Anthropologie is having a members’ sale this weekend, offering their usual, whopping 20% off. I got the email, so I went to the site, despite our love-hate relationship.
I haven’t been to Anthrobougierie in a while, for a couple of reasons – one of which is that I know too much. I’ve read the backgrounders, I’ve seen the customer profile excerpts. I can’t walk past the store without thinking of them:
“The Urban customer is really dressing to attract a mate. The Anthropologie customer is dressing for respectability in her community, with her friends and family.”
“We say that this is the customer you want to have at a dinner table. She’s an optimist. She’s aware of what’s going on in the world, but she chooses to focus on the positives, not the negatives … She shops at J.Crew, she shops at Nordstrom, she shops at boutiques … She may go to Banana Republic for a basic pant, but she’s not buying her wardrobe there. She’s not shopping at Ann Taylor. She’s certainly not shopping at Chico’s.”
It stings, right? How much they’ve got you pegged? Down to your basic pant purchase at Banana Republic? I’m not particularly optimistic, but I constantly beat myself up about not being optimistic enough, because if I were more, maybe I’d get invited to more parties. (Sob!)
Ask anyone at Anthropologie who that customer is, and they can rattle off a demographic profile: 30 to 45 years old, college or post-graduate education, married with kids or in a committed relationship, professional or ex-professional, annual household income of $150,000 to $200,000. But those dry matters of fact don’t suffice to flesh out the living, breathing woman most Anthropologists call “our friend.” Senk, 46, says, “I like to describe her in psychographic terms. She’s well-read and well-traveled. She is very aware — she gets our references, whether it’s to a town in Europe or to a book or a movie. She’s urban minded. She’s into cooking, gardening, and wine. She has a natural curiosity about the world. She’s relatively fit.”
I’m educated (at least enough to read an earnings report customer description), have a passing knowledge of European geography, am in a committed relationship, and say things to my partner all the time like: “Honey, when we earn more and have a bit more space, I can’t wait to garden! Wouldn’t it be so cool to eat a pizza we’ve made with basil we’ve grown ourselves? Have that with a nice Beaujoulais?”
I tell you, it HURTS. Just when I thought I was special!
Especially when I see bits of manufactured whimsy, like this chair with its Mongolian fur upholstery, being sold to me for – wait for it – $898.00.
Plus, sometimes – I think they lie to me. I think they sell things that are not appropriate for women between 30-45 years old. When I was 27, I bought a super- super – cute pink leather miniskirt there, and even that was a stretch. I loved it, it made me feel so pretty, but I’m watching it- I may age out of it soon. I am, after all, “dressing for respectability in my community”.
Others, style-wise, may miss the mark. See this blouse:
I don’t know that “respect” is what you’d get wearing it, more like a: “In from the Big Woods I see, Ma Ingalls!”
I emailed these feathered pink shoes to a friend: “Um, WTF?”
But, of course, sometimes they win me over. I’m still kicking myself for passing on a pair of heeled sandals last summer that were far, far cuter than anything I’d seen anywhere else. Some of the skirts I saw today, I actually really liked.
And, despite having absolutely hated anything 1-piece as a child (so inconvenient!), I am inexplicably drawn to the rompers. I have to remind myself that I hated rompers. Sometimes, even Q will remind me: “What’s wrong with pants and a shirt? A one-piece? Like for babies?”
C’mon though – this is so stylish!
I won’t buy it, but I have visions of myself wearing it while I brunch on a seaside Mediterranean patio.
Damn you, corporate machine! Always capitalizing on my dreams!