Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Top 10 Sample Sales of the Week

Expect many stylish ladies (perhaps yours truly included) to line up for Vena Cava and Loeffler Randall's joint sample sale. No word on prices, but based on past VC sales, expect a bonanza. 6/2-6/3; 10-7; 457 Broome St. (Greene & Mercer Sts.), 2nd fl. 

Score some dresses for the summer wedding season at up to 50% off at Thread Social's summer sale. 6/1; 9-8; 26 W. 17th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), ste. 301.

And while you're at it, get some sparkly jewelry to go with your above dresses at nOir's sample sale, where prices are up to 75% off: rings for $15-$95, necklaces for $15-$75, bracelets for $5-$50, and earrings for $10-$40. 6/1-6/3; 10-7; 350 W. 38th St. (8th & 9th Aves.), 5th fl. 

And, hey, why not some shoes too? Get up to 70% off brands like Chie Mihara, plus find clothes from Rachel Comey and Paul and Joe Sister, and accessories also. 6/2-6/3; 10-7; 670 Broadway (at Bond St.), ste. 502. 

Kimberly Ovitz's fall and spring collections are up to 75% off. 6/2-6/4; 2-7 Th, noon-7 F, 10-5 S; 401 Broadway (at Walker St.), ste. 503. 
Stock up on stylish athletic gear at the Y-3, SLVR & Adidas Originals sample sale. 6/2-6/4; 10-6 Th-F, 10-3 S; 610 Broadway (at Houston St.), 3rd fl.

Feminine, summer-friendly dresses are $60-$75 and tops are $40-$55 at Prairie New York's cash-only sample sale. Through 6/3; 11-7; 306 W. 38th St. (8th & 9th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Past-season items by cool designers like Sally Lapointe and Them Atelier are up to 75% off at Eva New York's sale; current-season merch is 15%-30% off. 6/3-6/6; noon-8; 355 Bowery (at E. 4th St.).

JF & SON are taking 20% of all men's and women's clothing at their University Place store. Through 6/3; noon-8; 56 University Place (at 10th St.).


And for those of you who aren't in NYC (or who are too wilted by the heat to venture outside already), use promo code FF60 at Soho's own SURevolution.com for 60% off everything at their pre-summer sale through 6/4.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Buy it: Cambridge Satchel

I have a girl-crush on one of my coworkers, whom I'll call C. She always manages to look completely natural in what she's wearing, usually a perfect mix of relaxed but chic pieces with interesting details and statement-making accessories. She's super-stylish, but she never looks too trendy, a feat that's tricky to execute. I'm not the only one who appreciates how she dresses; her name has become shorthand in my department for the type of customer we want to target (e.g. "She's young, thin, and hip--you know, like C."). A few weeks ago, C started carrying a bright green bag, and ever since, I've noticed it popping up on street-style blogs and Pinterest. And while C clearly didn't start this trend, it just goes to show how plugged in she is to fashion. The bag is a Cambridge Satchel, a company that makes a very basic, classic leather messenger bags originally intended for British schoolchildren. The bags are handmade in Great Britain, a rarity in these days of Third World factories, and while they still adhere to tradition, they've also collaborated with the likes of Comme des Garcons and thus embraced their budding fashion-insider status. The satchels are obviously sturdy and well made, from good leather, but the fun is that you can get a Cambridge Satchel in nearly every color in the rainbow (and then some), from basic brown and black to bright yellow and candy pink; style bloggers have particularly embraced the fluorescent series. What's really impressive, however, is the prices: basic-colored 11-inch satchels start at $120, with the 15-inch neon styles topping out at $190. (Let me reiterate: These are real leather bags, handmade in Great Britain.) Stick on another $16-$32 and you can have your initials embossed in silver, gold, black, or blind lettering (take that, Goyard!). These bags looks like they can live forever, so one must choose a color wisely. The traditionalist in me wants red, but my trend-slave likes the fluorescent pink. I may not look as effortlessly cool as C, but I'll look like me, and that's what really counts, right?

TheFind Guest Post: Summer Must-Have: The Lightweight Cargo Jacket



No matter how warm the weather gets in these freakish, pre-summer heat waves we've been getting from time to time here in San Francisco, there is always a handful of stylish (if not unseasonal) girls on my morning bus ride who insist on rocking their winter cargo coats, rain or shine. Sure, a military-inspired jacket is a versatile and stylish wardrobe staple, and we hardly experience real seasons here in the Bay Area, but there's still something to be said about modifying one's wardrobe for the weather at hand! Well, good news, military trend lovers -- summer isn't ready to give up on the cargo coat just yet. Just in time for warmer weather, a slew of more lightweight, summer-friendly versions of the military-inspired jacket have cropped up to keep you covered on the chillier summer nights or breezy mornings that require a little extra layering over that maxidress or romper. Cropped silhouettes, breathable twill or linen, and more seasonal colors like cream and slate make for a perfect update to fall's favorite jacket!

