Monday, December 20, 2010

New shopping news! Dior.com Beauty

Little-broadcasted fact: I am a Lucky magazine Alpha Shopper, which basically means that I get sent free stuff, and sometimes I write about it. Recently, however, Lucky went all out, inviting a select group of the Alphas to a luncheon at Condé Nast headquarters to celebrate the launch of Dior Beauty on Dior.com. We were treated to a presentation, complete with product demonstrations, lunch, and even a makeover, which felt very decadent in the middle of the day. But the point was to show us the updated Dior Beauty site, which is now shoppable. Of course, you can buy Dior makeup and fragrance everywhere from Sephora to Nordstrom, so why shop Dior.com? It's the difference between buying at a hectic, cluttered department store counter versus buying at the Dior boutique--you are getting the entire Dior experience, which is somewhat decadent and definitely glamorous. Not to mention, there's all manner of fun content on the site, my favorite of which is the Miss Dior minisite, which features a cute little diorama (pun intended) with a Brigitte Bardot song playing in the background (très Dior). Appealing to shoppers' practical sides, however, there's the Dior Diva club, which promises members shopping rewards, free shipping offers, special news, and more--it's the web equivalent of having an attentive in-store salesperson.

The most fun part of the luncheon was getting to actually shop the Dior website; I ordered the new Diorshow Brow Styler, which is like my favorite Kevin Aucoin brow pencil but better (it comes with a tiny built-in brow comb); the 5-Coulours Iridescent Eyeshadow in Sunset Café, a collection of flattering but not boring neutrals; and my old standby, Diorshow Backstage Mascara, a mascara that has yet to be outdone in my book. If you're looking for other goodies, they let us test the new J'Adore Dior L'Or, which is a souped-up version of the bestselling fragrance and, if you like florientals as much as I do, smells like heaven. (While we're on the subject of fragrance, I should also note that you can buy the impossible-to-find Dolce Vita on the website!) I was also taken with the Dior Addict Lip Glow, which creates a unique color based on your chemistry, and the Gris Montaigne nail lacquer, which just might give Chanel a run for its nail-color dominance.


When my order arrived, it was like an early Christmas--I opted for the Couture gift wrapping, which means your order comes in a fancy Dior box with ribbon and plissé tissue paper. Let me just say, you don't get this kind of service from Sephora. It's a mere $5 normally, but now through 12/22, you can receive it free with promo code LUCKBLOGS2010. If you're giving the gift of Dior this Christmas (a wise gift for any lady), it makes your recipient feel like a couture customer--which may be the best gift of all.

FTC full disclosure: Perhaps realizing I need all the help I can get when it comes to makeup, Dior.com gifted the aforementioned items to me.

TheFind Guest Post: Mirror Jewelry For an Iced-Out Look That Glints and Glimmers



Looking for some eye-catching statement jewelry that's a bit less predictable than your everyday bib necklace or cocktail ring? Swap the sequins, stones, and usual forms of sparkle for fashion-forward mirror-embellished pieces! Slightly Lady GaGa-esque in its ultra-metallic sheen, yet toned down enough to allow for us fashionable mere mortals to pull it off (no runway required), these trinkets reflect the light and create brilliant sparkle, but with a more unique yet understated look than your traditional bling!

If you're a fan of bangles, this stretchy Ben-Amun mirrored cuff gives a funky futuristic look that can be layered with other baubles or bracelets, yet also makes a big pretty statement on its own. I love the asymmetry of this antiqued Zad statement necklace, which adds some serious drama to a plunging neckline, while the mixed stones and mirrored pieces of this long Sandry pendant by Malene Birger is unique yet elegant. These mirror-and-Swarovski earrings by Sandy Hyun have a cool vintage-modern feel, but if you'd rather add a touch of whimsy to your outfit, who needs diamonds when you can have a shiny mirrored 'Zero Carat' pendant from Alex and Chloe?
- Alex Gambardella

Need help for your holiday shopping? Download TheFind Mobile app for finding the best prices and selection for shopping on the go. TheFind mobile app makes you a smarter shopper.


Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

Really, the last update: December sample sales in New York City

Through 12/21
Armand Diradourian's cashmere for men, women, and the home is at below-wholesale prices. Cash only. 11-5:30 M-F (closed S-S); 19 W. 21st St. (5th & 6th Aves.), ste. 1001.

