Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: Your One-and-Only Mom

The older I get, the more like my mom I become. If you ask me, this is definitely not a bad thing, but if you ask my husband, that means we're equally hard to shop for. However, I know exactly what she wants.


1. Okay, I know what you're thinking: There's no way I'm getting my mom hangers for Christmas. But hear me out. Joy Mangano's huggable hangers are covered in velvet, which means nothing ever slips off of them. But as an added bonus, they're much thinner than regular hangers, meaning Mom can squeeze even more into her closet! And isn't that really the gift that keeps on giving?

2. If your mom waxes nostalgic for the glory days of air travel, this Lulu Guinness lips suitcase is the most glamorous carry-on around. It's not a first-class upgrade or more legroom, but it's a start.

3. Sheila Johnson's super-luxe scarves feature designs based on her photographs and benefit the Lady Salamanders, the first all-women's street soccer team. With a generous size and lightweight modal fabric, they can be worn year-round and, in a pinch, double as travel blankets.

4. I wasn't expecting to inherit my mom's love of fresh flowers, but now that I have a weekly habit, I totally get it: Fresh flowers instantly transform your living space, in a subtle but powerful way. H.Bloom has gift subscriptions ranging from $29-$85 a month; of all the "of-the-month" clubs out there, this one might be my (and Mom's) favorite.

5. Your grandmother might have told you never to give knives as a gift, but your mom would be all over these Shun Kai Pure Komachi knives, color-coded for various tasks and made of high-carbon stainless steel.

6. Moms: Frozen to the bone one minute, sweating from a hot flash the next. This supersoft J.Jill cable-knit poncho will keep her cozy when needed, and it's easy to whip out her arms when she needs to cool down.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: Other People's Kids

In spite of the fact that I devote several weeks' worth of posts to gifts for everyone in the family, let's face it: the holidays are about kids. Which is definitely something that's been on my mind—and everyone's—for the last few days. I don't have any children of my own, but I am Aunt Cheryl to numerous friends' children, as well as my own flesh-and-blood nieces and nephews. After all that's happened, it almost seems petty to show your love with presents they may play with for a few weeks or wear for a few months. But it's all about the little things, and whatever joy I can give these kids, I will. They're so worth it.


1. These stuffed organs will take playing doctor to a whole new level. Or, at least they'll make bodily functions seem more fun and less yucky. 

2. I am a fan of anything that makes a kid look like an animal (in a cute way!), but SpiritHoods totally raise the bar. There are lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!) to choose from, but a leopard print is perfect for the budding fashionista. 

3. True story: I once watched my friend's then-18-month-old daughter pick up her iPhone, open the YouTube app, find her favorite video, and play it. I would not be surprised if this kid is running a major corporation by the time she's 30. If this sounds familiar, perhaps the Laugh & Learn baby iPhone case is in order. 

4. I think backpacks are only acceptable if you're under the age of 16, but when they're as cool as this spiky, dinosaur-inspired Mad Pax, you might be able to squeeze out a few extra years' wear.

5. Back to #2, again, kids + animals = utter cuteness. This babysuit with hat turns the newborn in your life into a living, breathing sock monkey. 

6. For your Movember-supporting friends and their spawn, this mustachifier pacifier has the funny look of a mustache without all the scratchy stubble. Which makes sense when you have baby-soft skin. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: Your Techie Brother

He's somehow parlayed an adolescence spent locked up in his room in front of his computer into a lucrative career, and yet it seems like he'll never actually grow up anyway. (Case in point: My forever-young husband, who's sitting next to me while I write this, said, "Ooh, I want all that stuff!) Here's what to get your tech-savvy brother.


1. The mold growing on the cheese in his refrigerator doesn't actually count as cooking, but this at-home molecular gastronomy kit might just strike a similarly scientific vein.

2. To a generation raised on cell phones, watches are more of a decorative accessory rather than a useful way to check the time (hey, that's what iPhones are for!). Thankfully, with Modify watches, the options are endless, and you can mix and match faces with bands for a veritable timepiece wardrobe.

3. Considering everyone I know who snowboards has broken some part of their body at some point doing so, I am not really an advocate of the activity. But since your brother is not one to play it safe, at least make sure he looks good on his way to the hospital in Von Zipper fishbowl goggles.

4. Gen-Y is all about customization, so your bro is totally going to be all over these Skullcandy Aviator Edit headphones, which allow you to create your very own individual pair. Hey, if they're good enough for W118 by Walter Baker...

5. You might need to buy this book for yourself, lest it become the only way he communicates from now on, but at least How to Speak Wookiee will provide your brother with a fun party trick.

6. Made from recycled materials, Etines' Jameson 2 Eco kicks are doubly environmentally friendly: They support the company's Buy a Shoe, Plant a Tree program to revitalize the Brazilian rainforest. And we know how your brother feels about anything Brazilian.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: Your Little Sister

She knows all the words—and the moves—to "Gangnam Style," she can text faster than the speed of sound, and one day, she's going to run the world. You know, once the Pretty Little Liars marathon is over.