From left to right: Ann Taylor LOFT Twill Cargo Jacket, Anthropologie Airborne Jacket, and J. Crew Foxtrot Jacket.

- Alex Gambardella

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Download it: Catalogue by TheFind

I got an iPad 2 for my birthday this year, and while it's something I wouldn't necessarily have bought for myself (I own both a Mac laptop and an iPhone already), I'm already completely addicted to it. It's great for its obvious uses--reading books, saving PDFs, checking email, RSS feeds, general Internet browsing--but I'm always up for discovering new and exciting apps, especially those that fill a need you didn't even know you had. For example, Flipboard takes all of your social media--Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, and Google Reader--and turns it into a much more visually stimulating magazine-like experience. And speaking of magazines, a very interesting article yesterday in The Business of Fashion addressed this very issue (pun intended): Publishers had initially thought the iPad would be the savior of the magazine industry; in reality, iPad editions of magazine have been slow to sell, primarily due to price but also due to the fact that they're just digital reproductions of print media. Compare that to a totally interactive experience like Net-A-Porter's excellent magazine app, and traditional magazines look like, well, traditional magazines. Photos and video look amazing on the iPad, but the question is how to make print media (i.e. "cold" media) interactive, or "hot."

One company that's addressing this is TheFind, which, if you read this blog on a regular basis, you know that I have a relationship with (and that TheFind is Cheryl Shops' shopping search engine of choice!), although, it should be noted, I am writing about their app because it's awesome, not out of obligation. Instead of making their iPad app a rehash of their iPhone app (which, by the way, is pretty indispensable, due to its handy barcode scanner), TheFind came up with an entirely new way to shop, harnessing the iPad's unique visual capabilities with the ability to actually buy what you see. Basically, the app takes print catalogues from a bunch of retailers (there are 40 or so now, from J.Crew to Crate & Barrel, with more on the way) and distills them into a streamlined but visually cool browsing experience. (For some catalogues, you can toggle between the actual print version and TheFind's version; others are more of a simple lookbook experience.) You can browse by retailer, or by category (like "fragrances" or "women's boots"), and you can save anything you like--individual products, whole catalogues, or categories--to "My Catalogue". And perhaps most importantly, whenever you see something you like, you can buy it instantly without leaving the app. Of course, you can always do an old-school TheFind search (and save those products to My Catalogue as well), but, really, this app is made for browsing. It even drew a "cooooool" from MW, who normally shops only under duress. So if you have an iPad (and based on current trends, if you don't already, you will soon!), I highly recommend you download Catalogue and start using your iPad for what Steve Jobs intended: shopping!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

MasstigeWatch: Prabal Gurung for J.Crew, Topshop's secret pop-up & more

The arrival of the latest J.Crew catalogue is always a noteworthy occasion in my household, but Saturday's edition was even more momentous due to the inclusion of the Prabal Gurung collaboration. However, this limited-edition collection was so limited that only 50 pieces of each item were created, and by the time I hit the website, everything but the exploding bow dress was sold out. In my case, this is probably for the best, since prices ranged from a not-so-masstige $198-$450. Still, how gorgeous is the bow blazer at right?

In slightly more accessible news, Racked reports that Topshop is opening a "secret" pop-up shop featuring their collaborations with Pamela Love, Nasir Mazhar, Meadham Kirchhoff, and Ann-Sofie Back. Starting Thursday, May 26, it will be located somewhere within the Topshop store on Broadway (hint: look for the florist). For a peek at the Pamela Love collection, check out Fashionologie.

Add Pierre Hardy to the Gap's long list of troubles: Fashionista sadly reports the Parisian shoe designer will not be collaborating with the chain for fall (no word on whether he'll back next spring). That means you should snap up his spring shoes while you can!

Finally, there was reportedly a top-secret press preview of the upcoming Missoni for Target collection last week; attendees (I was not among them, FYI) were reportedly under strict orders not to divulge any details, although it did leak out that there will be...wait for it...a Missoni bicycle. Inspired by this bit of information, Refinery 29 photoshopped what they think it will look like. We'll have to wait until September 13 (or slightly) to see the actual version, but that doesn't mean you can't get excited in the meantime!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Top 10 Sample Sales of the Week

Memorial Day weekend is four days away, but the sales don't stop for the holidays! Here are my top picks for this week.

