Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Website of the week
Sometimes I come across an incredible website that, in my relentless pursuit of shopping, I haven't seen before. One such website is the San Diego-based Go Clothing. Sure, they have the old standbys like C&C California, Citizens of Humanity, and Ella Moss, but they also carry harder-to-find labels like McGinn, Duarte, and Horn. And even with the familiar brands, they have a lot of merchandise that I've never seen before: for example, this Foley & Corrina reversible harlow top. You can browse by designer or by item of clothing (be advised, however, that the latter method takes a long time to load, as everything is on one page), and in addition to women's clothing and accessories, they also have stuff for men, kids, and the home. Some of my favorites: I can't begin to describe how cool this green belted Franny leather jacket is; this Maggie Barry tube top would go great with jeans or under a suit; these Horn preppy jeans have a very lean, flattering silhouette; hey, look--a dress named after me! (well, not really...); this Szulika dress looks comfy, but it's hot enough for a night on the town; and I think this Sabrina top by Zola is just plain pretty. Amusingly, you can also find Pamela Anderson's clothing line here. Now, if that doesn't say "website with a sense of humor," I don't know what does.
Daily digest
WWD: Couture fabric house Schlaepfer celebrates 100 years; Midwesterners like color; and Christian Audigier leaves Von Dutch.

NYT: Cathy Horyn sings the praises of tweed; the umpteenth article on how women's feet suffer for fashion; and the scoop on P.Diddy's new Sean John store on Fifth Avenue.

The Daily: The virtues of Sacco shoes; and J.Lo's kickass bag.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Daily digest
WWD: Victoria's Secret has enlisted Chantal Thomass to design a high-end lingerie line; Bergdorf's launches a new website today; and the top 10 beauty websites.

NYT: Yesterday was the debut of the new monthly T magazine supplement. It's pretty damn fantastic--read it all.

NYP: Lest you should forget it's tax-free shopping week, the Post has shoes and bags, clothes, tips, and East Village finds, all of which fall in the under-$110 range.

The Daily: In the official weirdest news of the day, Imitation of Christ designer Tara Subkoff will create a line of shoes for Easy Spirit; a red carpet report from the VMAs; the Bush twins like Rebecca Taylor; and The Daily finally jumps on the Stila Palette bandwagon (2nd item).

Elle.com: A color-coded shopping guide; pretty (and pretty pricey) bling; and a super-powered hydrator for your skin.

Daily Candy: GC William's new West Side store.
The week in (tax-free) shopping
Sale of the week: Nothing warrants special attention as much as the fact that it's tax-free shopping week--so, basically, you save 8.625% on everything you buy (clothing, shoes, accessories) under $110. Whee!

Hip boutique Suzette Sundae is taking 15% off everything at their "Bag Bush" sale. Through 9/2; noon-8, 1-7 Sun., closed Mon.; 182 Ave. B (at 11th St.).

Dune's ultramodern furniture is up to 70% off (think high three figures). 9/2-9/10; 11-7, 11-5 Fri., 11-6 Sat., closed Sun.; 88 Franklin St.

Minimalist Yumi Katsura bridal gowns are $300-$3,000 (were $2,700-$20,000--yikes!) at this sale. 9/1-10/15; 11-6, 10-5 Sat., closed Sun. & Mon.; 907 Madison Ave. (at 72nd St.).

Designer eyewear from Modo, Christian Dior, LA Eyeworks, and others is up to 80% off at James Leonard Opticians. 9/1-9/30; 10-7 Mon., Wed., Fri., 10-8 Tues. & Thurs., 10-6 Sat.; 1010 2nd Ave. (at 53rd St.).

Get 20% off select pre-fall shoes and handbags at Hollywould. 198 Elizabeth St.

Get a free crystal (clear) "the gloss" at BeneFit (a $14 value) with your $50 order. Enter code FGCG at checkout through 9/1.

Get 20% off your order at Active Endeavors when you enter code labor20 at checkout through 9/6.

Everyone's favorite girlie store, Anthropologie, is having a sale.

Old Navy is having a Labor Day Sale, including this super-cute clutch for $7.25 (I bought it in black).

This week at the Shop at Style.com, my former employer H2O+ skincare, Francesca Giobbi shoes, W hotels, M+J Savitt jewelry, A.P.C. clothing, and Elaine Turner bags.

And if you're reading this from the Hamptons, you suck. But if it should happen to rain (ha, ha, ha!), there's a Steve Madden sale, where shoes are $25 a pair (5 for $100), and they also have T-shirts, bags, and belts for $5-$20. 9/1-9/5; 10-7, 10-6 Sun.; American Legion Hall on Rt. 27, Amagansett.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Sample sale updates
From reader Renee, on the Hermes sale:

So I got in line around 4:30 - the wait at that point was one hour. A
girl standing with me in line told me that her friend got there at lunch and waited 2.5 hours to get in. When the doors opened at 10am, there were already 500 people in line (I can't imagine how early the first person in line got there). I heard they had bags earlier in the day, but by the time I got in, they were all gone except for some canvas bags ($237). They mostly had shoes, accessories (hats, scarves, belts, ties, perfume), and clothing. Big scarves (lots of variety and patterns) are $177 and ties (also a great selection) are $78. There were gloves as well, but those were going fast. I didn't check the prices on the clothing, but it looked like they had stuff for fall (light jackets, sweaters, etc.)
.

Also, I got another e-mail about the Intermix sale: Today is the last day (it was supposed to go until tomorrow night), but they're taking an additional 25% off everything, and all Intermix private label stuff is just $15 (excluding leather). They expect everything will be gone by 8 p.m. tonight, so scurry on over to the Altman Building, at 135 W.18th St (6th & 7th Aves.), and check it out.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Weekend shopping
Cath Kidston's very British home furnishings are up to 30% off. 8/27-9/6; 11-7, 11-8 Fri. and Sat., noon-6 Sun.; 201 Mulberry St.

Get $15 off your order of $100 or more at Wine.com when you enter code summer0415 through 8/29.

Join me and the other little old ladies with our Lord & Taylor savings coupon,

Get $10 a pair of long & lean, flare, or bootcut jeans at the Gap when you enter code SUMMERTEN through 8/29.

Excellent Chicago lingerie store Isabella has relaunched its website. I can't wait to buy more new bras that actually fit!

Apparently Bluefly misses me, because they sent me a code for 15% off (and I'm going to share it with you): Type MISSEDYOU999 at checkout through 9/4.
Daily digest
WWD: Calvin Klein enters the premium-denim fray (pun intended); the L.A. mod scene (for the way cooler New York version, go to Tiswas at Don Hill's on Saturday nights); and BCBG for juniors.

NYDN: Tidbits.
Buy it
As I was getting dressed this morning, I realized that my standby Calvin Klein nude bra that I wear under tank tops (it has nice thin straps) was totally shot--the cups were gaping and all elasticity appeared to be gone. So on my lunch hour, I headed over to Lord & Taylor to purchase a new tank-top-appropriate nude bra. (Now, before you make fun of me for shopping at the grandma-ish Lord & Taylor, let me just say that they're making a good effort to be more hip. Also, it's the closest department store to my office, and I had coupons.) Here is a brief re-enactment of what went down.

