Stream of consciousness: Anthropologie April catalogue

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Want to shop through the April catalogue on your own? Here it is.

Oooh, beachy theme....

Bubble Hem Dress ($128)
...this dress does not look flattering at all...

Knotted Mallow Sweater ($78) &
Faded Ikat Mini ($148)
...cute outfit, love the pockets on the skirt...
was this shot taken at my parents' house???

Gilded Tile Bermudas ($78)
...the top is pretty basic but the pattern
on the crops is a nice unique touch...

Pleated Petal Tank ($98)
...yes, please!...

...the neckline is sweet and I like the gathered waist... had me at purple...

...this is my thinking chair...

Pieced Gauze Dress ($168)
(Sorry ladies, the link for this product is not working.
I will update once Anthro updates.)
...a maxi dress I can approve of...

Gorgeous! Embroidered Pier Dress & California Iris Dress

I spotted a couple of new dresses in-store that just made it to the website. First, the Embroidered Pier Dress ($188) above. I wanted to try it on because this dress just looks so fun! I was worried about the vertical sash -- would it make me look wide? Probably didn't need to worry. This Floreat piece's slightly high waistband was very flattering on. I normally have to size down in Floreat's tops but I felt comfortable in my normal size 8 dress. I also really appreciated that the top of this dress goes a bit higher than many of the strapless dresses Anthropologie carries. I could wear a bra under this very comfortably. The back has a small basket-weave smocking pattern and a cute bow tie. The bow is a bit smaller than the online product shot would have you believe. As a bonus, this dress comes in both regular and petite sizes online!

My second gasp of the day came courtesy of the California Iris Dress ($148). This is another Floreat dress. I love the bee-esque color combination of the dress, and the pattern running down the seams is very eco-chic. I was disappointed to find a cross back on this dress...very annoying! The straps could be re-sewn without too much trouble but who wants to do that? So an x-back bra would be required. In this dress I was able to size down to a 6. On me, the ruching detail around the bustline didn't quite sit the way I wanted it to. The high waist gave my hourglass shape a bit of a boost but the pleats on the front of the skirt created a bit of a pooch. Pretty as it was this dress is a pass for me.

One off-topic note: the April catalog is up. Stream of consciousness coming tonight!

Dwelling Dos: Reversible Pillows

Monday, March 30, 2009

My friend the interior decorator has always held fast that you should invest in furniture for the long haul and pillows for the now. Giving away a pillow you don't like anymore, she says, is much easier than parting with a sofa. Truer words may never have been spoken to a short-term decorator like myself.

Every year or two I like to replace my pillows so I was excited to see Anthropologie's Dwelling Do #4...reversible pillows. Bored with one side? Just flip it over.

Orimono Pillow, Stripe ($78)

Anthro really gets into the details with their pillows. These pillows were made to last...maybe a pillow for all seasons? I have two Anthropologie pillows I'd bought a few years ago with a Mediterranean tile pattern that I loved to death. I used them as floor pillows, but they were too big to move into the city with me from Connecticut. I still occasionally search eBay and Craigslist to see if someone else is willing to part with a pair.

Orimono Pillow, Vines ($78)

What do you think of Anthro's pillows? Are they good enough to squeeze or do they belong in a museum?

Email roundup

Anthropologie sure was talkative last week. My email was abuzz as soon as I got off the plane with news of new sale additions, groan-worthy tagline above notwithstanding. There are still some highlight items available, like the From the Ground Up Top (now $30), the Winding Lane Top (now $40) or the Starting Point Skirt (now $40).

A few days later the email was all about finishing touches aka accessories. I found the categorizations to be a bit interchangable. Romantic? Vintage? Artistic? Aren't these all words that describe Anthropologie overall as a brand? Likewise, most of the specialty page products could fall into any one of those three categories. Criticism aside I'm in love with the Full Bouquet Clip ($18) and the Blooming Bow Bag ($78). Guess that makes me a romantic.

Do you like tunics? I sure do! Even before the email about the Side-by-Side tunic ($88) and Joe Jeans Kicker ($152) I was already trying to decide which color to get the tunic in. I like the white the best I think. The Kickers are a pass for me.

