Anthropologie featured in Adobe showcase

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Many thanks to my friend/web geek kindred spirit Lizzie who let me know that Anthropologie is currently one of the featured brands on Adobe's Brilliant Feature page (WARNING: Sound!!). This mini-site is all about how brands utilize Adobe's suite of products. I love Adobe's products but my god their customer service is AWFUL. But I digress.

Click the Anthropologie box in the lower right and you're taken to an interactive menu page. If you roll over the "navigation" box on the left you can choose some videos. I highly recommend the "Video Case Study." The first 1/3 of the video is all brand background. Pretty fascinating for a brand fan. And when the designer scans in the pattern and then utilizes it for a background...awesomeness. The "Favorite Features" video is also a good watch for any Photoshop users. Good stuff.

Gorgeous! Trailing Vines Necklace

Once again Anthropologie draws me in with a beautiful but big statement necklace. The Trailing Vines Necklace ($118) manages to be both delicate and bold. Love how all the different beads still blend into one cohesive thought. (That thought of course being 'Roxy buy me!')

In-store the necklace was displayed with the Honeyhouse Dress ($158). The necklace really drew out the petals of the skirt and I thought the overall look was very earth goddess. Alluring!

I inspected the necklace a bit on the mannequin and the beadwork had a quality touch to it. I'm guessing these are Checzh glass -- Anthro's website doesn't really specify. This necklace is about the same size as the Sun Rise Nectar Necklace ($42) that I grabbed recently. What do you think of the Trailing Vines Necklace?

Indulge in silk

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Anthropologie updated their homepage and my interest was piqued by their suggestion to indulge in silk. I'm in! I covet many of the pieces they highlight. I've been ever less patiently waiting for the Afloat Blouse ($88) to go on sale; the Bungalow Gables Dress ($138) is just perfection in dress form; and the Confetti Whirl Dress ($168) looks like a fun frock! I tried on the Electric Age Halter Dress ($178) over the weekend and while the dress was lovely neither the 6 nor the 8 fit me correctly on top. Both bowed out strangely at my chest.

But something must be wrong with me because my favorite item on the page is the Two Birds Romper ($128). Yep, that's right, a romper! The model shot is unconvincing on the product page but I feel like I could totally rock that thing. Maybe with my hair back, some high heels and a fringed-out hobo? What is going on with me? Whatever it is I think Shannon over at Wardrobe Review caught it too because she questions her love of the Aqua Surf Girl Gladiators ($168)...and I think those kinda rock too.

I think it is the rich jewel tone of the romper that draws me in. And it looks kind of swingy-fun to wear. So am I nuts? Or has Anthropologie correctly identified the trend that I already see around NYC? And what is with Anthro suddenly turning so trendy? Not sure I'm totally into this J.Crew-esque style left turn.

Email: The new bohemia

Anthropologie says the new bohemia is here in their latest email and I like it! Featured is the Mesoamerica Blouse ($118) which I spotted in-store over the weekend adored. The Undulating Orbit Earrings ($80) are also pretty sweet.

If I had to pick a favorite item from the landing page though it would be the Brass Ring Tank ($88). The psychedelic print and bold colors make me happy. The button accents at the neckline add some whimsy. Stir it all up and you've got a hit with me. Are you digging the bohemian vibe?

Catharsis: Imagining the Forever 21/Anthropologie depositions

Anthropologie is suing Forever 21 charging blatant rip-offism, charging lower pricesism and general brand quality degradationism. And I would normally quote a news article and be all professional here but frickin Women's Wear Daily is charging to read the entire article. And that has pushed me off the deep end into delirium. So instead I present my completely made-up reimagining of the depositions cum both sides have agreed to settle their case in TV court case etc., as presided over by the Honorable Judge Judy. (And again, this is totally made up and done out of love. Love you Anthro xxoxoxoxxo and all that good stuff.)

Judge Judy: Alright, Anthropologie. You're suing Forever 21 for knocking off some of your clothing. Which I don't understand at all because it seems like you can go into any clothing store and find things with butterflies and flowers on it. Am I right?

Anthropologie: Er, well, no your honor, because our brand is all about organic creativity and seeking items that are out of the ordinary...

Judge Judy: Out of the ordinary? Are you telling me a scarf with medallions on it is out of the ordinary? I'll tell you what's out of the ordinary...charging $168 for it!

Forever 21: nodding silently.

Anthropologie: ...Your Honor, our clothing is made from high quality materials from around the world. Pima. Batik. Silk. Not rayon, not polyester.

Judge Judy: Petri, do you hear this? Silk, pima, modal...fancy stuff!

Petri: Mmhm.

Anthropologie: Also Your Honor, we specifically try to stock brands that few other stores carry. Our clothes are meant to be taken as a unique collective. We pay attention to everything, from the color thoughts of a season to the way the store is laid out. It's supposed to be a journey of sorts, a meandering walk, a...

