Monday, June 27, 2016

Boden: Fall/Winter 2016 Preview is Up...And a Summer Clearance Gets Started!

Barbara Dress.  Yes, the name of this dress correctly matches the Bush family member I could most see wearing it.

Well, you is time again for another preview of Boden items for the upcoming months, along with the beginnings of the clearance sale for spring and summer items.  In the past these previews were earlier and the clearance was later, but whatever, since I am slow to get things posted, it works for me.  LOL.

Okay, so preview first.  I was pretty stoked by the last preview that happened last time.  In fact, I was stoked enough to chance ordering a few items early.  (This time the card was correctly charged, etc., miracle!)  I have received three of the four items (one was a dress for CW), and for the most part, they live up to my expectations.  So early fall 2016 is looking good.

Sadly the latter part of fall/winter 2016 is looking a bit dire and bland.  I looked and looked at the preview site in hopes of finding a "grab me" image for this post's first image, and the best I felt I could do was this gorgeously colored Barbara dress.  The cobalt certainly is striking, as is the seaming detail.  But then you view the other shade on the model and the frump comes up fast.  Sad!  I don't know where the way was lost, but seriously, Boden, I can buy these items for WAY cheaper at the Loft.  Or Target.  I am not sure if it's me (possible) but this new set of somethings is leaving me a bit blue (and not the bright cobalt blue either).

I am sure that Boden will turn it around for their holiday 2016 offerings, as they always seem to, and to be honest, besides their adorable summer sundresses, my second favorite thing they make are their pretty and sparkly holiday garments.  But my dollars are secure in my wallet for now for this particular set of months for this year. 

If you are so inclined to enjoy their preview, there is a code for 20% off.  It is 3M7K and lasts until my birthday (July 1!) at 11:59 pm.

I do have hopes to write up (a very brief, I am sure) picks post by Thursday, so if you have any thoughts on what you like, definitely let me know in the comments section.  :-)

This is one of the items I received in my preview order.  This is Floral Ponte Dress.  As I ordered the long version in a size 8, I knew it would be longer than this, and it does hit me right at my knee (the top part, though).  The dress fits well.  It is a touch big through the shoulders and neckline, but the hips fit great.  It is a very pretty dress, and the fabric is comfortable, stretchy, but not the sort of stretch that stays stretched out.  I chose well here and because it is short-sleeved I can wear it now as well as later. :-) The floral design is just as you see it here on the model, so they accurately represented it.  I suspect this will end up on their site sometime in early July.  I highly recommend it, and will get a photo of it on me asap.

This is the Mia Jersey Tunic, and I chose to buy it in a size 6 Long.  It is a true tunic, hitting right at my lower thigh.  It is a very flattering print, very slimming.  It fits well, nice and tight, but not too tight to be uncomfortable.  I think the modal/cotton blend should keep it shape and not shrink (provided I don't dry it in the dryer), but if it does shrink, I will just send it back and grab the next size up.  (I really hope it keeps the shape it is as I LOVE it the way it fits right now!)

I also ordered the Ottoman A-Line Dress in the size 6 Long.  It is cute, but I need to try it on with proper shoes and accessories to see if it looks cute on me, too.  Right now I have only tried it on barefoot and in a rush, so it looks a bit blah, though I love the deep pink color.  I also worry about it stretching out and not swinging back into shape, so the jury is still out on this one.

Boden USA
This link will take you directly to the sale.
Okay, so they aren't calling what is on right now as "clearance" sale, but it is the precursor to that.  Anyhow, the sale is on some items, and of those, only a handful are at the 50% off mark.  I am sure I will have some picks, but I have only just looked around (I was in Wisconsin over the past few days).  Do you all see anything that is a good buy at the newer lower prices?

If you want something that isn't in the sale, you can use the code 6R9E (it is published on their website under "new and now") for 10% off.  I suggest you use it only if you need something OR it was a popback you were desperate for.  ;-)

Alright, I hope to be back soon with more.  I do have hopes to publish a post on some recent sewing adventures, but if you want to see it right now, you can check out one of the projects here at the Fabric Mart blog

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Boden: Pretty Ruched Wrap Dress. Three Other Reviews. And a Very Late Mention of a Sale.

So, yes, again, I am late to the "let's tell the few folks still reading here about the sale at Boden" party.  On the plus side, at least I am still trying to write here and not publishing it solely at Instagram.  ;-)  So A for effort?  Or at least a B-?

