06/18/2015 07:00 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

A Brutally Honest Review Of What It's Like To Shop At Anthropologie


Anthropologie: Home of beautifully crafted window displays, sophisticated-yet-bohemian garb and failed dreams.

For whatever reason, you call it "one of your favorite stores," even though you can count the number of things you've actually purchased there on one hand. You probably don't ever plan to shop there, but like a moth to a flame, you find it nearly impossible not to "take a peek" inside if you pass by.

Upon entering the store, you're greeted with the sweet (if overpowering) scent of fancy candles. You assume this is what Anthro's models smell like, even though they are typically pictured running through the desert with no shoes on. Rose gold candles and strategically placed housewares prompt you to think, for the umpteenth time, how much you'd like your home to look exactly like this place.

A rack of floral dresses (they're always floral) immediately draws you in -- ones you know you can't afford. They're right in the front, for Christ's sake! And yet, you peruse the rack, flipping over the tags and lingering a little too long in an effort to make it seem like you might actually buy one of them to wear on your birthday or something.

That almost immediate discouragement should send you running -- but no! There must be something reasonably priced, there just must! Now you're determined. You head straight to the accessories.

Then there comes a frightening moment when your sense of reality is altered. After sorting through racks upon racks of $200 sweaters, a $45 headband is a bargain! You've hit the jackpot! BUT YOU MUST SNAP OUT OF IT. $45 for a headband is no bargain. $45 is an absurd amount of money to pay for a headband, no matter how adorable it will inevitably make you look.

Onward, to the tucked away sale corner, where a hodgepodge of items await. The "good" stuff usually isn't marked down enough for you to actually consider it a sale, and the stuff that is marked down typically consists of one white blouse with a stain, a gorgeous dress in a size 0, and knobs. So many knobs. "Who buys all these knobs?," you might wonder. The answer is no one. That's why they're always there.

Come to think of it, the knobs on your dresser are nowhere nearly as cute as these vintage-y, stained glass ones marked $1.99. Maybe you need those knobs. Maybe you need those knobs right now.

So you leave, heading back toward the exit and past the tables of beautifully presented housewares, perfectly put-together outfits and the knobs that would have sat beside your dresser, untouched, for months to come.

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