Exclusive: Anthropologie to introduce shopping bag replacement

Admit it — you’ve always wanted
to take one home.

update 4/1 8:15 PM – in case anyone stumbles across this post NOT on April Fool’s Day, this post is just a joke. I made it all up.

As we all know, Anthropologie is big on Earth Day and earth-friendliness year-round. Last year they taught us all about the plight of the honeybee and sold Bee-themed tees to help the cause. This spring all of their window displays were made by recycling plastic bottles. This year however they’re taking things one step further. To demonstrate their committment to the Earth Anthropologie has announced plans to do away with their shopping bags altogether. The replacement? Take-home dress forms.

“Our customer base is quite familiar with the dress forms,” said Urban Outfitters CEO Glen Senk. “They see them on the website; they see them in-store. By allowing our customers to put their purchases on a dress form and take it home with them we’re utilizing items we already have while driving return visits.”

Thanks to my oh-so insider Anthropologie connections I was able to see a live demonstration of this new practice at the 5th Ave store right here in NYC. A sales associate took the three items I’d bought — the Cooling Magma Dress ($258), the Roaming Frills Cardigan ($88) and the Secret-Keeper Mini Bag ($168) — and one by one dressed the mannequin with each. She then recorded my mannequin number in the store’s logbook and I was free to take home my new appendage-less friend for 48 hours. “The other great thing about this program,” the SA said, “is it pushes our customers to think in terms of outfits. You’re displaying your purchases for all to see here in the city so you want to make sure it looks good!” Hmm, interesting. I hope to draw inspiration from the looks I see from other Anthro shoppers!

“See you on Saturday!” she cheerfully said as I left. The door security guard was nice enough to hold the gigantic wooden door open for me while I strolled out with my plunder. Since I was the only one allowed to see the demo I couldn’t really take any pics — hopefully these stock photos above give you a general idea of what it was like. Getting the mannequin home was a bit of a pain. I initially tried the subway but found the crowded downtown 1 train a less than friendly place for such a bulky item. I ended up taxiing it. I suppose this wouldn’t be an issue in the suburbs though where most have cars.

Once home, I put my new buys away but quickly realized the dress form would be good for more than just transporting my new goods home. I started trying out different outfits on the mannequin and was able to plan all of my work outfits for next week. Not too shabby! Returning the damn thing is going to be a pain though…I hope Anthropologie introduces a rent-to-own type program for the dress forms soon.

This shopping-bag replacement program will roll out in NYC first on Thursday, April 22 (Earth Day). It should be nationwide by the end of May.

So ladies, what do you think of this new program? Are you excited to bring dress forms home with you? Or is this a silly idea?

Happy April Fools’ Day!
Previously: Anthropologie’s Fall 2009 Preview


  1. April 1, 2010 / 2:22 pm

    PS- How am I supposed to get this home on the el train?

  2. Anonymous
    April 1, 2010 / 2:24 pm

    i am not really a fan of the idea so far. i am assuming it would be optional to take the dress form home because as a college student i don't really have the time to come back to the store to return it – not to mention with a small dorm room, no space to store it. and i agree with "sktruman". the clothes at anthro are a bit more than my college budget should allow but i reason that the quality is worth it and i think the paper bags and tissue are part of that quality. i am still pondering it but as of now i am marking this idea as a bit silly.

  3. Sophie from FL
    April 1, 2010 / 2:24 pm

    Hahah! I got about 3/4 of the way before it hit me. Very well played! Before I realized it was April fool's, all I could think was "huh?? how on earth is it going to fit in my tiny little car!"On a side note – I actually have a mannequin at home that I use and i LOVE it (to anyone who has the space – I really recommend it).

  4. April 1, 2010 / 2:25 pm

    Is this an April Fool's joke? It has to be because the idea (if real) is a pain.

  5. April 1, 2010 / 2:25 pm

    Ha — good one! You had me for about 2 seconds. lol

  6. April 1, 2010 / 2:25 pm

    nice roxy… almost had me!:)

  7. April 1, 2010 / 2:25 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. April 1, 2010 / 2:26 pm

    HAHA!! Roxy, you had me throughout the entire post until I got to the teeny tiny font "Happy April Fool's Day!" Looks like I'm not the only one!! You are too funny! Love this blog!

  9. April 1, 2010 / 2:27 pm

    Hilarious! Good one Roxy – Happy April Fool's Day.

  10. April 1, 2010 / 2:27 pm

    Haha. Got it. Wow. Very dumb moment. That's okay, my husband set the clocks forward an hour today, so I got up at 6 am (really 5) and rushed around before he called me on my way to work to tell me. Terrible. People have been getting me all day.But honestly, I can see Anthro doing away with their bags soon.

