Thursday, November 29, 2007

A sample sale etiquette reminder
Ladies, please. When you're going to a sample sale, leave your boyfriend at home. When in the chaotic, free-for-all sample sale environment, men get that deer-in-the-headlights syndrome that renders them completely frozen, and they just get in the way. Annoyingly so. And I hate to say it, but many of them have the tendency to stare at the various women disrobing in order to try stuff on. Do you really want your man ogling other half-naked women? If you need someone to tell you how you look in clothing, bring a female friend (or at least a gay one), who at least will give you an honest opinion--because you know your guy is going to tell you that you look great in everything (and if he doesn't, maybe it's time to DTMFA). So, leave the bf behind, then model your purchases for him when you get home. Thank you.
MasstigeWatch!
Fashion Week Daily reports that Target's next designer accessories collaboration will be with Joy Gryson, the namesake of Gryson bags. All we know so far is that the line will hit stores sometime next year, but I expect more details (and photos!) will leak out after the press preview on December 12th.

And not to be outdone, WWD reports that in February, Gap will debut a line of shoes designed by Pierre Hardy. The shoes will be a very affordable $78-$98 at a select 75 or so Gap stores and will include this awesome gladiator sandal, pictured here. Pierre Hardy shoes normally go for upwards of $500 at stores like Barneys, so I am quite excited about this one.
Cheryl shops...Inhabit and Y-3
'Tis the season, so I hit two sample sales today. First up, I went to Inhabit on my lunch hour. The sale used to be right across the street from my office, but this time it moved to an off-site location on 37th Street that was sadly just as crowded as the usual one. However, the deals were so good, the sale could've been in a barnyard for all I care. Cotton sweaters were $40, cashmere was $60-$100, and while some styles had only small sizes left, there was still a ton of merchandise when I was there at 1 p.m., which leads me to believe that the sale might be extended. Stay tuned...

After work, I headed to the Y-3 sale, and while I love me some Yohji Yamamoto, I found the sale a bit disappointing. For the ladies, tees were a reasonable $40 and pants were a not-too-bad $60, but to be honest, the selection of Y-3 at the recent Billion Dollar Babes was way better. And a lot of the merch was a bit on the old side--I know this because I saw a pair of pants that I bought two years ago. If you're a guy, however, the selection seemed to be a bit more varied, especially in the shoe department. So if you really love Y-3 or if you're a dude, the sale runs through 7 p.m. tomorrow at 610 Broadway.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cheryl Shops...Boston (briefly)
I didn't shop too much in Boston last weekend because I was busy visiting with my friend and her new babies (what up, LJ!), getting drunk with MW's family, and, oh yeah, freezing my ass off due to the antarctic-like temperatures. But whilst out and about, I came across two somewhat sad bits of information:

1) Jasmine Sola, Boston's answer to Scoop, is closing. According to The Beantown Bloggery, this was announced a month ago; the chain had been purchased by New York & Co. back in 2005 and had been bleeding money since. The silver lining is that they're having a huge clearance sale, and as of last week, everything in the stores was 30%-50% off. If you're in the market for jeans, I saw current-season True Religion, J Brand, Earnest Sewn, Citizens, and basically every premium-denim brand a girl could ever want. They also had a lot of cute accessories (I got a tote bag and a scarf) and the smaller store on Newbury Street had a ton of shoes. I'm kind of sad to see the chain go, but now I'm wondering what will take up its valuable Newbury real estate. Boston readers, care to weigh in?

2) My favorite Boston brunch spot, the Greenhouse Coffee Shop in Harvard Square, has also closed after 30 years in business. According to the Harvard Crimson, rising rents were to blame. Hopefully it won't be replaced by yet another bank. In the meantime, if anyone has any good brunch recommendations for Cambridge, I'm all ears...
Guilty Pleasure: Hollister sweatpants
Whenever MW and I head out to the burbs, we like to go to the mall. Mundane, yes, but you never realize how much you miss malls until you move somewhere like New York where, this time of year especially, shopping involves schlepping around outside in inclement weather, then sweating once you get inside the stores because you're wearing 8,000 layers and a heavy coat. But I digress. I also love going to malls because I like to observe teenagers in their natural habitat--it keeps me young. And nowadays, the teens are flocking in huge numbers to Hollister, which is owned by Abercrombie & Fitch and virtually undistinguishable from its parent company, except that its clothes appear to fit tighter and cost about $10-$15 less. Also, Hollister stores are darker and the music is louder, if you can believe that. So I spent most of my time stumbling around and bumping into things, blindly grasping at random racks of clothing until I came across the sweatpants. If you've been to a college campus (or a suburban mall) recently, you'll know what I'm talking about--low rise, slightly cropped, but worn bunched up right below the knee. Often they say "Hollister" across the butt. Yes, they're kinda obnoxious. But oh my god are they soft. They're a regular ol' cotton/poly blend, but the way they're washed to achieve such divine softness must be an industry secret guarded with secret passwords, iron padlocks, and a pack of angry Rottweilers. Of course I bought a pair. So did MW. I am a little upset with myself for not having bought another. Then again, now I have something to look forward to next time I go to the mall.
MasstigeWatch!
This is a few days late, but if you haven't checked it out already, Racked has hi-res images of the upcoming Loeffler Randall for Target collection, and I must say it looks a lot better than I had originally thought. I especially like the woven bag. Of course, being $50 and under, everything in the collection is synthetic, and thus I'm not sure how I feel about the shoes--I'll carry a fake leather bag, but the shoes are bound to make one's feet a sweat-fest. The collection hits stores December 30th.

And speaking of Target, I hit the Salem, NH location last weekend and snapped up the bunny dress and the sparkly turtleneck from the Erin Fetherston Go International collection. While everything appears to run a bit small (I had to go up two sizes in the dress to accommodate my boobs), the quality is a lot higher than in recent collections (particularly Alice Temperley's). The coats and jackets are super-adorable too.

