Investigating Anthropologie's newest arrivals

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Like most retailers, Anthropologie's already thinking about Fall.

Sure it's August and 84 degrees out but aren't you ready for Fall? No? Well too bad, because retailers are! But I'm more than willing to let all this seasonal dissonance slide because Fall and Winter are my favorite clothing seasons! I love layering and the idea of wearing tights, dresses, sweaters and coats delights me. Anthropologie's Fall 2013 collection is beginning to drift into their New Arrivals section and stores like a crisply turned leaf. Great timing too now that Free Shipping is back! Let's take a look at some of the goodies together, shall we?

My personal style is feminine preppy with an urban edge. I like pieces with architectural references, I love to mix hard and soft materials (i.e. silk and leather) and I want structure in nearly everything I wear, except for those days when I drift in Free People boho territory. My OOTDs on my tumblr are taking the summer off...still, this is my look!

Anthropologie has a habit of putting their own spin on trends and I can't help but feel like their trendiest Fall 2013 pieces are speaking directly to me. It's practically like they made a Roxy New Arrivals section. I could not be more excited! But also a little nervous.

The Aida Cowlneck ($78) and the Paige Edgemont Coated Leggings ($269). 

The Fanned Shimmer Cardigan ($98) and Ponte Bell Skirt ($128).

The Sable Ribbon Dress ($268).

The most important thing for me is that even my "tough" elements need a feminine twist. In that respect there's really no better brand than Anthropologie to attempt this. From what I'm seeing it looks like they're pulling it off with aplomb! I'm going to make a new Clothing Cravings page just for these new arrivals to show how to mix hard and soft items that really strike my fancy...if only Anthro would let me make a curated page on their site!

Here's the thing though. As always, Anthro's going a little over the edge with this. For example, coated jeans. All of a sudden Anthropologie's gone from one or two pairs last year to about 80 this year. Zero to 80 in 12 months! I mean, leather-coated jeans and coated jeans are fun but wow Anthropologie suddenly has a plethora of them...
Citizens of Humanity // another Citizens of Humanity option // J Brand // also J Brand // Paige // more Paige // even more Paige! // vegan Paige!

...and that's just via a quick glance through the new arrivals. Like leather? Well you can suddenly find plenty of it at Anthropologie. How about this leatherlike sheath? Or this one? (Which I tried on and loved, review upcoming!) Maybe this one? Is a leather moto vest more your speed? What about a moto jacket? An army jacket with coated sleeves perhaps? Or a sweater with a leather-panel front?

I understand that Anthropologie will always be trying to recruit new customers and this strategy has turned the page towards interpreting some trends each year. But as always I must remind that Anthropologie is at its most successful when it bucks trends in favor of its own unique voice. I didn't fall in love with this store because I was looking for jacquard capris (hey, Foulard, another Fall 2013 trend!). I was looking for pretty, feminine pieces with a handmade or artistic feel to them. Why Anthropologie continues to be so eager to shed that label I'll never fully understand. I can go to any store to find trends. Anthropologie will never win this game in the long haul. They'll only win small victories in the years when the trends overlap with the store aesthetic. If they stray too far from that aesthetic they'll not only fail to grow their customer base, they will also lose their loyal devoted fan base.

If forward is truly the only way to go, I applaud Anthropologie for how its trendy pieces look so far. Much nicer than the shorty-short-short dresses of 2009 with the unflattering shapes. Way better than the bohemian apocalypse of 2010. Miles ahead of the 2011 material crapfest. And better than the multiple personality disorder of 2012. But please, Anthropologie, don't forget what makes you so great. Don't try to be some brand you're not.

Anthropologie does lingerie very well. Although their bras hardly ever come in my size (34D) I often find lovely robes, chemises and rompers here. Their latest new arrivals are no exception.

Tulip Hem Robe ($118).

The Swingskirt Chemise ($58) comes in two overlaid colors, I just happen to prefer this montone pink of them all. There is something so fun about lounging around in the apartment in nightwear with a cardi thrown over waiting for my guy to come home from work, you know?

Anthropologie reads this blog (along with many, many other blogs) and we've been asking for Anthro to reissue some of our old favorites. They've responded, not only with the Archival Collection (popback of the No. 2 Pencil Skirt in a size 6!) but also some subtle releases of seasons past that are less outwardly advertised. Last month we noticed this skirt, and I'm sure this skirt looks very familiar to longtime Anthropologie lovers! This month I'm seeing many familiar shoe shapes.

Nava Heels ($168).

All of these shoes are reissues of past Anthropologie shoes from 2009-2011. They're all a little different, whether in material or heel height or color, but there's more than a faint resemblance to their predecessors. Very nice, Anthropologie! Hoping to see more of this on both the clothing and accessories side.

Being a NYC resident means that my clothing uniform sometimes consists of black, white and grey. Anthropologie has put their own spin on that palette by taking stark colors and putting them in feminine shapes. Now this is how I like my trends twisted! Anthropologie just sent out an email about these pieces, check out the full assortment here.

Spliced Pencil Dress ($158, review of the black & white version).
I looooove this nude-infused version!

Colorblock Crepe Dress ($188).
The skirt portion scares me a little in the product shot.
Hopefully it's not as voluminous in real life.

Corby Shift ($128).

Those are just the dresses I like from the black & white collection! (Shop all the items here.) My wishlist, exploded. What's great about these pieces is that they'll mix very nicely with my other favorite Fall brands like Vince, who's really gone black/white/grey this year, J.Brand ready-to-wear, which is ridiculously expensive but undeniably alluring, and Theyskens' Theory, where the cut has no match.

As much as I want to embrace everything Anthropologie does, I have my limits. Here are some things they're doing that I don't like.

No, I will not wear my shirttail half-poking out from under a sweater. It looks sloppy.
The Cable-Fuse Pullover ($88), however, is cute.

No, I will not wear camo. Whether it evokes military or hunting doesn't matter to me.
I know our fatigues are nearly all desert camo these days anyway.
It's not appropriate for workwear and I think it looks silly as everyday wear. Sorry.
Sanctuary Camo Chinos ($118) if you want to get your camo on.

No, I will not wear gigundo tulle skirts. Well...maybe at a holiday party.
Aurelie Tulle Skirt ($188) if you want to live out your ballerina dreams.
(I don't blame you.)

What new Anthropologie items are you lusting after? Which ones scare you off? Have you made any Anthropologie purchases lately? If so, what are you buying? Below are the items I've added to my wishlist from the New Arrivals section. If I show you mine will you tell me yours?