We agreed that I'd shoot for about two items, and then ended up blowing the budget and buying four. However, one (black knit top with asymmetrical ruching) was a clearance item and was only $30: a steal in the land of Anthro. Two were pants, a constant need in my wardrobe since my office is so cold, and for some reason I have trouble finding pants anywhere but Anthropologie. Clearly I needed them both. The final item was an embellished cardigan ("Blooms above the snow" -- naming the clothing must be someone's full-time job). My other embellished cardigans are my favorite wardrobe items, so I just couldn't put it back either. Fortunately I have an indulgent husband!
I also tried on lots of cute dresses, but the waistline of every single one hit up on my ribcage, a common dress fit issue for me. It's for the best -- they wouldn't have been good buys in terms of price-per-wear. In fact, it would have been a struggle to find places to wear the ones I liked best, which tended to be a little dressier. They do provide good sewing inspiration, though -- these two in particular:
You can't see it well in the picture, but that navy dress (the Peggy Sue dress) is made of the most amazing basket-weave fabric! And there's a tulle under-skirt to give it some fullness. The second dress (the De Chelly dress) I saw featured in some magazine, and I knew even then that it wouldn't fit me (plus, I'd freeze to death in it), but I when I saw it in the store I just had to try it on. I would love to find some fabric like that: it's just gorgeous. And, it's cotton!
I have a finished Pendrell blouse to show you, as soon as I get some photos. I like it a lot, and am already planning to make more. I need cute tops to wear under cardigans!
* I have a degree in cultural anthropology -- shouldn't this get me some sort of discount? :D