Anyhow, the sale finishes out tonight and is for 30% off dresses.  I  have a coupon at the blog (and at the bottom of this post) that allows you to get 25% off using the code 3H9P on other items not in the sale (I used it the other day to purchase a pair of shorts, for instance, along with a dress).  The 25% off does not take anything additionally off of the 30% off dresses, though.

I have one dress in this review pile, along with a pair of sandals, a pair of shorts, and a top.  The shorts and top have been reviewed before, but I've never formally reviewed the top, and this is a second colorway of the shorts.

Okay, onto the reviews!

Pretty Ruched Dress and Georgia Woven Sandals.  Size 6 Long and 41.  Sorry for the crappy picture quality.  I have a better, clearer version at Instagram.  I thought the one I emailed myself was better, but the phone lied to me.  Ha.

The length is wonderful for those of us who are tall, especially in the lower part of our frames.  Unfortunately for some tall ladies, this length does not translate in the bodice.  It is decidedly more short than what women with long torsos may need.  I am fine, but as I have mentioned (a gazillion times!), I have an unnaturally short torso for my height.  This doesn't bode well for me in talls at J. Crew where they lengthen everything, but at Boden, with them only concentrating the extra length in the skirt or inseam, I am set. 

The bodice is also very form-fitting.  For a jersey dress, I found it very supportive, and had I gone with a 4, which I sometimes can wear in the jersey tops, I would have been too constricted.  Definitely purchase the size that correlates with your bust and waist size.  That form-fit, though, is very flattering, and seems to suit a range of figures, especially in the surplice neckline.

You can really tell how short the bodice is here.  The skirt is very full, btw, and has pockets that are deep and generous.  (Perfection for teaching!)

The woven sandals are beautiful.  I need the 41 for length, but they do run wide for me in this size.  I know had I purchased the 40 they would have fit in width, but they would have been a touch too short.  This is often my issue, so I am going to get over it for once.  It is nice not having my feet fully fill up the entire footbed!  I may end up adding non-slip grips to the underside of the sandals if they stretch out, but for now they're fine.  I love the mix of gold, black, and pale pink.  It is really pretty!  The mix is also of matte leather, metallic leather, and patent leather. 

The print is lovely, and is interesting without being too much.  I did choose the red/coral as I have another dress from them in a similar style to the green version.  I have very little in my wardrobe this color.  I am definitely a citrus/forest colors fan, and the reds and purples are not really represented.  It's nice to wear something a bit out of my comfort zone.  :-)

The fabric is soft and substantial, a nice weight for summer without being too sheer.  Boden really did well with this one.  Hopefully they'll bring it back next year with new colors and prints!

Pretty Ruched Dress and Georgia Woven Sandals.  Woven sandals are nearly sold out in the navy/black/white version, but are pretty well stocked in the other two color choices.  The dress is nearly sold out in petite sizes, and the printed versions are selling well across the board (the long styles are pretty well-stocked, though).  Solid colors are moving a bit slower.

Richmond Shorts and Maggie Ottoman Top.  Size 10 6" and 6.  The shorts were formally reviewed here (the black color) and the top was given the "written" review treatment here (very short, though).

These shorts make me so happy.  I feel about the Richmond shorts the way I feel about the Turner pants from J. Crew.  They fit me so well.  I have worn and washed the black pair I own already a bunch, and they keep going, looking good, fitting well, etc.  I love them so much I purchased the green/teal color, too.  (And the white!)  I am selling half my shorts that I own (probably at the Facebook group for J. Crew/Madewell/Factory, if you are interested) now that I have a bunch of shorts that I either made for me or all these Richmond shorts.  I am never going back to bad-fitting shorts.  Woo!   The shorts review I did of the black (link is above) is valid for this pair, so I won't go into duplicate info, but these second, printed pair do deserve a bit of online love from me, too.

The ottoman top is more versatile than I thought it would be.  I initially thought it may not work with a busier print, but the pairing of this top and the shorts seemed to play nicely, so I am glad I accidentally put them right next to each other one day when folding clothes.  ;-)  The fit is really great for my frame, it hugs and conforms to my curves (or lack thereof up top), but doesn't bind or ride up.  This material is good! 

I have read that the seaming on the top has been off for some ladies, and that could mean the stripes don't match.  I have a good version, so if you buy a bad version, return it and send them my photo.  That is unacceptable.  Those machines in their factories have differential feeds/walking feet and can handle matching plaids and stripes.