Judge Judy: Stop. Stop talking. You mean to tell me that your stores are laid out like some kind of -- I don't know -- fairy tale wonderland? looks at Forever 21 And you want to copy these people?

Forever 21: We didn't copy, we just...

Judge Judy: Enough, I wasn't talking to you. Anthropologie, what is your evidence?

Anthropologie: In 2007 Forever 21 copied several of our dress designs. They moved a flower applique here, added an extra pleat there. But otherwise their designs are eerily similar to ours....

Forever 21: under breath Just $150 cheaper!

Anthropologie: ...and $150 less awesome! Plus our designs are not like something a Parsons dropout would fashion out of a garbage bag and twist ties.

Judge Judy: You two had better stop with the trash talk rightthissecondbeforeItossyoubothout! Anthropologie, I am looking at photo of your holey denim jeans and a pair for sale at Forever 21. Now you tell me how I am supposed to distinguish between your ripped jeans and theirs because frankly I am about to take a pair, chop it up with some garden shears and charge $200 for them myself.

Anthropologie: Certainly each pair of jeans is different. But look at these shirts for instance. Ours is on the left, you can tell by the je ne sais quoi. Sure the color is different, but they have the same ruched neckline, the same floral accent, the same loose flowy string accent that was thrown in as a last minute tribute to nostalgic youth...sniffy sniff.

Judge Judy: Alright, alright. Enough glassy eyes. Forever 21, what say you?

Forever 21: Your Honor, we can't help it if we're dangerously on-trend. Our designers are tragically hip; our production is treacherously fast and our shoppers are unapologetically seeking disposable cool. No one wants to spend $80 on a shirt they'll wear for one season.

Judge Judy: So...your defense is that being fast and cheap makes it OK? Alrighty.

Forever 21: Our defense is that fashion itself moves too fast to claim that anything is unique. What's now was also what's 20 years ago. What's out is back in. Nothing is really unique these days. I could buy the same tank top from 20 different stores!

Anthropologie: Your Honor...

Judge Judy: Quiet flutter butters. Now, Forever 21, a tank top is a tank top, but do you really mean to tell me that it's just a coincidence that they release a button down top with ruffles on the shoulder and then just a few weeks later you release a very similar version of your own?

Forever 21: But ours has ruffles that are bigger!

Anthropologie: Harrumph.

Judge Judy: Hoo-whee. You must think I'm an idiot. Is that what you think?

Forever 21: Uh...

Judge Judy: Because let me tell you that I am sick and tired of all these knockoff judges pretending to have my gumption, my no-nonsense attitude, my haircut! There is only one Judge Judy, do you understand that, Forever tweeny-one?

Forever 21: Yes, ma'am.

Judge Judy: Think they can put on a robe and just become another me. That'll learn them.

Anthropologie: Your Honor...

Judge Judy: Quiet earthy crunchology. I've had enough of your meandering mind. But I've had more than enough of Always 21's careless disregard. I'm ruling in favor of the plaintiff. Now get out of my courtroom before I throw you two into a decoupage cage match.

Reviews: Segovia Dress

Monday, April 27, 2009

I succumbed to the allure of the Triglav Peep-Toes ($110) over the weekend. Something about the cafe-striped wedge heels was too tempting. And they are really comfortable to boot! I wouldn't want to be on my feet all day in them but they survived walking around the city for a few hours quite well. No pinched toes, no blisters. On my way out of the store, bag with shoes triumphantly in-hand, I passed by the Segovia Dress ($128) and it stopped me in my tracks. Why, hello capped-sleeve dress with bottom floral accents reminiscent of Ric Rac's Teaming Coast scoopneck (no longer online, $78 in-store, pic below)! I couldn't leave without trying it on.

The store didn't have any 6s or 8s left so I decided to try a 4 just for the heck of it. Surprisingly, it fit fine! This Floreat number is pretty flowy with a tie-back so I think the less structured shape allowed me to fit into the smaller size. The sleeves hit just off the edge of my shoulder which created a flattering look as opposed to some cap sleeves which cut down the middle of my shoulder and make my arms look paunchy.

I liked the pattern of the dress and the length was good -- hit me right at the top of my knees. But I couldn't think of anything to wear it for in the next few weeks so back to the rack it went.

Email: Denim distress call

Anthropologie is taking a trip back to the 1990s with their latest email about distressed denim. I practically live in jeans and I feel like I've owned just about every shape jeans can come in. While I don't mind distressed jeans and even had a pair once in high school I have a hard time justifying spending $150+ on jeans that come pre-destroyed. Some of the pairs Anthro shows off are cute enough. But no thanks for me. Are you a fan?

My favorite NYC shopping spots, part two

Sunday, April 26, 2009

inside the Prince St. subway station

Continuing the story from yesterday, this post isn't really about Anthropologie either! (Sorry, it will be back tomorrow. I promise!) I am breaking down my favorite NYC shopping neighborhoods into mini grids. Just in case you ever visit this lovely city -- and I recommend that you do.

