Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cheryl Shops Fall Shopping Guide: Over-the-Knee Boots

With hemlines showing no signs of lowering and designers even embracing the scary no-pants look, there is only one rational solution: over-the-knee boots. I've already seen several pairs out and about in the streets of NYC, and while there are many options out there, the boots I'm after are the ones closer to styles seen on the runway. My criteria: They must have a heel, they must hit above the top of the kneecap, and they must be fitted around the top (no notches or angled cuffs). Of course, this is not a look for everyone; long, thin, toned legs are a plus. But with a well-constructed pair that fits properly, you can at least create that illusion.

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These Sigerson Morrison boots are suede, which does not reflect light like leather does, and that, coupled with the fact that they have stretch, make them perfect for those with thicker legs. (If, like me, you have bony ankles, stay away.) The elastic around the top will keep them in place, and the three-inch heel is definitely manageable.


These Contente boots by Christian Louboutin are definitely an investment, but they're so well engineered, they don't even need zippers, stretch, or any whistles and bells to stay up. They also get bonus points for coming up the highest of any pair featured here, making them perfect for wearing with even your shortest dress.


Like the Sigerson Morrison boots above, these Barbara Bui boots are suede, but unlike the Sigerson Morrisons, they have both an inner zipper, for those who aren't into allover stretch, as well as a hidden platform to add just a little bit more height. (The heel, however, appears just as sturdy.)


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Stuart Weitzman is probably best known for creating comfortable yet stylish shoes for women of a certain age; in the past I've found them a bit too conservative for my taste. Lately, he's trying to appeal to his core customer's daughter (without alienating Mom, of course), which, if you ask me, is a very welcome development. Boots like his suede square-toe platform style are a bargain for the price; I inspected these in person and can vouch that they're soft yet structured, and there's ample padding in the footbed--all the benefits of a mature boot with all the style of a young one. (They're also available in leather, if you prefer.)


I can also vouch for Joie's Twiggy boots, having seen them up close and in person. Joie's footwear is only a few seasons old, but it's quickly becoming a go-to brand for me; the shoes tend to be a bit more classic the very L.A.-girl bohemian clothes. This pair relies on a hidden elastic gore for the perfect fit.


For the best bang for your buck, I advocate the Britany2 boots from Topshop. They have a superslim fit, with a short inside zipper to help your foot can squeeze in. The platform and high heel are very runway-worthy, and while they don't go quite as high as the Louboutins above, they're pretty close.


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Now, you may be thinking, "I don't know about knee-high boots. I'm just going to buy a cheap pair for now." (Or, let's say you don't wear leather.) I'm going to show the customary bargain styles here, but be forewarned, they're synthetic, which means your legs are going to sweat. And then they're going to smell. So, if you must, please wear cotton socks. That said, the shape of Dollhouse's Chrie boots is pretty decent, and they have an elastic gusset for a snug fit.


These Chinese Laundry Kingdom boots are a bit on the shiny side, but they're stretchy, which, again, is good if you have more muscular legs. Also, I've had a pair of Chinese Laundry boots for nearly 10 years (they're leather), and not only are they comfortable, but they've held up incredibly well with occasional re-soling.


Finally, these Charlotte Russe boots are ridiculously cheap, but at least the way they're photographed, they look much more expensive. They even feature a hidden platform, a side zipper, and a padded footbed. All this for $45, and that explains why they're nearly sold out. If you're looking for a cheap-chic take on the trend, however, you can't lose with this pair.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cheryl Shops Fall Shopping Guide: Chanel-Inspired Jackets

You have to hand it to the Wertheimer family, who privately own Chanel: Decades after the death of Gabrielle Chanel--and a particularly shaky postwar period--Chanel remains one of the most sought-after labels in fashion. They, along with Karl Lagerfeld, have mastered the art of brand image. Of course, Chanel herself was a visionary, and the hallmarks of her style--the LBD, jersey, sailor stripes, logo hardware, chains--continue to resonate in the fashion world. Arguably, one of her most iconic contributions to the fashion landscape is the Chanel jacket, i.e. a collarless style in bouclé or tweed. I've always wanted one, but until recently, trying one on made me feel like a little girl dressing up in her mom's clothes. Now that I'm in my 30s, however, I feel like I have both the maturity and self-assuredness to properly carry one. Of course, even a vintage Chanel jacket is out of my price range, but since Chanel isn't sold online (again, masters of brand image) here are some alternatives.

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A few months ago, there was a rumor that Alber Elbaz was in line to replace Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel. It was untrue--for the time being, at least--but considering Elbaz's keen grasp of French style and beautifully deconstructed technique, one could certainly appreciate the possibility. This tweed jacket, for example, obviously has a strong Chanel inspiration, but the zipper makes it more modern, as does its softer, less structured look.


This Proenza Schouler jacket is double-breasted, which is not as overtly Chanel as the traditional cardigan-style jacket, but the narrow cut and high armholes are oh so Coco.


Leave it to Alexander Wang to take something instantly recognizable and classic, but render it in an ultracool way. His leather jacket might look prim from a distance, but in soft lambskin with velvet trim, it's sleek and ultramodern.


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Milly's Michelle Smith has built a solid following for her line with feminine pieces boasting a strong vintage inspiration. This bouclé jacket is clearly of the Chanel persuasion, but the slightly sparkly fabric and cropped fit give it a fun, youthful air.


