Anthropologie, How Do I Love/Hate Thee

January 30, 2012

I don’t shop for nice clothing very often and I usually don’t shop for clothing at Anthropologie because of the prices for those threads and also because most of their clothing doesn’t fit me very well. I have curves so I’m more of Ann Taylor Loft gal.

But last week I found myself pulled by in by the tractor beam that exists within 50 feet of any Anthropologie store, it sucks you in uncontrollably and you must, arms flailing, surrender to the vortex of inspiration.  Once inside, you must channel your Jedi mind powers of self control to pull yourself out of an Anthropologie store without spending a dime.  Unfortunately, last Thursday, I had no such self control.  anthropologie doodle

So now I have to tell you about my new Anthropologie sweater. I have a hard time spending $48 dollars on a sweater, let alone One Hundred and Forty Eight Dollars on a sweater because I don’t think I’ve ever spent that amount of money on any non-coat or dress piece of clothing in my life, but Oh Em Gee I am in love.  I have justified this purchase by the fact that I wear it everyday and will continue to wear it everyday between hand washings through April which means I really am only paying two dollars a day which is less than a Starbucks!  I’m saving money! I’m saving money!

Which reminds me of when my mom would go shopping with her limited budget and buy something cute for herself, and she would come home and tell my dad that she “saved money” because she bought it on sale and he would say “no you didn’t, you spent money” and she would say “no, I saved money” and he would wink and say “no you spent money” and they would go back and forth, back and forth until she walked out of the room with her cute new thing.  But that analogy really doesn’t apply here because I didn’t buy my sweater on sale so I don’t really know why I brought that up. 


I was in Anthropologie and spied this Cavendish sweater and loved it at first sight.  This sweater designed by Rosie Nierra is grey blue and oat with subtle golden metallic threads.  What?  Grey blue and oat with subtle golden metallic threads?  Seriously?  It’s like Rosie knit my house into a sweater. It’s like she read my blog and knit my house into a sweater.


cavendish sweater


Then I was all, “Oh I’ll just try it on” knowing full well the price tag read One Hundred and Forty Eight Dollars and that’s when you know you’re in trouble because if it doesn’t fit right then okay, but if it does, you will stand there in the dressing room for ten minutes turning back and forth, admiring your cute new find and justifying the expense because you love it so much.  You’re all nodding your heads right now, I know it.

I could live in this sweater.  Actually, truth. I have been living in this sweater. It owns me completely.  Just look at it.  LOOK at it!  All fitted around the top but then all swishy and ungrabby around the mid section…

cavendish sweater 2


I asked my husband what he thought of my new sweater and he got that crinkled nose and said “It’s okay, looks a little frumpy” and I audibly gasped.  How dare he diss THE sweater.  This was minutes before Coco the kitten decided to climb up my back when I was wearing said beloved sweater and I almost had a heart attack not because of her claws which hurt but because I gasped that she might possibly with her kitten claws snag a knitted yarn from my precious sweater and the scratches I can take, the loose threads I cannot.  Within a five minute period, a conspiracy was formed to ruin my grey blue, oat, and subtle golden thread swishy sweater. I fear for its safety.

I also bought this navy Scalloped Strings Tank for Sixty Eight Dollars because its white braided detail on the top called me by my full legal name from across the store.

scalloped strings tank

It looks so cute on, and will be just adorable with white capris this summer for that day we go boating on the bay… you know, with all our yacht club friends. Actually, I need some of those yacht club friends, so if you know any yacht club friends in the Bay Area, please tell them my number is 800-LV2-SAIL. 

So I walked out of Anthropologie having spent $216 on two things. Two things!  And carrying one shopping bag that weighed as much as a few ounces of feathers.  It felt so wrong, but wearing this sweater going on four days now feels oh so right.  Antropologie, I love you, but I really hate you too.  

Thoughts for today. Have you been caught in the Anthropologie tractor beam and how did you escape?  Why do all their clothing prices end in 8 and not 9?  Why do people always say “Less than a Starbucks a day!” when they try to sell you something?  Please discuss.




163 Responses to “Anthropologie, How Do I Love/Hate Thee”

  1. Caro says:

    Do you know the parody website If not, you need to go there.

  2. Tiffany says:

    I fear for its safety. Crack me up!!!!!!!

  3. Neyir says:

    I love anthropologie but don’t get in very often. In the fall though I had a blast with their deeply discounted rack and picked up 4 tops for maternity. This is my 3rd go round and I wanted a few new things but most nice maternity clothes make anthro prices look cheap! I always get compliments on all of them and everyone wants to know which ‘maternity’ store they are from ;-). Bonus at least 2 of them will work for nursing – score. Having said all that I wouldn’t let myself try any of the full priced items on. Well done you Kate and a sweater like that you will wear for years!!!

