Let’s Discuss the Merits of Anthropologie (The Clothing Store, Not the Discipline)

Miranda Popkey and I decided to spend some time talking about Anthropologie.

Logan Sachon: This image, which we’ve screencapped, is on the front page of the Anthropologie website. The fact that they’re using “for days” in their headline makes me feel like they know what’s up …. which makes me love and also hate them. Miranda, how much would you pay for that dress, versus how much do you think it actually costs?

‪Miranda Popkey:‬ Well, to start with your easiest question: How much would I pay for that dress? I think, like, $30? Because it actually flatters no ladies’ bodies, at all. SO MANY SLEEVES. Where is my waist? Here are my upper thighs, enjoy them! But probably they’re trying to sell that for $120, because if you’re willing to look that dumb, probably you have a lot of money. That’s like, the Anthropologie thing, I think

‪LS‬: Oh I think that’s lowballing it. $120 at Anthropologie is AFFORDABLE. That’s like the sale section. Or a tank top. I’m guessing $250.

‪MP‬: True story. Really? LET’S CLICK AND FIND OUT.

‪LS‬: TWO HUNDRED AND EIGHTY EIGHT DOLLARS!

‪MP‬: Okay, clearly I have been out of the shopping game for too long. THAT IS RIDONCUBALLZ.

‪LS‬: Also it claims a “polyester lining.”

‪MP‬: YEESH.

‪LS‬: Which: you can get at Forever 21. FOR PENNIES.

‪MP‬: Yeah. Or, like H&M if you’re trying to save face.

‪LS‬: Yeah, why is it that H&M feels better than Forever 21 when they basically are the same?

MP: I feel like Forever 21 = pounding disco music and fashions that are too current, while H&M is … disco music at a lower volume, and slightly fewer things. Like there’s been some curating. Okay, but actually, what is it about Anthropologie that makes it think it can charge these prices, for this crap?

LS: Well the store feels amazing. Just walking in that place. Feels. Amazing.

‪MP‬: Yes, walking into Anthropologie is like walking into a nice country home. You’re not buying a dress, you’re buying a lifestyle.

‪LS‬: I mean those huge wood double doors. They MEAN something. It’s like a new world.

‪MP‬: And the fact that they ALSO sell candles. When I was younger, I felt like it meant Anthropologie was for slightly older people, but NOW I feel like it’s aspirational. Like, buy this muslin dress for $250 dollars.

‪LS‬: I am always so attracted to the cutesy measuring cups of porcelain. I can imagine an alternate universe in which I live in a cottage and bake things using them. And have crystal doorknobs everywhere.

‪MP‬: Add these $30 candles and you will have an amazing life. Cottage living, that smells great.

‪LS‬: And they are not that Yankee Candle bullshit.

‪MP‬: That’s true. But also, they do not cost $30 to make. Let’s be real. You’re not paying for candles. You’re paying to live in an Anthropologie catalog. On Fiji.

‪LS: ‬When is the last time you were in an Anthropologie?

‪MP: I walk‬ past one all the time, but actually (and this probably influences my thoughts a lot) the last time I was actually IN an Anthropologie was when my mom was here about a year ago and I was looking for a bathing suit. (Backstory: My mom is a thrifty immigrant.) So we walk in, and I’m looking at pretty tops and what not, and she’s just looking at price tags and straight up laughing. Because OF COURSE she would never spend $75 on a faux silk sleeveless crop top.

‪LS‬: You must have been in the sale section.

‪MP‬: Yeah, we probably were. But still, she was like, giggling, and I was embarrassed! Like, MOM, don’t you know you have to pay a bunch of money to buy into this fantasy here!?

‪LS‬: But wait. I thought your mom was from Italy, where people pay lots of dollars to have well-made, quality things that last a lifetime?

‪MP‬: Truth. But Anthropologie is not that. Also: Being Italian is a lot about being crafty and able to bargain. I mean, it is not about buying into this chain store that is lying to you about a lifestyle.

‪LS‬: But don’t you think some of the people who shop there ACTUALLY HAVE that lifestyle???!?!

‪MP‬: I don’t think anyone ACTUALLY has that lifestyle. Or at least I have to believe that, to live.

‪LS‬: Um you’re from California, so I know you have encountered people that people actually do have that lifestyle.

‪MP‬: Okay, but the women who look like they have the Anthropolgie lifestyle, I guarantee you those girls do not buy anything from Anthropologie. They buy shit from Miu Miu sample sales and shoes from J. Crew occasionally.

LS: Their river shoes are from J. Crew.

‪MP‬: J. Crew is also a different thing because it weirdly feels more legit than Anthropologie. It’s an affordable version of an actual lifestyle. The J.Crew lifestyle is an actual thing—preppy people, living in maine, drinking martinis. It feels all of a piece, but just a little cheaper. Whereas Anthro is like, clothes for no one. A hobo living in the bahamas? A fancy forty-year-old woman who’s had too much white wine and is on vacation in the tropics? Someone who only rides bicycles while wearing espadrilles? It’s a fantasy about the fabulous island life that no one who would ever wear anything like that is actually living. But it’s high priced, so it’s fooling you into thinking that someone is living that, and if you had more money, you could, too.

‪LS: ‬ So what we’re saying is that actually rich people don’t shop at Anthropologie. Or if they do it’s, like, their version of Forever 21.

‪MP‬: How many people who shop there actually own farm houses in Provence? Zero? I feel like Anthropologie is only aspirational for people who don’t have the means to buy their stuff.

‪LS‬: RICH PEOPLE.

‪MP‬: Yeah. THEY’RE THE WORST. Slash we want to be them.

‪LS‬: Have you ever purchased anything from Anthropologie?

‪MP‬: Yes. Let me tell you about my Anthropologie purchases.

‪LS‬: can’t wait/won’t wait

‪MP‬: Okay so, when I was pretty young, I got the best pair of black slacks there ever. I was in high school maybe 16 and they were like $60. And they were Joe’s Jeans black skinny legged slacks and they were THE BEST. Truly an amazing garment. I wrecked them my junior year of college. I also had a lime green pair of cords with unfashionably wide legs that I got at some point during high school, but they were too big and not that awesome.

‪LS‬: Okay can I just say that wide legs are flattering and great? Not JNCO wide, but regular wide.

‪MP‬: Noooo, lies.

‪LS‬: Totally great. And Anthro has been a consistent source for them.

‪MP‬: Yeah, I’m not onboard.

‪LS‬: They are SLIMMING.

‪MP‬: No, I feel they are NOT.

‪LS‬: Because they show off your waist and then it’s like …. look! Look at these hidden legs! Maybe they are sticks, in comparison with my waist!

‪MP‬: High waisted and wide-legged all the way down possibly yes, but not flares, which just make you look horsey.

‪LS‬: “Horsey.” Which is a synonym for RICH. I feel like the points we have established so far are: Rich people don’t actually shop at Anthropologie, based on our very intimate knowledge of rich people by having seen some before. And also: We may or may not have some body issues. Are the pants the only thing? No frilly aprons?

