Thursday, July 29, 2010

TheFind Guest Post: Hoops: Updated

A cornerstone of any collection of accessories, the hoop earring has been a part of our wardrobes for decades. In either plain silver or gold, their merest touch of glimmer creates the perfect finishing touch for any ensemble from casual to formal. These days, jewelry designers are updating the classic hoop with tiny details that you rediscover the form with a fresh perspective.



Kyler by Joy O offers a collection of hoops with geometric angles, developed by strategic hammering of the metal. Citrine by the Stones offers a lightweight richness on the basic shape with their Large Wire Hoop Earrings. Each one is actually seven different hoops wound together in an 18K gold plated finish.



Elizabeth Showers adds a different type of detail, by incorporating small silver balls all over the surface. This little bit of texture makes all the difference! Or, consider Stella & Dot's Devi CV Hoop Earrings in either silver or gold metallic. The glimmering crystals are set inside of an organically-shaped hoop, adding an ethereal dose of sparkle just below the ears.



These options update your staple hoops with new and interesting details, taking them from boring and basic to fresh and original!

- Annie Wilson

Save on Hoop Earrings at Max & Chloe from TheFind.com's coupon site

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

Buy it: Chelsea Clinton's floppy hat


I will admit, I have Chelsea Clinton wedding fever; she's a few years younger than me, but I feel like we came of age at around the same time, and well, since I'm getting married next summer, I'm eager to see what kind of wedding (and wedding dress) she'll have. Women's Wear Daily published a rather hilarious article yesterday detailing their stakeout of Chelsea's alleged visit to Vera Wang's Seventh Avenue showroom. They describe Secret Service agents blanketing the area, Hilary Clinton absentmindedly checking her Blackberry, and that the duo, in their multiple trips to the showroom, are (gasp!) routinely up to 30 minutes late for their appointments. WWD managed to snap a photo of Chelsea, obscured by a rather large floppy hat; it took less than a day for me to receive an email from Hat Attack claiming ownership of the chapeau in question. That said, their raffia sun hat is pretty fabulous. It would make a glamorous beach-vacation hat, whether you're going to Miami or Bali, and it comes in two shades of raffia with several color options for the ribbon. As for an incognito disguise, however, I think it pretty much failed on that account.

MasstigeWatch!

Target announced today that Justin Timberlake William Rast will be its next designer collaboration [subscription required]. The collection will be in stores December 19-January 22. No word yet on prices, but unlike most of Target's previous collabs, this one will feature clothing for women and men. Also noteworthy: William Rast, while far more expensive than Target's usual fare, is not quite as high-end as Target's previous collaborators (like Rodarte and Jean Paul Gaultier). All I can say is, I hope Justin Timberlake is involved in whatever splashy marketing campaign Target rolls out in support of this.

Speaking of Target, word on the street is that at the opening of the new East Harlem store last weekend, shoppers spotted (and snatched up) shoes from the Dolce Vita collaboration. They were supposedly supposed to hit stores August 22nd, but they're available online now as well as in many bricks-and-mortar Targets. There's a definite menswear vibe to the collection, with lace-up boots and oxfords (as well as more feminine flats). The shoes retail for a very nice $29.99-$34.99, and my favorite pair is this rather mod buckle boot. It should be noted that these are faux leather, but for $30, who's complaining?

Finally, I don't give Urban Outfitters nearly as much attention as it deserves for its designer collaborations, but they really seek out interesting independent designers and have them create cool stuff. The latest is this Le Bij bar ring, designed by Jules Kim of Bijules, whom we can partially thank for the two-finger ring trend of late. This one comes in a bunch of fun colors, so it's a great way to accent an outfit, and at $18, you can afford to buy several. However, due to the pointy design, I'd suggest not wearing them all at once.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sample Sale of the Week

So, remember when I said I was no longer doing weekly sale listings? I lied! Well, sort of. I'm still not listing all of them, but I will call out any totally notable sales when applicable. (And I can't wait to tell you about a HUGE sale for next week.) So, this week, one of my favorite jewelry lines, Bing Bang by Anna Sheffield is holding its sample sale, with prices up to 75% off. It's on now through Friday 7/30 from noon-7 at 153 Lafayette St. (Howard & Grand Sts.), 4th flr.

Also, if you haven't yet joined the online sample sale website Rue La La, do so now through 8/8 and you'll automatically get a $10 credit. Rue La La is awesome all around; I recently bought a Botkier purse there for $99 (it was originally over $500!) Click here to join.

TheFind Guest Post: Shine Bright With Natural Stone Jewelry From Dara Ettinger



While I love the idea of jewelry made of natural materials, some pieces, whether stone or hemp or shell or feather-embellished, read a bit too boho or hippie-chick to suit my particular style. Maybe I just had it all wrong or maybe I've just been looking at the more "blah" variety of natural jewelry, but jewelry designer Dara Ettinger's pieces have me whistling a whole different tune! Her sparkly, brilliantly-colored collection of pendants, cocktail rings, and earrings put an earthy spin on the traditional "bling," and are far more eye-catching than any natural stone pieces I've ever seen!