Saleswoman: Can I help you?
Me: Yeah, I'm looking for a nude bra with smooth cups, thin straps, and good support, in a D-cup*.
Saleswoman: Okay, I'll show you a few.
[Saleswoman proceeds to lead me around the lingerie department. I mention that I like Chantelle bras, so we go over to those.]
Saleswoman: What size do you need?
Me: 36D
[Saleswoman looks me up and down, frowns.]
Saleswoman: You're not a 36D.
Me: Yes, I am.
Saleswoman: I don't think so.
Me: I've worn a 36D for, like, eight or nine years.
Saleswoman: You've been wearing the wrong size. Seventy-five percent of women wear the wrong size bra.
Me: Okay, then what size am I?
[Saleswoman looks me up and down again.]
Saleswoman: You're a 34D. You have a small upper body.
Me: Okay...but can I try the 36D just for comparison?
[Saleswoman rolls eyes.]
Saleswoman: Fine.

So I went into the fitting room with, like, eight bras, all of them in both 36D and 34D. Lo and behold, all the 34Ds fit me perfectly. I literally couldn't believe my eyes. My breasts were uplifted like never before, the cups fit perfectly without puckering, and I didn't jiggle when I walked around the room. I have never felt such joy in buying lingerie (and I am quite a big lingerie fan to begin with). I wanted to buy all of the bras, but settled on this one. Seriously, it was like that episode of Sex and the City when Miranda's mother dies, and she goes to buy a black bra and the saleswoman tells her she's wearing the wrong size. Um, except for the funeral part. Anyway, I thanked my saleswoman profusely. She just smiled and nodded knowingly.

Moral of the story? Those old-lady saleswomen at Lord & Taylor have probably been working there since the sixties, and they know what they're talking about. Also, buy a bra that fits: It will change your whole outlook on life.

*I am not in any way bragging about my boobs. If you want an earful, I can tell you what a pain in the ass--or back, rather--they are.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Daily digest
WWD: Fashion Week switcharoos and Marc Jacobs sleeping bags sell out; more fashion tidbits involving Nicole Miller, Sass & Bide, and Wolfgang Joop; and raves for the new second floor at Barneys.

NYP: Kate and Andy Spade have split, sadly, just after that huge article on them in the August Vogue; and apparently it's no longer necessary we styles the Burberry, according to rappers (no word on Marc Jacobs bags or Tod's shoes). Bonus if you can name the song I just alluded to!

NYO: A rather entertaining article on Hollywould designer Holly Dunlap.

VV: Lynn Yaeger discusses what to wear to the protests and tells a cautionary tale about the Barneys warehouse sale.

The Daily: Editors love Express' Editor Pant; and Charlotte Ronson: still not designing much.

Style.com: The devastatingly stylish Kate Moss' fall picks (her comments are pretty dumb, but the girl's got impeccable taste); Candy Pratts Price really likes metallic accessories (is it me or is her every column about something metallic?); five cooling beauty products; fashion advice for athletes; and more on-the-street fashion from Kate Schelter.

Elle.com: A new knitwear line called Sol; great fall accessories; dressier fall jeans; and kitschy air-fresheners.

Daily Candy: Sample sales! (Hermes starts tomorrow!)

Twirlygurl: My friend Heather found ironic hipster toilet paper at her local Williamsburg bodega. (Bonus: mouse-catching tips!)
Object of desire
If you ask me, leopard print is classic--you can wear it pretty much anytime, anywhere. Fashion editors, designers, and retailers, on the other hand, like to hype it as trendy every four or five years, so this year is once again the year of leopard print. I've already got a leopard-print Marc Jacobs faux fur jacket (I'm guessing it's from two years ago; I bought it on eBay) and a year-old See by Chloe leopard-print tank top; I'm kicking myself for not having bought one of the limited-edition Isaac Mizrahi leopard-print sweaters from the Red Hot Shop at Target. One could argue that that's enough leopard for one season, and I would have agreed until yesterday, when I got the new Neiman Marcus catalogue in the mail and saw these Manolo Blahnik animal-print pumps. I stared at them for about seven minutes, then wiped the drool from my jaw, tore the page out of the catalog, and tacked it up on my bulletin board, where I put stuff I want to buy (regardless of whether I can actually afford it). Picture them peeking out of jeans...with a pleated skirt and a cardigan...with a little black dress. See, they're classic! They're also $545; with shipping and tax, that comes to $614. Ouch. Looks like I'll be admiring the shoes on my bulletin board, not on my feet.
Cheryl shops...the Prada sample sale
Today I finally went to the Prada sample sale. When the people who had posted comments here said that the sale was really disappointing and that there was nothing left, I was expecting completely bare racks and assorted shoes from, like, five years ago (well, there were shoes from five years ago, but more on that later). People, there's still a ton of stuff left. Here's my summary:

The good
So, the best stuff probably went on the first day, but now all the clothes are 75% off wholesale. Yes, 75% off wholesale. I got a four-ply cashmere sweater for $70--that's something that wholesaled for nearly $300 (and probably retailed for about $700 or $800). They had a lot of knits--mostly cashmere, some wool, some cotton and other blends, in neutral colors like black, gray, and navy, so this is a good opportunity to stock up on the basics. There were also a lot of wool trousers, but those were mostly 38s and 40s (4s and 6s). Trend-wise, they had a lot of those cropped sweaters from spring 2001, the ribbed leggings from fall 2001 (I bought a pair--they were $15, so, hey, why not?), and a lot of the brown/purple dresses from fall 2001 (I almost bought one of the dresses, then convinced myself I really didn't need it). Also, they had more swimsuits and belts than one could possibly dream of.

The bad
Shoes were pretty disappointing, although, strangely enough, my very popular size (39) seemed to have the best selection, including a pair of the spring 2004 Miu Miu moccasins in red, a pair of the spring 2003 Prada silver wedge pumps, and a really cool pair of pointy camel Prada boots with a bow on the toe (I have no idea what season those were from--I'd never seen them before). There were, however, a bunch of shoes that were at least four, possibly five, years old--remember the metallic, athlethic-inspired Miu Miu shoes with witchy heels? I'd put those at 2000, at least. Regardless, there's at least one pair in every size.

The ugly
While there were signs all over the place enforcing a "three-bag limit," the bags were downright nasty: lime green ostrich, the beaded monstrosities from spring 2003, and those weird lizard bags with the metal rods, also from spring 2003. In my opinion, Prada should be grateful for people who want more than three of those awful things.

So, if you haven't gone yet, is it worth checking out? If you admire Miuccia Prada like I do, yes. If you want stuff from spring 2004, no--wait a few weeks, then go to the outlet store at Woodbury Commons, which is where they send most items from the boutiques in one last attempt to make a profit on them (they're not making a profit on the stuff at the sample sale--they're just trying to get rid of it). Or you can wait to see what winds up at the sample sale next year...

