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Monday, January 11, 2010

Catalog Disillusionment: Anthropologie Sweater Update

Miss Em went back to school on Saturday. Today, Mr. FS and I sat with Frugal Son at the airport for a bit before he boarded his flight for France.

I always like people-watching at airports. Today we saw a large group of LSU athletes walk by (swimmers?) in their hideous purple tracksuits (Sorry fans. GO TIGERS!)

Then, in a crowd of people was the very sweater from Anthropologie so coveted by Miss Em. AND IT DID NOT LOOK THAT GREAT. Mr. FS and Frugal Son agreed. In fact, the sweater looked so--well, not that special--that I had to look closely to make sure it was the same one. It was. The wearer was decked out in what looked like full Anthropologie boho-luxe regalia, with a coordinating knit floral skirt. Nonetheless, the sweater looked thin. The embroidery did not stand out.

This reminded me of my own first catalog disappointment, which may be why I seldom order from catalogs or on-line (unless there is free shipping and free--or local--returns). When I was about 8, long before the influx of fancy catalogs in mailboxes, I used to while away many an hour reading the Sears Catalog. I remember reading about chickens and chicken coops and other farm equipment, not exactly relevant to my life in suburbia.

I also remember falling in love with a dress that was styled in a farm theme, in fact. The model was sitting on a haystack and wearing a bandanna. The denouement is no doubt predictable. One Saturday, we took a family trip to Sears, probably so my father could buy a tool. My mother pointed to a hideous dress and said "Do you still want that?" Without the haystack and the bandanna, the dress was drab. I was so disillusioned, kind of a junior version of the end of James Joyce's Araby!

We reported the sweater sighting to Miss Em, but, of course, she has to take our assessment on faith.

Are you usually happy with on-line or catalog purchases or, like me, are you usually disappointed?


FB @ said...

Usually disappointed.

This is why I am loathe to order clothing or anything online without trying it on, because while they look great online, they may not fit as well as I had hoped, or look too thin in person, or be a strange shade..

I'm the pickiest person for clothing. I really am..

Duchesse said...

We have a two Anthropologies here; I'd never describe the clothes as luxe! Boho yes, but quality is average to lower. Expensive, yes, because trendy. Saw very cool silkscreened tea towel that was $40. Thought this must be for a pack of three, but it was for one.

I've been happy with sweaters from J. Crew, but the best online is the cashmere I buy from Eric Bompard. That's becasue each sweater has length and width dimensions. And they w send (on request) the print catalog with actual bits of wool so you can see the colours.

re postage costs: by the time I drive downtown, park (expensive in my big city) and wear myself out, I am happy to pay postage to have the item come to me.

Shelley said...

Can't say I've had much luck with the shoes I've purchased online; haven't tried buying clothing. I hear about people who only buy clothes at a certain place, ie Boden or the Gap, because they know the sizing used by the store and how the items will fit them. This allows them to either buy from a catelog or to look for items on eBay from those sources. I suppose that's one approach, but I've not tried it.

Frugal Scholar said...

@FB--No, I'm the pickiest!

@Duchesse--Oops! Did I steal your term? Sorry. I didn't mean luxe as in quality. I meant luxe as in illusion. Also, for the targeted demographic--mid 20s to 30s? At the moment, my dear daughter is more interested in the "look" rather than the quality. I go too much the other way at times. AS for the housewares: it's one of those places where the stuff looks great in the shop (esp the cafe au lait bowls), but in your house turns to more junk. Unless you throw everything out and go for the whole fake flea market look.

see you there! said...

I flat out hate shopping. Online or in stores, it doesn't matter, clothing is either poorly made or the price is sky high. I'm doomed to wear the things in my closet until they turn to rags.

The Anthropologie near me looks like it buys from the same place Rainbow gets their merchandise. Anthro just has a better window dresser. I have a teenaged GD so thats why I'm familiar with the above shops, otherwise I'd never step foot in one.

Darla (oops, I think I was ranting)

Revanche said...

In most cases, I'm generally disappointed in what I order. But if I can't return it, I use it anyway as penance.