What has kept Lagerfeld in the Chanel designer seat for so many years is that he cleverly takes the hallmarks of the house and plays with them in ways that keep everything fresh without compromising the design. This Tory Burch jacket is made of tiny crepe de Chine flowers--definitely an unexpected texture--but the simple silhouette remains.


I haven't stepped foot in an Ann Taylor store in years, but after reading Cintra Wilson's unusually glowing review in the Times last week--not to mention the good-looking catalogs I've recently started receiving--it seems like the store is definitely worth another look. Case in point: the bistro jacket reminds me of the Lanvin style above, from the grosgrain ribbon trim down to the softer fit. The fact that its made of natural fabrics (and is on sale) only helps its case.


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The tweed jacket is kind of '80s; it reminds me of a good thrift store find. Still, the cropped fit is good for layering (and will take you into spring), and the price is quite nice.


This embellished jacket from White House | Black Market is actually a sweater, but it's unmistakably Chanel-inspired, and I think Coco herself would be delighted in the ease of its construction.


Finally, proving that Chanel trickles down even to the teen market, this Charlotte Russe bouclé jacket is not luxurious, but for the price (a mere $30), a pretty good, if simple, interpretation of the look.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The week in shopping

Yves Saint Laurent is having a "friends and family" sale; hopefully you don't technically have to be either to enter. 10/28–10/30; 8-8 Wed. & Thurs., 8-2 Fri.; Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

Swedish labels Acne, Filippa K, and Nudie Jeans are teaming up for a group sample sale, where fall/winter 2009 clothes and accessories for men and women are 50%-75% off. Cash only. 10/28-10/29; 11-8; 267 Elizabeth St. (Houston & Prince Sts.). - Sample Sale - Up To 75% Off Retail

Select clothing it up to 25% off at Kidrobot through 10/28; from 10/26-10/30, the sale continues online with $30 hoodies and sweaters and $15 tees and hats. 11-8; 118 Prince St. (at Greene St.).

Max Mara's younger MAX&Co. line is up to 85% off. 10/28-11/1; 10:30-7; Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave. (15th & 16th Sts.).

Clothingline has added Chilewich mats, floor coverings, and more to its sample sale offerings for the week; prices range from $4 for placemats to $45 for small rugs. Free People is still available too. 10/27-10/29; 10-7 (10-6 Wed.); 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Fine Italian linens from Pratesi--sheets, towels, robes, etc.--are up to 75% off at Soffier Haskin. Credit cards only; leave strollers and children under 12 at home. 10/31-11/3; 9-6:30; 317 W. 33rd St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

Who needs Target when you can get a real Carlos Falchi bag for up to 70% off at his sample sale? 10/28–10/29; 10-7; 260 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 7th fl.

For kids who dress better than you do, the Bonpoint sample sale features clothing and accessories for boys and girls for up to 75% off. Leave the strollers at home. 10/28–10/29; 8-7 Wed., 8-3 Thurs.; Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), 5th fl.

Find fall 2009 ready-to-wear, furs, and other fancy things for up to 70% off at Giuliana Teso. Through 10/27; 10-8; 135 W. 52nd St. (6th & 7th Aves.), ste. 5A.

All lighting is 15% off at Kartell. Through 11/15; 11-7, noon-6 Sun.; 39 Greene St. (at Grand St.).

Treat yourself to a new coat for up to 65% off retail at Andrew Marc's annual sample sale. Coats and accessories for men, women, and children will be available. 10/31-11/8; 10-6 weekends, 8-7 weekdays; 401 7th Ave. (32nd & 33rd Sts.).

Luxe John Hardy jewelry is available at 60% off retail; limit 10 pieces per person. 10/28; 8:30-7; Westin Times Square, 270 W. 43rd St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 9th fl. Pearl Room.

Preppy clothes are up to 80% off at Gant. 10/27-10/30; noon-6:30 Tues., 8:30-6:30 Wed. & Thurs., 8:30-5 Fri.; 20 W. 55th St. (5th & 6th Aves.).

Celebrate the launch of Genetic Denim's “The Gabrielle” jeans, sales of which benefit Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research. Cocktails will be served and all Genetic Denim (except The Gabrielle) will be 20% off. Email geneticdenim@peoplesrevolution.com if you want to attend. 10/28; 6-8:30 p.m.; Searle, 680 Madison Ave. (61st & 62nd Sts.).

Ever wanted to be styled by a Marie Claire editor? Head over to French Connection for a night of cocktails, music, gift bags, and fashion tips from Marie Claire staffers. 10/29; 7-9 p.m.; French Connection Soho, 435 W. Broadway (at Prince St.).

Get ready for Halloween in style with TG-170, which is hosting a special night of shopping with designer Samantha Pleet. 10/28; 6-9 p.m.; 170 Ludlow St. (Houston & Stanton Sts.).

Make an order during Piperlime's 3rd birthday celebration (now through midnight 10/27) and get a $25 gift certificate towards your next purchase.

Hundreds of items by high-end designers like Rag & Bone and Alexander Wang are now 40%-80% off at Forward by Revolve.

If you've ever wanted to try Avelle (aka Bag Borrow or Steal), but have been afraid to try, new users can take 15% off a first-time rental with code Shop15.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Coming next week...

