Anthropologie: Do's and Don'ts

We all love Anthropologie.  Just try to deny it! You can't! But Anthro has a dark side of knock offs and pricey items that sometimes make me hate it.  Other bloggers have commented on the love/hate relationship we all experience from Anthropologie, this is not a new phenomenon.  But don't worry, this is your new how-to shop-at-Anthropologie-without-despising-yourself-and-it guide.

1. DO buy cute kitchen trinkets and bowls you might not be able to live without while not breaking the bank. 

2. DO buy knobs and pulls that are reasonably priced.  Tip: go to the sale section online, they always have last months knobs on sale just for you and often at half price!
See? Cute! (and not silly expensive)

3. DO buy yourself a cutey-pants seasonal dress.  Their dresses are often 100-150 dollars (their pants tend to be more expensive, go figure) but they are relatively unique and for that price, we all deserve a lil' treat sometimes.
4. DO purchase a piece of furniture if you can afford it (see the "do not's" for the furniture I give a wag of the finger to).  If you can drop 4000.00 on a couch, be my guest.  I bet it will be in your life forever and always.  If you are one of the lucky few who can buy quality furniture from here, still try not to pay full price the sale section always has big pieces on at hundreds of dollars off. Like this Draper Shelf which this month is on for 700 instead of 1000.  Coolness. 


1. DO NOT let them get you with impulse purchase crafts, even if they are on sale. These are craft projects you could be doing by yourself for FUN. Give Pinterest a thorough search before you jump on board some of Anthro's knock offs. Tsk tsk. Exhibit A:
Mason Jar Snow Globes.  Go fuck yourself Anthropologie.  We all saw this on Pinterest at Christmas so HA. 

2. DO NOT buy something even the least enthusiastic DIY-er could make by themselves.  I.e. utensils bent into hooks, coat racks, painted light switch covers, and anything painted with chalk paint.
Case and point: the school house coat rack for 88 dollars.  COME ON. I mean really. They glued and nailed some boards together and then screwed old-looking hooks into that. P.S DIYing is much easier when what you're making is supposed to look old and shitty
 Do you know how easy it is to bend spoons and make a hook? The internet is a glorious place that will tell you how easy it is. 

3. DO NOT buy their throw pillows.  The majority of them are priced over 100 dollars for an 18" square pillow, vomit.  And by 100 dollars, I mean 248 dollars.  You're not keen on sewing your own throw pillow covers? No sweat.  There are cute throw pillows available for you at a plethora of other stores for approximately 1/8 of those prices. 

This pillow is 298.00.  I know.  Now Anthro says they're committed to promoting fair trade in India which is naturally, amazeballs.  However, I can safely say the mark up on this pillow went up approximately 298% once it got an Anthro label on it.  There are great fair trade stores like 10 Thousand Villages that can quench your need for fairness without quenching your credit card. 
Okay so the bengal pillow was a bit of a silly joke, but this pillow is very lovely.  It is STILL not worth the 248.00 it is priced at, no matter how fancy the designer is or how far away it was made (Italy).  I can satisfy my need for black and white lettered pillows for cheaper. 

4. DO NOT  buy anything that is modelled after things you can find in an antique or thrift store or craigslist for yet again, 1/8th of the price.  Plus, then you have an original, not a pretender.
Thrift stores and craigslist are lousy with these trunks for about 80.00 as opposed to 1000.00
You want a pretty crystal vintagey knob? So do I! Who doesn't! But antique stores are lousy with these, as are craigslist under the 'materials' or 'antique' section, especially if you live in a city that has plenty of old houses (ahem lucky me!).

5. DO NOT buy furniture that looks like it was cobbled together by a 2 year old.  OR furniture that could be re-created by you in a jiffy by weathering some pine and slapping some new handles on it, or by tinkering with a Rast dresser.  I'm on to you Anthropologie.
 Just say no to the dirty little boat chair they're charging you 740.00 for.  I don't care if it's reclaimed. 
 You like this dresser? Gasp me too! But I like this one even more for 35.00 plus the cost of paint 
Prefer this one? Well good, it's 35.00 too.
Last but not least ... get yourself a second hand pine unit, weather the wood or paint it and attach bin pulls to it.  Boom.  I just saved you 1700.00. WHAT! Yes that's how much this costs. 

Okay so clearly this guide is for those of us without a lot of funds to spend on furniture.  I'm still pretty sure I wouldn't drop 740 on that boat chair though. In sum:
  • Check Pinterest first to see if you can do the craft yourself (if you want)
  • Buy cute porcelain trinkets you can't make on your own
  • Splurge (relatively speaking) on a cute dress for sub 150.00
  • Buy antique instead of overpriced knock offs from Anthro (trunk and doorknob)
  • Don't spend money on something you could DIY (school rack coat hook, industrial rast dresser, hello.)


  1. wow. you really, really know your Anthropologie stores and all that it contains. i have to agree with your assessment. they are unique, but often they are better as DIY inspiration than as vendors. too pricey indeed. ~ Rose

  2. It's true Rose, I know far too much about Anthropologie! It's amazing what people out there on the internet have done with some Anthro inspiration though :)