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Sun-Wed, 11am-7pm; Thu-Sat, 10am-8pm
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Most busy New York women don't have the time to investigate back-roads flea markets and obscure craft stores in search of unique vintage pieces, but with a little disposable income, they can buy close approximations at Anthropologie. More sophisticated and feminine than Urban Outfitters (its parent company), the three local branches stock flirtatious, floral-patterned dresses, chunky jewelry that might have been handmade in a pastoral Italian village, and all the lacey nighties and ladylike jackets a girl needs to outfit herself in rustic charm. Much of Anthropologie's collection is dedicated to furniture and home goods, which induce the same look-what-I-found giddiness as the wardrobe selections. At the Fifth Avenue flagship—a high-ceilinged space that shoppers enter through heavy, cathedral-like wooden doors—wares are offered in careful context, presented in various faux-French-country style room displays. Those who find it strange not having to dig for weathered teacups and A-line skirts that evoke another era may be more comfortable in the basement level, where tasteful ambiance gives way to cramped discount racks swarmed by frenzied deal-hunters.