Monday, October 31, 2005

The week in shopping
Score pretty clothes and pretty undergarments to wear under them at the Rebecca Taylor and Leigh Bantivoglio joint sale. Prices start at $10. 11/1-11/2; 10-7; Loft Eleven, 336 W. 37th St. (8th & 9th Aves.), 6th fl.

Sweet shoes from Cynthia Rowley, Nancy Geist, and nancynancy are $80-$140 at this cash-only sale. 11/4-11/11; noon-7; 307 7th Ave. (at 28th St.), ste. 2307.

Fancy but affordable e harcourts body lotion, potpourri, oils, and more are 15% off. 11/2-11/8; noon-7, noon-6 Sun.; 219 Mott St. (at Spring St.).

Brooklyn Handknit has, um, hand-knit clothes and accessories, plus goods by Orla Kiely and Plenty for $5 and up. Cash only. 11/5-11/6; 10-6; 155 Powers St. (at Graham Ave.), Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Sometimes the Denise Williamson Showroom sale is great and sometimes it sucks, but it's worth a try: Sass & Bide, Ulla Johnson, and other hip labels for 75% off. 11/3-11/5; 8-7, noon-6 Sat.; 119 Mercer (Houston & Prince), loft 2-S. i

Another sale that' s usually hit or miss, Staff USA has denim, jackets, pants, skirts, tops, and more by Diesel, Dsquared2, and Martin Margiela for about $100 and up. 11/3-11/4; 10-7; 495 Broadway (Spring & Broome Sts.), 8th fl.

Yeohlee's wearable avant-garde clothes are $25-$500 (were $300-$3,000). Cash only. 11/3; 9-6; 225 W. 35th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 16th fl.

Lauren Moffatt's lovely, feminine clothes are on sale; purchases under $400 are cash only. 11/1-11/3; 9-7; 214 W. 29th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 1503.

If you haven't already bought your winter coat, hit the jackpot at Andrew Marc's sale--jackets for men, women and children are up to 60% off. 11/5-11/13; 10-6; Hotel Pennsylvania, 401 7th Ave. (33rd & 32nd Sts.).

Or, if you prefer vintage, Psyche's Tears has coats from the '50s through the '80s for 20%-50% off. 11/2-11/6; 1-10 Wed., 1-7 Thurs.-Sat., 1-6 Sun.; 350 E. 9th St. (1st Avenue & A).

For very well made, classic, but under-the-radar clothes, check out Rena Lange for up to 80% off their clothes and accessories. 11/1-11/3; 9-5; 730 5th Ave. (at 57th St.), ste. 1000.

Don't let the fact that Paris Hilton wears it deter you from checking out Emanuel Ungaro's sale--he tailors a mean suit. Prices are up to 80% off. 11/1-11/3; 9-7; 595 Madison Ave (at 57th St.), 9th fl.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

America's Next Top Model recap
I was actually a bit nervous to watch this week's episode of America's Next Top Model, because from the previews, it looked like it was going to be the "Rag on Kim" episode. (And, as you know, Kim is my favorite.) The episode started out with Tyra styling the girls with Vaseline for an improptu "edgy" photo shoot, the photos from which turned out really cool. The next challenge was a bizarre "boot camp" in which the girls had to climb walls, jump hurdles, and crawl under stuff--all in several inches of mud. Most of the girls--with the notable exception of Nicole--were good sports about it, including Nik, whose pants were below her ass for most of her turn. This stunt appeared to have no purpose whatsoever, except to get the girls all dirty and smelly for...their meeting with several of Elle Girl's top-ranking editors. This portion of the task was apparently to prepare the girls to rock their go-sees even when they, literally, look and smell like shit. While everyone appeared to do pretty well, Lisa once again won the task, and her prize was a meeting with a "modeling expert," who, since Lisa is clearly one of the front-runners, told her stuff she pretty much already knows. Nonetheless, the girls had another shoot, in which they had to pose like pinup girls, next to a car (um, product placement much?). Kim's shoot started off on the wrong foot...then lo and behold, she brought it, and did the best of anyone. Thus, I was overjoyed when Kim's name was called first at judging. It came down to Bre and Kyle in the end; honestly, I was a bit stunned that they eliminated Kyle. After all the fawning over her bone structure and her body (which Nigel didn't hesitate to say was "the best in the competition"), I thought she was totally still going to be in the running, and anyway, nothing Bre has done so far has impressed me at all. If anyone's the next to go, I think it's her. Kyle was genuinely upset and stunned, and poor Kim lost yet another friend. But...

...in next week's episode, season 3 winner Eva pays the girls a visit. This should be particularly interesting, because the preview shows Kim saying how hot Eva is, and rumors about Eva's sexuality have run rampant...