‪MP‬: There’s more. When I living in Texas and had ALL OF THE DOLLARS because my apartment cost $225 a month and I was making a living wage, I spent a lot of money on clothes online, because SURPRISE, there are no Anthropologies in Mcallen Texas. But even then, when I was making almost $10,000 more than I make now and paying much less in rent, I didn’t feel like I could comfortably afford a dress from Anthropologie.

LS: I think it’s because we KNOW that these dresses are not actually of a higher quality. Like, it feels like a splurge on something that isn’t worth it. These are not TIMELESS PIECES.

‪MP‬: YES. Mostly iIfeel like they charge way too much money. I bought a BEAUTIFUL blouse at a second hand store, made by Lyell for $90 and that seemed reasonable because it was beautiful and well made. But I would NEVER spend that much money on an Anthropologie top because I know it’s not worth that much.

‪LS‬: IDK what Lyell is. Good brand? Good stuff?

‪MP‬: Ha, actually an internet search reveals that they’ve done collaborations with Anthropologie!

‪LS‬: I have purchased two dresses from Anthropologie. And also some skirts and blouses from the sale rack when I couldn’t afford the watercolor dresses or whatever that I actually wanted. I no longer have any of this stuff. The first dress was an Anna Sui collab that was blue with flowers that for whatever reason obsessed with. I used to go visit it at the store after work when I lived in San Diego. And then when it went on sale I bought it. It was still $150 and I don’t know that I ever actually wore it out of the house because if I bent over you could see my nipples.

‪MP‬: NIPPLES ARE GREAT. I actually think that I’m way more comfortable showing my breasts than any other part of my body, because they’re not that impressive, so it’s like, eh, whatevss, you’re not getting that much. ENJOY.

‪LS‬: SHUTTUP MIRANDA YOU HAVE BEAUTIFUL BREASTS IVE SEEN THEM. Anyway the other dress I bought totally full price. IDK what I was thinking. AT ALL. I wore it once to a wedding and … who knows where it is now. It had WRITING ON IT in like, French, and drawings of shells.

MP: Sounds great.

LS: Nope! So I had wanted to go through the Anthropologie website and talk about more things, but it’s too sad. And I can’t. The longing is like, palpable. I just want it all so bad. Even though we’ve already established it’s for ersatz fanciness.

‪MP‬: Yeah, I’m not going to lie. I would buy all of their clothes, even though I know it’s a dumb impulse.

‪LS‬: I just bought a Real Simple magazine, despite not having: a house, a job requiring any kind of “work” uniform, a desire to cook, a desire to have an organized closet, a closet, the cover price. I feel like these things are related.

MP: Yess. I feel like you are more likely to buy a Real Simple magazine if you are attracted to the Anthropologie aesthetic. And vice versa. It’s this kind of homegrown DIY aesthetic, for people who don’t want to D.

‪LS‬: I def don’t want to D.

MP: Let me just say one more thing about Anthro. I think the things you see in their stores never look as good on you as they do on the rack, and like, with legit designer things, I think it’s the opposite problem. Like they’re selling you a lie and it’s clear as soon as you leave this store.

‪LS‬: I think that’s a very good point. And also: One item isn’t enough. You can’t get the Anthro experience and Anthro lifestyle by buying one dress. It just doesn’t work unless you have the dress and the bed in the rainforest and the reclaimed glass lamp and the Morroccan wedding blanket (imitation).

‪MP‬: It’s just enough within your reach that the expectation is that you can have all of it. That’s the joke. Like, with a real “designer,” it’s clear you’re going to spend all of your dollars on one dress. But with Anthro, you feel dumb spending so much money on one thing that is only part of a larger lifestyle that seems like it SHOULD be attainable.

‪LS‬: Right now I’m remembering a study I read and the study said: Walking around with a designer bag makes you feel great (science says), but walking around with a fake designer bag makes you feel like shit (because you know you’re a fraud). I wonder if somehow, we KNOW that Anthropologie goods are like fake designer bags.

‪MP‬: Yes, I think that’s true

‪LS‬: That’s one thing I remember about my Anthro dresses: NEVER FEELING LIKE A MILLION BUCKS. And trying them on so many times to wear and never wearing them out because it was like ugh why does this dress suck, it was so expensive.

‪MP‬: Yes. I feel like Anthro is one of those stores that is ONLY aspirational. Like, if you are shopping there it’s because you are trying to be the kind of person who shops there. But there is none of that person, actually!

LS: Um is the fact that we even drool over their stuff sometimes a HUGE MISTAKE?!

MP: No, not a huge mistake. I think spending all our money there would be a huge mistake. Instead I just think we should use it as a template for things we can find elsewhere. Let’s take this lifestyle and replicate it at the goodwill and with the occasional designer item you find at a second hand shop.

LS: Are we agreeing not to covet their things anymore?

MP: No. But at least we’ve acknowledged it’s only the first step in a cycle of pain and recrimination.

Miranda Popkey is an editorial assistant and also a writer.

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104 Comments / Post A Comment

meatcute (#1,430)

Oh, this is all so relevant to my interests/horrible addiction to buying dresses. I went through a big Anthropologie phase when I was first out of college, paying very little in rent, and making a decent wage. And it was yes, one hundred percent aspirational spending.

My new goal is to spend less on clothes — or, at least, spend less on cheap clothes. I’m easily seduced by the idea of “investment” pieces, which I know could be a hoax for getting me to part with my money, but in truth I’m very attracted to the idea of buying well made, flattering pieces that will last for years and years. But as far as I can tell: Those clothes do not exist! Plus I spent an embarrassing amount of money to buy a handmade dress from an independent designer on Etsy only to discover 1) it didn’t fit as well as I would like and 2) expensive and handmade doesn’t prevent me from spilling coffee all over myself.

@meatcute They do exist! But you have to look so, so hard for them and also be a little lucky. I am lucky because my mom is a Thrift Store Queen and she got me the so much Appropriate and Stylish Office Clothings for a low, low price. They have all been in my closet and on my person for years now. They are gorgeous workhorse clothings and I love and treasure them all. But you are correct–this is so hard, especially if you don’t have moneys/a mother who likes to frequent thrift stores.

Jobeans (#227)

@meatcute I agree with you about wanting to accumulate/being seduced by “investment” pieces, but to be honest everything I’ve ever bought from low to mid range stores/brands is still in pretty damn good condition, so I am confused as to what people are doing in these clothes that is causing them to fall apart? This includes Forever 21 and H&M stuff.

@Jobeans I also have H&M stuff that has held up really well but I find a lot of the stuff there fits weirdly on me at all different sizes. I feel like investment pieces maybe mean clothes with good quality fabric that are tailored really well.

For example I tried on a really cute blazer at H&M but the fabric was all scratchy and it got hot real quick. And then perhaps blazer styles are less trendy so they will stay in fashion for longer. So it’s worth it to spend a bit more on one.

I still haven’t found a good blazer though. I have a few old ones that all fit terribly from weird places like le chateau. they’re all short and hit me at the exact wrong place.

