20 Things I'd Like to Buy with my 20% Off at Anthropologie

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Bosquet Blouse ($118), shown here under the Cypress Moto Jacket ($148 -- size up),
is tops on my 20% off hunt list.

This 20% off survey thank you from Anthropologie (confused? Find out more in this post!) is certainly working its magic on me. Since getting that little code in my email I've been repeatedly thumbing through the pages of new stuff on Anthropologie's website, trying to decide what to hunt down in store. Unfortunately my store hunts yesterday were much less than successful, about which I'll comment at the bottom of the post. But in the meantime, inside are 20 items I'd like to buy with my 20% off code (and no, you're right, it's not realistic to buy them all)...

Why are sales suffering at so many women’s stores? They made bad clothes, according to the Washington Post

Monday, August 29, 2016

Anthropologie's summer windows in the Allen, TX store.

Following up from the Urban Outfitters' Q2 earnings' call post last week, here's a very interesting article from the Washington Post on the sad, sad, sad state of women's clothing these days. The thesis of the column is simple: Consumers have money to spend but mostly can't find clothes they want to buy. Why not? Well, for one reason as the article states:

"This slate of mega-retailers has long been among the prime draws to the mall for middle-class women, offering apparel that they could easily mix and match into outfits for client meetings, kiddie birthday parties or date nights. But lately, they can’t seem to design clothes that women want to buy. In other words, people think their clothes are ugly."

While Anthropologie is specifically cited in the article -- called out for taking $88 of loose-fitting rayon and insisting it's a 't-shirt dress' -- they certainly aren't alone. The Gap family of stores also gets skewered, as does J.Crew.

Here are some of the highlights (lowlights?) from the article, well worth a full read:

"Most glaringly, Banana Republic has acknowledged that it struggled to sell a blazer last year because women couldn’t fit their arms into the armholes."

"Gap has pivoted to more cheery colors and more ladylike silhouettes after customers balked at the minimalist, somewhat androgynous designs unleashed by former creative director Rebekka Bay. Around the time Bay left the company, Peck reportedly said to employees: “It’s a sign of the times, unfortunately, that when there was an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at the company, some of the sweaters there were from our current assortment."

"Many shoppers are choosing to spend their dollars on experiences — such as travel or dining out — rather than goods. And off-price players such as Ross, T.J. Maxx and Marshalls have been winning over new shoppers with their treasure-hunt atmosphere, adding to the strain created by the likes of Target and H&M, which are offering stylish pieces at low prices."

"The errors could be related to these retailers’ race to adapt to the breakneck speed at which style trends now move. H&M, Zara and other fast-fashion brands have dramatically accelerated how quickly an idea can get from the design studio to the store, compressing that process from several months to a matter of weeks. And shoppers have much more access to what’s hot, thanks to live-streamed runway shows and a steady diet of Instagram photos. As a result, retailers are rethinking all aspects of the business, from supply chains to design calendars to marketing tactics. Amid those dizzying attempts at transformation, it’s been hard to get the basics right."

Better still? The comments, 2,000+ of them from stylish women of all ages (I haven't read them all but I did read more than 1,000 of them and saw comments from teenagers all the way up to octogenarians!) pleading with their favorite retailer to go back to quality materials and stop trying to be a store they're not.

Among the retailers cited in the comments? J.Crew, Anthropologie, Banana Republic, Talbots, Chicos, Ralph Lauren, Nordstrom, Macy's, Saks, Bloomingdales, Ann Taylor, LOFT, Madewell, Lands' End Canvas, Victoria's Secret, Express just to name a few.

Among the repeated woes in the comments:
- No one designs for women over 25. (And it should be noted that even when I was early 20s I hated a lot of the stuff that was supposedly designed for me.)
- Most clothing is designed to be flattering on people who are a size 0 or 2, and between 5'9" and 5'11", with a very specific narrowly-defined body shape. Everyone else is screwed.
- The material is so bad now that it's common to come across loose buttons, busted zippers and mismatched button holes in the store on brand new items.

Who hasn't commented on the article yet? Not a single, solitary store as far as I can see. No CEOs or CCOs or VPs or anything. Nor a single retail analyst or board member.

I could dig into the reasons why material is awful these days and clothes don't fit right, but it would take an entire book! The topline reasons are due to outsourcing our material production line (aside from things like silk, which we've always imported) and how our trade deals with countries like Mexico and China helped reduce the price and quality of consumer goods simultaneously. But this is a simple sentence on issues that are far more complex than their summary implies.

No matter the reasons the result is the same, we're here stuck in one of the most boring retail cycles I can remember. My early 20s trend-hunting excitement has waned; these days I'm much more about classics given a modern spin. And no one seems to do that well -- not at the low-end, the medium range or even the high-end within my budget.

It seems like every store is too afraid to try quality and higher price points, because if they have even one bad quarter it could scare analysts and investors and send their stock tumbling to lethal levels. Eventually one store is going to start the trend though -- eventually someone's going to get so desperate they're going to try it.

So, who will it be that picks themselves up by their bootstraps first, casts out rayon and spandex, and remembers things like 12 and 14-gauge merino wool, pima cotton and crepe de chine? I know who I'm hoping it will be...

