Buy it: Old Navy's fleece babydoll hoodie
I'm a firm believer in sticking to what you know. Yes, taking risks has its place, but when it comes to fashion, I think it's more interesting when designers find new ways to interpret their stylistic signatures (i.e. Chanel), rather than radically changing their aesthetic every several seasons (like Prada). And while I might make fun of West Coast designers for their jeans-and-tee simplicity, well, really no one does it better. Take, for example, Mike & Chris, a relatively new line of hoodies, hoodies, and more hoodies. While they create these marvelous pieces in myriad silhouettes and a variety of fabrics, I think their most famous style is the Bailey, a babydoll hoodie jacket in fleece. Such mastery of the form comes at a price, however, and the Bailey's is $308, which would not be too inconceivable if the coat were made out of, say, wool, instead of a cotton/poly blend.

Which is why you should buy this $30 hoodie coat from Old Navy. True, it doesn't have the detail or the fit present in Mike & Chris' version, but it's supersoft and conveys the same general idea. For layering fanatics, it's a dream; I'm going to bust mine out as soon as the temperature drops into the 60s. In case the website is sold out--which it appeared to be in danger of doing as I was writing this--head over to the Soho Old Navy; that's where I got mine (in gray). And, hey, if anyone knows fleece, it's Old Navy. Now, if only they'd knock off Mike & Chris's leather hoodie...
Guilty pleasure: Aerosoles
Last Friday, I tottered to work in ginormous platform shoes, only to be nearly crippled by the time I reached my office. Comfortable, these shoes were not; they were both, oddly, too long and too narrow. By noon, I decided I couldn't take it any more, so I limped to the nearest shoe store, which happened to be Aerosoles. I figured my feet felt so bad, I didn't have much choice in the matter. Now, when I hear Aerosoles, I think of the ugly flats my mom used to wear in the '90s; I believe she had them in at least three colors. So I headed to the sale rack, figuring that if I'm going to buy a pair of shoes to wear for only a few more hours, they might as well be on sale. Lo and behold, there were actually several semi-cute pairs of shoes that would've worked for me, but I went with a studded, braided leather sandal with an espadrille wedge sole (they sound busy, but they're boho-chic and cute enough, considering the source). They were $30, but they were also so comfortable, I ended up wearing them all weekend long--I can walk in them for hours without the straps digging into my feet or the ball of my foot cramping. I feel like I've entered a whole new world. So I went on the Aerosoles website to see if they have any other passable options for fall.

Wedges are on their way out, but you can get at least a season out of this T-strap, and the dark-blue color is a cousin of the trendy cobalt I've been seeing everywhere.

While not totally my cup of tea, this lace-up bootie is a look you're going to see everywhere this fall. The faux-shearling trim gives it a cozy touch.

I think my favorite style, however, is this knee-high wedge boot--you can even get it in edgy patent leather (trendy and waterproof!).

So they're not Louboutins. They're not even Stevens. But when it comes to shoes you can actually walk in, Aerosoles has some surprisingly stylish options. Who knew?
The week in shopping
Score bras, undies, and more from fancy lines (think Aubade and La Perla) for $10-$75 at La Petite Coquette's end-of-summer sale. Through 9/30; 11-7, 11-8 Thurs., noon-6 Sun.; 51 University Place (9th & 10th Sts.).

Treat yourself to a fancy, semiprecious Michal Golan bauble for up to 40% off. Through 9/9; 11-7, 11-5 weekends; 313 Columbus Ave. and 4 Cortlandt St.

Valentino, Missoni, Moschino Jeans, and See by Chloe are up to 75% off in this random yet inticing sale. 8/29-8/30; 9:30-7 Wed., 9-7 Thurs.; 123 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), 4th fl.