I am off to my last wedding of the year (thank heavens), but coming next week: the long-awaited Cheryl Shops Fall Shopping Guide! Please check back then!

TheFind Guest Post: Mad for Plaid

madforplaid

This fall brings the English countryside as inspiration for cool weather dressing. Escape the hustle and bustle of urban living with some natty traditional plaids with a modern twist. Think hounds tooth checks, buffalo plaids, and large complex Scotch plaids. Made of natural fibers such as wool and cotton the updated plaid looks best when paired with sleek body hugging denim and fierce heels. Look for plaid jackets, dresses, and even capes for covering up. Elizabeth and James features some of the best plaid blouses adorned with their signature casual yet sophisticated style. Take your new look with you to the country for a tranquil retreat or don the plaid with boyfriend jeans for a casual look in town.

As seen on the Fall '09 runways, the Marc By Marc Jacobs "Abbey" Plaid Dress (upper left, $458.00 at Bloomingdales.com) is a twist on the traditional. The pure wool mini dress tunic has a drop waist, cowl neck, two front pockets and banded sleeves. The Fei Polaire Vest (top middle, $118.00 at Anthropologie.com) is a pretty and dramatic corset-style top with a flared peplum. This vest would pair nicely with a slim pencil skirt and platform pumps. From Smythe, a wool-blend jacket (top right, $525 at Net-a-Porter) Pair Smythe's blue tweed plaid jacket over a tank and skinny jeans for a dose of English countryside eccentricity. From Ann Taylor Loft, a sweeping and dramatic Brushed Plaid Cape (Bottom right, $148 at Ann Taylor Loft). This classic double-breasted cape is lined, has a banded collar with button closure. From Elizabeth and James (Bottom left, $245 at Net-a-Porter) a gray and cream cotton-blend plaid shirt with a distressed finish, button front and two patch pockets. Pair this wardrobe staple with your favorite pair of jeans and fiercest boots for a cool downtown look.

Save with Coupon Codes from Bloomingdales.com TheFind.com's new coupon site

Object of Desire: Rag & Bone Newbury Booties

Rag & Bone has quickly become one of my favorite clothing lines. Everything is cut incredibly well--I am a stickler for fit--and made of soft yet sturdy fabrics. Their clothes are quietly luxurious; nothing is flashy, but, that said, it's all incredibly cool. They are expanding [subscription required] with lower-priced lines (called Rag & Bone/Jean and Rag & Bone/Shirt), sunglasses, and, for fall, shoes. And just like their clothes, Rag & Bone's footwear is classic with a modern twist. I finally saw the line up close last week at Saks, and I've been thinking about the Newbury Booties ever since. The rounded toe is subtle, the chunky three-inch heel is practical, but the back zip and the seam details keep things interesting, and the leather is weathered-looking but ultra soft. They might not seem like the most exciting boots in your closet, but I bet they're the pair you'll end up wearing most. The only thing that's not perfect about them is the price ($495), but if you order a pair within the next two hours from Shopbop, you can use code INTHEFAMILY15 and take 15% off. (Hey, every little bit helps.) Assuming the boots are as great as the rest of the Rag & Bone line, I think you'll be wearing them forever, which makes them well worth the splurge.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Recommended Reading: Regretsy

I will admit to being a little intimidated by Etsy. I think it's a great idea in theory, but whenever I try to browse it, I get incredibly overwhelmed--while I'm amazed at some of the sellers' ingenuity and creativity, it just seems like there are too many for me to handle. And while I know many people who've been able to unearth some gems on the site, all I seem to be able to find are clunkers. Taking that thought a step further is the new blog Regretsy, whose motto, "Handmade? It looks like you made it with your feet" pretty much sums up the idea behind the site, which showcases some of the truly bizarre items for sale on Etsy. Yes, it's a little mean, but the sparse commentary is wickedly funny, and the items range from in bad taste (neon zebra pants) to totally weird (Frida Kahlo uterus plushie) to downright gross (NSFW masturbating dinosaurs). But perhaps proving that no press is bad press, Regretsy also has a sold section, highlighting items featured on the blog that have actually found homes. And while I don't suggest buying anything here, I do suggest visiting Regretsy whenever you're in need of a good laugh--even if it's at someone else's expense.

MasstigeWatch!

Proving the theory I espoused last month--that if a "rumor" about Target turns up in WWD, it's generally true--Target announced that Jean Paul Gaultier will indeed be its next designer collaboration [subscription required]. The collection hits 250 Target stores (and Target.com) March 7th; Anna Sui was in 600 stores, so this will be a much smaller distribution. The previous two designer collaborations, with Alexander McQueen and Sui, were both inspired by pop culture figures; as of now, no information is available on who Gaultier's inspiration will be. (Madonna, maybe?) I think Gaultier is an interesting choice for Target, which, until now has picked pretty hot and influential designers, from Proenza Schouler to Rodarte. Gaultier has a loyal following--and he is a master tailor, not to mention the first couturier to collaborate with Target--but I'd venture to say his influence peaked in the '90s. Then again, with the '80s-'90s revival that's been happening on the runways, perhaps it's time for a Gaultier renaissance.