Through 12/21
Save 30% on Kiki collections and 40% on past season collections at Kiki de Montparnasse. 79 Greene St. (Spring & Broome Sts.).

Through 12/21
Hart Schaffner Marx, President Obama's suits of choice, plus blazers, trousers, dress shirts, and ties are up to 80% off at this last-minute sale. Credit cards only; leave strollers and children under 12 at home. 9-7 F & M, 9-5 S-S, 9-5 T; 317 W. 33rd St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

Through 12/23
Ok, this isn't a sale, but one of my favorite shoe designers, Fiorentini + baker, has set up shop in Soho, and designer Deborah Baker will personally sign your shoes, which makes a pretty darn good Christmas present, if you ask me. 10-8 daily; 54 Mercer St. (Broome & Grand Sts.).

Through 12/31
Tamara Pogosian is setting up shop at Hillary Flowers Boutique and taking 50%-80% off her collection. 1-8 daily; 40 Clinton St. (Stanton & Rivington Sts.).

12/21-12/22
Clothingline has Evisu for men ($30-$75), and Milly, Free People, Tocca, and Lewis Cho, among other designers, for women; it appears prices top out around $125 for Tocca coats. 11-7 T, 11-6 W; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

12/21-12/22
Find sterling silver, 18kt gold, and freshwater pearl jewelry at Slane's holiday 2010 sample sale; prices are up to 50% off retail. 10-6; 48 W. 25th St. (Broadway & 6th Ave.), 11th fl.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday 2010 Gift Guide: my wish list

As I hope you've gathered from my previous gift guides, I truly enjoy giving gifts--probably more than I enjoy receiving them. However, if Santa decided to open up his big red bag to anything my heart desires, here's what's on my dream wish list.

my christmas wish list

Clockwise from top left (click on links to go directly to products):


I don't know about you, but I've been freezing the last few weeks. This Talini Fox Coat, $3,600, is totally extravagant and sure to draw nasty stares, but damn if it won't keep me toasty.

Philip Crangi is one of my favorite jewelry designers out there, and I love him even more for his weird, slightly Goth Giles & Brother line, which is actually somewhat affordable, as in this Large Antler Necklace, $250

All Saints Spitalfields has quickly become one of my new favorite stores, and while I love their drapey everyday basics, they make some pretty fabulous nighttime clothes too, such as the Devo Mini Dress, $490

Like pretty much every woman I know, I think the sun rises and sets in the house of Lanvin. This Leopard Sleep Kit, $490, seems wildly impractical and is thus something I'd never buy myself, but I'd likely live in the slippers and sleeping mask.

One of those totally practical, must-have items that I don't own is a pair of nude pumps. Loeffler Randall's Esther platform pump, $450, is the stuff dreams--or maybe just mile-long legs--are made of.

There's been quite the uproar over this Jonathan Adler pillow, featuring a quote made by Kate Moss earlier this year. I think it's a pretty kitschy subversion of glamour--which is, in turn, pretty glamorous. "Nothing Tastes As Good..." Pillow, $116

I'm a perfume junkie, ever in search of my holy grail scent. Comme des Garcons Kyoto, $75, may not be holy, but it smells like the inside of a Japanese temple; in other words, heavenly.

My ideal bag wavers between the Balenciaga Day hobo, the YSL Downtown Tote, and the Proenza Schouler PS1 satchel, $1,595. I'd gladly take any of the three, but my current favorite is the PS1.

I am of a dying breed of woman in that I sleep in a nightgown; they're becoming harder to find. But why women would want to sleep in flannels instead of something as gorgeous as this Elle Macpherson Intimates Boudoir satin boned-cup chemise, $175, is beyond me.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday 2010 Gift Guide: your dark-humored dad

He always expects the Spanish Inquisition, his sports team will hopefully have better luck next year, and, hey, these hamburgers aren't going to grill themselves. Here are gifts for dads who always find the humor in things.

gifts for dads

Clockwise from top left (click on links below to go to products):


What's better than grilling meat over an open flame? Rotisserie-ing meat over an open flame with a Weber Gas Grill Rotisserie, $80, which attaches to any gas grill.

My dad, who reads like a fiend, has been anticipating the Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1, $19, for years. As far as dad gifts go, this one is pretty much a sure thing.

Only for dads who have a sense of humor about their own mortality, the hands on this incredible Mr. Jones The Accurate Watch, $145, read "Remember...you will die."