1. Wearing a hat is so uncool and yet her Beats by Dre don't really provide any insulation. Enter these Juicy Couture faux fur headphone earmuffs, which provide both warmth and good sound in a fun, animal-friendly package.

2. Knowing most celebrity fragrances, Pink Friday by Nicki Minaj probably smells like a mixture of hairspray, gum, and Bieber Fever. But the bottle will look so cool on her dresser, who cares?

3. Much like a teenage girl, this Stella & Dot Renegade Cluster bracelet is the perfect mix of pretty and tough. And, if her boyfriend gets fresh with her, it can, in a pinch, double as a weapon.

4. Hey girl, make sure feminism doesn't become the F-word: Treat her to the Feminist Ryan Gosling, a fun yet thoughtful way of examining gender inequality.

5. Humor her obsession with Girls' Generation and treat her to this metallic-accented tiger tank top from Baby Centaur, a South Korean line. Next up: Working on perfecting her K-pop wink.

6. Her lip balm habit is singlehandedly keeping Sephora in business, so why not encourage her entrepreneurial spirit with a DIY lip balm kit?  Maybe she'll create the next Fresh Sugar Rose!

TheFind Guest Post: Label Love: Markus Lupfer for ASOS Black Label



Ever since Markus Lupfer's capsule collection for ASOS Black Label was first announced back in August, I've been pretty anxious to catch my first glimpse, and now that it's finally arrived at the online retailer, I'm certainly not disappointed! Although it is a bit less glitzed-out than Lupfer's own ready-to-wear collection, I'm totally loving all the boxy tees, cut-out dresses, and moody stained glass-inspired prints. The overall attitude is naughty meets nice, courtesy of plenty of leather and tough-girl silhouettes, as well as girlie details like cinched waists and delicate sheer sleeves. The good news is that this 10-piece mini collection offers up slightly more affordable pieces than Lupfer's usual fare (he describes it as the "nonintimidating" side of fashion), though naturally it's still a bit on the pricey side, ranging in price from $175 to $525 (after all, this is ASOS Black we're talking about)! If you think these exclusive pieces are worth the splurge, check out the full collection over on ASOS!
 —Alexandra Gambardella

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: Your Dear Old Dad

My dad is a man of few words, especially when it comes to ideas for Christmas presents. Thankfully, like most dads, he's pretty passionate about a few things (not pictured: wine) and when you get 'em right, you're the golden child.


1. My dad is bonkers about the weather, particularly when a natural disaster is in progress. With this solar-powered crank radio, he can keep up to date on all the goings-on, even after the power goes out (as it tends to do in my parents' house).

2. Creed Green Irish Tweed was originally created for Cary Grant, and if that doesn't define a dad-perfect scent, then I don't know what does. As a bonus, it smells so fresh and masculine, I can't imagine any guy—of any age—not loving it.

3. The only thing cuter than your dad in a bow tie is your dad in an oversized velvet Albert bow tie from Lanvin.

4. If he's not already a fan of it, Game of Thrones has everything dads love: charming rogues, warring clans, headstrong princesses, dragons...and, um, boobs. Get him caught up with the Season 1 and Season 2 DVDs so you can discuss Season 3 when it starts airing next year.

5. Like ties, socks are often the punchline to bad-gift jokes. Zoraab, a new site that's hoping to change that, offers non-lame footwear for the dapper dude, and while you can purchase pairs individually, I think their sock subscription (available in 2-, 3-, or 5-pair increments) is truly the gift that keeps giving.

6. My dad's ties to Chicago sports—and to architecture—run deep, but I think any sports fan (in other words, nearly any dad) would appreciate a ballpark blueprint from his favorite baseball stadium. As for the Cubs, there's always next year, right, Dad?

Monday, December 03, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: Your BFF

Shopping for your girlfriends is a little like shopping for yourself, at least when your girlfriends are as awesome as mine are. (As my guru says, the light I see in others is a reflection of the light within myself.) So while it's hard to put a price on friendship, these gifts certainly can try.


1. Your BFF would be the first person to admit that the standard-issue white iPhone headphones are hopelessly unglamorous. Luckily, these Deos earphone covers jazz them up with the full Swarovski crystal treatment.

2. You'd kill anyone who harms your bestie, but for those rare cases when you can't be around, this Carol Brodie evil eye candle will keep her protected (and with a nice berry-and-spice scent to boot).

3. You'd buy her the real thing if you could, but since she knows the extent of your credit-card debt, your girl would be just as happy with this Céline-ish Thursday Friday XO Here pouch (also available in faux-nel, Balenciaga-esque, and PS-non).

4. True story: I was with two girlfriends recently, and two of us whipped out our Sephora birthday gifts for 2012, the Sugar Rose lip balm from Fresh. The third friend was incredibly jealous. Don't let this happen to you—give the gift of Fresh Sugar Kisses.

5. Because she never says anything when you teeter out of the house in 5-inch stilettos that you have to change out of after 30 minutes, return the favor with Corso Como's Ballasox flats, which come in a purse-stashable pouch for emergencies.