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Website of the week
I was in Chicago last weekend, and while walking around the Lincoln Park and Lakeview neighborhoods, MW and I decided to do a bit of vintage and thrift shopping. My old favorite thrift store, Village Discount Outlet, was extremely disappointing (mostly late 80s and early 90s stuff), but we had success at Hollywood Mirror and Ragstock, which are expensive by thrift store standards but quite affordable in comparison to New York vintage stores (MW got a corduroy blazer with suede elbow patches at Hollywood Mirror for $25; I got a tweed blazer and a sweater at Ragstock for $22). And I came to the conclusion that while I like thrift stores in theory, I tend to prefer vintage stores in practice. (What's the difference? Thrift stores are a free-for-all and have much lower prices; vintage stores have carefully selected merchandise that's been dry-cleaned, usually, and marked way up.) So stores like Ragstock and Hollywood Mirror give me hope that I can have my vintage cake and eat it, too.

Another such enterprise is Fashion Dig, a community of vintage vendors. Fashion Dig is like an online all-vintage mall--instead of going to 50 separate vintage sites, they're all in one spot. You can shop specifically by seller, or by decade, item, keyword, or designer, and you can set price ranges within those categories. And speaking of prices, most are reasonable; you can probably pay a lot less for similar items on eBay, but do you really want to spend all that time looking? The item descriptions here are very helpful and most include measurements. Some of my favorite things: This mod dress looks like what Prada's been producing for the past two years; this silver purse fits right in with the metallic bags that are so popular now; here's a cape/poncho for a lot less than the Vince version; and I think this Bill Blass tunic would be great for nighttime--just add some black tights and black boots. (As for fantasy items, check out this rare Rudi Gernreich dress.) The site, of course, also has items for men, kids, and the home. Shipping is a flat rate of $10.95 in the U.S. There's also a calendar of events (with upcoming museum exhibits and vintage shows), message boards, and links, and, coming soon, "My Fashion Dig," where you can store your favorite items and get recommendations based on your preferences. Fashion Dig is like going to a big vintage show and getting all the good stuff--shop talk, great items from around the country--without the $20 admission.
Daily digest
WWD: What Serena will wear to the U.S. Open and beauty tidbits.

NYT: Beauty is pain, girls: Ridiculously uncomfortable round-toe high heels are in for fall (also, this is the type of article that irritates me--it's implied that if you're not wearing this type of shoe this fall, you're not stylish. But while round toes might fit into the whole ladylike skirts look, they're not going to fly with the low-waisted pants that are still in fashion, because they'll make our legs look stumpy. Pointy toes, at least, help create the illusion of length); fall coats with lovely illustrations; and more on Serena's outfit.

Monday, August 23, 2004

The week in shopping
Sale of the week: I will admit that I was not very impressed with the last Intermix sale, but with Chloé, Catherine Malandrino, Seven, Paul & Joe, and Ella Moss on the roster, suddenly I'm optimistic. 8/25-8/28; 3-8 Wed., 10-8; the Altman Building, 135 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

For the Asian-inspired look, Vivienne Tam's spring/summer collection is up to 70% off. Through 9/6; noon-7, 11:30-7 Fri., 11:30-7:30 Sat., noon-6 Sun.; 99 Greene St.

Hip-chick store Eva has G-Star, Birkett, Ya Ya, and other trendy labels for up to 80% off. Through 8/31; noon-8, noon-7 Sun.; 227 Mulberry St.

Seven For All Mankind, Yanuk Jeans, and Three Dots are up to 50% off at this cash-only sample sale. Through 8/26; 10:30-7, 10-3 Thurs.; 531-539 W. 25th St. (10th & 11th Aves.).

Find some great designer deals at Assets London, where Just Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana, Diesel StyleLab, and others are up to 80% off. 8/25-8/30; 162 Franklin St., 464 Columbus Ave. (at 83rd St.).

For the hipsters in Brooklyn (OK, I realize that was like saying "all the moms in the suburbs", but bear with me, please) Landing is having a summer sale, with 30%-75% off items by Built by Wendy, Ladies of the Canyon, H. Fredriksson, and more. 1-8, noon-8 Sat., noon-7 Sun.; 242 Wythe Ave. (at N. 3rd), Brooklyn.

The vintage-inspired line Zelda has samples and stock for $35-$200 (originally $220-$750). 8/26-8/27; 9-5; 550 7th Ave. (39th & 40th Sts.), 22nd fl.

Metrosexual fave John Varvatos' menswear is $40-$495 (was $115-$1,495). 8/24-8/26; noon-8 Tue., 9-7:30; 260 Fifth Ave. (at 28th St.).

Paris Hilton's dog, Tinkerbell, has a Chanel suit; for those of us who can't afford a Chanel suit for ourselves, much less for our dogs, there's the New York Dog sample sale, where all manner of dog accessories are on sale (carriers start at $15). 8/24-8/26; 8-8; 133 W. 25th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), ste. 8 East.

East Village discount mecca Gabay's just received a shoe shipment of Chanel, Manolo Blahnik, Marc Jacobs, Gucci, Prada, and more; prices are 50%-60% off retail. 225 First Ave. (13th & 14th Sts.).

It's last call for Clothingline's Summer Blowout Sale: Prices start at $5, and they have everything from Calypso to Cynthia Rowley. 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

If you haven't maxed out your Barneys New York charge card at the warehouse sale, visit the newly remodeled 2nd floor of their flagship store, where you can find such designers as Lanvin, Rochas, Gaultier, and more. 61st and Madison, 2nd fl.

Loehmann's has added additional merchandise to the clearance section; they're also due to receive a huge shipment of Italian designer shoes and clothing. 17th St. & 7th Ave.

Get an extra 10% off summer clearance items at MetroLuxury.net when you enter code MLSC at checkout.

Get a free 1.7 oz. Fresh sugar body polish (a $12 value--not the regular huge size) when you buy two select Fresh products at Beauty.com.

Pottery Barn is having a sale; save up to 50%.

Get a $25 savings card for every $100 you spend in select Fortunoff departments through 9/12. Click here for details.

This week at the shop at Style.com, MaxStudio clothing, Botiker bags, and Love This Life tees and tanks.

At La Redoute, buy two tops and get a third free through 8/30.
News digest
WWD: Ren is coming to the U.S. (but no word on Stimpy); new lingerie lines; Chanel drops major bank on Nicole Kidman in hopes of bolstering No. 5; Canuck store Fruits & Passion to open next year in NYC; the new Gap credit card lets you earn points at all three Gap companies; Cavalli to sponsor the Met's fall show, "Wild: Fashion Untamed" (how appropriate!); and a $500 flat iron.

NYT: The dying Garment District.

NYP: Your fall wardrobe for $1,000; a French songbird named Cherie takes the Shopaholic $100 challenge, to rather amusing results; and metallic bags are everywhere.

Daily Candy: Ananas handbags (that's "pineapple" en francais).