Shoes, bags, and accessories are up to 75% off at the Be & D sample sale; I've been getting at least two emails per day about this sale for the last week, so let's hope that means it's good. Through 5/25; 9-7; 260 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 8th fl.

Outfit yourself for the upcoming summer wedding season at Tibi's sample sale, where party-friendly dresses are 40%-70% off. 5/24-5/26; noon-7 T, 10-7 W-Th; 348 W. 36th St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

It seems like there's a Dannijo sample sale nearly every month, but when prices are up to 75% off (prices starting at $5), who's complaining? 5/24; 5:30-7:30 p.m.; 423 W. 14th St. (9th & 10th Aves.), #3R.

Samples are $30-$50, and dresses are $99-$150 at the Tracy Reese, Plenty and Frock! sample sale. 5/24-5/25; 9-7:30; 264 W. 40th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 801.



With the weather we've been having, you can still use a trench coat; score one at the Mackage sample sale at a deep discount. 5/24-5/25; 11-7; Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave. (15th & 16th Sts.).

Yumi Kim's colorful prints are up to 80% off at her sample sale. 5/24-5/30; noon-8; 234 Mulberry St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

Rachel Nasvik's NYC-designed and -made leather bags are just $25-$199 at this sample sale. Through 5/25; 153 W. 27th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), ste. 709.

Just in time for Memorial Day, J Rosen has swimwear from Cocobelle, Brette Sandler, and more in all sizes (even DD), plus flip-flops and jewelry too. Cash only. Through 5/26; 10-7; 231 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 1101.

Farylrobin shoes are $10-$90 (samples are $50), with most sizes in 7 and 8, at this true sample sale. Through 5/26; 10-4; 200 Park Avenue South (at 17th St.), ste. 1610.

MCM handbags and small leather accessories are up to 80% off. 5/24-5/26; 10-6; Flatotel, 135 W. 52nd St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cheryl Shops Spring Shopping Guide: Midi Skirts

Maxi dresses have been around for a few summers now, and while I think they're perfect for summer, there is one major drawback to wearing them in the city: They get dirty. Not to mention, I've tripped on mine several times while walking out of the subway, almost depantsing myself in the process. Also, if you have cute sandals on, they're hard to see. There is a way, however, to capture that breezy, summery look in a more practical manner: Enter the midi, or midcalf skirt. As I mentioned last week, the '70s were all over the spring runways, and this is a silhouette straight out of that time period--shapes range from slim to full, while the ideal length hits somewhere between the calf and ankle. With so many different variations, that means it's easy to find a style that suits your body type (one of my biggest pet peeves is when people say "I can't wear xxxxx due to my xxxxx"--if you just find the right fit, you can wear anything). The midi skirt is also a great way to get in a dose of color, whether it's one bold hue or a fun print, and the more polished options are great for work. Like last week's flare jeans, the midi skirt is definitely a major silhouette change, but it's fun and easy to wear, no matter what your shape.

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Jil Sander's spring/summer collection got a lot of critical praise for its bold colors--and the bright neon orange of this high-waist skirt is certainly that--but what intrigues me the most is the shape. It's the perfect balance of streamlined and slouchy; in spite of the paperbag waist, the skirt's overall volume does not overwhelm. The length also hits right above the ankle, showing off what is, for most women, the thinnest part of the leg, giving it an extra-flattering fit.

Another runway look, this Jonathan Saunders skirt captures another big spring trend: colorblocking. The slim shape, however, offsets the wide horizontal lines, making this a very wearable option for many. And for extra leg elongation, I like how Net-a-Porter paired it with nude platform sandals.

This Suno skirt is on the long side of midi (okay, it might actually qualify as maxi), but I couldn't resist the print and the accordion pleats. It's so chic, I think it makes a strong argument against the perceived frumpiness of midi skirts.

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Tribal prints are pretty huge for spring, so this Myne skirt is a great way to kill two trends with one stone, so to speak. I also think this is a quite reasonable price for a 100% silk skirt--guess that silk-is-becoming-cheaper-than-cotton prediction is not too far off!

I love the relaxed look of this DVF Chania skirt--it's pleated jersey, meaning you can ball it up and throw it in your suitcase, and when you take it out, you can slip right into it, making it perfect for that glamorous jetsetting lifestyle we all wish we had (and that DVF herself seemingly does).