And, I feel like I might have linked to this already, but The Cut has full images from the Jimmy Choo for H&M collection. I must say, I am sick of writing about this collaboration, and it doesn't hit stores for another three weeks. Still, the dresses (particularly the studded mini and the black maxi) are looking better than ever to me. Looks like I'll be standing in line after all.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The week in shopping

I meant to do a special post on this last week, but I was a bit out of it after my Thursday-night acupuncture appointment. Nevertheless, the Prada and Miu Miu sample sale is running through Friday of this week. It's the dregs, but discounts increase as the sale goes on. And this time, no RSVP required. Through 10/23; 10-7; 609 W. 51st St. (11th & 12th Aves.). .

Send the nattily dressed male in your life over to the Duckie Brown sale, where prices are up to 80% off--think suits for $100, pants for $120. Cash only. 10/24; noon-5; Morgans Hotel, 237 Madison Ave. (37th & 38th Sts.).

Separates are $35, day dresses are $50, and evening dresses are $75 at the Betsey Johnson sale. 10/21–10/23; 10-8; Millennium Broadway Hotel, 145 W. 44th St. (6th Ave. & Broadway), 6th fl.

Madeline Weinrib is having a very rare sale; find rugs, textiles, and home accessories from past collections at 40%-70% off. Very tempting. 10/22–11/1; 10-7, 11-6:30 Sun.; ABC Carpet & Home, 881 Broadway (at 19th St.), lower level.

Free People and Walter fall merch is 60%-80% off. 10/22–10/25; 10:30-7; Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave. (15th & 16th Sts.).

At John Varvatos' first-ever warehouse sale, find everythign from suits to sportswear for up to 90% off. RSVP here for entrance. (There will also be a number of West Coast denim labels on hand, but do you really care about those?) 10/23–10/24; 10-8; Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), 4th fl.

Gunmetal shoes are $75 (normally $595-$795) at this cash only sale. 10/22–10/24; 10-7; Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), 4th fl.

Jonathan Adler and Calypso St. Barth are teaming up for a warehouse sale in Queens; find everything from furniture to candles and apparel for 30%-70% off. 10/22–10/24; 10-8, 10-4 Sat.; 38-16 Skillman Ave. (at 38th St.), Long Island City, Queens.

If you wear a sizes 7 or 8 shoe, you're in luck: Sample sizes from Miss Sixty, Ash, United Nude, and other coveted labels are up to 80% off. 10/21-10/23; 8-8 Wed., 10-8 Thurs., 10-7 Fri.; 307 W. 38th St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

Clothingline has new shipments from Repetto and Free People (among other designers). 10/21-10/23; 11-7 Wed. & Thurs., 11-6 Fri.; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.).

Trend-conscious (but luxe) scarves are $10 and up at Bindya's sample sale. 10/21–10/23; 10-7 Wed., 10-6 Thurs. & Fri.; 49 W. 38th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 9th fl.

Coats, sportswear, and accessories from Max Mara have hit Soffier Haskin. Credit cards only. Through 10/22; 9-6:30, 9-5 Thurs.; Soffier Haskin, 317 W. 33rd St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

Score a pair of Lovely People Shoes for 70% off. 10/22; 5:45-9; 1385 Broadway (at 38th St.), 5th fl.

At Robert Marc's warehouse sale, find eyewear from Chrome Hearts, Blinde, and other high-end lines for up to 80% off. Robert Marc eyewear is $89 and up; Badgley Mischka eyewear is $129 and up. Make a purchase and get a coupon for 20% off prescription eyeglasses purchased at the event. 10/22–10/24; 10-7; Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), 4th fl.

Cashmere accessories for men, women, and children are wholesale prices and below at the Portolano sale. Through 10/23; 10-6; 15 W. 37th St. (5th & 6th Aves.).

Find leather bags and accessories at up to 70% off at Tusk's semi-annual sample sale. Wallets are $30-$40; bags are $80-$100. 10/23-10/31 (closed 10/25); 11-7; 242 W. 26th St. (7th & 8th Aves.).

Work-friendly clothes for men and women are up to 85% off retail at Elie Tahari's sample sale. 10/20-10/24; 8:30-7:30, 10-5 Sat.; 510 5th Ave. (42nd & 43rd Sts.).

At the Housing Works Bride on a Buck Wedding Dress Sale, find gowns from Monique Lhuillier, Jenny Yoo, and other coveted designers at steep discounts. Other bridal vendors will also be present. 10/21; 10-7; 157 E. 23rd St. (Lex & 3rd Aves.). Wedding gowns and bridal accessories from Monique Lhuillier, Ulla Maier, Jenny Yoo, Pet

Robb & Hugo have dresses & tops for up to 65% off. 10/22–10/23; 10-6; 214 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 907.

The Madison Avenue BoConcept is hosting a sample sale for indie designers like Zang Toi. Um, ok! Prices are 30%-80% off. 10/23–10/24; 5-8 Fri., noon-6 Sat.; 105 Madison Ave. (at 30th St.).

Fancy silk dresses and separates are $100 and up (normally four figures) at House of Shalini's sample sale. 10/22–10/24; 11-8, 11-5 Sat.; 363B W. 18th St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

Jeans are $75 at Paige Premium Denim and Torn by Ronny Kobo. 10/21-10/23; 8-8 Wed., 10-8 Thurs., 10-7 Fri.; 307 W. 38th St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

Find eveningwear from Peter Soronen, Marc Bower, Lela Rose, Donald Deal, and Melinda Eng, plus furs by Roberto Cavalli for up to 75% off. 10/25-10/27; 10-6; Flatotel, 135 W. 52nd St. (5th & 6th Aves.), ste. 5A.