The Daily: This year's GenArt designers; Liz Lange and Rebecca Taylor to return to the Bryant Park tents this season; and sexy Brit knickers and a library I'd like to own.

Defamer: Mukluk boots are the new UGGs. Eww.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Weekend shopping
Temperley's pretty, girly clothes are now 20%-50% off. Through 8/31; 10-6, 10-9 Thurs., noon-5 Sat., closed Sun.; 453 Broome St., 2nd fl.

Sweet Tater has vintage clothing and accessories for 25%-40% off; for example, a 1950s silk cocktail dress is $92 (was $122). Through 8/23; noon-8; 280 Mulberry St.

Fashionista fave Dosa’s light, filmy separates and slip dresses are 60% off and up. 8/20-8/22; 11-6; Sun Factory, 394 Broadway (at Walker St.), 6th fl.

Bluefly's semiannual Blue Sale is in effect; save an additional 15% on select styles through 8/31.

Spend $100 on fragrance at former Cheryl Shops website of the week Beautyhabit and get a 16-piece deluxe fragrance sample set, plus a coupon for $10 off your next $75 fragrance order. Enter coupon code PERFUME through 8/31.

Save 20% on your order of $50 or more at yet another former Cheryl Shops website of the week Danskin.com. Use coupon code backtoschool50 at checkout, and get free shipping when you spend at least $75.

At Gloss.com, get a complimentary Clarins Bright Plus Hydrating Brightening Lotion SPF 20 sample with every order; get a complimentary Clarins Bright Plus Total Brightening Serum sample with every Clarins order; get a complimentary Clarins Super Restorative Serum travel size with every Clarins Super Restorative purchase; and get a complimentary Stila Demi Crème sample in Claret with every Stila purchase through 8/30.

In case you're looking for the green Vince poncho that reportedly sold out at Barneys in a day, Scoop has it here. I'd quote Jamie and say, "I could knit that!" but you know what? I don't quite think I could.

Tomorrow, the 7th Avenue Loehmann's (that location only) is getting a shipment of Dolce & Gabbana (whose party, coincidentally, I almost attended last night, thanks to a very drunk A. Pemberton: "C'mmmmmon, let's go to the fashion party!") for up to 65% off retail: Prices are $50-$2,600 (originally $155 to $8,050).

At Stila, receive a three-piece deluxe lipstick sample set featuring luce, natalie, and pixie shades, with every order through 8/30, plus get free shipping on orders of $75 or more.

I'm off to Chicago; have a good weekend!
Cheryl shops...the Barneys warehouse sale
Despite a massive hangover, I dragged myself to the Barneys New York warehouse sale this morning before work (it's my tradition to get there at 7:45 on the first day the sale is open). As usual, it was pretty crazy, but not too bad. If you're a Marc by Marc Jacobs lover (like I am), you'll have a field day (like I did), because they have a ton of Marc--skirts, dresses, tops, jackets, even swimsuits. I also saw a lot of Proenza Schouler, there were some Balenciaga pants and those jeweled Miu Miu dresses, and they had a lot of Juicy Couture knits and cute Diane von Furstenberg tops. I also saw quite a few Theory pants and jackets in corduroy, Citizens of Humanity denim skirts, and an $800 Lutz & Patmos cashmere sweater that was marked down to $199 (and it pained me not to buy it). The shoes were not spectacular (although I usually think they aren't at the warehouse sale), there was very little lingerie, and they didn't have the usual crates full of denim (the few pairs of jeans I saw were mixed in with the regular ready-to-wear pants). And the warehouse workers are super-annoying this year: First, they were trying to make women with tote bags (which was pretty much everyone) check their bag; then I was sternly reprimanded for attempting to try on clothes by the children's clothing, instead of in the "designated try-on areas," which were so crowded, one could hardly walk through them; and before I could check out, this girl made me fill out one of those post cards--even though I have a store charge and thus all my information is already in the computer--which held up the checkout line. Still, thanks to the Marc Jacobs bonanza, I managed to drop $300 in a little less than an hour. As long as you're not averse to crazy sample sale crowds, the sale is definitely worth checking out (and if you are averse to crazy sample sale crowds, go on a weekday during the day). Of course, by next weekend, the merchandise will be totally picked over, but that's when they start discounting everything even more. The sale runs through 9/6; 255 W. 17th St. (7th & 8th Aves.).
News digest
WWD: The style democratization of Fifth Avenue; no gold medals for Olympics fashion so far; Blue Cult enters the high-end denim game (2nd item); Bergdorf's wants you to buy its gifts; and back on Fifth, out with Fendi, in with Abercrombie.

NYP: An indie chick tries the fashionista lifestyle for a day.

NYDN: Wonderbra is 10; and organic/natural: sometimes just a marketing ploy.

The Daily: Little Joe lingerie.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Daily digest
WWD: Tom Ford will visit the Dallas Neiman Marcus as part of his three-city book tour; and Shop Etc. has a website (2nd item).

VV: Lynn Yaeger's thoughts on the Prada sample sale (basically, go to Century 21 instead) and the ridiculously exorbitant Lucien Pellat-Finet store.

The Daily: The ultimate hair-straightening brush; and Billy Bags, from an ex-Burberry designer.

Style.com: Things so dorky, they're stylish; Bill Cunningham wannabe Kate Schelter tracks the trends on the street; hats for fall; and a phone/mini iPod carrier for when you're without handbag.

Elle.com: Their favorite jackets in red.

Hint: In Shop Tart, Alexander McQueen for guys, House of Diehl, new denim, and more; and an interview with Dior Homme God Hedi Slimane.
Not so much: UGG overkill
Yes, they're ugly and ridiculously trendy, but I am not opposed to UGG boots for the following reasons: They're very warm, comfortable, and waterproof. However, here's an example of how retailers take a popular trend--actually, in this case, two trends--and go totally apeshit with it: the UGG poncho. Aside from being one of the uglier garments in recent memory, this poncho is totally impractical. It's suede with lambswool lining, so if you wear it indoors, you're going to sweat like a hog; if you wear it outdoors (say, as a winter coat), you're going to get a gust of cold air up your torso whenever you move your arms. And did I mention it's ugly? Of course, you could pair it with your UGG boots and some lambskin trousers for a head-to-toe pioneer/fur-trapper look...nah. Here's my idea: Jam three or four sticks in the ground, cut a slit in the side of the poncho, drape it around the sticks, and voila! You've made a tepee for your dog! Otherwise, the UGG poncho: Not so much.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Daily digest
WWD: Bling a la Lil' Kim; and lucky bitches hit the Prada sample sale yesterday (2nd item).

NYT: Hipsters tip their hats to Harlem; and game on: the Met's Chanel retrospective is back on track.

The Daily: More on the Prada sample sale (apparently there's a three-bag limit); and Multi by Bree.

