Perusing the home goods section

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Between my friends visiting from out of town and my in-town friends I hit all 3 NYC Anthropologie stores this weekend. On Saturday it was the Rockefeller Center Anthro. We were looking for small gifts -- stocking stuffers, gifts for teachers and co-workers, etc. We ended up finding a treasure trove in the home goods section.

The find I am most excited about are the Illume Boulangerie ($16/each) -- rough translation: bakery candles -- which come in four scents: vanilla & fig, sweet vanilla & cinnamin, angel food and pumpkin ginger spice pound cake. You'll have to trust me when I say these smelled amazing. Just like the descriptions to the point where I wanted to eat the angel food candle.

Another neat find were the Map Magnets ($20). The store I was at also had Paris Magnets (not online as of yet, also $20) as well as ABC Magnets ($20) and Songbird Magnets ($20). I think these will make a nice small gift for my sister the world traveler.

My last loot of the trip was courtesy of Cavallini & Co. This Italian stationery company produces some of the finest calendars, tins and notebooks I have ever seen. Anthro is carrying several Cavallini & Co. items. I picked up a 2009 New York calendar ($22) and my friend got the Joyeux Noel holiday tin collection ($12). We also browsed the suprisingly robust cookbook collection and kitchen accessories. There were also several home design books and a few coffee table/conversation starter-type books. Plenty of gifts under $40 sure to please anyone.

New Polyvore sets

Vaquero Boots option 2 by roxyturtle

I made some new Polyvore sets on Thursday while waiting for turkey. There are 3 sets for the Vaquero boots (which unfortunately appear to have sold out online) and 3 for the Edith Blazer (also sold out online but I saw several in the NYC stores). Enjoy!

Cooking with Anthropologie

One of my friends has a young son who is completely into cooking right now. He loves mashing dough, throwing flour into mixing bowls like magic dust and mixing recipes into an ooey gooey sticky mess. He does this all complete with dinosaur and explosion noises of course. It's a real kick to be around.

When I saw all of the animal-themed cooking items at Anthropologie over the weekend I knew I'd found some great gifts. I'm not really sure what sound a giraffe makes but I was smitten with the Giraffe Measuring Spoons ($28 -- pic at top of post). They feel strong enough to be practical and could easily double as kitchen display.

I also picked up the Measuring Gaggle ($28 -- pic above) and the Cock-a-Doodle timer ($10) which unfortunately does not crow when time is up. Anthro's 5th Ave store in NYC seems to be focusing on the kitchen setups for holiday cooking time. They had plenty of aprons and dishware out on display as well. I was very tempted by the Wise ol' Cookie Jar ($98) for myself but held back. I want to finish my gift shopping before I spoil myself any more.

I hope you had a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!

Email: Gather Round

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Anthropologie has been sending me more emails than my best friend lately. This time their email calls attention to their admittedly wonderful sweater collection. Anthro picked about 24 sweaters from their exhaustive selection to feature. My favorite is probably the Follow-the-Leader cardigan ($88) though I was very suprised to find the color labeled as green. I am also pretty sure I saw it in a mustard color in-store although perhaps I confused it with the Sylvan Scene Cardigan ($188). So it goes during the first shopping weekend before the holidays.

Cooking away on Turkey Day

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My part of Thanksgiving cooking is already done but many of you will be slaving away over hot stoves for most of the day tomorrow. And for that I say thank you! I am also thankful to live in the city I love, to be employed in this tough economy, to have my health and a healthy family and to have friends that I love. Come Friday I will be window shopping and on Saturday I will be -- as the picture above suggests -- making my awesome sugar cookies.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! Posting will resume on Sunday evening.

Re-workshops at Anthropologie

Do you have a beautiful sweater, scarf or hat that you don't wear anymore? What about plush toys that are no longer a child's favorite? Anthropologie will host several re-workshops where you take items that have fallen out of favor in your house and rework them into a sentimental gift.