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The fate of Martin
With news that their website is down, I swung by Martin today (206 E. 6th Street in the East Village), even though a noreaster was raging (ah, the things I do in the name of "research"). And I am sad to report that the store is no more--it was all shuttered up with no sign of life. I also tried calling the store, and the phone number has been disconnected. I searched online and couldn't find anything about it closing, but all signs point to yes, unfortunately. The only consolation I can offer is that the excellent Daryl K is back in business, and her pants are second to none.
Website of the week*
Sometimes, especially during, shall we say, certain times of the month, we ladies need the chocolate. Okay, I pretty much always need it, but right now I am dying for it. But instead of throwing on my shoes and trenchcoat and running downstairs to the bodega to score some low-grade Twix (hey, man, there's a freakin' noreaster outside!), I've decided to torture myself by looking at the website for Vosges Haut Chocolat, one of my favorite places in NYC to satisfy my fix. (I happen to live right around the corner from Chocolate Bar, which will work in a pinch, but Vosges is a destination.) Now, Vosges made its name by creating such unusual chocolates as Tuscan fennel pollen, balsamic vinegar, Ancho chili, and Red Stripe Beer. While these are fun and exciting for the adventurous chocolate eater or foodie, I think they probably only sound like a good idea when you're stoned. You can get a sampling of both the crazy (ginger & wasabi) and the tame (Mexican vanilla bean) in the Dark Chocolate Truffle Collection, or an even less adventurous (but equally good) selection with the Milk Chocolate Truffle Collection (love that Dulce de Leche). For the hot chocolate purists (my friend ES comes to mind), they have an excellent collection of ultra-creamy Couture Cocoas (yes, it's $79 for three flavors, but I guarantee this is some of the best hot chocolate you'll ever have). But even with all this crazy-good chocolate, I must say, my favorite thing in the whole store is the Caramel Toffee. Now, I make a mean toffee (known affectionately as "Treat"), but I once received a box of this stuff as a thank-you present from a publicist, and it was so good, I nearly fell out of my chair. I then made the mistake of saying, "Oh my god, you guys have to try this stuff!" to my coworkers and watched it all disappear in a matter of seconds. But right now, the thing that sounds the best to me is the Caramel Marshmallow--marshmallows sandwiching caramel, walnuts, and pecans, covered in dark chocolate. Yum. Oh, if only they delivered. I'm now off to chew on my arm until bedtime. If, tomorrow morning, you see a crazy woman in a pink bathrobe with chocolate smeared all over her face, staggering down Spring Street, well, that will be me.

*No, I was not stoned while writing this entry.
The week in shopping
Sexy French lingerie from Aubade is up to 80% off. 10/26-10/28; 10-7 Wed., 10-6 Thurs., 10-5 Fri.; 40 E. 34th St. (at Madison Ave.), ste. 607.

Cheeky sweats from Left Field are up to 80% off at this cash-only sale. 10/27-10/28; 11-7; 195 Chrystie St. (at Stanton St.), 9th fl.

Cool modernist linens by Area are a ridiculously cheap $3-$90. 10/26-10/27; 11-8 Wed., 9-6 Thurs.; 180 Varick St. (at Charlton).

Save 10% at Target.com when you enter code TCTENSAV through 10/26.

Check out the new Bargain Bin at former Cheryl Shops website of the week Feng Junk, then enter code FALL05 to save an additional 15%.