Daily Candy: Precious Charlotte Ronson iPod cases. Plus: Gawker makes fun of them!
Website of the week
If you haven't yet seen this week's New York magazine (it's the fall fashion issue), I'd highly suggest buying it--especially for the article on American Apparel founder Dov Charney. Strangely enough, I've never been in an American Apparel store, but they're popping up all over the city--and, if all goes according to plan--all over the world. Charney seems like an incredibly charismatic guy, and he actually appears to have moral and ethical standards: American Apparel products are manufactured in downtown Los Angeles by workers who are paid up to $18 per hour and receive benefits like health and dental insurance, free English classes, and free checking accounts. (This is in comparison to most garment workers, who probably live in China or Honduras, make 20 cents an hour, and work in poor conditions.) American Apparel also offers a line called Sustainable Edition, made from 100% organic cotton.

As for the online store, think C&C for the masses. The merchandise is basic--tees, tanks, shorts, undies, pants, and skirts, all knits--but stylish and extremely affordable. There's the Classic Girl line for, well, girls; Standard American is for guys; and Classic Baby is for the wee ones. The best-selling Classic Girl Short Sleeve T-Shirt is a mere $15; the Thick Knit Jersey Skirt is $18; the Loop Terry Zip Jogger and matching Lounge Pants are $70 combined (that's half the price of a Juicy tracksuit); and the Thong is a mere $9. You can even treat your puppy to a Baby Rib Dog T for $14. Shipping for orders over $100 is free (otherwise, shipping is $7). If you'd prefer to visit the actual stores, they're at 183 E. Houston (Orchard St.), 373 6th Ave. (Waverly Pl.), 712 Broadway (8th St.), and 121 Spring St. For more inspiration, read the New York article.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Daily digest
WWD: The new Boston Marc Jacobs store opens; Kate Spade: still successful; and coming soon: Hollywould dresses.

NYT: In yet another article on young people's new conservatism in dress, preppy is the new grunge.

NYP: A rather useful article on the top 10 fall trends.

NYDN: An amusing statistical and anecdotal analysis of the fall fashion magazines.

The Daily: Prada's very '80s robot tote (2nd item).

Daily Candy: Hey, hipster chicks: Built by Wendy for Wrangler, available now. Hey, fashionistas: Shelly Steffee sequin belts (wow, that's a lot of double letters).

Elle.com: Seven cashmere; and addictive fig perfume in a rather stunning bottle.
The week in shopping
Sale of the week: As you all know, I worship at the altar of Barneys New York, and so this week begins my twice-yearly pilgrimage to the Warehouse sale, where clothing, shoes, accessories, and more are 50%-80% off. I'll be there at 7:30 sharp on Thursday, so beware. 8/19-9/6; 8-9 on 8/19-8/20, 10-9 weekdays, 10-7 weekends, 10-7 on 9/6; 255 W. 17th St. (7th & 8th Aves.).

The sale of the week runner-up is Bodyhints' annual super sale, where swimwear and lingerie by Cosabella, Aubade, Lise Charmel, Rosa Cha, and more is up to 80% off. Plus, the owners are super-cool. 8/17-8/24; 11-8, 11-7 Sun.; 462 W. Broadway (Houston & Prince Sts.).

The only thing better than cute shoes is cute, comfortable shoes, so check out the sale at Sacco where summer styles are marked down to $99, $79, and $49. Also, save $20 on a second pair and $30 on every additional pair you buy! Through 9/5; 11-8, 11-7 Sat., noon-7 Sun; see website for locations.

All spring/summer merchandise is up to 70% at Lucky fave Martin, so stock up on tees, tanks, jeans, cotton tops, denim skirts, and more. 1-7 (closed Mon.); 206 E. 6th St.

If you feel like trucking out to West Chelsea, this mystery sale has Citizens of Humanity, True Religion, Hudson, Three Dots, Lacoste, and more, but note that it's cash only. 8/18-8/21; 10:30-7; 531-539 W. 25th St. (10th & 11th Aves.).

Jeweler/artist Michal Golan has handcrafted earrings, necklaces, and rings for 40% off at his teeny-tiny store. 8/19-9/9; 11-7, 11-5 weekends; 4 Cortlandt St.

I had no idea Diane Von Furstenberg made maternitywear, but now I know, as her sexy collection is on sale for $75-$130. 8/18-8/20; 11-7; 385 W. 12th St.

For the avant-garde folks out there, IF has Martin Margiela, Junya Watanabe, Veronique Branquinho, and more for 70%-85% off. 8/18-8/22; 11-7; 94 Grand St.

It's summer clearance time at the spelling-challenged Daszign.com, where Juicy Couture, C&C, Chip & Pepper, and other trendy labels are up to 70% off.

This week at the Shop at Style.com, Cole Haan bags, Alexa Garner Sidaris jewelry, and J Maskrey shoes.

Spend $150 on Boucher's selection of semiprecious jewelry and get a free pair of blue chalcedony and pearl earrings (a $40 value)! Through 8/31.

It's time for yet another sale at Lord & Taylor; store charge-holders get an extra 15% off everything they buy 8/18-8/22.

If you'd like to preview bebe's fall collection and get 10% off all regular-priced merchandise on Thursday, call 212-935-2444 by 8/18 to r.s.v.p. 8/19; 6-8 p.m.; 1127 3rd Ave.

Thursday (8/19( is one of those lovely gift card days at Saks: Spend $250-$499, get $25; spend $500-$999, get $50...and so on.

Friday, August 13, 2004

The devil wears Prada, and now you can, too
This is so important, it warrants a special Friday posting: Registration for the legendary Prada sample sale is now open. Go to PradaSampleSale.com to register and make an appointment. But hurry, because slots are going fast (the earliest I could get was 8/25). Hooray for up to 50% off wholesale!

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Weekend shopping
Alpana Bawa is an incredibly fun name to say; her kah-ray-zay men's and women's clothes are 30%-70% off. Through 8/15; 11-7, 12-7 Sat., 1-6 Sun.; 41 Grand St.

MZ Wallace's colorful handbags, totes, and hobos are 50%-70% off at this summer sale. Through 8/15; 11-7, noon-6 Sun.; 93 Crosby St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

For the circa-1999 Brazilian look, check out Sol's selection of Brazilian fashion for 60 % off. 8/15-8/29; 11-8; 6 Prince St.

It's fall preview time at Loehmann's, where prices are up to 85% off retail. If you have an "insider club" card, get double points through 8/15.

Nordstrom.com is having a special online-only sale, with savings of 30%-40% off.

Get an extra 5% off the selection of Prada, Fendi, Gucci, and more at CityModa.com when you enter code MODAB2S at checkout.

For the peeps out in Jersey, the new Victoria's Secret at the Garden State Mall in Paramus is opening tomorrow (8/13) at 9 a.m. Get a free $120 gift set with a $50 purchase, free makeovers, and free bra fittings (of which, as you all know, I am not a big fan).

For everyone waiting with bated breath for the new Prada fragrance, you can now buy it online at Neiman Marcus. I am dying, dying, dying to smell it.

Fancy-schmancy San Francisco institution Gump's is having an online-only summer sale, with select items up to 75% off.