Take 15% off full-priced merchandise at Shopbop with code INTHEFAMILY15 through 10/21.

It's time for Friends and Family at Lord & Taylor--take 25% off almost everything with code FRIENDS through 10/25.

It's time for another gift card event at Saks--use code OCTOBER9 and earn a card worth up to $2,000 10/20-10/22.

Use code MIKECHRIS20 for 20% off Mike & Chris at Singer22.com through midnight 10/20.

Use code lovebite for 20% off orders at Cheryl Shops fave Le Train Bleu through 10/31.

At blissworld.com, get 30% off the blood orange + white pepper soapy suds plus free blood orange + white pepper body butter with your purchase. Use promo code 109901 at checkout through 10/23.

Use code SAVE123 for 15% off a $75 order, 20% off a $100 order, or 25% off a $125 order at Gap.com (or Banana Republic or Old Navy) through 10/20.

Shop new markdowns of 30%-80% on over 5,000 products at Revolve Clothing.

TheFind Guest Post: Plouf! Parisian Puddle Jumpers from Aigle

aigle-rain-boots

Yes, I'm a fan of Hunter Wellie rain boots, but they seem to be growing in popularity and are showing up on well-dressed feet all round town. I am looking for a new pair of unique rain boots and found Aigle rain boots that are made in France. Mais oui! These boots are a bit more fitted and I love the riding boot style that is made completely of rubber. A lovely boot to throw on with leggings and an over-sized chunky knit sweater when I'm running out the door in a hurry. These boots are tailored and becoming every bit as fashionable as the Hunter wellies. These boots are from Aigle, which provides outdoor gear to French sportsmen, equestrians and those who visit the countryside for pleasure. Yes, these are the real deal and are perfect for urbanites looking for a waterproof and comfortable city rain boot.

Retailers including Martin + Osa and J. Crew now carry Aigle boots. On the upper left is the Aigle Start Riding Boot ($103.20 was $129.00 at Martin and Osa), a lovely plain black riding boot that is a perfect reproduction of their leather counterparts. On the model are a pair of violet Burberry rain boots (upper right, $195 at Net-a-Porter) to show you how utterly fab skinny jeans look tucked into tall rain boots. On the bottom row far left is the Aigle Women's Bergen lace up rain boot ($207.95 at Shoebuy.com). I love the lace up fronts, which makes tucking in your jeans easier and ensuring an extra snug fit. Again in the riding boot style these two-toned Aigle Jumping Rubber Boots ( bottom row middle, $199.99 at saddlesource.com) look like traditional dressage riding boots if you are looking for the Bon chic, bon genre aka French preppy style. Lastly is the two-toned Aigle Women's Rubber Boot in Brown, ($149.00 at studentmarket.com). I love the two-toned texture of this one, a nice alternative to an all black boot, would look chic and sporty paired with tweed and a chunky cashmere sweater.

Save on your purchases with Coupon Codes from J. Crew from TheFind.com's new coupon site

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

MasstigeWatch!

Nitrolicious, as usual, has leaked photos from two upcoming Target collaborations: first, a few advertising images from the Carlos Falchi handbags collection, which hits stores November 1st. She also has leaked photos, here and here, of the Rodate Go International collection, which hits stores December 20th. Based on these images alone, I am getting pretty pumped about Rodarte. As for Carlos Falchi, meh. (Then again, that's usually how I feel about Target's shoe and handbag collaborations.)

But if November and December seem a long way away, The Cut reports that Pierre Hardy's long-awaited fall shoes and boots hit the Gap on October 19th. These boots, which I admit I'm totally lusting after, are $175, which, while not exactly a bargain, is significantly more affordable than a regular-priced pair of Pierre Hardy shoes, which can easily run more than $1,000. That said, I think I'll wait till my Gap Friends & Family coupon turns up—while Pierre Hardy's shoes are always awesome (I own a pair from every Gap collection he's done thus far), they don't sell out nearly as quickly as the Design Editions, thus buying the bargain-inclined among us a little time.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Designer "copyrights" & my totally wild idea

If you read Fashionista, you're probably familiar with their Adventures in Copyright series, which, while intended to point out how mass-market retailers like Forever 21 and Steve Madden rip off designers, often serve as unintentional shopping guides for getting the look for less. Of course, while these posts are somewhat noble in intention--calling out mass retailers for being unimaginative, protecting independent designers--the very label of the posts fails to acknowledge the fact that, as of now, the design of necessities such as clothing and shoes is actually not copyright-protected in the U.S. (Unique prints and logos are copyright protected, however, which explains why selling--and buying--fake Chanel and Louis Vuitton bags on Canal Street is illegal.) Designers are, however, challenging the laws. The CFDA has led the fight for piracy laws; Trovata has become the latest designer to settle with Forever 21 [subscription required] after a mistrial with a deadlocked jury; and now Alexander McQueen is suing Steve Madden [subscription required], a case which, if precedent is any indication, will likely be settled out of court.