4. Prince St (Lafayette :: Ave of the Americas)

stores within: G-Star Raw, Christian Audigier, Armani Exchange, Prada, Intermix, J.Crew w/Crewcuts, the Apple Store, Miu Miu, Calvin Klein underwear, Club Monaco, Sabon, True Religion, Lucky Kid, Baby Phat, Lacoste, Coach, French Connection.

side street highlights: Betsey Johnson, Alberta Ferretti, Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang, Otto Tootsi Plohound.

Prince St and Broadway get the most foot traffic in Soho. My guess is that this is because of the mix of upscale shops, interesting sidewalk vendors and good eats. Personally I do a lot of looking on Prince St. At least until I win the lottery.

G-Star Raw and Christian Audigier are edgy clothing retailers with mid-range to high price points. I occasionally walk through each but haven't really bought much at either. The Armani Exchange and Prada are actually on the corner of Broadway, which I covered yesterday. I have really good luck at Armani Exchange and Prada...well...someday! The J.Crew on Prince St has a large Crewcuts section as well as men's downstairs. This store is closest to work so I come here often. The women's section is pretty small so they don't carry the full line though they do have shoes.

The Intermix on Prince St is pretty good. This store doesn't really discount much, probably once or twice a year. Like Precision, Scoop or Barney's Co-op Intermix carries a selection of designer items. Every few months when the budget allows I like to treat myself to one item from Intermix. A fun place to be sure. The Calvin Klein underwear store has been a surprising success for my guy. I have seen cute things there but they don't always carry bras in my size. French Connection is another hit for me. I love the cute preppy spring dresses they have. This store sometimes goes by FCUK which threw me for a loop a couple of years back. Dyslexics beware.

For side street fun, take a peek in the Marc Jacobs store on Mercer or Betsey Johnson's boutique on Wooster. For shoes Otto Tootsi Plohound has a funny name but really cute shoes. No idea where the name comes from.

5. Madison Ave (60th St :: 80th St)
stores within: far too many to name. Just think of a designer and chances are good they have a store along here. :) Christian Louboutin, Barneys, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Chloe, etc.

Truth be told, I don't do much shopping on Madison Ave. I go by the J.Crew collection store (79th/Madison) every so often and the nearby Michael Kors store. Precision and Intermix both have outposts along Madison that I shop at. I make it into some of the shops on an irregular basis. But really this section makes the list because I just love walking up and down Madison and looking in all the store windows. Those stores have been much emptier lately. And the people are absolutely fascinating. Plus you're just a block away from Central Park and 5th Ave.

Honorable mentions:
:: Lexington between 57th/60th -- Gap, Banana Republic, H&M, Levi's, Diesel, Steve Madden, Nine West, Zara, NY and Company, Victoria's Secret, Bloomingdales.

:: 34th St between 5th/7th Aves -- Express, Ann Taylor Loft, Macy's hugemongous Flagship, Forever 21, American Eagle, Banana Republic, H&M x 2, Victoria's Secret, Payless, Lady Foot Locker, Gap.

:: 3rd Ave between 75th/86th -- Free People, Anik, National Jeans Company, Fresh, Searle, Scoop, Precision & outlet, BCBG Max Azria, Ann Taylor, Gap, Bandolino, Bare Escentuals, Marimekko (ok cheating, this one's at 73rd/3rd Ave), Cantaloup.

And so on. Wiped out! I will update with the other two honorable mentions soon.

My favorite NYC shopping spots, part one

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Just as a warning, this post isn't really about Anthropologie so feel free to skip this one if you don't plan on visiting NYC to shop any time soon. It's OK, Anthro will be back on Monday! But I did want to address a common question I get where should you go to shop in NYC when you come to visit? I've divided things into mini-neighborhoods.

Here are my top 5 shopping grids:
1. 5th Ave between 14th St & 23rd St
2. Broadway between Houston & Grand
3. Spring St. between Lafayette & Ave of the Americas
4. Prince St. between Lafayette & Ave of the Americas
5. Madison Ave between 60th St & 80th St

Honorable mentions:
- Lexington between 57th St & 60th St
- 34th St between 5th Ave & 7th Ave
- 3rd Ave between 75th St & 86th St
- 5th Ave between 51st St & 59th St
- South St Seaport

The Flatiron Building

1. Flatiron (5th Ave :: 14th/23rd)
Stores within: Free People, Bebe, Esprit, Anthropologie, J.Crew, Banana Republic (women's & men's stores); Gap, Express, White House Black Market, Club Monaco, Armani Exchange, Precision, Juicy, Zara, H&M, United Colors of Benetton, BCBG Max Azria, Nine West, Aldo, Victoria's Secret, Sephora, Lucky Brand.

