Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Some Days You're In and Some Days You're Out (A Review and a Question)

Hello everyone! Hope you're all doing well. So, Kathryn and I both saw and tried on the Refined Cord Shirtdress (which we have just been calling the "Cord Reed Shirtdress," despite it having an actual - and surprisingly descriptive but uncreative name) and pretty much decided that despite owning a million and three shirtdresses in general, between the two of us and 4 Reed shirtdresses between the two of us, we'd probably be buying this one too - maybe even at full price. Why? Well, let us tell and show you why.

So here I'm wearing the Refined Corduroy Shirtdress in a size 2, along with the Three Beacons Belt. I found the size 2 to be TTS, and if possible, thought it fit better than the original Reed Shirtdress in a couple respects. First, the sleeves are very comfortable - and while the Reed's sleeves aren't tight on me, if I try to roll them up a bit higher, they get a little snug. Not so, with these. Also, the Reed's neckline can gape on me a little bit, and I noticed right off that this dress doesn't have that problem. I really love how the stiffer fabric of this dress allow for the cute little puffed shoulders on the sleeves and offer better structure than the lighter cotton fabric of Reed version. In fact, despite the fabulous belting options you're offered with a simple, solid-colored black dress like this, it actually looks pretty good on its own, sans belt:
Head drooping in defeat - I will be completely unable to pass this one up.

This dress is unlined, but that didn't bother me - it's got functional buttons, front and side pockets, and is machine washable. Done and done. Of all the fall arrivals I've tried on, I think this is the last one I'm going to allow myself to pull the trigger on, at full price. I know I'll wear it all the time - just like I wear my other two Reeds all the time. And the shoes you can wear with this! Tall boots, ankle boots, lace-up boots, oxfords, pumps, flats...what do you feel like?

Here's the dress styled with a different belt - I can't remember the name of this one, and it's no longer on the website, though it's cousin (which I think I like better), the Enchanting Eyes Belt (now on sale!) is still available, and will suit the same purpose. Heather (lovely Anthro Personal Shopper) suggested wearing the belt backwards, for a dressier, sparklier look. So cute, isn't it?

Hello, everyone! Kathryn here, with my two cents about this amazing dress. Here I am, in the size 6:

As you can see, it's way too big in the waist and torso for me. Look at how much room there is, when I pinch the material!

So I pulled on a size 4 for comparison:

Ahhh, much better. Carol already covered a lot of the points I wanted to make, so I'll just say a couple things. At 5'8", I appreciated the fact that the length on this dress is longer than on its sister, the Reed. The longer length makes it perfect for fall! The corduroy is really soft and substantial enough that it doesn't require a lining.

Love. Wishlisted, despite the number of shirtdresses I already own.

Yikes. Does this mean 1,000,005 shirtdresses, between Carol and myself? ;o)

So, after reading Roxy's post earlier on the whys and wherefores guiding Anthropologie's decision-making around promotions and shipping fees, I was left with one loudly resounding line echoing in my brain: "Anthro's target demographic is women in their 30s with household incomes of over $200k per year."

Wow, really??? Um, so, in Heidi Klum's immortal (let's pretend) words, "In fashion, one day you're in, and the next day, you're out." I guess I'm sitting outside of the target demographic with this one. Just out of curiosity (and of course, your response is totally anonymous), where do you fall? Anyone else feel that you're drawn to Anthro's merchandise not so much for its afford-ability (or lack thereof), but more for its reflection of your own aesthetic, and its appropriateness for your lifestyle?

(Poll temporarily closed)


  1. LOVE the dress! I am also totally paying full price for this beauty. It's a perfect dress! It looks so cute on both of you!

    And you know...I don't make over $200K, no chance. I am over 30, but I LOVE the clothes simply because they are my aesthetic. I'm quirky. I am not afraid to wear a dress with bicycles all over it or a shirt covered in Raccoons. I love Anthro cause I love quirky, beautiful things :)

  2. The shirtdress looks great on both of you :)

    In response to the "over 200K"... If I was 30+ (which I'm not yet) and had household income over 200K... I'd probably be shopping in the Individualist section of Nordstrom. Or buying more "designer-y" clothes like Marc Jacobs, Rebecca Taylor, Milly, DVF, Joie, etc.

    Anthropologie, while maybe a tad more expensive, still falls into the "J.Crew, BR, Ann Taylor" world for me. I shop there because I'm able to get more unique things (like designers mentioned above without paying the designer prices....