I spent most of Sunday in a Dramimine haze. When I awoke I found the lovely email above. I think dresses are what Anthropologie is probably best known for. I look forward to the warm weather and the spring/summer dresses that Anthro selects each year. They have not disappointed this year with a wonderful range of romantic, vintage and artistic dresses. (Sorry, couldn't resist.) Which ones do I like? Which ones don't I like? The one I want the most right now is the Rainwashed Shale Dress ($188). I think it would do well as a spring or a fall dress. Ask me tomorrow for another want.

Even on vacation, I could not stay away from Anthropologie

Sunday, March 29, 2009

During my vacation, here's how the weather went: sunny and 70s to 16 inches of snow within a 10-day span. I kid you not! It was a wonderful time in Colorado as usual though. While I was there my sister and I did some shopping and I hit two Anthropologie stores. I was surprised that there was no Anthropologie up in the mountains...they are missing out on major snow bunny shopping opportunities!

It was interesting to see the stock differences in Boulder/Denver vs. NYC. The 29th St. store in Boulder for example had far fewer dresses out and more emphasis on tops and the cottony capris and shorts for warm weather. At Park Meadows the mix leaned towards going-out I felt. Both stores were a bit lacking in the accessories department but I really loved the decor at each. The photo at the top of this post is from the Boulder Anthropologie. The unfocused jars (sorry, operator difficulties!) was a beautiful lighting installation made from Ball Jars. Ball Aerospace is a local company and I'm pretty sure that the jars were produced locally until recently. Nice local touch, Anthro!

There were plenty of wish list-able items to choose from. I ended up making a Ric Rac day out of it. The first top to catch my eye was the Star Grass Tee ($78). The model shot above does not represent the true color of the shirt. The product shot is closer but in real life I found the shirt to be a dark golden color. I was wondering how the back would fair against my, ahem, plentiful bottom area but I was pleased to find that the pleat didn't poof out much in real life. As with all Ric Rac tops, I sized down from a medium to a small.

A couple more meandering minutes led me to the Teaming Coast Scoopneck ($78). I really like the lace detail at the top of this's very dainty without feeling old and I feel like this is what the love child of the Sgraffito Squareneck ($88) and the Pinch, Dash, Smidgen top (now $70) would look like. Yes, your bra will show through the top so plan on wearing a nude or white bra with this top. I sized down to a small in this Ric Rac top as well. In the sale section I found a pair of Socialite by Joe's Jeans (no longer online, in-store sale for $100) which I grabbed in a size 31. I kind of wish I had stuck to my guns and gotten my true size 30, but these jeans are low-rise with a flare and in the store I wasn't sure which way to go. They stretched as I wore them though and I'll have to take them to a tailor to be taken in. The jeans have a 34 or 35-inch inseam which is great for tall people like me! My sister, a petite 5'4", just glared at me.

Sis found the Calendar Pages Dress ($118) in the gorgeous purple color you see above. The x-small fit her like a dream and just avoided being too long. With heels it will look simply amazing on her! The middle ruching gave her this cute little hourglass shape and she couldn't stop twirling around in it. I want to give the staff the benefit of the doubt but I have to mention that two of the associates tried to convince her that a lighter purple sweater went well with the dress when it was gawd awful hideous (and both sis and I knew it). Upselling with stuff that works well together? Fine. Upselling for the sake of upselling? Not cool.

My sister also bought a bunch of knobs for a home-improvement project which I'll post about later this week. And the Tivoli Scoopneck ($88) in an x-small, which I made her promise not to wear on the same day as me while I was in town! All in all another successful day at Anthro. Oh, and because I can't resist sharing one mountain shot, here's a sunset over Long's Peak as seen from our friend's backyard just outside Longmont:

Metapost: Be back soon

Friday, March 20, 2009

A little R&R is in order and I'll be taking a short break. I'm off to Colorado to visit family and friends and they've made it clear no laptops are allowed. I'm sure I will find time to visit one or two of the Anthros out there...I expect they'll just be like NYC's but with mountains!

