Happy holidays!
Sorry I've been so slack-tastic with my posts lately. 'Tis the season, I suppose. I'm off to Chicago for Christmas, but I shall return, refreshed and renewed, on January 2nd, so please come back then. In the meantime, happy shopping!
The week in shopping
Calling all last-minute shoppers!

This week it's an international affair at Clothingline, which has British Ben Sherman and Japanese Evisu denim for men and women, at roughly 70% off (the Ben Sherman stuff is particularly a good deal). 12/19-12/22; 10-6; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Since I've been drinking and eating up a storm, I'd say this would be the worst time of year to shop for a swimsuit, but with Malia Mills' flattering swim separates at 50%-75% off, I think I can bear it. 12/20-12/21; 10-7; 263 W. 38th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 16th fl.

Since you're done with all your shopping (right?), treat yourself to some fancy, brightly colored Deborah Marquit lingerie, now $20 and up. Through 12/24; noon-7 (closed Sun.); 158 W. 15th St., (6th & 7th Aves.).

Hit Poleci's first-ever sample sale for work-friendly clothes at a ridiculous 75% off wholesale. 12/19-12/20; 10-5; 414 W. 14th St. (9th & 10th Aves.), ste. 2F.

Tomorrow's the last day for Miss Sixty (plus Sixty, Killah, and Energie) for 75% off retail (that's $15-$100). Through 12/19; 10-6; Metropolitan Pavilion (6th & 7th Aves.), 5th fl.

Old school/now hot again Norma Kamali is having a sale featuring samples and stock from her various lines (for Spiegel, Everlast, etc.) at up to 80% off. Through 12/20; 10-6; 11 W. 56th Sts. (5th & 6th Aves.).
Two more sales
The News is hosting a two-day sale for downtown-girl fave Vena Cava. Expect lots of pretty holiday frocks. 12/14-12/15; 10-6; 495 Broadway (Spring & Broome Sts.), 5th floor.

I was bummed that I missed the Lutz & Patmos sale last week, but lucky for me, they're having a one-day blowout sale tomorrow; everything is $200 or less. 12/13; 11-7; 425 W. 13th St. (9th Ave. & Washington St.), ste. 406.
Website of the week
Over Thanksgiving weekend, MW and I went to a mall in New Hampshire, where we noticed that 1) none of the girls there were wearing skinny jeans and 2) the "cool" uniform for teenage girls appeared to be an Abercrombie sweatshirt, a Coach purse, and boot-cut jeans with Ugg boots. Remember Ugg boots? Let's take a trip back to 2003: They were sold out everywhere, new pairs were going for $500 on eBay, and Nordstrom had a waiting list that promised delivery by July 2004. (Even I succumbed to buying a pair.) Fashion has since had a love affair with the Mukluk (and several other equally ugly boots), but for some reason, Uggs have always been hanging around on some level. (I suppose, you could argue, due to how warm and comfortable they are.) Ever since that day in New Hampshire, though, I've been noticing Uggs everywhere--yes, even in New York City. So whether Uggs have never gone away, or whether they're having a resurgence in popularity--Ugg just opened its first store in NYC, at 79 Mercer St.--there's no denying that in spite of how ugly they are, Uggs actually are practical. And after all the uncomfortable, unflattering, even dangerous trends out there (hello, giant platform shoes!), my inner Mom thinks it's okay to embrace them. So whether you like Uggs, Emus, Warmbats, Koolaburras, or any number of Australian boots, the best resource I've found for them is SheepskinShoes.com, a monster of a website that ships (for free!) to a gazillion countries and stocks every color and style of sheepskin boot imaginable.

I tend to prefer Emu boots to Uggs; the "Hip" boot, for example, has a wrap detail that makes it slightly more stylish.

I'm also tempted to get this Emu moccasin for days when a full boot isn't quite necessary.

You lose a lot of heat through your head, too, so there are always sheepskin earmuffs to keep it warm.

