Monday, January 31, 2011

Sample Sale of the Week: Dannijo

As loyal Cheryl Shops readers know, I like my jewelry big, edgy, and subversive. Chains, Gothic influences, ethnic inspiration, raw-looking stones--the more the better. So of course I love DANNIJO, which is a semiprecious line created by sisters Danielle & Jodie Snyder; for lack of a better word, it has a very downtown vibe, but I find it pretty accessible (it's sold at the decidedly uptown Saks and Bergdorf's for one). And at their one-day sale Tuesday, it's even more accessible, with prices starting at just $10. I suggest leaving work just a bit early. 2/1; 5:30-7:30 p.m.; 423 W. 14th St. (9th Ave. & Washington St.), #3R.

TheFind Guest Post: Animal Print Lovers Make Way for Leopard Booties!



Is the fashion world really ready for leopard print booties? Designers like Pucci, Balmain, and Stuart Weitzman seem to think so (or at least, they're ready!), but I'm still trying to wrap my head around the concept. It's fair to say that booties are here to stay, and leopard print is definitely making a big comeback after a temporary banishment to the realm of trashy fads, but leopard booties seem a bit... much. I suppose that is the point, and after seeing those big leopard faux fur coats everyone was going crazy about last winter, I shouldn't be surprised. After all, given society's fascination with making the intentionally tacky into something cool (dare I mention Jersey Shore?), animal print booties are hardly something to raise an eyebrow at... but that doesn't mean I have the guts to rock 'em. However, if I were to muster up the courage to walk on the wild side (ha!), I'd definitely go with one of the pairs I'm wrangled up. From the sexy bandaged bootie from Stuart Weitzman to the wrapped printed chiffon courtesy of Elizabeth & James, these select styles make the trend seem almost easy to wear, even to a skeptic like me!

Shown above: Luxury Rebel 'Lianna' Leopard Print Booties, Elizabeth & James Chiffon Leopard-Print Bootie, Stuart Weitzman 'Kilgore' Leopard Print Bootie, and Charlotte Russe Leopard Ruffle Front Peeptoe Bootie.

- Alex Gambardella

Nominate your favorite fashion brand for the Fashion 2.0 Social Media Awards by February 1st!

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

MasstigeWatch: +J, Swedish Hasbeens for H&M, Calypso for Target & more

Just when I thought I was Masstiged out, there are some new and exciting collaborations to look forward to this year. First up, more details have emerged on Calypso for Target, and Racked has word that, based on the press preview, it looks very promising. First of all, this is a "lifestyle" collaboration, a la Liberty of London last year, so there are clothes and accessories, plus items for children and the home, all with Calypso's signature bohemian-bourgeois aesthetic. Racked also notes that--haleluah!--the collection is heavy on soft cotton voile with some silk and linen thrown in. As you guys know, my biggest complaint about the Target lines tends to be about the janky fabrics, so this is welcome news. And all for $1.99-$59.99! My calendar is marked for May 1st--May Day indeed!

Also hitting stores May 1st is Sophie Theallet's line for Nine West, which is actually part of a bigger initiative called...wait for it...Shoelaborations. According to WWD [subscription required], Theallet's line will be priced similarly to Nine West's usual fare ($79-$109), and she'll be followed by Giles Deacon in fall 2011. (Whenever I hear of Giles Deacon, I think of Henry Holland's cheeky "Get your freak on Giles Deacon" T-shirt. But I digress.) Of the images released so far--a straw bag and an espadrille-ish heel--the line looks very summery and chic. Which, considering the weather outside, is practically making my mouth water.

In even more exciting shoe news, H&M is collaborating with Swedish Hasbeens, a line of which I am quite fond. No boots--this is a summer line--but lots of chic sandals, and at just $59.99-$69.99, they're less than a third of what the real deal costs. Fashionista has photos of the entire collection, which hits H&M stores on April 20; I have my eye on these strappy red sandals.