I also picked up the Monroe clutch from the Hollywood line; it's really well made, and it will be perfect for the upcoming holiday party season. The shoes are indeed gross, although I thought the red shoe with the bow on the heel was not bad, but, again, synthetic shoes kind of skeeve me out. I'll stick with getting my Hollywoulds at her twice-yearly blowout sale.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The week in shopping
Four weeks till Christmas and now the craziness really begins. Due to the sheer number of sales, I will not be linking them. For further information, I suggest Google.

Cult favorite Phi has sexy, seasonless womenswear for up to 90% off (though most items are more like 70% off). 11/30-12/1; 11-7; 71 Greene St. (Spring & Broome Sts.).

Hello, fabulous: Costello Tagliapietra’s beautiful jersey dresses (and much more) are 60% off. 11/28-11/29; 11-5; 80 W. 40th St. (at 6th Ave.).

Ultra-chic workout and casual pieces from the Yohji Yamamoto-designed Y-3 are about $100, give or take. I'm there. 11/28-11/30; 10-7; 610 Broadway (at Houston St.), 3rd fl.

Zero + Maria Cornejo's smart, season-defying pieces are now on sale. 11/29-1/7; noon-7, noon-6 Sun.; 807 Greenwich St. (at Jane St.).

Lovely, incredibly well-made sweaters, dresses, and coats are an amazing $99-$199 at Ports 1961's one-day blowout. 11/29; 11-6; 601 W. 26th St. (11th & 12th Aves.), ste. 875.

Always one of my favorite sales, Inhabit cashmeres are 60%-70% off. 11/28-11/29; 9-6; 252 W. 37th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 17th fl.

CFDA fashion fund recipient Rogan has men's and women's clothes for $20-$150. 11/30-12/3; noon-8; 91 Franklin St. (at Church St.).

Be & D's luxe bags fetch big bucks at Bergdorf's, but at this sale, they're $50 and up. 11/27-11/29; 9-7 Tue., 10-6 Wed. & Thurs.; 35 W. 36th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 10th fl.

I have one Abaete dress, and I always get compliments on it when I wear it. Hit this sale and score one for yourself, for about 75% off. 11/29-12/3; 10-7, noon-7 Sat.; 560 Broadway (Prince & Spring Sts.), ste. 509.

I don't think a 30% discount is going to help much at Iris, but if you like shoes by Marc Jacobs, Chloe, or other fancee designers, hit it. 11/28-1/30; 11-7, noon-6 Sun.; 827 Washington St. (at Gansevoort St.)

Nor will 40% go very far at Stella McCartney, but again, worth a look. 11/28-1/31; 11-7, 12:30-6 Sun.; 429 W. 14th St. (9th & 10th Aves.).

Charlotte Ronson's sweet clothes and accessories are 60% off. 11/28-11/30; 10-6; 1071 6th Ave. (at 40th St.).

Cashmere, cashmere, and more cashmere: TSE. Need I say more? Okay, Tsesay will be representin' also. 12/2-12/6; 9-7; 317 W. 33rd St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

Thread Social makes dresses for all occasion; here, they're roughly 60% off. 11/29-12/1; 9-9 Thurs., 11-7 Fri., 11-5 Sat.; 26 W. 17th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), ste. 301.

Jeans are buy one pair, get the second for 50% off at Cantaloup's holiday sale. Through 11/30; 10-7:30; 1217 3rd Ave. (at 70th St.).

Go for that quintessential Kept Woman/Upper East Side look with deeply discounted clothing, shoes, and handbags from Valentino. 11/27-11/30; 9-6:30, 9-5 Fri.; 317 W. 33rd St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

Who doesn't love girly stuff from Tracy Reese? Get your fix for about 65% off. 11/27-11/29; 8-8, 10-6 Thurs.; 145 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

Anya Hindmarch (of "I'm not a plastic bag" fame) has bags, shoes, coats, luggage, and other accessories from the fall line for 65% off--probably less than what you'll pay for the crappy canvas totes on eBay. 11/29-11/30; 10-7; 416 W. 13th St. (9th Ave. & Washington St.), ste. 317.

This and every weekend through the end of the month, Belly Dance Maternity is taking 15% off its stock, including designer jeans (Citizens, Serfontaine, etc.). 12/1-12/2; 11-6 St., noon-5 Sun.; 548 Hudson (W. 10th & Charles Sts.).

Hipper-than-thou Nolita boutique I Heart has Vena Cava, Isabel Marant, Sonia Rykiel, and other coveted designers for 60-85% off; current merchandise is 25% off. 11/30-12/2; noon-8, noon-7 Sun.; 262 Mott St. (Houston & Prince Sts.).

Kier + J's cult-fave cashmeres are under $100 at this nice sale. Through 11/30; 9-5; 231 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Another one of my favorites, Satya, has semiprecious, yoga-themed jewelry for up to 80% off. 11/30-12/2; 10-8 Fri., 10-6 Sat. & Sun.; 95 Christopher St. (at Bleecker St.).

Lee Angel's jewelry and accessories are 80% off, and there's a $5 clearance bin. 11/28-11/30; 10-7, 10-4 Fri.; 524 Broadway (Spring & Broome Sts.), 6th fl.

Flashy Italian handbags from Carlos Falchi are 50% off. 11/29-11/30; 10-6; 260 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 7th fl.

Bridal gowns in December? Why not! Hit Amsale and save up to 70%. 12/1-12/2; 9:30-4:30 Sat., 11-4 Sun.; 625 Madison (58th & 59th Sts.).

Greenfinds has Alice + Trixie, Chelsea Flowers, and Fortyx for under $100; 5% of sales will be donated to an environmental charity. 11/30-12/2; 11-8; 201 Mulberry St. (Spring & Kenmare Sts.).

Christopher Fischer's cashmere sweaters and accessories are $30-$150 at this sale. 11/28-12/1; 11-7; 80 Wooster St. (Spring & Broome Sts.).