6. Recycled keys engraved with uplifting words, The Giving Keys pendants are both green and charitable—the company employs workers transitioning out of homelessness. They're designed to be given away to someone who needs their message, so consider this the gift that truly keeps giving.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: Your Aging Hipster Husband (or Boyfriend)

He eats local artisanal pickles and drinks small-batch bourbon, he's never met a plaid shirt he hasn't liked, and you can pry his Spotify account from his cold, dead hands. Here's what to get your one and only.


1. He may still harbor a (secret) comic-book habit, but Sean Howe's excellent Marvel Comics: The Untold Story will let him indulge in public. (Full disclosure: The author is a dear friend of mine, but the book is MW-approved.)

2. The only thing better than a good-smelling husband is a good-smelling husband who lets you borrow his cologne. Le Labo Santal 33 is means to evoke the Marlboro Man, but I find the woody-leathery-spicy blend works just as well on women.

3. Taxidermy, like handlebar mustaches, is so last year. Get him a much cooler dinosaur bust instead.

4. Tsovet watches contain the Swiss-quartz movement of finer timepieces but the design is much more modern, minimal, and low-key (the company is based in California). Their QS watch is so classically cool, it's pretty much a sure thing.

5. As someone who could really give a poo about sports, I admit that even I will watch one of ESPN Films' 30 for 30 documentaries when it's on (ok, when MW puts it on). This box set gathers 12 of the most popular in the series.

6. Until your husband figures out how to wire speakers to your entire house (and your roof deck), Beacon's Phoenix wireless speakers are an easy alternative. They sound great, they're bluetooth-enabled, and they're inexpensive enough that you can buy one for every room.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: What I Want

Several family members—including my husband—tell me I'm hard to shop for. Um, hello: I write a shopping blog. I talk about things I like several times a week! But, in the interest of spelling it out as clearly as possible, here's what I really want this year. Ahem. 



1. MW, my husband, claims that everything I feature on Cheryl Shops is expensive. Totally not true! But just to humor him, I would really like this Alexander Wang prisma tote. I already have one in bright blue (which I love!), but it's a warm-weather color, and, really, nothing says winter to me like leopard-print haircalf. And, hey, this one is on sale!

2. I think this Kalayana jewelry holder is kind of hilarious, if a little sacrilegious. But who better to watch over my precious baubles than the Hindu goddess of wealth, wisdom, and grace?

3. Confession: I do not own a coffee maker. This is a travesty. I probably spend $25 a week on takeout coffee. So, in theory, this Nespresso Essenza Espresso Maker (which I fell in love with during our trip to California) should save me a lot of money, right? Money that I could spend on shoes instead!

4. My favorite gifts are things I'd never consider buying for myself. Case in point: I don't know that I could ever bring myself to purchase something so over-the-top crazy as this rhinestone-encrusted collar necklace from Juicy Couture, and yet if someone treated me to it, I would wear it with glitzy, glamorous pride. 

5. Gloves are one of those things that stores push as a holiday gift, and yet have you ever bought anyone gloves before? Maybe there's a first time for everything: I'm in glove (pun intended) with this studded style from BCBG, a much more reasonable version of, um, these

6. I have professed my love for Brulee lingerie before (here and here), but their new silk pajama pants have really pushed me over the edge into full-on infatuation. (Note: there's a matching top too.) Size medium in magenta, please!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Buy it: Commando Matte Opaque Tights

All of a sudden, it's cold outside. And that means tights. Four long months of tights. Can you sense my excitement? Thankfully, I've discovered a new pair that may not make the months shorter, but will at least make them more bearable. The pair in question is Commando's matte opaque tights, and, seriously, it's a game-changer. The leg is nice and thick, and there's a decent amount of control-top action, but the magic is in the waistband. Most tights have a vertical seam that bisects your midsection in a not-so-flattering manner, plus a thick ribbed waistband that, no matter how thin you are, cuts into your skin and creates a tourniquet effect where you least need it. Commando's waistband, on the other hand, features the same seamless effect as their undies (read about 'em in my post on boy shorts): It's actually a wide band that lies perfectly flat and smooth, and it adjusts to fit your body, much like the waistband on maternity pants. Which, come to think of it, also comes in handy this time of year. Tights that let you eat whatever you want? I'll take one in every color.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Under $100: oxblood accessories


You say oxblood; I say crimson; you say bordeaux; I say burgundy. No matter what you call it, this dark, blood-red hue is shaping up to be this season's must-have color. To avoid looking like Carrie, however, I suggest using it sparingly; a little pop of color goes a long way, without taking you to full-on Goth.



1. I like the structured, ladylike look of this faux-ostrich bag, and its itty-bitty (by my standards) size makes it a great holiday-party purse.

2. With their sewing-machine-decorated stores and vague Edwardian vibe, Allsaints Spitalfields can work the neo-Goth vibe like no other. Considering 95% of their merchandise is neutral, this very subtle yet refreshing infinity scarf adds just a whisper of color. 

