Thursday, March 29, 2012

Six pretty bras for busty gals

Longtime readers of Cheryl Shops are well acquainted with my bra woes, but for the new folks out there, I'll make a long story short: I have big boobs. Now, when I tell people my bra size, they tend to be shocked, which leads me to two general conclusions. One: My bras fit me so well, my gals look perfectly placed and proportioned to my body. Two: Most women out there are wearing the wrong bra. (I, for one, was shocked when I found out my true size.) If you fall into the latter camp, I highly recommend making an appointment with Linda the Bra lady. It will change your life.

And speaking of life-changing experiences, a great thing that's happened in the last few years is that there are a lot more lingerie brands offering pretty, sexy bras in bigger cup sizes. When I first found my true size, I actually wore these hideous Olga bras (it's amazing I attracted any male attention in those things, really), because there was so little available in my cup size. And while it's still a challenge to find DD+ cups at a lot of department stores and mass retailers (I'm looking at you, Victoria's Secret), I highly recommend seeking out smaller independent boutiques like Linda's, the excellent Journelle, and one of my all-time favorites, La Petite Coquette, as well as online shops Figleaves, Bare Necessities, and even ASOS. So here are six pretty, sexy bras, all of which are available in DD or larger (and smaller!) cups. Treat yourself (and your ta-tas)!

Six pretty bras for busty galsTop row, left to right:
Parfait is Affinitas' line for the larger-busted lady, with most of its styles available in sizes up to G cups. (They have matching undies and negligees too!) What's really notable, other than the prices, which are very wallet-friendly, is that so many of their styles are pretty—no need to settle for a nude molded-cup bra, although they do carry those, if that's what you're into. Parfait by Affinitas Anna Demi Underwire Bra, $55

Elle MacPherson has made a nice post-modeling career for herself with a really successful line of lingerie. (She's also hosting Fashion Star on NBC, but let's skim over that for now.) And while you'd expect someone nicknamed "The Body" to come up with flimsy bralettes and such, MacPherson's lingerie is incredibly detailed and well structured, and many styles, such as this one, are available in up to F cups. Elle Macpherson Artistry Underwire Bra, $68

Panache has been one of my go-to brands for awhile, but they now have a more fashion-forward spinoff called Cleo, and there is nary a neutral bra in the bunch. This fun style comes in up to FF cups, with bands as small as 28.
Also a very affordable, durable line. Panache: Cleo Ellie Balconette Underwire Bra, $45

Bottom row, left to right:
For more of a splurge, I highly recommend Chantelle bras. They're French, and, really, the French know what they're doing when it comes to lingerie. This is definitely not for everyday wear, but when it comes to styles made for seduction, Chantelle is a sure thing. This style comes in B through F cups. Chantelle Tulleries Demi Bra, $105

Freya is another one of my go-to brands, because their styles are almost always fun, and they're rarely padded or molded (I'll save my rant against padded bras for another day). This lovely lady comes in D to GG cups! Freya Roxanne Underwire Balconette Bra, $62

As noted above, Journelle is one of my favorite lingerie stores in the city, and their website is pretty great too (they have some of the best customer service I've ever encountered). It's also a good place to find lesser-known brands, and so I discovered this well-priced Claudette Dessous style (again, the French!)—I love that it's both sheer (sexy!) and neon pink (superfun!). And bonus: bring an old bra into any Journelle store now through 3/31 and get 20% off a new one. I think this one has my name on it (and possibly yours, in cup sizes from A to F). Claudette Dessous Mesh Bra, $54

TheFind Guest Post: Spring Obsession: Heart LR by Loeffler Randall Clogs!



Maybe we're a little tardy for the party (though in this case we'd like to consider it fashionably late, of course), but now that the weather is warming up, it finally seems appropriate to celebrate Loeffler Randall's capsule collection, Heart LR, which first launched back in February. The Valentine's Day 'birth' of Loeffler Randall and Sven Clogs' lovechild hardly went unnoticed in the middle of winter, but now we really can't get our hands on the spring-festive offerings! Designed as a slip-on-and-go extension of Loeffler Randall's Spring/Summer 2012 Collection, these fun-and-funky sandals serve up a a healthy dose of clunky soles, stripy laces, and goes-with-everything neutrals with the occasional pop of neon yellow and metallics. Described as what the typical Loeffler Randall gal would wear on the weekend when she wants to be breezy yet stylish, these clog sandals are the perfect spring and summer fare for all our vacationing wardrobe needs! And we can't lie – the downsized price tag doesn't hurt, either!

- Alexandra Gambardella

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sample Sale of the Week: Comptoir des Cottoniers

Comptoir des Cottoniers used to be one of my favorite stores to hit in Paris; when they came to the U.S. a few years ago, it was like un cadeau par dieu. But until now, they've never had a sample sale. Thankfully, plus ça change...Prices are up to 75% off and start at $10 for accessories and top out at $120 for outerwear; dresses are $80, blazers are $100, bottoms are $40-$50, shoes are $90, bags are $65, and tops are $50-$65. Magnifique! 3/31-4/5; 10-5 S-S, 11-7 M-Th; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Buy it: Rebecca Minkoff Delight bag for mark.

