Two ways to wear a tropical-print dress

This week's outfit post is a bit different than my usual format, and it's all the weather's fault. May is usually a gorgeous month in San Francisco, but it's been unseasonably cold—it's even been raining lately, which is unheard of for this time of year. I had planned on wearing the first look featured here, but brought warmer layers so we could go out to dinner afterward. As it turns out, my warmer layers looked cute too, so we just ended up shooting both outfits. One is more dressed up and polished; the other is more casual and cool—and I can't decide which is my favorite, even now. Let me know what you think of this new format in the comments, and if it's a hit, I'll do it again from time to time.

What it's like to try a clothing rental service

I tried Armoire free for a month but was not paid for this post.

In this day and age of Marie Kondo, I think we can all agree that we probably own too many clothes, especially ones we haven't worn in months (or years). It's very liberating to get rid of a lot of them. And while the concept of a super-minimalist, capsule wardrobe appeals to me, I'm only human and need a little variety now and then. Which is why I'm fascinated by clothing rental services. Do we even need to own our clothing anymore? After all, we share cars (Getaround and Turo, not to mention Uber and Lyft), homes (Airbnb), workspaces (WeWork), money (Lending Club, Kickstarter), even knowledge and skills (TaskRabbit, UpWork). My curiosity was piqued when Armoire offered me a free trial—it's billed as an "infinite wardrobe," in that you can borrow up to 8 pieces at a time and swap them out as frequently as you want, all for $149 a month. So, in the name of investigative reporting, I said yes. Here's my honest review.

What to wear with a pink blazer

I've been on both a Marie Kondo-ing tear and a subsequent spring shopping spree lately, and both felt good. The Kon-Mari has cleared out a lot of space in my closet and also made me more conscious of what I'm buying. I am only shopping for things that spark joy, and I am thinking long and hard about whether I'm going to wear something for just a few months or if it's going to be a long-term addition to my closet. Of course, sometimes the best intentions don't always pan out, and it's hard to predict the future, but this pale pink linen blazer is certainly sparking joy for me, and I have a feeling it's going to stick around for awhile. I've already worn it multiple ways, but here's a wear-now, wear-anytime kind of look—and one of my favorites right now.

How I'm ditching bottled water

This post is sponsored by Brita, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Real talk: plastic water bottles are bad for the environment. Like really bad. Americans consume 2,000 bottles of plastic water per second, and if we keep going at this rate, there will be more plastic bottles than fish in the ocean by 2050. The good news is that there's an easy solution to this problem: filling your own reusable water bottle with filtered water. It's a super easy thing to do that has a huge impact on the environment, plus you'll save money (hey, those plastic water bottles add up!) and filtered water tastes just as good as (or even better than) the stuff that comes from a bottle. Here's how I'm ditching bottled water with the help of Brita.

How to dress down a formal gown

San Francisco is not a very dressy place, especially compared to New York, where I lived for 13 years. True, I have the occasional wedding, holiday party, or charity event to dress up for, but most of my fancy dresses spend a lot of time just hanging in my closet. And that's a bummer. The good news is that with a little strategic styling, you can dress down a fancy dress for more casual, everyday occasions. Here's how I did it.

A day in the life of Zuni

This post is sponsored by Wellness CORE but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Woof, I'm Zuni, Cheryl's dog. Perhaps you've seen me on her Instagram—I don't have my own account yet, but maybe I should! Anyway, since this post is all about ME, Cheryl thought I should write it. She promised me my favorite Wellness CORE treats as a reward, but man, she always makes me work for it! Of course, I sleep a lot too. I'm a dog! Here's what I do all day, woof woof!

Get the look: spring minimalist neutrals

I've been on a light-colored minimal kick lately, so it's somewhat serendipitous that this month's most-repinned look from my Outfit ideas for ageless style Pinterest board is just that: a minimalist mix of beige, white, and tan. It's just the right thing to wear right now—the perfect spring transitional outfit. Here's how to get this all-neutral look.

What to wear with an eyelet skirt

When it comes to skirts, I have a type: above the knee, tiered, with a slight A-line shape. Off the top of my head, I can think of five of these already in my closet, although I probably have more. There's a reason I have a type—it's the most flattering on my body—but the downside is that my wardrobe starts to look the same after awhile. This was the argument that ran through my mind as I was contemplating buying this skirt, but I decided screw it, I really love it—plus I had a Free People birthday discount to burn. Once the weather started to cooperate, I ended up wearing this skirt three days in a row, which I almost never do, but that's how much I'm into it. Long story short, just wear what you love.