@Jobeans Things That Have Ruined My Inexpensive To Midrange Clothing includes:

- Washing them with my jeans even though the tag says WASH COLD GENTLE CYCLE or HAND WASH
- Accidentally putting them through the dryer when they want to be hung dry
- Being clumsy and falling down stairs or off a curb wearing them
- Spilling coffee or ketchup or greasy stuff on the front of them and either never getting the stain out or having to treat the stain so aggressively that the garment looks like (unstained) crap afterwards
- Being clumsy and getting them caught on furniture or architecture and putting a hole in them
- Having a bedbug scare and washing and drying them on hot along with everything else I own and figuring their destruction is a fair price to pay for not getting bedbugs

…basically I am a clumsy slob who takes horrible care of her clothes and that’s why I shop at Old Navy. Will the garment wear out in 8-12 months? Yes. Would I probably destroy a nicer garment in 8-12 months anyway? YES.

Myrtle (#116)

@redheaded&crazy I found my black wool Armani blazer at one of those Breast Cancer Thrift Stores, nothing wrong with it, price 15.00. I’d wondered about the brand name thing till I wore it. Now, I get it.

mayonegg (#1,245)

See also: their sister store, Urban Outfitters.

muffintoplowfat (#1,667)

@mayonegg

But you can find really great deals at Urban Outfitters. The only time I shop there is when they’re having a 40% off clearance sale. I’ve found beautiful comfy boots for $10 and great dresses for $4.

bgprincipessa (#699)

I am loving this article very much, because: a J. Crew AND an Anthropologie BOTH just opened on my street! Literally on my street, 3 blocks down, like 2 weeks ago. And I don’t have a car, so it’s very tempting. But this article has tempted me not to take a walk down there, like I’ve been thinking about, even though I’ve never bought an item from either of these stores in my life! Instead I’ll go to Goodwill when I get the urge, or maybe use one of the multiple Groupons for thrift stores that I have purchased and still never been to the actual stores. (Can we talk about the psychology behind that one? It makes no sense. IT’S ALREADY PAID FOR. The money is gone, why don’t I want the clothes to show it!)

@bgprincipessa WHERE DO YOU LIVE that there are Groupons for thrift stores??

MissMushkila (#1,044)

@bgprincipessa A couple of weeks ago, I bought two skirts from my local thrift store – one by Ann Taylor, the other J. Crew. The J. Crew skirt is from LAST SEASON and I know because I spent many hours contemplating buying it online. It is in perfect condition.

My philosophy is quickly becoming “buy EVERYTHING used” because people throw away the best stuff.

baked bean (#1,839)

@MissMushkila I bought a pair of Anthro slacks at a thrift store for $3 and turned them into shorts because I never wore them as slacks, but now I wear them a lot as shorts.

@MissMushkila One of my friends is a thrift store wizard, and tells me the secret around here is to wait until the week after dorm move-outs and then shop like crazy, because thousands of college girls have just sold their never-worn or worn-once super nice clothes and shoes to the second-hand stores by the university rather than move them home for the summer.

melis (#42)

this is so amazing

melis (#42)

I LONG FOR THE DAY when Anthropologie changes their slogan to Anthropologie: Clothes for No One

cherrispryte (#19)

Aaaahhhhhh I have many conflicted feelings about this store! Many of them seem to be similar to yours, except, when I do wear one of the few things I have from this store, I really do feel pretty and special and fashionable, which, as a big ole plus-sized girl, is a good and unfortunately rare feeling. Also OMG the candles sold in the blue glass containers smell absolutely the best.

THAT SAID. Anthropologie is run by the same anti-gay douche who owns Urban Outfitters and Free People, who donated thousands to Rick Santorum, of all people. I would rather not give him any of my money. Also, awkward issues of cultural appropriation re: Anthropologie’s overall aesthetic.

sox (#246)

@cherrispryte Yes, yes! It’s hard to be a conscious consumer, but if I don’t care to eat at Chik fil a anymore because of the factory farmed meat and their horrid marriage BS going on right now, how can I then spend money at any of this company’s stores?! I mean, their product is actually pretty comparable to factory farmed meat, no?

And also regarding cultural appropriation, my background is in art and I keep up with several design blogs and other publications, and it’s been widely reported that Anthro has no problem buying beautifully hand made objects on etsy and then having facsimiles mass manufactured to sell in their stores.

cherrispryte (#19)

@sox That exact thing (something on etsy turning up in the stores) happened to one of my tumblr friends (or friend of friend?) but at Urban Outfitters. Its some bullshit, but I was talking more about the way they all sell “tribal” prints etc.

I hesitate to compare one battle to another (Chik fil a vs. UO & friends) especially because the amount of donations, and publicly stated views on the topic, aren’t even in the same ballpark. And as for factory farmed meat vs clothes and trinkets sold by Anthro, well, there are a LOT of different things at play.

shannowhamo (#845)

@cherrispryte I fel similar in that maybe 15% of the items in the store (and we’re includnig blankets) will fit around my fat ass so on the rare occasion that something fits and looks good I buy that shit. And I do have 2 or 3 things that are great and have lasted and lasted…this one dress that is SO cute and I love it to death and a couple WAY to expensive shirts that have lasted long enough and been versatile enough that they have actually been worth it in the end. But yeah, I don’t love their politics or their prices so mostly they can suck it.

The best thing about Anthropologie is that they have never made a single thing that would fit my body, so I never have to worry about coveting something from there and not being able to afford it.

Dorothy Perkins, on the other hand…dangerous amounts of dresses.

good.on.paper (#1,840)

@Anna Jayne@twitter — yesss. perhaps you are in the UK and don’t have to worry about this, but the problem with dorothy perkins is that i can get so very much in US 16 or 18 for so very little and it fits pretty well…but they do NOT refund customs charges or provide any but the finest print of warning.

i have gone to town when they’ve had good sales, only to find my shit was in customs hock unless i paid $50-70, and since it was already stateside, i couldn’t just cancel the order and ask the store for my money back.

cautionary tale! (this isn’t a problem with asos, btw)

@good.on.paper oh weird – I’m in the US (NY, to be exact) and I’ve never had an issue with customs at all! Plus I always order enough to get free shipping. (And ASOS is also amazing.)

OhMarie (#299)

Oh man, this is the greatest. I recently bought an adorable pair of orange flats with a bee charm on super sale from Antropologie’s website (shout out to Hairpin’s Friday Bargain Bin!). They were half a size too small and the options were either to return them to the store and get a full store credit refund, or return them by mail and get an actual money refund minus some small percentage.

I decided, I can do this, and went off to my local Anthropologie. Well, there is literally nothing you can buy in there for $70 that is actually worth it. And everything on the sale racks looked COMPLETELY INSANE, like the stuff that any actual human woman could make work had been culled out and only the crazy stuff was left. Never going back in there again!