Hit Shopbop's End-of-summer Sale for even deeper discounts on all your favorites.
Recommended reading
Today's Thursday Style section in the Times was all about fall fashion; in this sure-to-be debated article, Cathy Horyn heralds the new sobriety in fashion for fall; according to her, we'll give up platforms and babydoll dresses for sharply tailored jackets, pencil skirts, and trousers. The article has a good point--I'm all for dressing like a woman, as opposed to a pregnant Lolita--and I agree that a lot of the sharp tailoring seen on the fall runways was probably a reaction to the rampant knockoffs occurring throughout the fashion world (after all, it's much easier to copy a simple shift dress than a well-made suit). However, I feel like the article is addressing a slightly older demographic; I own both platforms and babydoll dresses, and neither will be leaving my closet anytime soon, just so I can look like a generic office drone. Yes, I work at a desk job in corporate America, but the daily challenge for me is expressing my personal style within the contstraints of our company dress code, and I'm not just going to throw in the towel and wear pantsuits every day. Also--and the article touches upon this briefly at the end--dresses aren't going anywhere, at least not for the next few seasons, since women love them so much. (Because, hey, nothing is easier or more feminine than a dress.) I don't think we're going to spend the season looking like we've stepped straight out of the Marc Jacobs runway show, but I do hope the modesty and restraint influences fashion to a certain degree. I'm thinking sophisticated, but not boring.
I did not go to the Prada Sample Sale today.
I was afraid of missing my ten o'clock meeting and, to be honest, the past few years have been pretty meager anyway, so I decided to ditch the Prada Sample Sale. And according to accounts from The Shophound and Racked, this appears to have been a good idea. They say most of the merchandise is stained and/or torn, incredibly ugly, too expensive, or all of the above. In other words, not worth my (or your) time. I suggest hitting the Space outlet store in Woodbury Commons or, for the adventurous, eBay, instead.
I don't know about you, but I had an exceptionally bad day today. However, the one beacon of shining light was The Daily's news that CFDA-winner Loeffler Randall will be Target's next designer accessories collaboration. The line will hit stores in early 2008; lucky fashion editors get a preview tomorrow. Even without seeing it, I can almost guarantee you that I will buy every single piece, as I totally adore Loeffler Randall. I will, however, post pictures as soon as they're available.

In other Masstige news, No Good For Me has the first images of Roberto Cavalli for H&M and, well, let's just say everything looks very Cavalli-esque. Again, that collection hits stores in November. Rawr.

UPDATE: Carol Han at Elle's Market Girl blog has published pictures of the Loeffler Randall collection. They look a bit shiny in the photographs but are apparently stunning in person. This bag makes my mouth water either way.
Cheryl Shops...the Barneys Warehouse Sale
I finally hit the Barneys sale on Friday after work; apparently the rest of the city has summer Fridays as well, because the sale was no less crowded than usual. In other words, it was mass chaos. But I will say this: I think the sale was the best one I've been to in awhile. The designer section--which is normally one rack at the end by the shoes for a few days, then gets folded into the regular merchandise--is much expanded and moved to a separate area over by the windows; it was filled with lots of Lanvin, Marni, Prada Sport, and other pretty good stuff, all things considered. I had to talk myself out of a $89 pair of Balenciaga pants; they were too big and would've cost me at least that much in tailoring, but they were gorgeous nonetheless. As for the main racks, I hit them in search of KA7, Daryl K, and 3.1 Phillip Lim, and I was successful in all but the last (I got a Daryl K dress, a KA7 sweater dress, and a KA7 top). What surprised me the most, however, was the shoe department. I often have no luck there whatsoever, but this time I had to whittle my options down. I ended up with a pair of yellow suede Prada flats; they're kind of jolie-laide, but I love them.

The sale runs through Labor Day, but according to this post on Racked, the best stuff comes out this week. Interesting indeed.
The week in shopping
Get there early and be prepared for Barneys Warehouse Sale levels of craziness: the Intermix Warehouse Sale starts Thursday and promises Chloe, Stella McCartney, Alice Ritter and other super-covetable designers. 8/23/8/26; 9-8, 10-6 Sun.; Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

Aspire to a life of fabulousness with Jimmy Choo bags and shoes at 65% off and more. 8/23; noon-7:30; the Warwick Hotel, 65 W. 54th St. (5th & 6th Aves.).

Freebies, cocktails, and, oh yeah, clothes from Tibi, Cynthia Rowley, Issa, and more are up to 80% off at the Billion Dollar Babes shopping event. Don't forget to RSVP. 8/22-8/23; 8-8 Wed., 8-6 Thurs.; the Altman Building, 135 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

Dress like an uber-stylish Frenchie for 75% off at the swank Agnes B sale. 8/21-8/31; 9-8; 50 W. 23rd St. (5th & 6th Aves),penthouse.