Man, I'm tired just typing that list! I used to work at 5th Ave & 21st St and I can remember some pretty awesome lunch shopping excursions. I recommend starting at 23rd St in Madison Square Park (23rd St where Broadway/5th Ave cross) and working your way south. And just for the record Madison Square Park is NOT near Madison Square Garden. You see Madison Square Garden has actually been in several neighborhoods and it used to be near the park when it was named.

In this gaggle of stores I frequent BCBG, Nine West, H&M, Anthropologie and J.Crew the most. They're all national stores so I won't talk too much about them. The H&M here has misses downstairs while upstairs is men's, young trend and a small lingerie room. Most of the stores in this neighborhood are two levels. The Anthropologie has a generously sized home section upstairs in the back and sales items downstairs. The staff there (and really at all 3 NYC Anthros) is very nice and super helpful. The J.Crew is pretty hit and miss. I am not a fan of the manager. She is loathe to give customers breaks or discounts on anything unless she absolutely has to. I can think of at least 3 situations where a nice manager would have just erred on the side of customer benefit and they failed to. Lame. The staff is hit or miss. Women's sale is sometimes upstairs, sometimes downstairs. They have shoes there. (My favorite NYC J.Crew is the Madison Ave store -- not the collection store -- on Madison between 44th and 45th Sts. Super nice staff and management.) I used to shop at Esprit a lot but have backed off in the last year because their quality has steadily declined. Zara is like H&M but slightly more expensive. I have better luck there in the winter than the summer.

This area is also close to Union Square, which has Filene's Basement, American Eagle, Forever 21, Steve Madden, Geox, Puma and DSW. There is also a green market there on the weekends.

looking South on Broadway

2. Broadway between Houston & Grand
stores within: Urban Outfitters, Kenneth Cole, Esprit, Mango, Uniqlo, Zara, Forever 21, Express, Nine West, Aldo, American Eagle, Prada, Armani Exchange, Ann Taylor Loft, H&M, Guess, Lucky Brand, Steve Madden, Arden B, Levi's, Club Monaco, Old Navy, Quicksilver, Payless Shoes, Aerosoles, Flair, Bloomingdale's, Exstaza, Madewell, Scoop Warehouse, Yellow Rat Bastard, Necessary Clothing, Adidas, Topshop.

If you come to New York City, you need to go to Soho. And I highly recommend the Red NYC Soho Map to find all the stores that are cleverly nestled within. End of story. You can't do Soho in a day. Tiny neighborhood but packed with shopping. And as a warning it is insane here on the weekends. Like, you can barely walk the sidewalk is so packed. Many eateries here are cash only. I started this grid at Houston but Atrium up by Bleecker is a popular spot with the college crowd.

My favorite store on Broadway is Uniqlo. This Japanese store just landed in NYC last year. It's kind of like H&M in that they sell inexpensive basics. But it's just so...organized and almost like an assembly line. Want a merino sweater? They have shelves upon shelves of them in every color. Their cool licensed tees are a highlight. I'm still kicking myself for missing their Wonder Woman tee in my size over the winter. I was completely disappointed by Topshop, which just opened. First of all, waiting in line to get into a half-empty store is not cool. Secondly it was all 1980s derivatives. I was so scared to see these clothes out in the wild. Great to visit to say you've been there but too expensive to be novelty fun. Go to Forever 21 for your disposable party clothes.

Sticker shock is a pretty common thing in this nabe. But don't be afraid to go into any store! You never know what kind of sale you might find these days. The Bloomingdale's in Soho is a paired down version of the flagship store. I haven't been very successful finding clothing here but their shoes on 2 has been a gold mine for me. The shoe staff are really nice peeps to boot. Likewise, Madewell has a friendly staff and enviable denim. I've gotten a few cute tops from J.Crew's hispster sister store. You must own "this many" scarves to enter. If you don't mind making a bit of a detour the Nanette Lepore store is just a couple of blocks east of Madewell on Broome St. It's a small store but everything drool-worthy is there. Well worth the trip.

I also highly recommend the Scoop Warehouse. It has both men's and women's select designer fashions from current season with last season's on sale in the back. Their buyers make great choices and I come here often. On the cheaper side I also like going into Exstaza, one of the few remaining local shops. Yes there is some hideous stuff here but you can also find some great items here. It's all about the search.

One more thing -- Houston. It's pronounced Hows-ton. Not hews-ton. Common mistake.

Looking East on Spring St

3. Spring St between Lafayette and Ave of the Americas
Stores within: Sissy, Parasuco, Cleo & Patek, Ben Sherman, Sabon, John Varvatos, Burton, DC, American Apparel, J. Lindeberg, Burberry, Chanel, Diesel, LF, Theory, Olive & Bette's, Wink, Emporio Armani, Flying A, Comptoir des Cotonniers.

