boots, hat, tote, and trench, but not too sure about the reinvented wedge moccasin. hmmmm

  • Reply September 15, 2010


    I love the cord skirt and leather jacket ensemble. Have to laugh about the wedge mocs though – sooooo ’70s. I clearly remember them on women around me when I was a kid.

  • Reply September 15, 2010


    In our family preppy has never left. Growing up on Long Island in the 80’s embeds it into your DNA. Now if I can just get over that allergy to plaid…

  • Reply September 16, 2010

    Jennifer James

    Love all of this!

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