Metapost: Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wishing you all a safe and Happy New Year's! I'm very excited for 2010 and can't wait to see the excitement from Times Square tonight (though I'll be watching from the warm toastiness of my apartment, thankyouverymuch).

Stream of consciousness: Anthropologie January catalogue

Want to browse the January 2010 catalogue on your own? Here it is.

Bonjour Janvier!

Lift-Off Jacket ($118), Sun Dot Dress ($148),
Foil-Wrapped Heels ($358)
There is something irresistible about
street bikes and polka dots...

Bright Side Blouse ($98)
...where was that page about winter...
hmm...can't seem to find it...

Shoofly Trench ($198), Around The World Dress ($168),
Sweetheart Oxfords ($218)
...hey you with the umbrella!
Come on over and help a girl out...

Snipped & Stitched Tank ($88) &
Aniseed Skirt ($128)
...the tank and skirt look cute,
but it's the bread I really want from this shot...

Frills & Stripes Blouse ($88) & Gainsborough Pencil Skirt ($148)
...the color palette of this shot is amazing.
The blouse however is ruffle overabundance...

Bougainvillea Cardigan ($128), Dollops-Of-Cream Blouse ($88),
Beaming Links Belt ($24) & Stowaway Skirt ($78)
...for those that missed the Flocked Chiffon Blouse,
this is a reasonable alternative...

Wright Dress ($168) &
Midas Braids Belt ($48, not yet online)
...brings back memories of the mobiles
from baby times...

Boundless Blazer ($118) & Emmer Corset Top ($78)
...I'm no blazer fan, but this is one of two
outfits from the catalogue I adore featuring
the sturdy top layer...

Midnight Daisy Cardigan ($148) & Bouquet Of Stripes Tee ($68)
...Secret Agent Daisy whispers the secret password
for entry...

Cinched Cables Cardigan ($118), Spotlights Tank ($58),
Milady Skirt ($58) & Soaring Pistachio Platforms ($218)
...the combination of color, texture and shape
of this outfit is AMAZING...bravo...

Paisley Kerchief ($38), Boundless Blazer ($118), Tiny Tucks Tunic ($78),
Joe's Dark Rinse Leggings ($78) & Sweetheart Oxfords ($218)
...the other adorable blazer outfit...

Caramel Swag Booties ($198) more lovely confection among dozens...

Blithe Spectrum Sneakers ($258), Latticed Oxfords ($258, not yet online)
& Sweetheart Oxfords ($218)
...this should be a new store -- shoes & delights...

Italian Campaign Canopy Bed ($1250-$1900),
Filigree Leaf Sheet Set ($148-$168),
Paisley Foliage Sheet Set ($148-$168),
Rosette Bedding ($58-$268) & Coqo Rug ($78-$898)
...once ready to retire, this would be a lovely scene
to come home to...

Year in Review: Trends Anthropologie took on in 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 was a year of strange fashion trends to begin with -- the convergence of the early 1960s, 1980s and 1920s has made for some...unique...looks. Anthropologie is by no means alone in taking on some of these pieces. But aren't they lucky that this blog is all about them? Let's revisit some of Anthro's hits and misses, shall we?

Harem Pants. I don't even know where to begin with this one. My main issue here is that I fail to see where harem pants fit into the Anthropologie aesthetic. Did we get a little lost at meandering journeys and end up at the Pyramids? Did our whimsy get crossed up with our genies? Did someone who works at Anthropologie just lose a bet? Let's forget this ever happened. verdict: miss.

Rompers. Youthful, playful and utterly ridiculous, rompers have made a comeback in ways that even Nostradamus couldn't have predicted. While Sine's Two-Birds Romper wasn't a success on me I did end up buying one by Helmut Lang. You can even winterize it! As I said back in May if a romper is wrong then I don't want to be right. verdict: hit.

Jumpers. Speaking of signs of the apocalypse, I think rompers, jumpers and acid wash are 3 of the 4 horsemen. We are getting dangerously close to the edge Anthropologie. While rompers seem like summer delights to me I'm struggling to find a justification for pants attached to shirts. Not only is it hard to use the bathroom in these things but it's impossible to make them just the right length for everyone. So we talls are ready for the flood while the petite among us are drowning in inseam. Sounds appealing, doesn't it? verdict: miss.

Crap under $50. Hysterically, the email Anthropologie sent for this had two items that were actually over $50. Heh. J.Crew befell a similar fate so I'm loathe to poke too much fun. I know the economy is rough right now. But let's be honest. When your basic tee costs $58 and you regularly carry items that retail for over $500, is anyone going to take your efforts to be frugal seriously? Focus on what differentiates you, Anthro. Quality materials and interesting pieces. I'm not coming to Anthro for my layering tees and tanks. And if I do have $50 to blow I'm not blowing it on a damn feather headband. verdict: miss.