Finally, if you just can't wait till spring to get your Masstige on, Racked has the full scoop on the latest +J collection, which hit Uniqlo stores this morning. Word is that it's selling briskly and heavy on Egyptian cotton. As they say, shop early and shop often...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sample Sales of the Week: Nicholas K, Lisa Perry, Cynthia Rowley & more

Once again, there's more than one noteworthy sale this week, so I'm listing all the sales that are piquing my interest. Consider me the gift that keeps on giving.

Fall and winter samples and overstock from grungy-cool Nicholas K are at least 60% off retail. 1/26-1/29; 9-8 W, 9-9 T-F, 10-8 S; 41 Wooster St. (Grand & Broome Sts.).

Lisa Perry's mod-revivalist clothing & accessories are 60%-80% off, with one-of-a-kind samples for 20% off. 1/26-1/31; 979 Madison Ave. (76th & 77th Sts.).

Find Cynthia Rowley clothes & accessories for up to 80% off this weekend at her Bleecker Street Store. 1/27-1/30; 10-8 Th-F, 11-8 S-S; 376 Bleecker St. (Perry & Charles Sts.).

Clothingline is hosting Showroom Seven's sample sale this week, with prices 50% off wholesale on cool labels like Issa London (Kate Middleton's favorite!), Charlotte Ronson, and Tony Cohen. Through 1/27; 11-7; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

At the SPACE NK Semi-Annual Sale, discontinued items from Darphin, Jurlique, Caudalie, Eve Lom, and other pricey beauty brands are up to 75% off. 1/27-1/29; 8-8 Th, 10-7 F-S; 99 Greene St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

Considering how cold it's been, now's as good a time as any to get a fur coat (or vest, clothes, accessories, and more) by Dennis Basso. Credit cards only; leave strollers and children under 12 at home. 1/29-2/2; 9-6:30; 317 W. 33rd St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

Finally, head over to Tracy Reese's Meatpacking District shop on Wednesday to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Haitian earthquake. The event will feature exclusive Hatian designs, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, and a 15% discount on all non-sale Tracy Reese apparel. 10% of the proceeds will benefit the earthquake relief. 1/26; 6-9 p.m.; 641 Hudson St. (Horatio & Gansevoort Sts.).

TheFind Guest Post: Peplum Blazers For a Girlie Take On The Spring Jacket



Just when I think I've finished rounding out my seasonal wardrobe with the perfect balance of cardigans and heavier coats, it's time to move on and embrace the next season on everyone's fashion radar. Such is life for an insatiable stylista, I suppose! But instead of throwing all the current season's outerwear to the wayside for the sake of looking forward to what spring has in store, I'm all about adding the perfect transition pieces and lightweight jackets for that awkward in-between weather (and layering!) the next few months have to offer. While strong-shouldered tuxedo jackets may have taken the past few seasons by storm, this season blazers are getting a softer, more feminine emphasis with the help of peplum hemlines. The ultra-girlie skirted detail provides shape to a streamlined look and a flirty feel to otherwise straight-edge office ensembles. It's fitted where it needs to be to emphasize the slimmest part of your figure, but still provides plenty of breathing room below the waistline for a look that's feminine but still sleek!

Pictured above: Juicy Couture Burnout Peplum Blazer, LOFT Everyday Blazer, and J. Crew Super 120s Peplum Jacket.