The official press release follows:
Just in time for the holidays, Anthropologie will debut a special series of craft workshops that will tug at customers' heartstrings, as well as those of their family and friends. Given the current state of the economy, customers will be thrilled to discover how extraordinary and meaningful a hand-crafted, remade gift can be. They will find that their work possesses more of their true self and sentiment and helps to convey crucial messages regarding the needs for reinvention and reuse from economic to environmental.

Eleven Anthropologie store locations will host workshops lead by designers and buyers from the retailer's Philadelphia home office. Projects will vary by location. Workshops will take place in the first and second weeks of December.

Space will be limited. Most workshops will accommodate 15 - 20 people. There will be no fee for materials however some workshops may require participants to bring key items. Light refreshments will be served.

Anthropologie is an innovative lifestyle retailer that offers an uncommon selection of merchandise to women ages 30 - 45. Founded in 1992 by the Philadelphia-based Urban Outfitters Inc., Anthropologie currently maintains 118 stores, as well as a popular catalog and website.

Here are the participating locations:

Rethink Wrapping Paper
Tampla, Fla (12/1)
Minneapolis, MN (12/8)

Revitalise Ornaments
Portland, OR (12/5)
LA - The Grove (12/8)

Reinvent Plush Toys
Berkeley, CA (12/3)
San Antonio, TX (12/9)

Rework Cardigan Sweaters
Dallas, TX (12/7)
Chestnut Hill, MA (12/7)

Refashion Blouses
Newport Beach, CA (12/7)

Revamp Gloves & Hats
Santa Monica, CA (12/7)

Renew Scarves
Boulder, CO (12/4)

Refresh Hair Accessories
Short Hills, NJ (12/5)

The Press Release does not provide signup info but I'm sure you could either call or visit to sign up at any of the participating locations. None in NYC so I will be missing out but it sounds like a cool idea!

Email: Everywhere a gift gift (free shipping)

In Anthropologie's latest email they send a small gift our way: free standard shipping through Dec. 19 on orders over $200. Hooray! You can also get express shipping for $10 through Dec. 22 and Overnight Shipping for $15 through Dec. 23 on orders over $200. International Orders get free standard shipping through Dec. 7. It's not exactly a coupon but it is a nice gesture. Details are here. It certainly helped me on the boot sale order I placed last night. Will you be taking advantage as well?

Boot sale!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Anthropologie updated their website and the most exciting part to me is the boot sale! I love many of their boots this season and I already took advantage of this sale by ordering the Vaquero Boots (now $200).
Vaquero Boots

If you wear a size 6 I highly recommend grabbing the Scalloped Spat Boots (no price listed on the page, perhaps they have already sold out?). There are also plenty of shoes to choose from and of course the sale stock was replenished earlier this week. I haven't made it to the store yet but I'm hoping to grab some gifts later this week. Anthro hasn't advertised any Black Friday deals but I didn't really expect them to. Happy shopping!

Gorgeous! Dandelion Greens Flatware

OK, wow. I can't say I'm usually impressed by flatware but Anthropologie really won me over with their Dandelion Greens Flatware ($24). I first saw this set at a friend's casual dinner party last week and while I admit it was a bit gauche of me I just had to know where she got them! Luckily she happily told me they were a gift from her boyfriend by way of Anthropologie. (Does he have a brother? I kid T!)

From a distance these look pretty ordinary but upon closer inspection you see that they are actually laser-etched with flower buds. I love the look. Utensils are one of those things that I've been looking to buy for the past few years but kept putting it off because nothing caught my eye. I'm not sure about the long-term durability of this set but for $24 for 5 place settings I am willing to chance it. It's ornate but isn't everything this time of year?

Work with a twist

Monday, November 24, 2008

I work at a casual-dress office which affords me the opportunity to try out a broad range of outfits. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I tend to be all business. Thursday I wear day-to-nite for Happy Hour and on Friday my work is lucky if I rolled out of bed and cleaned myself up.