Hayden-Harnett's awesome clothes, bags, and accessories are up to 80% off, and 20% of proceeds benefit the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. 8/22-8/25; 12:30-7:30; Edge NY, 65 Bleecker St. (Broadway & Lafayette).

Like Dries Van Noten, Comme des Garçons, and Martin Margiela? Head to Soho's IF Boutique and score 'em for up to 85% off. 8/22-8/26; 11-7; 94 Grand St. (at Greene St.).

Understated yet luxurious Mulberry bags are up to 75% off. 8/22-8/23; 10-7; 140 W. 57th St. (6th & 7th Aves.), ste. 9B.

Thomas O'Brien's Aero has furniture, linens, and household items for up to 75% off. Through 9/1; 11-6 (closed Sun.); 419 Broome St. (Crosby & Lafayette Sts.).

Cutie-pie clothes and accessories are under $100 at the Charlotte Ronson sale. 8/22-8/24; 10-6; 1071 6th Ave. (40th & 41st Sts.), ste. 301.

It's Denim Week at Cheryl Shops fave Shopbop, with a new free gift with purchase every day--Tuesday is J Brand, Wednesday is Seven, Thursday is Anlo, and Friday is Citizens of Humanity.
As for sample sale listings...
I get it. You like them. They will stay. That is all.
I did not go to the Barneys Warehouse Sale today...
But the lovely ladies from Racked and Fashionista did. Read their reports here and here, respectively. Or for a snobbier take, Almost Girl was put off by the "crowds of non-industry women" at the sale. (Nice, Julie.) For the record, I've been exhausted all week, so I decided sleep was more important than first dibs on the sale. But I'm definitely going to go tomorrow after work, and I will post a special report sometime this weekend--I promise.
Website of the week
In our old apartment, our bedroom was a dusty blue and grass-green, and while it was a fairly calming color scheme, it was kind of dark, and I often had bad dreams. Then again, maybe it was just the bad energy in our old apartment. Anyway, after being incredibly inspired by the photograph at right (from last month's issue of Domino), I decided to decorate our new bedroom in a red, white, and turquoise color scheme (I know there's yellow in this photo, but I'm not the hugest yellow fan).

I found a similar duvet cover at Pottery Barn, of all places; the pillows shouldn't be too hard to find (that is, if MW lifts his ban on decorative pillows); and the fabric on the bench is so expensive, I'm not even going to go there. But that rug...ohh, I love it. I am not a huge Oriental rug person; in fact, I strongly prefer contemporary, graphic patterns. So I was incredibly pleased to discover its designer, Madeline Weinrib (no relation to MW), and her lovely collection of rugs, pillows, and fabrics. It turns out Ms. Weinrib is the great-granddaughter of the founder of ABC Carpet & Home, where her entire line can be found.

I decided the Emma cotton rug from the Amagansett collection would be perfect for our bedroom...well, until we went to ABC on Sunday and took a look at the prices, which are reasonable in comparison to the rest of ABC's wares, but still a bit of a stretch.

For those of you with more, um, resources, there are gorgeous Tibetan wool rugs (I like the Megan) and metallic chenille rugs (like the Mandala).

For more bang for your buck, there's always pillows, like the Zigzag.

Which doesn't solve my rug problem, so back to the drawing board for that. But in the meantime, how about lifting that pillow ban, MW?
Sample sale listings: stay or go?
So, I spend a lot of time compiling the sample sale listings every Monday night. I do this partly for myself, but mostly because I know they're popular among you, my readers, and I like for you to keep coming back. Now, if everyone loves them, I'll keep posting them, but if you could take them or leave them, that might allow me to come up with newer and more interesting features for Cheryl Shops. So, just to show me where you stand, please vote in my poll below, and feel free to leave any comments below. Thanks!

  • Ack! I'd have no reason to read this blog ever again!
  • No worries--I can get my sample sales elsewhere.
  • I'd be bummed, but I'll still come back regularly.
One more sale...
Make like the devil herself and dress yourself in Prada: Registration for the Prada sample sale is now open. It starts next week and time slots are going fast (I got stuck with Wednesday morning--horrors!), so sign up now!
The week in shopping
No matter what your size, Malia Mills has a suit to suit you--now for up to 75% off. 8/14-8/16; 10-7; 263 W. 38th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 16th fl.