Monday, October 24, 2005

I'm tired...
So the Week in Shopping will be posted later tomorrow. Sorry for the delay.
A girl and her boots
So, I skipped out of work a few hours early on Friday and headed to Soho, mainly to check out the Dwell sample sale, but I figured that, on the way, I'd stop at APC to check out these boots, which I featured in the Cheryl Shops Fall Shopping Guide and have since been saving up for (I wasn't quite there, but I figured if I had to give into temptation, I'd put them on the ol' Amex Blue and let Amex make a little money off of me for a month or two). Now, on my computer, which I believe is calibrated correctly, the boot appears to be a rich caramel color. In the store, however, it was orange. I asked a salesgirl, too, and she said that that was the correct color (several minutes earlier, however, she had been tearfully arguing with someone--probably a boyfriend--on her cell in front of the store, so god knows how lucent she was at the time). I was bummed for like 10 seconds, but then I realized that 1) I'd be saving myself $600 and 2) that now I could participate in what I really love about shopping, which is the art of the hunt. So I did a little window-shopping, finally ending up at Bloomingdale's in Soho. And as soon as I walked into the 2nd-floor shoe department, there it was: the perfect boot: a lovely, true caramel color with a round toe and a slouchy shape (the boot can be worn cuffed or uncuffed). I would've preferred a stacked heel instead of a covered heel, but I decided not to be too picky. It fit perfectly. And while it was $340 on the price tag, I remembered that it was double-discount weekend (for eligible Federated employees such as myself), so I got it for a very nice 40% off--which amounted to just about what I had already saved for the APC boots. Yes, the shoe gods were smiling on me on Friday. And, as I promised MW, I am now officially done with boot shopping. Well, until the Christmas sales, of course...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Website of the week
In honor of this week's Los Angeles "Fashion" Week (oh, and I thought it was all over), this week's website of the week is an L.A.-based site that is very L.A. (lots of T-shirts) and yet not very L.A. (no True Religion jeans). The site is Sun Walters, and it has a hip, easygoing mix of names you've heard of (Twelfth Street, Free People) and ones you haven't (3J Workshop, Pink Spike). A lot of the items are on the affordable side (i.e. under $100), but I think the coolest part is that the site supports independent designers, whether they're familiar names or not (and, okay, I know Free People is owned by Urban Outfitters, but most of these designers are independent). You can shop by category or by designer; there's also a nice little fall trend report for the shopper who needs an editorial voice. I like the uniquely detailed Birds tee by Pink Spike; the kind of '80s Metallic Oversized sweater by Jenny Han (can't you picture it on Ashley Olsen?); this cool bolero top by A Common Thread; this wide-leg pant by LA Made (which appears to be a non-sleazy version of American Apparel); this Sasha mini dress by Conspiracy Eight; and this very Sienna Miller multistrand beaded necklace. Spend $100 (not so hard) and get free shipping. There's also a nice Wish List feature for those of us who, well, like to wish for stuff. And with that, I formerly vow to stop making fun of L.A. "fashion"--they might love their jeans and tees, but they definitely know what they're doing.
America's Next Top Model recap
If I had to pick a title for this week's episode of America's Next Top Model, it would be "Hatin'." The show started with a bang: Lisa drinking...and drinking...and drinking...and playing around with bubbles in the Jacuzzi. (Um, doesn't anyone know you're not supposed to put bubble bath in a hot tub?) The next morning, the girls received a visit from supermodel Iman, which impressed me at first, until I realized that Iman was there to plug her new book. Anyway, the supe showed the girls how to take care of their skin by creating masks out of honey, oatmeal, and other stuff every non-eating model should keep in her fridge. The girls were then subjected to a challenge where they had to plug their natural mask on a late-night-type show; Kyle, who, seemingly out of nowhere has started kicking major ass, won, and picked Nicole to share the win with her--the prize was hosting a "Fabulous Life of Supermodels" show for VH1 (I couldn't tell if this was for a "real" show or not--whether it actually airs remains to be seen). The challenge was followed by footage of Coryn and Lisa hating on each other, ending with Coryn calling Lisa a "drunk bitch." Oh no you didn't! Lisa couldn't believe she hadn't won, so she moped around the house as the girls filmed their segments then, having been scolded for being too loud by the VH1 producer, started drinking wine. At 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Lisa proceeded to drink for the rest of the day, finally passing out in a lounge chair by the pool. The kindhearted Bre and Nik brought her inside, then Lisa called her boyfriend and started to freak the fuck out, hyperventilating and all. Now, as obnoxious as I think Lisa is, I started to feel bad for her here--the girls are all under a lot of stress, and even Lisa isn't immune to it. Breakdown aside, she brought it the next day--the girls had to film a TV ad, take a photograph (for a print ad), and do press (with some dude from Entertainment Tonight) all in support of Secret deodorant. Which brings us to Hatin' Part Two: During the TV ad, the girls had to reveal a "secret" that they had, and it turned out Jayla and Nik were both afraid of the dark, although Nik decided to include the fact that she sleeps with a night light. Both girls were kind of flustered after figuring this out--Nik visibly more so--and while Jayla was fliming her ad, she said she was afraid of the dark and uses a night light, thus stealing Nik's line. Which is when Nik started freaking out, talking about Karma...and sucking big time during her ad, photo shoot, and interview. And then later that night, Lisa, since she doesn't really have any friends to lose, told Jayla about why Nik was mad at her. Jayla then amusingly called all-out war on Nik, and while maybe she overreacted just a bit, I found it kind of cute--yes, Jayla even makes evil look cute. Of course, the cameras cut to her smirking, cute little face during judging, when Nik was in the bottom two with Coryn. But let's face it, Nik just had a bad day. Coryn, on the other hand, was deemed "too sad" to be a model, so she was sent home. And, ironically, when Coryn was packing up her bags to go home, it was the happiest I'd ever seen her. Oh, and Nicole's photo was chosen to appear in this week's People in an ad for Secret; Lisa, who was called first, probably had the second-best shot.

Next week, Kim gets more annoying comments on her sexuality.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The week in shopping
The excellent Girlshop sample sale is back! Score cute clothing and accessories by indie designers for 30%-70% off. Expect a review from MK on Wednesday. 10/20-10/23; noon-8 through Saturday, noon-5 Sun.; 33 Little W. 12th St. (9th Ave. & Washington St.), ste. 203.

If, like me, you wore Oilily clothes when you were a kid, take a trip down memory lane at this sale. Oh, and they have womenswear too, all for up to 70% off. 10/20-10/21; 10-8 Thurs., 10-7 Fri.; Altman Building, 135 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

Score--new duvet for Cheryl! Dwell and Dwellbaby sheets are 40% off and up. 10/20-11/6; 11-7; 79 Greene St. (at Spring St.).

Get your fancy denim on at DDCLAB for up to 60% off. Cash only. 10/19-10/22; 7 Mercer St. (Grand & Canal Sts.).

Speaking of fancy denim, score men's, women's, and kids' clothes by Italian label Replay for up to 80% off. 10/21-10/23; 10-7 Fri., 9-7 Sat. & Sun.; 38 W. 21st St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 11th floor.

Find Outlet has Alice & Olivia, Maya, Noir jewelry, and other hip labels on sale. 10/20-10/23; noon-7; 361 W. 17th St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

Clothingline has Free People for cheap! Through 10/21; 10-6; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Get semiprecious boho-chic jewelry for up to 85% off at Echo of the Dreamer's sample sale. 10/18-10/21; 9:30-7:30; 242 W. 30th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 14th fl.

Satisfy your thirst for Brazilian mania at Tufi Duek's sample sale (prices start at $50 for tops). 10/18-10/20; 9:30-7; 530 Broadway (at Spring St.), 10th fl.

Select bags are 30% off at LeSportsac. Through 10/30; 1065 Madison (80 & 81st Sts.), 176 Spring St. (W. Broadway & Thompson Sts.).

Through 10/31 at Vivre, earn "orange dollars": Spend $200-$399 and get a $25 gift certificate; spend $400-$599 and get $50; spend $600-$700 and get $75; and so on.

Save 10% at Target.com when you enter code TCTENBGS through 10/19.

If you have a Bergdorf Goodman charge, get double points online through 10/22 and in store 10/20-10/22.

