Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lazy shopping: spring-summer sales!

I am like Pavlov's dogs this time of year: I get an email notifying me of a sale, and I salivate. And considering the markdowns happening over the last few days—Shopbop, Net-A-Porter, Barneys, Saks—I pretty much need a bucket for my drool. So, drool with me, and, please, hide my credit cards.


lazy shopping: spring-summer sales


J.Crew striped dress
$130 - jcrew.com

Thakoon Addition pleated dress
$371 - net-a-porter.com

Rag bone long sleeve top
$149 - intermixonline.com

Cut25 elastic waist pants
$162 - saksfifthavenue.com

Giles & Brother butterfly stud earrings
$75 - net-a-porter.com

Loeffler Randall Dita | Piperlime
$260 - piperlime.gap.com

Monday, May 21, 2012

Buy It: Mikkat Market Neon Colorblock Tote

This is the time of year when I'm desperately in need of a new bag. It always seems to happen right around Memorial Day, when the weather has warmed up and I'm completely ready for summer mode. All of a sudden I don't want to be carrying something heavy and dark and hardware-laden; I want a colorful, breezy tote bag. The strongest contender I've seen recently is this colorblock tote from Mikkat Market, which is quickly becoming one of my go-to sites for affordable, trend-conscious clothing. At 11" x 15" x 3", it's big enough to cart around the essentials, which for me in summer, tends to include my iPad, a water bottle, sunscreen, and a sweater, in case I get cold in air-conditioning. The inside has a cute striped lining and what looks like three pockets, and, as a nice bonus, there's a top zipper—an amenity not always found in summer totes. But what's really great is that it combines a lighter neutral with a bright neon color, making it both classic and trendy at the same time. Which means it might be passé by the end of the season, but, hey, for a mere $51, I think you'll get more than your money's worth. Also in orange/tan.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Spring-Summer Shopping Guide: Bungee Cord Jewelry

Remember last summer when we were all wearing friendship bracelets? They're still around, but they've also evolved into what looks like bungee cords. But instead of looking like something you use to keep your garbage cans closed, they look more substantial and, dare I say, luxurious. The most interesting options mix woven cords with fancier bits of hardware and rhinestones for a high-low look.

$$$
Proenza Schouler is actually the inspiration for this entire post; their bungee-cord jewelry actually came out last season, so for spring-summer, it evolved into this incredibly luxe, Asian-inspired Iguana cord necklace. Yes, this is definitely a statement piece, and it's priced accordingly.

Orly Genger by Jaclyn Meyer is a limited-edition collaboration that uses bungee cords heavily, and this Neon Fossil style combines warm colors with brass bands, making it a very summer-friendly choice (it'll look amazing on tan skin).

Here's another style by Orly Genger, the Concord necklace combines a thick silver rope chain with a more cool-toned bungee cord, and I like how each elements echoes the texture of the other.

$$
Leave it to Tory Burch to create a chic take on the trend. Her cord toggle bracelet comes in two bright color combinations, both finished with heavy, polished gold hardware and her ever-present logo. 

Sharouk's Loulou bracelet leans more toward the neon trend than the bungee cord, but it's close enough, and I like how the crystal details give it a super-glam look.

If all the colors are too much for you, this Matters of Space Katerina necklace is a muted, solid-colored take on the trend. What it loses in bright color, it makes up for with an interesting mix of textures.

$
The lower you go in price, the simpler the design, however, this R.J. Graziano bracelet is one of my favorites—it looks like you just kind of found it and stuck it on your wrist, giving it a cool, carefree attitude.

This A.V. Max bracelet (are A.V. Max and R.J. Graziano cousins?) is jazzed up a bit with some contrasting rings, and it has a more traditional, elegant clasp.

Need Supply Co. has a bunch of simple wrap bracelets by Miansai; the Hooked bracelet in sky is my favorite—there's something about the color that reminds me of summer, and the clasp looks like a fishing hook. This is exactly the type of bracelet you put on Memorial Day weekend and wear straight through to Labor Day.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Buy it: Base Sand