Emma Peel (#317)

I agree so strongly with every word of this, I can’t even. Especially about the candles. I have bought them before, and while I felt like an idiot spending $20 on a candle, it does make you feel like you live in a delicious-smelling Anthropologie catalogue.

olivia (#1,618)

Their private label stuff is SO CHEAP. It’s actually made by the same people who make the super cheap stuff that Urban Outfitters sells, except instead of charging $78 since it’s at Urban Outfitters, Anthro sells it for $178. And you probably all know this, but all of their “brands” like Pilcro, Moth, etc., are their private labels.

That said, you can get killer steals on brand name stuff at Anthro, especially denim. I’ve seen J Brands for $60 in the store!

null (#1,101)

Like that layered column dress that they produced in every style imaginable; navy and short with 3/4 sleeves, black and long with no sleeves, multicolored and short with no sleeves, etc. I saw it in person and that shit is not worth $178, no matter how magical the fit may be.

mangosara (#1,211)

@olivia nooooo but I love Pilcro jeans they are the only thing that actually fits me please don’t tell me that they’re cheap (except if I can get the same thing at Urban for cheaper I will totally do that, but that means having to go in there and try it on and they do not have the same vibe to their store)

also YES @klaus that dress is amazing but there is no way it is worth that much… and yet, people still buy them to the point that they never make it to the sales racks.

Oh gosh, you guys didn’t even get into their home decorating section. Talk about wanting all the things so bad.

Okay BUT hypothesis: if I, knowing nothing about interior decorating, were to try to style my whole room with anthropologie, everything would clash and it would look terrible. So REALLY I can just get away with buying one anthropologie statement piece that brings my whole room together into a fabulous den of fabulousness.

Like … you know … this chair that only costs … $1900. Okay I just realized how much of a joke it is to even imagine styling a whole room with anthro.

@redheaded&crazy I think the same approach is necessary with their clothes, too. Head-to-toe Anthro or a whole closet of it is like stuffing the frumpiest handbag full of hundred dollar bills and throwing it in the lake. But every year, there is exactly one piece that is beautiful, well-made, and (relatively) affordable, and it will be the statement piece of all of your outfits for the next three years. Only one item! But the hope of finding it keeps me coming back.

jilt (#1,836)

@wallsdonotfall Yes, it’s that occasional great piece that keeps me from completely writing off the store. I have a pencil skirt from there, deep emerald green, and it fits me like it was tailored. I get complements on it from strangers on the street. Another year I bought a silk sundress that I wore far too often for 3 summers, until it was irredeemably rumpled. Of course, this is balanced by the time I spent almost $100 on a horrible blue cropped sweater, so…

@redheaded&crazy Literally the only item I have ever purchased from Anthropologie was a drawer pull/knob for like $12. It was not too long after we moved in, and the front hallway closet had this disgusting bone-colored plastic doorknob that was half-painted-over (with white paint!) and I hated looking at it. So this is something I consider to be worth my money and a decent purchase. (Also obviously I covet their duvets, all of the solid-colored gathered/ruffly duvets.)

null (#1,101)

It is amazing how bad the fit is on so many of their clothes, more than anything this is what prevents me from spending too much money there. Last year I spent $80 on a silk Mara Hoffman skirt because it was originally $334 so I was like, WHAT A DEAL. HOW CAN I PASS THIS UP. I’ve worn it maybe three times… I can’t figure out what to pair it with. I basically just pull it out of my closet every once in awhile to appreciate how pretty it is.

readyornot (#816)

This makes me think of when I see a woman working as, say, a paralegal, or some other job with a pretty strictly business dress code, trying to get away with a floral patterned dress or a lace blouse, and I’m like, girl. I know you want to get your money’s worth, but your life is not the Anthropologie catalog you want, and it’s better if you accept it.

Megano! (#124)

H&M = from Europe, therefore classier!
Although I really have no clothes shame. I will buy clothes from anywhere. I have gotten compliments on a dresses I’ve bought at Zellers (was like Canadian Kmart) for like nothing, as well as more expensive stuff. All my coloured skinnies are from Forever 21. I have never shopped at Anthropologie, but if that piece of ugly is $285 you can bet your boots I never will.

@Megano! zellers has nice stuff sometimes! once somebody complimented me on my zellers sweater and I when I told them where it was from the response was: “…really?”

which I’m sure was meant nicely! Oh zellers. (I will truly miss getting breakfast with my grandma at their super cheap, super seniorfest diner)

Megano! (#124)

@redheaded&crazy They have pretty good lunch there too! I will totally admit to going there WITHOUT any seniors.

theotherginger (#1,304)

@Megano! one time my family went there for mother’s day. hilarious.

@Megano! aw man I kept trying to get my friends to try it and none of them would bite the bullet. We could have gone! AND NOW IT’S TOO LATE.

(i’m kind of excited for target though)

@redheaded&crazy I haven’t really tried Zellers all that much. I am however, currently wearing a lovely and comfortable dressi bought at Superstore and it is awesome.

yankeepeach (#276)

My feeling about Anthro is that if I wanted to decorate myself and my home in the style of a French country farmhouse in Bali, I would buy actual French things, not a bunch of twee knockoffs. But damn if that store isn’t filled with pretty things I continually have to talk myself out of owning.

Related: I have a friend who loves to call Pottery Barn ‘Poverty Barn.’ To me, it’s still ‘Aspirational Barn.’

ElBlynx (#499)

@yankeepeach I call it “I would rather live in a barn” but I am on the record of not getting the appeal of the store. Although Anthropologie home furnishings would probably make living in a barn the most stylish and je ne sais quoi thing ever!

@yankeepeach So to go totally off-topic, what I don’t get about Pottery Barn is everything there is designed FOR GIANTS. Like all the furniture is 10-20% larger than normal furniture. Massive sofas, massive beds, massive desks. So like, clearly they’re pitching all this stuff at people who live in giant houses with giant rooms?

I actually have a Pottery Barn desk in my childhood bedroom at my parents’ place, and it’s a brilliant desk, but I couldn’t take it with me when I moved out because it’s too big for any apartment ever.

Even the desk lamps are really big.

danky (#5,187)

@yankeepeach I thought PB has a ‘small spaces’ collection?

madrassoup (#929)

I will always and forever think of and want to share David Brooks’ great line about Anthropologie: “While the aesthetic says ‘A Year in Provence,” the prices say ‘Ten Years out of Med School.’”

yankeepeach (#276)

@madrassoup This is probably the only time I will ever cop to agreeing with anything David Brooks has ever said.

I have 2 tops from Anthro (the only work-appropriate tops I’ve ever seen there) and a pair of black ankle boot clogs that are badass but need re-heeling obscenely often. I bought none of these things for full price. Who even does that? It seems like everything goes on sale within 6 weeks.

Luckily the drapey, fluttery, romantic earth-tone look is not my thing, so I only go in Anthro maybe once a year to remind myself why I never go in there.

mangosara (#1,211)

@cuminafterall true fact: I once tried on a pair of too-expensive pants there that I wanted, asked the salesperson when they would go on sale, and she said: “well, we just got those in, so… I would give it 3 or 4 weeks.”