Get free shipping on your $300 Marc by Marc Jacobs order when you enter code FREEOCTA at Saks through 10/31.

And Thursday night is Girls Night Out at the 59th Street Bloomingdale's; expect cocktails and lots of deals.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Website of the week
I am a huge fan of the Starwood Preferred Guest program. (It's even better than most frequent flier programs, in my opinion, because when you transfer 20,000 Starwood points to a frequent flier account, they give you a bonus 5,000 points. Although I always end up using my points for hotels, because, well, I like staying in the hotels.) Starwood created the W Hotels mini-chain to appeal to people my age who like to feel glamourous when they go on vacation (or travel for business). So while W Hotels is quite a strong brand in and of itself, did you know they had a store? I didn't! So, um, yeah, there are several stores in W hotels (including the Times Square location), and there's also a nice little website, so when you return home from your travels, you can re-create the sophisticated, urbane atmostphere in your very own home. You can even shop by hotel, although the more conventional method is to shop by room (bedroom, bathroom, dining room, etc.). The most obvious thing to do would be to re-create the W's "heavenly bed" with the featherbed and the classic bedding. Equip your bathroom with the ultra-plush spa robe, the promising-sounding world's best towels, and maybe even the footprints scale (hey, if you're going to weigh yourself once a week, it might as well be an aesthetically pleasing experience). Add an ametheyst vase for ambience and slip the rhythm & muse CD into your stereo and, voila! It's like you're in a deluxe suite at the W! But aside from carrying linens for ease of turning your bedroom into a hotel room, the site is also a great source for fun gift items, like fancy bath products, quirky decorative pillows, and cool jewelry. Be forewarned, however, that the site is out of stock of a lot of items, such as this weirdly awesome ghost candelabra. But then again, you don't want to totally turn your apartment into a W hotel room--after all, then what's the fun of staying at the real thing?
America's Next Top Model recap
How naive of me to think that after Cassandra's departure last week America's Next Top Model was going to get boring. As Cheryl Shops reader Summer predicted, Lisa has taken over as the house's resident bitch. Lisa doesn't hesitate to tell the other girls what's wrong with them--they don't know how to pose, they're too muscular, they're too flabby, etc.--and regardless of whether she's right, she claims she's doing it so the other girls become stiffer competition for her. At first I thought she was insanely self-confident, but after the girls had a photo shoot with the "surprise guest" (more on that later), I came to the conclusion that she's really feeling the heat (hmm, maybe because she's old and fugly--more on that later, too) and so to combat her insecurities, she's trying to make the other models feel bad. Quite simple armchair psychology, really. Anyway, the girls' first task was to meet with Dean and Dan Factor (hey, wasn't one of them married to Shannen Doherty?), founders of Smashbox makeup, to discuss their flaws and how to work with them. Since the girls also had to point out everyone else's flaws, of course Lisa stepped up to the task. And while she's right about the fact that Coryn is a bit on the muscular side, her criticism is clearly starting to wear on Coryn (again, more on that later). The girls then had an impromptu photo shoot, in which they had to direct the photographer how to magnify, then conceal, their flaw. Completely out of nowhere, Kyle won, and she got to take Kim (clearly everyone's favorite girl in the house) and TK girl to a spa. The next day, the girls had a photo shoot with "surprise guest" Janice Dickinson, who, now that she's no longer an ANTM judge, is apparently a photographer. Still, Janice injected some much-needed humor into the episode, and her appearance really made me miss her. While Janice doesn't exactly mince words, she's definitely more tactful than, oh, I don't know, Lisa, and she told the models when they were doing an excellent job. The one person Janice made cry? Lisa! Janice saw right through her little act. It was also here that the tensions between Lisa and Coryn came bubbling to the surface; Coryn is apparently not talking to Lisa anymore. Good for her! Most of the girls appeared to rock the photo shoot--maybe Janice is a pretty good photographer after all. Kyle (since when is she so good?), Nik, and Lisa (as obnoxious and fugly as she is, the girl can pose) in particular kicked ass and were the first to be called. The final two came down to Bre, who's been cracking under pressure, but who finally turned out a good photograph; and Diane, who's been lackluster since day one. But Bre (who, from what I can tell, doesn't want to be a model per se--she just wants to be famous) got to stay and, as MW predicted, the plus-size girl had to go. Which again brings me to the point that it's not fair to have a plus-size girl in this competition. Tyra kept saying that as a plus-size girl, you have to do everything better than the other girls, including having a bigger personality, but look at Toccara, who was one of the most confident contestants ever and who got worn down after only a few episodes. It's just not fair to have them competing with regular models.

Anyway, next week the girls gang up on Lisa and call her out on her excessive drinking. And, aha, the tables are turned!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Fashion Week roundup
What's that expression about people going to Paris to fall in love? Well, the Times' Cathy Horyn has obviously been getting it on in Paris, because her every review is peppered with sex, sex, sex. She refers to "bound women" and "petals of an orchid" at Yohji Yamamoto and Rick Owens, respectively; gets all riled up about Balenciaga and Comme des Garcons; nearly wets her pants over Rochas; muses over Stella McCartney and Chanel's treatment of sexuality; and compares Alexander McQueen's sexy Alaia-inspired collection vs. Galliano's freaks. Eric Wilson reviews Dries van Noten, Lagerfeld Gallery, and others.

And, to avoid overlapping, here's Suzy Menkes on the '80s-are-back Lanvin and Vuitton.

