Anthropologie, How Do I Love/Hate Thee

By Kate Riley 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.




  1. you are so funny and it is so true. I try to justify, but then I would loose my house. So this last thought keeps me safe.

  2. ZOMG that sweater is that $$ and not even all natural fibers?! glad you got clothes you love – but I can’t fathom that chunk of change! I shop Anthro clearance and when I find it in Goodwill… or Ebay. Pretty funny that the sweater matches your house colors though – you’ll have to use it if you’re in another magazine :)

  3. I’m one of those it-doesn’t-matter-how-cute-it-is-I-ain’t-spending-that-much-on-piece-of-clothing gals. :)

  4. I am with you sister….. I feel the same way about Anthropologie. Every time I go in, the store smells soooo good and everything looks so beautiful. I go there when they have a sale. I bought a couple of shirts for under $30 Canadian. So not too bad when the original price tag said $98!!! Don’t you think the store smells good because of the candles? It’s like brownies, even if you are not hungry the smell will make you eat them anyways…

  5. I got out with nothing last time I went!!! BUT, I still dream about the dresser knobs I’m going to buy for my daughter’s room. I justify it because her dresser was mine when I was single, it cost like 20 and its from IKEA. Spending $60 on knobs to make it look custom is still a way good deal, right???

  6. Sadly, this is why I do not go into Anthropologie. Ever. If I did, I would probably just move in and never leave for fear of surrendering my wallet, home, and firstborn child. So really, it’s better if I just stay away. Love the scalloped string tank, it’s super adorable!

  7. Oh my goodness! I literally laughed out loud at this post because it is oh so true! I say that sometimes it is justifiable to splurge on something you absolutely adore. If it passes the “Do I LOVE it?” and “Do I REALLY need it?” test, its mine. Rock that sweater girlfriend!

  8. I am in love with Anthropologie, too, and I laughed all the way thru your blog because you captured my relationship with this store perfectly! You just my own thoughts! I have a gift card I have not spent yet for the store (most unlike me), and now, I am thinking I will HAVE to make a trip there today! Love your blog and all it includes! Enjoy the sweater…it IS beautiful!

  9. Oh, I totally have a love/hate relationship with Anthro as well! I try to only peruse the sales racks because otherwise my bank account will be empty, but even the sales racks are a bit steep for my liking. Not to say that that actually stops me from buying!

    I’ve never thought about their prices all ending in ‘8’! I wonder if it’s that trickery where people will price things at 0.99 instead of 1.00, and so for them they’re trying to fool you even further to buying by pricing it TWO dollars less than the 10 factor. (I hope this makes sense…). It works on me!

    P.S. Both tops are lovely!

  10. I can help you justify anything and this is why I’m in debt but here goes – That sweater is a statement piece that can easily move from a cold day in the office to a fun casual night with friends. The dress has a stunning neckline and will probably be transferred out of the store quickly to another store in a warmer climate meaning you’ll be the only one in your city with a dress that fabulous. Now aren’t you glad you only paid $216 dollars for an awe-inspiring statement piece and a jaw dropping dress?

    I’m sick.

  11. I have never been sucked into the Anthropologie vortex.

    I would say it proudly, but sadly, it’s only because there is no Anthropologie store anywhere near here.

    Sucks to be me.

  12. You’re so funny! That sweater IS your house if your house were made of yarn. The tank is divine. It’s so funny that I just read this post, because yesterday I just went to my first Anthropologie store ever (the closest is 1 1/2 hours away!) Seeing the catalog come to life was amazing. I got away without any clothes, but I’m desperate to go back. It’s a little depressing when everything in the sale section is still over $100! Because I had to buy something, I came away with a spoonrest, a couple of initial mugs and some lovely memories : )

  13. Caught in the Anthro. tractor beam just this weekend! Made the MR. go in with me to show him how close my Anthro. lampshade knockoff was to the real $88 one. And thanks to having the Mr. with me left with only a doodle placemat book for one of the littles. Love your sweater, if I’d stumbled upon it there I would have been all over it too. Maybe…if I could have given my Mr. the slip for a minute! Great find, you’ll enjoy it all Spring! You can’t put a price on the Joy you feel in your new sweater!