Of course, with all the 50-degree weather we've been having in NYC, we might not even need all this sheepskin stuff (to the delight of aesthetes everywhere). Let's hear it for global warming!
The week in shopping
Yes, still more sales, but we're entering the final stretch...

Diane von Furstenberg's dresses, separates, shoes, and accessories are 45%-75% off at this must-see sale. 12/12-12/15; 9-7 Tues., 10-7 Wed., 10-8 Thurs., 9-3 Fri.; 260 5th Ave. (28th & 29th Sts.).

Before their masstige line hits Target in the spring, get the real-deal Proenza Schouler for (fairly) cheap. 12/12-12/14; 9-6; 120 Walker St. (at Baxter), 6th fl.

Hit three awesome designers at once in this sale featuring Leigh Bantivoglio lingerie, Tibi clothes, and Goldenbleu handbags, all for 75% off. 12/12-12/13; 10-7; 336 W. 37th St. (8th & 9th Aves.), 11th fl.

Time for Hollywould's semi-annual "Insane" sale: Shoes are 60%-80% off, bargain bins are $25 and up, and for those who want to avoid the insanity, there's a small selection of items online. 12/13-12/16; 11:30-7; 198 Elizabeth St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

Pony up the cash for Nanette Lepore's fall line--it's roughly 50% off at this cash-only sale. 12/13-12/14; 9-6; 225 W. 35th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 4th fl.

Carolina Herrera's sample sale ain't cheap, but prices are roughly 75% off. Through 12/12; 9-6:30; 9-6:30; 317 W. 33rd St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

At 70% off, Rogan's denim will be somewhat affordable. 12/14-12/16; 11-8; Namaste Showroom, 236 W. 27th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 14th fl.

Many basics and a few hidden gems are $30 and up at TSE's cashmere sale. 12/15-12/21; 9-6:30; 317 W. 33rd St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

Oprah fave Tory Burch's signature printed clothes and accessories are at prices even non-socialites can afford; I'm tempted to get the ballet flats. Preview at Clothingline.com. 12/12-12/15; 10-7 Tue. & Thurs., 10-6 Wed. & Fri.; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Eugenia Kim's East Village store is gone, but her hats are still around; at this sale, score them for 50%-70% off. 12/13-12/16; 9-8, 11-7 Sat.; 347 W. 36th St. (8th & 9th Aves.), ste. 502.

Vintage-inspired Secrets of Charm dresses, sweaters, tops, and more are on sale (about 65% off). 12/13-12/15; 11-6; 45 Bond St. (Lafayette & Bowery), ste. 4A.

Quirky shoes and bags by Melanie Dizon are more than 50% off at this two-day sale. 12/14-12/15; 11-7; Buckler, 13 Gansevoort St. (8th Ave. & Hudson St.).

Rafe's handbags and wallets are up to 90% off. 12/13-12/16; 10-7; 85 5th Ave. (at 16th St.), 12th fl.

Coats, dresses, separates, and more are 50%-75% off at new working-girl staple Tevrow+Chase. Through 12/13; 11-5; 416 W. 13th St. (9th Ave. & Washington St.), ste. 313.

Jill Stuart's party-friendly frocks, tops, and other fall/winter items are 40%-60% off. 12/15-1/19; 11-7, noon-6 Sun.; 100 Greene St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

Armand Diradourian's fancy cashmere clothing and accessories (for men and women) are wholesale and below--about $80-$500--at this cash-only sale. Through 12/20; noon-6 (closed Sun.); 160 5th Ave. (20th & 21st Sts.), 9th floor.

Treat your home to some pillows, throws, or rugs from Judy Ross--they're up to 60% off. 12/14-12/16; 1-7 Thurs., 11-6Fri., noon-5 Sat.; 41 Union Square West (at 17th St.), 9th fl.

I guess it's never the wrong time to buy a bridal gown (or your New Year's Eve outfit): gowns and eveningwear are $150-$4,000 at Reem Acra's sale. 12/16-12/18; 1-8 Sat., 10-8 Sun.; 8-7 Mon.; Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), 4th fl.