Dads smell like citrus and wood; one of the best cases of this is Carthusia Uomo Eau de Parfum, $120

For weekend trips, my dad has a duffel bag that I think dates back to his days in the army. Upgrade him with the Canvas 1963 Trip Bag from Lands' End, $130

My dad literally wears things until they're threadbare. With a Barbour Mens Classic Beaufort Waxed Jacket, £190, it will be a long time until that happens.

Help him mourn his favorite long-lost stadium with Authentic Stadium Seat Cufflinks, $150, made from, yes, real stadium seats!

Think how much fun your dad will have unsheathing this Samurai Sword Umbrella, $30, in the rain.


Holiday 2010 Gift Guide: your eternally chic mom

Moms are generally the hardest people to shop for (followed closely by dads). Mine is especially, because, like me, she's very particular (some would say picky, but we prefer particular). But most moms are always in the market for something stylish and beautiful, so hopefully one of these items will fit the bill.

gifts for your mom

Clockwise from top left (click on items below to shop):


Everything I know about cooking, I learned from my mom. So hopefully she can teach you how to make the fabulous recipes in the American Fashion Cookbook, $45

My mom's solution to any problem is generally, "Go put some lipstick on," so imagine the wonders she could work with NARS' Bento Box Lip Set, $125

Mom taught you the importance of a good skincare routine; return the favor with the reportedly amazing Clairsonic Hope is Beautiful Mia, $150, which also benefits cancer survivors.

Believe it or not, Chico's has some incredibly chic jewelry, and since moms in general tend to be fans of the store, yours will likely love the Vanja Necklace, $58

Most gardening tools are forest green or wooden—i.e. masculine and, at times, ugly. Get her a set worthy of her surroundings: Wild & Wolf Celia Birtwell Print Garden Tool Boxed Set, $32

There is workout wear, and then there is lululemon atheletica. If your mom does not yet know the difference, introduce her to the best-selling lululemon athletica Groove Pants, $98

This Fur Funnel Scarf, $198, by Glamourpuss NYC, is luxe, but it's also a fun way to add color to Mom's winter wardrobe (and it's so soft, she'll want one in every color)

Of the many habits I've inherited from my mom, our iced-tea-drinking habit is one that frequently comes to mind. This Crate & Barrel Savoy Bar Pitcher, $30, is a stylish way to pour it.

Your mom's fabulous jewels need an even more fabulous guardian, such as this Jeweled Lucky Foo Dog Box, $27

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holiday 2010 Gift Guide: your best friend, who's, well, your best friend

She helps you decide what shoes to buy, she listens to your work drama, she's been around way longer than any of your boyfriends, and, well, she's like Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte all rolled into one.

gifts for your best friend
Clockwise from top left (click on links for products):



For the beauty addict, Birchbox , $120/year, delivers a box of beauty samples to her mailbox every month--it truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

She taught you that a fabulous scarf can transform an outfit; return the favor with All Saints' fierce Villain Square Scarf, $100

Let's be honest--Carbs and Caffeine are totally what's going in these Happy Chic By Jonathan Adler Pop Canisters Set, $35

This book is awesome, and doing crafts with your girlfriends is fun (and gives you another activity to do together, other than shopping): P.S.-- I Made This, $13

She doesn't judge your days of the week underwear; you don't judge the fact that she buys perfume just for the bottle, as in this Harajuku Lovers Wicked Style Gift Set, $100

She of all people knows, as Warhol said, It takes a lot of work to figure out how to Look So Good , $40

Now that everyone has an iPad, the competition is to see who has the coolest case. Let her win with this Rebecca Minkoff - Touch & Go Snake-Embossed Sleeve For iPad, $125

Because she's your favorite cocktail partner, a cocktail ring worthy of the occasion: Made Her Think Pave Pendulum Ring, $63

Because no one else helps you through a breakup (and vice-versa) like she can, there's The Ex Voodoo Knife Set, $125

Holiday 2010 Gift Guide: your music-obsessed boyfriend (or husband)

He still actually subscribes to Spin (but reads Pitchfork obsessively too), he reluctantly downloads digital music, and, to him, the height of fashion was Seattle circa 1992. Here's what to get him.

gifts for your boyfriend

Clockwise from top left (click on links to go to products):


In case he ever wants to digitize his record collection (an idea that may or may not be blasphemy), this Crosley USB tech turntable, $129, is a pretty cool gadget to help him do so.