You don't need to be able to pronounce Uluru to take advantage of their luxurious pieces at 60% off. 12/2; noon-7; 60 N. 6th St. (Wythe & Kent Aves.), Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Feminine knit dresses, sweaters, and accessories are $25-$135 at Elizabeth Gillett's sample sale. 11/29-11/30; 10-7; 242 W. 38th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 9th fl.

Get a party dress for up to 75% off at Vivienne Tam. 11/28-12/2; 9-8 Wed., 9-7 Thurs., 9-6 Fri., noon-5 Sat. & Sun.; 578 Broadway (at Prince St.)., 7th fl.

Costume and semiprecious jewelry from Ben-Amun is 60% off (now under $100). 11/28-11/29; 11-7; 246 W. 38th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 12th fl.

Neo-preppy looks from Barking Irons are half-price at this sale. Free drinks on Friday from 6-9! 11/30-12/2; 10-9; 161 Bowery (Delancey & Broome Sts.), 4th fl.

Cullen and Whim cashmere sweaters for men and women are a super-affordable $20-$125 at this sale. Through 11/30; 8-6; 231 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 1016.

Dresses and tops from April, May and Little Joe by Gail Elliott are up to 85% off. Wowza. 11/30-12/2; 9-7 Fri., noon-6 Sat. & Sun.; 611 Broadway (at Houston), ste. 613B.

Gold and diamond jewelry from Tam Tran is anywhere from 50%-75% off (now $100-$1,500). 12/1-12/2; 11-7 Sat., noon-5 Sun.; 148 W. 24th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), 9th fl.

Luca Luca's sexy fall clothes (plus accessories and jewelry) are up to 80% off. 11/29-12/1; 9-6, 10-5 Sat.; 19 W. 36th St. (5th & 6th Aves), 4th fl.

For the fashion-conscious pooch, New York Dog has canine clothing and accessories for 80% off. Dogs are welcome. 11/28-12/1; 8-8; 133 W. 25th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), ste. 9 East. - Sample & Stock Sale

Meg Cohen's cashmere scarves, hats, and gloves are about 50% off at this gift-friendly sale. 11/27-12/1; 11-7; 920 Broadway (20th & 21st Sts.), ste. 905.

If you like chunky semiprecious jewelry, hit Echo Of The Dreamer for one-of-kind pieces for $15-$320. 11/27-12/15; 10-6 (closed Sat.-Mon.); 242 W. 30th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 14th fl.

Samples and stock from Back Fashion Cult are 60-80% off retail (now $60-$480). Through 12/15; 11:30-7 (closed weekends); 320 W. 37th St. (8th & 9th Aves.), ste. 9C.

Sylvia Heisel--normally worn by Madonna and Elizabeth Hurley--can now be yours for $25-$200 (that's roughly 90% off). 11/28-11/30; 10-6; 214 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 302A.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Weekend shopping links
As you know, the day after Thanksgiving is Black Friday, traditionally the day upon which retailers start making money (although that is certainly not the case nowadays), but now the day on which big-box stores try to usurp each other with outlandish promotional stunts, all in an effort to kick off the holiday season and end up on the local news broadcast. I am not one to wake up for a 5 a.m. mall run, but if you are, BlackFriday.info is one of the more user-friendly sites listing all the early-bird specials.

Citysearch also has a New York-centric listing of Black Friday events.

But if you like to take your time, I highly recommend picking up this week's New York Magazine, which features an incredibly thorough and well-edited selection of gifts, including an always-useful 100 under $100.

The following Monday is what's now known as Cyber Monday, so expect nearly every website to be offering some sort of deal, particularly free shipping. As for sample sales, next week is going to be a doozy (think Y3, Inhabit, Valentino, and more to come)...
MasstigeWatch!
It started to trickle out piecemeal last week, but Erin Fetherston's Go International collection for Target is now officially live. And, um, it must be either selling out fast or rolling out slowly, because there's not a lot available online at the moment. Did that awkward extended commercial during last week's The Hills really move that much product? And, moreover, are women still into that dressing-like-preschoolers aesthetic? I'm not huge on the tiered ruffles, flounce hems, or Peter Pan collars, but there are some great standout pieces: I like this cardigan and mini ensemble and, somewhat inexplicably, the bunny dress. I'm going to hit the ol' Target in Salem, Massachusetts this weekend; I'll let you know if I have any success. In the meantime, did anyone else buy anything from the line yet?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Cheryl Shops...Billion Dollar Babes
I decided to lift my four-year boycott of the Billion Dollar Babes sale because, well, I was plied with a VIP invite. Apparently you can still shell out for a platinum membership and be the first to hit the racks (yes, that means paying to shop), but VIP got me a 5 p.m. entry on Friday night, and that was good enough for me. The sale was crowded, but not unbearably so; however, there were some pushy-ass women there who appeared not to be fluent in sample-sale etiquette, which led me to conclude that if you're say, a super-professional woman or idly wealthy and don't have time to hit all the sample sales yourself, going to the BDB sale makes sense. After all, they gather a lot of designers (most of whom host their own sales as well) all under one roof, so you can kill a whole flock of birds with one stone. Last weekend's sale has Tibi, Y-3, Tree, Carlos Miele, and a lot of lesser-known designers like Rachel Mara and Vanessa Barrantes, so I can at least give BDB props for an interesting mix. But while prices were significantly below retail, they weren't quite typical sample sale prices, and therein lies the rub: Billion Dollar Babes is not a sample sale; it's a shopping event. They have cocktails, makeovers, sweepstakes, and corporate sponsors; you're not stripping down to your undies in some designer's Garment District showroom. There is very little hunting involved, and I don't know about you, but I, for one, love the thrill of the hunt. But then again, I'm not so sure that I'm BDB's target customer. I feel like if you work at job at which you can't sneak away for an hour to hit a sample sale on your lunch hour, you don't have time to dig through bins and racks of samples, and/or you want the sample sale experience without all the drudgery, then maybe BDB is for you. Also, if you live in any city other than New York--BDB regularly holds events in Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, and other sample-sale-challenged cities--it might actually be worthwhile. But I think I've gone to my first, and last, event. I take my shopping far too seriously.
The week in shopping
The calm before the proverbial storm, I'm almost scared by how few sales there are this week--so you know next week is goign to be a virtual hurricane. Brace yourselves...