Or, if you prefer, hit Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier for gowns by Alberta Ferretti, Angel Sanchez, and Monique Lhuillier at up to 75% off. Call 212-319-6778 for an appointment. 12/14-12/16; 11-7 Thurs., 10-7 Fri., 10-6 Sat.; 110 E. 55th St. (at Park Ave.).

Cashmere accessories by Meg Cohen Design are $25-$155 at this sale. 12/12-12/16; 11-7; 920 Broadway (20th & 21st St.), ste. 905.

Fancy-schmancy semiprecious jewelry is 30%-60% off at M+J Savitt's sale; call 212-684-4221, ext. 14 to make an appointment. Through 12/15; 9:30-5; 475 5th Ave. (at 40th St.), 20th fl.

Carlos Falchi's exotic handbags are $50-$900 (below wholesale, kids) at this crazy sale. 12/12-12/14; noon-6 Tues., 9-6 Wed., 9-3 Thurs.; 411 5th Ave. (37th & 38th Sts.), 3rd fl.

MOR leather handbags by Perlina are on sale. Through 12/15; 9-6; 10 W. 33rd St. (5th & 6th Aves.), ste. 210.

The Art Of Shopping has men's Michael Kors merch for 60%-80% off, plus denim from 7 for all Mankind, Earnest Sewn, Ben Sherman, and more. 12/14-12/20; 11-7; 62 Greene St. (Spring & Broome Sts.).
Random notes
1. I am clearly crazy, because I stood in line this morning, in freezing, 35-degree weather for an hour and 45 minutes to get into the Sigerson Morrison sale. I was disappointed at first, because I was expecting current-season merchandise (I miss the store's end-of-season "crazy sale"), but I quickly got over it when I realized that 1) digging was required and 2) everything was so cheap, they were practically giving it away. Um, so, I got four pairs of shoes and a clutch purse. They were delivering more merchandise as I was waiting, and if you wear a size 7, it's definitely worth going back tomorrow--I almost cried when I saw how many size 7 bins there were (this must be SM's sample size). For the gals in the 8-9 range, may the force be with you.

2. Sadly, I don't think I'm going to have time to do a Cheryl Shops holiday shopping guide this year. I've been a little social butterfly lately, and now, at this point in time, it seems a bit too late to run one. I should have started it over a month ago, and, believe me, I'm kicking myself for having not done so. Sorry about that. But, you know, pretty much every website in existence has a gift guide, so I'm sure you can find some ideas somewhere. (And not to gloat, but I'm pretty much done with my holiday shopping, with the exception of one or two small things. Thank god for the Internet.)
A few more sales
The lovely ladies at Find Outlet are hosting a Paul & Joe sample sale (the real Paul & Joe, not the stuff from Target), with cocktails on Friday from 5-7. 12/7-12/10; noon-7; 361 W. 17th St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

Lilla P.'s awesome tees are $15 and up. Cash only. Through 12/8; 8-7 Thurs., 8-5 Fri.; 420 W. 14th St. (9th Ave. & Washington St.), ste. 3NW.

Lucky Fave MarieMarie has silky, wooly, dressy stuff for up to 70% off. Through 12/7; noon-9; 257 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 1002.

One of my favorite designers, Jane Mayle's feminine yet cool fall/winter line is 35% off (although still on the pricey side). Through 12/31; noon-7, noon-6 Sun.; 242 Elizabeth St. (Houston & Prince Sts.).

Cheryl Shops fave La Garconne is having a fall/winter sale, featuring designs by Sass & Bide, Daryl K, Twinkle, and more.