I just got back from a whirlwind weekend in Miami with some girlfriends and our husbands. We stayed at the Delano, which is one of my favorite hotels in the world. Not only is it incredibly whimsical and glamorous, (the decor is inspired by Alice in Wonderland), but you feel incredibly pampered and the staff is super gracious—one of my favorite parts is whenever you walk in the door, the doorman says, "Welcome back." My other favorite thing is that the hotel smells amazing wherever you go: the lobby, the hallways, and so on. On the second day, while buying sun hats in the gift shop, we discovered the hotel's signature scent is a fragrance called Sand, made especially for the Lincoln Road boutique Base, which happens to run the Delano's gift shop as well. And while the gift shop probably deserves its own post (it has Comme des Garçons wallets, Kidrobot toys, and Clarins sunscreen, among other temptations), I'll focus on Sand for now. A mixture of bergamot, orange, musk, lavender, and patchouli, it's a unisex scent that smells not exactly like sand but more like  your skin after a day at the beach. It's delicious, and all six of us, wives and husbands, were intoxicated by it. Luckily for us, we all discovered a perfume-oil rollerball and candle in our Shop Box, the ingenious in-room version of Base (it also contains necessities like socks, condoms, and asprin, all reasonably priced). At $28 and $19.50 respectively, we deemed them bargains and tacked them onto our hotel bill. I'm wearing the perfume oil today, and I can report more than 12 hours after I applied it, it's still going strong. And now that I've discovered there's lotion, shower gel, and a spray perfume, all of which can be ordered online from Base, I don't even need to go back to South Beach to refill my supply. Although the Delano is so irresistible, I'm sure we won't stay away for long. 

More scenes from our weekend:


Here's what the rooms look like: all white, with mirrors and real plants (!). Ours had an ocean view.
This is the super-glamorous courtyard, which has a huge chessboard, rows of palm trees, and more fun chairs.
And, finally, here's the incredibly chic infinity pool. You sit on these thickly padded lounge chairs with terrycloth fitted sheets, and attendants bring you things all afternoon, like frozen fruit and mini daiquiris. It is, simply, heaven.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Spring Shopping Guide: Scuba

Full disclosure: The thought of scuba diving makes me sick to my stomach. I love snorkeling, and taking a deep-sea dive to explore sunken ships or barrier reefs would be amazing in theory, but all the equalizing and breathing only through your mouth makes me super nervous. That said, scuba divers have cool gear, and all the panels that make up a wetsuit are strangely quite flattering. Many designers, particularly American ones, seem to agree, as scuba-inspired styles were all over the spring runways. Here are my favorites.

$$$
This Derek Lam scuba dress is slim-fitting but makes the most of its lines to create an incredibly flattering fit. See how there are no side seams? By shifting the contrasting seams inward, it creates the illusion of narrowing the body, and the darker side panels reinforce this effect. Bonus points: it's a knit, so it's super-comfortable too.

Jason Wu is one of the hottest American designers at the moment, and with his scuba dress, you can see why. It's incredibly ladylike, with its wallpaper-inspired floral print and fit-and-flare shape, but the contrasting sleeves and waistband add an interesting contrast, striking a perfect balance between feminine and sporty.

Rag & Bone is one of my favorite lines at the moment, and every season, they just keep coming up with new things that I must have. In fact, their spring collection was the inspiration for this entire post, particularly this aqua leather surf dress with contrasting black mesh panels. It's shaped perfectly, and did I mention it's leather?

$$
If aqua leather is not quite your thing, here's a similar style from Rag & Bone, this time in a more summer-friendly cotton blend. This style is a bit more relaxed, but the color is just as groovy and relaxing, and the contrasting side panels give it some shape.

And one more from Rag & Bone, this skirt is kind of a natural evolution of the bandage skirt, this time in a patchwork-like pieced design that still evokes scuba gear. I love the colors—totally evocative of the ocean. (There's also a matching sweater.)

This scuba top from Nanette Lepore takes scuba-inspired styling and combines it with another hot spring trend, neon. I think this would make a great layering piece, like under a blazer for work.

$
A favorite of the young and trim, Charlotte Russe has all manner of body-conscious dresses and skirts, but I like this scuba dress for its combination of colors. Be wary, however, of the snug fit, which will require either Spanx and/or a superfit body.

Topshop's scuba skirt takes a classic pencil skirt and gives it contrasting side panels for a trend-conscious update that ends up being quite flattering. Bonus: check out the contrasting zipper along the back—sporty becomes sexy!

The print in this Chaus dress reminds me of another influential scuba-inspired collection from a few years back: Proenza Schouler's. The styling isn't necessarily as obvious as some of the other styles, but the print is totally aquatic and the shape looks nice and easy—perfect for summer.