  11. April 1, 2010 / 2:28 pm

    hmmm is this an april fool's joke??? hehee.. roxy, i NEED that last dress in this post!!! i've looked online and i can't find it!! can you please buy it for me at your store and send it to me??? i will pay u, pretty please!! i'm serious, not april fooling! i really am in LOVE with that dress!!

  12. April 1, 2010 / 2:30 pm

    The last photo is the vanilla bean blouse with the openwork vines skirt. That one?PS- i love that combo

  13. April 1, 2010 / 2:30 pm

    Hehehe!! I'm so glad you reminded me it's April Fool's Day…I love little prankies like this! Now to think of something clever…..

  14. April 1, 2010 / 2:33 pm

    Well done, Roxy! For one second, thought your were plugging for Anthro until…the give-away line. Happy April Fools' Day!

  15. April 1, 2010 / 2:36 pm

    The whole time I was like, "I never buy outfits, are you kidding me? That will be one fugly-dressed mannequin. Is this some kind of joke?"And then I realized…

  16. April 1, 2010 / 2:37 pm

    HA! oh, roxy. 🙂 thanks for the laugh!

  17. April 1, 2010 / 2:38 pm

    hahhaha I almost believed it! I was like, this is ridiculous!! happy april fool's day. this was awesome

  18. April 1, 2010 / 2:38 pm

    For a moment, I thought this was serious. Very well played!I was starting to get awful visions of dragging a dressform home on the MBTA.

  19. April 1, 2010 / 2:39 pm

    All I have to say is WHAT THE HALE?!#1, why would I want a dress form, especially if I can't even keep it??? This is the most absurd idea ever.OK, I just read the comments and now I understand. Happy April Fools. HA ha.

  20. April 1, 2010 / 2:43 pm

    well played! the whole time I was reading it, and seeing you enthusiasm and thinking how can she not think this is stupid?!?!? Ha, love it!

  21. April 1, 2010 / 2:49 pm

    Roxy,great April Fool's I was believing it, but at the same time thinking how does this help the environment, wouldn't it be better to bring your own cloth bag. Thanks made me think.Alexandra

  22. Anonymous
    April 1, 2010 / 2:50 pm

    Nice work!!! You totally fooled me! I think you should disable the comments- I seriously didn't figure this out until I read the comments!

  23. April 1, 2010 / 2:54 pm

    Wow you totally fooled me lol I forgot what today is. I was thinking wtf? this is insane!.. lol I think I'd feel pretty silly carrying around a big dress form. Good one Roxy.

  24. April 1, 2010 / 2:56 pm

    That was awesome, Roxy, LOL! For five minutes, I was thinking, WTF?!

  25. April 1, 2010 / 3:07 pm

    Hahahaha – very creative! I loved it!

  26. April 1, 2010 / 3:11 pm

    Lol I just woke up so you definitely had me going! I didn't think this made any sense considering how many people have to make long treks to visit their anthros!Good one Roxy 🙂

  27. Anonymous
    April 1, 2010 / 3:14 pm

    i'm so sad i knew what today was, or you would have really had me. i was expecting a fake markdown post (which would have been really disappointing!). i actually wouldn't mind a dress form and lugging it to the mall a couple times a week might get my arms in shape. 🙂

  28. April 1, 2010 / 3:42 pm

    I saw this one coming a mile away 🙂 You know, I would *love* one of their dress forms, though! Those are expensive and I've been wanting one for making outfits!!

  29. April 1, 2010 / 3:44 pm

    wow, you had me the whole time! I was thinking that at least this would help motivate me to remember and bring my old bags in to reuse since they won't give me a new one…

  30. April 1, 2010 / 3:50 pm

    You are too funny! But seriously, now I kind of want a dress form. Damn!

  31. Anonymous
    April 1, 2010 / 3:51 pm

    Ha, Ha, Roxy!You got me!At first I thought that's a crazy idea but then I thought I'd love to have a dress form.Have a great day everyone.

  32. April 1, 2010 / 3:57 pm

    Well played, Garkle. I'll admit you had me going for a bit too long. And now I kind of want a mannequin, which just goes to show that if I think Anthro's selling, I'm ready to buy (that's a dangerous power Anthropologie!).

  33. April 1, 2010 / 4:02 pm

    GREAT April Fool's joke! 🙂 So creative Roxy!

  34. April 1, 2010 / 4:10 pm

    Is this an April Fool's joke?