And in case you were worried that midi skirts aren't sexy, take a look at Thakoon Addition's draped silk skirt. The color alone is pretty sexy, but the soft drape of the washed silk makes it sensual too.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Top 12 sample sales of the week

 So many sample sales, so little time (I was going to list 10, but I couldn't narrow it down, so 12 it is). Racked has a full listing of this week's offerings, but here are the must-hits.

Perhaps you've heard Kari Sigerson and Miranda Morrison are leaving their namesake shoe brand. As a bittersweet goodbye, they're hosting a sample sale at Steven Scarloff in Tribeca; prices start at just $25, with prices up to 75% off. Rumor has it the founders themselves will be on hand. I will cry, and then I will buy a lot of damn shoes. 5/20-5/22; 1-7 F-S, 2-5 Su; 44 White St. (Broadway & Church St.).

You know the drill with Steven Alan sales: lots of his signature shirts for guys and girls, plus cool downtowny labels represented by his showroom. 5/19-5/22; 8:30-8 Th-F, 11-7 Sa, 11-5 Su; 87 Franklin St. (Broadway & Church St.).

Score cut25 for under $150 and ready-to-wear for mostly under $200 (dresses are $375) at Yigal Azrouël 's sample sale. There's menswear too! Through 5/19; 9-7; 225 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 5th fl.


Jonathan Adler's warehouse sale has migrated from Long Island City to Bushwick; prices remain awesome, at up to 70% off his signature quirky pottery, rugs, furniture, and more. 5/20-5/22; 10-7 F, 10-5 Sa, 10-2 Su; 513 Irving Ave. (Halsey & Covert Sts.), Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Eberjey makes my favorite nighties of all time; you can score them, plus undies, swimwear, and loungewear for 50%-70% off. 5/19-5/20; 9-4; 40 E. 34th St. (at Madison Ave.), ste. 1215.

Who doesn't love Dolce Vita shoes? Who won't love them for these prices: $19 sandals, $29 flats, and $59 booties? Also featuring apparel by Cynthia Vincent, Mink Pink, Sass & Bide, Blank, and more. 5/19-5/21; noon-7; 156 Ludlow St. (at Rivington St.), 4th fl.

Who needs his eBay collection when you can score Derek Lam's spring 2011 line at these prices: $295 blazers, $395 dresses, $275 trenches? 5/19-5/20; 10-6 Th, 10-4 F; 10 Crosby St. (at Grand St.), 3rd fl.

Dresses are $145, jackets are $195-$275, and separates are $95 at the Nanette Lepore sample sale. Through 5/19; 9-7; 225 W. 35th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 4th fl.

Beloved by socialites and other well-dressed ladies, Lela Rose's sample sale boasts dresses, separates, and accessories for 50%-80% off (think mid to high three figures). 5/18-5/19; 9-7 W, 9-6 T-F, 224 W. 30th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 14th fl.

Usually a darn good sale, The News has men's and women's apparel from Cheap Monday, Shipley and Halmos, Clu, and a bunch of other downtown-approved labels. 5/19-5/21; 10-6; 495 Broadway (Spring & Broome Sts.), 5th fl.

Super-hip Swedish labels Acne, Filippa K, and Nudie Jeans are 50%-75% off for men and women. Cash only 5/19-5/20; 11-8; 60 Grand St. (W. Broadway & Wooster Sts.).

Stock up on work-friendly basics at the Theory sample sale, where prices are up to 65% off (pants are $99, dresses $109, jackets $159, skirts $89). Through 5/21; 10-7, 10-4 S-S; 261 W. 36th st. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl. 

TheFind Guest Post: Fabulous Find: Jean-Michel Cazabat Women’s Murita “LOVE” Ballet Flats



I must admit, I L-O-V-E anything with the word “love.” I don’t know if it’s an obsessions or a subliminal mind-power trick that the marketing geniuses of different designers have bestowed upon my consumer psyche but uncontrollably, if I see an accessory or top that mentions, or even slightly utters, the four letter word, my inner-romantic takes a hold of my body and wallet and I’m purchasing that piece with the first portion of plastic my hands can find. This is what happened with the Jean-Michel Cazabat Women's Murita “LOVE” Ballet Flats. Though the mix and match ready style and simple, ultra-feminine design, was enough to make me take a double look, what really had me going was how the word “love” was spelled just like I used to sign off on all of my letters in high school, and sometimes still do in greeting cards now. Jean Michael used a heart to replace the “O” on his Love Ballet Flats. How cute is that detail? Swoon! I’m like a boy-crazy adolescent all-over again. I’m going to wear this cute and comfy pair almost everywhere and there’s no doubt that I am going “love” every second of it.