  14. Your new purchases are lovely! Sometimes you just need to treat yourself! Especially when you’re “saving” money and only spend less than a cup of Starbucks a day. Makes sense to me. I like to use this rationalization often. :)

  15. If you love it that much, then it was really MTB. Their sweaters are really fantastic and you will get a lot of use out of that one. I had a similar experience while I was on vacation a couple of years ago. I ended up purchasing a blue ruffled knit shawl/poncho for $148 and it really is my go-to on cool days. I’ve received many compliments on it and I always feel chic in it, no matter what else I am wearing. No regrets.

  16. I love going in Anthropologie but haven’t been able to justify buying anything yet. But if I found a sweater or top there that I knew would look fabulous on me and I felt like I just had to have it… I might splurge a little. Right now my shopping is more like the Belk 75% off red dot sale!!!

  17. I think every gal needs a couple of pricey items in her wardrobe…that sweater is gorgeous. I can understand the appeal. I can’t wait to have this baby…only because I can’t wait to see her ;-) but I’ll also be able to shop for normal clothes again!

  18. You are cracking me up. I went to old navy this year when they had their 75% off all sweaters, I kid you not I bought 12. But some of the, we’re $6, you can’t even get a vneck at target for $6, so I had a lot of fun. I had to justify buying 12 though lol

  19. That’s the thing I have the hardest time with is the prices. I drool over their stuff. A few times I’ve gotten lucky in their sale area and found something for $29 and $39 at the end of the season . That sweater is cue, I would wear it every day too.

  20. Oh Centsational Girl, I admit I’m shocked, but I’m also proud. I don’t know if I could spend $148 on a sweater – but I’m glad that you did. People like you and I spend so much time “saving money” on low-priced items that we tend to brag about it. “Oh you love my blazer? I got it at Goodwill on dollar Sunday for – you guessed it – $1!” But we all have some big-ticket items that we are to embarrassed to admit we paid the price for. For me, it’s the 3 PB Twig Snowflake I bought this Christmas. They were outrageously priced, but I just had to have them. So good for you, for admitting it – you’re making it easier for everyone else to come clean. And anyway, it’s not like you regularly go out and buy things that cost that much, so you’re good.

    PS – if you want to make it out of Anthro alive, all you have to do is get really incensed at the prices and storm out. I almost spent $200 on a headband once – but then I thought about how many pairs of socks I own (and still wear) that have holes in them. “$200 on a stupid headband? For $200 I could buy like 30 pair of socks and not have to do laundry for the whole month!” Then I get furious and leave. It works, I tell you!

  21. So gorgeous! But I totally understand the Anthropologie vortex. Fortunately for my bank account
    1) there isn’t a store super close to me so I can’t go that often
    2) 95% of their clothes don’t fit me

    BUT the vortex works on delightful home decor stuff as well. Last time I was there, I fell in lurve with the best duvet cover ever. It was on clearance, there was only one, and it was queen size. I just bought my very first queen size bed, so it was meant to be, right? Right?! I mean come on, this puppy is beautiful and I think the price was something like 80% off! So, ummm, I bought it. My bank account does not thank me. And I’ve been cutting down on coffee to save money so I can’t even justify it that way. But now my bedroom looks fabulous! That’s got to be worth something… :)

    ps: beware the clearance drawer-pull vortex as well- good thing I have an aversion to high shipping costs

  22. The sweater is gorgeous – and honestly, if it’s already become a staple, then heck, much better than buying 3 cheaper sweaters you kinda, maybe like.