3. This haircalf Topshop collar is one of my favorite pieces in this post. It's so unexpected, it immediately perks up sweaters, T-shirts, even dresses. 

4. Blood-red nail polish has been a staple in my beauty arsenal ever since Chanel's Vamp appeared in the '90s, but RGB's crimson is a refined take on the shade, minus many of the nasty chemicals commonly found in nail lacquers. 

5. With their wide wraparound leather bands, La Mer watches are kind of jewelry, accessory, and timepiece all in one. Yay for multitasking. 

6. I feel like belts are one of the more under-utilized accessories out there, which makes me sad. They're a great way to emphasize your shape (everyone can benefit from a waist, or the illusion thereof), and they often have great details, like the buckle detail on this Banana Republic skinny belt

7. Okay, so this Oak tank top is not actually an accessory, but it's a great layering piece, whether you wear it under a suit in a conservative environment or pair it with a cardigan and jeans on the weekend. Also, the cut is gorgeous.

8. How fun are these Charlotte Russe booties? (The answer: superfun!) I'm still into booties with tights, so you can wear these on the holiday-party circuit—the skinny stiletto heel and hidden platform with bring you that much closer to the mistletoe. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

TheFind guest post: Peep Theory x Uniqlo's Cozy New Capsule Collection!


 I'll admit it – although I live and work in the heart of San Francisco, I still haven't mustered up the courage to brave the crowds that still remain outside of Uniqlo's brand-new Union Square store.... but Theory's new capsule collection with the international mega-store may have just given me a reason to bite the bullet and get myself in there! The "T Down" collection offers up a series of revamped puffer jackets, perfectly versatile for the chilly weather ahead (no matter where you live!), that provide modern updates like colorblocked panels and contoured silhouettes while still staying true to Uniqlo's love of basics and understated sportswear. As the temperatures drop, it's hard to resist a winter staple jacket that's casual-cool, comfy, and budget-friendly with prices ranging from $129-$149 (totally affordable considering it's a jacket you'll practically want to live in!). The only hard part? Actually tracking one down once they hit stores November 15th, before they're gone for good! — Alexandra Gambardella

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

In these shoes: Steve Madden Dougiee sneakers

If I were younger and thinner and had better hair, I'd want to be a personal style blogger. Granted, I think most aspiring fashion bloggers nowadays want to be personal style bloggers, and with good reason: If successful, they tend to have very high-profile careers, with much cachet in the industry. (Well, as much cachet as one can hope to achieve as a blogger.) You can usually tell when a fashion blogger gets her big break; all of a sudden, her Zara and ASOS bags are replaced by Givenchy or Céline. I'm happy for her when this happens, but I also brace myself; sometimes this means then end of what made the blog so unique in the first place. It's easy to look fabulous in Acne and Phillip Lim; it's way more interesting to mix vintage, high, and low all together.



One of my favorite bloggers who's managed to stay true to her aesthetic is Sincerely Jules, and even though she is, yes, younger, thinner, and better-coiffed than I am, I find myself constantly buying things she models on her blog. (A tip: It is good karma to buy items directly from your favorite fashion blogs!) She has a great Southern-California laid-back vibe, but with a hint of glamour. I am currently obsessed with this post, in which she combined relatively simple elements—a sweatshirt, a denim jacket, sneakers, a tote—with a sparkly beaded miniskirt. I have a similar jacket, sweatshirt, and skirt; the Céline tote is a pipe dream (see, there it is!); but what I'm missing is a pair of gray high-top sneakers. Jules' are YSL; my budget is more DSW. So I think these Steve Madden Dougiee sneakers are a good alternative. With tiny gold studs, they're a little more blinged out than Jules' pair, but I think that will actually work nicely with the gold sequins in my skirt. I'm a little nervous to wear sneakers with a skirt—you know how I feel about my heels—but maybe I'll just have to practice that angled, off-kilter pose that all the bloggers do. The Céline tote may be for the top tier of fashion bloggers only, but everyone can pop a knee and look fabulous.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Buy it: Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia


Remember when Bath & Body Works first opened in the '90s? This blog post does a good job of taking you down memory lane—the chain came around at just the right time, when Bill Clinton became our president, political correctness was a way of life, and, moving on from excessively overwhelming '80s fragrances like Poison and Obsession, we were all wearing "natural" scents like Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers and Gap Grass, because it was a new decade and we were earnest. B&BW had a "country" theme, with items stocked in baskets and salespeople wearing gingham aprons, and the products had a very farm-fresh feel, which was perhaps ahead of its time, considering the craze for farm-to-table everything now. B&BW's scents were clean, fresh, fruity, and simple—think Sun-Ripened Raspberry and Cucumber Melon—and you'd get a shower gel, lotion, and body spray. (Another way B&BW was ahead of its time: It's where I was introduced to layering my fragrance.) My favorite scent was Freesia, and if I ever smell it again, I think I'll be instantly transported back to my bedroom circa 1993, where I was likely pining over the captain of the basketball team (he didn't know I existed) and listening to Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814