Mother's Day gift guide

PSA: Mother's Day is Sunday May, 12th, which is sooner than you think! If your mom is anything like mine, she's not the easiest person to shop for. Hopefully the ideas below will make your Mother's Day shopping excursion a bit easier. (Hey, it's what I'm here for!)

How to wear a dress over jeans

Wearing a dress over jeans is one of those next-level styling tricks that you see on street-style blogs during fashion week—it looks amazing but seems way too complicated to actually pull off. I, however, was up for a challenge, and after some experimentation, think I landed an outfit that works. It's all about proportion and strategic unbuttoning so you don't look like a big old blob. Here's how I styled a maxi shirtdress over white skinny jeans.

Spring trends: slingbacks

I saved the best spring trend for last: shoes! More specifically, slingbacks, which I wouldn't normally qualify as a trend, but there are so many amazing ones out there right now, I had to feature them. The good news for my over-40 feet is that the best ones have low heels, many in that 1-1/2–2" sweet spot. The even better news is that there are slingbacks with all manner of fun colors and details. The best news? You can wear them right now.

What to wear with a linen blazer

When it comes to shopping, I don't always get things right the first time. It took me several tries to find the right gray jeans (more on that later), I'm still looking for a ribbed black midi skirt (I've bought and returned two so far), and I have yet to find the perfect white summer dress in spite of trying at least one new one every summer. This is probably the third or fourth linen blazer I've purchased, and it still might not be the best, but I think I'm getting pretty close. It's one of those pieces that I plan on living in for much of summer; I've styled it here with jeans and a tee—very classic—but think it will look just as good with a T-shirt dress and sneakers. It's the ultimate dress-up, dress-down, dress-however-you-want piece.

Spring trends: tie dye

As I noted last week, tie dye is having a moment for spring, and, surprisingly, there are lots of sophisticated ways to wear it. The modern interpretation of tie dye is soft and pretty, and the silhouettes are refined. Of all the trends I've been featuring so far this season, this is the one I'm the most excited about—and I found so many great options, I've included a bonus widget at the bottom, so keep scrolling! Here are just some of my favorite tie-dyed pieces for spring 2019. 

How to transition a sweater to spring

Spring is a time of year that sounds better in theory than in reality. After months of cold, clouds, and rain (or in most cases, snow), all I want to do is break out the bare legs and sandals. And yet some days are in the 60s and gorgeously sunny, and others are...kind of just like winter. When I lived in New York, I'd totally jump the gun and break out my summer clothes as soon as the thermometer hit 50 degrees, but now that I'm a Californian, I've learned to ease into spring. My wool coats have been put away for the season, but sweaters are still around; tights are back in my drawer, but I haven't busted out the sandals just yet. Spring transitional outfits are all about balance; here's how mine are coming together.

Spring trends: feathers

This next trend is a bit kooky, but it's fun, and I think it transcends style—you can wear feathers in an edgy way or a feminine way, or in many ways in between. It's also a bit easier to find on the higher end (Net-a-Porter has a wealth of feather-trimmed stuff), but there are lots of affordable options out there too. Here are my favorite feather-trimmed pieces for spring 2019.

What to wear with tie-dye

When I was in high school, there was a certain segment of the population that wore tie-dye. They also wore cargo shorts, peace necklaces, and Birkenstocks; they listened to the Grateful Dead; and yes, the stereotypes were all true. So of course I avoided wearing it like the plague…until years later when I saw this Proenza Schouler tee at Barneys. I love layering it under a blazer—it's an elevated take on tie-dye—and I've had it for years. So when I saw that tie-dye is a big trend for spring 2019, I jumped at a chance to style it here. This is more of a weekend look—I went with a long cardigan instead of a blazer—but still hopefully a more polished, ageless way to wear it. In other words, leave the Birkenstocks at home.

Spring trends: lavender

As I mentioned last week, I've never been a a big fan of lavender...until now. It's the color that's everywhere this spring, in varying warm and cool tones. with all kinds of different finishes, patterns, and textures. I hate to say that there's something for everyone, but...there's literally something for everyone. Here are my favorite lavender pieces for spring.

What to wear with split-hem pants

I first fell in love with the idea of split-hem pants after seeing this photo of Leandra Medine, a.k.a. the Man-Repeller, at Fashion Week last September. Her pants are Céline, which are likely long gone (and a bit out of my price range), but I've been obsessed with them ever since. While there are a bunch of similar styles flooding the stores, I have yet to find a pair that looks quite as good as hers (then again, it might help to have her rail-thin legs too). What I ended up with is a pair of thick-knit straight-leg pants from Zara, and since they are completely unlike anything else in my closet, styling them has been a challenge—although one I'm completely up for. Here's what I've been wearing with my split-hem pants.