- Alex Gambardella

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lazy shopping: spring fashion trends under $100

 This is the time of year when winter clothes start to disgust me. I'm not entirely sick of my own clothes (yet--that tends to come toward the end of February), but nothing in the stores is exciting. Seeing so many racks of sad, bedraggled clothes that no one wants doesn't exactly inspire me to shop. So I think of January as a time to start plotting what to buy for spring. And because, as I mentioned earlier, I'm trying to behave myself financially this month, everything here is under $100. So start shopping--everything here is "wear now," as they say.
Spring Trends under $100
Clockwise from top left:

In this article in last week's Thursday Styles section, Brandon Holley, the new editor-in-chief of Lucky, noted that the magazine will be ditching the bohemian look it made famous. Which, because I'm a rebel, made me want to go totally bohemian for spring. (And, also, the spring runways were all over the boho look.) This hat is totally J.Lo circa 2002, but it's inexpensive and chic, and you're totally going to wear it all summer long. Elona Floppy Hat, $20

This necklace is called Calamity Jewel, which kind of makes me laugh. Also, I don't see statement necklaces going away anytime soon. This one is over-the-top, in a Bollywood kind of way, and so it's guaranteed to perk up whatever you're wearing. Calamity Jewel Necklace, $24

This leather jacket is on sale (and is only left in black now) but its lighter weight and soft, draped shape makes it a great transitional piece. BB Dakota Cartersville Leather Jacket, $74

As soon as I saw it in the Free People catalog that came last week, I became completely obsessed with this crochet tunic, and I'm clearly not the only one, because it's almost sold out in black and ivory (all sizes remain available in lavender).  Let's hope they restock. Engineered Crochet Tunic, $98

This tote is pretty much a knockoff of Vanessa Bruno's signature sequined canvas style, but for what it lacks in originality, it makes up for in price: at $14.50, you could easily buy one in every color. Women's Sequin-Trim Canvas Tote, $15

I've mentioned this before, but I really need to get a pair of nude platform pumps. This Sam Edelman pair looks good, and the price is right (and they still have my size left).  Sam Edelman Niland platform pumps, $95

I've been wearing skinny jeans for close to 10 years, and if there's a pair out there that gets me to try the '70s flare silhouette that's all over the place for spring, it's likely these Gap flare jeans. I love the slightly higher rise, and these look just fitted enough through the hips, thighs, and knees so as to not make one's thighs look like tree trunks.  Gap High rise flare jeans (faded dark wash), $70

Finally,  as someone who changes fragrance as often as underwear, I can attest that scent can greatly alter your mood. There's something fresh and blossoming yet warm and comforting--and, yes, certainly a little bohemian--about Jo Malone's Vanilla and Anise perfume. Vanilla & Anise Cologne, $55

Sample Sales of the Week: Lewis Cho, Bing Bang & Kiki de Montparnasse

January is kind of a dead time for sample sales, so when I heard that there were three good ones this week, I had to share them all.

First, tomorrow is the last day for the Lewis Cho sale, where cute, easygoing tops and dresses are up to 80% off retail. Through 1/19; 11-7; 225 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 702.

Next is Bing Bang, which is one of my absolute favorite jewelry lines, designed by the talented Anna Sheffield. Prices are "amazing," which works for me. 1/19-1/21; noon-7; 153 Lafayette St. (at Grand St.).

Finally, if, like me, you like your knickers slightly kinky, head over to Kiki de Montparnasse for up to 75% off lingerie so scandalous, they need to keep it in the second-floor private salon. 1/23-1/26; 11-8; 79 Greene St. (Spring & Broome Sts.), 2nd fl.

TheFind Guest Post: Keep Your Cozy On with a Knit Wool Toggle Cardigan



Quick errands in cold weather call for nothing short of guarding yourself in the warmest and plushest clothes and shoes you can find. When it’s the time of the week when you would rather be doing nothing but cuddled and curled up in your own bed and blankets, what better material to put on than soft and soothing knit wool? Bring the warmth of the bed with you with a wool toggle cardigan. With adorable toggle button accents, it’s a heavy-duty layer which seems to marry both, a blanket and a sweater, in one functional protective piece that can be worn lounging around the house or casually, out and about.

Bring the perfect mix of city and country with Rugby Ralph Lauren Red Wool Plaid Hooded Cardigan. An extremely adorable and updated take on a classic cardigan style. Slimmed down and cropped, this version of wool toggle cardigan will be sure to stay fashion-forward and a wardrobe favorite throughout the test of time.

