Buy IT: Jessica Simpson Footwear
I am not the biggest fan of Jessica Simpson. She's a little too Texan for me--the hair, the teeth, the tan, the boobs. I think her "Dessert" line is kind of gross. And I feel bad for Nick Lachey, the poor guy. Anyway, if you've been reading the news recently, you've read that she's being sued by her licenser--apparently Jessica has not done such a good job of promoting Princy, her line of juniors sportswear (we sell it at, and I can verify that it's not doing so well for us), the main example of which being when asked on the red carpet what her favorite jeans were, instead of saying her own label, she said "True Religion." That Jessica's a smart girl.

So in addition to the fledgling Princy, Jessica Simpson has a line of footwear, for which she appears in the ads, and it's called, simply, Jessica Simpson Footwear, a name that, hopefully, she can remember the next time she's asked about her favorite shoes on the red carpet. That said, the shoes are straight-up adorable. My absolute favorite is this Amy sandal, a dead ringer for a similar Christian Louboutin that Jessica herself wore on the red carpet. (At a tenth of the price of said Louboutins, count me in.) My second favorite is the Tracy thong, an awesome flat sandal with braided straps--I feel like I could wear the tan style all summer long. I even like the Glory Thong, a great alternative for those who don't want to fully commit to the espadrille. And while I don't like Jessica Simpson, sometimes one needs to make sacrifices in the name of fashion. For example, even though the owner of Urban Outfitters is a major Republican Party contributor, I still shop there. But to make up for it, every time I buy something there (or at Anthropologie), I have to make a contribution to a leftie organization. Yes, I'm totally serious. So I might be making Jessica Simpson a bit richer by buying her shoes. There are worse things in the world, aren't there?
America's Next Top Model recap
As I predicted last week, the remaining contestants on America's Next Top Model were shipped off to a totally random location that Tyra tried to pass off as a "major fashion capital": Bangkok. Major psychedelic drug capital, okay. Major underage hooker capital, sure. Major fashion capital...I don't think so. Regardless, after a brief challenge in which they were interviewed by the ridiculous George Wayne of Vanity Fair--a challenge that Nnenna inexplicably won--the girls were off to...Bangkok. After a bizarre episode in which the losers of the challenge had to pamper winner Nnenna and Jade, the girls were subjected to an uncomfortable photo shoot in which they had to pose upside down over a smelly canal filled with Thai women peddling produce and wrapped in fish nets containing dead fish. Where's PETA when you need them? I think everyone did a good job, except for Sarah (I love her, but she can't really pose...or walk) and Nnenna, who, come to think of it, usually doesn't take very good pictures. Nnenna put the final nail in her own coffin by rambling on about herself Miss Universe-style at judging. It was down to her and Furonda, but Furonda is still fierce, and thus Nnenna was given the boot. I approve.

Next week, it's the awkward "make the models partake in local traditions" episode, and someone (Danielle, it appears) gets sent to the hospital. Drama!
Website of the week
Clearly, I love shopping online. I love that on a slow day at work, I can shop for shoes or check out new lip glosses. I love that I can shop in my pajamas, without makeup, and not have to worry about salespeople--whether they help me too much or not enough. One of the problems with online shopping is that sometimes you do need help. For example, at the beauty counter. Granted, this is one of those areas where the term "pushy salesperson" certainly can come into play, but, on the other hand, I love walking into a place like Kiehl's, where I can say something like, "My skin feels like the desert when it hasn't rained for three months," and they'll know just the right product for me. Or the Shu Uemura salesgirl who recommended white eyeliner and changed my life. Sometimes this human interaction is necessary at the beauty counter. Which is why My Beautiful Place is great--it's so obviously personal, it's like you have a friendly saleswoman telling you which moisturizer is her favorite. Even better, the site has a product assortment that rivals Bendel's--think cult lines like 3 Custom Color, Korres, and SCO Skincare. And, as with any good cosmetics website, there are several lines I've never heard of. You can shop by brand, and then by subcategory within the brands. I'm not going to lie--the navigation is a bit awkward, but the cool products make up for it. I'm intrigued by the Terranova body butters; I've heard great things about SCO Skincare; this MOR pomegranate body polish probably smells amazing and is half the price of Fresh's sugar scrub; this French Bulldog Cafe Kit from Jaqua Beauty looks like it would make a wonderful gift; and, as I'm a sucker for sparkle, this Girlactik Beauty Heaven's Dust sounds, well, divine. Orders over $75 ship for free, and orders over $100 receive lots o' samples. So while you might not be receiving actual one-on-one human interaction by shopping here, you still get pretty much all the perks, whether you're at work, in your underwear, or otherwise.
The week in shopping
Tufi Duek's sexy Brazilian womenswear is $50 and up at this sale. 4/26-4/28; 9:30-7; 530 Broadway (at Spring St.), 10th fl.