  23. Fortunately, we don’t have an Anthropologie nearby (and I’m a Loft Girl too), but I will say that the most expensive pair of jeans I have EVER bought were from Anthro. Like, $160 or some craziness like that. BUT, in my defense, I have worn them to death and now wish I had bought TWO pairs of them, I love them so much. :-)

    Like items you buy for your home, I think we should view clothes the same way. Only buy things you LOVE. Your purchases meet that criteria, right? ;-)

  24. Oh, Anthro. Love it! I shop there all the time because I finally figured out the stuff I buy there is the stuff that actually gets WORN, instead of hanging uselessly in my closet. It lasts and lasts, too. The quality is great. I usually try to stick to the sale room, though — they rotate stock so quickly that the items are usually current season from a few weeks prior. That said, when I love something like you love your sweater, I buy it full price without a second thought and only feel a little bit guilty later. That tank top is lovely! I’ll have to stop by next weekend and see if I can snag one for myself. Don’t worry, I don’t have many yachty friends, either. ;-)

  25. I spent $250 dollars two years ago on cowboy boots. Not just boots, but distressed tan boots with red heart cut outs and faded blue wings. I wear them all year long, even in summer. Every time I wear them someone stops me to tell me how amazing they are. Rock that sweater and top, it is not very often that we fall in love with clothing but true love cannot be left on the rack. As far as Anthro goes I have only been twice and have successfully resisted. First I am cheap, and then there is the whole curves and being 5’10 tall so everything is too short issue. But their windows are divine.

  26. I got a really good laugh out of this post!! Oh my goodness… I’m so glad it’s not just me. I did something similar this weekend, but at an upscale consignment shop. You’d think it can’t get too bad… but when we’re talking used clothing and high prices, it can be just as devastating.

  27. I TRIED to get sucked into the huge Anthro store in Philly this weekend on a quick get-away, but my son was having none of it! Really, it’s dollar-cost-averaging, so I agree, you got a bargain! I’d rather have a few really great things, than lots of less-than-great things that I got on sale (probably just because they WERE on sale!)

  28. I am right there with you…when I worked in the city I had to walk past an Anthropologie *every day*…and it was right next to a Barnes & Noble and across from a Kiehls. It was a dangerous corner. I let myself go into Anthro once and came out with an amazing kelly green leather handbag that cost $285. Oof. But that was three years ago and I use that bag all spring and summer every year. Minimal signs of wear (and I beat bags to death). Compliments all day long. Totally worth it! And those pieces you snagged – yeah. Gorgeous!

  29. You really did score Because you bought two gorgeous pieces that you know you love, love, love!

    I have to go in for a fix even when I don’t make a purchase. It is the most inspirational shop out there!

    Art by Karena

  30. I am another love/hate Anthro girls. Yes there’s the price tag factor (eek) but also the fact that I often find the quality a bit lackluster. Maybe I’ve just had bad experiences but when I spend that much on a sweater I want it to fit great and stand the test of time. That said, that sweater rocks and I don’t ever wear yellows!

  31. We don’t have Anthro in my area (although maybe if I went an hour north to DC), but I can relate to the vortex lure of a great retail store. LOVE that tank top…it has some really neat details. The sweater is super cute too…I love to tell myself how much I “saved” after a nice purchase. ;) FYI, Melanie from Big Mama always tells her husband that items cost $15, even if she spent more. ;)

  32. I’ve been taken in by the vortex, even though I live in France and there’s no store in the whole country ! (gotta go to London, which I never did). On my last visit to my sister in LA, I literally pushed my son in her arms and told her I needed 20 minutes alone with my credit card. I ended up picking an animal knob for my son and a dress (the price of which is presently still classified). My husband loved the dress and the knob so much, we ended up ordering two more knobs. I really wish I could try on dresses and clothes through the internet, but I must refrain my frenzy to everything else.

    I really, really wish I lived in the States sometimes. While we have great stores too here, whenever I visit my sister, I find myself begging for an Anthropology and a Target (yep, basic stuff for next to nothing ?)

  33. I was just in Anthropologie last week (it was not my intention to go but it was right next to my original destination and I too got pulled in) and walked out professing my own love/hate relationship with that store. I love, absolutely love, almost everything in there, but I hate the price tags. To me, it’s like the upper class version of Target. I can walk in for one thing, say a towel hanger, and walk out with a plethora of various objects (coffee mug, dish towel, bath soap, cute shirt, duvet cover, etc.) from all different departments. I’ve decided I’m no longer allowed to go to Anthropologie unchaperoned. Sigh.