But it was this post about Isabel Marant booties yesterday on Fashionista that really got me thinking. These boots, originally seen on Jak & Jil, are incredibly drool-worthy and if I were actually able to get my hands on a pair, I might even shell out full price for them. But the problem is, they are sold out everywhere. While many designers are hyper-aware of their brand identity, Marant is super-controlling of hers, to the point that she does not allow her designs to be sold online, and thus supply will never quite meet demand, another way in which designers control their image--by ensuring that not everyone can attain it. (The good news, however, is that Isabel Marant is opening a store in Soho next February [subscription required], making her wares at least a little more attainable.) So while I can't find a pair of the true Isabel Marant boots to save my life, as the Fashionista commenters point out, Steve Madden, Jeffrey Campbell, Rose Gold, and even Barneys Co-Op has ripped off the design, to varying degrees of success. While price is certainly a big factor here--this is America, after all, champion of capitalism as well as "the look for less"--availability is one too, and you can't ignore the fact that Marant is missing out on a lot of lost revenue.

So here's where my totally wild idea comes in. After World War II, when the couture business had been interrupted, couturiers were eager to get their names back out into the world, so American department stores would send representatives over to Paris for the fashion shows. The department stores would then, with the couturiers' blessing, reproduce the runway looks and sell them, paying the couture houses a fee for the privilege of doing so. This system was in place well into the 1970s, when couturiers began to experiment heavily with licensing and ready-to-wear (Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, for example, was considered a diffusion line in its day, as YSL was first and foremost a couture line).

Now, what if a system like this were put back into place? For example, if Steve Madden wanted to produce a $150 version of Alexander McQueen's (sold out) $1,200 booties, he could pay McQueen, say, a $50,000 licensing fee. McQueen's name and logo could not be used anywhere, such as the law is today, but he would still profit from the sale of the hundreds, if not thousands, of pairs Steve Madden would be sure to sell. A fee of that size would greatly benefit independent designers, who also might not have the resources to fight a mass-market retailer in court--think of how many times you've seen Anna Corinna's City Tote knocked off. Of course, I realize my idea is flawed. For one, it would require total honesty on many retailers' parts. Considering how much they spend on legal representation, I have a feeling Forever 21 would comply; smaller companies would likely balk at the cost and thus try to fly under the radar. (This might be alleviated somewhat with a sliding scale based on production run, company size, retail price, and so on.) Another problem is that there would be the potential for even more lawsuits than there are now: designers suing those who knock off but don't pay the fee; and, as a result, unqualified juries and judges having to decide what is and isn't a knockoff based on design details they might not even be able to discern. Finally, as I said earlier, designers are fiercely protective of their brand image, and if you can find an incredibly watered-down version of, say, a Balmain jacket at Wal-Mart, well, then what does that say about Balmain? Of course, there are many obvious differences between a $5,000 jacket and a $50 one, and as I have argued many times before, most people who are buying knockoffs probably can't afford the original (especially if they're shopping at Wal-Mart). Then again, think of all the designers who've hopped on the Masstige bandwagon.

My solution is not a perfect one, but at least it's a starting point for a discussion--other than of the "Oh my god, knockoffs are so tacky" vein. I do believe that designers should be compensated for their original designs, but I also believe in free-market capitalism. And if our Nobel-Prize-winning president has taught us anything, it's that sometimes you need to compromise to get things done. So maybe after Obama fixes our healthcare system, the economy, and the war in Afghanistan, he can focus on the fashion industry.

The week in shopping

Rebecca Minkoff, Current Elliott, Foley & Corinna, and other brands you love are up to 80% off at Wink's warehouse sale. 10/15–10/17; 11-7; 188 Columbus Ave. (at 69th St.).

Shop David Yurman's special sale--jewelry, watches, and eyewear are up to 60% off--and a percentage of the proceeds will benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. 10/14-10/18; 4-8 Wed., 10-7 Thurs.-Sat., 11-5 Sun.; Altman Building, 135 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

A "substantial amount" of designer shoes and handbags have arrived at Gabay's Outlet (according to Lila at Madison Avenue Spy, there's lots of Chanel, and the merch is from Bergdorf's). Go now! Ongoing; 10-6:30, 11-6 Sun.; 225 1st Ave. (13th & 14th Sts.).

Atrium is taking 30% off of all its vaguely Eurotrashy wares, from Moncler parkas on down to J Brand jeans. 10/16–10/18; 10-9 Fri. & Sat., 11-8 Sun.; 644 Broadway (at Bleecker St.).

Cassina furniture is slightly less outrageously expensive, with renowned designs by Le Corbusier and the like for 20% off. Through 10/23; 9-6 weekdays, 11-5 Sat., closed Sun.; 155 E. 56th St. (Lex & 3rd Aves.).

More in my price range is BoConcept, where the Swedish-designed furniture is 30%-70% off at their warehouse sale. 10/17; 10-3; 180 Pulaski St., Bayonne, NJ. Furniture Warehouse Sale

Boutique on 57 has Brunello Cucinelli, Rena Lange, and Bochic clothing, accessories, and jewelry in sizes 0-12. Through 10/15; 10-7; 12 W. 57th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 8th fl.

Archetype Showroom has one-of-a-kind pieces from indie designers like YMC, April 77, Lewis, and more. 10/16–10/17; 10-7 Fri., noon-5 Sat.; 676 Broadway (at Bond St.).