Batwings. The May email was oddly clinical, showing the tops like specimens. But I found most of Anthropologie's batwing tops to be very appealing and draped in ways that fit into the store's vibe. Their use of bold prints and luscious fabrics has made me a fan. They are not forever classics but this is one trend it made sense to see Anthropologie interpret. And they did an excellent job. verdict: hit.

Reality shows. Anthropologie is the last brand I would have expected to get involved in the reality show arena but they entered the circus with a quality entry in "Man Shops Globe." Head Anthropologie Buyer Keith Johnson was fun to tag along with and seems like a cool guy to know. This cross of The Amazing Race, Antiques Roadshow and Jersey Shore (ok, just threw that last one in to make sure you were paying attention) ended up less of a must-watch and more of a kinda-cool-if-not-entirely-relevant look at how Anthropologie creates its mix of amazing in-store furniture. Turns out the items look like an admittedly amazing combination of random stuff because they are an admittedly amazing combination of random stuff. If they start showing prices (doubtful) this show becomes 100% more interesting. Otherwise, it's just kind of a travel diary. verdict: draw.

HUGEmongous jewelry. It's never a good thing when your first thought upon seeing a mail order is, "that's a much bigger box than I expected." So goes my continuing adventures in ordering Anthropologie jewelry. I ordered the Hardwood Necklace for a trip. When I opened the box I discovered not a big necklace with coils of wood beads close to my neck but a HUGE ONE determined to make me and the ground good friends. It was beautiful but had its own gravitational pull. I respect my back. I want it to keep me upright. verdict: miss.

Catalog collaborations. In 2009 Anthropologie decided to experiment with their catalogs to mixed results. The June collab with Hatch Show Print was AMAZING and was drooled over by the press deservedly. But some of the catalogs were just head-scratching. The May underwater shots? Impractical. The March nouveau fonts and grainy shots? Disappointing. Luckily come fall Anthropologie has redeemed itself with a string of classic, gorgeous catalogs. I'm all for evolution but why mess with the best? Keep your catalogs just the way they are. verdict: March-May: miss. Everything else: hit.

Website redesign. Hey, this internet thing turned out to be a pretty big deal! 2009 say many top retailers redo their website as e-commerce revenues grew exponentially. Major kudos are due to Anthropologie who succeeded in refreshing their look without shifting their identity too much all while unveiling killer new features. This is one of the best redesigns I've seen in awhile and I'm a picky, picky elitist e-commerce critic. (I've got the background for it.) The best new feature is clearly the reviews. Anthropologie deserves credit for publishing reviews both positive and negative. The wish list is horribly broken right now due to the damn redirects but I'm confident Anthro will work it all out. It's a beautiful site and more importantly, a functional one. verdict: hit.

photo credit: Racked

Designer collaborations. Anthropologie isn't the originator of diffusion lines but this year they let it be known that they were working on a few. By far the most publicized (and most intuitive) was the partnership with Ruffian, which yielded the duo's feminine artistry at more digestible prices. It wasn't all roses -- there are some fit consistency issues and some items are languishing on the sale rack -- but overall I'd say it's a success. I can't wait to see more in 2010. verdict: hit.

What trends did I miss? How do you feel Anthropologie did with the items above?

Styled: The Albertine Dress

Anthropologie at ShopStyle

This post is for Valerie, who asked for work options for the Albertine Dress (now $90, review here).

This dress has a vintage look to it that I adore even though the fit didn't work on me. One of my friends assisting in these looks owns the dress and loves it. This look is based on one she wears herself. For this first look we played up the pink with a cute cashmere cardigan. The yellow necklace brightens up your face but to keep the look from getting too spring-y we went for black pieces on the bottom. If black is a bit too dark for where you live try grey instead with brown boots. The belt can be worn under or over the cardigan and plays off the pixelated pattern of the dress.

In this outfit:
Albertine Dress (now $90)
J.Crew cashmere v-neck cardigan in sweet guava
Midnight Sky T-Straps ($395)
Steve Madden Sweet Escape Satchel (similar here)
Opaque Tights ($13)
Lobelia Stud Earrings (similar here, here and here)
Stormy Sea Necklace ($48)
Transmissions Belt ($28)

For the second look we did something more classic. Aside from the ribbon of the cardigan this is an office-ready look for an organizational leader. (One with fantastic fashion sense, we might add). The cropped cardigan is great for accenting your waist and balancing against the poufy skirt of the dress. Black accessories help to tone down the strong pattern of the dress without completely losing it. The blue necklace and earrings play off the cardigan while complementing the dress. This look is meeting-ready, bullpen-ready, whatever-ready. And you'll look great!