  34. I am happy for you that you got something you love. It’s your money obviously and yours to decide how/where you spend. My 1 cent however: I think stores like Anthropologie are out to bankrupt people. Their stores are very inspiring but their prices are day light robbery! Sorry but this is how Americans in bigger debt (personal debt is the highest compared to any other country) and have least savings (Americans save the least!).

  35. I’ve never been to Anthro, but I have fallen prey to a few nice pieces of clothing and you won’t regret buying something nice that you wear frequently. A smaller but edited and good quality wardrobe is better anyway – easier to store if nothing else ;-)

  36. I had a similar experience this weekend! mine was at my favorite big-girl boutique (which is conveniently next to an Anthro)… I went in for jeans. I found a pair on clearance! And then I bought 2 more tops and a jacket, all full price.
    But I love love them! And I wore my awesome new Anthro-ie kimono-style jacket to church and 4 women complimented me on it.
    Sometimes, you just have to go shopping.

  37. I love them for the home decor and merchandising. Sadly (or luckily for my wallet), Im far too much of a fat ass to fit into anything I’ve liked in that store. Do they even make anything bigger than a 10? Because I’ve never seen it.

  38. Love your sweater AND the tee. so adorable. Thank you for my morning giggle with my a.m. coffee. I, too, have a love/hate relationship w/Anthopologie! But I manage to get out of there with only my Library Mugs and an occasional door or two. You must resist!!

  39. I admire a lot of their stuff on other people but most of it is not my style. Thank heavens!

    I did have to chuckle at the conversation your mom and dad used to have because it’s just like every conversation that I have with my husband. I always say, “But it was 90% off so I saved $50!” and he is all, “How much would you have saved if you didn’t buy it?” It’s amazing that he has the privilege of living with me.

  40. LOL – I meant to say doorKNOB or two – though I wouldn’t mind taking an occasional display two now and again. – sorry about that

  41. Oh boy do I know that feeling!! Everything about that store draws you in. Those installations. THEY HAVE ART INSTALLATIONS IN THEIR STORE. How can you say no to going in?

    Also, love your new sweater. If it makes you happy, and you wear it tons, it’s worth it. Better than spending $148 on 4 shirts you’ll never wear!

  42. You are too cute!!! I think we’ve all gotten sucked in by the Anthro vortex. It’s an incurable disease, really. The only cure I’ve found is their big sales – which only fuels the addiction, really.

  43. Yes…I too love Anthropologie! It starts with their always unique, and creatively clever window displays to the eclectic home decor, and then the clothes!
    There is always a little part of me that hopes my selections just dont fit right…yet I love it when they do! Enjoy your purchases…you deserve them!!

  44. This was the PERFECT Monday morning read!!!! Laughing out loud as I feel you were in my brain recounting numerous shopping trips!

  45. I love anthro, but only allow myself to purchase clothing when it’s on sale. I figure if it’s still available in my size when it’s on sale, i’ll get it, but if it’s not, then it wasn’t meant to be. That being said, there are some pieces that I’ve really wanted to pay full price for because I like them so much! I also like to stick to the idea of only buying things I love, so I say if it’s something you really love (and it sounds like the sweater is) then you’ll get plenty of use out of it!

  46. I’ve been in an Anthropologie once and found the prices ridiculous. Plus, I dislike the fact that they, along with Urban Outfitters, steal designs from small designers/crafters and then basically say, “nanananabooboo.” No bueno in my book. :) The sweater does look cozy!

  47. You’re hilarious! I guess we should appreciate our hubbies for giving their honest opinion. But I love both the pieces though I wish you had shown them ON you. (You might want to write a post on the number of ways we can justify our purchases! That would be mighty interesting. I once bought a statuette of a Red Indian couple because they looked so forlorn, as if their love was frowned upon…I HAD to rescue them!)

  48. Anthropologie is worth every penny!!! I love their dresses! I have a handful of things I bought -10 years ago!- They were not on sale… But I am *still* wearing these things, and loving them! There isn’t another item in my closet that has lasted nearly that long. It’s been awhile since I’ve found anything calling me by my full legal name (love that!) but I will listen! Enjoy!!!