Mosley Tribes Hillyard Sunglasses, $165, are shades fit for a rock star—an under-the-radar, Brooklyn-dwelling one, that is.

Document debauchery the old-fashioned way: with an Instant Camera by Fujifilm, $96

Because, really, what's more rock-and-roll than making your own soda with a SodaStream Penguin Water Carbonator, $200?

Chances are he's already heard a lot of these, but if not...1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, $35

Ok, so, there's nothing music-related about this Inhabit Superyak Mock Henley Sweater, $268. It's just soft and warm and makes a nice present.

This limited-edition Max Dalton Ten Great Years Print, $59.99, details The Beatles' looks throughout their prime, and is a lot cooler than that framed Led Zepplin poster that's hanging in his office.

Lace-up boots like these J.Crew Chukka Boots, $275 (and out of stock--sorry!), are favored by indie rock stars of the British variety.

Jack Daniel's? That went the way of hair metal. Now it's all about small-batch bourbon, such as Basil Hayden's 8 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, $43.99

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday 2010 Gift Guide: your hipster-geek brother

He lives in a sketchy loft with 4 other people in Bushwick, he works for a tech start-up, and, inexplicably, he's quite the catch. Kids these days...

gifts for your brother

Clockwise from top left (click on links to go to products):

Relive your childhood with marathon sessions of New Super Mario Bros. for Wii, $44

So he's not the only dude on the L train without one, a Brixton Stroll Fedora, $50, is equal parts Don Draper and Pete Doherty

Break his Beacon's Closet habit with a nice new Rag & Bone Officer Shirt, $154

These C3Po and R2D2 Star Wars Mimobot USB flash drives, $36, will make him the envy of the entire IT department

Because he'd never listen to the new Kanye on those cheapo earbuds that come with the iPod, try Skullcandy Lowrider SC Blue Headphones, $40

Because even hipsters need to go out in the rain, these Hunter Bormio Combat Boots, $150, have that "What, these old things?" look

His loft needs some decor other than that huge plasma TV and a futon. How about a Porcelain Robot, $68?

Holiday 2010 Gift Guide: your tech-savvy little sister

She tweets, she texts, she plays Angry Birds...and you'll pry her iPhone from her cold, dead hands. Here are gifts for your technology-addled little sister (or niece or cousin...)

gifts for your tech-savvy little sister
Clockwise from top left (click on links to go directly to products):



With magnetic thumb and fingertip that allow her to text, she might actually wear these Touchscreen Knit Gloves, $48

With three different glittery cases in the Juicy Couture Glitter Phone Case Set, $58, she can match her iPhone to her mood

A more stylish way to listen to the new Rihanna album: Marc by Marc Jacobs Acetate headphones, $68

Chances are she's already read it, but if not, Katniss Everdeen, the heroine of the Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset, $28, is the anti-Bella Swan

Teen-friendly glittery makeup from the darkly comic tokidoki line: tokidoki Adios Makeup Gift Set, $98

This Tory Burch Metallic Leather Mini Bag, $195, is the perfect size for an entry-level designer bag and, let's face it, Tory is way cooler than Coach.

Before MTV inevitably ruins it with its remake in January, introduce her to the BBC's original Skins - Vol 1, $23

Designed by Nicole Richie and big enough to hide her teenage angst: House of Harlow 1960 Retro Oversized Sunglasses, $125



LAST UPDATE: December sample sales in New York City

Through 12/14
Find some holiday bling of the costume-jewelry variety at the Ben-Amun sample sale. Noon-6; 246 W. 38th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 12A.

Through 12/14
Find coats, dresses, separates & more by Vivienne Westwood Anglomania at wholesale prices. 10-6; 544 W. 27th St. (10th & 11th Aves.), 3rd fl.

Through 12/15
Gar-de and other cool indie labels Rogan, Sophomore, 80%20, and more have gathered for a group sale where prices are up to 85% off retail. 10-7; 135 W. 36th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), 14th fl.

Through 12/15
Frette linens for bed, bath, table, and more are up to 80% off retail. Credit cards only; no strollers or children under 12. 9-6:30, 9-5 W; 317 W. 33rd St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

Through 12/16
Adrienne Landau's fur accessories & outerwear is up to 80% off. Plus Victor Hugo exotic-skin bags and designer cocktail and evening gowns starting at $38 and $99, respectively. 10-6; 519 8th Ave. (35th & 36th Sts.), 21st fl.