3 OR 4 WEEKS!

sox (#246)

@cuminafterall Last winter I decided I just HAD to have a pair of bright colored skinny cords (thanks to Friday Bargain Bin of course) and so I headed to the mall, where the J Crew ones from FBB were not in-store so I headed to Anthro. Found a pair I loved until I turned around the price tag: $189 or thereabouts. I was just about to say fuck it and leave the mall but I stopped into Free People (same company as Anthro) and found basically identical cords for $68.

mof (#342)

Frilly aprons. Maybe someone can explain those to me. I keep receiving them as gifts. They’re very pretty and very frilly and very fancy so I put them in my “for fancy things no one uses” drawer. I open it a few times a year and it’s starting to look like I have an anthropologie store in drawer form. Are you supposed to wear them? For cooking? For what?

@mof I have a friend who wears to work bartending hers over really simple dresses. The girls and the guys go crazy for it.

Megano! (#124)

@mof I will take some. Although it is really weird that you have enough to fill a drawer. Not that you’re weird, but your friends are kind of weird (and unimaginative) for only buying you frilly aprons.

@Megano! srsly, Sharepin those aprons, I will take at LEAST one off your hands! (But I would probably spray it with that weathering/waterproofing stuff before actually using it to cook)

LolaLaBalc (#707)

@Veronica Mars is smarter than me WHAT’S SHAREPIN, PRECIOUS?

Harriet Welch (#127)

@Veronica Mars is smarter than me Yes! What is sharepin? I think I might know. More importantly WHERE is sharepin?
Also I definitely need some frilly aprons. I think I am the only person who gets given fancy things and is like “OOoooohhh I will love to use this!”. Hahaha Like the fancy silver that my husband’s grandmother bought the day he was born to be given to him on his wedding day. His aunt flew it down (whhaaaa?) and had the best appalled reaction to me sticking it in mason jars on my dining room table that I found on the side of the road.

@Harriet Welch
Sharepin! Basically freecycle for ‘pinners.

Usually whoever claims it will give you their mailing address, then you tell them what it cost to send to them and they paypal you shipping money (some very nice people don’t even ask for shipping money back!). So basically you get rid of stuff you don’t want, or you get great stuff for only a couple bucks. Or you do both, if you’re like me!

Faintly Macabre (#1,043)

@Veronica Mars is smarter than me Waterproofing spray is a genius idea!

I lusted after Anthropologie aprons for ages and kept checking the sale ones. I ended up not buying one because the fabric is so thin–any serious splash/spill would soak right through to the clothes you’re trying to protect. I ended up getting an equally cute, sturdier apron at TJ Maxx for like $13, and wear it whenever I bake or cook messy stuff.

I used to drool over Anthropologie much more than I do now, mostly because the Anthropologie aesthetic has become so trendy now that you can find things at wayyyyyyyy cheaper stores that look exactly like they came from Anthropologie! Also, I moseyed around the store just yesterday because there’s one across the street from my job, and is it just me or are they losing their spark a little bit? I couldn’t find anything in there that called to me, and it used to be that EVERYTHING in there called to me.

readyornot (#816)

@werewolfbarmitzvah Like, for instance, the Ruche website, although I feel like a HUGE caveat has to be placed on that because you need to read the reviews, furreal. Sizing can vary dramatically from one piece to another, as can quality.

@werewolfbarmitzvah, it’s a season by season thing for me. Usually there’s at least one dress a catalog season that works. As a whole, I don’t swoon for 80% of the items like I used to, but that could also be because I’ve been shopping there for a decade and I know what will actually look good one me.

Slutface (#53)

All of their dresses scream 10 year old girl to me. Not a good look on a 32 year old.

kavitha (#1,265)

I’ll preface by admitting that I am a complete Anthropologie addict and own what feels like half of their sale section from the past six years. That said, I’ve worn the dresses (and skirts and cardigans and jewelry and belts…) repeatedly within that time. One of my favourite skirts (it has HUGE POCKETS) was from them back in maybe 2007? And I still own it and still get compliments whenever I wear it and when I ripped it wide open by getting stuck on a loose nail, I sewed it back up because I love it that much. That being said, I would never do an all-anthro outfit for fear of looking like a flea market/the Olsen twins. The key is mixing anthropologie with Target or pairing a fancy, ridiculous dress with some simple handmade jewelry, J crew flats and a fitted cardigan. Bonus: if you live in a town with pretty much only a Target and Walmart, you get to look slightly different from your classmates.
In short, do not buy all the anthro, only some of the anthro! (Except their candles and ring dishes and mugs–buy all of those! And then buy more because they make great gifts; I mean, who doesn’t want to be told that they seem like the sort of people in anthro catalogs who would look totes natural holding a ring dish with a giraffe on it that was secretly only $12?! Also the octopus dinnerware, buy all of that too.)

@kavitha Me, too. I have loads of dresses and skirts, all bought on clearance, all gorgeous and high-quality, with beautiful fabrics and wonderful linings. Any store has some low-quality and some high-quality stock. (Talk about uneven: JCrew.) You can cherry-pick a handful of ridiculously expensive items or lower quality items to ridicule, but I’ve only ever paid over $100 for an Anthro dress/item once, out of probably ten I own, and they’ve all held up for years and years.

ElBlynx (#499)

Sneaky thrifty story: I ended up getting my wedding dress at Free People (sister store to Anthro) for $30 plus shipping because I saw it online and called to see if my local store carried it. The awesome retail lady said it was on sale and called around to find it for me. The website still listed it for full price (like $170, still pretty cheap for this sort of thing [Cotton Crochet Hippie/Downton Abbey-esque]) even though stores were sharply discounting it. So if you fall in love with something online, always call the store because they can get you things through sneaky sale shadow networks.

@ElBlynx The only thing that saves me from spending ALL MY DOLLARS at Free People is the fact that I am too fat for anything sold at Free People. I am instead reduced to pining for scarves.

thecoastisclear (#1,815)

I’m a nerd, and the study Logan referenced is Gino, Norton, & Ariely (2010). It’s a fun study, because not only do people wearing counterfeit sunglasses feel shitty, they act shitty and assume others are also shitty!
http://www.issnaf.org/images/stories/Articles/Gino_Norton_Ariely_PsychS_2010.pdf

mormo (#1,729)

This post is making me feel so much better! I have been thinking about buying this shower curtain from them all summer. It’s $118. For a shower curtain. anthrpl.ge/JMxAjL

I made up my mind to buy it this month, and it’s sold out. Maybe I can take my $118, get some sewing lessons, and make my own.

Kidding, I don’t ever want to D anything either. Just B, all the time. Overconsumption is my middle name.

Daisy (#1,822)

@mormo Next time put it on your wish list or shopping bag. After it goes on sale it will disappear from the website, but will stay in your bag at an even lower price. I got a far too expensive shower curtain (and lots of other cute things for reasonable prices) there for $30 because I was willing to wait a while, and if they sold out in the mean time, I rationalized that it wasn’t meant to be.