I absolutely love the wide-ribbed shawl collar on American Eagle Outfitter’s Knit Toggle Cardigan. At an incredibly affordable price, American Eagle has created a sweater worthy of everyday wear.

Lastly, get chunky in all the right ways with the Ever “Weott” Melange Chunky Alpaca Wool Cardigan. Created in a chunky two-tone knit, you can add the best of casual luxury to every outfit you’ll dawn amongst the chill.

- Mira Torres, Fashion Correspondent

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

In These Shoes: Proenza Schouler green suede boots (and a bargain alternative)

Confession: I am on a bit of a spending sabbatical at the moment. I kind of overdid it last month, and, well, I have a wedding to pay for this year, so I'm trying to get my finances in order. Old habits are hard to break, however, and I've been finding myself responding like Pavlov's dogs to every sale email and alert I get. It's self-torture, basically, but a part of me loves building a virtual shopping list of things I'd buy if I got a huge raise at work...or I won the lottery...or a distant relative left me a multimillion-dollar inheritance. One of the items on my running shopping list is this pair of Proenza Schouler boots. I've actually had my eye on them since late 2009--I believe they're a rehash of last year's style (which, hey, is fine with me--repeating styles works for YSL). Whatever impracticality the suede might cause, the boots make up for with a sturdy cone heel, a slip-proof lug sole, and a thick 1.25-inch platform, which makes the four-inch heel much more manageable. The green color makes them a little unexpected (I've long chronicled my black-boot-abundance problem on this blog), and the buckle, snap, and zipper details are just on the interesting side of tasteful. Considering they originally retailed for $1,055, their current $478 price tag seems like a veritable bargain. Still, that puts them in the major-raise-at-work, if not the unexpected-inheritance-from-distant-relative league.

Which is why, for the first time ever in this series, I'm offering a more wallet-friendly alternative. Not a knockoff, mind you, but something similar...and yet different. I've also had my eye on these Sam Edelman Vancouver Boots. Like the Proenza Schoulers, they're forest green suede with a high heel, thick platform, and lug sole. What's different is the front lacing and the ankle strap. Oh, and the $159.99 sale price. (It should also be noted that they have an enthusiastic 5-star rating from customers on Piperlime.) They might not have walked the New York runway, but the fact that they won't drain your wallet definitely counts for something.

Monday, January 10, 2011

New shopping news! Swimspot.com

Last weekend I put away my Christmas decorations, which officially means we've entered the most depressing time of year: winter. Yes, the next two and a half months will be cold, dark, snowy, cold, bleak, and cold, so, really, there's only one solution in my book: Take a vacation. Seriously, most of the Caribbean is a 5-hour (or less) flight away, and even a long weekend in a tropical locale will do a girl good. There's Mexico, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas, St. John, Dominican Republic, Aruba, Antigua, Barbados...the possibilities are nearly endless. But, of course, you can't take a vacation with last year's faded, stretched-out swimsuit, can you?

Enter Swimspot.com. It's been around for a few years, but they've recently revamped their website with all manner of swimwear bells and whistles. The best place to start if, well, you don't know where to start is the Fit Specialist--you can either call or email with a personal shopper to figure out what suit will work best for your body. (There are also a lot of great tips and suggestions on the page, in case you're not quite ready to interact with another human being.) If, like me, you're a bikini fan, head straight to the Bikini Builder® (yes, it's so awesome, it's copyrighted), where you can play around with the mix-and-match bikini separates from four brands (Athena, Hurley, Next, and Spendid). Here's one of my favorite tips: Buy two bikinis from the same brand in similar colors/patterns/styles--you can change it up and create four different suits from the four separate pieces. My one criticism of this feature is that not all the brands on the site are included here, but hopefully that will change in the future.