Hollywould's glam shoes, bags and dresses are cheapity cheap ($65 and up) online right now and in-store starting Thursday. 8/16-8/18; 11:30-7; 198 Elizabeth St. (Prince & Spring Sts.).

I'll be there at 8 a.m. on opening day. Maybe. The famed Barneys Warehouse Sale starts Thursday. 8/16-9/3; 10-9 weekdays (opens at 8 a.m. the first two days), 10-7 weekends; 255 W. 17th St. (7th & 8th Aves.).

Very wearable MarieMarie dresses are $99 and tops are $59 at this sale. 8/15-8/16; noon-8; 257 W. 39th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 10th fl.

Schlep out to Williamsburg for Zero Maria Cornejo for roughly $150 and less. 8/17-8/18; noon-7:30; 169 N. 1st. St. (Bedford & Driggs Aves.), Williamsburg.

Lauren Merkin's adorable bags are half price at this sample sale. 8/14-8/16; 11-7; 231 W. 29th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), ste. 1201.

Lower East Side mainstay Shop has Twinkle, Mint, and other It girl labels for 50% off. 8/16-8/19; noon-7:30; 105 Stanton St. (at Ludlow St.).

Morgane Le Fay's fairy-goth creations are $50 and up at this excellent sale. Through 8/17; 10-7, 10-5 Fri.; 601 W. 26th St. (11th & 12th Aves.), ste. 1350.

For the dapper dudes out there, Freemans Sporting Club's menswear is 20%-50% off. 8/15-8/29; noon-8, 11-8 Sat., noon-6 Sun.; 8 Rivington St. (Bowery & Chrystie St.).

Emerging designers are 50% off at Bio. Through 9/3; noon-7; 29 Prince St. (Mott & Elizabeth Sts.).

Take less-than-perfect furinture off Desiron's hands at their warehouse sale. 8/16-8/18; 76 Greene St. (Spring & Broome Sts.).

Fancy eveningwear is 40%-60% off at Pilar Rossi. Through 9/10; 10:30-6:30 (closed Sun.); 784 Madison Ave. (at 67th St.).
Object of desire: the Balenciaga motorcycle messenger bag
Speaking of luxury shopping, there have been mumblings about the death of the "it bag" this fall, something that perhaps everyone but luxury retailers and magazine editors would be open to--I know I would be. So I was happy to see this story in the Times today about anti-it bags, little purses worn across the body or on the shoulder with a long strap. They're not exactly cheap, but they're not the obnoxious, gargantuan swinging from the elbow of every Hollywood starlet and Long Island housewife either. I am totally behind this--I'm currently in the market for a cross-body bag, actually--except I need something a little bigger.

So what a coincidence that I should receive an email today from Kirna Zabete, announcing the arrival of Balenciaga's fall line, including the delicious motorcycle messenger bag pictured below at left:

I've resisted buying a Balenciaga bag in the past because they've fallen victim to street-vendor syndrome: When you can buy knockoffs on every street corner in New York, the original suddenly looks a lot cheaper. However, I've noticed that after a dalliance with Marc Jacobs' Stam bag, the vendors have moved on to the Goyard St. Louis tote (or "Gooyar," as I've noticed the bags actually say). So maybe the time is ripe for a Balenciaga messenger. The version pictured here is $1,125, but if anything is worth a splurge, it's a handbag--if you break it down on a yearly cost-per-wear basis, it's like $3 per day. (Hey, it's cheaper than your daily Starbucks habit!) Don't you love how I rationalize things? Seriously, though, if you're going to drop the dough on a luxury item, why not do it on one you're going to use every day, right? Right.
Recommended reading
There's no doubt that clothing and accessories have become more expensive in recent years--MW looks at me like I'm crazy when I say this, but it's true. This is due in part to the weakened dollar, in part to polarization of the classes in this country (thanks, W!), and in part because luxury retailers raise prices just because they can. Two articles in today's papers explore this phenomenon: the Times argues that raising prices is actually good for business--people think the items are expensive for a reason, and thus they covet them even more. The Wall Street Journal, on the other hand, argues that super-expensive items are just a marketing ploy to get the rest of us into the store, so we can drop $150 on a scarf or $75 on a keychain. I think both articles have a point; Hermes may make a nice profit off its Birkin bags (which take weeks to make), but hit the store any day and watch the scarves and ties fly off the shelves. So, that's the state of the luxury market: $5,000 dresses for those who can afford 'em and $20 lipsticks for those of us who can't.
Why I love Brooklyn, part 1
First of all, thanks to everyone who suggested places for me to shop/eat/drink in the nabe. I've been too busy unpacking to do any serious shopping, but hopefully I will have more time this weekend (I've already walked past Diane T, Dear Fieldbinder, and Bird, and I look forward to checking them out). Also, I am finding that restaurants are good and cheap! Anyway, so, I had to promise a bunch of people that I wouldn't turn into a "rah-rah Brooklynite" once I moved here, but as you can probably tell by the way this post is going, I can't contain myself. I love Brooklyn.