Anbar Shoes is holding a special one-day sale featuring 10,000 pairs of shoes from BCBG, Delman, Stephane Kelian, and more. 11/24; 11-5:45; 60 Reade St. (Broadway & Church Sts.).

Bring out your inner jet-setter with fancy Gianfranco Ferre clothes for, oh, about 70% off retail. Through 11/20; 9-5; 317 W. 33rd St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

Before you start shelling out on presents for other people, why not treat yourself to something first? Now through 11/26, enter code GETAJUMP at Cheryl Shops fave shopbop.com to get $25 off a $150 order, $50 off a $300 order, $100 off a $500 order, and a whopping $250 off a $1,000 order. Hello, Loeffler Randall Matilde boots!

Not to be outdone, Pink Mascara has a similar offer: For $20 off a $150 purchase, enter code SAVE20 at checkout; use code SAVE50 for $50 off a $250 purchase; and SAVE115 for $115 off a $500 purchase. Offer is good through Sunday.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Cheryl Shops...the Lutz & Patmos sample sale
I made a quick trip to the Lutz & Patmos sample sale today after work, and I would highly recommend stopping by tomorrow--it's the last day of the sale, and everything is getting marked down to 80% off. There's a lot of current-season stuff, as well as past-season, and I was surprised by how many non-cashmere items were for sale--there were a lot of cotton and Modal pieces, all with L&P's creative seams and draping. Prices ranged from mid $200s for the newer sweaters to under $100 for the older and the non-cashmere pieces; with the further markdowns tomorrow, bargains will abound. I should note, however, that the majority of the pieces are size smalls, which is L&P's sample size (I'm usually a medium, though, and can fit into the smalls without a problem). I ended up with a short-sleeved cardigan for myself and a present for a recipient who shall remain unnamed, as she reads this blog and I don't want to ruin the surprise!

Tomorrow I'm going to hit the Yigal Azourel sale, time permitting, and for the first time ever, the Billion Dollar Babes sale. Hey, it's all in the name of investigative journalism.
America's Next Top Model vs. Project Runway
So, does anyone else think it's a coincidence that the challenge on America's Next Top Model last night--the same night on which the new season of Project Runway was debuting--was a very Project Runway-esque situation in which the contestants had to serve as muses to FIDM students, then parade down the runway in their respective creations? The difference between the shows, however, is that while Jenna's punk-rock getup clearly would've won on Project Runway, Saleisha and her Halloween costume took the prize on ANTM. Gross. Of course, the low point in the episode came when Tyra told the contestants they were all going to China--Yay! Ninjas! (wait, aren't they Japanese?) Screaming! Jumping up and down! Chinese lions! Gongs!--except, that is, the girl who's going home. Which turned out to be the long-past-her-expiration-date Ambreal, who nonetheless took it like a champ. Also, I'd like to know how the "green" theme of this "cycle" is going to work with their trip to China, home of lead-based paint.

As for Project Runway, I think everyone was a bit worried that the show had jumped the proverbial shark, but with the exception of Tim Gunn's catchphrases sounding almost like a parody now (I expected him to throw in a "Where's Andrae?" just for old time's sake), I think this season is going to be awesome. We have Elisa, the kooky earth-mother hippie; Christian, the cocky kid straight out of design school; Ricky, the gay Mexican lingerie designer; and Chris, the crazy-costume designer. And while I supported Rami's win, I worry that he's going to be a one-trick pony, and that everything he designs is going to have that goddess-like draped look. I was much more intrigued by Victorya's tent dress, which was very Lanvin-esque, and so I'm keeping my eye on her this season. I just hope the show is as good the Bravo website--if you're in need of procrastination tools, I highly recommend checking out all the blogs and interactive features there--but based on the first episode, I say so far, so good.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fall Shopping Guide: Long Shoulder-Strap Bags
I love watching early-'80s movies for nostalgic purposes (I was a child then) and because I love the wardrobe, the hair, the makeup...all of which is, somewhat scarily, making a comeback. But what has struck me most recently is the streamlined, long-strap look of all the handbags. There's been a lot of talk recently about "the death of the It Bag" and I am definitely behind that movement. After all, what's the point of dropping $2k on a handbag, only to see every other woman on the street carrying a knockoff she bought from a street vendor? I think the more understated shape of the long-strap bag fits in beautifully with this less-flashy way of accessorizing, and what's great about these bags is that you can carry them on your shoulder or wear them across the body for a more practical approach. But for the bag snobs out there, fret not--luxury handbags are still some of the best options around, but the cleaner shape and less outré details mean you can wear your bag without it wearing you.

$$$
If luxury is what you're after, a Bottega Veneta bag such as this messenger is a smart choice--counterfeiters have a hard time replicating the woven construction, and while many people know a Bottega when they see one, they won't necessarily know what season it's from, which, if you ask me, is the mark of a timeless bag.


With its zip pockets and flapa, Lanvin's leather Hero has a bit more detail than I'm after, but the adjustable canvas strap and the army green color make it unique. The bag was also made in France, so you know the attention to detail is of utmost quality.


I know I'm going to sound ridiculous saying this, but I feel like $795 is a somewhat reasonable price to pay for this nearly-perfect Mix quilted bag from Marc Jacobs--the size is ideal, the chain strap is trendy yet forever chic, and yet it doesn't shout "Marc Jacobs!" I think this is the bag to beat.


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If Marc Jacobs collection is out of the question, the ultra-soft leather bags from the Marc line are a just-as-good option. I like the retro look of the
Lovely Luz bag
--it looks like a treasure you unearthed at a vintage boutique, but without the musty smell or all the hard work.


