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.