They've declared bankruptcy, so Escada has a lot of merchandise to clear out--it's up to 75% off here. Leave strollers and children under 12 at home, please. 10/16-10/18; 10-8 Fri., 10-6 Sat., 10-5 Sun.; Metropolitan Pavilion North, 110 W. 19th St. (6th & 7th Aves.). Sample Sale - Save Up To 75% Off

Joseph Abboud menswear--suits, shirts, ties, sportswear, and more--is on sale at Soiffer Haskin. Credit cards only; leave strollers and children under 12 at home. Through 10/16; 9-7, 9-5 Fri.; 317 W. 33rd St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

Global Fashions has Valentino R.E.D., M Missoni, and Anna Molinari for up to 80% off. Through 10/15; 9-6; 49 W. 38th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 4th fl. - Fall/Winter 2009 Sample Sale Up to 80% Off

It's Friends & Family time at Saks! Use code FRIENDS2 for 25% off (20% on jewelry and 10% on beauty) now through 10/18 (starts 10/15 in stores).

Take your boyfriend to Club Monaco on Thursday night--you both get 15% off your purchases for the evening. 10/15; 4-9 p.m.; click here for locations.

Or if you're more of a Banana Republic gal, head over to the Rockefeller Center flagship to celebrate its 10-year anniversary with music, champagne, cupcakes, and a gift bag and 25% off a $100 or more purchase. Call 800-361-7738 to RSVP. 10/15; 7-9 p.m.; 626 5th Ave. (at 50th St.).

Head over to one of my recent favorite stores, Eryn Brinié, to celebrate the opening night of Looking Glass, a curated exhibit of photographer Robert Whitman's works. Whitman himself will be on hand to snap Polaroids. 10/14; 7-10 p.m.; 501 Broadway (Spring & Broome Sts.). Exhibit runs through 11/4.

Get a "head and toe" makeover this Saturday with a stylist from Glory Chen and a makeup artist from Space NK. Call 212-677-2938 to make an appointment. 10/17; 2-6 p.m.; 121 Greene St. (Houston & Prince Sts.).

Use code GRYPHON20 for 20% off all Gryphon at 25Park.com.

Select shoes, boots & bags are 30% off at Piperlime's Sweet Deal Event plus get free shipping and returns now through 10/25.

European designer ready-to-wear, shoes, and bags are 30% off at Intermix when you use code EUROPEAN at checkout through 10/18.

Take 25% off printed pillows at Hable Construction with code OCTOBER through 10/30.

In honor of their 15th birthday, take 15% off any Old Navy purchase with code ONBDAY15 at checkout through 10/15.

Take 20% off a $150 order at JCrew.com with code SHOPFALL through 10/14.

Get 2 free W Hotels pillows with a $250 bedding purchase with promo code PILLOWS at WHotelstheStore.com through 10/15.

Save up to 75% on giftable items at Wishing Fish's online warehouse sale. (I want the vegetable garden!)

Take 30% off best-selling bath and body products at blissworld.com with promo code 109902 at checkout 10/14-10/19.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sales coming tomorrow

I decided to take a day off in honor of the man who didn't quite discover America. Please check back Tuesday night for sales & more.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

TheFind Guest Post: Warm up with Fur Embellished Winter Boots



After making an appearance on the runway at Marc by Marc Jacobs, the fur boot is back. You may recall the mukluk trend from a few seasons ago. Yes, it’s back and it is part of the larger fur trend we are seeing on faux fur vests in particular as well as handbags. So it make sense, but not sure if I am ready to embrace furry winter boots again this year. What do you think of these fur festooned boots? Will you buy them this winter?

The style seen on the runway for fall 2009 is the Marc by Marc Jacobs Faux-fur lace-up boot (bottom right, $350 at Net-a-Porter). A completely fur covered boot this will keep your toes nice and toasty during the snowiest of days or perhaps on the slopes aprè ski? The gray faux-fur-embellished boots feature black canvas criss-cross laces at the front, silver-tone eyelets and a black rubber sole to prevent slippage on snowy urban sidewalks or while relaxing in the ski lodge. Another style is Givenchy’s Fur-Front Ankle Boot, (top right, $1150 at Saks.com) and obviously not too appropriate for snowy streets, but perhaps a snow-free night out on the town. These rabbit fur embellished booties with a stacked heel will look perfect with black leggings or skinny jeans. From down under Australia Luxe Collective’s Nordic Angel Fur Boot, (middle bottom, $410.00 at Neiman Marcus.com) is a pimped out version of the classic shearling boot. This sheepskin boot would work in snowy surroundings as well as the sunny shores of California. The 16″ tall boots features black double-faced sheepskin and natural rabbit fur trim. As well as a signature logo plate on the back. Ralph Lauren Collection’s Willa Suede Boots, (bottom left, $695 at Saks.com) are tall suede platform boots lined with shearling and a faux fur cuff at the top. More fashion than function these tall boots would work well with skinny jeans tucked in and perhaps a faux fur vest to complete your ensemble.