For subscribers, WWD has full reviews, and for free, Style.com has pretty, pretty pictures.

And, with that, Fashion Week/Month is done! Next come the "what you'll be wearing next spring" trend roundups...
The week in shopping
One of my favorite jewelry stores, Boucher, is having its semi-annual sale; save 15%-40% on their semiprecious selection. Through 10/16; noon-8, noon-6 Sun.; 9 9th Ave. (at Little West 12th St.).

Score hip, modern furniture by Busk + Hertzog, Kurt Brandt, and Muller & Wulff for up to 50% off at Apt.10/12-10/18; 11-8; 61 Greene St. (at Spring St.).

Save 10% on everything--yes, everything--at Design Within Reach through 10/17.

It's Purple Card Week at Barneys: Spend $250 and get a $25 gift card, spend $500 and get a $50 gift card, spend $750 and get a $75 gift card...and so on. Through 10/16.

Save 10% at Target.com when you enter code TCTENFRN through 10/12.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Cheryl Shops Fall Shopping Guide
Now that the temperature has dropped comfortably into the 60s, you should totally be in the mood to start your fall shopping, if you haven't already (for those of you who were in the mood when it was still in the 80s, my apologies). The two major schools of trend this fall are Russian/Goth/Edwardian and Mod. The former is kind of an extension of summer's prevalent bohemian look, but with more luxe details like tons of ruffles, velvet, embroidery, lace, and the like. To counterbalance all this detail and luxury, there's the Mod look, which tends to show up every few years when there's a backlash against too much embellishment. A lot of people dislike Mod because it tends to be flattering only on thin people (which is true), but I've always loved the look; in fact, I've come to the conclusion that my style tends to be more boho in summer and more Mod in fall, and I attribute this to the fact that I let my hair be all wavy and free in the summer while blowing it straight October through April. Anyway, so here are my 10 major trends for fall; some are Russian/Goth/Edwardian, some are Mod, and some are neither. But all of these items are on my shopping for fall regardless. For each must-have, I've provided generally three examples (sometimes less depending on availability) at each price point: Bonus is usually $500 and up, Basic is about $125-$500, and Bargain is generally under $100 (these price points may vary for such categories as coats, where it's hard to find a decent coat for under $100). So, without further ado...

wide-leg cuffed trousers
bonus
When I was in Spain this past summer, I saw this gorgeous pair of super-slouchy, straight-from-grandpa's-closet, pleated-front cuffed plaid pant. I am still kicking myself for not having bought them. Thankfully, there are a lot of similar styles here, whether you prefer pinstripes, solids, or plaids. Of couse, when you've got money to burn, Chloe is the perfect choice. This pair is a versatile solid gray, while the glen plaid style reminds me more of the style I saw in Spain. And this pair has a nice, subtle pinstripe.

basic
For the more adventurous gal, this Charles Nolan style is navy with a subtle orange pinstripe. Ka-ray-zy! For those who aren't so crazy, and who maybe aren't so into wearing a grandpa-size pair of pants, this Calvin Klein style takes the trend and makes it just a bit more subtle and long-lasting. And back to the crazy gal, this Trina Turk pair has Lurex for subtle sparkle.

bargain
This plaid style by Free People is great for those who qualify as "autumns" in that whole seasonal-coloring thing. Aside from the plaid Chloe pair, this Lux style from Urban Outfitters is my second-favorite. And leave it to good ol' Newport News to produce several takes on the trend, my favorite of which is this glen plaid style.

vests
basic
We have Sienna Miller to thank for the reappearance of vests--in this week's Us Weekly, in fact, they point out how frequently she likes to wear her vintage denim style. And while Sienna can make anything look cute, the vest is actually quite versatile. But to avoid looking like 1994, just think fitted and feminine. Another nice thing about this trend is that I couldn't find one for more than $200, so it's an affordable one too. This Elie Tahari vest is just what you'd expect from that designer--clean lines, fitted, and menswear-inspired. Meanwhile, this 12th Street by Cynthia Vincent style is more feminine, with a cropped fit and a low neckline.

bargain
Of all the vendors I write about at work, Necessary Objects is one of my favorites. Nordstrom has three styles that my employer doesn't happen to carry, and they're all different yet supercute. This one is cropped and pinstriped--a nice combination of masculine and feminine. This one is also menswear-inspired, but still cute and fitted. And this one is a bit more festive, in velvet, the big fabric for this season.

striped sweaters
bonus
We can sort of thank Sienna Miller again for this one. Very Mod, the trend kind of extends from the Fall 2005 Christian Dior show, which was inspired by Edie Sedgwick, who was party of Warhol's Factory and who will be played in an upcoming biopic by...Sienna Miller! Anyway, the striped sweater dresses in that collection inspired me to choose the striped sweater for my little shopping guide. So aside from the Dior dress, which, sadly, isn't available online, eLuxury also has this awesome Marc Jacobs cardigan, which is a month's rent for many people and, well, just an awesome sweater for others.

basic
Ella Moss is proving she can do a lot more with stripes than those handkerchief-hem skirts, and this empire-waist sweater is a prime example. This topsy-turvy Paper Denim & Cloth style is very unique and looks more expensive than it is. But for the traditionalists, you can't beat APC's classic.

bargain
If you're not really into black and white, this moss green/lavender tunic from Delia*s is a cute alternative. Ditto for this colorful--and glamorous--sequined style, kind of like the Mod sweater goes out on the town.