Monday, May 07, 2012

The last sample sale of the week post

So, back when I started Cheryl Shops (in 2003, can you believe it?), I listed all the sample sales every week, and for awhile, that was my claim to fame. In the years since, blogs like Racked have started doing, and doing it much more thoroughly and well than I have. Not to mention, compiling sample sales is very time consuming and, to be honest, not very fun for me. So I've figured at this point, you're probably not reading this blog for sale listings, even though I've been highlighting just a few favorites every week for awhile now. Thus, this will be my last weekly sample sale post. Not to worry—I've come up with a new weekly feature that I think you'll like even more. Look for it next week.

In the meantime, here's one last sample sale, and that is Rebecca Minkoff. I need a new bag like you'd not believe, so I'll definitely be hitting this one (which, by the way, tends to get more marked down as time passes). And now that Minkoff is a big ol' conglomerate-in-the-making, her shoes, bags, accessories, and ready-to-wear will all be available, at highly discounted rates. Tell 'em I sent you for one last hurrah. 5/9-5/13; 10-8, 10-4 Sun.; 260 5th Ave. (28th & 29th Sts.).

TheFind Guest Post: Prep For Unexpected Spring Weather With a Colorful Anorak



As much as the spring and summer trend reports and lookbooks will have us believe that the months ahead are full of nothing but sunny skies and perfectly warm weather, us fashionable realists know that your wardrobe needs to be prepared to face the unexpected while still suiting the season. I can't speak for the rest of the world, but San Francisco is known for throwing its inhabitants for a loop despite its relatively mild weather, and luckily we can stay spring and summer-festive while still being equipped for a sudden downpour, ensemble-ruffling wind, or a chillier-than-usual June or July night. Colorful anoraks let you cover up, serving as a lightweight jacket that'll guard against the elements, yet is still undeniably warm-weather appropriate! Short or cuffed sleeves keep the look fresh without making you break a sweat, while bomber styles and cinched waists provide a feminine yet sporty fit that'll complement your outfit instead of just covering it up!

From left to right: Jones New York Hooded Anorak Blazer, Ali Ro Short Sleeve Anorak, and Piazza Sempione Cuff-Sleeve Anorak.

- Alexandra Gambardella

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Spring Shopping Guide: Colorblock Sandals

As you may have guessed by now, I own a lot of shoes. So many, in fact, that it's hard for me to justify buying a neutral pair—or maybe, conversely, it's easier for me to justify buying a non-neutral pair. That said, I do find that a brightly colored pair of shoes can really perk up your outfit, adding an unexpected element of fun. And while I'm now at the point where I own lots of shoes in bright colors, lo and behold, this season there are all manner of colorblocked shoes, combining two or more bright colors! It's like a whole new world of possibilities has opened up, footwear-wise.

$$$
Stella McCartney's shoes are so fabulous, you almost forget they're not made of leather. This colorblock sandal combines hot-pink satin with a sexy red acrylic heel, a surprising twist on the stripper heel. Whatever level of discomfort it might appear to have is softened by that pillowy quilted lining.

Speaking of stripper heels, these Brian Atwood Bellini sandals are named after my favorite brunch drink and boast a tricky 5.5-inch heel. The key, however, is a thick 2-inch platform, which, net, makes them a totally walkable 3.5 inches. Also, how adorable and springy are the colors?

Giuseppe Zanotti holds a special place in my heart, in that he made my wedding shoes. And while the last two pairs have a slightly tarty vibe, these suede colorblock shoes are more ladylike—well, until you get to the 6-inch stiletto.

$$
Call me crazy, but even though these Stuart Weitzman sandals have a big red platform sole, there's something kind of neutral about them—maybe you can't wear them with other colors, but think how many things in your closet you can wear with them.

What prevents these United Nude geisha sandals from veering too far into crazytown is the strip of neutral tan woven in with the wide orange strap and purple sole. Admit it: Your inner 7-year-old loves them.

Diane von Furstenberg's Elan sandals are one of my favorite pair of the bunch—yes, you can go with an all-black or all-white pair, but the nude and lime-green combo strikes the perfect balance between neutral and wild. Also, a great argument against those who think wedges aren't sexy.

$
Crazy name aside, these Steve Madden Wimzikul wedges are indeed...whimsical...and I like that they come in three different color combos.

With a groovy '70s vibe and a not-too-crazy color scheme, not to mention a totally non-committal price, these Pierre Dumas sandals are pretty much a no-brainer, especially if you're apprehensive about trying the trend. Also, if you're into it, they're "vegan" (i.e. synthetic).

For slightly more of an investment, however, these colorblock sandals from the Limited are a pretty smart choice. The neutral stacked heel and leather keeps them on the sophisticated side, but a pop of color at the ankle makes things interesting.