- Mira Torres

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cheryl Shops Spring Shopping Guide: High Waist Flare Jeans

It's hard to believe, but we've been wearing skinny jeans for the better part of the last decade; all in all, skinny has been the dominant pants silhouette of the 2000s. Now that it's 2011, however, it's time for a change. I should mention, I am fairly reluctant to give up my skinnies--I think they suit my body shape quite well, and there's something to be said for fear of the unknown. Plus, changing one's pants does require a shift in the rest of one's wardrobe as well: all those long, billowy tops are not going to do you any favors with wider pants. But an important part of fashion is trying new things, and while flared jeans aren't exactly new, they're a drastic change, and often change is good. Higher-waisted, flared jeans were all over the spring runways, thanks in part to the season's strong '70s influence, and to mix metaphors, there's no time like the present to go back in time.


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If you're going to splurge on a pair of jeans, this pair by Balmain is a good place to start (although they are on sale!). These have a lower waist, which is good for short-torsoed people like myself, or also if you want a more modern (i.e. not so '70s) take on the flared jean.

I've had my eye on these Derek Lam jeans ever since I saw a photograph of Joanna Hillman (a Harper's Bazaar editor and one of my sartorial girl crushes) wearing them. They have a touch of wool, making them a little more luxurious and trouser-like than the average jean. And the more generously cut thigh makes them more balanced and refined.

These denim sailor trousers from Alexander McQueen are definitely more fashion-y than the average jeans--the superhigh waist and cropped length both push the boundaries. Still, I think the length is perfect for summer, especially for wearing with sandals. They're definitely a statement, but they're McQueen, so you know the fit will be amazing.

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For a more textbook definition of high waist flare jeans, I think Current/Elliott's Bell Jeans pretty much fit the bill. I am a big fan of Current/Elliott--they tend to nail fits perfectly, and they almost always use supersoft denim. The rise is dramatic but not crazy, and the legs are slim through the knee, breaking out in a big flare below. They get good ratings, too, which is an extra boost of confidence.

These Genetic Denim trousers are more of a trouser jean than a flare, and while they say high-waisted, 9 inches to me is more of a mid-rise. Regardless, they remind me of a pair of J Brand jeans I used to have but took to Beacon's Closet, sadly. They're a bit more relaxed and thus forgiving than, say, the pair above, making them great for the weekend.
MiH has quickly become one of those in-the-know denim labels, and with the promising look of their Marrakesh Kick Flare Jeans, you can see why. The welt pockets in front are an interesting detail, and the fit looks perfect--not too tight, not too baggy--through the thigh and is balanced by the deftly proportioned flare.

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The Gap may be going through some design-personnel turmoil at the moment, but at least they still do jeans right. I've had my eye on their high rise flare jeans for awhile, and this pair in particular looks perfect for summer, thanks to its light wash.

I like the super-high waist and front patch pockets of Urban Outfitters' Vintage Naval Flare Jeans, but based on the reviews, it appears these run super small (and considering they're made from renewed denim, fit consistency is probably a challenge). Still, if you're skinny, these look like a pretty good option for the price.

Another pair I really like are the Sailor Relaxed Flare from Free People. Again, they're more of a lower-rise, relaxed-fit pair, but the button details are cute, they're reportedly supersoft, and the weight looks perfect for warm weather. All you need is a great pair of platform heels (but more on those next week).

Monday, May 09, 2011

Cheryl Shops...Hayes Valley, San Francisco

My wedding is just about a month away, and let me say I'm milking this bride stuff for all it's worth. Frequent massages? Check. Bi-weekly facials? Check. A new mini-wardrobe of white dresses? Check. Another fun thing about being a bride is that your friends want to celebrate with you, so when my San Francisco girlfriends offered to host a satellite bachelorette-slash-stress-relief weekend, I jumped at the chance. (Side note for interested parties: Getting me out to SF, one of my favorite cities in the world, requires only light arm-twisting.) My weekend included, among other things, an amazing brunch on the patio at Foreign Cinema, a trip to the DeYoung Museum for the must-see the Balenciaga exhibit (which I missed when it was in NYC a few months back), and a very entertaining evening at AsiaSF. And because nothing relieves my stress like spending money, my friend JC accompanied me on a rather successful shopping trip through Hayes Valley, a chic little neighborhood just west of the civic center that came highly recommended by my dear friend (and epic shopper) NN.

