Back to School Shopping & a Giveaway from TheFind

Even though I've been out of school for (cough, cough) awhile, there's still that feeling of excitement and anticipation around the end of the summer. Especially when I was in high school, I spent weeks painstakingly planning my first-day-of-school outfit in the hope that I'd appear to have transformed into a Cool Girl over the summer. It never really worked, but it at least provided hours of entertainment. And all the shopping that went into it was kind of the best part anyway.

Speaking of back-to-school shopping, I've teamed up with TheFind for a $50 gift card giveaway! Here's how to enter: Leave a comment below with your email address and tell me what's on your back-to-school shopping list, real or theoretical. (Note: All entrants will be placed on TheFind's email list for promotions.) You'll be entered to win a $50 gift card, as well as a grand prize $100 gift card, winner to be announced September 12. Spend it on new jeans, kicks, Trapper Keepers, or whatever you want! Entries are due by 11:59 p.m. PST on September 8, 2013.

Need some motivation? Here's my dream first-day-of-school outfit.

EVERY STORE, EVERY PRODUCT, BEST PRICES for BACK-TO-SCHOOL’s powerful shopping search works across the Web, looking through every store, to quickly find you the best back-to-school deals, the perfect satchel handbag, ballet flat, or that hard-to-find item. NEW - The Find for iPad -- Don’t go shopping without it.

TheFind Guest Post: Need Supply's Go Explore Collection Offers Up Stylish Travel-Ready Wardrobe Options

I don't often get the chance to travel for work.... and when the opportunity does happen to come along, I usually try to get out of it. Call me lazy, but the hassle of traveling – packing, airport crowds, flying anxiety, plane-wrinkled clothing, post-travel expense reporting – serves as a huge turn-off for me, and makes me want to channel my inner hermit and curl up in bed. Luckily, I'm sane enough that I'll force myself to suck it up and go anyway – and I always end up having a fabulous time – but that doesn't make the more irritating parts of traveling any less annoying. Need Supply's latest "Go Explore" capsule collection seems to have been created with gals like me in mind – people who enjoy exploring, but just need a little inspiration and a push in the right direction. In this case, that happens to be a very laid-back, stylish yet comfortable direction. The online retailer has teamed up with some of its favorite indie designers – Dusen Dusen, Collina Strada, and Black Crane – to create a 16-piece travel-friendly collection of apparel and accessories that are bound to banish any curmudgeonly feelings toward travel right out of your system. Wrinkle-resistant shirt dresses, loose-fitting breathable trousers, and fuss-free tops and jackets help give you one less thing to fuss about while you're stuck at the airport. Unfortunately, it can't do anything to alleviate the security line situation, but hey – at least you'll look cute while you wait! — Alexandra Gambardella

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

TheFind Guest Post: Studs & Straps: a Killer Pump Combo for Fall!

I'll be honest – there was a time when I swore I'd throw a fit if I saw another heavily-embellished accessory. Studs, spikes, rhinestones – they've been a bit overdone in the past few years, but this season, straps and studs are coming together to invade our shoe collection in a way that's simply too bad-ass to pass up! A streamlined silhouette with a rocker-chic edge, these pumps are the perfect pick-me-up to help you get out of a wardrobe slump, especially in the middle of fall's impending gloomy weather. Edge up your go-to jeans-and-tee combination with some strappy embellished pumps, or breathe new life into your favorite tried-and-true little black dress. Check out some of my favorite studded, strappy numbers in the links below! Pictured above: B Brian Atwood Mercada Ankle Strap Pump, Sam Edelman Darla Studded Pump, Alice + Olivia Drixa Studded Ankle-Wrap Pump, Valentino Patent Leather Rockstud Pumps, and Charlotte Russe Studded Ankle-Strap Pump. —Alexandra Gambardella

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops. 

Buy It: Levi's Revel Jeans, Revisited

When we last checked in with me and my new pair of Levi's Revel jeans, I showed you how I wear them to work. When I'm not working, however, I'm doing the second-most important thing in life, which is shopping. And of course jeans are a great thing to wear for that—they're comfy, they're versatile, and I know that whatever I try on with this pair, my bottom half at least looks amazing. Speaking of which, let's check in with my legs.

Yep, still good.

Have you ever wondered why style bloggers are always posing outdoors? As I recently discovered, the lighting is so much better. So hopefully you can enjoy my Revel jeans in all of their daylight glory. Anyway, I like wearing jeans for shopping, because if you're trying on tops or sweaters or jackets, you don't have to bring separate bottoms into the fitting room with you. And for quick-changing purposes, I like to keep the rest of my outfit simple too. Here, I'm wearing a pretty basic T-shirt, but I've added a little color with my shoes and bag (last seen here). I realize I now appear to be one of those women who matches her handbag to her shoes, but I can assure you, this was more of a happy accident than anything else. The shoes are really comfortable—low heel, good arch support—and are easy to slip on and off, which is also key, particularly if you're shopping for shoes! And as always, I like to add a little glam to my outfit with jewelry. 

Get my look:

Gratuitous accessory close-up! Necklace (similar) and bow bracelet, evil eye bracelet, and spike bracelet.

And once again, shoes!

The Levi's® women's design team was inspired by a woman's desire for jeans that enhance her shape and highlight her best features without sacrificing comfort. After years of development and hundreds of fittings around the globe, the Levi's® team is proud to introduce Levi's® REVEL, a line of jeans designed to shape, enhance and create a sense of confidence. Wear them. Be transformed. Feel amazing.    