Modernists, rejoice: Save up to 70% at The Conran Shop one-day sale. 4/28; 8-8; 407 E. 59th St. (at 1st Ave.).

Fancy yet accessible Bliss beauty products are up to 75% off (that's $1 and up). 4/26-4/28; 8-8 Wed. & Thurs., 8-4 Fri.; 345 Hudson St. (at Charlton St.).

Play spot-the-fashion-designer at the Manhattan Vintage show this weekend. Admission is $20; hit the website for $5 off. 4/28-4/29; 1-8 Fri., 11-6 Sat.; Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

Aspire to fabulousness? You'll need a Judith Leiber handbag; thankfully at this sale, they're 65%-75% off. 4/27-4/28; 9-4 Thurs., 9-3 Fri.; 20 W. 33rd St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Awesome pants and Euro-chic clothes by Joseph are 70%-90% off (that's $25-$500). Through 4/30; 11-7, 11-6 Sun.; 106 Greene St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

Fancy Zuzka clothes and home accessories (think ABC Carpet & Home) are 90% off; silk pillows are $50 and up. 4/26-4/29; 10-6 Wed.-Fri., 11-6 Sat.; 37 E. 18th St. (5th Ave. & Broadway), 10th fl.

Rena Lange's chic, sophisticated womenswear is up to 75% off. 4/25-4/27; 9-5; 730 5th Ave. (at 56th St.), ste. 1000.

Worth the trip to Queens: Gracious Home's bedding, hardware, lighting, and more is 40%-90% off. 4/29; 9-5; 30-30 60th St. (at Northern Blvd.) Woodside, Queens.

Didja know John Varvatos made women's clothing? Neither did I. But the collection is up to 75% off. Through 4/30; 10-7, 11-7 Sun.; 260 5th Ave. (28th & 29th Sts.).

Get free shipping on a $60 lingerie purchase at through 5/1.

Get free shipping with any order through midnight tomorrow (4/25) night at

Save 20%-50% at Pottery Barn's online sale.

Hit Built By Wendy's Brooklyn store on Thursday night for a renovation party, plus save 20% that night on all spring collection items. 4/27; 6-9 p.m.; 46 N. 6th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Save 25% on all orders of $25 or more at when you enter code "style" at checkout through 4/30.

Get free shipping on orders of $30 or more at when you enter code MOM at checkout through 5/8.