  49. I feel your pain/joy! I LOVE that store…and most everything in it! I think your justifications sound perfectly resonable and it is definitely the way I made it through my first Seven Jeans purchase…in the end totally worth it!

  50. LOVE that store too! There is so much inspiration inside and that very idea is what temps me to enter and then it is too late I’m sucked in. I start by looking at the walls and ceilings, but then I notice the clothes. Every once and a while a girl needs to splurge.

  51. Not to be negative, and I have loved the beautiful Anthro products, but I was just told that they have allegedly exploited child labor in making some of their products. That would be considered child abuse by the WHO and by our standards. Please be informed-maybe start with a google search.

  52. Went to Anthro this weekend and was so relieved when nothing I tried on fit properly:)

  53. I stay clear of Anthro, however my sister-in-law is an Anthro lover and I surfed the site to buy her a Christmas present. I ended up getting her the charm necklace and some charms. While looking I found some drool worthy items for myself, but was able to stay strong. However, I’ve never been in person so I fear the vortex might get to me too! Seriously cute sweater and in NO way frumpy!!

  54. I can’t stop with Antho. That’s where I bought my entire outfit for my bridal shower. (Expensive, but for an “event,” so it’s OK, right? RIGHT?) Fortunately, I live in Philly, and our store has a massive sale room. Without that, I wouldn’t be able to afford my Anthro habit.

    Let’s be honest, I still can’t really afford it… But I can’t stop buying it either, so there you go.

  55. Darling sweater! Love the store…try to stay out…when I find myself there, I only allow myself to look at the goodies and sale items…
    Last year, they had the best price on champagne flutes that also were the cutest anywhere! They were our daughter’s toasting goblets for her wedding.
    Oh and I love the top tooo….cute

  56. Love Anthro but only shop the sales rack. I dare not look beyond the sales. Your sweater is so nice. It’s nice to spoil yourself every once in a while.

  57. OMG yes. I cannot resist going in there, which is dangerous because I work very close to one. And then, once I’m in I somehow spend $200 without much thinking. It’s like they’re pumping laughing gas into the sweet-smelling Anthro air and I become a very irresponsible lady.

  58. That IS a pretty awesome sweater. Just my style! Whenever I’m shopping, before I even take something off the rack, I look at the price tag. If it’s out of my price range, I don’t even pick it up to see how it would look against me. That way, I don’t fall in love with it. (but I’m a renowned cheapskate when it comes to, well, everything.)
    I have never set foot inside Anthropologie though, for exactly this reason!

  59. This post was thoroughly entertaining–and partly because I can identify with it! anthro does have a special aura about it-I feel it the entire time I’m in the store. Like I’m having an out of body experience! HA Fortunately there is none close to where I live…or is that unfortunately….
    Enjoy that beautiful sweater. It was made for you!!

  60. LOL at my desk. I love hate this store as well. But, luckily I haven’t EVER dared to try anything on. There is no way I could afford to spend that kind of money on clothing.

    That said, the less than a cup of Starbucks coffee line confuses me too. I don’t have a Starbucks coffee budget to trade for a Anthropologie budget. (But if I did I would do it!)

  61. Love the tank top!!! Its calling my name as well! So totally random, but I love posts like this where you get all sassy!! I love all your projects and you are a huge inspiration, but honestly, light hearted and humorous posts like this are awesome! Glad you scored some new and amazing clothes!

  62. LOVE this post. I have a very, very strong love/mild hate with Antrho, because I find it much more difficult to resist, particularly because I have good feelers out for when their stuff goes on sale AND more so, I work two blocks from one of their stores. I resist fairly well most of the time, but I spent about $200 on — you guessed it — two items last week. Some wonderfully fitting jeans and a top. I’m going to be getting a lot of use out of both, but it hurt so much taking the tags off of both items. You get what you pay for: good quality and a lot of years. I have never been disappointed by an Anthro purchase, but oh, how I wish their items were a bit more affordable.

  63. An Antropologie JUST opened this week a couple blocks from our house. I haven’t been a customer of theirs in the past, but the new location may change this. I’ll let you know how it goes. :-)

  64. Not to mention all the fun bowls, books and accessories they have too. I have been wanting those fun painted colorful bowls for pretty much forever. It’s impossible to stay away when they have such amazing window displays, seriously can I take the display and put it in my house? Please?