For those of you who don't carry around your entire life in your purse (like I do), Deborah Sweeney's Owl bag is petite but packs a punch. The bow on the front is very young Parisian, Rive Gauche, Yves Saint Laurent--in other words, très chic.


A bigger, slightly more practical cousin to the above is Juliana Jabour's
cross-body hobo
. It still has the stylish chain strap, but the slouchier shape is big enough to accommodate all of your accouterments.


$
What I love about Target is while they spend so mcuh time and effort publicizing their Go International designers, they also have lower-priced lines from less high-profile designers, and discovering these is kind of like finding a hidden treasure. Case in point: this practical yet chic organizer bag from NYC by Perlina.


While a lot of hardware is not a look I'm after at the moment, the studs on this La Redoute bag keep its synthetic suede from looking cheap--in fact, they give it a little rock-and-roll edge.


About half of what Fossil creates makes me scratch my head, and then the other half is classic and well made. Thankfully, this cross-body bag falls into the latter category. It might not be made in Italy of the finest-quality leather, but it's sturdy, durable, and it perfectly captures the low-key look I'm after.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The week in shopping
Get out your wallets, ladies: It's a five-card week! Due to the sheer volume of sales, I'm not linking these. If you need more info, Google 'em (I have a handy Google search bar over to the right).

This year's can't-miss 7th on Sale sample sale features 30,000 items donated by Marc Jacobs, Chanel, Prada, and others, at a 70% markdown. Tickets are $20 at 7thonsale.ebay.com for $20 and proceeds go to HIV/AIDS-related funds. 11/16-11/18; 4-6 Fri., 10-2 and 3-5 Sat., 11-2 Sun.; 69th Regiment Armory, 68 Lexington Ave. (at 26th St.).

Foley + Corinna's coveted dresses are $95 and up, bags are $125 and up, and tops are $15 and up. 11/17-11/18; 11-6; 103 Stanton St. (Ludlow & Essex Sts.).

The News has Cheap Monday, Clu, Bruce, and other super-hip downtown labels at wholesale prices. 11/14-11/16; 10-6; 495 Broadway (Spring & Broome Sts.), 5th fl.

While you're at the news get your avant-garde on with current-season Dsquared², Maison Martin Margiela, and Sophia Kokosalaki at up to 50% off. 11/15-11/16; 10-7 Thurs., 10-3 Fri.; 495 Broadway (Spring & Broome Sts.), 8th fl.

Simon Showroom has Citizens of Humanity jeans for $40-$80, Paul & Joe (and sister) for $70-$300, and C&C California for $10-$40 at this cash-only sale. 11/14-11/16; 11-7; 95 5th Ave. (at 17th St.), 4th fl.

Hit Billion Dollar Babes for Tibi, Radcliffe, Tocca, Carlos Miele, and others, plus makeovers too. You must register at billiondollarbabes.com to get in! 11/16-11/18; noon-9 Fri., 9-5 Sat., 11-5 Sun.; 135 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

I am very, very excited about Yigal Azourel's sale--his excellent jersey dresses and separates are largely under $200. 11/14-11/16; 9-7 Wed., 9-5 Thurs., 9-2 Fri.; 225 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 7th fl.

Cynthia Steffe's chic contemporary clothes are about 75% off. 11/15-11/16; 10-5 Thurs., 10-3 Fri.; 550 7th Ave. (39th & 40th Sts.), 10th fl.

Sari Gueron's rich-hippie looks for fall are up to 75% off. 11/15-11/16; noon-7; 133 W. 25th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), 4th fl.

Marie Marie's girly fall dresses are 30%-90% off. 11/14-11/15; noon-6 Wed., noon-8 Thurs.; 257 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 10th fl.

Swimsuits and dresses for the busty gal (I swear by them) are up to 75% off at Shoshanna's sale. 11/14-11/15; 10-6; 231 W. 39th St. (8th & 9th Aves.), ste. 422.

Fancy shoes--think Dior, Choo, and Lanvin--are on sale at Chuckies. 11/13-11/18; 10:45-7:45 weekdays, 10-7 Fri., 10:45-7:30 Sat., 12:30-7 Sun.; 1073 3rd Ave. (at 63rd St.).

This week, Clothingline has Ben Sherman and Evisu for ridiculously cheap prices--see details at clothingline.com. 11/13-11/16; 10-7 Tue. & Thurs., 10-6 Wed. & Fri.; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Kill two birds with one Amex: Rebecca Minkoff bags and Due Farina shoes, both for 50% off. 11/13-11/16; noon-8; 158 Grand St. (Lafayette & Centre Sts.), ste. 207.

Luxe Blumarine is a ludicrous $60 and up at this sale. 11/13; 10-6; 37 W. 57th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 9th fl.

One-of-a-kind Project Alabama pieces are 50%-80% off. 11/14-11/16; 10-5:30; TKE Showroom, 231 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 6th fl.

Ultra-luxe Lutz & Patmos cashmeres start at 60% off on Wednesday, 70% off on Thursday, and 80% off on Friday. 11/14-11/16; 11-7; 425 W. 13th St. (9th Ave. & Washington St.), ste. 406.

Mint Jodi Arnold's feminine but cool line is up to 75% off. 11/13-11/15; 9-7, 9-3 Thurs. 230 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Feminine Rebecca Taylor frocks are $50-$199. Through 11/14; 8-8 Tue., 10-6 Wed; 145 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

Score underwear, robes, and sleepwear from Hanro at steep discounts. 11/14-11/15; 8-6 Wed., 8:30-4 Thurs.; 40 E. 34th St. (at Park Ave.), ste. 207.

Denise Williamson Showroom has Nili Lotan, Ulla Johnson, Thread Social, and other cool-girl labels for up to 75% off. 11/15-11/17; 8:30-7:30, 11-6 Sat.; 119 Mercer St. (Prince & Spring Sts.), ste. 2S.