Probably one of the best-known (and largest) stores in the neighborhood is Azalea, which has expanded in the three years since I've last been there, and now includes a nail salon. For the ladies, there are drapey, neutral Vince separates, Acne Jeans, Fluxus tees, and lots of very reasonable pieces--I got a Rick Owens-esque maxi dress and a top from Something Else by Natalie Wood, both of which were well under $100. For the guys, there's Cheap Monday, Won Hundred, and more Vince, but I should note, the owners opened a men-only spinoff store around the corner, called Welcome Stranger, which stocks an even nattier roster of designers like Billy Reid and SF's only Topman selection.

Another store that I remembered visiting before was Gimme Shoes, which has also branched out into two locations; the newer with Fiorentini + Baker, 3.1 Phillip Lim, and Dries van Noten, and the original stocking slightly more attainable brands like Cynthia Vincent and Tsubo. It's here that I fell in love with this pair of Chie Mihara sandals; luckily for my wedding-saddled bank account, they were out of my size. 

Another multi-branch store in the neighborhood is Ver Unica, a high-end but still reasonable vintage shop. I absolutely love shopping for vintage on the West Coast, because its supply-and-demand dynamics seem so much more balanced than in NYC, where it's often a challenge to find a decent vintage dress for less than $100. Ver Unica is definitely more of a refined experience, but everything is in excellent condition, and its buyers have a great eye.


With its selection of Made Her Think jewelry, Vena Cava dresses, and Le Labo candles, Acrimony could easily pass for an uber-trendy Lower East Side boutique, but its superfriendly salesperson kept things firmly on the West Coast, thankfully. JC and I both fell in love with this well-designed Michelle Vale tote; as it turns out, all of her bags are handmade in New York, proving that you can take the girl out of the city...

Like all the stores I've mentioned thus far, Nida carries clothes for both men and women, a practice that I found pretty refreshing--why not do a little flirting while you shop? For the ladies, Nida has a drool-worthy selection of French labels like Vanessa Bruno, Paul & Joe, and Isabel Marant, plus a huge Opening Ceremony section; for the guys, Mason's, Steven Alan, and Save Khaki. And, yes, even though Save Khaki has three NYC stores, I got a shirt for MW, because I'm a good wife-to-be, and because, as I noted before, shopping is great stress relief!

JC & I spent a ton of time in Plantation, not only because the Hollywood Regency-esque store is decorated like my dream house, but because the salesgirls were so lovely. After spotting candlesticks similar to some I had registered for, JC noted how random my wedding registry was, and I said it's because MW and I, having lived together for five years already, don't need much for our (very small) apartment. Instead of persuading me to set up a registry at the store (which, considering how chic most of their merchandise was, I totally would have done), the salesgirl convinced me to start a honeymoon registry, which, as I noted on Twitter, has been one of the most fun wedding-related activities I've done so far. (Other than taking a last-minute trip to San Francisco, of course!) That said, the store had a bunch of great candles, boxes, and other knickknacks, all of which would make excellent gifts, for the record.

There was also a street fair happening while we were shopping; it reminded me quite a bit of the Brooklyn Flea, with a mixture of vintage dresses, hip silk-screened tees, and handmade jewelry. My favorite booth was that of The Utilitarian Franchise, which also, as it turns out, has a store on Etsy. Which is a good thing, because with all I bought, there was no way I could fit this giant octopus pillow in my suitcase.

Finally, with still a few hours to kill before my red-eye back to NYC, we wandered over to the Fillmore neighborhood, but being a Sunday evening, unfortunately, most of the stores had closed already. So I will have to wait until my next San Francisco trip to cover that neighborhood; who wants to (gently) twist my arm?

Top 5 Sample Sales of the Week

As Racked noted today, there are already 40 sample sales on the roster for the rest of May, and while I'm not going to list all of them when Racked has so kindly and conveniently done so already, I will tell you which ones I think are worth hitting this week. And they are:

M. Patmos (formerly of Lutz & Patmos fame) is teaming up with a bunch of friends to host a sample sale to benefit Japan disaster relief; M.Patmos knits are $30-$400, Leroy & Perry knits are $25-$100, KBL eyewear is $40, Acme tees for kids are $18, and vintage clothes and accessories are $10-$100. 10% of the proceeds will be donated to the Japan Society's Earthquare Relief Fund. 5/11; 11-7; 425 W. 13th St. (9th Ave. & Washington St.), ste. 406.

