New shopping news! Club Monaco at Shopbop

I was in high school when Club Monaco opened its first store in Chicago; its modern, updated basics got me through multiple internships and my first post-college job. Originally a Canadian chain, Club Monaco was bought by Ralph Lauren in 1999 and has since been churning out chic, trend-conscious yet understated clothes; the store is probably most often compared to Banana Republic, but it's way more stylish and urbane. Unlike Banana Republic, Club Monaco has no e-commerce presence--until now, that is. Shopbop, which also sold Madewell before its own website launch (and continues to do so), is now the official online retailer of Club Monaco for women; word on the street is that Club Monaco is testing the Internet waters before it launches its own site sometime in 2011. As for what's on Shopbop, it's a fall and holiday capsule collection, and as with most of Club Monaco's stock, many of the pieces are work-friendly. One of my favorite items is the Isabel tee, which doesn't photograph quite as well as how it looks in person, but it's a simple top with beautifully detailed beading at the shoulders. I was also quite taken with the Simona plaid skirt, pictured at right--I've been looking for a new pleated camel skirt (specific, I know), and this is one of the best ones I've seen. There are also some great accessories, including the very affordable wool thigh highs (just $24!), luxe but reasonable fingerless shearling gloves, and the supercool metallic liquid scarf.

The best part is that to celebrate the launch, Shopbop and Club Monaco are teaming up for a sweepstakes (which normally I don't mention here, but this one was too good to pass up)--the grand prize includes a trip to New York for two, a one-on-one styling session with Kate Ciepluch and Club Monaco Vice President of Women’s Design Caroline Belhumeur, and two $1,000 gift cards – one to Club Monaco and one to Shopbop. And even if you already live in NYC, it's two free shopping sprees with professional advice. I mean, hello. Click on the little icon below to enter--the deadline is October 31, 2010.

Club Monaco at

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