Through 12/16
At Chloe & Reese, coats are $200 (originally $500), silk ruffle blouses are $80 to $95 (originally $240), and wool wrap dresses are $160 to $195 (originally $385). 10-6; 209 W. 38th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 1207.

Through 12/17
Get clothes, accessories, and home items for up to 80% off at the Calypso St. Barth sample sale. 10-6:30, 10-2 F; 260 5th Ave. (28th & 29th Sts.).

Through 12/17
Temperley London's gorgeously detailed ready-to-wear is up to 80% off. 11-7; 453 Broome St. (at Mercer St.), 2nd fl.

Through 12/21
Armand Diradourian's cashmere for men, women, and the home is at below-wholesale prices. Cash only. 11-5:30 M-F (closed S-S); 19 W. 21st St. (5th & 6th Aves.), ste. 1001.

Through 12/21
Save 30% on Kiki collections and 40% on past season collections at Kiki de Montparnasse. 79 Greene St. (Spring & Broome Sts.).

12/14-12/15
Ted Rossi's jewelry & handbags are up to 60% off. 11-6; 15 E. 30th St. (5th & Madison Aves.), ste. 300.

12/14-12/15
Coats are $75, silk tops & dresses are $35-$50, and cotton tops are $25 at the Sunner sample sale. 8:30-7; 265 W. 37th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 9th fl.

12/14-12/15
Gift-friendly sweaters, jackets, and scarves are on sale at the Elizabeth Gillett showroom. 10-5; 242 W. 38th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 9th fl.

12/14-12/16

Y-3, SLVR, and Porsche Design samples and stock are up to 80% off. 9-7; 610 Broadway (at Houston St.), 3rd fl.

12/14-12/16

Prices are $70-$1,430 on Proenza Schouler separates, dresses, handbags, and shoes. Both past seasons and Fall 2010 will be available. 9-6; 495 Broadway (at Broome St.), 8th fl.

12/14-12/16
Get $70 jeans (originally $170 to $200) at the Genetic Denim sample sale. 9-6; 275 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 9th fl.

12/14-12/18
All manner of hats, headbands, and head accessories are up to 75% off at Eugenia Kim. 10-7 T-F, noon-6 Sat.; 347 W. 36th St. (8th & 9th Aves.), ste. 501.

12/15
Past-season clothes, shoes & accessories from indie-gal fave Rachel Comey are up to 60% off (that means most prices hover around $200). noon-8; 335 W. 35th St. (8th & 9th Aves.), 11th fl.

12/15-12/17
Men's and weomen's clothing is 75% off at Carlos Campos. 10-7; 248 W. 35th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 9th fl.

12/16-12/17
Good news for Nanette Lepore fans: dresses are $145, jackets and coats are $195-$275, skirts, pants, and tops are $95, and Oonagh by Nanette Lepore knits and sweaters are $80-$95 at her second sample sale of the season. 9-7; 225 W. 35th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 4th fl.

12/16-12/19
Ohhh yes: pre-fall and fall RTW, handbags, shoes, and T for men & women are up to 80% off at the Alexander Wang sample sale. 10-7, 10-2 Sun.; 93 Mercer St. (Spring & Broome Sts.).

12/16-12/19
Dresses are $50 and tops are $35 at Yumi Kim's promising-sounding sample sale. 11-7; 226 W. 37th St. (7th & 8th Aves.).

12/16-12/19
Floor samples, overstock, and discontinued items are up to 50% off at Ligne Roset. 10-6, 11-5 Sun.; 250 Park Avenue South (at 20th St.).

12/17-12/21
Hart Schaffner Marx, President Obama's suits of choice, plus blazers, trousers, dress shirts, and ties are up to 80% off at this last-minute sale. Credit cards only; leave strollers and children under 12 at home. 9-7 F & M, 9-5 S-S, 9-5 T; 317 W. 33rd St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

TheFind Guest Post: BCBG's Convertible Coat Has All Your Winter Bases Covered!