Anthropologie unpacks new sale items!

Hello from the road, where Anthropologie surprised us last night with fresh markdowns!  Sale items are all still an extra 25% off making this a wonderful surprise indeed.

Here are some of the highlights from this morning's cuts:
Apricot Drops (now $30), Style No. 39851290
Apricombre Necklace (now $40), Style No. 39925466
Caicos Tank (now $30), Style No. 4112527771003
Embroidered Launa Poncho (now $90), Style No. 4114089867197
Eyelet Halter Top (now $50), Style No. 4112336103001
Linen Ladder Lace Tank (now $50), Style No. 4110259835212
Miss Albright Verra Pumps (now $110), Style No. 38367702 -- own and love the patterned version
Quincy Tee (now $40), Style No. 4112237869944
Raye Crochet Tank (now $50), Style No. 4112211067741
Rose Rain Necklace (now $40), Style No. 39850441
Sliced Tunic Dress (now $50), Style No. 39373402
Sunidra Tank (now $50), Style No. 4114339214030
Verina Peplum Top (now $50), Style No. 4110326251212
Vinifera Necklace (now $40), Style No. 38267050

Happy Sale hunting everyone! A few more summery things I love went on sale -- how about for you?

Check your email, Anthro lovers!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Check your email, Anthro lovers! You might have a special delivery from Anthropologie -- answer a survey that you've been invited to by email, and get 20% off your next full-price purchase!

Please do NOT share the survey link here even if you got it as Anthro is likely polling a certain demographic. But even if you didn't get it (I didn't) don't despair -- this likely means a public 20% off full-price promo is in the works soon, perhaps as an Anthro weekend?

Thank you Anna Maria for sharing this!

Five Instant Work Looks

Thursday, August 25, 2016

No jewelry required with these stunning work dresses! Just add pumps or flats and off to the office you go!

1 - Resume Dress ($188) | 2 - Portfolio Dress (now $100 + extra 30% off with code WEEKOFSTYLE) | 3 - Monday Dress ($148) | 4 - Ruffle Hem Dress in Super 120s Wool ($168) | 5 - Utility Dress ($98)

Because of the sheath styling, I sized up to a 10 in all of these except the Utility Dress, which runs true to size.

Anthropologie's sale gets LOTS of fresh cuts & it's still an extra 25% off!!

Ahh, this is the sale I was hoping to see last week at Anthropologie! Many fresh cuts are here this morning and they're all an extra 25% off plus Free Shipping too.

Among this morning's highlights:
Butterfly Garden Midi Dress (now $100), Style No. 4130310318888
Camellia Dropwaist Dress (now $100), Style No. S4130348697365
Dayflower Dress (now $90), Style No. 4130089936951 -- size down, I took a small
Downtown Romper (now $90), Style No. 4130089932223
Gathered Stripes Midi Dress (now $100), Style No. 4130211621189 -- runs TTS
Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn Mackie Wedges (now $90), Style No. 39034616
Les Fauves Silk Dress (now $100), Style No. 4130580815479
High-Tide Halter Dress (now $80), Style No. 4130259831225 -- size up, I took a large
Maypol Kiltie Fringed Espadrilles (now $70), Style No. 39127840
Peachy High-Low Dress (now $100), Style No. 4130464031380
Ruffled Clipdot Dress (now $100), Style No. 4130210696294 -- runs TTS
Sava Silk Halter Dress (now $100), Style No. 4130346822763
Vicenza Aitana Heels (now $80), Style No. 38728481

Notes from Urban Outfitters' Q2 2017 Earnings Call

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Last week the leadership team from Anthropologie's parent company Urban Outfitters gathered with investers for everyone's favorite quarterly earnings call! What kind of intriguing information did we learn about Anthropologie, and how did the company do last quarter?

Inside, all the notes fit to print...

A dress we've been waiting for is finally online at Anthropologie...

The Patchwork Peasant Dress ($158, left above) is finally online!

The dress we've been waiting to see on Anthropologie's website since getting a peek of them with the Matson Knee Boots ($228) is finally here! It's called the Patchwork Peasant Dress ($158, left above) and it's among several cute new arrivals on Anthro's site this morning.

Other cuties new to my wishlist are the Rosalie Cardigan ($88), which reminds me of a Guinevere Cardigan I owned and loved for many years, the highly wearable Layered Fiona Pullover ($118) which looks great layered under the Studded Quilt Jacket ($238), the incredibly delicate and romantic Elise Anderegg Gatsby Silk Chemise ($498) by the same artisan who made the equally drool-worthy Elise Anderegg Calais Chemise ($548) featured earlier this week on the blog, the crazy an awesome Cecilia Patchwork Poncho ($178) which makes me want to quit my job and become a crazy art gallery owner, the pretty prints of the Helena Lace Midi Dress ($598) and the Cavina Maxi Dress ($598), and the potential of the Amarillo Cinched-Waist Top ($98) which looks somewhat tailored (!!!).

And that's to say nothing of the pretty new jewelry and shoe arrivals...what's caught your eye this morning in the new arrivals section? Don't forget about FREE SHIPPING on all orders...