For the organizationally challenged or the super-anal, the Container store is having a Sale! Sale! Sale! (their words, not mine) on all manner of neatnick accessories.

Le Sportsac has a new Sara Schwartz artist collaboration series of bags, and let me tell you, they're supercute (if you're into the girly look, that is).

Save 10% on Design Within Reach's best-selling products, including the Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chair, through 8/16.

Check out the summer sale at Pink Mascara, where ponchos, bags, tees, and more are 30%-60% off.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Special sale for Cheryl Shops readers only!
The lovely people at Empowerment Mineral Designs are offering Cheryl Shops readers an exclusive sale on their fashion-forward jewelry starting today! They have very unique, delicate earrings, necklaces, and bracelets featuring aquamarine, blue chalcedony, coral, and other semiprecious stones. Prices are $25-$50 (that's 40%-70% off!), so check it out!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Cheryl shops...Banana Republic, the Gap, and Old Navy
On Saturday, armed with my friends & family 25%-off coupons (thanks, Tina!), I decided to hit Banana, Gap, and Old Navy (I only had coupons for Gap and Banana, but I figured I'd check out Old Navy for good measure, since they're all owned by the same company) on lower 5th and 6th Avenues. All three stores have major fall-transitional merchandise, much of which is extremely cute. I blew my budget at Gap (my first stop), so I didn't buy anything at Banana or Old Navy. But as soon as I get paid on Friday...heh heh. Anyway, here is my store-by-store breakdown, including items that get the Cheryl Shops seal of approval.

Gap
For fall, the Gap is all about pencil and pleated skirts, wide-leg trousers (long and cropped), shrunken jackets, and, of course, jeans. (Have you seen their new ad campaign with Sarah Jessica Parker, with the mix-and-match flaps? It's fun, and catchy!) These Gaucho pants caught my eye (MK, these are the pair I was talking about), but the sizing was a bit weird--I swam in the 10, and the 8 was a bit too fitted in the hips for my taste. (And, yes, now you all know what size I wear.) I also tried on the wide leg cuffed trousers, which have an interesting varigated stripe texture to them, but they were a bit too high-wasted for me. I ended up buying the flap pocket trousers, which fit almost as well as my beloved, falling-apart-at-the-seams Katayone Adeli dickies. As for skirts, they have an excellent stretch twill pencil skirt, which is a basic that every girl should own, especially since pencil skirts were all over the fall runways. They also have a Zac Posen-ish silk flutter skirt (it comes in jersey and cotton as well) that's great for more formal occasions. But I'm a sucker for pleated skirts, so I bought this one (it also comes in plaid and denim). Top-wise, I liked this Agnes B-ish striped T, the ruffle-trim wrap top, and the side-button sweater. Jacket-wise, I thought the cord blazer was cute, but I wasn't impressed by the color selection; I bought the stretch cotton blazer, which--aha!--goes with my pants and my pleated skirt. (I was able to convince myself that I needed a suit for job interviews and, hey, then it's tax-deductable!) And, best for last, bags: For some reason, they don't have most of the online bags in the actual store, and vice versa. At the store, they had two bags resembling this one, one of which was more of an oblong shape and the other of which was more like a tote--and had it not been $128, I definitely would've bought it. But, online, there are almost better bags: The suede tote (currently on backorder) looks like it should cost $500, the biker hobo just kicks ass, and the tweed tote screams fall--in a good way. Plus, according to the September Lucky, Gap will soon be offering custom tweed bags--you get to choose the exterior and lining combination. Sweet!

Banana Republic
Banana, as we know, is a little more sophisticated, and a little more expensive. For fall, they're big on silk and stretch wool; they're still definitely into the ladylike look. I thought this chevron dress was gorgeous (it comes in black too), and, at $168, a pretty good deal, all things considered. Their pants are pretty much a constant (I like the Martin cut), but they had a bunch of denim trousers, and the patch-pocket trouser jean looks like a universally flattering new staple. Back to nighttime-wear, this lace cap-sleeve top looks very Dolce & Gabbana, the ribbon camisole is very Balenciaga-three-years-ago (hey, I'm not complaining--it was a great collection!), and the embroidered cap sleeve shirt looks kinda Stella McCartney-ish to me. I like the scooter jacket--it reminds me of a motorcycle jacket they had a few years ago that practically every Banana in the country sold out of (I know this because I had them call and call and call, in vain, looking for it). Bag-wise, they had some great knockoffs in the store--a good imitation of the Balenciaga motorcycle bag and a more streamlined version of the Louella tote--but I thought the suede twist mini and the suede diamond twist bag were pretty innovative, design-wise. And, of course, I always end up spending most of my money at Banana on jewelry: My favorites are the filigree stone drop earrings, the draped stone drop necklace, and the leaf cluster necklace. Looks like Banana is moving away from silver and into gold...

Old Navy
I'm kind of bummed that I saved Old Navy for last, because it's the youngest, most fun, and cheapest of the three. It's also the store that most blatantly rips off Marc Jacobs. These stretch cords are classic and come in fun colors, as are these stretch twill pants, which have an Alvin Valley-like wide waistband. I liked Old Navy's cord blazer better than Gap's (it comes in more colors in the store), and while I already own two red jackets, I might just have to get this epaulet jacket too. Do you need another denim skirt? Probably not, but the special edition mini and the pleated denim mini look just as good as what's for sale at Barneys--and you could buy, like, three of each for the price of one Citizens of Humanity skirt. I love this pointelle wrap sweater, and according to the fashion magazines, fair isle sweaters are in for fall. If you're not yet over clutches, check out this one, and I highly recommend the el-cheapola (but cute) metallic ballet flats (I have this style in black and, with the addition of insoles, they're quite comfortable). Ah, at these prices...

So, if you want to pick up some key fall pieces or just some fall basics, I definitely recommend hitting any of these three stores. You'll generally find the dressiest items at Banana and the most casual at Old Navy, with Gap falling somewhere in between. Obviously, I was most impressed by the Gap (where, strangely engouth, I tend to shop the least), but Banana always has the best accessories, and you can't beat Old Navy if you're on a budget. Whatever Gap Inc. has been doing lately (poaching Marc Jacobs' staff?), it's working.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Website of the week
Shopping in Kate's Paperie with MW yesterday (yes, MW shops at Kate's Paperie), I came to the conclusion that while I love stationery, journals, cards, etc. (I am quite old-fashioned in that regard), I don't always love Kate's Paperie--it's kind of impersonal and huge, and it can be super-expensive. Enter Soleberry, a paper-goods website with a well-chosen selection of stationery, journals, cards, wrapping paper, and more. What's unique about Soleberry is that most of the merchandise was designed by artists (many of them local), not some monkey at the Hallmark corporate headquarters. And, best of all, everything is quite affordable. I like the blue long notes, which have an interesting shape, a groovy design, and inspirational text (hey, we can all use the help!); this butterfly journal with silver-edged pages (of course, I'm a sucker for anything with butterflies on it); this grand album famille, which is quirky and very French, designed by artist 100drine; this minimalist yet amusing birthday card; and this very colorful, almost wallpaper-like (I mean that as a compliment) Bertini gift wrap. You can read about Soleberry's artists here and the owners here--founder Gabrielle Dudnyk is a refugee from Real Simple, which, as a fellow magazine-toiler, I find incredibly inspiring in itself.
The week in shopping
Sale of the week: Unless you're Carmen Electra, shopping for swimsuits positively blows. Thankfully, Malia Mills eases the pain somewhat with her mix-and-match swim separates that fit up to a size 16 and a 38DD (or down to a 30AA) chest. Of course, a Maila Mills swimsuit usually runs you about $200, but at this super-duper sale, the pieces are $5-$75 each (normally $85-$205)--that's 50%-85% off. Through 8/13; 10-7, 10-5 Fri.; 263 W. 38th St., 10th fl.