Finding one perfect winter coat is no easy feat -- especially when you live in an unpredictable climate. And of course, buying multiple coats sounds like a fun idea, but it isn't exactly practical during the already-expensive gift-giving season. On the other hand, finding one coat that can do everything is practically impossible. Or is it? The BCBG Convertible Coat has me thinking that my ideal winter wardrobe staple does actually exist, and can successfully combine fashion and function into one seriously cool all-in-one jacket! With its detachable lower panel, you can brave the harsh weather in a long sleek coat that'll keep you warm in any temperature (not to mention a drawstring waist to keep the long look from looking too bulky!), or detach it for a shorter bomber jacket that's cozy and chic! The hood's got you covered for an unexpected downpour or fall of snow, and with a detachable fur collar, you can choose to keep warm and be on-trend, or tone the look down by snapping it off for a more military-chic look. And finally, cargo pockets keep all your must-haves close at hand! The only downside to this do-it-all coat is the $458 price tag, but if you think of all the other not-so-versatile coats you won't have to buy, it's quite the deal!
- Alex Gambardella

Need help for your holiday shopping? Download TheFind Mobile app for finding the best prices and selection for shopping on the go. TheFind mobile app makes you a smarter shopper.


Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Holiday 2010 Gift Guide: other people's kids

I generally spend the first week or two of the official holiday shopping season shopping for myself. (I hope I am not alone in this; otherwise, I am incredibly selfish.) What generally snaps me out of it is when I start shopping for kids. After all, giving kids gifts is really what Christmas is all about. (Ok, and family and togetherness and all that.) So it makes sense that my first installment of my 2010 Holiday Gift Guide is dedicated to kids--more specifically other people's kids. I do not know (or really care) what the hot toys of the season are; if you're interested, I'd advise you to read the thousands of Mommy blogs out there. These gifts are, I'd like to think, more fun and more thoughtful. In some instances, the parents might enjoy them more than the kids, but, hey, they're kind of for them anyway.
gifts for other people's kids

Clockwise from upper left (note: links below take you directly to product pages):

Because Mom & Dad do rock, there's a tattoo-inspired Mom & Dad onesie, $27

I fortunately had parents who encouraged my creativity at every turn; do the same for the kids you know with Alex Toys My Very Busy Box Activity Kit, $40

I know from Facebook updates that parents with kids under the age of 3 are almost always lacking in sleep; help them out (kids, not parents--well, not directly) with the soothing Summer Infant Mommies Melodies Gund Bear, $21.49

This Handmade "Villages Airways" Plane from Sri Lanka, $44, supports fair trade and also looks pretty awesome to play with

Start their fashion addiction early with this fierce Lee Military Jacket from Stella McCartney Kids, $145

Sometimes you do whatever you can to get your kids to eat. My mom fed me chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and macaroni & cheese; you can try this supercool Construction Plate & Utensils Set, $14.95 & $17.49

Rain will become that much more fun for them (and adorable for you) with a Western Chief Kids Frog Raincoat, $37

The essential book for a city kid (or for a suburban kid who one day dreams of moving to the city: This Is New York, $18

How incredibly adorable are these Robeez Soft Soles 3D Moose Booties, $39?

Buy it: Lands' End Canvas Corduroy Mini Skirt

I grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago, which, until I moved to NYC and experienced Connecticut firsthand, I thought was the preppiest place on earth. My high school was all about Abercrombie, J.Crew, plaid, polos, rugbys, khakis, rope bracelets...the whole nine yards. Thinking myself nonconformist as a teenager, I rebelled against the norm--I made my mom drive me downtown to shop at Urban Outfitters, and when Delia*s started up (I was 16), it was a godsend. I continued my anti-preppy tack through college (which was also in the Midwest, and also quite preppy; these were the years of Gap's "everyone in khakis" campaign, after all), working at Contempo Casuals at the mall, and even in my twenties, I tried on every trend I could get my hands on. The funny thing is, in my thirties, I find myself gravitating toward more classic and maybe, yes, more preppy looks. Part of it may be that I'm embracing my heritage; more likely, I'm dressing more for myself. In other words, I'd rather wear clothes that are age-appropriate and make me look good, as opposed to trying to impress other people or take on a persona in more calculated, purposefully rebellious looks. Several years ago, I would have turned up my nose at this corduroy mini skirt from Canvas 1963, Lands' End's newer, younger line. Now, it's exactly the skirt I've been looking for all season. I find pleated skirts can often look schoolgirlish, but this one has just a front inverted pleat and two tiny knife pleats on either side; the effect creates a bit of volume that skims the hips in a flattering way. The corduroy is a wider wale than I was expecting, but I find it comforting, in a hearkening-back-to-grunge kind of way. The length is perfect too--as with any good miniskirt, it's long enough to cover the topic but short enough to be interesting. Oh, and the price: $39.50, which makes this probably the most economical piece I've bought this fall. One word of warning: This skirt runs quite big, so I'd suggest sizing down, even if you're on the larger end of your size.

