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7 things to buy during the Sephora sale

Mark your calendars, beauty-holics: Sephora's holiday sale is coming! Rouge members get 20% off staring 10/30, VIBs get 15% off starting 11/3, and Insiders get 10% off starting 11/5, all with code HOLIDAYFUN through 11/9. As I've noted before, I work at Sephora's corporate headquarters and am thus an expert on everything we sell. Kidding, I'm not an expert, but I do get the inside scoop, and I am constantly being plied with free stuff, and don't you hate me right now? That said, I do form strong opinions on this stuff, so here are 7 of my favorite products right now—take advantage of the sale and get them at a discount!



What to wear with combat boots

Trends come and go, but one of the benefits of being a woman of a certain age is that I now have the confidence and the wisdom to know which trends to try and which ones to skip. I featured chunky Chelsea boots in my fall trend report, and was super eager to try a pair; yes, I wore combat boots back when they were last popular in the '90s, and normally my rule is that if you wore a trend the first time around, you should pass on it the second (or third, or fourth...) time. I decided to give these Chelsea boots a go, because they're a bit more streamlined than lace-up combat boots, plus they seem very practical for the upcoming winter months, and I wanted to style them in a way that was true to my own sense of style—feminine and sophisticated (I hope) versus the more streetwear-influenced, casual way that Gen Z would wear them. To be totally honest, after seeing these photos, I'm not sure that the boots are "me." But they may be "you," so I thought this was a post worth writing anyway. Here's how I styled my chunky Chelsea boots. 



7 ways to wear a leather jacket

 It is finally looking like leather jacket season in San Francisco (not to be confused with the rest of the year except for September and October, which is also leather jacket season), so in honor of my favorite time of year, I thought I'd bring you another Cheryl's Greatest Hits featuring seven ways to wear one of my favorite wardrobe workhorses, the leather moto jacket. As longtime Cheryl Shops readers know, I bought this Banana Republic moto jacket several years ago when I worked at Gap headquarters, and while I can't always advocate for Banana's clothes, this jacket is one of the best items they make, which explains why they keep bringing it back season after season. They have miraculously not raised the price since I bought mine—it's still $499, although you can usually get it on sale (never pay full price for anything at Banana!)—the leather is buttery soft, and the thing fits like a glove. A good leather jacket is totally worth the investment and you'll have it for years, so without further ado, here are seven ways to wear it. 



An honest review of Wardrobe clothing rental

Back in my late 20s and early 30s, when I had 7 or 8 weddings per year to attend, I used an Excel spreadsheet to track which dresses I wore to which events. This began in the days before social media, but I basically wanted to make sure I wasn't turning up in the same dress at every event with the each group of people. The alternative, of course, was to buy a new dress for each event, which is cost-prohibitive (and wasteful) and is what drove Jenn Hyman to found Rent the Runway. I thought RTR was an amazing idea and I know a lot of people who love it, but to this day, I've never actually used it, because the items I'd actually want to rent are way too expensive. In other words, I'd rent a designer dress for $50 or $60 (or maybe even a bit more), but not $200. There are other clothing rental companies out there (I reviewed one last year), but so far none that really piqued my interest—until now. Wardrobe is like Airbnb for clothes, shoes, and accessories: you rent items from a user's closet for 4, 10, or 20 days at a time; everything is dry-cleaned and stored in a central warehouse (and if you open a closet with Wardrobe, you can make a little extra money renting out your own clothes); and it all comes clearly labeled and nicely packaged. Most importantly, Wardrobe has everything from Alice and Olivia to Hermès, and the prices are incredibly reasonable. They were kind enough to offer me a credit to try the service for free; here's what I borrowed and my unbiased, honest review of the entire experience.



Get the look: trench coat and cropped jeans

Whew, it's been a week! Mercury is in retrograde, temperatures here have been in the 80s, and I have work coming out of my ears (which I know I shouldn't complain about). Anyway, happy Friday! Let's ease into the weekend with this month's most-pinned look from my Outfit ideas for ageless style Pinterest board—it's casual, it's timeless, it's seasonless, it's perfect. You probably own all the pieces to re-create this look already, but if not, read on. 



A totally secondhand outfit

At the end of last year and the beginning of this year—which feels more like 10 years ago at this point—I was working on a sustainability campaign for my day job. Throughout my research, I kept coming across similar statistics about how horrible fast fashion is for the environment; it was enough for me to make sustainability my main 2020 resolution. That resolution had several parts, one of which was "no new stuff." I was doing a pretty good job until COVID came along, and with it some promo codes and sales that I was too weak to resist. I'm not beating myself up about it; I do feel like I'm being much more conscious about what I'm buying—only things I love, of the best quality I can afford. That said, I have been doing quite a bit of secondhand shopping this year, and while 2020 is almost over (THANK GOD), it's a habit I'm going to stick with. Not only is buying secondhand better for the planet, it's way more affordable than buying something new, and it's not hard to find barely (if at all) used items. So while this post is long overdue, I wanted to celebrate my progress with a totally secondhand outfit. Here's how it all came together.