Case in point: This is my closet.

Now, I don't know if this picture really does it justice, but we have 11-foot ceilings in our bedroom, and the closet goes all the way to the top. (I am five-foot-seven and I have to stand on the step-stool to reach my shoes. Not that I'm complaining.) I have a crapload of clothes, and they fit in here comfortably, plus all the shelves and rods are adjustable, in case I need to reorganize. This closet is, literally, the size of the closets from my previous three Manhattan apartments put together. Um, not that I'm bragging.

Yay, Brooklyn!
The week in shopping
Hit the Warehouse Sale for one-stop shopping: Think Antik Denim, True Religion, and other coveted labels at up to 80% off. RSVP at the website or pay $5 at the door. 8/10-8/11; 11-8; the Puck Building, 295 Lafayette St. (Prince & Houston Sts.), 7th fl.

Treat yourself to luxe, ladylike stationery from Dempsey & Carroll at 25% off, both online and in the store. Through 8/31; 9-6 Mon.-Thurs., 9-5 Fri. (closed weekends); 136 E. 57th St. (Lex & 3rd Aves.), 4th fl.

I can't wait to check out Bird (located a few short blocks from my new apartment), where Mayle, 3.1 Phillip Lim, and Cheap Monday are up to 75% off. Wahoo! Through 8/12; 430 7th Ave., Park Slope, Brooklyn and 220 Smith St., Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.

You don't have to splure on French Sole's quality ballet flats--they're $49-$109 at this sale. Through 8/10; 10-7, 11-6 Sat., closed Sun.; 985 Lexington Ave. (at 71st St.).

With this heat, I feel bad for anyone who's pregnant at the moment. Lucky for you, Liz Lange Maternity's warehouse sale boasts all manner of clothing for $10-$100. Through 8/11; 8:30-6 weekdays, 10-5 Sat.; 347 W. 36th St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

You don't have to be able to pronounce Catriona MacKechnie to appreciate their sale; think lingerie from Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, and Skin for 40% off and up. Through 8/16; 11-7:30, noon-6 Sun.; 400 W. 14th St. (9th Ave. & Washington St.).

For the DDudes, BBlessing has Raf Simons, Surface to Air, and other trendy menswear for 40%-50% off. Through 9/4; 1-9, noon-8 Sun.; 181 Orchard St. (at Stanton St.).

Select floor models and furnishings are on sale at Danish furniture store Bo Concept. Through 8/18; visit website for store locations and hours.

Sweet Tater's vintage wares and house label are up to 50% off. Through 8/12; noon-7; 280 Mulberry St. (at Jersey St.).

Take in an old pair of jeans to Barneys and get a new pair for 20% off. Click here for details.

Score free cocktails and $25 gift certificates (when you spend $200) at Bloomingdale's Girls Night Out in the Y.E.S. department. 8/9; 6-8 p.m.

Save up to 75% on Clu, Vena Cava, Jovovich Hawk, and other coveted labels at Cheryl Shops fave La Garçonne.

Last chance--save up to 70% at Shopbop's end-of-summer sale.
Sales and more coming tomorrow, I swear!
I am drowning in a sea of boxes, but I promise I'll post sales tomorrow night. Please come back soon!