Anthropologie's latest catalog has me eyeing a bunch of ideas for work outfits. I find that Anthro's clothes mix very well with J.Crew's, especially for a casual-chic work outfit. One example is in the look below. The other 3 sets are pure Anthro.

Stealing the holiday party show

As winter blows toward NYC I find myself slipping into my black/grey/white palette more. Soon many of you will be attending holiday parties and Anthropologie is happy to help. They've created a special occasion clothing section...though I feel it's a little bare. To float some more ideas your way I've created a few polyvore sets. I think all of these would be appropriate for both social gatherings and all but the most conservative office events. Enjoy!

Email: Ornamental

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Anthropologie's latest email is all about the decorations and ornaments specifically. The layout reminds me a bit of the latest iPod commercials but it's smart that the collection is both somewhat color-coordinated and pulling from a wide span of the color wheel.

I'm personally into sparkly things so I vote the Wonderment Ornament ($14) as my favorite. Which one(s) caught your eye?

(I'm still calling BS on the whole Christmas before Turkey Day thing by the way. This is just ridiculous.)

Stream of consciousness: Anthropologie Presents catalogue

Want to shop through the presents catalogue on your own? Here it is.

If that is real snow I feel sorry
for the model...brrrrr...

Pale Noon Cardigan ($148)
...I don't like how the pockets
on the cardi angle in...

Winter Wren Tea Set ($98) the tall design of these...

Sylvan Scene Cardigan ($188)
...I could make a great work outfit
with this...

First Steps Sweatervest ($468) &
Granite Belt ($138), that sweater really makes
a statement, but I am actually
more drawn to the belt...

Settled Evening Hoodie ($168)
...the trim is interesting and
I like the chain pattern...

Calla Boots ($498) have excellent
taste in gifts sir...

Alliterative Alphabet Necklaces ($38/each)
...Is EPSA her name? A code?...

Lantern's glow dress ($218)
...One if by land...

Spiraling scarf ($78) &
Midnight Migration sheath ($228)
...this outfit is winter weather
in clothing form...

Spruce & moon cardigan ($168)
...the closure and detailing
on this cardigan dress it up nicely...

Beloved Cardigan ($288) romantic with the
hanging lockets...

Follow-the-Leader cardigan ($88) &
Solstice Chime skirt ($188)
...want this whole outfit!

The best of what's on sale at Anthropologie: clothing

Friday, November 21, 2008

Each week, we'll take a look at some cute pieces on sale. Availability and sizing may vary.

Recycled decor

Have you ever seen something in a store and thought, 'I could have made that!'? The feeling struck me the other day upon seeing the Confetti Vase ($15) at Anthropologie. The vase (for decorative purposes only!) is made out of recycled magazines. It's a cool idea and executed well. I think I probably could make it with a lot of time and patience though the results may not be so elegant. I liked how each vase was unique based on the color scheme of the prints used.

Anthro's sister store Urban Outfitters has a slightly more intricate take on the look with its not-as-cleverly named Recycled Magazine Mirror ($52). I also saw this item in person and I must say it's pretty fantastic. From far away it has the look of random paint lines while up close the technique is revealed. It looks like the magazine pages are folded into each other to make the piece structurally intertwined. This would have looked awesome in my dorm room. If I lived in an apartment that was more than one room I would probably purchase it.

Sale time!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

As you can see from the email above, Anthropologie is having a sale! I suppose it's a bit misleading because Anthro always has items on sale but I must say they have added a ton of highly desirable items. One of the things I love about Anthro compared to some of the other stores I shop at is that they will do price adjustments for items purchased within 14 days of the sale date (see the very last paragraph on the page for details and restrictions).

I am currently picking out some prices to highlight in another post but it's safe to say I will be buying from this sale. Will you?

