I know, I know, we’re all supposed to shop at local, independent boutiques and shun chain stores like Anthropologie (especially since its owner supports Rick Santorum) but damn it, sometimes those stores just sell items that I can’t resist.
Historically, I’ve only ever shopped at Manhattan-located Anthropologies. Even after the chain appeared in Toronto, I never checked out any of its 416 locations because, well, I go to New York about as often as I go to Yorkville (and I’ve never been to Don Mills). But that’s all about to change because now there’s an Anthropologie on Queen West (located at 761 Queen St. W. to be exact).
The store is housed in a former church that has spent the past few months being renovated. While I realize that the building’s former occupants (I believe there was a yoga studio, some kind of non-profit cycling organization and a few other community-oriented services) were more practical and really, more beneficial to the neighbourhood, Anthropologie has given this building a second aesthetical life.
While the outside has been restored in a way that respects and showcases the building’s history, the inside has nicely combines the past and the present in a space that has just the right amount of wood, glass and exposed brick. While I’m sure the inside has been somewhat opened up, it’s not a completely opened space, particularly up on the second floor, which is made up of several rooms.
The various rooms make exploring this rather large store fun and give it a sense of intimacy. However, I can see how these spaces will be rather annoying once the store gets busy.
I went to the Queen St. W. Anthropologie on Boxing Day and was amazed to find that it wasn’t packed. Sure, the deals weren’t that great (25% off sale items only) but still, I thought it would be somewhat busy. This location did only open on Friday, December 19, so maybe that’s the issue, people don’t know that it’s open yet. Or maybe they just don’t care?
I’ll be the first to say that like its little sister, Urban Outfitters, this store isn’t cheap. Its wares, whether they be dresses or tea cups, are also quite stylized, making this not a store you go to if you’re looking for basics or practical clothing. But if you want a pretty, wearable dress that blends girly with just-a-bit-different, well, this store can’t be beat. I’ve also found that while an item from Anthropologie might cost more than say, something from H&M, it also lasts much longer.
I’ve had a lot of good luck with the sales section at the Chelsea Market Anthropologie. Since the Queen St. W. location is new, I though its sales section would be almost none existence but nope, it has its own dedicated room upstairs and, at least on Boxing Day, had a good size chunk of space on the main level as well. There were actually a couple tops that caught my eye but I resisted and didn’t get them because I didn’t need them.
What I did need was a dress that would work for both sides of my job as a concert promoter: Sitting at my desk, fighting with Excel, and out at venues, which involves lots of standing, lots of sitting and some carrying of heavy and/or awkward objects. Five other stores (all independents; can’t say I didn’t try) didn’t have what I was looking for but Anthropologie did. Now if only it was warm enough to wear my new dress.
Because of its higher prices and its possibly anti-choice and homophobic owner, I won’t be a regular at Queen St.’s Anthropologie but, since it undefinably has great stuff, I will be checking it out every now and then, I’m just too weak (and picky) of a person to resist its charms.