In the meantime you don't have to go without your Anthropologie fix. The (chloe) conspiracy is also on break on the moment but should return to regularly scheduled blogging shortly. Shannon over at Wardrobe Review regularly gives her take on Anthro items...and you should check out her amazing jewelry as well! Goldenmeans also does IRL (in real life) shots of Anthropologie items. And of course there is Breakfast at Anthropologie, another fabulous Anthro fanblog. Jacquelyn at Fashionable Yet Frugal reviews Anthropologie among a diverse range of brands. And when time allows, Marta B. is another devoted Anthro fan over on the BrOwNiE qUeEn.

If you review Anthropologie please post a link to your site in the comments! And I'm happy to add anyone who fits in the zeitgeist of this blog to my blogroll. Just shoot me an email at snapsparkchik (at) gmail (dot) com.

Posting will resume on or before Monday, March 30. If time allows the blog design is going to be spruced up as well for Spring.

Anthro's irresistible nesting doll measuring cups

Gah! Let's make a deal Anthropologie. You have to stop making such cute measuring cups. First the giraffes (now $19). Then the swans ($28). And now irresistible Matryoshka nesting doll measuring cups??!? ($28) The Pioneer Woman's post first introduced me to these and now I can't stop cooing over the cute overload.

I was just not prepared for how much these make me want to measure something. Flour. Sugar. Coffee. Whatever! Or maybe just display them in my kitchen while I order off Seamlessweb as usual. One or the other.

Return of the Anthropologie promo code?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Anthropologie-st, ever the detective, carefully gathers clues about the indigenous peeps she finds herself among. Buried in the history of this recently discovered civilization she finds evidence of previous promotional codes. The detective herself remembers a time where the Anthropologie-ites offered discounts of sorts to their people.

She finds ancient artifacts that record previous requests to the leaders of the Anthropologie-ites for a reward for their loyalty. Pretty please? Alas their calls fell on mostly deaf ears and reminders of their (guessed) brand code: discounts non applius!

But then one day what does she stumble upon?

Obscured in small font, it's a transcript not seen since the Expendius Plurus period! A promo code field during checkout! Surveys of related texts reveal nothing currently valid but there is mounting evidence that a discount of some kind may soon be heading our way; a well-timed thank you to the many who faithfully support Anthro perhaps? Or a misplaced relic that lives on to tease? I guess we'll see.

{for the home} Inspired by Anthropologie, created by ingenuity

photo from design sponge

With a little bit of talent I could do anything, I always tell myself. But I doubt I could create anything as beautiful as Britt's Anthropologie DIY project. She fell in love with the Curator Nightstand ($698) but not so much the price. So with spit, grit and 96 bucks she recreated the table using parts from Ikea and any hardware store.

The inspiration

I can't get over how close to the inspiration her project came out! Amazing. And she is even kind enough to provide step-by-step instructions. In fact I love them so much that I plan on tackling this project myself soon!

Dwelling Dos: Hardware

Back in college when 90% of Anthropologie's clothing was financially out of reach for me I'd still wander into the store to check out their funky hardware. Somewhere in Fort Collins, Colorado a dresser with antique glass pulls and one heck of a paint job is floating around from Colorado State student to Colorado State student (or at least I like to think so!).

So this week's Dwelling Do over on the {for the home} start page makes me a bit nostalgic. While buying entirely new furniture might not make sense right now changing out the hardware is a quick way to give that old thing some new pop.

I know I have mentioned this before but I love Anthropologie's clever use of Flash on their site. Click through from the homepage and you're taken to an interactive do-it-yourself page featuring Anthropologie furniture pieces without pulls, knobs or hooks. Choose from a bunch of options to create your own ideal piece. (It's enough to make the great folks over at Apartment Therapy drool.)

Clever little tool, Anthro. Could we please see something similar for your clothing?

I heart Pink Studio

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Anthropologie does a great job of selecting brands to carry in-store. Somehow they take all these different backgrounds and blend them into one cohesive thought. As I've become more engrossed by the store I've gotten a bit better at guessing which brand submitted which piece.

One of my favorite brands is Pink Studio. Their About Us page sums up nicely why they fit so well into the Anthro fold: "Inspired by vintage clothing, hand-crafted goods, hand-sewn items, and trotting around the globe, these sisters [Lisa and Lucy Chang] are taking their love and passion for shoes to a different level."