With raw-cut pieces of amethyst, agate, and other stunning natural stones, designer Dara Ettinger is all about showcasing bold, natural beauty by letting shiny, shimmery stones speak for themselves. While some chunky cocktail rings may normally be a bit too vintage-tacky or costume-y, her Disco Rings are bold in a way that's fashion-forward and edgy yet totally fascinating and timeless in their pure natural form. For something a little less bright and in-your-face, her neutral-toned amethyst pendants are just as sparkly and unique without verging on ostentatious. Who knew something so simple could create something so lustrous and affordable at the same time?

- Alex Gambardella

Save on Dara Ettinger Jewelry at Urban Outfitters from TheFind.com's coupon site



Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Recommended Reading: Shoppers on a 'Diet'

One of my favorite types of fashion stories is the kind where they take 10 or 12 items and create 50 (or more) different outfits with them--Lucky does this at least once a year, as does Shopbop. I always feel incredibly inspired to purge my closet after reading these articles, in the pursuit of creating a more perfect, streamlined wardrobe. So I was intrigued by this article in the Times' Thursday Styles section; it highlights two different websites, one that challenges participants to wear only six items of clothing or less for a month and another that encourages readers not to buy new clothes for an entire year. The latter website, while admirable in its intention, made me cringe for reasons that should be obvious to readers of a blog called Cheryl Shops, but I was fascinated by the former...at first. Again, it's a noble concept, but it's really not practical. For example, if you exercise, your workout clothes count as part of your six items (underwear and accessories, thankfully, are freebies). Think of the amount of laundry one ends up doing during this experiment. Still, I think there is a lesson to be learned, albeit on a far less extreme level, and that's the same one that appeals to me in those 10-pieces, 100 outfits articles: Buy less clothing, wear it in more ways. Yes, readers, it's that simple.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Join it: Shop It To Me

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I hate paying full retail price for anything. Which is one of the reasons I love shopping on the Internet--finding deals is a lot easier. However, keeping track of what you want to buy and staying on top of sales is a science, and a labor-intensive one at that. Enter Shop It To Me: It's a genius website-slash-shopping service that does all the work for you. You fill out a few simple forms with your favorite brands, what types of items you're interested in, and your sizes, and Shop It To Me delivers a daily email with new sale items just for you. It saves you the trouble of obsessively checking your favorite sites every day, and for your inner Type-A personality, you'll know as soon as an item goes on sale, so you can snap it up ASAP! Shop It To Me also compiles all of your sale items and sorts them by website, and then you can constrain your results by brand, store, item, and price. Also, helpfully, if the store is running a promotion such as free shipping or extra 20% off, Shop It To Me tells you in bold red type at the beginning of each section. The only downfall? It makes spending money almost too easy!

To join Shop It To Me, click on the image below.

Designer brand clothing, shoes & handbags on sale

Shop It To Me also writes an excellent blog, and for a list of great shopping-oriented blogs (including yours truly), check out their Trendsetter section.

Full disclosure: I earn a gift certificate after so many people sign up. But I advise you to join and share the love with your own friends. Believe me--it's worth it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

MasstigeWatch!

Just announced today, Vena Cava is designing for Bloomingdale's Aqua line. Aqua is always one of my go-to sources for trendy and fairly inexpensive but well-made clothes--think of it as a step above the Forever 21s and H&Ms of the world. As far as designer lines go, Vena Cava isn't terribly expensive to begin with (you can find their dresses on sale for less than $200), but based on their upcoming Viva Vena line (in stores this fall) and now this collaboration, it's obvious the VC girls are casting a wider net, and I will gladly take the bait.

At long last, the East Harlem Target is finally opening this Sunday, and to commemorate the occasion, the chain will debut a mini masstige collection inspired by the neighborhood. Target's Harlem collection features dresses by '70s uptown designer Stephen Burrows, and beach towel sand swimwear designed respectively by husband-and-wife duo Ruben and Isabel Toledo. Nylon has a preview, and while the Isabel Toledo bikini has been getting all of the blog attention, I find myself most drawn the the towels, particularly this butterfly one. The collection will be available at the East Harlem Target starting Sunday, and online and in select Target stores starting August 1st.

Speaking of Target, they've been offering one-off designer exclusives in their Red Hot Shop. Currently they have this cute Geren Ford dress for sale. It's $89.99, which is a bit high for Tar-zhay, but it's 100% silk and very Geren Ford (whose signature dresses normally retail in the $300-$400 range).

Forever 21 is apparently hoping to become known more for its designer collaborations than its designer lawsuits: It announced a first collab with Brian Lichtenberg, who apparently dresses Beyoncé and the Kardashian sister but is probably best known for "designing" Lady Gaga's caution-tape ensemble in her "Telephone" video. The collection will feature mostly tanks for women and men, and it hits select stores August 13. You can read about it on Forever 21's blog, The Skinny (yes, really).