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Levi’s via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Levi’s. 

Object of Desire: AllSaints Sage Leather Biker Jacket

The weather this week was a revelation. I am writing this from my apartment, whose windows are wide open and letting an unseasonably cool breeze blow inside, thus reminding me that fall will be here before we know it. And this year, dear readers, I intend to buy a leather biker jacket. Not a black one—I am by no means edgy enough to pull one of those off. But I think this AllSaints sage leather biker jacket is just the right amount of cool. The color is somewhere between green and gray, which is much softer and more accessible than black, plus you can wear it with pretty much any other color, since it's still a neutral. It's made of supersoft lambskin, and AllSaints tends to cut their jackets very well with high, snug armholes and slim fits through the body. Of course, a great-fitting lambskin jacket is definitely a piece that requires a bit of investment, and while this one is a fraction of what a similar style by, say, Balenciaga or Rick Owens would cost, it's nothing to sneeze at. Still, I may just treat myself. If this glorious weather sticks around, I may need it sooner rather than later!

TheFind Guest Post: Leather Trim: It's All in the Details This Fall!

Leather details have been a hot commodity for several seasons now, and any peek at 2013 fall fashion previews will tell you that the trend is here to stay! I know, in these hot summer months, it's hard to imagine looking forward to fall already, but all the sexy leather trim cropping up on everything from bags and jackets to tops and dresses makes it tempting to look ahead! There's something about leather trim that gives pretty much everything and anything the perfect modern update to take it through the season ahead – even the most simply jersey LBD or work-appropriate tweed jacket. Chic and sophisticated but with just the right amount of edge, these leather-trimmed pieces prove that less is more when it comes to making a statement this fall! Pictured above: Proenza Schouler PS1 Medium Leather-Trimmed Tweed Satchel, Alice + Olivia Willa Leather-Trim Printed Chiffon Blouse, IRO Leather Trim Floral Crochet Jacket, M Missoni Mixed-Media Shorts, and Diane von Furstenberg Dayton Dress with Leather Trim.

Download TheFind's new iPad app and shop more late-summer essentials while you transition into the fall shopping season!

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops. 

Buy It: Levi's Revel Jeans

At the risk of sounding like Oprah, I've been trying to manifest lately, which basically means making something happen by wanting it really, really badly. While it's somewhat of an inexact science, I've found I can manifest certain things more easily than others. Case in point, I was lamenting a few weeks ago how hard it is to find a good pair of skinny jeans when, like a beacon from the gods, Levi's sent me a new pair of its Revel jeans. (Now if only I could manifest a winning lottery ticket!) I am normally a little skeptical of jeans specifically geared toward one's body type (Revel utilizes Levi's Curve ID technology; I'm a "demi curve," per their online quiz), but Levi's has been making jeans for 150 years, so I generally trust them to do their thing. Which in this case, was make an incredibly awesome pair of skinny jeans.

Ok, here are my legs in my new Revel jeans. If my legs could smile, they'd totally be doing it right now. They're happy because these jeans are supersoft but substantial—one of my least favorite things in this world is denim that's too flimsy and lightweight. They're stretchy, but they manage to hold their shape without sagging. They're also constructed to shape your body and lengthen your legs, and I don't know exactly how it works, but believe me, it does. In a world where skinny jeans tend to be not really skinny (too straight!) or way too skinny (sausage-casing tight!), Levi's Revel jeans are, as Goldilocks would say, just right. 

Let's look at the rest of my outfit, shall we?

I was asked to put together a work-appropriate outfit that makes me feel confident, and while I work in an office where jeans are permitted on Fridays, I am also upper management at said office, so when I wear jeans to work, I try to look as professional as possible. Everything I'm wearing here is pretty much a no-brainer, but that's what makes it so confidence-building—I know all these pieces look awesome together, so I can focus on my job, not whether I look pulled-together enough in my outfit. Side note: I try to keep my day job as separate as possible from Cheryl Shops, so this is me at work as a blogger. While blogging, I always sit in as leg-lengthening a position as possible! (Just kidding, I am usually on the couch in a "Delta Zeta Rush 1997" T-shirt and old athletic shorts, but a girl can dream, can't she?)

Get my look:
Jacket (similar style)
And of course, jeans

And while the main components of my work-friendly outfit are rather classic, I love to show that I'm a fashion blogger by wearing a lot of accessories—at least three bracelets, three necklaces, and a fierce pair of leopard-print pumps (which, with a low heel and closed pointy toe, are still work appropriate). Closeups, for your pleasure.

I'm creative because I wear bracelets! Left to right: link bracelet, string bracelet (similar), spike bracelet (similar), nail ring (similar)

Three of my favorite necklaces, from dainty to statement-making. Top to bottom: arrow pendant, cluster pendant (similar), bar pendant

If you ask me, leopard is a neutral. Leopard pumps (similar)

So in case you hadn't noticed, in nearly 10 years of blogging, this was my first-ever outfit post. It was so much fun, I'm totally going to do it again. Look for another upcoming post on Levi's Revel soon! 

The Levi's® women's design team was inspired by a woman's desire for jeans that enhance her shape and highlight her best features without sacrificing comfort. After years of development and hundreds of fittings around the globe, the Levi's® team is proud to introduce Levi's® REVEL, a line of jeans designed to shape, enhance and create a sense of confidence. Wear them. Be transformed. Feel amazing.    

 Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Levi’s via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Levi’s.