Save on your purchases with Coupon Codes from Zappos from TheFind.com’s new coupon site

LINKS:

the fur boot is back.
http://www.thefind.com/apparel/info-fur-boots

faux fur vests
http://www.thefind.com/apparel/info-faux-fur-vest

Marc by Marc Jacobs
http://www.thefind.com/qq-marc-by-marc-jacobs-boots

Coupon Codes from Zappos
http://coupons.thefind.com/coupons/store/zappos/

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

Recommended Reading: The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping

I'm going to share a little secret with you: When living in New York starts to wear me down, I fantasize about leaving the rat race, moving to a mellow town like Northampton, Massachusetts (hey, it's good enough for Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore!), and opening a vintage clothing store. But I'm not quite ready to give up on New York, so for now, vintage will have to remain a hobby for me. While I consider myself a fairly savvy vintage shopper--I know my fashion history, and one of my particular talents is being able to tell a synthetic vs. a natural fabric solely by touch--I can always learn more, and I certainly picked up a lot from The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping*, a new book by Melody Fortier. The book is little, yes, but it's packed with useful tips for even the experienced vintage shopper, especially when it comes to removing stains and repairing slightly flawed items. She also includes detailed information on using fabrication, care, and union tags to identify the age of the garment, as well as more broad advice like looking for private-label items from such bygone department stores as Bonwit Teller and I Magnin (designer-quality merchandise without the super-high prices normally associated with designer vintage). The most uncanny thing, however, is that the author owns Tangerine Boutique, a vintage store in Gardner, Massachusetts, which is not far from Northampton. Coincidence...or not?

*Since the FTC has recently announced that bloggers must disclose when they receive promotional items, I, well, received a free review copy of this book. (And from now on, I will clearly state when this is the case, however my policy remains that regardless if I pay for something or receive it gratis, I only write about items I feel are worthy of inclusion here--and worthy of your money as well.) That said, I think it's well worth its $18.95 price tag.

Buy it: Brucci Jaded Nail Hardener

I'm not a big impulse buyer when it comes to beauty products, except when it comes to nail polish. I have a particular weakness for Chanel Le Vernis, which I've been in love with since the introduction of Vamp back in the '90s. As far as impulse purchases go, Chanel nail polish, at $23 a pop, isn't totally obscene--it's not like buying a Chanel 2.55 bag, for example--however, the problem is that they make such coveted shades of polish that everyone wants them, they sell out everywhere, and you can't find a bottle to save your life. Which, of course, makes my inner hunter want it even more. This is the case with their latest must-have shade, Jade (which, yes, is sold out at the moment). I'm clearly not the only one who wants a bottle--they're going for up to $75 on eBay, a 300% markup. But sometimes the shopping gods smile upon you. Case in point: Yesterday at Duane Reade, en route to the toothpaste aisle, a shiny little green bottle caught my eye. Creamy and minty-green, Brucci Nail Hardener in Jaded is a bit more metallic than Chanel's Jade, but for $2.99, it's close enough. It may not be as chic as the squared-off bottle with the double-C logo, but, in these recessionary times, nothing is chicer than a great bargain.

Monday, October 05, 2009

The week in shopping

Find jewelry by Cheryl Shops fave Anna Sheffield mostly under $100 at her sample sale. 10/7–10/10; 4-8 Wed., noon-7 Thurs.-Fri., 11:30-5 Sat.; 153 Lafayette St. (Grand & Howard Sts.).

This week, Clothingline hosts Adam, Chaiken, Free People, Custo Barcelona, and several other lines; most items are well under $100. 10/6-10/9; 11-7 Tues. & Thurs., 11-6 Wed. & Fri.; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Sexy, well-made lingerie and swimwear from Huit Paris is available at sample sale prices. Cash only. 10/7-10/9; 10-5; 40 E. 34th St. (Park & Madison Aves.), ste. 710.

Find vintage clothing for 50%-75% off at From Around the World Vintage Archive, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary and opening its doors to the public for the first time ever. I will hopefully be checking this one out later this week. Through 10/13; 3-6 weekdays only; 209 W. 38th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 1201.

Speaking of vintage, this weekend is also the famed Manhattan Vintage Show, featuring 80 vintage dealers. Admission is $20 (or sign up here to save $5 on the entry fee). 10/9-10/10; 1-8 Fri., 11-6 Sat.; Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

If you're a size 6 or 8, snag a sample-size jacket or coat at the Cinzia Rocca showroom; prices are up to 65% off. Through 10/10; 9-5; 30 Central Park South (5th & 6th Aves.), penthouse.

Men's and women's Hugo Boss clothing is up to 75% off. 10/6–10/9; 9:30-5, 10-3 Fri.; 601 W. 26th St. (11th & 12th Aves.), 8th fl.

Find Upper East Siders' castoffs for $65 and up at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Thrift Shop's fall luxury coat sale. Minks are $1,800, in case you were wondering. 10/7–10/10; 10-5:30, 11-5 Sat.; 1440 3rd Ave. (at 81st St.).

If you're not a Rue La La member, sign up here through October 10th and get a free $10 credit, no strings attached.

Get 30% off the Youth as We Know It collection at blissworld.com through 10/11. The five-piece, full-size collection is now $183.40 (was $262). Or, if you're just a fan of the cream, get a free travel-sized Youth as We Know It cream with any Youth Cream purchase with promo code FAIRY109 through 11/1.

Buy any GapKids or babyGap item and get 15% off your men's, women's, or maternity purchase at Gap with code GAP4YOU through 10/8.

Finally, this isn't a sale, but it's a relatively effortless way to do good and it comes from the lovely team at DKNY: Whenever you see a City Harvest truck around the city (the whole fleet is painted in DKNY's fall colors--magenta and white), take a picture, then upload it to their event page on Facebook. For every photo uploaded, DKNY will donate $1 to City Harvest, now through 10/15.