A Sinking Feeling

I might be too old for Anthropologie…

ETA: ** I’m not being nuerotic or fishing for compliments :). I work in a suit and tie every day (unless you’re wearing a dress) environment. And, I like pink, puffy sleeves, and loads-o-trim. So, I’m careful about dressing my age. Which for those who don’t know is over 20 but under 40. 

Specifically, these dresses. Not that I can afford their clothes. But, I do love them.  They have the best details and trims! Which I personally think justifies their cost. Not that I’m spending the money 🙂  I plan to do a lot of copying this summer. In particular, I think this Modern Gallica Skirt is a great step to a new cocktail outfit. I just have to get to the one near me and see if this is in yet. Gotta check the details!

We have Good Friday (tomorrow) off. It doesn’t make up for the days at a time I had off for Passover at my last job. But, it’ll do nicely. I plan (ha!) to get my Tudor on and start this blouse from the April 2007 BWOF. By “plan”, I mean consider sewing after thinking about it every 20 minutes. And by “start”, I mean roll out of bed and away from the DVDs and consider tracing and possibly cutting.


  1. What?! You can definitely wear Anthropologie. Me, no—you, yes.

    We get 1/2 day off tomorrow, you’re lucky for the entire day. Happy Easter to you.

    • I think I’m hung up on the girly detailis. Which I adore. Maybe I need to see them as party dresses vs. work clothes?

  2. I don’t think you are too old for Anthropologie because that would mean I am too old (since I’m a year older than you) and I don’t think I’m ready to admit that. I love their clothes as well (can’t afford them) and often look at their website to get inspiration. Enjoy your day off.

  3. Ttttooooooooooooo old ! You are cute, you are so cute ! You are young with a great body and so pretty. I do not see anything among those clothes that you could not wear. I love the stripped dress with the froufrou on one side (ruffles I think you say). Thank you for making me discover a brand of clothing. And giddyup on your machine for the beautiful BWOF ruffle tudoresque blouse. I still vividly remember the magnificient blouse with the double cuffs you sewn last year I think. Did you look at Paul Smith’s collection for spring 2009. I think that this style would be magnificent on you.

    • I love that blouse too. Apparently, I like everything with a little extra 🙂 I’ll have to check out Paul Smith.

  4. You are not! If you are, then that would make me too old, because I’m older than you! I love the tops you posted. Definitely love the sailor pants. The dress… not so much or that little skirt. I’ve learn to stick with structured and tailored pieces because they look best on me. I walk away from any kind of voluminous garment.

    • I’m a sucker for all their sailor and seersucker pants. The skirt is big. It’s just so unique! Right now I’m leaning to the dress with the side ruffle.

  5. I was just in Anthro yesterday to check out their shoes (nothing), and I also love going through the home accessories sale section (they have the best glassware ever). I glanced at a few garments but basically had to force myself to walk away, otherwise I’d be there for 2 hours (it was my lunch break). Back when I was fresh out of school and finally had a decent paycheck, I spent way to much money in that store. Now I see stuff and think – I’m not buying that, I can *make* that! And then I don’t. Ha ha.

    BTW – LOVE that BWOF ruffled collar blouse!

  6. Spooky. You have pegged my sewing (non) strategy too! Uh, best leave my computer and spend quality time with my BWOF wrap dress. It’s not a faux wrap mind you Miss Celie! And I uh didn’t say much sewing would get done.

  7. I know I am too old for Anthropologie, but I don’t think YOU are. Those clothes are super cute. That skirt especially would be great as part of a cocktail ensemble. For me it would be definitely mutton dressed as lamb. For my daughter, age 24, they are regular party clothes. She doesn’t shop there though, she says it is too expensive. She brings pictures to me and we make facsimiles.

  8. Only because you asked … I think the skirt is a little young. It would be too much for most women and girls of any age. The blouse is lovely, however.

    I think you can wear most Anthropologie-inspired clothes as long as you don’t overdo the frou frou and make sure that the workmanship is of high quality. If you know what you’re doing, you can probably do better than Anthropologie and the garment will fit you.

  9. I must confess that ever since I read this article I’ve never felt the same way about Anthropologie. Power to the knockers-off!

    “You know that really annoying suburban white kid from your freshman year Poli Sci class who was always declaring that racism didn’t exist anymore? Yeah, that kid never worked retail. That kid especially did not work for an overpriced corporate lifestyle brand purveyor like “bohemian chic” retailer Anthropologie. Because one thing that you learn within one week of working at Anthropologie (or “Anthro” as the drones that work there prefer to call it) is that the only “real way” you can tell if a customer is planning to shoplift is if they are black. Is that well-dressed woman browsing through duvet covers black? She should be followed. Is that elderly gentleman waiting for his wife to try on cardigans black? Follow him too, but at a distance; he might have a gun.”


  10. I am way older than you, 46 to be exact, I like some of those styles. So go for it, age is only a state of mind!!

    • Well, sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. I’m older than you, look very young for my age, but there are some things that only a very young, very beautiful person can get away with, if s/he has the right personality.