Things I've bought on Amazon that I love

Amazon has finally announced that Prime Day is October 13–14 (technically two days) and while I know it's popular to boycott it, I think Prime Day is kind of fun. I love refreshing the page to see what the hourly deals are, and let's be real, the deals can be pretty amazing. I do realize that Amazon undercuts small businesses, has a rather large monopoly, and probably has more data on me that I care to think about—plus there are some tax implications that need to be addressed on a federal level—but we can also thank Amazon for making user reviews, personalization, and search capabilities so widespread. Online retail wouldn't be what it is today without Amazon. I do try to buy things locally from small businesses as much as possible, but that said, I have found some amazing things on Amazon over the years. So in honor of Prime Day, here are six things that I've bought on Amazon that I love, and that I'd highly recommend. 


What to wear with a coatigan

A what? A coatigan is a cross between a coat and a cardigan; it's longer than a swacket, or sweater jacket, and has more of a ring to it than "sweater coat." As I noted in my fall trend report, a coatigan is a must-have for fall 2020, so I wanted to show you what I'm wearing with mine ASAP, seeing as how we're already in October. (Seriously, how is it October already?!) I know this won't be the last time you'll see this one, but it's definitely the first, so let's get to it. 


Fall Trend Report

It feels a little weird writing about trends on several levels. For one, I didn't really do my annual spring trend report, because we were newly in lockdown and all anyone could think about was comfort clothing: sweatpants, sweatshirts, slippers, and so on. On a deeper level, I'm realizing there's something about fashion that almost requires you to be seen out in the world; to paraphrase that old philosophical question, if a person wears an outfit and no one sees it, is it still fashion? The good news is that things here in San Francisco are slooooowly starting to reopen: hair salons, gyms, restaurants, and even movie theaters. I'll still be working from home for the rest of the year, if not longer—and if I'm being honest, dressing for the office has a certain agenda—but I at least feel like I'm venturing out into the world again, and thus I can get out of my jeans-and-sweatshirt rut. I've been really inspired by the street-fashion photos from Copenhagen Fashion Week, and while there's definitely a hygge element to fall fashion, I'm really excited about the micro-trends I'm featuring here and to shopping again. Who knows, I might even be compelled to shop in an actual store! Here's what's on my shopping list for fall. 



What to wear with a shoulder pad tee

So apparently I missed out on a big trend this summer: the shoulder-pad tee. It's more of a muscle tank with, yes, padded shoulders. It seemed like a ridiculous fashion-victim thing at first, but the more I saw them on my Instagram feed, the more I wanted a shoulder-pad top of my own. And while summer is winding down in the rest of the country, it's just getting started here in Northern California—it's 86 degrees as I write this—so I figured better late than never and placed an order. Here's how I styled my padded shoulder top. 



An honest review of Maelove skincare

I am constantly in pursuit of what I like to call "rich-girl skin"—smooth, poreless, glowy—and I will obediently try any skincare product that promises any of those effects. Maelove had been on my radar for awhile, after I'd seen it mentioned countless times in message boards and beauty-blog comment threads; it has also popped up pretty frequently in my Instagram feed, so clearly their ad targeting is spot-on. Then, like a sign from the universe, Maelove reached out to me about trying a few of their products, so in the name of investigative journalism, I agreed. (Everything I do, I do it for you, dear readers!) I've been using the following Maelove products exclusively for the last two weeks; here's my honest and unfiltered review. 


What to wear with paperbag pants

We've been watching a lot of throwback movies lately on our weekend nights in, one of which was Pacific Heights, a 1990 thriller starring Melanie Griffith, Matthew Modine, and Michael Keaton. It's basically about the horrors of being a landlord in San Francisco, and in spite of being 30 years old, it strangely touches upon some very current issues, including systemic racial discrimination. What struck me the most, however, was Melanie Griffith's wardrobe, which felt very 2020 with its mix of straight-leg mom jeans, boyfriend blazers, and drawstring bags. In one pivotal scene, she wears a fabulous pair of high-waisted paperbag pants and while I know I was supposed to be focused on the plot, I immediately got on Shopstyle and started looking for a pair in black. I always say you can never have too many black pants, so here's the latest addition to my repertoire. 


Get the look: bouclé sweater and wide-leg trousers

The first day of fall is next week already, and I have a feeling it's on everyone's mind, because this month's most-pinned look from my Outfit ideas for ageless style Pinterest board is definitely an autumnal one. The palette is minimal and so is the outfit—at only three pieces, it's one of the simplest I've ever featured in this series. But it sounds like we're all looking for a little minimalism in our lives and in our wardrobes, so let's re-create the look. 

What to wear with lace-up sandals

 This is the outfit I had intended to share last week, one that straddles summer and fall, which felt appropriate for just after Labor Day. Under normal circumstances, this would feel almost a bit too bundled up for San Francisco weather in September, which is typically the warmest time of year. But after a week of heavy smoke from wildfires and unseasonably thick fog, I’ve learned to roll with the punches. Which is a pretty apt way to describe how to handle seasonal transitions no matter where you live. Or the year 2020. So this look feels very fall from the waist up and very summer from the waist down; it’s a bit idiosyncratic, but so is life nowadays. Here’s how it all came together.