If you follow me on Twitter, perhaps you recently noticed me enthusiastically tweeting about a certain handbag designer and her exclusive new collaboration. That designer is Rebecca Minkoff, a Cheryl Shops favorite, and, actually, a designer of clothes, shoes, and so much more. She created an exclusive bag for mark., a division of Avon that is perhaps best known for fun, affordable makeup but is also a great source for equally fun and affordable jewelry and accessories. The two came together and produced this beauty of a handbag, the Delight, which, if you ask me, is a pretty accurate assessment. Big enough for day, the Delight has a bunch of pockets inside for your cell phone and other assorted trinkets; I can attest that your iPad will fit inside as well. The long chain strap allows you to wear it as a crossbody style, but you can also tuck the strap inside (or remove it via side buckles) and use it as an oversize clutch. What makes the bag really cool are all of the Minkoff-signature hardware details—the rocker-y pyramid studs on the outside, the buckles, and the aforementioned chain strap. But perhaps the best part is the price: At $60, it's just a fraction of what one of Minkoff's bags usually cost. (Yes, it's pleather, but it's good-quality pleather.) My only quibble: I wish she had designed more bags for mark., because I would have bought them all! The bag is available now, while supplies last, at meetmark.com, or from your local Avon representative.

TheFind Guest Post: RGB + Tenoversix Combine Forces To Create a Polish For the Platinum Blonde



Leave it to two kick-ass Los Angeles-based brands – RGB and Tenoversix – to join forces and create the ultimate trend-setting nail color, just for the platinum blondes (and the inner blonde in all of us, of course). The cutting-edge spring color, called Blonde on Blonde, takes cues from Hollywood's favorite nude nail trend as well as new fashion-forward peach lacquer shades, and the result is an opaque shade that's rich and milky but reads fresh and pinky on the hand, perfect for the season ahead. RGB is no stranger to chic collabos – the brand recently combined forces with celebrity nail artist Jenna Hipp for an awesome line of nail foundations – while Tenoversix's Creative Director Kristen Lee is all about taking advantage of a killer partnership with the trendy polish brand to spread the platinum blonde pride with fellow RGB fans! What do you think – would you spend $16 on this limited-edition platinum shade, with or without having the roots to match?

- Alexandra Gambardella

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sample Sale of the Week: Veda

I have a running list of items to purchase, and on that list is a leather jacket from Veda. With the warm weather we've been having, it seems like a silly time to buy one, but with prices 50%-70% off the spring, fall, and holiday 2011 collections, if you ask me, there's never been a better time. 3/23-3/25; noon-6 Fri., 11-6 S-S; 412 Broadway (at Canal St.), 5th fl.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lazy shopping: what to pack for spring break

I grew up in cold, snowy Chicago, and for a week every spring, my family made an escape to Florida. It came at that time of year when you were just about at the end of your rope in terms of weather, and there was something about sun, sand, and sea that just totally revived your will to live. Even though New York is not quite so desolate (especially with the exceptionally warm winter we've had this year), MW and I like to preserve the spring break tradition. This year we went to Turks & Caicos, which I'd highly recommend—white sand beaches, the most gorgeous turquoise-blue water you've ever seen, great snorkeling, beautiful weather, friendly residents, and so on (it should be noted, T&C is ridiculously expensive, however). As I consider myself somewhat of a pro at packing for a beach vacation at this point, here are my essentials for a chic spring break.

Lazy shopping: spring break essentialsClockwise from top left: 

A tan always looks better with gold jewelry, and I prefer to wear one big statement-making necklace, preferably with a vintage inspiration. Stella and Dot Bianca Tassel Necklace, $138


Ocean Potion is my favorite sunscreen in the world—it smells amazing and provides anti-aging protection. Ocean Potion Ant-Aging Sunblock, $8.65

Oversized sunglasses are key—the bigger the lens, the more protected your eyes are from the strong Caribbean rays. Chloé round frame sunglasses, $103

Trina Turk teamed up with the Turks & Caicos Club (one of the area's most chic resorts, and MW's and my favorite lunch spot) to create an exclusive line of swimsuits inspired by the islands' bright colors. There are multiple styles in the line, but I'm always a fan of the traditional triangle bikini.  Trina Turk Turks and Caicos Triangle Bikini, $92 & $78

The beach is one of the few places you'll ever see me in flats, so I always make sure they're chic. These are bright and have a little bling.  Pour La Victoire Rayder Sandals, $130

I tend to treat vacations as an excuse to stock up on maxi dresses; they're perfect for dinner and can even function as a swim cover-up.  Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent silk maxi dress, $332

Sarongs make excellent beach cover-ups, and, in a pinch, can function as a beach towel and/or blanket. Go for a bright color. Calypso St. Barth Shibori Sarong, $75

Confession: I like to get tan, but only on my body—I keep my face well shaded with a huge straw hat. J.Crew has some great options with wide brims, and straw ensures packability. J Crew beach hat, $35

A beach bag needs to hold sunscreen, iPod, iPad, sunglasses, water bottle...and, in my case, all of my husband's stuff. What better source than the queen of Palm Beach, Lily Pulitzer?  Lilly Pulitzer printed tote bag, $68

TheFind Guest Post: We're Sprung On These Spring Floral Blazers!