Finally, Fashionista is reporting that Erin Wasson x RVCA is dunzo, since Billabong announced it was buying the surf-and-skate-inspired line last week. Which is all well and good; there's always their collaboration with Rumi Neely.

TheFind Guest Post: 5 Trendy Alternatives To The Basic Black Pump!


No matter how many pairs of fancy black shoes I buy for various outings, somehow I always end up going back to my favorite basic black pumps. I don't know if it's the comfort, the streamlined look, or just a mental "go-to" signal I've had programmed in my brain as a result of too much shopping, but I just can't live without my black pumps! It's gotten to the point that all of my pictures look the same -- slacks and a blouse with black pumps, cocktail dress paired with black pumps, jeans and a blazer... black pumps! So in honor of convincing myself to branch out (and the need to replace said black pumps that are now extremely worn and abused), I've compiled a modest collection of 5 alternatives to the basic black pair that still have that classic look but with a trendy spin!

It's not too late to jump on the sky-high platform bandwagon, and these Steve Madden Caryssa pumps (top left) are high enough to make a statement, but still walkable with their strategically curved sole. On the other hand, these Calvin Klein Kamrie pumps (top right) add a little summer-friendly sexiness with their strappy upper. If you're lovin' cutouts this season, these Elie Tahari Erica pumps (center) have a snaky sheen to boot! Slingback peep toes, like these Luisa pumps from Banana Republic (bottom right) never go out of style and are ready to be your summer staple, while the sheer mesh panels on these Classiques Entier pumps (bottom left) give the classic shape a mysteriously sexy update!

- Alex Gambardella

Save on Black Pumps at Nordstrom from TheFind.com's coupon site

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Because everyone loves a makeover...

...I decided to freshen up Cheryl Shops a bit while I was on vacation. Here's what's new and/or updated:
  • Links, many of which were woefully out of date (I'm ashamed to admit some sites on my blogroll stopped publishing three years ago)
  • New ads: please click on them and buy stuff to help support Cheryl Shops!
  • Twitter postings, or tweets, if you will
  • An RSS feed (I recently discovered the joy of RSS. Yes, I'm about 5 years behind on this one.)
  • Invite links to online sample sale websites (again, please click, join, and buy stuff to help support Cheryl Shops!)
  • Labels (or tags) to help you find old posts by topic (you can also search in the Google box at the right)
  • Most importantly, my logo at the top is now linked, so if you click on it from within a post, it will take you back to my homepage! (Unfortunately, my limited HTML skills have been exhausted by the new template, and I can't figure out how to make the logo centered. If you know how to do this, can you let me know?)
Now, I have one item of bad news. To make a long story short, I don't have nearly as much time to work on Cheryl Shops as I used to; if I were to point fingers, I would point them at my job, which now requires me to work 10- and 12-hour days on a regular basis. That said, I do try to post three times a week, and I will continue to do so. However, I am discontinuing the Week in Shopping for the foreseeable future. I realize there are a bunch of you who visit Cheryl Shops just for the sales, and so I will understand completely if you decide to stop reading. For my loyal readers, thank you so much for sticking around, and in the coming weeks I'll introduce several new features that will hopefully inspire you to shop. After all, someone has to prop up the U.S. economy.

Please leave any comments below, or if you're shy, feel free to email me. My inbox has a tendency to get backed up, but I do respond to all emails eventually.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Cheryl Shops on vacation

It's now the time of year when I check out for a week or two. I'll be back the week after next, so please come back then!

TheFind Guest Post: Summer Essential: The White Jacket

The final layer of summertime fashion has found its perfect answer in the form of this season's white blazers. Some are cut baggy and boy-friendy, but the best options are trim, tailored, and casual, giving the insouciant finishing touch on any summer outfit.



On the luxe end of the spectrum there's Elie Tahari's crisply-appointed Petra Jacket. The sharp lapels crafted from white linen create a stunning counterpoint against the dainty lace and ruching details on the sleeves.



For something more casual, Lucky Brand offers its Boyfriend Blazer with two jaunty patch pockets on the front and a dual-button closure. Lightweight and airy, this design has a weathered, lived-in look that makes it the perfect thing for cut-off shorts or your favorite pair of jeans.



Madewell's famous Cotton Garçon Jacket offers a sleek, shrunken silhouette that brings out the lady in everyone. Meanwhile, the flap pockets, notched lapel, and functioning 4-button sleeves are all borrowed from the haberdashery. Use this to dress up a strapless dress, or pair with a basic tank and a statement necklace for effortless impact. As the summer evenings move into fall, pair it with dark wash jeans to freshen up an old standby ensemble. Any way you want, the white blazer is the perfect top layer for every summer look!

- Annie Wilson

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.