If you'd rather shop the old fashioned way, you can do so by brand, or narrow down your choices by style, trend, size, body type, color, and/or price. That's how I found this Ella Moss Gypsy Bikini, which is, in its skimpiness and triangularity, totally up my alley. If it doesn't hold up to my expectations, it should be noted Swimspot offers free shipping, free exchanges, and free returns--super awesome, because on many websites, swimsuits are final sale. And there's nothing worse than trying on a swimsuit, looking like a bloated whale in it, and knowing you're stuck with it.

Now if only Swimspot could go to the gym for me...

Sample Sale of the Week: Jodi Arnold

Jodi Arnold has been in the news recently for having closed her Atlantic Avenue store in Brooklyn; WWD suggested that her company might be in trouble, but this article in the Post notes the poor foot traffic in Boerum Hill (which, by the way, is where I live). The good news, however, is that her University Place store is still open, and this week, it's hosting a sample sale, where the fall and winter lines will be up to 70% off. You can find fall coats for $195, fur vests for $165, dresses for $130, and sweaters for $105, and fancy party tops for $80. Aside from the fact that she makes really beautiful, unique, techno-savvy prints, Jodi Arnold's clothes can't be found in every single department store, which, if you ask me, makes them a very wise investment for the price--not looking like everyone else in New York is, as Mastercard says, priceless. The sale takes place 1/12-1/16 from 11-7 at 56 University Place (at 10th St.). For those who can't make it to NYC, fret not: You can shop online at jodiarnoldnyc.com starting today with promo code SAMPLESALE, although it should be noted, prices online aren't quite as steeply marked down as in the store.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

MasstigeWatch: Calypso for Target and Sophie Theallet for Nine West

Ever since the hype monster that was Lanvin for H&M, things have been quiet on the masstige front. Sure, Target launched William Rast the week before Christmas, but it hardly created a frenzy. Is it possible that we're masstiged out? Maybe. But being the optimist that I am, two recent announcements have me believing in masstige once again.

The first is that Calypso St. Barth is doing a Target line. Joke all you want about Calypso's less-than-original bohemian-bourgeois aesthetic, but I dare you to find better vacation-wear all under one roof (and available year 'round). And while I find Calypso's prices not so unreasonable (especially when on sale), Target prices are always better. The line hits Target stores (and, of course, Target.com) May 1st and will retail for $1.99-$79.99. I am praying for it to be heavy on cotton maxi-dresses and tunics; expect to see me wearing them all over Fire Island this summer.

Racked National reports that MObama fave designer Sophie Theallet will collaborate with Nine West on a capsule accessories collection featuring bags, shoes, and some jewelry. It sounds kind of French--Eiffel Tower accents and such. So far that's all I know, but of course I will share more details when they're available.

TheFind Guest Post: Alice + Olivia Convertible Striped Cardigan is 3 Cozy Sweaters in 1!



Alice + Olivia is known for its stunning pieces that effortlessly mix girlie and edgy and fuse fashion-forward and wearable -- and while I admittedly don't have any of my own pieces to vouch first-hand, I'm sure their stand-out wardrobe staples like dresses and coats are worth every penny. However, when it comes to more everyday basics, things get a little pricey, relatively speaking. Luckily, in the case of the Convertible Striped Cardigan, you're not getting just a plain ol' trendy-yet-typical sweater -- you're getting three sweaters in one. After all, if you're going to go designer for your comfy basics, you might as well get triple the bang for your $198 bucks, right? Wear it long and slouchy to elongate your look with sky-high heels and jeans, add some visual interest with asymmetry by wearing it as a wrap, or go for my favorite look -- cropped and looped for a cool scarf illusion that makes for a sweet layered look that doesn't look too casual. Of course you're free to experiment with other innovative ways to wear it (I'm sure you could come up with tons, depending on your creativity level and how much time you have on your hands!), but even with just 3 ways to wear it, I'd say that's a returned Christmas gift credit well-spent!