    I don't particularly want them to start with the Gap Inc every day promo code crap (therefore making them even more accessible, and less unique) , but I think flat rate or free shipping to loyal customers is wonder "reward" for being just that, a loyal customer.....

  3. Love this dress. I tried 2 sizes and went with the smaller one-the skirt has less volume which is more flattering on my frame. Decided to pull the trigger at full price because of all the styling reasons you mentioned. The longer length is made this dress perfection for me. I'm 5'5" so the summer Reed in Navy was too short, although the green was a great length-but too bright.

  4. Love the dress on both of you but I've already spent full price on the birds and deer shirt dress. I can't be splurging again. Haha...and you'll see why on my posts to come.

    Also, I'm definitely out of their target demographic. I do believe that it is a household income though and they don't mean that the women themselves make $200k. I think there are housewives or teachers out there with their husbands making most of the dough, as such they still need to watch their spending and buy Anthro only once in a while and not buying gucci or prada items. If the women themselves make $200k (and I've worked with a lot of those back in my firm days), believe me, they won't have the time or the energy to be shopping much at all. And definitely won't be reading our blogs. It was a great discussion on Roxy's blog though!

  5. Your blog is powerful advertising. I want to buy everything you wear, even though I'm a totally different body shape. I think part of it is your excellent taste -- curators of the cream of the crop! Plus, I'm a San Diego girl, so I like the local perspective.

    I'm not even close to that financial demographic, thus my obsession with the clearance rack -- which is still a splurge. I just love the clothing. It keeps my quirkiness satisfied but under control. :)

  6. Great review girls! I noticed on the UK site this morning whilst stalking the Dagmar (which is refusing to drop into the sale, grr) there are two more colour option tabs for the Cord Dress dress; red and grey. It might be an error as there aren't any product shots just yet but I'm going to keep my eye on it as red would be a welcome addition to my wardrobe : )

    I'm way out of the target demographic income wise (combined £56,000 per year w/hubby...) and am 28 but I love Anthropologie for the beautiful dresses, quirky patterns and embellished/ruffled tees which are quite unlike anything else on the high street here.

    I budget for £200ish a month and the last 4 months have spent it all on Anthro. Was lamenting the £5 shipping cost only last night before waking up to read Roxy's post and the 200+ comments this morning. We might only have 2 stores here which I have yet to explore but I am grateful our shipping cost is a flat rate : )

  7. Love the dresses on you guys! I am definitely going to be picking it up after seeing your reviews.

    I make more than 200k a year, but am not the target age (I'm in my mid 20s). I am single so that income is 100% mine. So I guess I'm kind of in Anthro's target demographic, although I have to say I still end up buying a lot of what I purchase on sale (I hate paying more for something than I think it's worth). I do also shop at department stores, but usually end up coming back to Anthro for the unique pieces. I've been shopping there for years though and *definitely* wasn't close to the target income demographic when I was in high school/college. (In fact, I think I bought more from Anthro when I was a broke college student!)

  8. ummm I am double the 30....and budget like the one-of-a-kind-tho-not-really statement pieces to achieve the arty creative look that is me yet still "classic" and timeless......I do not throw out clothes every season..I build on what I works!! style is not defined by QUANTITY.....
    love that shirtdress....I thought it was dark BLUE tho.......

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  10. well no wonder I can't afford big'ole Anthro shopping sprees!

  11. Only thing about that "target demographic," is that when I was an employee there, I was told something different. I'm not doubting Roxy's info, because it has been a good while since I left the company, but the description of Anthro's target customer is actually alot more detailed than that.

    However, I will say as far as age and wealth, I recall the age range to be wider (28-45), and the annual income to be quite a bit lower. However, that point could be variable because $200K in my part of the country is an absolutely ridiculous income, but in NY and CA, that is not the case.

    That being said, I am not in Anthro's target demographic at all. Even when looking at their more complete description of their targeted customer.

  12. Yeah, when Roxy posted that I went..."welp, that explains it.". I'm 23, single, living at home, and I get a lovely non-profit right out of college salary of 35 thousand and some change a year. I still wish there was free shipping thought because I waaaaannnnnnttttt ittttt!