Get 20% off fashion, shoes, and accessories for women at Bloomingdales.com when you enter code BRIGHT at checkout through 12/14 (several restrictions apply).
America's Next Top Model recap
Whoa. For the first time in America's Next Top Model history, my favorite girl won. I am still kind of in shock. To back up a bit, the episode started out with a Cover Girl TV ad and photo shoot, which CariDee rocked and Melrose choked. As for Eugena, well, I think everyone knew it was curtains for her, as I don't think she really even deserved to be in the final three anyway. This, of course, set CariDee and Melrose up for a "battle of the blondes," which might have had more resonance if Melrose were actually a natural blonde. (She's a brunette.) After a Seventeen shoot (I guess they couldn't edit out the now-ousted editor-in-chief, Atoosa Rubenstein), the girls walked in by far the most zany and artificial runway show yet. Staged in one of Gaudi's ka-ray-zy structures, the show involved goth brides, "acting," and torches. The artifice of the whole thing was enhanced by 1) the fact that the only seats in the whole thing were for the ANTM judges, and 2) the totally random, candle-holding locals, who appeared to have been pulled off the streets, were laughing through the whole thing. Um, and Miss Jay "performed" in the show as well. I was cringing the entire time, and not just because CariDee looked possessed. (To her credit, Melrose did a pretty good job, although freaking out because CariDee accidentally stepped on her gown did nothing to help her case.) Runway walks aside, when the judges went through the girls' portfolios, it was obvious that CariDee was the winner. And in the discussion, in which Nigel did everything short of calling Melrose an old bag. So, yay, CariDee is the winner--deservedly so. And for once, I'll be looking forward to her "My life as a Cover Girl" spots during the next "cycle"--which, according to the teaser, looks to be taking place in London. Cheers, mate!
Website of the week
I will admit, I am kind of fascinated by socialites. Not the Hilton sisters--they're hardly socialites in the true sense of the word--but the Upper East Side ladies, young and old, who attend charity functions, marry well, decorate their homes, throw fabulous parties, get photographed in beautiful designer clothing and so on. Of course many of today's socialites have jobs--some more superficial than others--but, really, that's not the point here. Having no true royalty (in the traditional sense of the word) in this country, socialites are often the closest thing to royals for us. And like royal families, the world of socialites is very small...which is why I find the whole Socialite Rank saga fascinating. For those of you not in the know, Socialite Rank's main feature is a weekly ranking of New York's socialites, based on visibility, press coverage, and such. It also has some of the snarkiest comments on the web, from a mixture of real socialites, PR girls, media, and regular ol' Joes. But the biggest mystery surrounding the site is the author (or authors), who is, as of now, anonymous. There has been much speculation by everyone from Radar to the Observer to, of course, Gawker, but to no avail. I must say, I am quite amused by how certain socialites are working themselves into a tizzy over this--for all their wealth and beauty, it appears socialites are just as insecure as (if not more so than) the rest of us.
The week in shopping
...and this is the week I go broke.

Cashmere sweaters and accessories are $10-$350 at Lutz & Patmos, my other favorite sweater-maker. Everything is 50% off on Tuesday, 60% off on Wednesday, and 70%-80% off on Thursday. 12/5-12/7; 11-7:30; 425 W. 13th St. (9th Ave. & Washington St.), ste. 406.

Frenchy Catherine Malandrino dresses, coats and separates are at least 60% off at this sale. Through 12/6; 8-8; Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), 4th fl.

I'm not going to lie: Prices at Derek Lam's sale are still quite high (mid to high three figures), but fashion genius doesn't come cheap. 12/7-12/8; 10-6; 601 W. 26th St. (11th & 12th Aves.), ste. 1730.

I think I'm going to be late to work on Wednesday, because Sigerson Morrison's sale starts nice and early, and features shoes and boots for $45-$100 and handbags for $20-$150. Good god! 12/6-12/7; 8:30-7:30; 180 Lafayette St. (Broome & Grand Sts.), ground floor.

Metropolitan Design Group's sample sale used to be right down the street from my office, but unfortunately it moved to bufu Chelsea; nevertheless, it features Giles & Brother jewelry (ahem, MW), Tocca bags, stationery, home accessories, and other giftable items for 50% off. Cash only. 12/7-12/8; 9-7; 504 W. 22nd St. (10th & 11th Aves.), 3rd fl.