velvet jackets
bonus
Velvet is, in a word, huge for fall. (Or was that three words?) They're making everything in the fabric, from pants to skirts to dresses. But I think velvet blazers are the cutest way to wear it. For a super-chic look, you can't go wrong with YSL. For something a little more basic, I like this True Religion blazer, which has a funky psychedelic design on the back (okay, maybe it's not so basic). And remember how I mentioned the whole Russian trend? Hello, Oscar de la Renta.

basic
I like the three-quarter sleeves and the fitted, feminine styling of this 12th Street jacket. And it's not a Cheryl Shops Shopping Guide without any Marc by Marc Jacobs, so here's a great military-inspired jacket that's definitely on my wish list. And if you want a well-made jacket that's going to last you for years, I'd highly suggest this APC jacket, which has classic written all over it.

bargain
Here again is a cute style from Necessary Objects with a military-meets-Edwardian style. We've got a similar style here (full disclosure: I wrote the copy for this), and it happens to be on sale, which is nice. I also like this rich belted style from Newport News--it's a slimming cut, and purple is the color of royalty.

military coats
bonus
The big news for coats this fall is military-influenced. Think brass buttons, epaulettes, Mandarin collars, double-breasted styles, etc. It sounds kind of severe, but I think they manage to be feminine and flattering, not all, "Look what I found at the Army-Navy surplus store." Of course, spending a lot of money helps. Case in point: This Valentino Red coat is definitely military-inspired, but it's impeccably tailored and quite luxe. I love the asymmetrical construction of this Searle coat (at upper right). And this BCBG coat is probably one of the more expensive items for sale at Macys.com, but we all drooled over it when the buyer showed it to us. The fit is great too.

basic
This APC coat is a bit more "British detective" than military, but it's double-breasted and has cool button-flap details. Vince's military coat is a bit more obvious, but it has classic styling that will keep it looking stylish for longer than just this season. And I love the bold color of this Borne Long Distance coat, a kind of trench-meets-military coat.

bargain
Anthropologie's take on the trend is, as you'd imagine, more feminine, and this style also incorporates the Edwardian trend. This Cavalry coat is also a bit on the obvious side, but it combines velvet with military. And, best for last, check out this amazing Lux coat from Urban Outfitters--a bargain at $140, it deftly combines the military look with the Edwardian trend. I might just have to get it.

empire-waist dresses
bonus
Empire waists are showing up everywhere, in tops, sweaters, and even jackets. I like an empire-waist dress the most, though, because I hate shopping for dresses, but I know an empire-waist style is always going to look good on me, being a busty gal with a big tummy. The empire waist hides a multitude of sins without making you look like a slob. Like, for example, Marc Jacobs's Edwardian style, which is crisp and ladylike. And a bit Goth. The polar opposite is this Stella McCartney jersey dress, which has a super-loose look and a nice adjustable fit. Somewhere in the middle is this surprisingly sexy (for Chloe) halter dress, which is vampy without being trashy.

basic
This Harveys cocktail dress will look good on just about everyone, and I think I will definitely be adding it to my selection of all-purpose Little Black Dresses. On the other end of the spectrum, this Issa dress has a kind of psychedelic print and a Mod look. And I have no idea why this hot Stella McCartney dress is only $470, but it is, so let's not complain about it.

bargain
If you liked that last Stella but think I'm insane for suggesting that $470 for a dress is a bargain, I suggest this Primp style instead, a nice $110. I absolutely love the shape (and the emerald green color) of this Isshu dress and, once again, I'm stunned by the price ($68!). And this versatile, slightly Mod sequined mini looks hot with knee-high boots or cute with jeans.

embellished denim
bonus
Remember when Seven jeans came out and they were like $105 and everyone was scandalized? Nowadays it's hard to find a pair of Sevens on sale for that much, and $150 to $200 seems to be the norm. And now we have embellished jeans, which are patched, embroidered, or beaded, and can run into the thousands. Kind of makes you nostalgic for 2000, doesn't it? This Great China Wall for Seven style has certainly gotten a lot of attention and, well, it's a pretty hot pair. True Religion, one of the millions of brands to receive the "the new Sevens" nickname, created this cool Joey Ashbury jean, a psychedelic patched style. Or, if you're more one for "quite luxury," try this Roberto Cavalli jean with metallic gold trim along the outseam.

basic
My personal favorite is the True Religion Buddha and his Consort Bobby jean, a style which, as you'd imagine, has an embroidered Buddha on the back pocket. The butterfly-lover in me also likes this butterfly jean from Frankie B., which, to be honest, I didn't know was still around. But look what cute jeans they're making! People for Peace is one of the newest brands to receive the "the new Sevens" monkier; this cool Rose Bowl jean shows you why.

bargain
The juniors department is a great place to find very detailed styles for less than $100. We all cooed over this Vanilla Star peacock jean at work (again, I wrote copy for this one)--it's super-cute, and I'm super-puzzled as to why it's so affordable. I also love this cool Koi jean with its trouser styling. And, hey, another peacock jean!

round-toe stacked-heel boots
bonus
Yes, pointy toes are dying their slow death, and round toes are now (semi-officially) where it's at. Flat boots are still super-popular, but this season, I want a little stacked heel. And I want a nice, buttery caramel color. The shape can be straight up, but a little slouchy is even better. Wear them with everything because, let's face it, all you really wear in winter is boots. Pretty much everything about this Chloe boot is perfect--color, heel, toe--except for the price (ouch!). I adore the slouchy, Pirates of the Caribbean look of this Studio Pollini boot. And with its slightly more tolerable 38-cm heel, I am already saving up for this beyond-perfect APC boot.