I have Anthro rules: only on sale. Only if I don’t have to get it altered. Only if I’m still thinking about it a week later.

Ok, so I cheat on the alterations because I’m 5’1″ and if it’s that one in a hundred chance that the dress-for-one-body-type design is flattering on mine, I’m going to get it hemmed, dammit. And I’ve had some of their dresses/coats/shoes (NOT the Anthro brands mentioned above) for years and years and people chase me down the street to complement me on them.

There are some gems, but they are few and they are far between.

goldstar (#1,819)

$150 dresses are way out of my league, but Anthro consistently puts out unusual/dramatic dresses and skirts that I love. If you’re like me, and want certain items, the secret is RELIGIOUS STALKING OF THE SALE SECTION. If you leave it to browse the sales section when you happen to drop by the store, you’ve left it waaay too late: only dregs linger on the rack. Sales usually go up Tuesday night online, so:
1. Stack your wishlist with things you like,
2. Log on Tuesday morning, see what’s been reduced,
3. Call your local store first thing to have them hold the items and sizes you want until you can make it in to try them on.
4. Enjoy your cheap, lovely sales scores.

They also do a ridiculous sale twice yearly where they drag everything out of the stock room and take an extra percentage off, which is how you score those $250 dresses for $40.

People debate the quality/value, but I find their items so much better made than H&M and even Zara. Decent stitching, good linings, silk and cotton. Sale pricing takes it to Banana Republic-level, which is acceptable for a multi-use dress or well-tailored skirt (but not the ugly, ugly layered ruffled chiffon things).

Anthro also have a great little-known policy of price adjustment: if the thing you buy gets a price drop within 14 days, you can go in and ask for a refund on the difference. Even counts for sale items getting further discounts.

All of the above doesn’t negate the hideous original pricing and aspirational brand, nor the 70% of crazy-ass kaftan designs, but it does let you get the occasional lovely thing for half-way decent prices!

e (#734)

@goldstar I own a blazer, two skirts, two blouses, a sweater, two dresses, black pants, one pair of jeans and a JUMPSUIT from anthro. I love them all. They aren’t the entirety of my wardrobe by any means, but they are all good solid pieces with interesting touches, that I wear on a regular basis and get compliments on. I know the store is owned by a douchey person. I know it’s a problematic place. But I can’t bring myself to hate it. I do hate Forever 21 and HM hardcore and I don’t shop there anymore. I mostly buy from the sales rack, but once in a while I also pay full price for a thing that I love and stalk online (jumpsuit, this means you) and I’ve resolved not to feel bad about it.

Faintly Macabre (#1,043)

@goldstar While I loved this article, I think the overarching lesson isn’t really specific to Anthropologie and is something so many people I know don’t seem to understand–learn what makes clothes good, and then try to spend on them accordingly. (Or if you’re me, just go to to the thrift store!) If you buy a 100% polyester chiffon shirt at Urban Outfitters for $50, it will not look nicer than my $5 silk chiffon shirt from Goodwill just because it came from Urban Outfitters. I’ve bought a few things at Anthropologie’s big sales (linen-blend blazer with silk trim for $30! Unusual wool dress for $60!), and I’m always amazed at how many women I see cooing over acrylic/cotton shirts that are $50 on sale, just because they’re at Anthropologie. I love a lot of their clothes, but I’d never ever buy them full-price, and there’s a lot there that’s worth maybe 10% of its price.

goldstar (#1,819)

@Faintly Macabre I agree, so much of the stock is way overpriced compared to say, Gap (which is a pretty good approximation of a lot of their drapey cotton tanks) and style-wise, I rule out 90% of anthro’s stock due to over-fussiness and/or bad color palettes. But then, I find the occasional gems I adore more than anything in other stores — a chiffon maxi skirt in neon pink, a watercolor-style dress, the best basic pencil skirt — and it’s worth the effort to stalk them into the sale.

Personally, I don’t have the time or passion for thrifting to find the unusual or quirky pieces, and hate ordering online without being able to try for size, so even though I find their pricing absurd, (sales)Anthro is my best route to more distinctive outfits.

Coming over from Europe, there’s definitely a gap here between the H&M /f21 level of more disposable trends, and the J Crew/Banana Republic/Anthro price levels. I grew up with stores like Oasis, Warehouse, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins and, yes, Topshop (although their sizing never suited me) filling that middle bracket of more interesting, design-led clothes that were better made but still relatively affordable. $30 shirts, $60 dresses. Although, that was 10 years ago, sob. Now there’s, what, Zara? It’s too businessey.

aproprose (#1,832)

@goldstar I SO AGREE with the dearth of mid-priced, trendy-but-no-too-trendy in the US!

I think all those UK companies you mentioned have also noticed and if you check their websites, pretty much all of them ship to the US for free now. I’ve been spreading the Dorothy Perkins gospel to friends for the past couple of years, actually!

goldstar (#1,819)

@Jennifer Roehm@facebook Indeed! I just got an adorable pelican-print dress from Dorothy Perkins (that may well have been a rip-off of Charlotte Taylor for Anthro). Plus: $50, minus: the back seam ripped wide open after 3 wears and I had to mend by hand. Sigh.

Worked there for a spell. I’ll never forget the $1,000 chair that splintered and shattered for no discernable reason and the high prices for what is, after all, polyester.

ETA: after reading above about sales on Tuesday, I went to just, you know, look, and bought a shirt I’ve been stalking. So there’s that.

mishaps (#65)

I had no idea Anthropologie was so expensive. Yipes. For that kind of money, you could buy a dress at any of a number little boutiques in the East Village or Nolita, and not support right-wing wackos, and actually have something that will last and not everyone will know where you bought it. (obviously, this works best if you’re in New York.)

Aunt Ada Doom (#678)

@mishaps Even in Maine, home of the preppy J.Crew people but not terribly urban there are PLENTY of independent shops where you can buy similar or better clothes, and even ones with local designers.

lindseykai (#1,544)

If you want to own Anthropologie clothes without giving money to such a terrible company, just scour second-hand stores in well-off neighborhoods.

Slutface (#53)

@lindseykai or Ebay

bluewindgirl (#1,036)

I bought a Really Pretty Apron from Anthropologie, which I rarely wear because it seems awfully silly to use a 35 dollar apron to prevent staining a 6 dollar thrift store dress. But I still really like that apron.

I fell for the Anthropologie fantasy. I bought things there, then never wore them because they looked nice in the store and terrible in the real world. I bought a long brown coat that is the IDEA of a Dr. Zhivago sort of coat, but in the real world it is a long and slightly ridiculous brown coat. However sometimes their candles are on sale for $6.

Also, what about this Rick Santorum thing?

ColdFinger (#815)

Oh, thank God we all think they are horrible! The combination of polyester lining and awful, homophobic politics espoused by the owner is a unique characterization that makes me want to… well, this may sound a little strange…ingest food coloring strategically before showing up at a store, and throwing up all over the merchandise!