      But it’s a highly individual judgment. People have different bodies, age at different rates and of course have different ideas of taste, fit, and appropriateness.

      One reason I’m trying to learn how to sew is so that I’ll have some say in how I’m defined by my clothes. I think older women (not that Cidell is “older”) can get away with some girlish flourishes and I’m partial to them myself. But the amount and method of execution is critical.

      For example, I wouldn’t do girly and twee head-to-toe, I’d mix it with something “hard,” an austere black skirt and boots.

  11. Personally, I don’t get it. If it’s the details you like from the Anthropology garments then steal the details and add them to another silhouette…age ain’t got nuthin to do with it!

    I’m off tomorrow too and my sewing machine will be humming…it’s been too long since my spirit has been calmed by that sound!

  12. OK, no disrespect meant, but I think you’re CRAAAAAAAAAAZY. There is no way you are too old for these clothes. You look dynamite in everything I see on your blog. Maybe ask this question again when you’re 50.

  13. I have decided that if I like it, and can knock it off, I will wear it. I LOVE anthropologie, just not their prices. I think being too old to wear something only applies to outright teeny bopper stuff, but, hey, if that makes someone happy to wear, they should wear it. I will not be defined by my age. I think you, cidell, should wear what you want. You look fabulous in everything you wear.

  14. May I cosign the masses… you are not to old for Anthropologie. I am, but I visit regularly. I love their store design, books and housewares. Notes from my last trip… a 6 foot tall honeycomb in the window, made of chicken wire and tissue paper with lights. My textile observations, heavy cotton seersucker pants with cotton canvas linings in the waist, cute tunics of printed china silk with solid underling. What did I buy? Cereal bowls at $4 each. Priceless. http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=94454464@N00&q=anthropologie&m=text

  15. Check out the Coffee Date dress on Burdastyle. Age appropriate ruffles at their best!

  16. I think that for anyone over 30, the fit is paramount, as well as the quality (spoken by someone who her entire life has had trouble satisfying both criteria).

    As this is a sewist’s blog, I suggest buying similar shapes, learning to fit them perfectly and taking a really good Haute Couture sewing class to learn how to put finishing touches that will make the garment really high quality. The problem is, judging from what you’ve written about your pattern-making class, I’m not sure you have access to one. I’ve taken the first part of the H/C course at FIT (construction) and it’s excellent.

    With those skills you could use Liberty of London cotton and other very nice fabrics and still end up spending less than on off-the-rack Anthropologie. I often like Anthropologie’s ideas, but up close the clothes don’t look as good. I’ve felt the same way about some offerings by the Gap in past years: good ideas, but the execution was cheap because it’s mass market.

  17. You basically need two wardrobes–one for work and one for fun. Wear what you like while you can. In a blink of an eye you will be too old for some styles. Enjoy now. Times moves much too quickly.

  18. I think it’s actually not so much a question of age, personally. I think it’s more to do with environmental appropriateness in general. None of the dresses and pants look quite right for the kind of work environment you describe no matter the wearer’s age. But you don’t live your whole life at work do you? Go ahead and knock-off whatever you like, you’ll find the time and place to wear it!

    The blouses, on the other hand, could definitely work where you work (I’m guessing), as long as they were paired with something more….classic.

    I keep forgetting about Anthropologie, it’s not up here in Canada. I used to go everytime I hopped down from Toronto to NYC, but haven’t been to either (the city or the store) in 4+ yrs :o(

    I would never buy it either, but it’s truly wonderful inspiration! Must add them to the favourites asap!

  19. I really like the blouse and wide-leg pants silhouette. I think it would work with any of the blouses. I think the dresses could work if they were shortened to blouses and worn with pants, but I don’t know as I’ve never worked in a suit and tie environment.

  20. Humph, that was supposed to be an unhappy face, not a smiley one.

  21. Cidell, not too old for Anthropologie! Shoot, I wear Anthropologie and I’m way older than you. Of course, I go less for the girlie (since I’m not) and more for the interesting lines. Love some of their shoes too, but I’d rather check them out in the store first.

    Have fun sewing! I’ll be at work.

  22. No one is too old for Anthropologie! Have a fun weekend sewing! We’re off to Carmel/Monterey for the weekend, so I’ll be picking up my knitting needles — no sewing for me.

  23. I have to say, that I was completely unaware of Anthropologie until a friend gave me a gift certificate. While there are some things that I thought were “young-ish,” I did eventually find plenty of stuff to blow my money on. I can definitely say though that I did save a bunch of the photos so that I could copy the details in my sewing later!

  24. I hope you are not too old, because I must be a good ten years older than you and just bought a dress from Anthropolgie for my daughters high school graduation. She was with me when I tried it on and said “mom, you really should get that!”

  25. STOP IT!!! Dear God, you are so young!!! I didn’t even start wearing these kind of clothes till I was in my late 30’s for God’s sake. And at 49 I still wear a bikini. You are very fit and you most certainly can wear anything you want as long as it looks good on you. Age is simply a number and nothing more.

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