Spring trends: snake print

Now that it's officially spring, let's talk spring 2019 trends. Animal print was a big trend for fall, and it shows no signs of slowing down, but for spring, snakeskin prints are the most appealing for me, especially in lighter, more pale shades of blush, gray, and beige. It's a subtler, softer way to wear it, especially in warmer weather. Here are some of my faves.

What to wear with lavender

We've been having a heat wave in San Francisco the last few days—it's been sunny and in the upper 60s, which has felt like heaven after months and months of rain. I have a feeling winter still has a few weeks left, but in the meantime, I'm all about spring. So this week, I put together a transitional look—the colors are very springy, but the layers are a little more realistic for the weather this time of year.

The 5 spring beauty products I'm obsessed with

Ok guys, spring is coming. I can feel it in the air. I actually wore bare legs this week for the first time in months, the sun is still out when I leave work, and the night jasmine is blooming. After what has felt like a very long, cold, wet winter, I am really happy about this. So just as I switch to lighter clothes when the weather warms up, I also change up my beauty routine in favor of more citrusy scents and lightweight formulas. Here are the five products I'm obsessed with right now.

What to wear with white boots

White boots are a trend that I thought would die a swift death, but to my surprise, they show no signs of going away. I resisted, thinking they'd make my size 8.5 feet look huge, but after much hemming and hawing (as my dad would say), I finally decided to give knee-high white boots a try. I bought these on major sale and almost returned them—they do look rather enormous, but I like the heel and the shape. They feel very spring-forward yet I can wear them while the weather is still on the cooler side. So obviously, I kept them. Here's how I'm styling them.

Get the look: leather midi skirt and belt bag

I don't know about you, but I am really tired of winter. Like, really. I am already plotting what I'm going to wear when the sun is out again, the temperatures are back in the 60s, and all is back to normal. I have a feeling you're on the same page, because this month's most-pinned look from my Outfit ideas for ageless style Pinterest board is a very spring-transitional one. Which is all very responsible and rational of you. So let's re-create it and hopefully spring will get the memo.

How to dress like Kate Moss

Kate Moss has been my style icon for as long as I can remember. She's only four years older than me, which makes her the perfect age to idolize—she's old enough for me to look up to, but close enough in age that we're of the same generation. While some may criticize her for not evolving her style over the years, I love that she remains true to herself and doesn't feel the need to "dress for her age." At 45, Kate looks just as cool and sexy as ever. She also has some go-to outfit formulas, and a Who What Wear story dissecting one of them, Kate Moss has been wearing the same outfit for 15 years, inspired this post. The two key pieces are a leopard-print faux fur coat and a little black dress, but I made a few adjustments for winter (and the fact that I don't roll around in a chauffeur-driven car like she probably does). Here's how I recreated one of Kate Moss's most iconic looks.

Russian River trip diary

The Russian River flows southward through Mendocino and Sonoma Counties in California, eventually into the Pacific Ocean. It's also flooded at the moment, due to all the rain we've been having. Thankfully, Sean and I were able to enjoy a long weekend there a few weeks ago before things got totally out of control. Once the waters recede—and the weather warms up—I'd definitely recommend a visit. Here's where we ate, drank, stayed, and explored.

What to wear with a fur vest

I have been searching high and low for the perfect fur vest for years. I thought I wanted a longer one in a lighter color, but that just made me look like a polar bear. Then I tried black and drapey, but that made me look strangely...well, like a black bear. In true Goldilocks fashion, the third vest I bought was just right, and now that I have it, I find myself wearing it constantly. It's like a nice, warm hug. And god knows I could use one this dark, cold, wet time of year. Here's one of my favorite ways to wear a fur vest.

My birthday wish list

Last weekend when I was talking to my mom, she asked what I wanted for my birthday, which made me realize yikes, my birthday is next weekend! And also, I hadn't thought at all about what I wanted. I usually do my taxes right before my birthday, then treat myself to a nice pair of shoes with my refund, but I haven't done mine yet (full disclosure: without getting into politics, I'm apprehensive about what my refund is going to look like this year after the new tax caps, because I live in California, a state with very high income and property taxes). Long story short, it got me thinking about what I want for my birthday, and while there's nothing I truly need this year, there are a few things I have my eye on. Some are within reach, some are not. But, hey, a girl can dream! Conveniently, they all would work together as an outfit. Here's what's on my birthday wish list this year.