The other day, I caught a whiff of Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia and it was almost as though "Love Will Never Do Without You" started spontaneously playing. It was like my adolescence, only better. In Malone's version, the soft floral freesia gets a jolt of sweetness with a perfumey English pear (did B&BW have a pear scent too?), but lest the scent start to smell too much like broken teenage dreams, it settles nicely on a sophisticated, drydown of wild roses, amber, patchouli, and woods. In other words, it's an incredibly lovely, nuanced, feminine fragrance designed for a woman, not a gawky, awkward, mall rat. I stopped by to sample the body cream today, and hours later, I'm still smelling my hand obsessively like a teenage girl waiting for the boy she likes to call. (Or text? Kids these days don't talk on the phone, do they?) I thought I was too grown-up for fruity-floral scents, but this just goes to prove that certain things have staying power. Okay, Janet Jackson hasn't made a decent album in years, and only Facebook knows what happened to my crush, but when it comes to scent, sometimes it's good to keep things simple. 

Bath & Body Works photo courtesy of From the Heartland: Vintage Bath & Body Works

TheFind guest post: Nikki Reed Has a Jewelry Line! Introducing Mattlin Era


 As if she hasn't been busy enough as a screenwriter, actress, poet, and star of The Twilight Saga film franchise, the ever-talented Nikki Reed is adding jewelry designer to her already-extensive resume. Dubbed Mattlin Era, after the actress' grandmother, her debut collection for Glamhouse calls on inspiration from her family and their craft sessions from back when she was a child, when she'd help her mother and siblings make clothing and accessories they couldn't afford to buy themselves. As a result, her first "official" attempt at jewelry making takes on a homemade, bohemian aesthetic that's effortlessly cool and relatable – hammered tiles, mixed metals, and cool hardware that's gorgeous but not gaudy. Browse the full collection of bangles, earrings, necklaces, rings, and more over at Glamhouse's online shop, the GlamBoutique, and don't miss The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II when it hits theaters November 16th! —Alexandra Gambardella

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops. 

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Panty party: My 5 favorite boyshorts

That's right, I'm talking about underwear. So, in the interest of full disclosure, I will share this with you: I hate thongs. I wear them to the gym under my Lululemon, but that's it. Unfortunately, I also like to wear tight pants in real life, which leaves me with quite the conundrum: Wear a thong and be uncomfortable all day, or wear normal underwear that bisects my ass with unseemly panty lines. Thankfully, there is a third option, and that is boyshorts. Now, not all boyshorts are created equal: Some ride up, some do not fully cover the cheeks, some get bunchy, some droop. But the five styles here are tried and true, tested and loved by my own bubble butt*.



1. Gap's sexy lace girl shorts have been a longtime favorite of mine (I cited them in this interview)—they're easy to find, affordable (and often on sale on top of that), very comfortable, and they stay put. My only quibble is that the elastic gives out after awhile, so you have to replace them every so often.

2. Of course, Gap's version owes a hefty debt to Hanky Panky's lace boyshorts, which, if you ask me, are even better than their famous thongs and come in nearly every color under the rainbow, and then some. They are $28 a pair, however, so I always stock up at the yearly sample sale, where they are usually less than half price. (And good news: It starts next week.)

3. As someone who never fails to treat herself to life's luxuries, I feel there are few things in this world nicer than silk panties. They are extravagant—prices can run over $100, and you have to wash them by hand—but put a pair on and you will glide through the day without a care in the world. My favorite silk boyshorts are by Brulee: I have two pairs of the boudoir shorts, pictured here, which feel like—if I may get a little 50 Shades of Grey here—a lover gently caressing your loins, but work best under more voluminous skirts. For more formfitting bottoms, I suggest the mesh and silk styles here.

4. Commando's Better Than Nothing Girl Shorts have the distinct honor of being the panties I wore under my wedding gown, which was a clingy double-faced silk charmeuse. You could not see a thing, and in fact this style is so, well, like going commando, it's what I wear under my most snug-fitting pants and bandage skirts. These run large; I advise opting for the smaller size if you're a size 6 or below.

5. On Gossamer's boyshorts are a fairly recent discovery; I bought a pair on a whim and have since bought about five or six more. The mesh fabric is really breathable (fantastic in the summer) and hugs your body snugly; the thicker trim keeps everything in place but manages to be undetectable under thin fabrics. I also love the bright color combinations and prints (I own the "City Lights" style pictured here)—as an old friend used to say, it's underwear that's fun to wear. Which definitely counts for something.


*One of my favorite stories about my butt: When I was getting a bra fitting with Linda the Bra Lady, she asked if I wanted the matching panty to go with my bra. I said yes, and she said, "Size small?" Then she leaned down, looked at my rear end, and corrected herself, "Medium."