I ordered this poplin shirt too, in polka dot, because I used to have a similar shirt that I loved in my pre-rebellion middle school days. Together, the pieces are preppy overload; I think I'll wait till spring and wear the shirt with white jeans or a white mini. I wore the skirt yesterday with a leather hoodie, a henley, and ankle boots for a more downtown-preppy look. Which is a preppy I can definitely live with.

FTC full disclosure: I received the skirt and shirt as a gift, and while I receive many items gratis, I only write about the ones I like. In other words, if I don't like it, you won't read about it here.

Monday, December 06, 2010

UPDATE: December Sample Sales in New York City

Through 12/10
Autumn Cashmere is up to 75% off - clothing & accessories for men and women. 10-6; 231 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 924.

Through 12/10
Diane von Furstenberg's always-awesome and always-crowded sample sale features dresses for $150, cardigans for $80, and coats for $350. 9-6:30 T, 10-8 W, 10-7 Th, 9-5 F; 260 5th Ave. (28th & 29th Sts.).

Through 12/10
Jewelry is just $5 and up at the Pono sale. 9-6; 132 W. 36th St. (Broadway & 7th Ave.), 8th fl.

12/7-12/8
Thread Social's party-friendly frocks are up to 80% off. 9-8; 26 W. 17th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), ste. 301.

12/7-12/10
James Jeans are $70-$80 (samples are $20-$50) at their usually solid sale. 9-7:30 T, 9-5:30 W, 10-7:30 Th, 10-2 F; 500 Greenwich St. (Spring & Canal Sts.), #202.

12/7-12/10

Stock and samples from Cynthia Steffe and friends are $20. Um, hello! 10-6; 218 W. 37th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 7th fl.

12/7-12/10
At the Hive Showroom, items like cashmere, accessories, fur vests, and other gifty items start at just $10 (that's 50%-70% off retail). Cash only. 9-7; 544 W. 27th St. (10th & 11th Aves.), 6th fl.

12/7-12/11
Lauren Merkin's party-friendly bags are up to 70% off: the Tatum is $150, the Paige is $250, the Diana is $95, and small leather goods are $40 and up. 11-7, 11-4 Sat; 231 W. 29th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 201.

12/8-12/9

Natori lingerie, sleepwear, and ready-to-wear is all $50 and under. 10-7 W, 10-4 Th; 102 Madison Ave. (29th & 30th Sts.), 3rd fl.

12/8-12/10
AKA New York separates, dresses, and accessories are $20-$100. 246 W. 38th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 1109.

12/8-12/10
Leifsdottir's private sale: not so private anymore! 11-7; 209 W. 38th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 7th fl.

12/8-12/10
Mai Cashmere has colorful tops, sweaters, and pants, mostly for under $100. noon-7; 49 W. 38th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), ste. 12a.

12/8-12/10
Miguelina's pretty silky things are on sale. 8-8; 336 W. 37th St. (8th & 9th Aves.), Suite 1080.

12/8-12/10
Gifty jewelry from Lee Angel is 30%-75% off. 11-7 W-Th, 10-5 F; 524 Broadway (at Spring St.), 6th fl.

12/8-12/10
L.A.M.B and Harajuku Lovers bags, accessories, and more are on sale. 8-8 W, 10-8 Th, 8-6 F; 144 5th Ave. (19th & 20th Sts.), 2nd fl.

12/8-12/15

Gar-de and other cool indie labels Rogan, Sophomore, 80%20, and more have gathered for a group sale where prices are up to 85% off retail. 10-7; 135 W. 36th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), 14th fl.

12/9
Silky, sexy, but sophisticated Brulee lingerie is up to 60% off (that's $20-$100) at this exclusive shopping event hosted by Fresh. 6-8 p.m.; 872 Broadway (at 18th St.).

12/9-12/10

Ali Ro's contemporary line is normally found at the likes of Saks; find it here for a lot less. 8:30-5:30 Th, 8:30-5 F; 530 Seventh Ave. (38th & 39th Sts.), Suite 1402.