How to pair dark neutrals

It's winter. It's cold. It's rainy. (Or possibly even snowy.) Wearing light colors is like taking your life in your hands—too many things dripping or splashing or smearing all over you to risk it. So dark colors it is. I've been living in some combination of sweaters, leggings, and waterproof outerwear for what feels like forever, and keeping it fresh is definitely a challenge. Lately I've been playing around with different combinations of dark neutrals, and one of my most recent discoveries is navy and charcoal gray. Navy is such an underrated neutral—black tends to get all the glory, even though navy is a little softer and thus more flattering on most people—and charcoal gray just goes with everything, plus it's excellent at camouflaging winter schmutz. Here's one of my favorite winter weekend outfits of late.

5 inspiring over 40 fashion bloggers

When I decided to start blogging again after a three-year hiatus, I did so because I wanted to explore what to wear when you're over 40. I was kind of nervous about it, because blogging (or "influencing," which is a term I hate) is a young person's game—or so I thought. It turns out, there are a ton of amazing over-40 bloggers out there, and not only are they super stylish, they're also warm, welcoming, and incredibly supportive. In the year and a half that I've been blogging again, I've made a bunch of connections, and even though we've never met in person, I'm happy to call these ladies my friends. So in the spirit of Galentine's Day, here are five inspiring over-40 fashion bloggers that you should follow.

How to wear gray and pink

Pink and gray are two of my favorite colors, which makes them even better together. This outfit could be a late contender in the Valentine's Day game—Sean was a big fan of it, but more on that later—but it's so comfy, you could wear it on the weekend too. I also maybe went a little overboard on the accessories in this post, but 1) I wanted to layer in a bunch of different shades and textures, and 2) it was freaking cold outside and I wasn't wearing a jacket, so I was trying to stay as warm as possible. Oh, the things I do in the name of art!

Get the look: camel coat and navy midi dress

It's been so cold in San Francisco, I've been living in some combination of sweaters, leggings, and boots for what feels like forever. The other day, my car even told me it was very cold—36 degrees, for the record, which I think is the coldest it's ever been in the five years I've lived here. I'm not yet totally sick of all my winter clothes, but I know that day is coming soon. For the time being, I wish I could just wear a dress with bare legs, and that must be how you guys must feel too, because the most-pinned post from my Outfit ideas for ageless style Pinterest board is definitely a spring-transitional one. It's also classic and chic, and one you can totally recreate, so let's do it.

What to wear on Valentine's Day

Full disclosure: I don't have any plans on Valentine's Day yet. I'm assuming I'll be spending them with Sean, seeing as how we live together, but as I mentioned in my gift guide post, we don't like to go out to eat on Valentine's Day, so we usually end up cooking something decadent at home. Of course, if you are going out, don't let me stop you from getting all dressed up in your date-night best. The age-old question is, are you dressing up for yourself or for your partner? I truly believe that sexiness comes from feeling comfortable in your own skin. You could have the perfect body and be wearing a Hervé Leger bandage dress that leaves very little to the imagination, but if you don't feel good in it, you won't look good in it. Conversely, you could be wearing a muumuu and both look and feel like a straight-up goddess (which is actually how I feel when I'm wearing one). Which brings me to the conundrum of what to wear on date night.

How I'm deep-cleaning my pores with witch hazel

This post is sponsored by Bioré, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Whenever I hear the name witch hazel, I think of a friendly witch named Hazel—like, she has spiky auburn hair and freckles, and maybe she's not into the whole being wicked thing—which is kind of a good metaphor for actual witch hazel. (Stick with me, I promise I'm going somewhere with this.) Witch hazel is a natural ingredient, known for its ability to tighten pores, purify, and heal skin—a good witch, not a wicked one. So it totally makes sense that Bioré®, champion of all things pore-related, has come out with a new line of products containing witch hazel to deep-clean and refine your pores. Here's how I'm incorporating Bioré's new Witch Hazel Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strips and Pore Clarifying Toner into my skincare routine.

Valentine's Day gift guide

Are Valentine's Day gifts necessary? Probably not, but this blog is called Cheryl Shops, so who am I to judge? As I mentioned last year, I am not a fan of going out to dinner for Valentine's Day—it's one of my least favorite nights of the year to eat out, with maybe only New Year's Eve being worse in terms of poor service and overpriced prix fixe menus. So that's why I prefer to stay home and cook a decadent meal, like steak or spaghetti bolognese. With that in mind, here are some complimentary gifts that you both can home.

How to wear a leopard midi skirt in winter

Ironically, the day we shot this outfit, it was unseasonably warm in the Bay Area—I was at an outdoor party earlier in the day and had to strip down to my T-shirt because it was so hot in the sun. Of course, by the time I got home, it was getting foggy and windy, and such is life in Northern California. Anyway, if you watch my Instagram stories, you know that I wear this leopard-print midi skirt all the time in real life, so in spite of the fact that I shared it just a few months ago, I wanted to feature it again, this time with a more winter-friendly spin.

