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Sunday, July 22, 2012

The world of Anthropologie

     In the busy lifestyle that we lead nowadays, many have been the times when I wanted to get away and lose myself into an idyllic, comfortable - yet stylish, world of my own.  The answer to all of this I found, notably, at my local Anthropologie store.  Undoubtedly, this is the store for any woman who wants to challenge her inner French girl.  It is not only what is offered at “Anthro” (its more familiar name), but the way that it is offered as well.  Because in Anthropologie, one shops as if in one’s own home, with the exception that everything displayed is for sale.  In fact, as soon as she enters, the shopper gets stroke by a feeling of being inside a very cozy Provençal home, where things are scattered about, yet there is a certain disorderly harmony about the style, the colours and the elements. 

My neighborhood "Anthro" at the Mall at Millenia.
In clothing, Anthropologie sells everything from dresses, tops, swimsuits, accessories, coats, tops and bottoms, lingerie, shoes, ethnic jewellery and perfumerie.  All the clothes have a decidedly European or Oriental style, which is laissez-faire, sophisticated and at times quite exotic.  Last Christmas I indulged myself in a one-of-a-kind Mongolian coat, with fur collar and intricate embroidery.  It is one of my favorite pieces as I know the likelihood of seeing a duplicate in the street is not only practically nil, but the style, with bone buttons, is a standard that will always be either in fashion or, at its best, vintage.  My newest acquisition, however, are a pair of suede flats in goldenrod colour by Pilcro.  I grabbed them as soon as I saw them as I find that bright yellow is a colour that pairs well with a neutral outfit, thus naturally bringing up the Fall palette of any wardrobe.  Plus, one cannot beat the comfort.

Happy Birthday to me in my exotic
Mongolian coat!

     One of my favorite areas is that of home furnishings.  The store offers the oddest – and priciest – sofas, along with wonderful bedding (mostly 300 thread), kitchen aprons, décor, candles of premium quality by the likes of Seda France, Voluspa and an exclusive line designed by New York City’s Le Labo especially for Anthropologie.  One can also find porcelain door knobs and coat hooks from India; as well as tea and coffee sets, and – my newest favorite – Fleur de Lys carved glasses from Portugal and milk drinking glasses from Italy.  My newest indulgence is a set of stainless steel etched silverware in a flowery design.  I have also recently spotted a wonderful selection of dish towels made of pure cotton with colourful designs and appliqués.  There is an extensive selection of bedding sets, ranging from in soft pastels or in bright colours like their new “Pavo” design.

An antique chest with goodies at the Tampa store.

     Books are another favorite of mine in Anthropologie.  The store offers a large collection of journals – both blank and pre-outlined, books on style and decoration, travel books about the world’s largest cities with references to food markets, walking plans and general curiosities, children’s books with titles such as “Just being Audrey”, to nurture a sense of style in young girls from a very tender age by illustrating the life of unforgettable icon Audrey Hepburn, and cookbooks and recipes aides from the likes of Alice Waters and her “Chez Panisse” series.  For those interested in sketching, Anthropologie is one of the few stores where one can find a set of nine coloured pencils from Thailand carved out of natural tree branches.
Like shopping out of someone's own home.

     In addition to the stores, the company mails a seasonal catalog to its regular customers and has recently started sponsoring a magazine entitled Anthology, which carries the style philosophy of the company by including not only decorating tips, but also recipes and suggestions for flâneurs.
Yet another excellent source for Anthropologie’s items is the company’s website.  Regular visits will let this most excellent company’s fan see what is new and what is coming to the stores, plus the fact that it offers standard shipping for free means that one will not pay more than in the store while ordering online, yet the selection is wider.

     Two things that I find this company needs are more customer-friendly pricing (in this times of crisis Anthropologie’s prices are generally exorbitant), and their own credit card with reward points to be able to afford all those purchases!! But next time you find yourself in need of those moments to “get away” while feeling great, surrounded by beautiful things, do head over to your nearest “Anthro” and indulge your senses.

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