Monday, November 05, 2012

Buy It: Zara tote

Even though I was in San Francisco back in September, I felt like I didn't spend quite enough time there, so I decided to book another trip out west...the week Hurricane Sandy hit NYC. Great planning, Cheryl! But after 48 hours of obsessively checking the JFK departure schedules—and a near-miss with my car service, due to the citywide gas shortage—I miraculously made it out, just in time for the most beautiful weather I've ever experienced in SF. I spent my first two days catching up with old friends, eating, drinking, walking around in the sunshine, going to Napa, and drinking some more. But then Sunday morning I found myself in a strange situation: I had no plans. So I thought, what would I do on a Sunday morning if I actually lived here? I took a walk to Sightglass Coffee in SoMa (good, but I still prefer Blue Bottle), sat outside and ate a croissant in Yerba Buena Park, then drifted over to shops in Union Square, which were miraculously open at 10 a.m. on a Sunday (I love the early rising that happens on the West Coast). I wandered into Zara, which made me feel a little like a traitor, since San Francisco has such great locally owned stores, and god knows we have Zara in NY, but, hey, I'm only human. There is so much awesomeness in Zara right now (like this skirt and this top, both of which I've already purchased this season), but what really caught my eye this time were the tote bags. Now, in a perfect world, my Balenciaga arena bag would be large enough for everyday use, but considering it barely fits my wallet, sunglasses, iPhone, keys, and a tiny makeup bag, it's best for weekend use. Also, it should be noted, I carry around a ton of crap during the week. I need a big-ass tote, the kind that can hold all of the above, plus a magazine, an iPad, a sweater, maybe an extra pair of shoes, and my planner (yes, I still use a planner). To make a long story short (too late!) there are all manner of fabulous totes at Zara right now: huge, real leather, and under $200. My favorites have faceted studs; yes, they are heavily inspired by a designer that begins with Valentin and ends with o, but, sorry, I'm not going to spend $2500 on a bag and then put my lunch inside it. Instead, there's this studded black tote for $149, a sexy leopard-print haircalf tote for $189, an equally hot red version for $159, and for the less flashy, this understated classic tote for $149. I wanted to buy all of them, but instead decided to wait till I was back home. After all, I had another leisurely afternoon of drinking ahead of me; sometimes the best way to spend money is sitting outside, sipping Negronis in the sunshine with friends.

TheFind Guest Post: Bold Sunset-Inspired Shadow From Backstage at Chloe



Up until recently, orange was always like a color you would do your very best to avoid when it came to your beauty routine. Poorly-matched foundation, a spray tan gone wrong, red hair-dye in desperate need of a touch-up – you name it! But recent beauty trends – like gorgeous orange-red nails and sunset-inspired shadow – have us embracing orange like we never thought we would! Backstage at Claire Waight Keller’s Spring collection for Chloe, makeup artist Diane Kendal crafted an ultra-hip rectangular smokey eye using a shimmery orange-y copper shade, and we've been dying to try it out ourselves. Luckily you can – even if the futuristic straight-across-the-eye application isn't for you – with the right on-trend shadow shades. From deep terracotta to more coral-inspired hues (and even a sleek palette like Lancome's that gives you everything in between!), you'll be surprised at how flattering and fall-festive these sunset hues can be! Photo Credit: Style.com Pictured above: MAC Eye Shadow in Coppering, Lancome Colour Design Palette in Sunset Fling, and Stila Eye Shadow in Copper.
 - Alexandra Gambardella

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cheryl Shops Fall Shopping Guide: Foulard Prints

Well, kids, it's time for my last Fall Shopping Guide post of the season, and while it might not be the best, it's my favorite this season. Perhaps you've noticed that I haven't been showing many dresses this time; after so many years of dress domination, there were strong rumblings of this season being a Return of Pants. As a pants lover, I am excited about this. This post is actually about foulard prints—think silk pocket squares—and while they can be found on everything from coats to, yes, dresses, I think they look really cool on pants. But printed pants are not for everyone, so here are many ways to wear it.

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I remember the days when Miu Miu used to be the "affordable" younger sister to Prada (meaning I could afford it on double markdown at Saks). Now, of course, it's just as expensive. That said, I find it more accessible and approachable—it does still seem like a quirky-feminine sidekick to Prada's intellectual older sister. This jacquard coat, for example, is just fun.

This Barbara Bui jacket is a little more rock and roll—like if your grandpa's pocket square took acid and hung out on Carnaby Street. It's also not technically a scarf print (it's a jacquard, like the Miu Miu coat above), but close enough.

Also cheating the trend somewhat is this L'Agence scarf-print blouse—it's more Hermès scarf than Hermès tie, but I think the print is so pretty, I had to include it here. Plus, it's a great way to update your work wardrobe, whether you wear it under a suit or with jeans.

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Ok, onto the pants! These Joie Olaya silk pants are relaxed, which is necessary when wearing printed bottoms, but they're still thin enough so as not to look like pajama pants. The contrasting print along the outseam adds a nice elongating effect.

Even slimmer (and more luxe) are J.Crew's café capri pants, featuring an archive pattern from Italy's Ratti house (meaning they're authentic!). I like how the contrast print is around the ankle—combined with the cropped inseam, the better to draw attention to whatever fabulous pair of shoes you're wearing.