Vivienne Tam's Asian-inspired line is roughly 75% off. 11/14-11/18; 11-8 Wed., 10-7 Thurs., 10-6 Fri., noon-5 Sat. & Sun.; 578 Broadway (at Prince St.), 7th fl.

Miguelina's pretty dresses and separates are up to 80% off. 11/14-11/17; 11-6; 20 W. 36th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 6th fl.

Lela Rose's ladylike dresses, coats, and more are about 65% off (think mid three figures). 11/15-11/16; 9-7; 224 W. 30th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 13th fl.

Noir's glam costume jewelry is on sale: Rings are $25-$45, bracelets are $25-$60, and necklaces are $35-$75. 11/14-11/16; 10-7; 350 W. 38th St. (8th & 9th Aves.), 5th Fl.

Nicole Farhi's men's and women's clothes are 60%-80% off. 11/13-11/15; 10-7; 14 E. 60th St. (5th & Madison Aves.), 2nd fl.

House label and vintage looks for men and women are $40-$350 at What Comes Around Goes Around. 11/15-11/18; 10-8, 11-7 Sun.; 351 W. Broadway (Broome & Grand Sts.).

Reem Acra's red-carpet-worthy dresses (and bridal gowns too) are 75%-80% off, now $150-$4,000. 11/14-11/17; 10-6:30, 10-1 Sat.; 14 E. 60th St. (5th & Madison).

BOSS Hugo Boss is marked down to wholesale prices. Through 11/15; 9-5; 317 W. 33rd St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

What time is it? Time for a new watch (ha!) from Rado, Longines, Tissot, Hamilton, Calvin Klein, and Swatch for up to 70% off. 11/15-11/16; 9-8 Thurs., 8-7 Fri.; 123 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), 4th fl.

All manner of sleek British clothing for birds and blokes is $55-$250 at the Ted Baker London sale. 11/13-11/16; 12:30-7 Tue., 11-7 Wed. & Thurs., 10-1 Fri.; 215 Park Ave. (17th & 18th Sts.), 20th fl.

Up-and-coming designer Hilton Hollis has coats and separates for low three figures at this sale. 11/13-11/14; 9-7; 250 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 705.

Ready-made punk-rock looks from Buddhist Punk and Religion are $80-$200. Through 11/16; 10-6; 230 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 13th fl.

Trick out your dog with sweaters, tees, carriers, and other accessories from Kwigy-Bo at their cash-only sale. 11/13-11/15; 9-5; 501 7th Ave. (at 37th St.), Ste. 506­508.

Yoko Deveraux makes the trek to Williamsburg worth the trip--prices are about 75% off. 11/14-11/18; noon-9 Wed., noon-8 Thurs.-Sat.; noon-6 Sun.; 338 Broadway (at Keap St.), Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Awesome knitwear from Susana Monaco is up to 75% off. 11/15-11/16; 8:30-7; 263 W. 38th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 13th fl.

Hit the Access Holiday Shopping Event for clothes, accessories, and jewelry. Ten percent of proceeds benefit Parents in Action. 11/14; 9:30-4; 583 Park Ave. (at 63rd St.).

Cute yet fashionable separates from Sweet Tater are $20-$50. 11/13-11/14; noon-8; 280 Mulberry St. (Prince & Houston).

Online accessories site Freddy & Ma is hosting a sale at their showroom, where prices are 60%-70% off. 11/13-11/14; 11-7; 208 W. 29th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 613.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Random notes
I have one more Fall Shopping Guide post coming your way next week, then it will be back to regularly scheduled Cheryl Shops content.

As I said the other day, I decided to avoid H&M like the plague today. Which seems to have been a good idea, because according to Racked, there was at least one fistfight at Herald Square and at 50th Street, a man who said, "Bitch, if you grab that, I'm going to fucking cut you." I think that quote speaks for itself, but perhaps the reason everyone was so grabby today is because they're all aspiring entrepreneurs: There are already eight pages of listings on eBay, with the gold dress going for $700. That's right, $700. Throw in a few hundred more and you could get a real Cavalli. Perspective, people.

I haven't been doing my ANTM recaps in the past few weeks, mainly because I am starting to find the show so annoying, I can barely handle it. ANTM is now the hour I suffer through before Gossip Girl starts. Seriously. The one shining light, however, is Heather. Can we please just let her win now and be done with it? And then can next season be America's Next Top Plus-Size Model, so that they can stop feeling obligated every season to include a plus size model who inevitably breaks down due to the fact that she's plus size and competing against twelve skinny bitches? And while I'm on my soapbox, did anyone love how the entire time Tyra was showing the girls how to move (I'm assuming she put them in nude tights and leotards in order to make them look as unflattering as possible, next to her), she never mentioned her music video that she made the girls of season--excuse me, cycle two star in? And remember how Tyra told Ebony a few weeks ago that she doesn't like quitters? Um, what happened to your music career, Tyra? Or, for that matter, your acting career? I'm just saying.

Also, thank god tomorrow is Friday.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Fall Shopping Guide: Art Deco
My wardrobe tends to be a bit heavy on solid colors and stripes (which are, if you think about it, bands of solid colors). I've been trying to add in prints here and there, but I always have a tough time with it--florals are too prissy, geometric prints are too Austin Powers, and polka dots are too young. But with the '20s inspiration this fall, there are a lot of great Art Deco prints out there that manage to look sophisticated without being costumey.

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I know I've been knocking Roberto Cavalli's line for H&M, but only because I know the man is capable of greater things. Take, for instance, this Deco-print blouse--his fall collection was filled with gorgeous prints like this. Why he didn't reproduce them for H&M, we will never know.


You know when you go to a party and leave your coat on the bed, then at the end of the night, it's total chaos since everyone has a black coat? With Tibi's Chrysler Coat, that's not going to happen. At least, not for you.


Matthew Williamson is a designer known for his prints, and this dress is one of the best of the Art Deco bunch. Granted, the print is not the most subtle, so I'd keep the rest of your outfit on the basic side.