  35. April 1, 2010 / 4:12 pm

    Lol, OMG I though Anthro had been smoking something when i read this :)I don't think it's a horrible idea to get rid of their bags, but they still want to get exposure by way of shoppers being seen with bags. If they made a reusable tote with the anthro styling that would be awesome!side note, i would love to have one of their dressforms though. not only for planning outfits but also because I sew and it would be so useful for that. someday… 🙂

  36. April 1, 2010 / 4:18 pm

    I was really excited! Finally a canvas bag or something! I already have too many Anthro bags that I reuse and reuse.It's still a great idea, but not with the mannequin.Although, I could use a free dress form.

  37. April 1, 2010 / 4:36 pm

    lol good one! my first thought was, um dress forms are expensive! glad i scrolled down to read the rest 🙂

  38. April 1, 2010 / 4:56 pm

    I was actually sitting here thinking of how I would get one of those things in my car. Good one!

  39. April 1, 2010 / 4:58 pm

    roxy, i had a hilarious time picturing you (and myself) trying to lug the dress form on the e train. hehaaa. you know that would spark conversation. :p

  40. April 1, 2010 / 5:10 pm

    Wow, I feel dumb. I totally fell for it. I was trying to picture you with that dressform on the subway. … feeling FOOLish.

  41. Athena
    April 1, 2010 / 5:12 pm

    Roxy you trickster! You had me going there, you sly girl you!

  42. April 1, 2010 / 5:38 pm

    My husband had just told me that today was April Fools and not to believe anything online…. Well you totally had me going until the tiny print at the bottom. Well played :p

  43. April 1, 2010 / 5:44 pm

    ROXY!!!!!!!!! I was like…I was offended!!! Why would anthropologie be so imposingand inefficient. Stupidness. I was first going to post this response and then call the Philadelphia walnut store and ask them what the hell is going on. Thank goodness I read these comments before I responded angrily.LoL!!! Good one!!! LOLOLOLOOOL that was brilliant!!!

  44. April 1, 2010 / 5:48 pm

    I am still not understanding how this is convenient for anyone. I live in the suburbs and my car is definitely too small to fit a dressform effortlessly unless it is retractable. Having one will also require me to come back in 48 hours– which is, again, a tad bit inconvenient. 🙁 Upsides anyone?

  45. Anonymous
    April 1, 2010 / 6:12 pm

    This kind of has nothing to do with the main theme of the post really, but since Roxy mentioned the memory-keeper bag… does anybody know the brand of this bag? I LOVE the bag, but not the color… am hoping to find something similar!

  46. Anonymous
    April 1, 2010 / 6:14 pm

    oops… i mean secret-keeper mini bag!

  47. April 1, 2010 / 6:45 pm

    Too funny! I was fooled for awhile too, thinking "who came up with that bad idea at Corporate?". Well done and it was a great way to start the morning.

  48. April 1, 2010 / 6:55 pm

    My name is Gullible. Nice to meet you. Hook, line, sinker.

  49. Marcela
    April 1, 2010 / 7:18 pm

    How about if customers had their own shopping bag to bring their purchases home???If I had to carry home anything else besides what I bought, they would have to pay me!

  50. April 1, 2010 / 7:38 pm

    I don't know if this has been mentioned already, but the new catalog was posted on the Anthro website this morning!

  51. April 1, 2010 / 7:40 pm

    P.S. I saw this post while I was brushing my teeth this morning and I thought "wow, Anthro, what a dumb Earth Day idea… who has space to store a huge dress form?" (Yes, I am totally gullible)Great one, Roxy!

  52. Anonymous
    April 1, 2010 / 8:21 pm

    lol.. I've read this post like three times and thought it was unbelievable.. I was just going to comment how ridiculous it sounded and didn't make sense (forms cause less waste than bags?!) Great april fools.

  53. Marcela
    April 1, 2010 / 8:37 pm

    Hmmm… for me, the only April fools day in this story is buying the polyester Cooling Magma dress for the full price! Wow!And I am not sure if the lime dress from leifsdottir is part of the April fools day or not… I have mixed feelings about it. I'd love to see Roxy wearing it to have an idea about how it fits. The color seems so hard to pull off!

  54. April 1, 2010 / 8:50 pm

    You have a great sense of humor, Roxy!At first I was thinking about how odd this would be, especially with a 48 hour return policy?! Then, there was the fine print reminding me what today is and reality hit! Have a great day!

  55. April 1, 2010 / 9:02 pm

    You had me, too….until I saw "Happy April Fool's Day" at the bottom. In all seriousness, I'd love one of these.

  56. April 1, 2010 / 10:08 pm

    Oh my…I was reading this just thinking how silly I would look with my daughter in her stroller trying to carry a dress form out with me and then how am I going to get it in my car with baby in carseat and my giant stroller in the trunk! I totally bought the whole thing! Great April fools joke!

