Anthropologie imitators?
February 1, 2012 6:45 PM   Subscribe

How can we recreate/mimic the Anthropologie fashion look, but on a budget?

My lovely wife has fallen head-over-heels in love with the clothing at Anthropologie. I don't quite know how to describe the aesthetic, if you're not familiar with it, but it's artsy and somewhat low-fi and rustic and very eclectic.

Unfortunately, they're way out of our budget for day-to-day clothes. So I'm looking for retailers or brands - online or otherwise - that approximate the Anthropologie look/feel, but at a much lower price.
posted by jbickers to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total) 103 users marked this as a favorite
There are Modcloth, Ruche, Tulle, Lulu's, and ASOS online. I am positively addicted to ASOS, but keep in mind that they have myriad different kinds of styles, so don't get discouraged if the first page of dresses aren't in line with your wife's tastes - there are hundreds of pages and prices to choose from! Offline, I'd suggest buying one fairly pricey piece of clothing, like an interesting cardigan or dress or skirt, and then pairing it with sale rack finds. It's worth noting that Anthropologie and its cohorts (Free People, upscale vintage boutiques) have decent sales.
posted by zoomorphic at 6:54 PM on February 1, 2012 [12 favorites]

Thrift stores. You will need to do a lot of digging, but a lot of Anthropologie's quirky shabby-chic aesthetic is vintage-inspired and can be mimicked with some interesting secondhand finds.

As a bonus, most thrift store finds are much more durable than the flimsy stuff at Anthro. And if they do fall apart, you're only out a few bucks.

A beginner-level knowledge of sewing (for embellishments, etc.) can prettify some otherwise-unremarkable finds. You can find easy DIY Anthropologie-inspired tutorials all over the internet.
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:56 PM on February 1, 2012 [6 favorites]

My first thought was Modcloth. But Anthropologie has really good sales, too. I have a lot of items from there that I spent $20-30 on.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 7:03 PM on February 1, 2012

Be aware that Modcloth sizes tend to run on the junior side of things, so smaller than how Anthropologie is sized. I'm tall (nearly 5'10") and with only a few exceptions (usually the pricier pieces), everything I've bought at Modcloth has run very short on me and I've had to return them. Don't know if that will make a difference to the lovely Mrs. jbickers, but just a heads up!

Another option (and one with much greater range in sizing) is eShakti, which definitely carries some items within the general Anthropologie aesthetic but without the Anthropologie price tags.
posted by scody at 7:13 PM on February 1, 2012 [4 favorites]

Interesting...I was about to comment that I like Modcloth because everything always fits me correctly. I am on the shorter end around 5'3.


The annoying thing I've found with Modcloth is that everything I like tends to be sold out. I wish they would make it so that items are removed from the page when they are sold out. It wouldn't be such a problem except that they run out of a lot of things...once I was browsing and 90% of what I liked was sold out. I rarely visit the site anymore because of this.
posted by fromageball at 7:26 PM on February 1, 2012 [3 favorites]

Does she knit? There is a very large and active group on the knitting site Ravelry devoted to Anthropologie knits (free membership required to access). They've duped just about every knit sweater and accessory to come out of Anthropologie in the last five years or so, and members have published scads of patterns along that aesthetic.

I would also check Etsy -- lots of crossover between people who like Anthropologie and people selling handmade clothing on Etsy.
posted by apparently at 7:27 PM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

You can find some clothes with a definite Anthropologie vibe from Forever 21's sister store, Heritage 1981. From time to time, American Eagle and Abercrombie release pieces that are clearly inspired by Anthro. Papaya, which is a store in the NYC area, also has a similar vibe.

In terms of online shops, Shabby Apple has a lot of similarities as well as Francesca's Collections. For nice-fitting basics with that anthro-romantic feel, I would try Modbe, which has super cheap sales.

I am not a huge fan of Modcloth due to the quality of their clothes VS. the price. The same deal goes for Urban Outfitters. If I wanted a shirt to fall apart after the third wear, I'd pay $6 from F21.
posted by oxfordcomma at 7:31 PM on February 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

There's a big secondary market of Anthropologie clothes on eBay and on Anthropologie blogs, like this one.
posted by hooray at 8:17 PM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

You can find Anthro clothes secondhand if you dig. Also, a lot of Anthro's dresses are vintage reproductions or vintage-styled, so wearing actual vintage will mimic that look.
posted by nonasuch at 11:01 AM on February 2, 2012

This is going to sound a bit nuts, but I just got back from Target and they had a number of new scarves in the accessories department that look like they could have come straight from Anthropologie: fun prints, tassel edgings, pom-pom trim, etc.

Adding one of these to a more a basic outfit is an easy way to get an Anthro feel for a lot less. I can't find the exact scarves on their web site, but at my store they were on the same aisle as the new straw hats for Spring.
posted by at 11:07 AM on February 2, 2012

Anthropologie also sells other labels' things, often at an insane markup. I remember them selling a pair of Look From London tights that retailed for 18 bucks for forty dollars. This eBay guide has a list of brands sold at Anthropologie. You could probably find even more by googling.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:54 PM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

When I saw this, I thought of ModCloth, too, but then I'm a bit biased, as I work there. Here's some (not terribly insider) info:

Our clothes do tend to run toward junior sizing, but as as rough rule, that's more true of the lower priced items. The item description details have the length of any dress and skirt, so if you measure ones you own that are the right length on you, you should be able to tell where a given item will fall on you.

Many cool items do sell out quickly. We buy smallish runs of clothing, often from indie designers who don't have the capacity to make thousands and thousands of a dress. Luckily, stuff gets restocked all the time. We don't remove something from the site until we know we aren't able to restock it.

If you love something, sign up for the restock notification. We frequently decide whether to get more of an item based on customer demand, so that feedback is super important. Also, if you sign up for a notification, you'll be first to know if/when we get more. Also, if you're a Twitter type, you can tweet to @ModCloth (that's me), and I can tell you whether or not we're expecting an item to be restocked. Or heck, just tweet to say hi to a fellow Mefite. ;)

Our Customer Care team is totally awesome, and they're happy to answer any questions about length, fit or sizing.

I also very much love Shabby Apple, ASOS, and Anthro (when they're really getting their sale on).
posted by mostlymartha at 11:48 PM on February 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

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