In this outfit:
Albertine Dress (now $90)
Falling Ribbon Cardigan ($98)
Cole Haan Air Brandi Tall Boot ($395)
Kate Spade Union Square Tote (now $230)
Oneiros Drops (similar here, here and here)
Donegal Tights (similar here and here)
Radiant Necklace (similar here and here)

Year in Review: Anthropologie items I missed out on

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Note: Welcome to part 2 of 5 in the 2009 Anthropologie recap! Over the course of the week we'll take a look back at 2009 and guess what's coming in 2010. Coming up we'll take a look at some trends that Anthro took on, some WTF moments and musings on Anthro news from the year.

Today I picked out some items that I wanted to buy but didn't. One of the tough things about running this blog is that I try on a lot of stuff and as a result items that I probably never would have noticed become must-haves. Impulse control sometimes wins out but I'm still left with a list of items that I liked on but didn't get to buy. Tough life, I know.

Moth's Knotted Mallow Sweater: This item was incomprehensibly sheer and an inch or two shorter than I would have liked. Those two factors kept me from plunking down $78 on this short-sleeved sweater. Still come sale time I was ready to buy this but it sold out from under me before I had the chance. And now I haz a sad.

Tawny Lawns Bag: I'm cheating a bit because this item was actually in the December 2008 catalog. But this brassy leather satchel with braided straps is my ideal bag. The $258 pricetag was justifiable but I wasn't ready to pay that much for a mail-order bag since this one never made it to the local Anthropologies. Then it sold out anyway. This bag (along with the 7 for All Mankind Canberra Hobo Bloomingdales sold even when I had it on hold, damn them) has been on my mind for a good part of 2009. Clearly I need a hobby. But I could also use this bag.

Frilled & Thrilled Cardigan by Sparrow: I tried this one on and loved it. But at the time I wasn't really ready for cardigans yet so I demurred. By the time I was ready this pretty thing was long gone. I suppose it's for the best because my sweater drawers are full at this point. If this one happens to pop back up I will make room for it. I check Embers' blog periodically just in case.

Sparrow's Daydream & Fancy Cardigan: Oh look, another cardigan. Adored this one from the moment I saw it and I actually bought this one. And then I returned it. And now I'm *headdesking* over it. Oh look, everyone who bought it loves it. Grumble. Maybe they'll release something similar in 2010?

RicRac's Folkcraft Tank: I don't feel as bad about this one. I didn't really even notice it until it hit sale and at that point the only size I could find was an XL. I'm not sure this tank would actually work on me but it's pretty. And so I pine for it. Just in case I don't own enough tanks now.

Buttoned Watercolor Dress: Oh good, this one's a product page redirect. So you'll have to take my word for it that once upon a time Anthropologie carried this dress and I liked it a lot. Moulinette Soeurs combined splashes of color into one heck of a frock. I tried to resist because of the strapless factor. It worked until sale time and by then I was unable to find my size. I suppose it's likely this dress would not look good on me. At least that's what I keep telling myself.

Any items from 2009 you wish you'd bought?

New Arrivals on-site

I'm going to wait for the new catalogue to appear before doing a full breakdown but a bunch of new arrivals hit the site this morning. (You'll have to scroll in the clothing section to see everything). Happy Spring preview!

Reviews: Breton and Rugby Stripes

Praised be Tiny, they make their items long! It's great not to tug at hems and cuffs every five minutes to get the length I want. They have earned a special place in my little heart. This is their preppy university-inspired Badge Of Blooms Cardigan ($78). The cuffs fold over easily but I left them undone so you could see the full length.

I grabbed my true size medium and it fit like a charm. The stripes are navy blue (they look black in the product photo to me) and the embellished floral badge reminds everyone that I am a disciple of the school of Anthro. It's maybe a bit too cutesy for my taste. The pocket placement says 'look at my hips' but since there's some tailoring to this cotton jersey piece everything stays in proportion. It's a medium weight top that is suitable for keeping you warm at the office but isn't really built for winter coldness. Added to the wishlist.

The contrast of rugby stripe toughness and soft frilly lace on this cardigan by Charlotte Tarantola really threw me for a loop. It's the Field Game Cardigan ($118). Meanwhile over at Bloomingdales the same price yields you a good three more inches of material and a more subtle navy lace placket. It really comes down to your personal taste. The buttons on the Anthropologie version are much nicer than the fug ones Bloomingdales got.

