Return of the Preppy


May 16, 2004|By Maria Blackburn | Maria Blackburn,Special to the Sun

The kid was about 19. His brown hair was shaggy but clean. His jeans were fashionably worn. But the biggest surprise by far was his polo shirt -- it was pink and Izod. And he was wearing the short-sleeved shirt over a long-sleeved white T-shirt with the polo collar turned up. He looked as cool as Tom Cruise in Risky Business, as perky as Muffy Tepperman in Square Pegs.

Preppy was tres cool in the '80s, and it's returned with a vengeance this spring. Preteens are wearing webbed grosgrain belts with their micro-minis. Bermuda bags are back in earnest. And Lilly Pulitzer has been anointed Queen of the Beach yet again this summer.

The layered look can be for men or women, boys or girls -- it's not fussy. And it works with any combo of T-shirts and polo shirts alike. As for pairings, whether you go light over dark or dark over light, that doesn't matter either. It's just nice to have a little extra color wherever you can find it.

Izod polos for men and women are available at Hecht's and JC Penney stores.

Pregnant and pretty

Kiss the smock tops and the tent dresses goodbye. Liz Lange knows how to make maternity clothes that make a mother-to-be look pretty and sexy, not dour and dumpy. Her spring line includes all sorts of fashions you might expect to see on any woman -- pregnant or not -- this spring. There's pink ranging in shades from persimmon to petal. She's got sheath dresses with matching jackets for work, and halter dresses with deep V-necks for going out on the town.

One of our favorite items from the line is the yellow-print stretch silk Christina dress. It goes to the knee, has a lovely flutter skirt and looks as pretty as a daisy. It costs $275 at Liz Lange boutiques, via catalog (888-616-5777) and at www.

Two sensational eyes

To: You

From: Style File

Re: Your spring makeup

With such bold pinks and yellows in the stores, it's only natural you'd want a little color for your face, too. The look this spring is big, bold eyes balanced with a peach or light pink blush and super shiny pale lips. Fake eyelashes? Go for it. Blue eye shadow? Bring it on.

Just balance out what Sephora makeup artist Mally Roncal calls "the blooming eye" with a soft face that looks natural. It's a runway look that looks great at home.

Carried away with the stuff of summer

Go to beach. (Bring sunscreen.) Go home.

Go to cookout. (Bring chips.) Go home.

Go to pool. (Bring towel.) Go home.

Is it just us, or does summer involve a whole other level of going places and bringing stuff than winter does? Whatever the case, get your summer life organized with a host of canvas tote bags in all shapes and sizes. Leave one packed and ready for the beach. Leave another in the car with your "to do" list in it so that you can carry all of your treasures in at the end of the day. Leave one upstairs for stuff, and one downstairs for more stuff.

We like simple, sturdy bags that won't let us down. Lands End bags are attractive, durable and last for years. Really.

Tote bags from Lands End start at $15. Call 800-963-4816 or go to

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