(Back story: I don’t know if it’s true, but my mom like to tell me the story of an art criminal, who disliked Mondrian’s paintings so much, that is exactly what he did! The point was to ruin their perfect structure, and I guess it’s easy to vandalize if the materials don’t have to be carried? I should really find out if this story is true, but I’m afraid it’s not, so I haven’t looked.)

ColdFinger (#815)

@ColdFinger Whew! It’s real! The guy’s name was Jubal Brown:
In 1996, Brown vandalised two paintings in art galleries by vomiting on them. The first was on May 15 in the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, where he threw up red vomit on Raoul Dufy’s Harbor at le Havre after eating red gelatin and red cake icing.[1][2] The second attack was on November 2 in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, when he ate blue Jell-O and blue cake icing and projectile-vomited in blue on Piet Mondrian’s Composition With Red and Blue.[1]

The galleries initially believed that the incidents were accidental, but in early December 1996, Brown admitted that his actions were deliberate. He said that they were part of a “performance art trilogy” entitled “Responding to Art” that targeted “oppressively trite and painfully banal” works.[1][11] He said Harbor at le Havre “was just so boring it needed some colour”,[11] and he found Composition With Red and Blue “lifelessness threatening.”

baked bean (#1,839)

@ColdFinger Hahha. Best method of protest ever. Next time I feel the need to throw up I’ll show up at Anthro and puke on the most expensive thing there.

@ColdFinger I feel like this plan would be better carried out by drinking copious amounts of Red Wine instead of food colouring. Tastier and makes more likely to be able to puke on demand!

ColdFinger (#815)

@This is my new user name I was trying to recall whether I’ve ever thrown up any red wine… Does it keep its color? The thing with the food dyes is that they’re brutally stable.

Gatorade might be a better option. Still vomit-inducing, but so many more choices! And you know THOSE won’t fade.

@ColdFinger *cough* in my vague recollection yes… it stays pretty darn red.

baked bean (#1,839)

I’ve never bought clothes at Anthro, but I have bought a couple of coffee cups on clearance. They are just so darn cute. The only thing there that tempts me. And they’re not even badly priced, I don’t think.

Um… I’m confused…. All the anthro clothes I’ve bought are totally natural fibres and have last longer than any other store’s clothes. Plus they are no more expensive than fcuk or whistles…. But I’ve never bought their hippie shit, only the classic pieces…. Is this fortuitous relationship due to the fact that I live in the UK? I’m sorry, but viva Anthropologie! Their belts go with Everything. Yes, their catalogues are a ridiculous fiction, but surely ‘Pinners see through that baloney to the garment in question!

@Hannah Ballou@facebook Nope. I used to shop at Anthro almost weekly, and the info here bears no resemblance to my experience (in the US).

ang (#1,847)

i actually just made an account to comment on this. I’ve shopped at anthro minimally because its a little mature for me but i do enjoy the clothes a lot. very cute. would go there. anyway i shop at one of there “sister” stores all the time, free people. and their clothes are fairly expensive, i.e. 100-300 for a dress. something like that, 40 dollars for tights. but why wouldn’t you shop there when I’ve had dresses and tops from there for 5 years without an inkling of damage to them and something that costs 30 or 40 is ruined in months. and this is really true. cheaply made clothes make me FURIOUS! and that dress looks good on the girl wearing it in the photo and she is a person so i don’t get what the point about it looking bad on ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE is. and if you don’t wanna pay fifty dollars for a mug, just shop the sale section. anthropologie is a fun and cute store even if you don’t buy anything. negativity!!

ang (#1,847)

and then you go on to talk about how you got great pants for 60 dollars that lasted years….so yeah i just don’t get the article.

AndreaNotOndraya (#1,851)

I too created an account just to comment on this piece! I started shopping at Anthrop 13 years ago or so at one of their first locations in Chicago, conveniently located only a block or two from my apartment. I was a frequent shopper and buyer even though most of the clothes were way too pricey for my income at the time. I found some great stuff though, things I wore for years. I bought a Diesel bag in 1999 that I forced myself to stop using only a couple years ago. Now in NYC I continue to shop at Anthrop and though I can better afford it, I primarily shop the sale items. And I agree that wearing an entire Anthrop outfit is just crazy – a little goes a long way.

cerisetrala (#1,861)

I’m not a fan of the article. It doesn’t represent my feelings or experience. While it’s true that I’ve found embroidered and otherwise delightfully designed cheaper clothing at Forever XXI, I think that Anthropologie has some of the most gorgeous, somewhat out-of-the-box designs available in a clothing store today. For instance, I have several of their blousey handkerchief cotton (i.e. super thin cotton) blouses, both with sleeves and sleeveless. These pieces go with anything except a full skirt, and I am always complimented on them. I also have other tops and jackets I find myself choosing over almost anything else I own. I don’t think I’ve ever even tried on their pants, and although I love their skirts I haven’t bought one yet. Anthropologie is like a little bit of rustic-organic-lush-ethnic lifestyle heaven in a world where there are no more Marshall Fields stores with boutique sections selling unique items from all over the world. Anthropologie brings it all to me in a manageably sized store, with wonderful sales and great ideas for my home and fashion sense whether I end up buying the items there or not. Every time I go there I feel stimulated and inspired, and my world would be a little dimmer and less fascinating without Anthropologie. Call me a fan.

Not all the stuffs at Anthropologie is of the best quality but I have to say its a lot better than most chain stores and every cheap junior clothing stores. I tried the Forever 21 and H&M routes before, thinking I can buy the same styles for a lot less at those stores. Guess what, stuffs from those stores never last and sometime they are not even stitched together properly and literally falls apart in the washer. That goes for designer clothing also, I recently bought a Alice and Olivia dress on clearance at Saks and took it to the seamstress to have it altered. She told me the stitching quality is really poor (not even)and hoped I didn’t pay over $30 for it. I told her its a designer dress that cost over $350 retail but yes fortunately I only paid $50 for it, she was shocked. The saving grace was that the dress is silk so at least its made of an expensive fabric. The only people that dogged Anthropologie are people that do not wear them properly and does not shop properly. Do not wear head to toe Anthro and do not pay full price and lets be realistic not all body types look good in their clothings. In a PC world we would like to believe everyone would look beautiful wearing whatever they want, reality is a bit uglier and harsher. They have sales, all the time, even 3rd cut sales. If you think $100 is too expensive to pay for a shirt then wait for it to go on sale or scout it out on Ebay. I never pay full price and buy pieces that I know looks alright on me, not on the mannequin and not on the catalogs. If you paid $300 for a dress there that you THINK looks great on the model so therefore on you also then yeah its your fault, not the store’s fault. It sounds more like the author has a love hate relationship with a clothing store, perhaps what she needs is therapy and not write a confusing and self-conflicting article that does not make any points at all. “I love this store! but then I hate the obsession with it”?????

