I tend to know what I like in life. I make decisions quickly (some might call this judgmental), and once my mind is made up about someone or something it takes a lot to change it. But that said, I'm not totally immovable. I'm a reasonable person after all. In the face of irrefutable proof that I am wrong I will acquiesce to the obvious.
Take Anthropologie for instance. For years I've looked at their catalogues and dreamed of putting on one of those floaty frocks and gliding through cobblestone streets with ruins in the background as the sun sets. And then I get to the store, try on said floaty frock, and find that I look utterly ridiculous in it. Or I find that it's too see through. Or too expensive for what it is. So by and large I've stayed away.
But recently I've seen the loveliest dishes popping up all over, and they all seem to be from Anthropologie. First I came across this cheeky deep sea themed dinner plate and was utterly charmed.
And then I saw that the enviably stylish Maryam at My Marrakech was using the most fabulous Fitzgerald-esque gilded peacock pattern at what looked to be a legendary dinner party.
I assumed she had hauled these plates back from some glamorous, exotic locale. But no...Anthropologie!
And Edible Distractions featured these cute little bowls the other day...
...I couldn't help but picture ripe red strawberries against the charming blue pattern. Anthropologie again! Clearly this store can be relied upon for consistently great tableware. So I've begun to dip my toe back into this retailer, most happily at the new Chelsea Market store. I'm loving the union jack coffee table/ottoman, I find the cookbook selection to be small but wonderful, and I'm even finding a few of the blouses to be flattering. However, if you see me wandering around in something that makes me look as if I've lost a flock of sheep please do intervene.
TOMS shoes is another one of those companies that I had (unfairly) written off. I love the idea of it...a pair of shoes for the poor for every one that they sell to the rich is an undeniably noble construct. But I have to confess that I never liked the shoes. Oh sure, the stylish girls in Soho wear them all summer and they look fantastic. But those shoes need to be at the base of a very long pair of tan legs to look good. On me they simply lend an air of hausfrau.
However, Monsieur Tom has apparently branched out into new styles that complement the look of us mere mortals now. No longer confined to the back country loafer, we now have the option of the wedge, and an attractive, comfortable (from the looks of it) one at that.
I am fully on board with this yellow option, but could also be persuaded to get a pair of the osh kosh b'gosh-esque navy stripe. At $69 per pair, a rainbow of a collection is not out of the question. Now I can jump on the footware-as-charity bandwagon without compromising my sartorial sensibilities.
And speaking of attractive footwear, has anyone noticed how great the stuff from J. Crew has been looking lately? Now I've never minded J. Crew of course. The clothes are well made, the styles are classic and everything is pretty wearable. But a lot of the clothes tend to scream "J. Crew!". I don't know whether it is due to a strong stylistic thread running throughout the collection or whether it is because certain pieces get to be so ubiquitous, but I find myself picking pieces out on girls walking down the street quite often. So again, I've been steering clear. But this season the shoes are simply too good and too high fashion to pass up.
These platforms take me in a distinctly Prada-ish direction...
...and these have a Pierre Hardy vibe...
...and these brogues are just so "on trend", as Olivia Palermo and Joe Zee would say.
How cool is the color? Perfect for summer, and who would ever guess that these came from a mass retailer?
So you see I have been sufficiently humbled. First impressions should not be the last, at least if you have any interest in stylish and well priced table- and footwear!