The Monogram Shop

I freely admit I love monogrammed things. I don't quite take it to the level of monogramming my shirts but I have monogrammed jewelry, keepsakes, and pretty much anything else. I had noticed that Anthropologie was selling some home goods that were emblazoned with letters but they have expanded their offerings with the latest site update. They now have a whole monogram section. Several of the items within would make great gifts. My eye was drawn to the Initial Pocket Mirror ($14) and the Oversized Zinc Letters ($98). There are also several lockets available. Do you see anything interesting?

Winter Windows at Anthropologie stores

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

photo of Anthropologie's 5th Ave
store in NYC (see more)

Anthropologie's stores have their winter window decorations up and they are (as always) gorgeous. I love taking pictures of all of the NYC winter store decorations and I enjoy Anthro's deconstructed take on winter. Their Soho store has a beautiful display as well, I will post photos as soon as I make it over there with my camera!

Email: Now You See Her, Now You Don't

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Alright, Anthropologie. You got me. I totally wish I was on a beach somewhere. Tanning (ok, burning) on white or pink sand somewhere where the water is clear and the waves are splashing. And yes, I will wear the Far, Far Away hat ($38) so as not to burn my nose.

Yes, I browsed your Getaway section plotting where I could wear the Riveted Discs Cover-up ($188) shown in the email to. (Anal grammar note to Anthro's awesome naming department: Discs are round. Disks go into computers.)

It's not that I have rose-colored glasses on. It's just the Plum Tree Shade Sunglasses ($24). That's it. I'm getting on a plane somewhere sunny and warm now.

Click here to see the email.

I wish Anthropologie carried wedding dresses

All photos in this post
are from

Though I am nowhere near getting married myself I can't help but wish Anthropologie would carry wedding dresses. One of the great thing about bridal gowns is that there are so many different shapes, styles and even colors. I have no doubt that many designer gowns would fit right in with the other clothing Anthro sells. And I'd love to see wedding dress interpretations from Odille, Sleeping on Snow and my other favorite in-store brands.

I flipped through as many pages of gowns as I could take and made a slideshow of some pieces I think Anthro could carry below. Do you think wedding dresses could find a home at Anthropologie? Or is that a silly idea?

Get Anthropologie on your desktop

Monday, November 17, 2008

Oh lordy, they've really done it now. I noticed a link called "spotlight" on Anthropologie's bottom nav bar and had to see what it was all about. Turns out the Spotlight is a widget you can download that will feature a different item on your computer's desktop each day (an example is in the picture at the top of this post). Mac users can use it straight out, but PC users will need to have Yahoo! Widgets installed before they can use the Spotlight widget.

I haven't installed this on my home laptop because it already has more than enough bloatware. But I use the Yahoo! Widgets at work anyway so there's a good chance the Spotlight widget will soon be joining them.

A pop of color in the bathroom

I live in a tiny studio apartment with a teeny bathroom. To make the bathroom seem larger, I've stuck to a white color scheme within. But after a while the white started to feel...well...clinical. So I introduced some color in slowly.

A friend of mine is lucky enough to have a large bathroom (by NYC standards anyway) and she has brought depth to her bathroom using a round bathmat. I was fascinated the first time I saw it. The room has high ceilings and though the room is probably only 8x10' or so the round bathmat against tan walls really makes the room seem larger. Removing the corners seems to push the walls further away. I should have guessed that she got her mat at Anthro.

I don't really have room for a round bathmat but I have been bringing in some autumnal pieces. My love of hedgehogs was well-served by the Hedgehog candle ($14) and the Mozi Oragami Soap Bars ($10) are very cool. Since it's such a small room, the bathroom is an easy place to experiment with different styles or rotate accessories to match the season.

On being a frugal Anthropologie-st

Sunday, November 16, 2008

With the economy being what it is I have felt less like spending money lately. And when I do spend I am buying fewer on-trend items and instead investing in classics that will last several seasons.