James Jeans are pretty darn flattering; score them for men and women, for a mere $25-$90. 12/6-12/8; 10-7, 10-3 Fri.; 500 Greenwich St. (Spring & Canal Sts.), ste. 202.

Fragments' lovely jewelry is 50%-60% off. 12/8-12/10; 1-6 Fri., 10-6 Sat., 10-5 Sun.; 110 Greene St. (at Prince St.), 8th fl.

Calypso's overstock--think boho clothing and accessories--are up to 80% off at this sale, running every weekend through January. Fridays through Sundays, 10-6; 405 Broome St.

Eberjey's pretty mesh undergarments are up to 75% off. 12/5-12/6; 9-7 Tues., 9-5 Wed.; 40 E. 34th St. (Park & Madison Aves.), ste. 610.

Lorelei (which happens to be my mom's name, by the way) makes pretty party bags for the downtown gal; here, they're up to 70% off. 12/5-12/6; noon-8; 53 W. 36th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), ste. 1102.

Lauren Moffatt's sweet, slightly retro dresses, coats, and separates are 50% off and more. 12/5-12/7; 10-7; 214 W. 29th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 1503.

12/6–12/8 Stock up on party frocks at Betsey Johnson's sale--everything is up to 80% off. 12/6-12/8; 10-8; 263 W. 38th St. (7th & 8th Aves.).

Who doesn't love cashmere? Get all kinds of sweaters and accessories for up to 75% off at Autumn Cashmere. 12/6-12/8; 9-7, 9-6 Fri.; 231 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 924.

Paper Denim & Cloth jeans for men and women are a mere $55. 12/8-12/10; 8-9 Fri., 10-9 Sat., noon-8 Sun.; 72 Greene St. (at Spring St.).

Hit three great designers in one fell swoop: children's clothes from Lucy Sykes, contemporary clothing from Alex Gaines, and baby knits from Egg by Susan Lazar for roughly 60% off. 12/6-12/8; 10-6; 230 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 9th fl.

Lauren Merkin's supercute bags are 40%-70% off. 12/5-12/7; 11-7; 231 W. 29th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 201.

Alvin Valley's awesome-fitting pants are $129 and $189 (that's 60%-80% off) at this sale, also featuring clothing for the rest of your body. Through 12/9; noon-6; 555 7th Ave. (39th & 40th Sts.), ste. 304.

Prices on exotic-skin handbags and accessories are wholesale and below at LAI's sale, so go get your society lady on. 12/5-12/7; 10-6; 12 W. 57th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), ste. 403.

Super-hip designers like Orla Kiely and Issa are 60% off at Showroom Seven's sale. Through 12/15; 10-7 (closed Sun.); 498 7th Ave. (36th & 37th Aves.), 24th fl.

Outfit yourself for your next tropical vacation at the J Rosen sample sale, featuring swimwear and accessories from Vix, Lisa Curran, Bella Brazil, Havaianas, and more. Through 12/15; 8-8 (closed weekends), 250 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 510.

For that instantly artsy look, hit Issey Miyake, where select items are 40% off. 12/7-1/31; 802 Madison Ave. (at 67th St.), 119 Hudson St. (at N. Moore St.).

For the fur lovers out there, Adrienne Landau has scarves, jackets, and more for 50%-75% off. 12/6-12/9; 10-7, 11-3 Sat.; 519 8th Ave. (at 35th St.), 21st fl.

I prefer Cosabella, but many swear by Hanky Panky's thongs; those, plus camis, loungewear, and robes are $10-$30. Through 12/6; 9-6 Tues., 9-4 Wed.; 381 Park Avenue South (26th & 27th Sts.), ste. 920.

Is it me or is there a Frette sale every other week? This one features bedding, towels, loungewear, and home accessories for up to 70% off. Through 12/7; 9-6:30, 9-5 Thurs.; 317 W. 33rd St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

Sequin's fun costume jewelry is up to 70% off. Through 12/7; 9-6; 234 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 10th fl.

Happy shopping!