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This Lauren Moffatt shift dress is definitely a conversation-starter: Take a poll on what bridge people think it is. I vote for the Brooklyn Bridge.


Anna Sui is another designer who always has great prints--and she defends them (girlfriend currently has 20+ pending lawsuits against Forever 21). The simplicity of this graphic-print dress reminds me of an Mondrian painting, but in more wardrobe-friendly neutral colors.


And because I love Tibi so much, here's another great print--this time in dress form, which is not as big of a commitment as a coat.


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I hope they didn't steal this print from anyone, because Forever 21's satin halter dress is pretty awesome--the pattern reminds me of the Chrysler building, but the magenta color makes it seem not so obvious.


Also cool--but in more of an everyday way--is this stained-glass-print tunic, also from Forever 21.


But if you ask me, the new Topshop can't open fast enough, so I can scoop up dresses like this one by the armload. The print at the hem is subtle enough so that print-averse gals like me can slowly work our way into it.
Fall Shopping Guide: Lace-Up Booties
We call these "shooties" at work, which makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit whenever I hear that. I prefer to call them "booties," as they are, basically, a shorter version of an ankle boot. I do not, however, advocate wearing them as shoes--in other words, with dresses and skirts--unless you have super-long, super-thin legs, or unless you don't mind suffering from stumpy-leg syndrome. I do, however, approve of wearing these booties with pants, whether you're taking the plunge on fall's high-waisted wide-leg styles, or if you're sticking with skinny for the time being. My favorite version of the bootie is a lace-up style that gives a nod to the '20s-inspired looks from the runway; and especially if you're wearing them with a wide-leg pant, a platform is in order. If you absolutely must wear them with bare legs, the lacing will create a vertical line that will help elongate the leg. And we can always use a little elongation, no?

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If I had an unlimited clothing budget, I would march myself right over to Barneys and treat myself to some Lanvin. This Oxford pump, with its faceted heel and hidden platform, is practically a work of art. And, hey, it's cheaper than a Richard Prince print!


The fact that Derek Lam's Federica has an open toe pushes it into "shootie" territory. But it's a gutsy move, and my inner Edna and Patsy love the impracticality of it. Swoon.


The Eva from Gucci has a low enough vamp that even a muscular-legged gal could get away with wearing it with a skirt. And since it has such lovely detailing, it would almost be a shame to hide it under pants.


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Max Studio's Cooper is a bit higher than the rest and could probably be called a true ankle boot, but with its two-tone effect, it almost looks like a shoe with an ankle sock underneath. Which is kind of weird, but with the elegant heel and spectator detailing, somehow it all works.


Speaking of offbeat shoes that somehow make it work, the Bottine moccasin bootie from Maloles definitely falls into that category. You definitely need a little quirk to pull this one off, but this is definitely not a boot you'll see on half the girls walking down the street. Which I like.


One of my favorite looks overall is Charlotte Ronson's Daria suede bootie, which has a hidden platform and a fun round toe. The price, also, is not too bad.


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Definitely not a pair to wear with a bare leg, these MICHAEL Michael Kors Panama Oxfords are mega-clunky. But Kors knows all-American style, and according to the reviews, they're actually comfortable.


If you liked the Derek Lam shoe above, the Maran from Vince Camuto is a good bet at a much more affordable price. The patent leather is very winter-friendly also.


Sometimes, though, a girl just needs an everyday, no-frills black boot. I used to hate their shoes, but in recent seasons, the quality of Nine West's designs has improved greatly, and the Naso is a fine-looking example--not a shootie.

Monday, November 05, 2007

MasstigeWatch! and a few other bits of information
In case you haven't been reading On the Runway lately, Eric Wilson has been filling in for Cathy Horyn, and the tone has devolved from an intellectual, if slightly dry, fashion discussion to a claws-out meowfest. Um, and that's a compliment! For a good chuckle, read this post on Roberto Cavalli's H&M collection, which hits stores Thursday. I will not be covering this occasion, as Cavalli is just not my style. However, if you are a fan of leopard, zebra, gold, and shiny things, get there early.

In other Masstige news, Erin Fetherston's line for Target hits November 18th, just in time for me to hit the local suburban Massachusetts Target over Thanksgiving.

And, as Racked reported last week, not only is Topshop finally opening a U.S. store (they're taking over the Yellow Rat Bastard space in Soho), but Nordstrom might actually open up an NYC store too, at 57th and Park. Pretty, pretty please!
The week in shopping
Look for me digging through the shirts at Steven Alan's always-awesome sale, featuring the namesake label, plus Loomstate, Acne, and other upber-hip labels for up to 80% off. 11/8-11/11; 8:30-8, noon-7 Sat., noon-5 Sun.; 87 Franklin St. (Church & Broadway).

Even NYC socialites have been known to hit the Aeffe sale for Moschino, Alberta Ferrett, and Gaultier for 60% off and up. Men's stuff too! 11/7-11/10; 10-6, 11-5 Sat.; 30 W. 56th St. (5th & 6th Aves.).

Sorry for not mentioning this sooner, but Earnest Sewn's jeans for men, women, and kids are a mere $22-$75. Hurry! Through 11/9; 8-8; 819 Washington St. (Little W. 12th and Horatio Sts.).

Colorful White + Warren cashmere sweaters are 60% off and up. 11/7-11/8; 8-6 Wed., 8-4 Thurs.; 80 W. 40th St. (at 6th Ave.), 3rd fl.

Spring 2007, sample, and vintage dresses are 70%-80% off at Lyell's sale. 11/10-11/11; noon-7; 102 Forsyth St. (at Grand St.).

Score choice items from one of my favorite lines, Tibi, for under-$100 prices. 11/7-11/9; noon-7 Wed., 10-7 Thurs., 11-6 Fri.; 336 W. 37th St. (8th & 9th Aves.), 11th fl.

Clothing and accessories from the sublime Alessandro Dell'Acqua and ever-chic Borbonese are on mega-sale. 11/6-11/9; 11-6; 30 W. 57th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 4th fl.