Okay, if you're still not convinced about pants, here's a great dress: the Sulgi from Dolce Vita. (Pants may be on the rise, but don't worry, dress lovers—they'll still be around.) It seems like something Alexa Chung would wear, doesn't it?

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Speaking of dresses, this foulard-print shirtdress from The Limited is on sale for $21, and if that's not a no-brainer, I don't know what is. It's a classic, work-friendly shape, but the contrast-print hem and slight  sheen keep things interesting.

At Zara, always an excellent source for trends, I saw a bunch of scarf prints last weekend. I'll spare you another pair of pants, however, and talk about this blouse instead, which is a great layering piece. The shape and the sheerness are a nice feminine contrast to the traditional pattern.

Ok, I lied: Here's another pair of pants, this time in a palazzo silhouette. And they're obviously a hit, as there's only one size left. The contrasting side print helps tame the shape a bit, but I'd also recommend wearing with something very tailored on top. Still, they're kind of irresistible, aren't they? I knew you'd come around...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Buy It: Kerastase Fibre Architecte


In spite of the fact that I've been wearing leggings and T-shirts for the last three days—and the fact that I've put on very little makeup either, the better to let my skin recover from an extra-punishing facial on Saturday—I decided to blow out my hair yesterday. For one, I was worried that we'd lose power, and if we did, who knew when I'd be able to dry it again? But more importantly, I wanted to get another dose of Kérastase Fibre Architecte onto my strands. I have incredibly fine, thin hair, which I highlight; the fact that it's long and I blow-dry it twice a week probably doesn't help. Right after I get it colored, it's voluminous and soft, but a few weeks later, the ends start getting dry, brittle, and stringy. So after I heard several models raving about Fibre Architecte and its near-magical ability to heal distressed hair, I decided it was worth a try (I am also, it should be noted, a Kérastase devotee). The first time, I blew out my hair with Kérastase's Elixir Ultime (also a wonder product), then applied Fibre Architecte once my hair was completely dry. This made my hair incredibly soft but also very flat—the two serums combined were a bit too heavy for my locks. So this time I used Chroma Thermique (the color-friendly version of Ciment Thermique, which I've written about before here) first, then applied Fibre Architecte when my hair was about 90% dry. This worked much better. My ends look much smoother and feel a lot softer, and my hair overall feels stronger, not like it's going to break if I brush it too much. I'm confident that it will get even better with time, too—after all, I've already seen an improvement with only two applications. Two things to note: Fibre Architecte, like all Kérastase products, is salon-quality and thus priced accordingly. Also, it's important to use it in conjunction with good tools—I recently upgraded to a Babyliss Carrera hair dryer, which has three heat settings and thus is much gentler on my hair. It's the next-best thing to a twice-weekly Drybar appointment.

TheFind Guest Post: Heat Up Your Cold-Weather Wardrobe With a Neon Coral Pout, Inspired by the Missoni Runway!



 As we move on to more muted color palettes, closed-toe shoes, and cozy knits for the colder weather ahead, it's easy to let ourselves feel "ho-hum" about our wardrobe, letting excitement take a backseat to warmth and comfort. Fluorescent takes on the year's hottest hue, tangerine, serve to cure our summer neon withdrawals and instantly add life and vibrance to any fall or winter look. And while Missoni's neon pouts from their latest Milan Spring/Summer 2013 runway may have been styled with warmer weather in mind, we can't bear the thought of waiting for sunny skies to return in order to rock this edgy lip color! Makeup artist Lucia Pieroni may have carefully crafted these lips backstage with 4 different products, but you can cop a wearable version of the look yourself with the right shade of gloss or lipstick (or both for maximum effect)! Photo Credit: Style.com Pictured above: MAC Lipstick in Scarlet Ibis, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Psycho, and Elizabeth Arden Exceptional Lipstick in Neoclassical Coral. - Alexandra Gambardella

  Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cheryl Shops Fall Shopping Guide: Tassel Necklaces

There was a definite Art Deco thing happening on the fall runways, and while I love the roaring twenties as much as the next girl, sometimes such literal trends need to be handled lightly, lest you look like you're going to a costume party. (Although that does give me an idea for Halloween...) An easy way to wear Art Deco is through jewelry, which has the bonus of being universally flattering—you definitely can't say that about midi hems and boxy dropped waists. And while Art Deco conjures up all manner of pavé diamonds and geometric shapes, I like the fun, modern look of tassels. Slip one on, grab a glass of champagne, and play the stock market...

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This Elizabeth & James tassel pendant is quietly luxurious—the gold-plated snake chain is nice and thick, but the ends are studded with white sapphires. The length reaches almost to the navel, making it perfect for dressing up even the simplest T-shirt.

Still luxurious but a little less quiet, this David Yurman tassel pendant has a fabulous 15mm pearl accented with diamonds.

Irit Design's long necklace is a grungy-glamorous take on the trend. The dripping chains make it look a bunch of your necklaces got tangled in your jewelry box, but through the mess, the diamond-studded baubles truly sparkle.

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Ben-Amun's pearl tassel necklace is a very ladylike interpretation, accented with authentic-looking Swarovski crystals. You can say it was your grandmother's; I promise I won't tell.