Call me smitten. I'm especially loving the Harmony tote shown above which Anthro unfortunately does not carry. Pink Studio's line for Spring 2009 is small, selective and kinda seductive for the hand-sewn crowd.
And then there are the shoes. The Triglav Peak Peep Toes ($110) are winners by looks (and already out of stock in my size). I love the blue color of the leather. The For You Flats ($78, below) have been getting a lot of exposure on Anthro's website and I love them a bit more each time I see them. And the Sailor Stripe Heels ($98, bottom) have a match in the seersucker skirt patiently waiting for nicer weather in my closet.

The best of what's on sale at Anthropologie: clothing

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Anthropologie has updated the website sale section! The tops section seems to be the biggest beneficiary with 20 or so new items added. Some highlights:

Penna Tunic: now $50

Site update! Slouchy tops and billowy bottoms

Anthropologie updated their homepage and truly seems to be embracing the flowiness right now. First they highlight 'slouchy tees' which I'd politely suggest renaming free-flowing tops. Lots of cute ones to choose from like the Steep Stairs Tank ($78) which was part of Right Angle in their Geometry cycle last week or the The-Look-Back Tank ($68) which is gorgeous coming or going.

Next you can flip through the From the Hip catalogue (my thoughts here) or you can shop bottoms up. Best to ignore the harem pants.

Anthro chooses to showcase short hemlines (if ya got it, show it off!); slim capris; voluminous skirts and the paper-bag. My personal favorite is probably...wait a tick, did they call one of the looks the paperbag? Yes, yes they did.

(...does research...hold musak plays...)

OK, the Goog reveals that this refers to the paperbag waistline which was popular in the 1980s. And it's making a comeback. The Drive-In Skirt ($78) shown in the shot is quite appealing so I will give the trend name a pass. But this is a dangerous slippery slope to elastic waistbands. Shudder. I'm scared that the four horsemen of the fashion bottom apocolypse are dangerously close to being realized: harem pants, elastic waistbands, tapered jeans and acid wash. After that the whole fashion world goes dark and only Karl Lagerfeld's glove is left behind to design. Beware the Ides of March plus 2?

(I tease because I adore.)

Off the beaten path...Urban Outfitters tempts me, makes me silly

Gah! Isn't the dress above super cute? It's the Kimchi Blue Striped Sundress ($58) at Anthropologie's sister-slash-parent brand Urban Outfitters. Nothing fancy; just a nice throw me on and run out the door Spring comfy dress.

I want this dress! However I have a bit of a dilemma. You see Urban Outfitters likes to taunt anyone with anything resembling curves. Yeah, you could argue that UO is for college students but that's a lie. Here in NYC I regularly see shoppers of all ages there. I guess I'm just in shape denial when I see cute things like this.

I seem to do OK in their tops but not so much in dresses. Here's about how 90% of Urban Outfitters dresses go for me: medium fits great everywhere but the chest. Large is swimmy but fits the chest. For a moment I seriously considered buying a medium and a large and Frankensteining them into a Roxy-appropriate garment. But that would be silly. Crazy even. Mwahahaha!

(PS Urban Outfitters: I bought this same bracelet from you in 2001. It was $18 then. Thank you for not inflating your prices!)

Email: Bottoms Up

Monday, March 16, 2009

Oh my goodness. I have tried to turn a blind eye to this Anthropologie but today I can condone no longer. Harem pants? Your latest email is about harem pants? Fine, let's ignore that these are harem pants for a second. How do this look fit into the Anthropologie collection? I blows my mind. Between these and cuffed jeans I'm about ready to quit on pants altogether. If acid wash makes a comeback I'm done.

Hysterically if you click through the email there is a "see what works with harems" page. The key is accenting the waist says Anthro. Sigh. If people want to wear harem pants...I can't even finish the thought. Let's just move on.

Update: Jacquelyn shares her thoughts; J'adore these stores n'adore pas des pantalons harem (Congrats Anthro, you've incited the blogosphere with all things harem!)