Going somewhere? Flight 001 has travel accessories from Orla Kiely, Jack Spade, and others for 20%-60% off. 8/12-9/12; 11-8:30, noon-6 Sun.; 96 Greenwich Ave. (12th & Jane Sts.).

Fashion-forward boutique, um, Forward has designs by up-and-comers La Voleuse, Phyl Casual Couture, and Alyssa Graves on sale. 8/12-8/14; noon-7; 72 Orchard St.

Get Lauren Merkin's clutches for $68 and lambskin totes for $100 at her sample sale. 8/10-8/13; 11-7; 231 W. 29th St., ste. 201.

Morgenthal Frederics is so swank, I almost wish I were half blind so I could buy my eyeglasses there. Peep their selection of house label, Gucci, Chanel, and Oliver Peoples glasses, starting at $50. Through 8/15; 11-8, 11-7 Sat., noon-6 Sun.; 399 W. Broadway.

C'mon, you know you want more beauty products. So hit Bliss Soho, where their wares are up to 80% off. Through 8/14; 9:30-8:30, 9:30-6:30 Sat.; 568 Broadway (at Prince St.), 2nd fl.

Find Outlet, one of my faves, is having a warehouse sale, where you can find Miu Miu, Missoni, Roberto Cavalli, and other fancy-schmancy designers for ridiculously cheap (like up to 85% off). 8/12-8/15; noon-7; 361 W. 17th St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

If Malia Mills isn't your style, check out Abaete swimwear, on sale for up to 70% off (normally $80 per piece). 8/12-8/14; 11-7; 560 Broadway (at Prince St.), ste 306.

Or if neither of those are your fancy, lingerie shop Azaleas is having a swim sale, with 25%-70% off suits by TNA, Zimmermann, Akua Blu, Lisa Curran, Vix, and more. 223 E. 10th St.

Holy Moley! Get up to 95% off Cynthia Rowley, Tocca, Tibi, Free People, and countless other brands at Clothingline's summer blowout sale. Check the website for store hours and price points. 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

For the animal lovers in the house, stop by the Matt & Nat fall preview party at Evil Sugar, where their vegan-friendly bags and wallets will be on display. Drinks and snacks and door prizes will be on hand, and a percentage of the night's sales will be donated to local no-kill animal shelters. 8/12; 6-8; 345 E. 12th St.

For the slim-hipped among us, jeans are on sale at American Eagle; get free shipping when you spend $75.

While I tend not to buy anything at Agnes B, I love her clothes. So considering sale merchandise is now 60% off through 8/15, maybe now is a good time to start.

The cool weather this past weekend made me want to shop for fall (and, uh, I did--more on that tomorrow), and the smart people at Lord & Taylor must've sensed it, because their Think Fall sale starts this week. Click here for bonus coupons. The sale runs 8/11-8/17, but in the meantime, check out this killer (yes, literally and figuratively) fur poncho. It will be mine. Oh, yes. It will be mine.

This week at the Shop at Style.com, Ashley Dearborn shoes, Bebe clothes (for those too lazy to go to the actual Bebe website), exclusive Jonathan Adler bags, and indie goodies from 30Vandam.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Weekend shopping
For the minimalist look, Armani Casa has crisp, neutral bed linens for up to 50% off. Through 8/31; 11-7, noon-6 Sun., closed Mon.; 97 Greene St.

Hey, saggy boobs! Get a professional bra fitting at Bra*Tenders and check out the goodies by Aubade, Huit, Wacoal, and others on sale for up to 50% off. Through 8/15; by appointment only, call 1-800-GET-A-BRA; 630 Ninth Ave. (at 45th St.).

Erica Tanov has current- and past-season women’s and kid’s clothes and accessories from Orla Kiely, John Smedley, and Antipast for up to 60% off. 8/7-8/8; 11-7 Sat., noon-6 Sun.; 204 Elizabeth St.

Special offers this month at former Cheryl Shops website of the week Beautyhabit: Receive a free full-size Body Milk for Dry Skin with your $65 or more Propoline order; Receive a free full-size S.O.S. Skin Accidents Roll-on Remedy and Day Cream and Night Cream samples with your $75 or more Sanoflore order; Receive a free full-size perfume in select scents with your $100 Nicolai order; get a free Ojon Trial Pack with any $50 order (includes their famous Restorative Treatment, Ultra Hydrating Shampoo, and Ultra Hydrating Conditioner; use code OJON through 8/15/04); and get a free Alora matchbox sampler with any $75 order (a five-piece sampler set includes vials of Bimbi, Isola, Uno, Due, and Tre; use code ALORA through 8/15/04).

Summer products are up to 70% off at the outlet at Crate & Barrel.

It's "Me Spree" time at Girlshop! Get 20% off everything--yes, everything--through 8/15 when you enter code SUMMER 04 at checkout.

Get a free Seven for All Mankind tank top when you buy the Seven painted-pocket jeans at Neiman Marcus.

Check out the anniversary sale at Fortunoff.

Free samples-with-purchase at Gloss.com: Get a Chanel Gentle Biphase Eye Makeup Remover with every Gloss order through 8/9; get a Clarins Bright Plus Total Brightening Serum sample with every Clarins order through 8/30; get a trial-size Clarins Super Restorative Serum with any Clarins Super Restorative purchase through 8/30; get a Stila Demi Crème sample in Claret with every Stila order through 8/30. Plus, get free shipping on a $50 purchase when you enter code NEWFALL through 8/11 or get a free Clinique Discovery Kit with a $35 order when you enter code CLDISC through 8/11.