I tried on my true size medium and it was too close for comfort. Nothing like pulling at horizontal stripes to make a girl feel wide as a Mack truck. I'd size up to a large to buy this. I have to admit I'm not really digging the ivory lace. I can see how this would make a lovely top layer over a pencil skirt and a cami with a scalloped neckline. Not working for me though. Too frilly and too short. Back to the rack.

Charlotte Tarantola at ShopStyle

On a side note, for those who missed out on the High Speed Cardigan Searle is offering a comparable version of the cardigan. It's not quite the same -- it's shorter and it has a small bow at the neckline with a ruffled placket -- but it's close. I love the styling of this model shot. I will try to swing by the store sometime this week to try this on.

Styled: The Diaphanous Tunic (no jeans)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Anthropologie at ShopStyle

One last post on the Diaphanous Tunic (now $40) -- this post is pulling double-duty for Bronzi who asked for a look for the tunic that doesn't include skinny jeans and as a recent OOTD for me.

This is more or less the outfit I wore on Christmas morning. The Diaphanous Tunic looks great over a slip to create a dress plus outfit. I did have a belt on over the tunic as I find the flimsy excuse for a ribbon that the tunic came with absolutely useless. To me the key is picking a slip that is neutral, not black or too bright pink to compete with the tunic. And I figured what's a few extra ruffles among friends? I don't know that I'd wear the Plaza Cardigan out over the tunic, but for opening presents it totally worked.

In this outfit:
Diaphanous Tunic (now $40)
Plaza Cardigan ($128)
Bertie Chemise ($48)
Straight Story Boots ($218)
Opaque Tights ($13)
Kinetic Necklace ($38)
Urchin's Shell Earrings (now $10)

Year in Review: Anthropologie favorites from 2009

Note: Welcome to part 1 of 5 in the 2009 Anthropologie recap! Over the course of the week we'll take a look back at 2009 and guess what's coming in 2010. Coming up we'll take a look at some trends that Anthro took on, some WTF moments, some items I regret not picking up, and musings on Anthro news from the year.

Today I picked out some of my favorite items from the year to highlight. This post could have gone on and on so I tried to whittle down the list. All of these items have one thing in common: they're pieces you won't find anywhere else. Anthropologie is at its best when it ignores the trends and designs items that appeal to the touch of whimsy within us all.

RicRac's Country Life Top: I have this top in both aqua and plum. Soft pima jersey is pretty tempting by itself but what made this one buyable is the layers of pleats and raw edge detailing. It's a great weekend top that's entering its second winter in my closet.

Sweet William Blouse by McGinn: You'll see this top mentioned later this week on my list of things I wish I'd bought. It was the beginning of Anthro's take on menswear and women's wear. With Oxford-like stripes and a bouquet of poplin flowers upon the left lapel area the top is right on-trend right now.

Bourdeaux's Tatra Vista Shell (outfits in this post): Back in February Anthropologie released a whole bunch of tops with featured backs. This one was always my favorite. Made of modal with just a hint of spandex, it's a draped beauty from the front with a Grecian turn in the back. The silhouette is simple but elegant. I saw pieces at other stores that attempted but never succeeded in what this top does.

Odille's Winding Lane Top: Simple gingham with contrast stitching and a ruffle placket. I own the tan/white version of this top and I wear it under cardigans all the time in the cold. Over the summer it got plenty of use in outfits similar to the model shot above. Lovely, classic and slightly frilly. Exactly what I want from Anthropologie.

Sweet Olive Shift by Molly New York: Despite a dangerous plunging neckline this dress was ahead of the shimmery metal trend we saw everywhere this fall. The lace detailing took it a step above the other gold dresses I've seen. Love it, wish I'd kept this one.

Floreat's Krasna Dress: It's the details that matter and Floreat nailed them in this dress. From the delicate keyhole to the banded waistline to the growing medallion print, this dress is adorable and perfect on every level for spring and summer. Even the model can't contain her pleasure at being in the dress.

C. Keer's Compass Points tee: With colors from the Mediterranean and a pattern to match, this was my first embellished tee of the year. It looks surprisingly sharp under a blazer and is perfect for warm-weather weekend wear. Best of all? No necklace required.

Winged Victory Top by Odille: I have waxed poetically about this one before. So I'll just say that I love it because it's beautiful, different and flawlessly executed.

These are just a few of my favorite things -- I have a much longer list that includes bags, shoes and jewelry in my head! What are your favorite Anthropologie items from 2009?