basic
Frye's classic Campus boot is all over the place this fall, but I like this pirate-y slouchy boot much better. This Miss Sixty boot is a bit dark, but I love the shape, and the price isn't terrible for a European-made shoe. And for the classicists, I could totally picture someone like Gwyneth Paltrow wearing this gorgeous camel boot.

bargain
Again, this Main Squeeze boot is a bit darker than what i'm after, but the heel is a great height, and I adore the bow detail on the side. This Urban Outfitters boot looks like something you'd find in a vintage store--the toe is perfectly rounded (i.e. not too cartoonishly round) and the tiny buckle detail is cool. And this Banana Republic boot is again too dark, but it's a very classic style, and I like the wavy stitching around the top.

wooden beads
bonus
Wooden beads--primarily kukui nuts from Southeast Asia--started to appear around the necks of starlets in August, and while they're kind of summery, wood makes a nice transition into fall. That and, for the most part, they can be had pretty inexpensively. Um, unless you shop at Neiman Marcus, where you can find this ornate (but cool) set of metallic-lacquered kukui beads. The next, new shape is a tiered wooden-bead necklace, like this multi-strand horn bead necklace. I also kind of like the haphazard, clunky look of this Erickson Beamon necklace--it kind of reminds me of found art or collage or something.

basic
Here's another take on the layered necklace that begs for a plunging neckline and strong collarbones. This Wendy Mink necklace is a bit more understated but luxe--the beads are from Nepal. I also like this lariat, for a different take on the trend.

bargain
While paying for good design is important, you can also look just like Scarlett Johansson for cheap, since wood is plentiful and widely available. This Puya nut necklace is almost straight out of Us Weekly. I like that this Seville necklace comes in several colors, including green. And back to tiers, these Bali boho beads are a versatile but unique choice.

slouchy hobo bag
bonus
The hobo bag is the trend that just won't die. It's been around for, what, six or seven seasons now, and shows no sign of going away. So, hey, it's a great time to invest in Devi Kroell's gorgeous python hobo, isn't it? Seriously, this super-slouchy bag is what got everyone all excited about the hobo again. I saw one at Barneys, and I can assure you, it's breathtaking. Slightly more realistic is this Be&D hobo, in a shape (uh, and price) that reminds me of Gucci. And I know the Kooba Sienna bag (hey, named after everyone's favorite trend-inspirer, Sienna Miller!) has been featured everywhere--and is also sold out in the caramel leather that I had wanted to feature--but it's just so awesome, I had to include it.

basic
I'm not particularly sure when Cole Haan stopped making Mom accessories and started making cool ones, but this hobo is classic but on-trend. Juicy Couture, too, has appeared to put the colored fur and the oversized charms away, turning out cute bags such as the Ruby Tuesday, which shares its name with one of my favorite Rolling Stones songs. And for those of you who like studs and bells and whistles on their bags, this Martina bag from Aaneta should do the trick.

bargain
I like the drawstring and the exaggerated half-moon shape of this very affordable (and, uh, not leather) hobo from Urban Outfitters. Again, for the embellishment lovers, this studded bow hobo is pretty cute. And I wouldn't expect something so understated from Paris Hilton's favorite store, but this studded hobo is actually pretty classic for boho, and it's real suede too.

Whew! So that's what I'm shopping for this fall. Please feel free to comment, or share what's on your shopping list--after all, everyone loves comments. Don't they?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

So you're probably wondering...
..."where the heck is the Cheryl Shops Fall Shopping Guide?" That is a good question, especially since it's finally starting to cool down outside (i.e., it's fall now). The good news is that I've selected everything for it, and I was planning on writing it tonight, however I had to work until 8 p.m. and by the time I got home, I could barely see straight (my apologies if there are typos galore in tonight's posts). Tomorrow night MW and I are going to Nobu to celebrate our anniversary (I have the cutest outfit planned!), and then Friday MW and I are heading out to Penn State for the ol' Ohio State game. So, in summary, god willing, I will get it written on Sunday night when I get home. I'm not going to bed until it's done. So look for it on Monday. And hopefully it will be worth the wait.
America's Next Top Model recap
Hear that sound? Yep, that would be the "baum-chicka-baw-waw" of this week's episode of America's Next Top Model, a.k.a. the "Kim and Sarah get it on" episode. Bonding over their total lack of runway-walking skills, Kim and Sarah started with a midnight swim in the pool...followed by a makeout sesson in Kim's bed. (Sadly, we saw about a corner of the bed, which I'm going to blame on the fact that UPN is a major network; if this show were on MTV, we'd have totally seen the whole thing). Of course, the next day both girls were all remorseful about it--Kim has a girlfriend and Sarah has a boyfriend--but it was fun while it lasted. Backing up a bit, this was also the "J. Alexander teaches the models how to walk" episode; their skills were then tested in an audience-less runway show for crazy designer Sue Wong ("You're a Mongolian princess!" was among her comments to the models), and Bre, who has thus far not been very impressive, won with her diva-meets-Belgian Stomp walk (I personally think her walk is a bit horselike, but she definitely did have the most attitude and presence during the competition). As I mentioned before, my fave gal Kim and her DSL buddy Sarah were among the worst walkers. In this week's photo shoot, the girls had to run on a bizarre treadmill-like thing while looking "scared" and most of the girls did not nail it at all, although Jayla, who had her extensions removed and her spunky short 'do restored, rocked it. And due to tricky editing, I thought Kim blew it, but it turned out she had one of the better photos as well. Sneaky, Tyra Banks, sneaky. And if you remember from last week, Tyra mentioned that pageant queen Cassandra's hair wasn't quite short enough and that she wanted to lop off another inch. So after much debate with the other contestants (Sly Bre really impressed me with her comment, "God gave you instincts for a reason," that little saboteur!) and her mom, Cassandra decided (quite irrationally, in my opinion) that she was not letting anyone cut her hair...which resulted in her having to leave the competition. Yikes, was not expecting that one. (Remember in the first season how it didn't count against the girls if they didn't want to pose nude? How is this different?) Now, yes, I thought Cassandra was beyond annoying, too, but the show needs a personality like that--the bitch you love to hate. Of course, this is America's Next Top Model, so we can expect some other bitch's head to sprout up in her place. Now, even with this unexpected departure, they still had an elimination. During judging, the girls had to perform their "signature walk" (yes, a task inspired by season two's Camille), and Kim literally stabbed herself in the foot by prefacing her walk with a speech about how she knows her walk sucks but she's working on it. Dumb, Kim, dumb. In the end, it came down to Kim and her honey Sarah--how fitting--but it seemed Kim was only there to be punished for her little speech, and thus Sarah was kicked off. She and Kim shared one last tearful embrace; then cut to Sarah packing up her belongings and vowing to make it big as a model. Honestly, I'm not too worried about Sarah--since she's already proved her talent for making out with the ladies on camera, I think she should take her DSL straight to Vivid Video and sign herself a six-video contract. Um, I'm kidding. Sort of.