Some side street highlights: Barney's Co-op, Anthropologie, Ralph Lauren, Elie Tahari, DKNY, Sacco, Dolce & Gabbana, Max Studio, M Missoni, Miss Sixty, 7 for All Mankind, Oliver Peoples, Reiss, Anna Sui, Adriano Goldschmied (aka AG Jeans), Louis Vuitton, Nicole Miller, Agent Provocateur, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Ugg, Kate Spade, Catherine Malandrino, Lucky Brand, Tommy Hilfiger.

Prince St tends to get more foot traffic but Spring St is where I do most of my walking in Soho. I work at Spring/Ave of the Americas now and coming to Soho was like being transported from a blah tech center to a cute European village. Cobblestone streets, plenty of sidewalk cafes and pedestrians far outnumbering cars make this a fun place to be. Though the list of shopping places is short it's the side streets that add to the allure.

When I do my secondary sweep of Soho (primary is #2 above) I start at Spring St and Ave of the Americas and weave my way East. I go to Thompson, up and down and then East one block. To Sullivan, up and down and then East one block. And so on. There are just so many places to go! Most of the shops are tiny boutiques. This can really throw you when you're used to box stores. But be patient and will find great stuff!

OK, let's get down to it. Sissy is an accessories store. Their jewelry tends to be fairly priced (under $100 for most things) and their handbags range from the low $200s to $500 and up. They have some clothing in-store, mostly focused on going out looks. A lot of silk, rayon and the like. Parasuco is a denim bar of sorts that is slanted towards men but has women's options as well. Think embellished pockets, wide legs, acid wash (shudder). Expect to spend at least $100 on a pair. One of my ex-boyfriends swore by their shirts. Ben Sherman and John Varvatos are of a similar vein. Ben Sherman has a definite edge to it for the rock star in your life. I love walking through the store. The staff is sometimes overly attentive so be prepared to be hounded a bit. Also, the exchange rate makes items very expensive at both Ben Sherman and John Varvatos. Varvatos' store is all men's clothing. They have some decent suits and thoughtful casual dress looks for guys but mostly brand themselves as edgy and rock and guyliner and grrrrr. I find this store to be overly expensive.

the subway map installation on Greene St.

Cleo & Patek is a handbag shop that my friends love but I find a bit sketch. Their items are nice enough but they seem to have a bit of a fell of the truck quality to them, know what I'm saying? You could go for the real thing at Louis Vuitton. I am not a fan. There's also Kate Spade whose collections are gorgeous but the prices are not. On the rare occasions when she has sales I will take a peek.

Speaking of stores I mostly browse in, the Chanel store is sparsely populated by both product and shoppers these days but man if I could just afford one of their tweed jackets...Burberry's price point is a bit lower but aside from their trenches its point of view just does not speak to me. I spend a lot of time in Barney's Co-op where there's a great pared down selection of designer goods. They have an awesome denim section downstairs and their accessories section always has at least 1 studded belt. I am currently eyeing a beautiful Vince dress there. Flying A is an awesome vintage shop where I scored a great messenger-style bag and a nice top. Their stock is always changing and I like to check in at least once a month. Their prices are pretty fair and sometimes negotiable.

The stores I hit most often start with Wink. This little box of a store has so much packed in. Jewelry on the walls. Shoes in baskets. Amazing clothing on two racks in the back. They carry a few overlap brands with Anthro: Frye and Seychelles shoes come to mind. This store is midrange in price, starting at around $75 and going up from there. But it's really a little treasure trove. I also love the Theory store. It's great for finding work clothing for those client meeting days and occasionally you'll find a nice going out dress. Comptoir des Cotonniers is a mother-daughter design team from France that specialize in timeless pieces. They have a lot of tunics, silk shirts and cropped pieces. Very cute stuff starting at about $100.

The side streets are a treasure trove. West Broadway between Spring and Broome is home to Ralph Lauren, Anthropologie, Miss Sixty, Tommy Hilfiger, 7 for All Mankind, Reiss...and so on. Reiss is another favorite of mine. Lots of frill and ruffles in a avant grunge kind of way. Out of my price range though unless they have a sale. This area also has tons of denim from AG Jeans to Diesel to Lucky. The Anthropologie is a one-level dream. They have a good shoe selection here and I always love the way this store is decorated. Their homewares section focuses on kitchen. Good sale selection and lots of gorgeous Antho jewelry. Friendly staff and good number of dressing rooms. You simply must stop in the Catherine Malandrino store to drool for awhile before trekking to other designer stores like M Missoni or 3.1 Phillip Lim. And when you're wiped out stop by Ben's Pizza for a slice, Once Upon a Tart for a treat or Rheon Cafe for some meal fare.

Alright, more to come tonight. Happy shopping!

To Mom with Love

Friday, April 24, 2009

Mother's Day is coming up and Anthropologie is offering up its gift ideas. It speaks to the diverse product range Anthro offers that the specialty page has such diverse items as kitchenware, jewelry, clothing, planters, books, scarves...and whatever this thing below is.