  4. Shannon says:

    I get sucked into Anthropologie every time I got to the mall but they don’t make clothes in my size (I’m plus size – dress size 22). If an item has a lot of stretch or is meant to be lose and baggy on a average sized person, it *might* fit me in a XL. I go into Anthropologie mostly for inspiration and for the Sale section at the back of the store. I bought a red wool shrug I coveted that was originally $185 which I got for $40 and that was the BEST-DAY-EVER. I loved that sweater so much but only wore it twice, because it was so precious to me. Then my lovely boyfriend, who was lovingly doing my laundry, washed my 100% wool sweater and ruined it and I cried and regretted all the times I never wore it.
    I suggest you live in your new sweater and squeeze every dollar out of it so you don’t turn into me, crying over a tiny sweater that would fit a pre-schooler.
    If you Anthropologie has a sale section, I suggest you visit it often as mine usually has really cool linen, marked down 70% usually.

  5. Amy says:

    It’s called “girl math”. I use the price per wear excuse all the time. Especially on jeans, boots, watches and hand bags. I also use your mom’s “I saved money” reasoning. Like I said, it’s “girl math”! :)

  6. The sweater looks really cute. I totally know that husband-face; it’s what happens when women buy something that *we* think is cute, that other women will think is cute, but that a man will think is decidedly un-sexy:) Enjoy!

  7. Shelby says:

    Your post cracked me up because I could sooo relate to it. It was a super-cute INC denim jacket with a few ruffles and fun buttons at Macy’s for a little over $100. I tried it on and it was perfect but that seemed like so much money for a denim jacket. I didn’t purchase it for a while and went on to try on every denim jacket within a 100-mile radius (at least) of my home. Every time I put one on though, I just thought, “But I want the other one!” I finally went back and bought it and never regretted it. I love both your picks and think it was money well spent!

  8. SDRachel says:

    Too funny. :) I’ve only ever bought two items of clothing there (stuff there is way too expensive and/or weird), but I still have both years later and they’ve held up well. Mostly I go for the kitchen section. Oh my. I just longingly stroke the latte bowls and the measuring cups and the aprons, etc. Luckily, an aunt gives me a small Anthro gift card once or twice a year and I manage to to get out of the store with a prized kitchen-y item without denting my wallet. It’s a miracle, I tell you.

    Good for you for buying something you REALLY enjoy. That’s the ticket.

  9. Allison A. says:

    Good for you for treating yourself, Kate! I think we have to splurge every so often on ourselves. I saw that sweater last week when I was in Anthropologie and loved it. Beautiful colors.

  10. CentsationalGirl says:

    No Caro, I haven’t heard of it, off to check it out!

  11. carmen says:

    it will be 50% off in about a month, as usual…. I love the store and their markdowns are great but not when you’ve bought something full price.

  12. Johanna says:

    Hysterical! Enjoy your splurge; I love both your selections.

  13. Michelle says:

    Let’s just say I have a bit of an Anthropologie problem. It all started with my husband buying me a gorgeous dress from Anthro for Mother’s day about 2 years ago. Now I have more Anthropologie dresses, skirts than I know what to do with. But, I usually hold out until a sale. I have scored a couple of their dresses for around $40, which is a great deal since they sell for way more than that :)
    I have since developed a bit of a J Crew problem as well (I want their Jackie cardigans in every color!!). Le sigh . . .
    Congrats on your purchase — you will look smashing in them!

  14. Girl, you’re speaking my language. I love both of them (that shirt is adorable and now I wantneed it)… Anthro stresses me out. The clothes are either darling and the prices makes me cringe or it doesn’t fit and I’m positive that I would have paid eleventy hundred dollars for it if it would have JUST FIT… ;) Curvy girls unite! Do we get to see you in that sweater? Because I bet it looks gorgeous and I’m glad the kitten didn’t do any damage (I toootally got you on that one, haha)

  15. Kathy :) says:

    LOL this cracked me up !!! And I LOVE your sweater it’s not frumpy at all !!!!

    Kathy :)

  16. Jessica says:

    I’ve learned in my LONG life of 36 years (!) that there are some items you see in a store that you will never again remember once you walk away. Then there are others…the ones that got away…that you will regret not buying until your dying day. The skill comes in knowing which are which! Glad you gave in – a frugal gal needs a splurge now and then to make all the frugal worthwhile….