Get all manner of samples and bonus offers at through 4/25.
Cheryl (bargain) shops
On Thursday I had a little time to kill before meeting a friend for a drink (actually many drinks), so I headed over to Bloomingdale's in Soho, where, it turns out, it was Girls Night, which is just like any other night, except they pump up the music, serve sugary cocktails, and put certain things on sale. I could care less about the first two things, but yay for sales! In the Aqua department (Bloomie's contemporary private label, which happens to be designed by Necessary Objects, another one of my bargain faves) I bought two trendy items that I never thought I'd own: "formal" shorts and a bubble skirt. The shorts are just above my knee, in a stretch wool fabric, with pleats in the front. They are quite flattering considering the only shorts I normally wear are when I'm working out, and I think I can get away with wearing them to work. As for the bubble skirt, I tried on several styles just for fun (I had a dress back in the '80s that was a black velvet bodice with a polka-dot bubble skirt, and I loved it to death); while most of them made me look like an elephant, I found one that is slimming and extremely comfortable--the key is to get one in a lightweight jersey that's not too poofy. I'll wear mine with a fitted top so I don't look like a fashion victim (or like a coworker of mine, who wears hers with leggings and off-the-shoulder tops). Speaking of tops, I hit H&M and Forever 21 on Friday (again, killing time before meeting a friend) for some fun summer tops. At H&M I was in search of stripes, and that's what I ended up with: a cute blue-and-white drawstring top. H&M also had some great, really thin tanks that reminded me of La Cosa (at a much more wallet-friendly $7 each). At Forever 21, I stocked up on white tanks and tees. I love getting basics at F21, because everything is like $8, and I love how thin they are--perfect for layering. Plus, while I also love upscale T-shirt lines like C&C California, I never buy anything white from them--whites get too dingy too quickly. The best part of my little spree is that I got 8 tops for $60, which is pretty much the cost of one C&C tee. While I didn't get around to changing my closet this weekend, at least I have some new stuff to wear. That is, if the weather starts cooperating...
America's Next Top Model recap
This week's (well, now technically last week's) episode of America's Next Top Model was all about "the darker side of modeling," i.e., every day. The girls were sent to a "top creative director," who of course was 1) a big bitch and 2) not actually a creative director but an actress, which, as the show has done this type of thing before, I saw coming from a mile away. Everyone but Jade got flustered--yes, Jade is so cocky that she thought looking like a transvestite was a good thing--and, as this was a challenge, Jade won. The prize was a visit from a "special someone"--Jade's mother came, and after meeting her...well, let's just say everything started to make sense. As Jade picked Nnenna to be her co-winner, Nnenna got a visit from her whiny boyfriend, who, while I thought this wasn't possible, is actually more annoying than Shandi's boyfriend. Nnenna, DTMFA. Seriously. After the challenge, the girls got to meet with Janice Dickinson for more tips; while I love Janice, someone needs to keep her away from the plastic surgeon, as she's starting to look like a brunette Amanda Lepore, collagen and all. The first of two photo shoots in this episode had the girls dressed up as living dolls (oh, how clever); I'm not sure how this fit into the whole "dark side of modeling" theme, but there was probably some facile explanation. In the meantime, Tyra treated all the girls to teeth-whitening; special cases Danielle and Joanie were treated to a gap-closing and veneers, respectively (although Danielle declined to have her gap closed, 'cuz she wanted to keep it real). Since veneers are a two-day process (in this case, at least), Joanie spent one night with her teeth being more jacked up than normal, then the next day she (and the others) had to go to a photo shoot directed by Tyra, in which they had to look beautiful crying. Now, Tyra actually let the girls use gylcerine drops, which kind of shocked me, because I figured she'd want to manipulate them or yell at them and get some real tears out of it. Anyway, Joanie ended up with some nice-looking but lisp-giving veneers; she also totally rocked this week, so she was called first at juding. And now I can officially announce that Joanie is my favorite and that I'm rooting for her (not because she's been doing so well the past few weeks--I just think she's the best, although Furonda is my second favorite). Jade almost got kicked off due to another stunt at judging (she pretended to cry when her "crying" photo came up), but while she is truly obnoxious, she makes for pretty entertaining television--much more so than Brooke, who was finally given the boot. Thank god.

Next week, the girls pick up and go somewhere. Ten bucks says its some obscure place that Tyra tries to pass off as "the next fashion capital of the world."
Website of the week
There are three services that are absolutely necessary to a city girl's life: a dry-cleaner, a shoe repairman, and a waxing/nail salon. I moved into my new apartment three weeks ago, and while I have yet to find a new dry-cleaner or shoe repairman, I've found an excellent nail salon that happens to be kitty-corner from my apartment. It's a tiny little place called Go Girl, but it's decorated in a very mod white, black, and pink motif, and it's quite affordable--not so much as the sketchy places that offer $20 mani-pedis, but in a good sterilizing-all-the-tools way. Go Girl also sells a small line of beauty products called East Four that fit in with the aesthetic of the store and, more importantly, smell good. My dry, ravaged cuticles are asking for the miracle oil, and my sore muscles are begging for the Arachnotherapy lotion. I'm also thinking the Body Dew and Crembrulotion look good to me, especially since I suffer from crazy dry skin. Now that my renovation craziness is coming to a close and I think I can (finally) put down the power drill, I think I might be treating myself to a Go Girl mani-pedi this weekend. And maybe some products too.
The week in shopping
EMG's vintage sale has tons of designer goodies for cheap. Cash only. 4/22; 2-6 p.m.; Tribeca Grand Hotel, 2 6th Ave. (at Church St.).