Bluefly is having a pre-fall sale, with fall items an additional 20% off through 8/12.
Why I love Simon Doonan
This is so priceless, I think it speaks for itself. From Hint:

Hint: Kabbalah. Kool or just plain krazy?
Simon Doonan: It seems harmless enough but, personally, if I were going to pick a religion, I would pick one with better accessories. That red bracelet just doesn't do it for me. I would probably become an existentialist because at least you get to wear a turtleneck and a nice black beret. Who doesn't love a black beret? Just call me Simon "de Beauvoir" Doonan.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Not so much
With VH1's stupid yet addictive I Love the '90s in constant rotation, I can't help but feel wistful for the '90s: good, impassioned music (Nirvana, Pearl Jam); individualistic fashion (grunge, minimalism); social activism (vote for Clinton). And after my trip to The Body Shop yesterday on my lunch hour, I really began to long for the early '90s. Remember when the Body Shop was the coolest thing ever? I used to get the catalogue, then they opened a store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, so I'd go there and buy their dewberry perfume, fruit face wash, peppermint foot lotion, chamomile shampoo, Colourings makeup...And now? Of the five products I just named, only the peppermint foot lotion remains--and while it was a pretty novel thing at the time, you can now get peppermint foot lotion everywhere from Sephora to the drugstore. I stood by as all of these products were discontinued, but yesterday I reached the end of my rope: They discontinued their deodorant, a rare roll-on in a light, pleasant scent.

Me: "Why did they discontinue it?"
Salesgirl: "There was something bad for you in it."
Me: "Oh God. Something dangerous?"
Salesgirl: "No, don't worry about it."
Me: "Are they going to reformulate it and make a new version?"
Salesgirl: "Probably not."
Me: "Why not?"
Salesgirl: "It didn't sell well."

Why did they discontinue so many of their unique products? And, furthermore, what happened to their identity? You used to walk into a Body Shop and see posters and placards about their "Trade Not Aid" program to support indigenous peoples, their lack of animal testing, their support of global human rights and environmental conservation. I even remember the salesgirls reminding you to recycle the small paper shopping bag they gave you. Now the store is virtually indistinguishable from a Bath and Body Works, H2O Plus, or any store of that ilk. Apparently stockholders' profits and quarterly performance have become more important than social reponsibilty; maybe their market research told them that shoppers don't want to be bombarded with anything remotely "political." (For more criticism of the Body Shop, read this.) The Body Shop, once the lefty, tofu-eating, batik-wearing younger sister of the beauty world has become its moderate, minivan-driving soccer mom.

Maybe I'm all revved up about social issues because it's an election year, and maybe I'm going through a mid-twenties crisis and looking back on simpler times through rose-colored glasses. But the Body Shop has totally sold out, and that makes me sad. So, the Body Shop: Not so much.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Website of the week
Only a year ago, Neighborhoodies were farily generic-looking hoodie sweatshirts with one's neighborhood written across the chest in standard block letters. But, spurred on by public interest and the very cool-sounding staff's enthusiasm, Neighborhoodies has expanded into T-shirts, underwear, baby clothes, bags, and even pet gear, and, more importantly, they've come out with a new and improved website. Aside from the larger selection of merchandise, the best part is that there are numerous options and infinite combinations of style, color, font, font color, font background color, graphics, and on and on. And while there are hundreds (if not thousands) of neighborhoods worldwide to choose from (you can be generic and get plain ol' New York City, or you can get as specialized as Belgrano in Buenos Aires), the supercool feature is that you can write whatever you want on your hoodie or tee or whatnot. For example, you could put "Don't hump me!" on a doggie shirt, "Exit only" on the hot pants, or simply, "Go home, Jersey trash!" on this tee. Of course, it would be more punk rock to silk-screen your own T-shirts in the privacy of your Williamsburg loft, but, you know, it's okay to be bourgeois. Anyway, I like the more stylish options--there's the traditional, somewhat bulky classic sweatshirt, but I prefer the femme hoodie, double agent tee, and liberty belle camisole. Prices for all this? Fairly reasonable. Sweatshirts are $50-ish and tees are $20-ish, but if you want to go crazy with custom graphics and fonts, you can tack on an additional $2-$30. Of course, if this is all too much for you and you need some assistance, visit Neighborhoodies' store at the South Street Seaport, where a qualified professional can help you out. In the meantime, keep an eye out for me in my Cheryl Shops NYC T-shirt.
The week in shopping
Sale of the week: Naughty lingerie store Agent Provocateur is having a sale: Hosiery starts at $10; basques go up to $455. Through 8/15; 11-7, noon-6 Sun.; 133 Mercer St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

The fashionistas at Lucky rave about East Village store Meg; she's having her famous "dirty sale", where everything in the store is at least 50% off, and samples are below wholesale. 1-8, 1-6 Sun.; 312 East 9th St.

Lower East Side pioneer TG-170 was around long before all the Pianos-going hipsters in their ironic T-shirts; now they have spring and summer pieces from Rebecca Taylor, Splendid, Jill Stuart, Seven, and more for 30%-50% off. Through 8/31; noon-8; 170 Ludlow St. (Houston & Stanton Sts.).

Everything is still going to be exorbitantly expensive, but R 20th Century's selection of immaculate vintage furniture from Verner Panton, Hans Wegner, and others is 20%-60% off. 8/4-8/7; 6-8 Wed., 11-6 Th.-Fri., noon-7 Sat.; 82 Franklin St.

For four days only, Loehmann's is hosting an exclusive sale of Badgley Mischka dresses (including wedding and evening gowns), accessories, and more; prices are $199-$3,000. 8/5-8/8; 9-9, 11-7 Sun.; 101 7th Ave. (at 16th St.).

Affordable, "flexible" Boconcept has modern Danish furniture (think IKEA but way higher quality) for up to 50% off. 8/5-8/11; 10-7, 10-6 Sat., noon-5 Sun.; 105 Madison Ave. (at 30th St.).

Hip Lower East Side boutique Johnson has womenswear for 10%-75% off. Through 8/31; 1-7, 12:30-8 Sat.; noon-6 Sun.; 179 Orchard St. (Houston & Stanton Sts.).

The logo for Catch A Fire Clothing by Cedella Marley features a dude smoking a big, fat spliff; the clothes, inspired by her dad (uh, Bob), are $10-$60 at this sample sale. 8/4-8/6; 9-7, 9-5 Fri.; 632 Broadway (at Bleecker St.), ste. 901.

Cocktails and Sample Sales? Sounds like a good idea to me. Swill a few, then check out T Bags, Aqua Blu, Lilo, and others for up to 70% off, plus get loaded, spend $250, and get a free goody bag. 8/3; 5-9; 323 W. Broadway.

Can't see? You probably can't read this anyway, but if you can, Ocean View Optical has eyewear from Alain Mikli, Theo, and Anne et Valentin for 50% off. Through 8/31; 11-7, noon-6 Sat.; 40 Union Square E.

Buy a unique outfit from an indie emerging designer at 30 Vandam, get it on sale for 30%-80% off, and get hopped up with free Belgian chocolate and coffee. 8/4-8/20; 11-8, noon-6 Sun.; 30 Vandam (Varick & 6th Ave.).

The Shop at Style.com is back after a brief hiatus; this week, accessories from uber-hip Parisian boutique Colette, clothes from Jean Yu, and Guess jeans.

Get an extra 10% off designer handbags already on sale at Metroluxury when you enter code MSLC.

Bop has marked down spring/summer merchandise one last time; everything is now 40%-55% off; final closeouts (from past seasons) are up to 80% off.

Save up to 75% at Delia*s' Be-All End-All Sale.