A Word On Anthropologie…

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DD eventOver the last 4 years of working with clients and their closets, some strong patterns emerge, specifically regarding buying traps so many fall into, i.e. where women are wasting money. Without a doubt, the under $100 tops from Anthropologie heavily weigh the discard pile.

A disclaimer first. I like Anthropologie. I like that, similar to J.Crew, they have a strong style identity. They have cool and affordable jewelry, great jeans, some interesting shoe options and really terrific statement pieces from their higher end lines. For home décor, their vintage-inspired glassware, boudoir accessories and kitchen and bathroom hardware are fabulous.

That said, be cautious of the bread and butter of their line, the cute/boho/funky tops. For one thing, the quality is just not there. A few washes and the shape is gone, the decorative details (rouching, rosettes, embroidery, or lace) look messy, and your new top appears old and unattractive. You know I’m right. Look at your current collection and ask if any of the pieces resemble how they appeared in the store.

There is another reason why I discourage my clients from buying these types of tops: they are a style shortcut, a way around doing the work necessary to create a great outfit. Since the tops already have a ‘style’, many women simply pair them with jeans and think they have achieved a sufficiently cute look. I encourage my clients to aim much higher, combining at least 3 separate pieces (top, bottom, accessory) and work up to 5, 6, or 7 parts, all in balance.

Why can’t you still incorporate your Anthropologie tops into your 7-piece outfit? That’s simple. Because, as per their appeal in the first place, there are just too many details. When you start adding more and more elements to your outfit, the fundamental pieces must be basic and Anthropologie is anything but. Instead, save the money you would have spent on two or three $60 tops and splurge on one of their higher end pieces.

Finally, I specifically chose the photo above to feature my yellow plaid jacket. It’s from Anthropologie; and it’s evidence that great pieces are available with careful choosing and a bit of splurging.

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6 Comments

  1. Kat Stefanski

    I mean, clearly you had my attention the second my facebook news feed popped up. I personally LOVE Anthro, which is no surprise to you as I say it every time I see you, but I agree. I am getting a little frustrated with their prices, given their quality (despite maintaining some of their pieces for years). However, I love that the clothes pretty much do the work for you re: styling and funk-appeal. I’d love to hear more about your opinion about how one can have that funk-appeal and style without always having to pick the wildest pieces, says the girl who is incredibly uncomfortable and bland-feeling in a simple white top 🙂 XOXO to you and I hope you’re feeling better!

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  2. Julie

    Antho has cute tops, if you happen to wear a size 30AA bra, which would get you into their “medium.” I do agree that they have style to offer on the higher end of their lines, but my goodness, what is a 38C supposed to do when she needs an XXL to fit anything remotely tailored from that store? I’ll tell you what-buy shoes from them instead.

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  3. Lori

    AMEN. Over the years I spent way too much money on their tops, to only discard them 5 wears later. No more…J crew wins my top award. once in a while I get a pair of jeans or pants at Anthro, but on the whole I am spending a whole lot less there!

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