What a great article! The truth is, the term timeless is all in eyes of the beholder. Yeah, anthro’s stuff is beautiful, but most of it is made with polyester, cotton, rayon, & viscose….which is just another name for rayon… (might I add, acetate lining???) These items can last…if you wear them occasionally. But that’s the real question, why would you spend 260 some dollars on something you can only wear occasionally? I loved hearing the thoughts of someone who sees the actually marketing strategy instead of the product at hand – I notice it all the time: people love to say they bought something at anthro. because of the “idea” the store promotes. Bottom line – they are overpriced, quality is no different than at h&m or forever 21. It’s just a label, as sad as it sounds!

Nathy (#1,951)

I love Anthropologie. A LOT. But I only shop their sale section, and even there I only let myself spend under $30. I’ve been shopping there for over 3 years, and yet I only have 4 items from there: a headband, two skirts (one of which was broken so I got it for $9.99), and a PJ tank top that is pretty enough to use as an ordinary tank top. Click here to see a look with two of my pieces.

However, I wholeheartedly agree with everything you wrote in this post. Anthropologie is selling a carefree fantasy lifestyle where everything is pretty, unique, and makes you feel like there’s purpose behind it. Except they’re actually also selling you clothes they get for dirt cheap, made of materials you can get at Forever 21 and H&M and everywhere else, because real quality clothing is hard to come by (and if it exists, it probably costs way more than what you can find at Anthropologie anyway).

I’ve heard that Anthropologie supports fair-trade and only buys from sweat-shop free producers. That’s the story that is told to legitimize the high prices. I don’t actually know to what extent the story is true; perhaps they’re expensive because they carry out business ethically. Or maybe it’s just what they want you to swallow, so you can fool yourself into thinking you’re perfectly capable of living that dreamy, boho lifestyle while doing something good for the world.

Will I stop shopping there their sale section? Nope. Will I ever, even if and when I make more than $10,000 a year, actually shop there? No. Because there’s just something about paying $250 for a cheap albeit beautiful and unique dress that makes me feel disgusted.

When I was in law school, I scrimped and saved and dropped about $200 on a dress from Anthro. This was long before they opened in Austin, we were poor as church mice, etc., so this was a big deal for me. It was a French toile de jouy/gauz
y dress (what in the hell was I thinking, BTW!?!?) and I could not wait for it to arrive. The first clue that something was terribly, terribly amiss was the fact that the padded mailing envelope made the communal mailboxes stink like poo. Still, ever the glutton for punishment, I raced up the stairs (in a side note, these same stairs were later condemned because we lived in such a safe, classy complex) to rip open my treasure. Well, not only did this dress not really resemble the product advertised, the damn thing looked like a home ec project. Mismatched seams, unfinished buttonholes, random unsnipped threads hanging every which way, and THE SMELL. I later learned to sew, and even my crudest, clumsiest early efforts were better executed than this piece of trash. Anthro promptly refunded my money, including my shipping, and I moved on with my life. A few weeks (months?) later, I got a fascinating letter of apology from Anthropology, which was apparently sent out to every unfortunate person who purchased this piece of trash. Since then, I have only bought about three pieces from there. To be fair, my aesthetic has really changed, but I have also learned to refuse to pay $109 for a cheaply made t-shirt with about 1/3 yard of fabric. And those adorable skirts? I really CAN make them myself, faster, cheaper, and with emminently better materials. Also, I just never got over the StinKAY Dress Incident. Thus endeth my anthro rant.

knitbunnie (#2,031)

I treasure my collection of Anthropologie catalogs. I sew. I knit. They are an endless source of inspiration. Anyone who knits and loves Anthropologie should know that at Ravelry.com, there’s an entire forum devoted to Anthrolopogie-inspired knitting/crocheting/sewing. I’ve never been in one of their stores because I have never lived near one, but it’s on my bucket list.

IvyD (#2,098)

I’ll admit: I love Anthropologie. I love oogling their clothes and their housestuff. But I rarely buy any of it. Most of it doesn’t seem useful or practical for my busy student lifestyle. And I have a thing about spending $200 for a polyester dress. For that price, I feel like it should be cotton. The few things I do own from Anthro were on a huge markdown. Good thing, too, because I hardly ever wear them. They were bought in a fit of desire and if I could go back, I’d just get one thing from that order (a pair of nice wool capris that look professional and make my butt look AMAZING).

Related to this article is another about Anthro’s marketing strategy: http://library.drexel.edu/publications/dsmr/D%27urso%20final.pdf

Reading that article was both incredibly interesting and horror-inducing. I know that every company has a marketing strategy and has some sort of branding and I know that, by virtue of being a consumer, I’m taken in by those strategies and convinced to give those companies my money (or, more often, oogle their products from afar). But seeing the strategy laid out so plainly and knowing that I fell for that fantasy hook, line, and sinker leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I read all the comments about anhro, I’m probably the only Brazilian that posting review here. Lately I bought anhro, free people and j.crew. But only sometimes on sale or ebay. I don’t buy because of the tag(brand)because is j.crew(yuppie people)far of this,free people(I’m not hippie)or anthro(vintage) but the finishing is excellent and the price if you compare with dresses and jeans Brazilian, the quality is so far, better. When I came to United States basically all my clothes were of Brazil, expensive clothes of good brands. But.. not being anti-patriotic, I am still a fan of the product and the finishing of the clothes of the United States even more some are conservative as anthro. The women in Brazil wear tight and short pieces independent of age, and it was uncomfortable for me, evem I’m skinny, 5’6, 130.

His subject is good, long while I find this topic and I think it is here, world population day

bettiespage (#7,259)

The prices there are TOTALLY OUT OF CONTROL. $288 is not even that much these days, I recently saw a dress there for $728 and a skirt for $428, yikes! Ladies, listen to me, we all have the power to not fall prey to their “lifestyle merchandising”. I used to be a Visual Director for Anthropologie so I know that is exactly what they are trying to do…put us under their spell and make us believe we need the whole package. For me, I think it’s okay to buy small inexpensive things there (especially if they are on sale) or things that are name brand…not manufactured by Anthropologie/Urban Outfitters-which actually accounts for many more of the brands sold there than you would suspect. If it is a brand that you kind find at other retailers then you are probably safe to buy from them and enthusiastically so if it’s marked down; I recently bought a cute pair of cropped Current/Elliott jeans on the sale rack for $19.99. My last note for those who want one of those vintage knock off dresses is to do what I do: check eBay for someone selling off a cheap sample or one they may have only worn once, you can get some good deals that way. My rant is over, thank you for reading.

annabee1 (#7,292)

I completely agree! It’s getting ridiculous how expensive clothing has become these days. Places like Nordstrom sell really expensive clothes and places like Forever21 and H&M lack the quality. I was lucky enough to come across a company called Get Me Posh. They have dresses anywhere from $20 to $100. None of their dresses are over a $100. There quality is what impressed me the most. It’s quality you see at nordstrom but for much cheaper. i don’t shop anywhere other than Get Me Posh anymore. I highly recommend them – you can find it at http://www.getmeposh.com
Happy Shopping All! Hopefully this solves your shopping problems like it did mine :)

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