The arrival of each new Anthropologie catalog is cause for celebration. Now, I’ve done my part in saving the Earth by removing myself from every known catalog. I know what L.L. Bean sells (boots, sweaters, and moose print pajamas); I don’t need their catalog to show me the same products in new spring colors. But the love letter that comes in the mail from Anthropologie is like a birthday gift wrapped in toile tied with colorful ribbons where the joy comes in unwrapping it slowly and savoring each page. This ritual consists of salivating and pining, because there is not one reasonably priced piece of clothing in the whole catalog or in the expertly decorated store. Not one.
But Anthropologie is all about the experience. Entering the store feels like you’re walking into an enchanted forest or a Parisian bedroom. Lush photography in the catalog and elaborate store stylings make you want not just their clothes but the life portrayed on every page—a world where beds are all draped with mosquito netting and dripping in textured fabrics.
The latest catalog has a Moroccan theme, featuring outfits whose names were inspired by the location: pomegranate molasses dress, spice house tank, almond grove knee pants, and other sweet-sounding descriptions like the keyhole florahoodie, pasha lantern trousers, honey cake top; all sound like things I want on my body. The last issue featured a gypsy caravan theme with a little safari bedroom-in-a-tent thrown in that makes you want to move your bedroom outdoors. There’s also a woman playing a piano outside. Unrealistic, yes, but aesthetically pleasing. Even the descriptions of the items make you want to buy them sight unseen. Take for example the Five Petals Dress described as “a bubbled silhouette of jersey and voile, reminiscent of an upended tulip.” It comes in caviar orscarletta, and is as pretty as it sounds. Alas, at $128, it is unattainable.