12/9-12/13
Bust out those elbows: the Tory Burch sample sale is coming to Clothingline. A note to the moms: Children under 12 will not be admitted due to the perilous conditions of this sale. 11-7 (11-4 weekends); 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

12/10-12/11
Made Her Think's unique jewelry and accessories are 20%-60% off. noon-8 F, 11-5 Sat.; 105 Chrystie St. (Rivington & Stanton Sts.), ste. 301-7.


12/11-12/15
Frette linens for bed, bath, table, and more are up to 80% off retail. Credit cards only; no strollers or children under 12. 9-6:30, 9-5 W; 317 W. 33rd St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

12/13-12/16
Adrienne Landau's fur accessories & outerwear is up to 80% off. Plus Victor Hugo exotic-skin bags and designer cocktail and evening gowns starting at $38 and $99, respectively. 10-6; 519 8th Ave. (35th & 36th Sts.), 21st fl.

12/14-12/15
Ted Rossi's jewelry & handbags are up to 60% off. 11-6; 15 E. 30th St. (5th & Madison Aves.), ste. 300.

12/14-12/15
Coats are $75, silk tops & dresses are $35-$50, and cotton tops are $25 at the Sunner sample sale. 8:30-7; 265 W. 37th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 9th fl.

12/14-12/18
All manner of hats, headbands, and head accessories are up to 75% off at Eugenia Kim. 10-7 T-F, noon-6 Sat.; 347 W. 36th St. (8th & 9th Aves.), ste. 501.

12/15
Past-season clothes, shoes & accessories from indie-gal fave Rachel Comey are up to 60% off (that means most prices hover around $200). noon-8; 335 W. 35th St. (8th & 9th Aves.), 11th fl.




TheFind Guest Post: The Saltbox Duffelette Bag is Your Perfect Go-To Carryall!



I'm always looking for the perfect multi-purpose carry-all bag that can take me from work to the gym, and wherever else the busy day may take me. I need something big enough to store all my day's must-haves, but not too large and cumbersome and clunky that I dread lugging it around to and fro. And of course, if it's going to be my everyday staple, looks definitely matter. Finding something versatile, practical, long-lasting, and cute isn't always the easiest task, and NYC brand Saltbox was determined to fill the void of do-everything bag that's both easy to carry and easy on the eyes!

The Saltbox Duffelette bag is both fun and functional -- made from water-resistant heavy-duty canvas and real leather trim, the duffelette has a bevy of zippered compartments of varying sizes for easy organizing all your loot, whether you're running everyday errands, shopping, or hitting the road to get away for the weekend. With two carrying options, you can wear it as either a shoulder bag or a cross-body for easy toting, and for only $175 you can pretty much call off the search now for your ideal "just right" bag!

Anxious to get your hands on your own Saltbox Duffelette bag? Click over to our giveaway to see how you can enter by December 6th to win a duffelette just in time for the holidays, and get discounts from the Saltbox site!

- Alex Gambardella

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

In These Shoes: Kors Michael Kors Roxanne Sandals

The month between Thanksgiving and Christmas is always a roller coaster--it's equally stressful (shopping for gifts, dealing with family stuff) and celebratory (eating, drinking, spending quality time with family & friends). To me, the good outweighs the not-as-good, and, really, one of my favorite parts of the season--if not my most favorite--is going to holiday parties. From conference-room gatherings at work to all-night champagne punch bacchanals with friends, I love all kinds of holiday parties. The company is the most important element (followed closely by food and drink), but I will say, I do enjoy getting all gussied up for the holiday season--it's prime time for sequins, tuxedo jackets, velvet, lace, and all manner of fanciness. And no matter how frightful the weather outside, festive footwear is in order. This year, I have my eye on these Roxanne sequined sandals from Kors. Sandals in winter, you say? There's no need to wear them bare legged; I am all for rocking sandals with socks or opaque tights--the effect is much more chic than you'd think. As for the shoes themselves, they are sparkly and sexy, with a just-high-enough heel but without a platform, which gives them a more timeless look. As a bonus, the footbed is padded, which means you can dance all night in them, should the occasion call for it. These will look great with everything from a miniskirt to tuxedo pants, but word to the wise: go easy on sequins in the rest of your outfit. Because while you can never have too much holiday cheer, you can have too many sparkles.