Eddie Borgo has been making tassel necklaces for years now, so it's only fitting that I include him here. As far as the trend goes, this cone tassel pendant is pretty much a no-brainer: simple design, classic gold, perfect.

Part of the fun of wearing a trend, however, can be subverting it. This Vanessa Mooney ladder tassel necklace takes fringe and multiplies it, with a strikingly modern effect.

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This tassel pendant from BaubleBar has a kind of Spanish-vintage vibe with its black beads. Instead of jazz, put on "La Isla Bonita" and channel late-'80s Madonna.

Rock & Republic has resurfaced at Kohl's, and the good news is that they're still doing everything with that signature rocker-glam vibe. So this toggle necklace, with its faux-leather tassel, is a brilliantly cool interpretation—and one that looks much more luxe than its price tag implies.

Confession: I have an addiction, and it's called Stella & Dot (in fact, I'm wearing three pieces of it as I type this). Stella & Dot has so many fabulous tassel necklaces at the moment, I had a hard time choosing just one to feature here, but I'm going to go with the Windsor tassel necklace, because it has the added cute-factor of looking like a Windsor-knotted tie. Also, the two-tone effect means you can wear it with pretty much everything. Win-win!

Monday, October 22, 2012

TheFind Guest Post: Be Sure to Get Your Mitts on These Mayle for Club Monaco Handbags!



Jane Mayle's own clothing and accessories label may be history, but that can't keep a good designer down for long! The cult favorite designer is keeping her craft alive, most recently with a 5-piece capsule collection of handbags for Club Monaco! Available at both Shopbop.com and Club Monaco's website, these chic suede color-blocked bags make for the perfect fall handbag staple – bold yet sensible autumn-festive colors, practical sizes and shapes, and of course, a touch of look-at-me metallic for the girl who just can't resist a little shine. Ranging in price from $195 to $595, these fall handbags are hard to resist and go with almost everything (yes, even the metallic one!), but don't hesitate – ever since they hit e-shelves on October 3rd, they've been selling like hotcakes! From fold-over cross body bags to convertible strap totes and mini duffels, it's difficult not to find something to round out your fall handbag collection. Get one (or several) now before they're gone! - Alexandra Gambardella

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cheryl Shops Fall Shopping Guide: Peplum Tops

I'll admit, I've been avoiding writing about peplums. I thought it was a trend that designers were trying too hard to make happen ("Stop trying to make fetch happen!"), and the silhouette is a bit too retro '50s for my taste. But we're in the third season of peplums now—based on what I saw last month at the spring 2013 shows, they'll be around for awhile—and the good news is that they're coming in a bigger variety of fabrics and treatments. In other words, they're not all prissy. The other thing that changed my mind is that last weekend I saw a woman in the West Village wearing a peplum top with a black blazer and skinny jeans, and she looked so chic, a light went on in my head. There are peplum skirts and dresses galore out there, but I think tops are the way to go—they're so much more versatile. And if you do want that super-girly look—I'm not judging!—you can always wear one of these with a pencil skirt. See? Versatile!

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Peplums can be edgy. Don't believe me? Check out this midnight-blue leather 3.1 Phillip Lim peplum top. This looks like something Diana Rigg would have worn on The Avengers, sexy and a little dangerous.

Of course, peplums can also be pretty. This silk organza Kenzo top is light and airy, and definitely more work-appropriate than the above top.

Calling something with a four-figure price tag a "basic" seems a bit silly, but that's how I see this gorgeous wool knit peplum top by Alexander McQueen. Everything about it is perfect: the darts for shaping, the not-too-deep scoop neckline, the dainty length of the peplum. If this is a look you're planning on wearing for awhile, it just might be worth the investment.

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This Elizabeth and James Yumi peplum top at first glance looks like leather, but upon closer inspection, it's actually a metallic brocade fabric. Regardless, it still looks edgy and cool, and would be perfect with leather leggings.

I like Tibi's eyelet peplum top because the peplum is more sculptural and minimal—in line with Tibi's new mature direction—so it's a way to wear the trend in a more refined way. Plus, the shape won't add any bulk around your hips, if you're worried about that sort of thing.

Torn by Ronny Kobo's Judy peplum top is an all-around solid choice. It's ponte-knit, so it's formfitting yet comfortable, and the way the peplum curves down at the sides gives it a super-flattering shape.

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If you want to go all-out trendy, ASOS has a lot of fun, affordable options. I like Darling's mesh-sleeve top, which is almost over-the-top in its femininity, but in a tongue-in-cheek way.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, J.Crew's striped peplum top is so subtle, the peplum almost seems like an afterthought. It's the most casual style here, and like pretty much everything J.Crew does, it's a brilliantly updated basic.

Sometimes, when you're buying a fleeting trend, you should just go for it. Case in point: Topshop's sequin peplum top, which puts a smile on my face whenever I look at it. Obviously it's not a daytime look, but think of all the holiday-party mileage you can get out of it. Not bad for $64, eh?