  17. trinity says:

    That sweater has the prettiest back detail! Beautiful! Sometimes I buy things that aren’t on sale, sometimes you just have to.
    The thing that almost got me at Anthropolgie was this canopy bed made of iron pipes. I love that bed, but with a ceiling fan that I seriously love and the gazillion of dollars they wanted, it wasn’t really an option. I am going to make a bed of iron pipes that fits my room one day soon.

  18. Lucky -unlucky me, there’s no store near me! Love your purchases, I bet your husband loved the top ;)

  19. Jackie B says:

    Funny thing, before you said it, I said “It matches her house!” I tend to do that too! Having hit San Francisco last 4th of July and me, being from Chicago, I know wind and I know winter, I cannot understand the thought of wearing that tank on the Bay, without fifty layers on top of it!

  20. Angie says:

    Sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!
    P.S. I LOVE Anthropologie. Luckily there isn’t one in my town so the tractor beam only gets me when I go visit my family in West Palm Beach!

  21. Debbie C says:

    I am laughing and nodding over here! Hey, if you LOVE something, go for it, because you will otherwise think about it over and over and then it will be gone when you go back. We women truly do love our sweaters, no? It’s like wearing a warm, stylish hug. I haven’t bought much at Anthro b/c the prices, but the few items I’ve bought I’ve kept through the years and I love them!

  22. Nancy Rodgers says:

    Your are my favorite blog that I follow. You are the first thing I look up on my computer in the morning. My favorite winter thing is sweats and fuzzy socks and staying in the house all day. Question for you. Love……..the tree branch in your living room is it set in anything or just leaning on the wall ? Thanks

  23. rachel says:

    Now that right there was funny. That made my entire day. I bet you have about 6 pieces of furniture around your house that add up to less than $216. But hey, furniture don’t keep you warm on a cold winter’s night!

  24. Christie says:

    This made me laugh so hard! I love this post!

  25. I loved reading your post! There is an Anthropologie in my neighborhood that I pass on the way to the grocery store and I sometimes have to take alternate routes to not be sucked in by the re-purposed wood displays covered with coffee mugs I should own.
    I usual scratch the Anthropologie itch with a roll-on perfume purchase that I will only wear with fancy clothes or a new plate that I will place on my counter and admire because it’s too pretty to eat on.
    Anthropologie is evil; a sweet, seductive, I will say yes to you every time kind of evil.

  26. Robbin says:

    We need to see you in the sweater!!

  27. Christy says:

    Put that sweater on girl and do some twirls for us!

  28. sharon says:

    Has anyone checked out Anthro’s wedding site??? OMG!!! It is AMAZING!

    My daughter wants this dress –

    Fortunately, she doesn’t even have a boyfriend yet! :)

  29. Misty Dawn says:

    I was laughing so hard and literally out loud at this post! I did this EXACT thing just a couple months ago in Anthro, over a red corduroy holiday dress that I spent $168 on. I thought for SURE it wouldn’t fit well when I tried it on, and then I could get it out of my mind (as I’d been dreaming about it since I seen it in the window) but then when it fit so incredibly perfectly, I had to rationalize the purchase. Done deal. lol Anthro is my favorite store even though it sucks so bad. LOL

  30. Glory says:

    Honestly, I really admire and envy you. You have something that you LOVE to wear and that makes you feel happy when you wear it. I have a hundred things in my closet that I tolerate. I either got them at Target or Old Navy. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that store. In fact, I’ve given them a lot of money. However, the clothing only lasts one season, usually, because of the low quality. I bought 3 things at Anthro for an upcoming tropical vacation with my hubby. They fit like nothing else. The staff were helpful and fun in the dressing room, like I was with my girlfriends. They gave me this cute little Antrho Card (Like a frequent shopper card, I guess) in a pretty little sewed fabric bag. It was magical. I’ve never been back though. I feel guilty for spending money on my clothes. I am starting to change my way of thinking though. My youngest is 5 now, so no more spit up on clothes. I’d rather have 10 things I LOVE and feel great in, then 100 that are just “BLAH.” I think the cost would be equal.

  31. Maria Killam says:

    Kate you are so funny, I thoroughly enjoyed this post, we only just got an Anthropologie in Vancouver so I haven’t experienced the vortex you are talking about there but certainly know the feeling!
    So fun!

  32. Wag Doll says:

    LOl this made me laugh outloud, loved this post. We don’t have Anthropolgie shops in the UK thank goodness, it would be just another one I had to resist, resist!