It may sound challenging to reconcile "timeless" with Anthropologie but many of their pieces are updated spins on classic pieces. With a selective eye you can find many items that will stand the test of time and trends. For tops, look for long silhouettes (hitting at least at mid-hip) with minimal flair. For fall/winter, look for full-length sleeves with no flair. Shoulders with poofiness are hot right now but may not in style into next year. On bottoms, look for boot cuts in pants and A-line or straight skirts. A good rule of thumb is to look for skirts that hit at just above your knee for work-safe outfits (although if you're daring I say go ahead and go a bit shorter!). Tall boots will hold up to trends for years -- the riding boot in particular is a safe bet. Gold jewelry has come back after being considered too old for awhile and will always cycle back after going away.

I browsed their site this weekend looking for some pieces worth investing in, even for the frugal fashionista. There are plenty more where these came from in-store and online.

Bared Branches Dress, $188

I adore this dress! Black and white simply will never go out of style. Throw a black, white, grey, purple or blue cardigan over this for an instant work outfit. At night, add a simple necklace for a great date dress. Dress it down with flat boots in grey or black; dress it up with black t-straps and a silver clutch. This dress would easily flow through any season.

Rising Sun Cardigan, $209

For better or for worse, boyfriend cardigans never go out of style. This season you could throw a ruffly blouse underneath to femme it up a bit for work. Match that with an updo and a nice pair of glasses and you my friend will be geek chic. Alternately, wear a silk blouse with the top couple of buttons open and a nice gold chain for another work look. Dress it down with a striped rugby shirt and scarf for the weekend. Jeans will work great as will chinos. Finish the look off with booties. The Steam's Rise Cardigan ($128) also fits this bill.

Inland Moor V-Neck, $78

The Inland Moor V-Neck is a softer take on the pervasive ruffle trend. While I love ruffles I realize that in a couple of years everyone will probably be all ruffled out. This sweater will endure, though, because it is understated. A bit of drama around the neckline is all it needs. The ruching effect also gives the sweater a bit of a preppy chic touch that appeals to the New Englander in me. A popped color oxford shirt underneath could finish off the preppy look. Wear it with a dark denim skirt and flats. Try it out with slacks and pumps for a casual work look.

Ease & Glee Sweatercoat, $148

I suppose the neckline could fall out of favor but I think this heathered grey coat has a good chance of staying in your closet for years to come. I love the tailored high waist and the back has an attractive tailored look to it as well. Anthropologie's site currently features this coat in two outfits (including the one at the top of this post) so I think they agree. You could really throw this on over anything -- a dress, pants, a skirt/top combo, etc. I think it would do well on all but the black tie occasions.

Aequo Animo Blouse, $118

The armholes are a bit bigger than I would like, but this blouse has a streamlined and tailored look that makes it perfect for work. The tuxedo shirt shows no sign of going away anytime soon and the waitress collar would look great under a suit jacket. You could also wear the Aequo Animo Blouse with a pair of wide-leg tweed slacks and a wide belt for a modern take on a 50's work look. I do not think I would wear this shirt in a casual look unless it was a layering piece -- maybe for a family gettogether?

Labyrinthine Tee, $48

I envy those with the shape to pull off the Labyrinthe Tee off. (Just as I envy anyone who can wear all the backless tops at Free People.) If you have the long, straight torso necessary I highly recommend this top. Anthro sells it in several colors. Yes, the layering effect at the top is quite unique but I am confident it will match well with trends for several more seasons. Under a cardigan, with jeans, with a simple a-line skirt this top will shine. Use statement jewelry to make it a work-ready top or throw on a tailored jacket over it on the weekends.

Pants are -- in my opinion -- the hardest investment for the long term. From flares to skinny to tapered to bootcut to wide leg it's hard to predict which leg style will be hot from one season to the next. Personally, I stick to wide legs and straight legs for work. Casually I own one pair of skinnies and the rest are bootcuts. This seems to work out well. Pinstripes are by far my favorite work look for a dressy office. They are slimming and exude confidence. Pair the Point-to-Points with any color or neutral blouse (yes, even brown) and maybe a vest if you're feeling daring. Keep it simple with an elegant blouse and an updo. You're on your way.