  57. April 1, 2010 / 10:56 pm

    Haha, this was fun to read! At first, I really did like the idea of a re-usable bag (not that I don't already re-use the Anthro bags) & was thinking they might be doing one ala Lilly.But the dress form – lol. While I do think a dress form would be pretty fab – it would be funny to see women walking down the street running errands with these – although it would make an interesting lunch partner!Thanks for putting a smile on my face, Roxy!

  58. April 1, 2010 / 11:06 pm

    Well played. You had me for a few paragraphs!

  59. April 1, 2010 / 11:38 pm

    Lolz! Okay, I knew it was an April Fools' joke once I saw that ridonkulous stock photo of the lady with the dress form. SO silly! That, and the fact that dress forms are *expensive*. I especially like that you had the SA dressing the form with an *actual bag*. Priceless.As a side note – wouldn't that be fantastic if Anthro came out with Limited Edition reusable cloth shopping bags, and changed them out every quarter or so? Maaan, I'd be so on that train.

  60. Anonymous
    April 2, 2010 / 12:03 am

    Just a PSA: This looks very similar to the speckled ink dresshttp://shop.nordstrom.com/S/3075048/0~2376788~6002242~6023750~6023781?mediumthumbnail=Y&origin=category&searchtype=&pbo=6023781&P=1

  61. April 2, 2010 / 12:26 am

    Hi ladies! Sorry I haven't been able to chime in during the day. I got a kick out of everyone's responses, thanks for being so good-natured about it all. 😉 And to anyone that was taken you should know that I fall for EVERY SINGLE April Fool's joke. I am gullible to the nth degree.Anon @ 11:14 – I thought about doing a fake markdown/promo post but decided that would be way too mean on my part. I did play with your trust a bit today but that probably would have been going too far.Justine & Shannon – me too! I have been scouring ebay for a similar dress form but I wish Anthro would make theirs available to purchase.Marcela – I have been waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for the dress to show up at my local Anthropologie and…nothing. I tried it on at Bloomingdales (their version is slightly shorter I think) and LOVED IT. I will own the dress once it hits sale.Stephanie – I will have my review of the Coming & Going Skirt up tomorrow! Sorry for the delay. Long day.

  62. April 2, 2010 / 12:29 am

    Oh, also, how awesome are the stock photos? I could not stop laughing when I found those. She's so happy to be carrying her dress form! While on the phone! While she clearly has no freakin clue where her car is!

  63. April 2, 2010 / 12:37 am

    Roxy: I also wondered if the form would fit into my car and what my neighbors would think of me bringing it in and out of my house. Nearly sent this to a friend to say "See what Anthro is doing….", but stopped myself for some reason.Yes, April Fools and nicely played.

  64. Marcela
    April 2, 2010 / 12:52 am

    Hi Roxy, I was at the largest Anthropologie store in Seattle and they told me that Leifsdottir is never sold in here. Only when it goes on sale or someone returns an item in the store. Hmmm, looks like Leifsdottir is too posh for Seattle. I wish Melinda Gates loved the brand…I wanted to buy the dress, but someone wrote a review saying that the fabric is very thin, thin as a silk sarf! Well, very thin fabric will never work for a sz 12… which is my case. Anyway, I looked at the Leifsdottir website and, according to their size table, I would never fit in one of their dresses, not even in a sz 12. But I own a sz 8 (the Fey Grove) and a sz 10 (Cathedral Garden) and they fit me! So… I am clueless about the size of this lime dress. I am also concerned that they show extremely young models, does that mean that Leifsdottir targets the same crowd as Free People?

  65. April 2, 2010 / 1:20 am

    Marcela – I vary in Leifsdottir sizing, I'm usually a 6 but there are certain dresses I can't fit into at all. In this particular dress I took a 6 so I think you'll be fine. On the model topic…meh. I think the brand is probably aimed at 20-something fashionistas but the cool thing about any brand carried at Anthropologie is I consider it age-irrelevant. So anyone 16-dead can wear it in my opinion.

  66. Marcela
    April 2, 2010 / 1:50 am

    No kidding! I almost returned my Cathedral Garden dress when I saw this child wearing my dress. If I haven't seen another pic with another model on Bloomingdales website, I would have returned it!Pleeeease, show us a pic of you wearing the Lime dress! 🙂

  67. April 2, 2010 / 2:18 am

    I will have to go back to Bloomingdales to snap one. I'll try to get there this weekend. 🙂

  68. Anonymous
    April 2, 2010 / 3:47 am

    Site pop-backs (don't have the catalog, sorry, though it shouldn't be too hard to find) Four if by Sea skirt, size 2Scalloped Dots skirt, size 4(both $49.95)Landing Field skirt, size 6 and 8$59.95

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