Gladiator Bird, Finch with Key ($298)

I actually find the bird kind of endearing. But as usual I feel like there are some better Anthro offerings to pitch on Mom's behalf so I thought I'd break them down.

Mom by the pool
Your Mom works hard. She put up with your rebellious teenage face and comforted you when you broke up with your first boyfriend. All she wants to do know is laze by the pool on a sunny day and who can blame her? Help a momma out -- give her some nice things.

Swimuit-wise let's go for something super flattering. From left to right above, any Mom would look great in the Majesty Palm Maillot ($178). If it's a bit of glam your Mom desires the Lorelei Halter ($268) is a stunning throwback while the Sea Glass Halter's ($178) modern cut is sure to draw some eyes. If Mom is looking for something just a bit more demure the Goddess Sekhmet Suit ($168) offers support and style. And if your Mom is more about being by the pool than in it the Saintpaulia Cover-Up ($78) is sure to please or she could steal the show with the 60s-era perfection of the Sea-Nettle Cover-Up ($128).

Good reads
No, I am not giving my Mom a book about Moms for Mother's Day. May as well just slap that crap on a mug (sorry, Dad). And in my case a cookbook would raise some eyebrows. So instead I'll go with interesting. From left to right above A Year of Mornings ($20) would tug at the heart of a Mom with a displaced child while I Love Dirt! ($13) could either be a genuine thought from a child or a wink to nostalgia from an adult child. Nina Garcia's The One Hundred ($22) is sure to stop Mom from hearing, "It's just not aesthetically pleasing!" on the runway. What Would Audrey Do ($22.50) just looks cool.

Just a few ideas as thoughts. Is your Mother's Day present coming from Anthro?

New Yorkers' favorite fashion store? Anthro.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Zagat has just released their 2009/10 NYC Shopping Guide (highly recommended for visitors to this great city!) and Anthropologie got itself some love. Anthro was named "Top Fashion Store." And even in this economy it was interesting to see that 24% of survey respondants said they were willing to spend more on "high quality items that last," according to Zagat's press release.

The other stores in the top 5 fashion stores were ALL chains (somewhat disappointing): 2. Banana Republic (still on my nanaban!); 3. Ann Taylor Loft; 4. Tiffany & Co; 5. H&M. Top department stores were: 1. Bloomingdale's; 2. Century 21; 3. Macy's; 4. Saks 5th Ave; 5. Bergdorf Goodman. On a related note, one of the frequent questions I get is where besides Anthro I like to shop in NYC. There are other places? Ha. I'm working on a mini-guide, hopefully for this weekend.

I accidentally stole all the conch shell pencil skirts (sorry)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Oops. Anthropologie did a mini-update of their sale section this morning and I noticed that the conch pencil skirt (now $139) had finally made it! I was so excited because a friend of mine keeps dropping hints about how much she loves mine so I totally wanted to get it for her birthday in a couple of weeks.

So I tried to place an order for a 6 and an 8 planning on returning whichever size didn't work. Like me she's between sizes and we steal each other's clothes all the time. I got an error on checkout though that said to try my order again. Which I did but the 6 was already out of stock so I only ordered the 8. And then of course 10 minutes later I got an email confirmation for both orders. Argh. I called into Anthro's customer service line but they couldn't help me -- since I'd placed the order before 10 AM EST it was already being processed. Which is so awesome I can't really complain, except that I have double the expected charges on my card now.

What I'm trying to say is I accidentally ordered 3 of the skirt instead of 1. Clearly my friend does not need 3 conch shell pencil skirts. If you wear a 6 or an 8 and were hoping to snag one check back in the sale section in a week because I plan on refusing one of the packages. Sorry about that.

Email: Ease of Dress

They haven't come out and called them maxi dresses yet, but that's basically what Anthropologie's latest email is all about. Even though I'm tall and fairly lean I'm not really a fan of maxi dresses. When it's warm out isn't the whole point to wear less? I feel like a maxi dress is counter intuitive.

Click through the email and you land on the long dresses page where I'll admit there are a couple of items I like. Specifically the Pieced Gauze Dress ($168) and the Starburst Column Dress ($158). Weakening already. Any pieces that catch your eye?

Email: Bees, if you please

Happy Earth Day! One more email from Anthro to remind you of the plight of the honeybee, which is quite the buzzkill. Click through to learn about how bees pollinate about eleventy-billion of the things that we eat. Note the small arrow that allows you to migrate through all four pages.

Along the way Anthro highlights a flickr feed called bees which shows some of their store displays devoted to the buzz buzz. Honeycombs galore, all brilliantly done as usual. Anthropologie will be making donations to the Department of Entomology at Penn State and you can also visit a Häagen Dazs-sponsored page devoted to the cause.

Also just a reminder that there are about a bazillion events going on today at Anthros around the country. If you make it to one I'd love to hear about it! I'll be sporting my bee tee today. Hooray for the Earth!