  65. I bought the cutest heathered plum sweater with lace detail at one side of the ruched neckline. Fit was so nice on this short and busty girl, I too planned on wearing it at least every week. Sadly, it was thrown in th washing machine, by and unbeknownst to me and then dried. Did I mention this sweater was wool? It came out looking like my 7 year old daughters sweater! So, even though it was my fault, I too hate Anthropologie for sucking me in and having such a sweater, priced at $48, on clearance. One day it will be a pillow for my bedroom.

  66. I was pulled in by the tractor beam yesterday. I bought a dress. A full priced dress (gulp). I DON’T pay full price for ANYTHING but I had to have it.

    I justified it by saying it would last through most of my pregnancy and after, but I have a feeling my husband won’t be as understanding. Oops.

    If he complains. I’ll cry. An ugly, pregnant woman cry. That will teach him :-)

  67. This is quite possibly one of the cutest posts you have ever done. Oh, how I can relate. :)

  68. Oh, I feel your pain. My Anthro down in San Jose has taken control of my mind and body more times than I’d like to admit. What works for me is this: I give in to its power (it’s pointless to fight it. Anthro always wins), try on numerous expensive items that I can’t afford, and end up spending $300. THEN, I go home (where Anthro’s power is rendered useless), try everything on again, and then take back most of my purchases. I don’t know what it is, but all sense returns to me once I am back home.

    Evil (wonderful) Anthro…..

  69. Kate – The sweater is oh so lovely! I am a project manager by day and an aspiring personal shopper by nights/weekends and if you wear something 72 days in a season and the initial investment was $148, then it costs a mere $2.05 per day. If said beloved sweater makes an appearance again next Winter/Spring, well then it’s like it’s free. Are you standing taller, smiling brighter and feeling like you have even more oomph today, because feeling like a million bucks, without spending it is priceless and you’re worth it! Love the “ungrabby” comment too. :)

  70. I hear you, sister! Most of the clothes at Anthro (particularly the pants!) do not fit my curves (not a 12 year old boy, thank you very much) but * holy moly * the few items of clothes that I’ve purchased from there that do fit me well have become some of my most favorite clothes EVER! I bought a coat there a year ago that nearly makes me break out in a song and dance every time I put it on beause I love it THAT much. I try try try to avoid the vortex at all costs becauseI don’t want to get sucked in and end up dropping a wad. But sometimes it’s fun to just throw caution (and frugaility) to the wind and splurge. And I love the (decidedly NOT frumpy!) sweater!

  71. I do love Anthropologie, and the first time (only time) I stepped into the store, I decided that the prices were out of my price range. I’ve never been back. I shop mostly at thrift stores, and get sticker shock when I see the retail prices on the new stuff. I guess if you can afford a Starbuck’s a day, then you can afford the sweater. I would never pay more than $3 for a drink.
    My rule for buying clothing, is that I have to love it. Or it will never be money well spent. It will be one of those things that hangs in the closet and never sees the light of day. If you wear it all the time, then it’s worth the money. I’ve also learned that God gives us what we need and even what we want when we wait long enough.

  72. Obsessed. I recently came to the realization that a sweater I bought at Anthro approx 3 years ago for waaay too much (and I wasted days and days feeling guilty about it), is now pilled up and pathetic and yet I still keep on truckin with it. I’ve worn it a crazillion times. Can I say the same thing about the junky tank top I spent $19 on at Marshall’s and wore once? No. But I didn’t feel guilty about that! I would rather have 10 things that I love as much as I love my Anthro things, than 100 that are meh and cheap looking and do nothing for my spirit when I wear them. :-)

  73. Girl, listen. Starbucks is expensive! I’d better be spending less than a Starbucks a day on even my coffee! But anyway, I, too, have experienced the tractor beam…it’s a good thing I don’t live closer than 45 minutes to an Anthro store or the beam would suck me in more often, but I’ll be honest that I’m on their email list so I covet daily. As for actually going in the store, I must say I am really proud of myself. Went into an Anthro over Christmas break and succeeded in finding the CHEAPEST thing in the store (confirmed by the cashier)…the cutest little bird Christmas ornament 75%off…that’s 2 little buckaroos and it’s SOOOOOO cute. Somehow the rush of finding something in anthro for that price made up for all the gorgeous things I couldn’t have. le sigh…..