ISAAC by Isaac Mizrahi and Magnolia shoes are $50-$75 at this sample sale that's practically across the street from my office. 4/19-4/21; 8:30-6; 119 W. 40th St. (Broadway & 7th Ave.), 2nd fl.

Pretty sparkly jewelry from Roberta Chiarella is up to 80% off ($10-$50) at this cash-only sale. 4/20; 10-7; Affinia 50 Hotel, 155 E. 50th St. (3rd & Lex Aves.).

Eurotrashy Replay for men, women and children is up to 80% off. 4/21-4/23; 9-7; 38 W. 21st St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 11th fl.

Soho Gem is taking 30% off select diamond and semiprecious-stone jewelry. 4/22-5/7; 10-6, noon-6 Sun.; 780 Madison Ave. (at 66th St.).

Nest Interiors' rustic home accessories are up to 50% off. 4/19-4/30; 11:30-7:30 weekdays; 11:30-6:30 Sat., noon-6 Sun.; 172A 9th Ave. (at 20th St.).

For the gunslingers out there, Men’s and women’s fashion and home accessories from Beretta are up to 70% off. 4/18-4/20; 9-6:30 Tue. & Wed., 9-5 Thurs.; Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), 4th fl.

Costume jewelry from R.J. Graziano is 50%-75% off. Through 4/19; 11-5:30; 389 5th Ave. (at 36th St.).

The Design Within Reach 10% off sale has been extended through tomorrow, 4/18.

Save 30%-70% on select spring items at

Save 20% on everyting on the website this Thursday (4/17) at Satya when you enter code SatyaLS at checkout.

Order shoes from Urban Outfitters and get free shipping on your entire order when you enter code SHOESHIP at checkout.
America's Next Top Model recap
I'll admit, I am still completely perpelexed as to why Brooke is still a contestant on America's Next Top Model. This week's episode did not do much to alleviate my confusion. On one hand, I can relate to Brooke--she's obviously sensitive (as am I, although not to such an extreme), and she appears a little uncomfortable in her body. Okay, a lot. Her runway walk is an off-kilter hunched-over lope. And until today, I don't think she really took a good picture. And yet the judges keep her in. I'm clueless. Anyway, this week's episode had a runway focus, featuring segments with Ms. Jay and these bizarre, flamboyant "Aswirl" brothers who were, frankly, a little too RuPaul for my taste (this is 2006, and models no longer "swirl" like drag queens on the runway). The challenge had the girls walking in a "church show," modeling very modern designs from Lloyd Klein that, frankly, would've looked much better without the bizarre minimalist turbans. Jade won the challenge, unfortunately, by having done the "aswirl" with much gusto. The photo shoot involved modeling Payless shoes with krumpers in the background; since I have a mortal fear of clowns, this segment was a bit difficult for me to watch. At judging, the girls had to perform their "signature walk," then execute a bizarre turn as dictated by Tyra, and, as you can imagine, none of the girls pulled it off. Joanie really impressed me this episode; aside from kicking ass, she appears to actually have a personality. For lack of better options, I might have to start cheering for her (not a ringing endorsement, I know, but I've got so little to work with here). Although I also like Sarah, and I was a little worried when she was one of the final two, but considering Leslie's lackluster presence and perplexing runway walk, it was pretty obvious that she was going home. Which she did.