Raven Denim is now $72-$219 (originally $158-$482). Wahoo! 11/8-11/10; 1-8 Thurs., 8-8 Fri., 10-6 Sat.; 145 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

Get a head start on holiday shopping with objets d'art for $50 and up at the Jay Strongwater sale. 11/8-11/9; 8-7 Thurs., 9-2:30 Fri.; Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

Chilewich's durable, innovative place mats, runners, and rugs are $4-$200 at this Clothingline-hosted sale. 11/6-11/8; 10-7, 10-6 Wed.; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.).

Collection pieces from German powerhouse Rena Lange are up to 80% off. 11//6-11/8; 9-5; 7 W. 56th St. (5th & 6th Aves.).

Strenesse and Strenesse Blue are marked down to wholesale prices. 11/7-11/8; 9-7 Wed., 9-5 Thurs.; 50 W. 57th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 18th fl.

For the stylish ladies with buns-in-oven, Mylo Dweck has maternity wear for $30-$100. 11/6-11/9; 9-7 Tue., 9-6 Wed., 9-5 Thurs.; 720 5th Ave. (at 56th St.).

Take 20% off your Sephora order when you enter code FF2007 through 11/11.

Select styles are up to 40% off at Hollywould.

Heads up: Big sales at Saks and Nordstrom start Wednesday...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Fall Shopping Guide: Jodhpurs
Last week I wrote about Balenciaga-inspired schoolboy jackets, and since that runway show was so influential, I absolutely must write about the pants. However, unlike the jackets, where knockoffs abound, finding pants similar to these knockout jodhpurs is going to be a challenge. First of all, Balenciaga pants are known for their amazing cuts (which I can verify--I own a pair of corduroys from a few seasons back), and making a pant with fitted calves and exaggerated thighs flattering is a feat of engineering. Having searched high and low for similar looks, I can verify it's a style that not a lot of lines are knocking off. Still, there are several ways to get the look without paying Balenciaga prices.

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Designers don't knock each other off so blatantly at this price level, so if you're going to splurge, you have one option: Go straight to the source.


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The color of this Bi La Li jodhpur is all wrong, but the shape is the best approximation I found. But I think black might be a smarter choice anyway--it's less obvious than khaki and potentially more slimming.


The wool riding pant from L.A.M.B. is way too tight and cropped to be perfect, but it's more of a riding-inspired pant, a good way to dabble in the look without being a fashion victim.


But if it's khaki you're looking for, Brooks Brothers has it. Again, this pant is too fitted, but if you size up (or two, if you're feeling adventurous), you can achieve a much slouchier fit.


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Of course you can count on Topshop for a great jodhpur. Again, this one is black, but the cut is spot-on and, hey, if anyone knows riding pants, it's a British company.


This paperbag pant may seem like a stretch, but remove the belt, add a schoolboy blazer, and tuck the hem into some boots and you've got a pretty close imitation of the olive jodhpur that came down Balenciaga's runway.


The most logical place to find riding pants? A tack shop! These equestrian-approved jodhpurs are cotton/twill, available in a range of colors, and even come in a lower-rise version if you so choose. Again, I suggest sizing up for a baggier fit, but I think a real riding pant is, ironically, the next best thing to the runway version. (Funny how that works.)
Fall Shopping Guide: High-Waist, Wide-Leg Pants
Certain things in life are inevitable: death, taxes, and a radical shift in fashion. Low-rise pants have been the prominent silhouette for the last 10 years, and while we've gone from flare to boot-cut to skinny legs, the rise has remained firmly below the belly button. Designers, who obviously stand to benefit from a major silhouette shift, have been tentatively suggesting high-waist looks for a few seasons now, but, mark my words, come spring, it's going to be your only option--I'd estimate that about 90% of the looks that come down the runways for spring had a natural- or high-waist fit. Now, I am just as nervous about this as you are. I am freakishly short-waisted, so I thoroughly appreciate the elongating effect low-rise pants have on my torso, not to mention the fact that I think they're far more comfortable. Nevertheless, I am willing to try something new, and I think now is the time to start introducing the high waist back into the ol' wardrobe. Wide-leg pants are a great way to ease into it, because while they emphasize the smallness of your waist, the cut of the leg is way more forgiving to the bum, hips, and thighs. Give and take, I tell you.

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Stella McCartney and Phoebe Philo are long gone, but Chloe still makes some of the best trousers. I personally have a ban on buying any more black pants for my wardrobe, but if I decide to lift it, this wide-leg pair would be high on my list.


There's something instantly menswear-y about wool tweed pants, but with their elegant drape, there's no mistaking this Dior pant for something borrowed from the boys.


And then there's this Oscar de la Renta pant, whose silhouette reminds me of something an Old Hollywood movie star would wear in the 1940s. Plus, they're Oscar, so you know the fit will be amazing.


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When you can't afford Chloe, See By Chloe is the next best thing. And the slouchy, pleated cut of this high-waisted pant is so great, I daresay I like it even better than the one featured above, from Chloe's primary line.


If you worry about the stomach pooch that may result from the above style,
Grey Ant's flare-leg trouser
has a pleated front but a sleeker, more streamlined cut that is more universally flattering.


But as for pleats, I think we should not be scared of them. When placed properly, as in this Mint Jodi Arnold pant, they can be incredibly flattering. (And, bonus: This pant is now on sale too.)


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I was in the new Forever 21 in Soho yesterday, and let me tell you, there are a lot of black pants there. Like, late-'90s amounts of black pants. I have a hard time finding anything specific at that store, but my favorite pair is this one; good luck on actually finding it there.


I would normally discourage buying pants at a chain store, but the paperbag pant is a style that the low-price stores can pull off. Alloy's pant even comes with a free wide belt, key in disguising a thicker stomach (like mine).


But I think Topshop's paperbag pant looks the nicest at this price point--it actually has wool in it, and the cut is a good compromise between classic and trendy, which is just how I want to look in them.