- Alex Gambardella

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

My new year's fashion resolution: wear more color!

When I first reviewed Google's new Boutiques.com site, I remarked that there wasn't enough variety, and that it felt like shopping in my own closet, but that I'd wait to see what happens when I give it more information. And you know what happened? It became even more like shopping in my own closet. And, as it turns out, my own closet is black and gray. It's really depressing, to be honest, and looking at my boutique does not inspire me to shop in the least. So while I'm not usually one to make new year's resolutions, I think my closet is in desperate need of a fashion intervention. Hence, I'm resolving to wear more color, as well as more patterns (other than stripes and plaids, which I am quite comfortable with), and this applies to everything from clothes and accessories to makeup (my Bobbi Brown-like commitment to neutral makeup is probably worthy of its own post, so maybe I'll save that for another day). After all, the next three months are bound to be dark and dreary, so why not perk up with a little color? Here's what I have my eye on at the moment.

New Year's Style Resolution: More Color

Clockwise from top left:

Monday, January 03, 2011

In These Shoes: Koolaburra Laura Boots

Like thousands of other New Yorkers, I had quite the challenge getting home after the holidays. Our flight was cancelled and rebooked (for five days later), and because MW and I didn't really feel like sitting around my parents' house for a week, we elected to drive back, an adventure I'll save for another day. The roads were fine, albeit with a bit of snow piled up along the sides, and we couldn't even tell how hard New York had been hit by the snow until we got on the FDR, at which point we could see a very snowy Roosevelt Island. And while things in Brooklyn weren't nearly as bad as we had expected, it was definitely a bit...snowy. But because life goes on, I had lunches to eat, appointments to make, and errands to run, and I wasn't about to wear any old boots.

Enter my Koolaburra Laura Boots. Yes, they bear a passing resemblance to those other ubiquitous Australian sheepskin boots (which, by the way, are made in China, unlike Koolaburra boots, which are actually made in Australia), but I can attest they are more sturdy, with a more flexible sole, and they stretch out less, thereby avoiding the dreaded sheepskin shuffle. The shape of the boot is slightly more streamlined also, and many of Koolaburra's styles have chic little details, like studs or fringe. My pair is almost exactly the same as the Laura, with a Kate Moss-ish side fringe; the only difference is that these have a bohemian-chic beaded strip too. True, they are not the most elegant boots in the world, but when there's two feet of snow on the ground, elegance is not my number-one concern. They're super comfortable, and they keep my feet warm and dry, which, in this weather, is just about all one can ask for. Well, except maybe a shoveled sidewalk and garbage pickup, but I digress. Price-wise, Koolaburra boots run a bit higher than their competitors, but they're certainly more luxurious--and, as I mentioned, they're made in Australia, not China--and more chic and thus, in my mind, completely worth it. After all, do you really want to wear the same boots as teenage girls?

Sample Sale of the Week: Shoe-Inn 13th annual warehouse sale

I love shoes, which, if you read Cheryl Shops on a regular basis, is obvious. I love shoes so much that, to prevent me from financial ruin, I'm allowed to buy only one pair per month. (This, sometimes, is absolute torture. Also, sometimes I cheat.) What also helps is buying shoes on sale, something one can easily do at the 13th annual Shoe-Inn warehouse sale. This famed event takes at the Gotham Hall on Broadway and features shoes ($19.99-$99.99) and boots ($39.99-$199.99) from the likes of Stella McCartney and D&G on down to Stuart Weitzman and Tory Burch, and even UGG, Converse, and Steve Madden. With over 10,000 pairs of shoes on display, you often have to do some digging, but everything is organized by size and generally tends to stay that way, due to the vigilant workers' efforts. It's a must-hit sale for shoe fanatics, especially those with an hour or two to spare. Through 1/6; 9-7; 1356 Broadway (at 36th St.).