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Second-Biggest Anthropologie in the World Opens in Chicago

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The second-largest Anthropologie flagship in the country was unveiled in the Second City last week, so we naturally couldn’t resist dropping by and checking it out. The former American Girl space on Chicago Avenue boasts 11,000 square feet of retail space and has been completely revamped into a quirky yet sophisticated girly wonderland stocked full of apparel, accessories, and housewares. ??

Upon entering, shoppers are greeted by a foyer decked out with a blingy melange of holiday trinkets, accompanied by a ginormous reindeer head hanging from the wall. The modest storefront on street level is rather deceiving: the bulk of the store is actually tucked away in the lower level, with a labyrinth-like layout that makes you wonder if breadcrumbs are needed to retrace your tracks. In typical Anthro fashion, eclectic boho-vintage merchandise are scattered throughout, resembling a quixotic (but very high end) flea market of some sort.

We found coquettish, flowy dresses, Mad Men-era inspired winter outerwear, plus an eye-popping display of urban shabby chic furniture and home goods—not to mention the massive Claes Oldenburg-esque whisk stuck in the middle of the store. But what really tugged our heartstrings was the accessories room—especially as this is one of the very few brick-and-mortar Anthropologies that carry a full range of footwear (the rest of the collection lives online). We loved being able to try on the various styles of boots, flats, classic pumps, and “shooeties” (shoe and a bootie hybrid, of course). The extremely helpful staffers also pointed us to an enticing array of petite bags and clutches, animal print wool scarves, and chunky jewelry laid out on tables and shelves or hung on hooks.

Judging from the tremendous foot traffic on the day of our visit, we couldn't tell if most people were there for the eye candy or to make major purchases. But with the level of sensory overload we experienced exploring the store, we’d be surprised if no one gave into the temptation. — Chai Lee
· Anthropologie [Official Site]