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?


Monday, October 15, 2012

In These Shoes: Schutz Fiona T-Strap Pumps

Fact: I love T-strap shoes. Another fact: I love studded shoes. So, you can pretty much guarantee I'll love studded T-strap shoes like these Schutz Fiona pumps. I buy a new pair of black pumps every fall, and while on one hand they can be kind of mundane and necessary, it's details like the faceted gold studs that give these lovelies some personality—and that also let me justify buying them. Well, they are different than anything else I own!  They have a small covered platform that will help me transition out of chunky-clunky and into the more ladylike shapes for fall. Plus, the heel clocks in just under four inches, which makes them Cheryl Shops–approved for city life. As for who created such a beauteous pair of shoes, Schutz is a Brazilian brand that's fairly new to the U.S.; they offer very trend-conscious footwear at very reasonable prices (most styles are under $200), so expect to see a lot more of them here, or at their new store at 655 Madison Avenue (at 60th Street).

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cheryl Shops Fall Shopping Guide: Metallic Cap-Toe Pumps

The exact provenance of cap-toe pumps is a bit murky, but most of the credit goes to Coco Chanel, whose nude shoes with a contrasting black toe had the always-welcome effect of elongating the leg. Like pretty much everything Chanel appropriated, the cap-toe pump is considered a classic, with a certain refined air. And after years of big, clunky platform pumps, ladylike single-sole pumps are making a comeback for fall, although if you're hopefully devoted to platforms—as I am—you still have options. The fun, fashion-forward spin on cap-toe pumps this season, however, is that they incorporate metallics. The overall effect is a little bit dangerous, but definitely sexy. And, well, you know how I feel about that.

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I love Prada, because she always interprets a trend (often one she herself starts) in a very intellectual way. This suede cap-toe pump balances femininity—the colors, the height—with a somewhat clunky shape and a not-so-sexy squared toe. Call it the thinking woman's pump.

Manolo Blahnik has ceded much of his It-Shoe ground to Christian Louboutin in recent years, but I tend to find his footwear more quietly sexy. The Camparicap Mary Jane takes his Sex and the City classic ("I thought these were an urban shoe myth!") and turns it up a notch.

Based on what Hedi Slimane is doing to the house of Yves Saint Laurent, I am nervous about the future of its wonderful, amazing shoe designers, who create beauties such as the Mae pumps. Let's hope PPR keeps them on the payroll.

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Michael Kors may be quipping his way to the bank right now, but the reason he's so successful is that he makes shoes like the Cynthia pump, which manage to remain both classic (neutral colors) and edgy (hidden platform, chain trim).

Sometimes I like to wonder WWMOD (What Would Michelle Obama Do?), and I think when it comes to this trend, it would be to wear J.Crew's Etta pumps, a fun take in that the body of the shoe is metallic and the toe is matte.

This Steven by Steve Madden Fearless pump is practically a no-brainer, but just in case you need extra persuasion, it's a classic black suede pump with a pointy toe and a perfect three-inch heel. The contrasting silver tip is just the icing on the proverbial cake.

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I'm drawn to these ASOS Pacey shoes not because of their name (best Dawson's Creek character of all time!) nor their price (a very affordable $55, currently) but because of the crisscross straps at the ankle. I have incredibly narrow ankles, which means pumps usually slip up and down on me; this style looks like it will stay perfectly in place.

I've decided I need to wear more white in the winter because, hey, you're only young once. These Danger Zone pumps by Chinese Laundry look icy-hot.

Also from ASOS, the Perry pumps are rather similar in shape to the Blahniks above, however the color is much more fun, and I think it will be the perfect antidote to the winter blahs. The price is also way more wallet-friendly.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Buy it: Estée Lauder Zodiac Compact


At the risk of sounding like a kooky hippie, I'm going to share something with you: I have an astrologist. She is awesome*, and I usually see her once a year, to check in on what's going on in the universe and how it's affecting me. I met with her tonight, and she had a lot of good news for me, which was welcome, considering I've been feeling a little stuck lately. Going over my chart always leaves me hopeful and eager—it's not necessarily predicting the future but guiding me through it. If you've never had your chart done, I'd highly recommend it; you get a much richer sense of things than simply reading your moon sign. On the most basic level, I'm a Pisces, which is the sensitive, intuitive, creative sign, and its symbol is two fish swimming in opposite directions, which I find oddly meaningful. So it makes sense that I tend to be drawn toward Pisces-themed items; I've wanted an Estée Lauder zodiac compact for years. Filled with translucent powder and finished with a jeweled clasp, it's an incredibly elegant way to powder your nose. So I may be a kooky hippie, but at least I'll be a glamorous one. 