No twitter love for Anthropologie

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Anthropologie's twitter feed just makes me sad. One frickin tweet. Come on Anthro, you can do SO much better than this. Your little sis store does so much better. Without further ado I shall demonstrate how easy it is to tweet for a day in the life of Anthro-po-po.

Woke up under a sea of moss next to a bicycle, a desk and a sewing machine. Realized I fell asleep in the home section again. Oops.
Wednesday 8:31 AM

In the associate's room to pick out some clothes for today. Dawning View Top ($88) + Joe's Knit Chelsea ($138) + Salt Caramels Belt ($38)? Perfection.
Wednesday 8:47 AM

Ooh, Penelope is totally wearing the same outfit. So wrong! Make promise to self to steal her yogurt.
Wednesday 8:49 AM

Just folded all the Pleated Petal Tank ($98) shirts into a diminuitive bouquet. Gorgeous!
Wednesday 9:57 AM

Yeah, that lasted all of 5 minutes.
Wednesday 10:05 AM

Currently running string from mid-store display to sides for new store display. Momentarily distracted by cat's cradle.
Wednesday 11:23 AM

Mmm, strawberry yogurt. Tra la, tra la.
Wednesday 12:13 PM

Nobody will notice if there's a girl asleep in the Savannah Iris ($58-$248) display, right?
Wednesday 2:21 PM

Cleverly hid myself under some Canakkale Floor Pillows ($128). Great idea until two kids decided to jump on the bed display.
Wednesday 2:53 PM

Stomach hurts. Can't decide if it's yogurt karma or the imprint of 5-year-old shoes on my torso.
Wednesday 3:08 PM

Spent the last 15 minutes moving the sale racks uncomfortably close together. That'll learn them!
Wednesday 3:36 PM

Hmm...this wall display needs more deer head.
Wednesday 5:17 PM

Listening to 2 customers try to pronounce the Xocalatl Dress ($158). Yeah, I don't know either. Zo-cal-attle? No idea.
Wednesday 6:24 PM

On runner duty this hour. Looking for the purple ruffly sleeveless top with swiss dots.
Wednesday 8:02 PM

Oh, the other purple ruffly sleeveless top with swiss dots. Duh!
Wednesday 8:06 PM

Closing time! Wandering home through fields and woods as usual. Ta ta.
Wednesday 9:23 PM

Bright Spots

Heck yeah jewelry! Anthropologie has a new feature page devoted to amazing earrings. There were so many pretty pairs I had a hard time picking just two to use in this post. I like the teardrop accents of the Meeting Place Hoops above.

These Bazaar exchange earrings look pretty intense. I love big earrings like this. But I hate earlobe droop. When I was a kid my Aunt warned me against large, heavy earrings and offered her own ears as proof. I've mostly listened to hear but sometimes you have to cheat a bit. I wear these dorky little ear patches when I wear heavy earrings. They totally work.

Which bright spots are your favorite?

Dear Bluefly...

Monday, April 20, 2009

...the quickest way to get me to unsubscribe from your email list is by harassing me multiple times a day. Please stop. /unsub

That is why I don't Bluefly anymore.

New pretty thing

The warm weather (until today!) in the city has me thinking flowers. My final pickups over the weekend were pretty floral things.

First was the Moth sleeveless sweater above. UPDATE: It's called the Pom Flower Pullover. It's a nylon/cotton mix that simply jumped off the rack. It was on one of the feature displays at the 5th Ave store. I just adore the pattern and colors on this shirt. And it's even prettier from the back... fact so much so that I thought about wearing this backwards for a moment. Moth sometimes runs small on me so I tried on both the medium and the large. The medium fit fine but was a bit short on me, so I sized up to a large. This top hasn't made it to the website yet, but it was $98. I plan to wear it with a grey pencil skirt and either heels or boots if it doesn't warm back up.

My other conquest was the Garland Necklace ($38) and the matching Dew Drop earrings ($24). I guess little cluster necklaces are my latest love. The necklace string is really long and I will be doubling it up when I wear it. It has little accents of all different shapes and sizes...check the product description of the necklace especially. Love it!

Store crawl, part three

Sunday, April 19, 2009

If Soho is the secret sale store and Rockefeller Center is the hidden treasure store, then Anthropologie's 5th Ave store in NYC is the debut store. I saw plenty of new items all over the place but then back here at home I see many of them haven't made the website yet.

Today I picnicked with friends at Madison Square Park and then we shopped in Flatiron for a bit. Seeing that they were all guys there were plenty of groans when I announced my intention to stop at Antho. Insert evil laugh here. While the guys headed over to Paragon Sports I browsed around my favorite store. The store was fairly crowded. I grabbed tons of stuff to try on. Quick hits of items that are on the website below.