  33. Eileen says:

    I too love Anthropologie. I try to stick to the website and if I absolutely love love love something, I’ll wait ’til it’s on sale. I loosely follow the Effortless Anthropologie blog, and she posts on how she likes them, takes a picture, and updates when they go on sale. THEN I go to the store. I figure, if it’s meant to be, it’ll happen.

  34. Ann V. says:

    I know “lol” is completely overused, but I seriously lol’d thru this entire post!! Having been pulled in by the tractor beam quite a few times, I completely relate!! However I am 3 hours away from the nearest anthro, so it is one crazy, mighty beam! The sweater IS adorable and hubbies are funny that way, always preferring the fitted or more revealing clothes, so he probably likes the tank better, huh? LOVE. THAT. STORE. One more reason you’re my bbff (bloggy best friend forever)!

  35. Jenny says:

    I am a big sale shopper… I bring home all my “good deals” and show my hubby who in turns says… “you know you really didn’t SAVE you just SPENT LESS” ;)

  36. Karen says:

    LOL on the story about your mom and dad’s banter regarding sale items…my husband’s comment when I tell him I saved money on something is, “I can’t afford to save any more money” (and always with a smile).

    I love Anthropologie but I reserve my spending on their decorative accessories for the home. I find their clothing is just too expensive for me…I have splurged on items for my daughter in law from the store, it is her favorite.

  37. Janny A. says:

    Acording to David Ramsey you should have looked at it and scream: CHETAAAAHHHHH!!!!! and run away!! ;-)

  38. Amanda says:

    I had to respond to this….I got pulled in by this EXACT same sweater last week and got it too (I live in Connecticut). You are NOT alone!! Today’s post just cracked me up….same situation.

  39. Mary Jane says:

    This post was hysterical! You are so funny!. I just found you about a week ago on Pinterest, and am hooked. Like your blog the best of the ones I have found lately. We just got an Anthropologie here in St. Paul and I visited it about a month ago for the first time. Never mind that there is one in Minneapolis, it’s too far away for this hick chick. I am so glad that you are enjoying your new sweater.

  40. Andrea says:

    oh kate, this post CRACKED ME UP! there were so many good lines. i particularly enjoyed “And carrying one shopping bag that weighed as much as a few ounces of feathers.” while i totally sympathize with having to justify a random totally out of the blue purchase that is so out of the norm (that was me with a banana republic coat a few years back), but what really got me was your hubby’s reaction. classic. at least classic, my hubby. i bought a knee-length dress last spring that i love with a capitol L. it is grey with a little lace around the neckline, sleeve line, and hem. it also cinches around the waist. it’s the dress that gets totally, TOTALLY, noticed by women. so many compliments. And yet, EVERY dang time I wear it, my hubby says, ‘it looks like a nightgown. i don’t get it. i’m sure it’s nice. i just don’t get it.’ and mind you, when he says ‘nightgown’ we are talking that kind of nightgown, because he will then always elaborate, “it’s like something your old world aunties or grandma would wear to bed.” :) SO with that, to your hubby’s frumpy comment, i saw, just giggle. the women in your lives will be drooling as they take in the gorgeous eye candy that is your sweater!

  41. Jenni says:

    I agree! I would love to see you in the sweater–and I also agree, buying something that you absolutely LOVE and will WEAR OUT is a true bargain. You’ve saved so much on other DIY stuff and careful buying and refurbishing that you have EARNED these treats!

  42. Lauren L says:

    Um hi you are hilarious. This read like one frantic sentence from a shop-crazed woman and I loved every minute of it! I’ve been lurking your blog for over a year now and (admittedly I haven’t read every single post) this is the first time I’ve seen this side of your personality! Enjoy your new sweater and yachting friends!

  43. theaxx says:

    I don’t even live in the states and I’VE had the tractor beam effect me…. sigh. I definitely have anthropologie disease – very sad…



  44. Andrea says:

    oh dear… my comment above was supposed to say … ‘we are NOT talking that kind of nightgown’. big difference :)

  45. Layla says:

    I never have any luck at Anthro (plus the closest one is an hour and a half away), but I LOVE your new tops and that cute, little cartoon drawing! :-D

  46. diane says:

    No need to justify…cute says it all and it is cute. Perfect weight for the Bay area. Why do we women have to justify when we buy things for ourselves but never when we lay out a few bucks for the kids or hub? Just in our DNA I guess…enjoy the sweater and before you know it the price will seem like a bargain when you turn away from those $390 shoes!

  47. I love Anthropologie and thankfully their clothes don’t fit me right either (AT Loft all the way for me). I do, however, collect their latte bowls at $5 each (online I’ve gotten them $7 for a 4pc set) so I stick with that.