Madeline Weinrib was doing ikat prints before, well, everyone else was, and her cotton dhurrie rugs have been knocked off by everyone from West Elm to cb2. Get the real deal for 40%-70% off at her sample sale. 5/12-5/16; 11-7, 11-6 Sun.; ABC Carpet & Home, 881 Broadway (at 19th St.), lower level.

I routinely sing the praises of Twinkle by Wenlan, which makes awesome knits and cute, feminine, yet thoughtful dresses. Silk dresses are $176, silk sweaters are $115, silk blouses are $139, silk pants are $128, and jersey dresses are $118. 5/12-5/13; 10-6; 545 8th Ave. (36th & 37th Sts.), 17th fl.

If you need a new bag--and who doesn't?--Rebecca Minkoff's epic sample sale is pretty much a sure thing. Prices hover around 40% off retail and often get marked down toward the end of the sale. 5/11-5/15; 10-7, 11-5 Sun.; 155 5th Ave. (21st & 22nd Sts.).

Finally, fashionistas are falling all over Suno's unique prints; score a statement-making piece at their sale for up to 70% off. 5/11-5/13; noon-8; 242 W. 38th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 3rd fl.


TheFind Guest Post: The 'New' Straw Bag for Spring



Nothing says “Hello, Sunshine!” like a straw hat and the perfect straw bag. Absolutely gamine and undeniably dainty, the straw bag has made an impressionable retro come back in an impressionable variety of sizes, from hand carry to carry-all totes! What’s even better is that they have been updated with cute leather details and bright accents, making the beach-bound favorite both swim and city ready. Now, the new spring bags are location and occasion multi-taskers. The perfect companion whether you are headed to the beach, when you’re out and about town, or both!

A favorite update on the straw bag is the addition of leather details. For a splurge, Proenza Schouler's PS1 Keep All Leather and Straw Bag is all the right amount of spring with an edge of urban cool, thanks to its leather detail. For a steal, get Vince Camuto's Mable Satchel! Headed out for cocktails and want something a bit smaller? Kate Spade New York’s straw handbag, the "Adeline", holds everything you need for the night. Wallet, keys, and a slim cell phone, age all cutely tucked away in this straw and cowhide combination which combines two of the prettiest trends of spring, straw and bright colors.

- Mira Torres

Thursday, May 05, 2011

MasstigeWatch: Missoni for Target, Giles for Nine West, Pierre Hardy for Gap & more

The Calypso for Target collection just hit the shelves last week (for the record, I ordered two dresses, a hat, and a bag, and I plan on checking out more of the line in person this weekend), and already Target is announcing its next big designer collaboration: Missoni for Target! Like Calypso, this will be a major, multi-department event, with 400+ items for women, children, and the home. I am particularly excited about linens and flatware, as I've been lusting after the real deal for years. Look for it in stores September 13 through October 22.

Hot on the heels (pun intended) of Sophie Theallet's line for Nine West comes Giles for Nine West. Now, Giles apparently has a character called Eek, a cartoon who decorates everything from totes to jewelry in the line. I find the shoes (like the wedge sandal at left) more exciting; Eek's presence makes the bags and jewelry a bit...young. Fashionista has a preview of the entire collection, which hits stores sometime in August. 

Speaking of shoes, the Pierre Hardy for Gap Design Editions spring styles are now live, and the Charlotte Ronson for Uniqlo collaboration hit stores today; Sugar Rock Catwalk has a full report on the latter.

Finally, this may or may not be related to the fact that Patrick Robinson got canned from the Gap [subscription required], but J.Crew took over as the sponsor of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, and thus will feature collaborations with winners Billy Reid, Prabal Gurung, and Eddie Borgo. Fashionologie was at the launch party, and while there was no preview available, word on the street is that all three designers will re-create pieces based on old collections, in new colors and fabrics. Gurung's five-piece collection will retail for under $500 and hits stores in June; Borgo's will be available in July; and Reid's 7-piece menswear collection is live now. I will, of course, report on the women's lines as soon as they're live, but in the meantime, why not treat that special guy in your life to this good-looking henley?