Slow Breeze Top ($88): This top was so dang cute on the hanger. I am such a sucker for crochet work. I wasn't sure on sizing so I grabbed both a small and a medium. The small fit better but both shirts had the same issue -- the crocheted part carried too low. I'd have to wear another shirt underneath in what has become a bothersome trend this spring. Note to designers: when the weather's warm people don't want to layer up! This would make a great work top paired with wide leg grey slacks.

Swallow's Wing Blouse
($98): This Odille blouse appeals to the eccentric side of me I think. It has thick pleats down the middle of the front and back with double buttons on the front. The silk felt great -- very think and breathable. I sized down one size to a 6....I guess at this point a 6 might be my new "natural" size on top. I didn't buy the top because I wasn't sure what I would wear it for, but I liked it. If I bought this I'd pair it with black crops and mid heels.

Clandestine Blouse
($58): Ruffles with a few swiss dots thrown in? I am so there. Edme & Esyllte's latest top resembles their Aalto Top (now $40) but is sleeveless. Their stuff tends to run large so I tried on a 4. It fit but I didn't like the ruffles on my shoulders; they seemed to be flying away. Try this top over walking shorts or an a-line skirt in pink, khaki or olive. Finish the look with a pair of wedges and the Many Mirrors Tote (now $170).

Daydream & Fancy Cardigan ($88): As if I don't already own enough cardigans, here's another one for my list. Love the blue and though you can't see it too well from the product shot the arms have button trim and the same fabric strips. The visual effect is like recycled pinstripes and it made me look narrow and cute. I tried on the medium which fit but was pretty body hugging. I might size up to a large when purchasing. A little ruffle neck blouse underneath or maybe something with a mandarin-style cardigan would be hip, fun and flirty. Pair it with some jeans and Converses and all of a sudden you'd be power prep.

Inzolia Necklace ($38): I saw this necklace and guessed the price would be around $100 so I was pleasantly surprised at how wrong I was. 2009 may be the year pearls returned to the mainstream and I love it. They were my sorority's gem and I'm glad they're once again considered youthful instead of old. This necklace would look great over a dark grey shift dress with some flats for a night out on the town!

Store crawl, part two

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Today the Anthropologie of choice was Rockefeller Center. On a gorgeous sunny day the store was a bee! I was determined to find the bee tees if they were out. And they were! (They are not online so no link love.) I quickly grabbed a medium in each and kept browsing.

The selection was about the same as Soho for new items so I drifted to the sale room pretty quickly. It was quite crowded. I know stores do this on purpose but I hate how cramped it is in there. Plenty of nice finds though. I grabbed the Chinook Cardigan (sold out online, now $70 in-store) and the Curl & Twirl Sweater (also sold out online, now $50 in-store). I re-tried both on in a medium but didn't buy either. I was hoping against hope to find a Sgraffito finally went on sale for $50 and I missed my size small! No luck though. I did spot the Tilework Crops (now $50), the Fertile Loam Mini (now $70), the In-the-Boughs Skirt (now $50), the Welcome to the Sun tank (now $30) and the Bright Dawn Top (now $40).

I made one last trip around the store and grabbed a few items to try on. Quick hits below.

In the Details Dress ($168): This Ella Moss number was super soft to the touch. It's also totally impractical for me but I tried it on anyway. I liked the detail of the racerback and the double straps. The waist sat a bit funny on me but I think that is due to my chest. This dress looked pretty silly on me -- it made me look cartoonishly large in the chest and as a result the skirt sat funny. I tried both a medium and a large and both had the same effect. If you are lean and straight through I think this skirt would be amazing.

Spring Sightings Cardi ($68): From the front this cardigan was great! It accented my height in a flattering way and I loved being able to hide my hands in the slouchy pockets. The flutter sleeves were long enough to sit nicely on my arms. From the back I kind of looked like a sack. I am still wish-listing this. With a pair of skinny jeans, a white tee and a nice set of heels this will be a winner!

Sketched Outline Top ($68): The subtle pinstriping of this Odille top looked a bit masculine from far away and I thought to myself, 'that's kind of fug.' Upon closer inpsection I noticed the slightly frilly collar and the interesting shoulder details and I changed my mind and grabbed a size 8 to try on. If this shirt were 2 inches longer I would have bought it. The smocking detail was cute but sat higher on my waist then I wanted it to. Otherwise it fit like a dream and the v-neck gave a peek but wasn't too revealing. Wish listed!

Suspension Tank
($48): This had Florida trip written all over it. The crocheted straps would not really hide a bra too well but otherwise I had few complaints. I was wearing cropped shorts today and it made for a cute overall look. One more for the wish list.

The one thing I did buy today was one of the Bee Tees ($58). I chose the white one (real life shot above, two below). The bee and flower design was attractive and I decided I liked the flourish better up rather than the yellow tee which had it along the bottom. Really though I would have loved either one. The white tee is slightly sheer (sigh) and had a nice v-neck. I bought the shirt in my true size medium.

Tomorrow it's off to 5th Ave. Somebody stop me...