My Anthropologie Story:

Sunday, October 26, 2008

So, for many many many months, I have had these gift cards to my favorite store in the whole world, Anthropologie. Every time my husband and I go that the mall that has this store, (and it is my closest one, so it is often), I make him go in there with me so I can ogle. I can't help saying EVERY SINGLE TIME, "I wish I could just LIVE here... Look-- a bed, a kitchen, and a bathtub? What else does a girl need? And so many clothes to choose from each day!"...


Though I adore this shop, if you've been there, you know that everything is RIDICULOUSLY expensive. So I have been hoarding these three gift cards, totalling $200, because I know I will never again get the blessed chance to buy something I REALLY want there that is NOT on sale. It’s silly, but I really have hung onto them, waiting for the PERFECT BUY, letting my mind go wishy-washy with every considered purchase over time: Will I HATE that I "wasted" my hoarded gift cards on this? Will is be something I'll love and use for at least a few years? Is it "me”?
I am so weird. I finally realized I just needed to USE these gift cards ($150 of which I have had for nearly one and a half years. Yep. Yikes.) and get them out of my life so I'm not obsessing over them any longer...

So I did. Last winter, after Noah was born, I spent my biggest card, the $100 card. I had wanted to not be huge-preggy when I used the card, gotten for my birthday six months before, so I was excited to finally go, I think in February. I took my common-sense/good-feedback sister, and I was SET on buying something lovely. We started in the sale room, because my philosophy was the same as many of you-- I have $150, how can I stretch it?

(A note on sale things: Sale stuff at a gorgeous store like Anthropologie feels like a compromise--"Oh, it's on sale, and I can love it, so I should buy it".... Instead of seeing it on the rack, catching your breath, THEN looking at the price tag. In the latter, you KNOW you want it from the start. In the SALE room, you're talking yourself into wanting it. But at this time in my story, I wasn’t thinking that way… I just wanted to MAXIMIZE my Anthro experience.)

I tried on lots of stuff... and found a BEAUTIFUL deep violet angora sweater with velvet ties that tied in back and velvet millinery flowers and seed pearls on the front in a beautiful splash. GORGEOUS. And on sale for $78. Down from $148. A STEAL! And of all the shirts and sweaters I tried on, it fit the best. I felt pretty wearing all that soft stuff, and I looked NOT PREGNANT in the mirror, and with my sister's advice, I decided. I WILL BUY THIS! And did. And felt a little nervous that I had just bought a sweater for so much more than I usually spend, but it was lovely and it was ANTHROPOLOGIE, so YAY!.... Never mind that I only chose it because it was the best of the SALE items.

...And the first time I wore it, and looked in a REAL mirror, and not a perfectly-angled, somewhat dim elegant dressing room mirror such as Anthropologie has, I HATED HOW IT LOOKED ON ME. Hated it. The ties made me look all chest, and the bottom half flared out, but not in a cute way, and the purple was a bit garish.... and YUCK. And my heart BROKE. I had just used up most of my gift card stash on a sweater I would never ever wear. And I remember the saleslady saying that this sale was final, so there in my closet this lovely, soft, vintage-look, UGLY-ON-ME sweater sat. $83 dollars (inc. tax) later.


Luckily, and this has a happy ending, I was buying a teensy sale thing (probably a drawer pull or something, for $4) a month or two ago, and told the lady I knew all sales were final, and she said perkily, "Sales are NEVER final!" and I laughed and said, "Yeah right, what about a sweater I bought in February for half off and never wore?" She said, "Yep, that too!" and I said, "But I don't have the receipt, only the tags..." And she chirped, "That's fine!" And.....

So I brought that cursed sweater back over six months after-purchase and got a new gift card for $83 and I have decided never to compromise again.

And so when I saw this:I had to have it. For REAL this time. Never mind the price tag. (Seriously, Anthro—WHY SO EXPENSIVE ALL THE TIME??)
Never mind it would take a bit more of my own moolah to cover the balance.

It was time to free my heart from the Anthropologie Gift Card Burden once and for all. And you know what? No regrets. I love this sweater. And I’ll love it until I don’t anymore, and then, well, I’ll be okay. And maybe one magic day, another Anthro gift card will find me, and we can start this game all over again.

The end.