Cheryl Shops Spring Shopping Guide: Canvas and Leather Bags

I am not the most patient person. I've been buying summer clothes like they're going out of style, and I can't wait to wear them...and yet, these last few days, the weather has not quite been cooperating with me. I keep forgetting that it's actually still spring, and that I should enjoy this weather, because when it's 90 degrees and, like, 80% humidity, I will miss it. So while I will wait as patiently as possible to wear all of my bright, lightweight purchases, this is a good time to break out the warm-weather accessories, and one of the easiest, most significant changes is trading your dark, heavy, hardware-adorned black leather tote for a cleaner, lighter summer bag. A style that I've seen all over--from runways to mall stores--is a classic leather-trimmed canvas bag. It's a preppy, slightly nautical-inspired staple, and its simplicity is the perfect counterpoint to summer's madcap bright clothing and tribal accessories.

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This Henry Cuir satchel is kind of the ultimate in understated preppy luxury. At first glance, it looks like any old canvas tote, but on closer look, it features saddle-stitching, a unique African bead closure, and a perfectly aged look that only money can buy.

This Giuseppe Zanotti tote has a few more bells and whistles, like a zip pocket and a gold nameplate, but it's still tasteful and low-key. I like the texture of the canvas, and the size is just about perfect--generous enough to hold everything, but not overwhelming.

I loved nearly everything at Tory Burch's spring/summer 2011 fashion show, but the bags in particular really stood out, and so I am completely in love with her two-tone satchel. It has more detail than the previous two--more hardware, more pockets, more straps, and a logo--but it's also more polished as a result. Also, I'm also cheating a little by including this one--it's all leather, not canvas--but it still achieves the same look.

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I go to Ann Taylor's press previews every season, and while the clothes don't particularly stand out for me, I am in love with the accessories. This leather and canvas satchel is a more ladylike take on the trend, with a structured shape and a chic little tassel. The price is also quite reasonable for the quality.

Hunter might be famous for their indestructible Wellington boots, but they've recently made a foray into fashion with trend-conscious shoes and accessories. Their Kailey tote perfectly marries the brand's British heritage with modern style (note all the pockets for your smartphone and other electronics).

DKNY has some of the best takes on the trend--so many, in fact, that I'm including two here. The tote has that classic I'm-going-straight-to-my-yacht frame-and-buckle styling while the utility tote takes practicality into consideration with multiple pockets and a slightly more user-friendly zipper.




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One of the best parts of this trend is that you don't need to shell out for the Henry Cuir bag above to get the look. Here's a totally inexpensive option from Urban Outfitters: the BDG canvas tote. True, the trim is polyurethane (not leather), but this style is roomy enough to hold your weekend essentials and chic enough to blend in with everyone else on the Jitney.

One of my favorite styles is this Fossil Vintage Reissue bag. It's a bit smaller and more of a messenger style than the others, but it's still very classic, and the trim is actually leather--not bad for $108.

But when it comes to bargains, you can't do much better than Topshop's doctor's bag, for a mere $100. It has that timeless framed shape, but it's been updated with pockets galore, and the trim is real leather--a nice touch. Expect to see mine frequently on the Fire Island ferry this summer.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Sample Sales of the Week: Araks and John Robshaw

This week's sample sales go together thusly: First, head to Araks, and treat yourself to some sexy lingerie, where prices are up to 80% off retail: $90 chemises, $40 tanks, $40 swimsuits, and $10 bins with bras, panties, and chemises. The sale runs 5/5-5/6; 8:30-7 Th, 9-6:30 F; 137 Grand St. (Crosby & Lafayette Sts.), 5th fl.

Then, head to John Robshaw, because no seduction is complete without proper bedding--especially when you're after exotic bohemian linens. (You can also score decorative pillows, tabletop linens, and more.) Through 5/6; 10-7; 245 W. 29th St. (7th & 8th Aves.).

TheFind Guest Post: We're in Knots Over Summer's Rope-Adorned Accessories!



As much as I love all things sparkly, given all the sequins, metallics, glitter and glitz overload of the winter and spring nightlife, it can be refreshing to tone it down come summertime. Especially when it comes to daytime accessorizing, more organic materials like raw-cut stone beads, straw, cork, and more recently, rope details are taking the style world by storm in place of glitzier metal jewelry and hardware. Cinch up a flowy summer maxidress with a multi-rope belt like this one by Matthew Williamson, or swap your high-roller watch or bib necklace for a tiered rope necklace or agate and rope bracelet from Brook&lyn. This summer, straw hats are a hot way to beat the heat, and this Eugenia Kim Panama hat is adorned with twisted rope trim for a little nautical flair, and when it comes to handbags, this rope-handle hobo bag from Big Buddha is the perfect summer carry-all for daytime errands!

- Alex Gambardella

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.