Next week, the catfights start with bag-o'-fug Lisa accusing now-normal-eyebrows Coryn of exercise anorexia. Aww yeah!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Website of the week
I saw this necklace in a magazine recently (I think it was Lucky) and immediately checked out the designer's website. Her name, Lisa Levine, sounded familiar, and after browing the site, I realized parts of her line are carried at Girlshop, one of my favorite sites. Lisa's jewelry is very architectural and modern, but very delicate and feminine at the same time. And as one would expect from a designer with gorgeous jewelry, the site is well designed too. The shopping aspect of it is rather simple (you can shop by collection, which includes the classic collection, "the future is wide open" collection and the new 2005 collection), but once you click on a collection, there's a nice Flash-enabled rollover feature that gives you a preview of each item before you click on it. I also like the fact that each item has multiple photos--flat shots from several angles as well as photos with a model wearing each piece of jewelry. Browsing through the collections, it's also interesting to see Lisa's evolution as a designer. The classic collection features very clean, simple, yet geometric designs like the innies and outies, the future , and the loose ends, all earrings. Then in the future collection, she goes a bit more postmodern with the parabola and the outies with a chain line earrings and the awesome big bad bracelet. I also like the more organic, nature-inspired shapes in the new 2005 collection, like the waterfall earrings, the three rivers necklace, and the rapunzel necklace. On my wish list are the delicate chains necklace, the dragonfly necklace, the cactus by the watering hole earrings, and the very cool heavy change bracelet. Now, note that I said "wish list." No, I'm not all of a sudden being frugal; it's just that everything's a bit on the pricey side (most items are in the $200-$400 range). But, hey, either way, it's a small price to pay for such originality.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Fashion Week roundup
Now that Milan Fashion Week is over and at long last Paris Fashion Week is upon us, here's what's happened since my last post: Frida Giannini's first collection for Gucci was a stinker... or maybe not--retailers are pissed, but she took a more modest, anti-Tom Ford route, much like Chloe and Stella McCartney (but not quite so boho). I'm guessing that, like Marc Jacobs' fall 2005 collection, this is going to be a collection that everyone pans at first, then later comes to love. Dolce & Gabbana, no longer lovers, threw a 20th-anniversary party--for their clothing label. Their collection, however, got panned by Cathy Horyn. Suzy Menkes, on the other hand, appears to have liked Gucci, as well as Armani, D&G and Fendi, Miu Miu, and even Versace. (Is there nothing this woman doesn't like?)

Suzy has also provided us with a handy Milan trends cheat-sheet. The unabridged version: Complete reviews from WWD.

And, of course, photos for all at Style.com.
The week in shopping
One of my favorite stores on the Lower East Side, Shop is not only having a sale of up to 70% off, but they're donating 20% of every sale to the Humane Society's disaster relief efforts. Through 10/16; noon-7; 105 Stanton St. (at Orchard St.).

Score jeans and tees by Blue Cult, Seven, Hudson, Parkvogel, and more at the Art of Shop's cash only sale. Through 10/9; 11-8; 70 Greene St. (Spring & Broome Sts.).

Score kitchen stuff by All-Clad, Wusthof, and others at Broadway Panhandler's excellent semi-annual sale. 10/8-10/10; 11-5; 477 Broome St. (at Wooster St.).

Catherine Angiel's pretty jewelry is up to 50% off. Through 10/17; noon-7, noon-6 Sun.; 43 Greenwich Ave. (at 6th Ave.).

Start your Christmas shopping early at the Lalique and Christofle sale--prices are up to 80% off. 10/8-10/12; 9-6:30 (9-5 Tue.); Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), 4th fl.

It's not the week in shopping without Lord & Taylor coupons.

Nor, for that matter, a Target.com coupon code: enter TCTENEXP through 10/5 to save 10%.