  48. Lisa says:

    This string has proven what all women know–if you want something you think is too expensive but you have to have–make sure you have another woman along…don’t ever ask a man! If you choose your women friends properly, they will always tell you “you deserve it” and you will not feel guilty anymore!

  49. Kat says:

    SO MUCH TRUTH here. There is definitely a tractor beam. And, I’ve found, three times out of five, there is something that calls your full legal name across the store. Also, my husband thinks all my fav sweaters are frumpy….the one thats probably the coolest of them all even has a nickname….. “Oh, you’re going to wear your Aunt Mary sweater?”

  50. Katie says:

    I adore this post because it’s so me. I love and hate anthropologie – and I’m drawn in every time. I usually try to steer myself toward the beautiful home items, but the sneaky higher ups have positioned them throughout the store so you must walk the whole thing. Yes, crazy over-priced but oh-so-beautiful. Love your finds!

  51. Robin says:

    I totally agree, I love/hate anthropologie too! I hate the idea of spending that much money but their window displays suck me in. As a retail store environment designer this is like the ultimate eye candy and inspiration for me. I did buy a great purse there years ago before I had kids…sigh

  52. I do love their clothing. I snagged an awesome skirt on clearance for $48 recently, but I also had my eye on a white blouse that was $180. It eventually went on sale — for $89. I couldn’t justify buying it though.

  53. oh my! i adore anthro but rarely go in because i legitimately can only afford the beautiful knobs they sell for $5. they have gorgeous and fairly unique things for the home as well as their always beautiful prints and tops. they should open an outlet store … i’d go bonkers in that place, if they did!

  54. I bought 2 sweaters last year from anthro and I have to say, like you, I found myself wearing them daily. It has gotten to the point when I get dressed to go hang out with a friend, and i of course put on the sweater, I say to myself “shoot I think I was wearing this sweater last time when I saw them” I have gotten my use out of the price i paid that is for sure.

    Kate, this blog is amazing, it takes a lot of time and energy to do what you do, and you do so many wonderful selfless things for other people, you deserve it, remember that. Now I am off to check to see if they have that sweater left in my size :)

  55. sonia lidbury says:

    OMG that Scalloped String Tank is divine – do they ship to Australia do you think???? Your cardie is gorgeous too – love the style.

  56. elz says:

    I LOVE Anthropologie. Love. In fact, at least half of my wardrobe in Anthro. I’ve managed to only buy one dress full price. I can justify it, but yeah, totally crazy. Since I love Anthro so much, I now know when things will (likely) be on sale and can stalk my finds that way! I love the yachting top. I might have to go try it on!

  57. Okay, Kate, this was fun.ny.

    I read the whole thing, chuckling, but when I got to part where your husband called your beloved sweater “frumpy,” I laughed out loud.

    That’s so me and my husband!

    My taste is considerably more bohemian than his, and the moment I find the perfect combo of a subtle ruffle or lace, flowiness, and color, he’s sure to hate it.

    Ah, well.

    I’ve never actually succumbed to the tractor beam, but it probably helps that I don’t live anywhere near an Anthro.

    I go every chance I get, though, just to browse.

    Thanks for the laugh!

  58. alexandra says:

    “called you by your full legal name from across the room.” i like you.

  59. Carrie says:

    I went to the outlets to return something on Friday and walked out with a $198 red patent leather Coach purse. It. Is. HUGE. It fits my laptop AND my coupon holder, haha! It was 70% off it’s original cost, it would have been a sin to leave it at the store. Anyways, I feel your pain. Sometimes you just have to have something, right?

    Oh, and to put it in perspective: what would one dinner at French Laundry cost? Yeah. So, your two things that you can wear all the time will cost less than one dinner that is gone in two hours. See, now don’t you feel better? ;-)

  60. Beth says:

    Oh my oh my this encapsulates my feelings on Anthropologie. I do love all of their little trinkets, especially the kitchen ones (I have a lovely set of flower measuring cups, 4 little spice pots, egg crate, and farmers market basket). I also ranted about it on my blog, when I noticed they had a throw pillow for sale for TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY EIGHT DOLLARS. No deal. Love your blog, thanks for writing :)

  61. Julie says:

    I love Ann Taylor Loft. I lost weight this year and went from a size 10 there to a size 6 (sometimes an 8, sometimes a 4 depending on the style). Since their stuff fits me well, does that mean I’m “curvy”? Do they cater to that? If so, my newfound pride in my newfound size is now making me sad.

  62. Sonya says:

    I’ve never heard of Anthropology. Maybe I have one in my mall. I hope you all didn’t just ruin my life……. But now I’m curious!

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