The blazer has come a long way from its traditional (and stuffy?) professional roots, and is now a casual-wear staple that serves to help modern fashionistas like us easily transition from day to night, work to happy hour, and beyond. It's survived many updates, from the boyfriend style to the short and cropped tuxedo jacket, and this season it's going through a new, spring-festive transformation: florals! A floral blazer is the perfect transition piece for the month ahead, as it instantly brightens up your winter wardrobe in a way that's cheery but won't leave you chilly, and it can still take you through the later summer months for those cooler sumer nights. I adore this Pim + Larkin Blazer from Piperlime – its lightweight feel, energetic print, and laid-back fit make it a great layering piece for the gal who loves to mix prints and textures. For something with a little more of a tropical vibe, this Alice + Olivia blazer doesn't miss a beat! Wear it with a solid dress or a basic tank and jeans to make sure it doesn't have to fight for the spotlight! And if you're looking for a fanciful update to your traditional denim jacket, this floral denim blazer from Free People is cute and cropped – perfect for layering over a simple sundress for instant spring appeal!

- Alexandra Gambardella

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

Follow me on Pinterest!

I first blogged about Pinterest about a year ago, and since then, the site has completely blown up, plus a cool thing to note is that the site has really taken off with the ladies. And while I've noticed that many of my friends have had only a fleeting interest in it, many more have embraced it fully, coming up with new and creative boards, pinning recipes, home-improvement tips, and, yes, stuff to buy. I visit it on a daily basis, and I find this version of "curated content" much more to my liking than, say, Facebook. That said, I do quite a lot of pinning myself, so if you haven't already, feel free to follow me, and if you are not yet a member, email me and I'll send you an invite. Happy pinning!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sample Sale of the Week: Mackage

Often when I admire someone's coat, it's by Mackage. They're well designed and well made, fashion-conscious and yet timeless. In other words, everything you want a coat to be. During their sample sale this week, you can score one at 30%-50% off, a worthy investment no matter how you put it. Also available: fellow Canadian outerwear label Soia & Kyo. 3/15-3/18; 10-9 Th-F, 10-7 S-S; Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave. (15th & 16th Sts.).

Thursday, March 08, 2012

In These Shoes: Ash Cool Suede Wedge Sneakers

The first time I saw one of the many variants of the Isabel Marant wedge sneakers, beloved by the Man Repeller, among other bloggers, I had a hard time deciding whether they were cool or ugly. Then I realized, this is something I experience with the pieces in my closet that end up garnering the most compliments. Which means I should probably buy a pair, but $680 for something I'm not 100% sure about is a bit hard to handle, not to mention that there's a lengthy wait list for the real Isabel Marant deal. Enter the Cool suede wedge sneakers by Ash, a pretty close approximation for about a third of the price. Ash, one of my favorite shoe labels, has been making wedge and high-heeled sneakers for ages, but this is their first style to feature a concealed wedge, à la Marant. I have absolutely no idea how to wear these—with skinny jeans seems like the most obvious choice—but I look forward to coming up with all the viable possibilities.

TheFind Guest Post: These Ikat Prints Make For The Ultimate Fancy Pants



Tribal-printed shorts were all the rage (do people still say that?) last spring and summer, and before I even had the chance to get used to the idea of drawing so much attention to my rear, the trend has already evolved and left me in the dust! This season, ikat is taking over full-length pants too, and while they certainly aren't made for everyone, when done right, the look is the perfect blend of fun and sophisticated. If you're a fan of the colored denim fad, takes things a step further in the more adventurous direction with these pastel ikat-printed skinny jeans by AG by Adriano Goldschmied. Ready for something a bit dressier than denim? MICHAEL Michael Kors' Silk-blend Pants are certainly a statement-maker with their purple and black print. And if you're lucky enough to have a body type that will allow you to wear harem-style pants without looking disproportioned or just plain ridiculous, these bright and silky Matthew Williamson Ikat Harem Pants would be gorgeous with a blazer and heels for a night out, or a tank and espadrilles for a laidback-luxe daytime look.

- Alexandra Gambardella

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Sample Sale of the Week: David Yurman

Apologies for the absence, dear readers—last Friday was my birthday, so MW & I took a little trip down to Turks & Caicos (I am now of the age where one tends to throw parties only for milestone birthdays, hence why I decided to hide out for a few days). Thankfully, I'm back just in time for the David Yurman sample sale, where I am planning on treating myself to something special. Prices are 30%-70% off retail, with 10% of proceeds benefiting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and both men's and women's pieces will be available for sale. Timing is everything, no? 3/8-3/11; 3-8 Th, 10-7 F-S, 11-5 Sun; 135 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).