  74. If you’re going to wear it a lot, then it justifies the expense. When I first found Not Your Daughters Jeans years ago I thought “there is no way I’m paying $120 for a pair of jeans!” But I bought two pair of bootcut jeans that I’ve worn at least twice a week each for the past 5+ years, so it was completely worth it. They’re the only brand of jeans I’ll buy now.

  75. Put on your blinders and walk to the back of the store! :) My 10-year old and I spent some quality time in Anthropologie yesterday, our first visit there. Funny you should mention it today. I found a gorgeous pumpkin heather sweater coat for $50 on the sale rack. So many pretty things, so many three-digit price tags!

  76. Oh, don’t even get me started on Anthro! I just look and drool knowing full well that I can afford nothing in that store unless it’s on super duper clearance. *sighs*

  77. You and I should be best friends! You made me laugh (literally out loud-you know the old LOL-kind)! I have never been in an Anthropology and I will not now bc I have curves too :)

  78. Good Lord NO…..the price of that sweater is more than I can afford to spend at the grocery store in a month. We don’t have a store like that in my little town. But it is a gorgeous sweater. Take a body guard with you when you wear it!

  79. Oh my, that IS the cutest sweater! I love your justification of the purchase. Sounds perfectly reasonable to me! The closest Anthropologie is a good 40 minutes from me, so I don’t have to deal with the temptation much. Thank goodness!

  80. Hahaha… I loved this post!

    I know exactly what you mean about the tractor beam – I feel it too! I’ve also had freak out moments when I’m shopping at Anthropologie, because I WANT EVERYTHING and I CAN AFFORD NOTHING. And then I start hyperventilating and leave. And then I go back a few days later and buy a $150 dress. Because “I deserve it.”

  81. Did you know that if you add an item to your WISH LIST on Anthro’s website it will email when that item goes on sale?! Brilliant! LOVE LOVE LOVE your drawing… the tracker beam always gets me too! I just added a $150 dress that I love but have no place to wear to my own list :)

  82. It’s fabulous! We don’t have one here in Australia, so I can live vicariously through you. And you know what, all the money you save, doing everything yourself, you can have a splurge on something you love. Enjoy!

    TDM xx

  83. Beaut sweater – looks very easy to wear!

    Absolutely love the tank top. How glam is that top!? If that’s what you’re wearing under beige sweater, BRAVA~!!! Mix old school with new :)

    I try not to step into Witchery stores (Australian brand) but sometimes I do and I always walk out with something. Hard not to!
    I similarly bought a $120 cardigan (on sale!) – 100% knitted chunky lambswool, charcoal grey, pockets, belt-up and lapels. I wore it nearly every day last winter.
    So much so, my husband teased, “Are we poor? Do you not own any other clothes?”
    Not anything as comfy and versatile as my charcoal lambswool cardigan!!!!!!

  84. 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!!!

  85. 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.

  86. 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”! :)

  87. 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!

  88. 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!

  89. 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.

  90. 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.

  91. 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.

  92. 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!

  93. 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)

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

    Kathy :)

  95. 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….

  96. 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.

  97. 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!

  98. 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!

  99. 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!

  100. 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

  101. 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!

  102. 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.

  103. 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

  104. 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.

  105. 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!

  106. 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!

  107. 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.

  108. 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)!

  109. 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” ;)

  110. 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.

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

  112. 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.

  113. 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.

  114. 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!

  115. 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!

  116. 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!

  117. 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…



  118. 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

  119. 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!

  120. 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.

  121. 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!

  122. 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?”

  123. 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!

  124. 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

  125. 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.

  126. 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!

  127. 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 :)

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

  129. 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!

  130. 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!

  131. 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? ;-)

  132. 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 :)

  133. 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.

  134. 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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