*If you're interested in meeting with her, email me and I'll send you her info. 

TheFind guest post: Camo Print Jackets: The Ultimate Tough-Girl-Chic Look For Fall!



 I remember when I was in 7th grade and camo print experienced a sudden surge in popularity. From loose-fitting drawstring pants to camouflage tees, sweaters, backbacks, and beyond, I was pretty much the coolest kid in school as long as I kept buying camo gear like it was going out of style (and it was)! And while we have yet to experience another camo fest quite as enthusiastic as that one was, army-inspired tough-girl duds have certainly found their place in the modern fashion spotlight. Military-inspired jackets, pants, bags, boots and more have been quite a persistent trend for a few years now, so it's not too surprising to see it stepped up a notch with camo print jackets. From bulky oversized coats to throw over all your warm-weather gear to more feminine fits with fun details like studs and spikes, I love the juxtaposition of the rugged camo print over girly fall florals or a soft knit sweater. It's a stylish contrast with just the right amount of "don't mess with me" 'tude to get you through the cold weather ahead! From left to right: Urban Renewal Vintage Tiger Camo Jacket, Topshop Studded Camo Jacket, and Hearts & Bows Vintage Army Camo Jacket.

 - Alexandra Gambardella

  Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Cheryl Shops Fall Shopping Guide: Leather-Sleeve Jackets

There is nothing new about jackets with leather sleeves—they were definitely around last year. But I missed out last time, and I'm definitely in the market for a new fall jacket, so to kick off this season's shopping guide, leather-sleeve jackets it is! And just in time, too—it may be balmy and muggy outside, but the temperature is going to drop this weekend, and then the real fall weather begins. I can't wait.

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I'm not going to pretend this isn't a $2700 jean jacket, because it is. However, it's a $2700 Givenchy jean jacket with leather sleeves and an incredibly cool motorcycle-inspired cut. Also, it's lined, so it's probably a bit warmer than the average denim jacket. So it has that going for it.

If you want to go a bit dressier and more tailored, a leather-sleeved trench coat is a great option, and even though this is from Burberry's secondary line, Brit, well, no one does a trench coat like Burberry. The fit and the details—leather piping, big buttons—both look impeccable.

Probably my favorite coat in this post, this Mackage wool coat has an almost blanket-like look—it looks soft and snuggly and warm, and yet the leather sleeves keep it cool. Want.

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I'm not going to lie—I'm hopelessly devoted to Rag & Bone. I love pretty much everything they do, including this update of the classic jean jacket. Who knew leather sleeves would make such an impact?

For the value-driven shoppers out there, this Sam Edelman convertible jacket can be worn with its leather sleeves, or without, as a vest. I often find two-in-one looks like this to be kind of clunky, but even zoomed in, I'm having a hard time even detecting where the sleeves detach. A warm welcome to the world of outerwear, Sam Edelman!

Most of these jackets have been on the casual side, but this MICHAEL Michael Kors tweed jacket has a more tailored, work-friendly look. The sleeves are faux leather, but the look is very Kors-chic.

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If you like the Burberry coat above, here's a Steve Madden trench for a fraction of the price. The sleeves are faux leather and the buttons are a bit over the top, but at $100, it's a much more budget-friendly option.

Chances are you've seen cool girls all over the city wearing something similar to Rhyme & Echo's Hannah jacket. And with good reason: It's an army jacket, only better. And this version is a very affordable $89.

God knows, I don't need another black blazer. But with a snug double-knit body and faux leather sleeves, the Crosby Street blazer from New York & Company might just tempt me to get another one. It's sedate enough for work but cool enough to wear out at night too, and, at $100, a veritable bargain.