  13. I'm not sure entirely about the 200k$ part. I remember reading that it was women in their late 20s-mid 40s, with combined household income of $150-200K. I'm 29, and our combined household income is $170K/year. I have student loans and he has no debts. Most of our money is disposable income, however, we save it. I try not to buy for the sake of buying, but be conscientious. I don't think of Anthropologie as expensive, but as mid-range wardrobe staples. The luxury designers like Chanel, Burberry, MiuMiu are the investment pieces for shoes, bag, and the like. There are the splurges for designers like Rebecca Taylor, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Theory, Elie Tahari. These are items I have to think about before purchasing. But Anthro? I buy it if I like it, and it doesn't hurt too badly.

    It also bothers me that the quality has gone done and the price has gone up. I'd rather keep the silks and cashmeres and pay slightly more than pay more for things that fall apart.

  14. Loove the new shirtdress!! I passed on the Reed last time b/c the arms/neckline just were a bit off for me, but I'm hopeful this new version works out b/c so far it looks perfect! Thanks for the reviews!

  15. ooh those look fantastic on both of you! I love it with the three beacons belt!

    household income not over 200k, and I'm not quite 30 yeeeeeeeeeeet :) another year to go. gotta hold onto that hehe...

  16. The cord shirtdress and the bird/deer dress are 2 of my fall purchases at full price also - and my only shirtdresses. For some reason these worked on me and all the others did not. Love the fabric (more substantial) and the longer length (just above the knee on me) and better fit overall. And so versatile for styling.

    I am in Anthro's demographic household income-wise, but I wasn't when I started shopping there. I am mid-forties with 2 teens and we only have one income (hubby). Let me tell you, 200K does not go as far as you'd hope when you have older kids, college upon you, and live in a high cost area. So I would never dream of shopping at the real designer stores; Anthro is still a splurge for me. The first time I passed an Anthro store (9 yrs ago) I looked at the displays with longing, but would not go in. Now I'm a frequent and loyal customer with some more money to spend there, but I believe the company needs to draw in the "true followers" (you know who you are!) at all income brackets and age groups.

  17. Love the dress on both of you. I picked it up yesterday after thinking about it everyday for a week. It fits perfect.

    I am not in Anthro's demographic. I usually buy things on sale. The only items I've bought full price are the Two Wheeler dress and the Refined Cord shirtdress. For me, they were both worth it. I love them! :)

  18. I agree with you all - I never buy Anthro full price, but I already bought this shirtdress. I can wear it all fall/winter long so many ways! I also want the Southward Stop but have to wait for a sale b/c I bought Sugar Coated full price too!

  19. The title of this post totally made me laugh! And yes, you do need another shirtdress. Can you really have too many? No way!

  20. You can never go wrong with the shirtdress! :)

    <3, natasha

  21. You both look A-mazing in the cord dress - love and love! And WANT!

    I will echo Jennifer and say that when you have a sizeable mortgage, kids who you need to clothe, feed and pay for formula, diapers preschool, sports, lessons, b-day parties etc. etc. ETC. 200K will allow you to do those things comfortably, but you aren't like swimming in dough either ;)

  22. I love that dress. I don't even want to to try it on bc I'll convince myself to get it at FP!!! ACCKKK!!!

  23. Another great dress review! shirtdresses are versatile and timeless and suit all shapes and sizes.
    I am not quite 30 yet, but almost (believe me, im dreading it). Anthro is spot on for me in terms of style. Im now in search of items that are good quality and things that would last me more than a season. Anthro is on the expensive side for a chain store, and that is sometimes a good thing as you don't want EVERY girl to be able to easily afford it - otherwise, there is no uniqueness and certainly no thrill.

  24. Dress looks stunning on both of you!!!

    btw If I must say... I will be "twenty something housewife with household income of "I can afford WalMart merchandise, but instead buy Anthro mostly when it gets second markdown" category.

  25. I think THEIR target demographic seems pretty well niched for their products. Don't get me wrong, I started loving Anthro when I first discovered them in college years ago, and my college-student sister probably has as many Anthro items as I do (but all bought on sale) - BUT, I understand the target demo. As I've matured, married, and found I would allow myself to splurge more to buy what I truly wanted, even if it meant full price. This has happened more as I have neared the "ideal Anthro demographic". I doubt it will always be so though. We don't have kids yet, and we soon will have a new mortgage. As you know, even $200K doesn't get you much in CA or NY.
    But at the end of the day - the Anthro APPEAL is all about the aesthetic, unique, quiry, and charming ways. :D That's STYLE regardless of age, race, location, or income!