Next week: The girls go on go-sees, and Joanie goes to the dentist, the poor girl. I hate the dentist.
Website of the week
The other night, I stood in my closet for what seemed like forever, trying to pick out an outfit for the next day. Getting dressed this time of year is always difficult, not only because of the in-betweenness and unpredictability of the weather, but because by this point, I'm so sick of my winter clothes, but still not quite ready to bust out the summer wardrobe. Granted, I like the challenge, but lately my closet has been feeling particularly bleak, and the more I thought about it, I realized this is probably because I haven't bought anything new to wear in over a month. This, as you can probably imagine, is like a personal record for me. I've been so wrapped up in buying stuff for my new apartment (and let me tell you, I've been spending money like it's going out of style) that I haven't bought anything just for me. So the other day I started making my spring shopping list (and, yes, I know the Cheryl Shops Spring Shopping Guide is long overdue--when I get a chance, I'll start working on it), and I decided I want more, more, more Daryl K. I know they carry some of her pieces on and on Active Endeavors, but it was through the ol' standby Google that I came across La Garconne. With just a quick browse through this site, you can figure out the ideal customer: A super-hip city girl who's incredibly stylish but doesn't have to try hard. And, as you can imagine, I love practically everything they sell. You can shop by look (kind of an incomplete experience), by designer, or by category, although all of the designers are permanently listed on the left-hand navigation bar. Labels represented--most qualify as "cult status"--include everything from denim labels Earnest Sewn and Habitual to artsy Magda Berliner and perennially cool Vivienne Westwood. Of course I went straight to Daryl K: Sadly, most items in my size are sold out, but if I were a size four, I'd be ordering this Cotton Terry Lounge Jacket, a cross between a hoodie and a blazer; the Signature Mini Sarong Pant, a way more streamlined version of the ubiquituous mini-and-leggings combo; thankfully they still have my size in this ultra-flattering Riding Pant; and I totally love this random Peddle Pusher. The knitwear brand Clu has never really registered on my radar, but this Grecian dress and babydoll tee are enough to make me a convert. Nieves Lavi is another new name to me, but I think this Silk Jersey Babydoll Top is perfect for summer (and it will look great with skinny jeans). For the Kate Moss lovers out there, they carry her signature Misfit Jean from Sass & Bide; and I think these would look fabulous tucked into this Suede Slouchy Boot from Pedro Garcia. And: I'm a sucker for anything with the word "pirate" in it, but how could you not love this hot Pirate Jacket from Vivienne Westwood? Of course, there's no way I can afford all of this right now. And while I should really be spending my money on, say, fabric for drapes for my living room, I think maybe I can treat myself to one thing. After all, I have nothing to wear!
The week in shopping
BoConcept has its top-selling modern chairs (think a step up from IKEA) on sale. Through 4/30; 10-7 weekdays, noon-6 weekends; 144 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), 105 Madison Ave. (28th & 29th Sts.).

Catherine Angiel is having a Mother's Day Sale--save up to 50% on her pretty, semiprecious necklaces and earrings. Through 5/14; noon-7, noon-6 Sun.; 43 Greenwich Ave. (Charles & Perry Sts.).

The excellent Bra*Tenders has seamless, molded-cup, and T-shirt bras on sale; Chantelle bras (my personal favorite) are now $39. 4/15-4/30; call 212-957-7000 for an appointment; 630 9th Ave. (at 44th St.), ste. 601.

Edgy Maverick by Rebecca Romero has past fall, spring and resort collections for o50%-80% off. Through 4/16; noon-7; 262 Mott St. (Prince & Houston Sts.).

Noir NewYork has costume jewelry for $10 and up (that's 75% off retail), plus get a gift with a $100 purchase. 4/11-4/14; 11-7 Tues.-Thurs., 11-5 Fri.; 350 W. 38th St. (8th & 9th Aves.), 5th fl.
Buy it
In the past, I've extolled the virtues of both True Religion jeans and, more recently, skinny jeans. And we all know that skinny jeans are currently the big thing in denim. (In case you didn't know, WWD recently ran a front-page story about how retailers are blowing out of the skinny jeans, pushing boot-cut and flares to the back of the store.) The ubiquituous Joey jean from True Religion (the flare-leg with curved side seams and button-flap back pockets), however, tends to be flattering only if you're super-skinny, or at least if you have narrow hips and relatively slim thighs. Now, call me crazy, but I think TR's new Billy jean is going to be more flattering on more body types. Plus, I love the dark rinse--I was not a fan of those jeans with all the rips and tears. At $171, they're a bit pricey, but you all know my theory on denim: You wear it more than anything else in your closet, so why not splurge? Tempting, no?
America's Next Top Model recap
My coworkers and I agree: We're starting to get really annoyed with America's Next Top Model. The first nail in the coffin was Tyra's cruel, cruel fake fainting spell, which I saw coming from a mile away, because someone so image-conscious as Tyra Banks would never let herself appear to be tired in front of her girls. The second was the fact that in spite of the fact that Brooke is so shy and sensitive that she can't even speak in front of the camera, and that Jade did her commercial performing as Jade the Drag Queen then blamed the director for choosing her worse take, the judges, for some inexplicable reason, kicked off Mollie Sue. Yes, Mollie Sue bore a somewhat bizarre resemblance to Boone on Lost, and maybe her personality didn't come through at judging, but come on, you can't tell me that Brooke deserves to be there and she doesn't. I'm this close to giving up on the show. It's the, what, fifth week and I still don't have a favorite girl--and don't think I will at any point. I came across this quote from Real Time with Bill Maher which I think perfectly sums up the show:

"New Rule: Until one of the winners of America's Next Top Model gets an actual modeling job, they can't use the name 'Top Model.' These women seem nice, but they're not 'top models,' because they aren't breathtaking beauties, Eastern European or 12. So let's call the show what it actually is: A Bunch of 9's Taking Shit From Tyra Banks."

Priceless. Next week...ah, who cares?
Website of the week
There are many reasons to love Costco. Yes, it's an upscale alternative to Sam's Club, but even more importantly, Costco treats their employees well. Unlike Wal-Mart. I had no idea Costco had a website until I read about it on the excellent Closet Therapy, but now that I've been to it, I'm sold. You need to purchase a $45 yearly membership in order to buy anything, but I think it's well worth it, considering how much money you're saving. For example, this Cartier Tank Americaine watch is $12,749.99, which seems expensive, but considering it retails for $16,500 (and never goes on sale), I think that's a pretty good deal. Or how about a YSL Borsa Venise bag for a mere $800? For the beauty buffs, there's Kinerase cream for $20 off; you can even buy art, like this signed Toulouse-Lautrec lithograph, which seems seriously undervalued at $2849.99. Not that I plan on buying any of these items, mind you, but it's fun to dream. And it's certainly more fun than browsing 10-lb. tubs of pretzels at Sam's Club.
The week in shopping
If I hadn't just received a downright depressing Amex bill, I'd totally be hitting the Calypso Warehouse Sale for boho chic galore. 4/6-4/9; 10-7, 11-5 Sun.; 148 Lafayette St. (Howard & Grand Sts.), 5th fl.

Some of my coworkers scored some cute stuff at the Kate Spade (and Jack Spade) sample sale; everything is at least 50% off. Through 4/5; 9-7; Metropolitan Pavilion, 110 W. 19th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

Auto's semiannual yard sale is making me nostalgic for my old neighborhood. Boo-hoo. 4/6-4/9; 11-7 weekdays, noon-7 Sat., noon-6 Sun.; 803 and 805 Washington St. (Gansevoort & Horatio Sts.).

This week, Clothingline has Free People, Lotta Stenson, and other hip labels on sale. Through 4/7; 10-6; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Fancy-schmancy Calvin Klein Black Label for men and women is up to 70% off. Through 4/8; 10-7; 260 5th Ave. (28th & 29th Sts.).

Ben-Amun's boho-chic costume jewelry is 50%-60% off at this sale. 4/5-4/7; noon-6:30; 246 W. 38th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 12th fl.

Affordable Francesco Biasia bags are even more affordable--at least 50% off--at this cash-only sale. 4/5-4/7; 9-5; 320 5th Ave. (at 32nd St.), ste. 1100.

Luxe made-to-order accessories from LAI (think exotic skins) are 20%-30% off. Through 4/15; 10-6 (closed Sun.); 35 E. 65th St. (Madison & Park Aves.).

Nicely substantial M+J Savitt jewelry is 30%-60% off at this appointment-only sale; RSVP to Through 4/6; 475 5th Ave. (at 41st St), 20th fl.

Sturdy handbags from Monsac and Echo are 50% off. Through 4/6; 10-5; 381 5th Ave. (at 35th St.), 3rd fl.

Get a free mascara and eye pencil duo with a $75 purchase at Benefit when you enter code EYESETA or EYESETB at checkout through 4/10.

If I had $85 to blow, I'd spend it on this sample-filled train case, your gift with a $85 beauty purchase at Nordstrom.
Posts coming tomorrow
I promise.