My 5 favorite red lipsticks

I have not always been a red lipstick person. For years, I wore only rose-colored lipstick, which has a my-natural-lips-but-better effect. I still wear shades of rose, but over time, I've come to appreciate the power of a red lipstick. For one, it's so dramatic that you can get away with wearing less makeup overall, because your lips become the focus—this is a particularly great trick if you're hung over or not feeling your best. But overall, I feel like red lipstick lights up your entire face in general. The key is finding the shade that works for you; personally, more of a blue-purple undertone looks better on my (pinky white) skin, but trying a bunch of shades is probably the best way to find the one that works for you. (Hey, it's an excuse to go to Sephora!) While they might not work for everyone, these are my five favorite red lipsticks.

How to wear all white in winter

Lately I've been super into neutrals, particularly lighter ones. There's something about the craziness of the holidays that makes me want a minimalist palate-cleanser. There's also something that feels slightly rebellious about wearing winter white in winter—yes, in spite of its name—but thankfully I live somewhere where the worst weather we get in winter is rain, not snow, so I don't need to worry too much about getting my whites all splattered with sludge. Ok, you might be thinking, "But you're not wearing all white." Which, technically, is true. But it's also the key of wearing all white in winter—you need to mix it up with a little camel and/or beige. That's pretty much a spoiler alert for this whole post, but if you want the details of how it all came together, read on. 

Sale picks under $100

This post goes out to all the bargain shoppers—for you, it's truly the most wonderful time of the year. (Well, now and July, but I digress.) If the words "up to 70% off" or "extra 20% off sale" are like music to your ears, then this post should music to your eyes. (Is that a thing? It is now.) I am not a person who believes in buying practical things on sale—now's the time to try a trend, a statement piece, or something flat-out kooky. Here are 16 of my favorite sale finds of the season, from some of my favorite stores and brands. They don't call me Cheryl Shops for nothing. Now, go to town. (And by "town," I mean to your computer. Although if you're reading this, you're probably already there.) Anyway...

What to wear on the weekend

A few weeks ago, I realized that a lot of the outfits I wear here and on Instagram qualify as "dressed up" to a lot of people, and while they're what I really wear in real life, I do dress down quite a bit on the weekend. And while I always like to put my best foot forward, I like to keep it real as well. Here's what I've been living in on the weekend—it's comfy, it's cozy, and it's (almost all) on sale.

New York City travel diary

As I mentioned in Tuesday's post, I go to New York City at least once a year. Even though it's been over five years since I moved away, I miss living there, and I love going back to see what's new. It had been several years since I'd been there around the holidays, and even though Christmas was over by the time we arrived, there's something magical about seeing the city all decorated and lit up. The tradeoff about visiting New York in winter is that sometimes the weather can be terrible, but thankfully we were lucky on this trip, with pretty mild temperatures and only one day of rain. (That said, there's still plenty to do indoors when it rains.) Here's how we filled our days—and nights.

What to wear in NYC in winter

As some of you may know, I used to live in New York City—for 13 years, to be exact—and after moving to San Francisco five years ago, I've been back to visit every year. I almost missed a year, but thankfully squeezed in a trip right after Christmas. We lucked out with amazing weather (sometimes there are major snowstorms in December) and, as always, the trip was a whirlwind. I'll be sharing more photos later this week, but in the meantime, here's my winter uniform for NYC.

Get the look: camel coat and snakeskin boots

I featured a camel coat in one of my outfit posts a few weeks ago, and I've been thinking of so many more ways to wear it. Pinterest seems to be reading my mind—or maybe we're all just on the same page—because this pin featuring one of my favorite bloggers, Aimee Song from Song of Style, has been getting repinned left and right from my Outfit ideas for ageless style board. It's such a classic-with-a-twist kind of look, and I'm obsessed. I'm fairly certain everything Aimee is wearing is on the higher end, so let's re-create it for (a lot) less.

The best of 2018

Happy New Year! I meant to get this post up yesterday (so it was actually in 2018), but came back from NYC with a cold, so I spent all of New Year's Eve glamorously sipping Throat Coat tea in sweatpants. The best laid plans...anyway, 2018 was an up-and-down year for me on a personal level, but definitely all ups here on Cheryl Shops. I'm so proud of everything Sean and I have accomplished, and all the growth Cheryl Shops has received, both here and on social media. Thank you so much for reading, shopping, and spreading the word. I don't always know exactly what I'm doing and where I'm going, but I'm definitely having fun doing it. And now, onto the highlights...