  1. I loved this story. I related to the "sale" mentality and the "I'm a mom now, can I really afford to buy this sweater for $150?" Luckily, spending that much on a sweater has never been my cup of tea.
    My own Anthropologie story:
    My friend Patrick works at Anthropologie in New York. When I visted him and my other friends in LA this past month, he took us to the Anthropologie there and I got that old familiar feeling that I would always have when we lived above one at the Gateway and I could never buy anything there. BUT, this time on the good ole sale racks I found the cutest little jacket, only one left and just my size (my new size!). I hesitated, this trip I was on was already costing me too much and my cute boys were at home missing me, I should be buying something for them. I asked Patrick his opinion and he said "It's way cute, it's go without food cute...but not go without paying the mortgage cute".
    It was settled. The jacket was half off and I decided to buy it rather than go to Magic Mountain like we were planning. And then I felt better.
    And I still love the jacket :)

  2. Aaaaa! I love love love love it!!!!! Goodness it is fabulous!

  3. SO glad that you are in love with it! I was thinking about you and this sweater the other day as I was drooling over their website. May it bring you great joy! You are worth it.

  4. I am so glad you bought this! It is even cuter in your picture than the link you shared before. I know it is mass produced for Anthro, but I think it is quirky enough to be remembered but not so out there, that the "What Not to Wear" crew would hunt you down. Enjoy the fall-ness and wear your coat!

  5. Its perfect! and I'm so happy you went for it!!!!

  6. Ha! Great story, I love the way you write!

  7. Yay!! You got it!! It is soo cute, I agree with Anna, it is even cuter than the picture you showed us!

  8. Ohh the lust for amazing things battles the responsible "I know better" nag...

    if you haven't been to their store or website yet... has really similar stuff, prices are not cheap, but in comparison to anthropologie, everything is a bargain.

    This especially goes for housewares

    I find the most fun quirky stuff and surf there just dreaming of decorating a whole apartment from there.

    Congrats on getting something much deserved... I love it btw

    take care!!

  9. Oh my goodness, that has EMILY written all over it! It's an awesome sweater, I bet you look great in it, such personality.

  10. Good for you...I am sooo glad you went for it! You'll look and feel (that's the most important part, after all) fabulous in it! ENJOY :)

  11. Oh my goodness! Can I say I am jealous that you were able to splurge on yourself like that? Also, I love, love, love that store as well. One of these days..... Love what you bought.

  12. O!M!G! LOVED that..laughed my arse off..I too, LOVE anything ANTHRO..

    I was feeling so sorry for you.picturing that sweater..just hanging in your closet..but happy you got something you love..

    Betcha you want to sing and spin in circles when you wear it..and maybe even skip down the street..

    I would!

  13. THis is so funny because I am the same way! I had an anthro card for over a year. I want to marry that store. Every time I went in there I would get totally stressed out about what to buy and leave with nothing! Finally a friend went with me to help me and I left with a great sweater. I LOVE the one you got!

  14. great story...i'm so glad you decided to buy it!

  15. Ha! I had a big gift card to Anthropologie and kept going back again and again too. And my Mom just worked for them opening a store to get a one time 40% discount. I think we all relate to you on this one! Oh, and I saw this jacket/ sweater on you on Sunday and LOVED it too! You did good!

  16. I am so tickled you actually got what you wanted. Your item is so you! Wear it often and with pride. Perhaps even keep a journal of the lovely compliments you get when you wear it. You could title it Ode to my sweater: that I waited over a year to buy after I bought a horrendous sweater that made me look booby and gross, but now I'm so happy because I found something that is so totally me and I love it.
    Is that too long?

  17. You know, sometimes we need to splurge on "big ticket" items like that- Growing up in a large family that, out of necessity, had to be conservative in spending, I know it is often hard for us to justify a big spend like that, especially on something that many may consider "frivolous." I do not think it is frivolous if you truly love it. On things like that, it is worth it NOT to compromise on merely being content. Go for something you truly LOVE and don't let anyone make you regret it! (It looks SOOOO comfy-chic, I think you made a great choice!)

  18. totally saw that jacket in the store last night and thought of you. . . and then thought about how perfect everything there is for you and how I wish I had a million dollars. . .

    that's all.

  19. Stephanie R10:41 PM

    Gorgeous, gorgeous coat.....perfect choice...I too had an Anthropologie gift card ($100.00) that burned a hole in my pocket since Dec 07. I had it for 11 months and in that time bought a skirt, returned it, bought a sweater, returned it, then settled on a book, mushroom salt n pepper shakers, gardenia juicer, and kitchen towels. I don't regret the purchases I just think, ugh, I bought home items with it???? Love your story...I can relate


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