The placement of the print matters on the shorts, too.  The version I have seems pretty good, but I would have hated for the big floral to be dead center on both of the front legs.  The more abstract, the better, in my opinion.

Both the shorts and the top are made from stretchy fabrics that conform, but do not stretch out.  That is key.  The woven stretch material they use for the shorts is especially amazing.  I want to know who they get their fabric from and get some for me.  It is really hard to find stretch wovens that give that much without bagging out of shape.

There is a small exposed zip on the back of the top.  Nothing obnoxious, really, but for some of you, it may give you pause.

Richmond Shorts and Maggie Ottoman Top.  The shorts are selling well, but there seems to be plenty available in the 6" and 9" length.  The 4" length is pretty much sold out in all colors.  (I can wear the 4", but think it is pretty short.  The 6" is short for women with longer legs, my inseam, btw, is 34".)

The top is selling well in the black and white stripe, but this blue version is still readily available. I think the black/white (especially when paired with the black shorts) looks very "prison-ready." 

Okay, that's all for now.  School ends tomorrow.  I do have a lot planned for summer, but it should be easier to get online and bug you all again.  Yes!  I have missed my blogging!

Below are the links to the sale the affiliate sent me.  Remember to use the code 3H9P if you need 25% off anything not part of the 30% dresses sale.
Boden USA

Boden USA

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Boden: Pretty Jersey Dress, Easy T-Shirt Dress, and 30% Off!

Hi, all!

Happy Sunday!  I know many of us have tomorrow off and I hope for all of us it means incredibly lovely weather.  :-)

Boden had started a 30% off sale on Friday, but because I work Friday, I didn't have a chance to do anything more than a very basic announcement over at the blog's facebook page.  I actually can sit still for a few minutes this morning, so I thought I would get a couple of reviews done (only one with photos, though), and let you all know more about the sale.

First the reviews!
Pretty Jersey Dress.  Size 6 Long.  This is a very old school Boden kind of dress.  Of course I bought it.  ;-)  I am pleased that they are willing to still have some of the styles that brought many of us to their company initially.  (For some of us as early as 2004!)

The jersey is a cotton/modal and very comfortable.  There is actually less need for a stretchy material in this dress since the style is a bit loose (that gathered skirt is attached to a loose waist--it doesn't even cinch in at my waist, it appears that way, but that is because the tee portion is a touch fitted).  The only reason I could see any of you all needing to size up is if you are incredibly blessed in the bust department.  I could have sized down to a 4, but I like how this style looks loose, so I am fine with the 6.

The length is wonderful for teaching, it hits right above the knee.  If it fell any longer, I would definitely look pretty frumpy.  I do not recommend going with a longer length unless you are taller than 5'7".

The pockets are deep and generous, and held my phone and my ID all day. 

I wish I had straightened out my skirt before taking this photo, that bump of fabric above my bottom is from not fixing it before taking the photo.

You can see the looseness in the bodice here, nothing big, but because it is a stretchy knit, it is completely unnecessary ease.  Again, don't care, but if you hate excessive ease in knits, this may not be the dress for you.

If you are long-waisted, this style may be too short-waisted for you.  I have a short torso, so this waistband is actually at my real waistline, but I totally get and understand why those with longer torsos would prefer something less "babydoll" in silhouette for themselves.

The print is a pretty little abstract dot print, with a true dark olive background.

Pretty Jersey Dress.  There are plenty left, but most are on backorder.  Mine came before my expected date, so maybe yours will too?  The blue is selling well, so if you like that color, bear that in mind.

Easy T-Shirt Dress.  I ordered the 8 Long in the white shade.  I should have ordered the 10 Long in order for it to fit properly and well.  It is NOT a jersey t-shirt dress, it is a full on woven rayon dress.  UGH.  Dumb, Boden.  Many of the reviewers are like, "you say t-shirt dress, and that means we are expecting something stretchy, knit, and more casual."  I actually like it in the woven rayon, but my hips need more material in a woven material.  Rayon knit means I sometimes can size down since it is so stretchy, but in this style, I thought I would do a size 8 to have it look more like it looks on the model.  Grrrr.  Dumb, Boden.  ;-)

Anyhow, it fits in the 8, but barely, and the pockets become non-functional.  And there is the completely expected shrinking after washing, so I have to send the 8 Long back.

Having said this, though, the dress is nearly sold out in the white shade.  So if you love it, and it's in your "WOVEN size" in stock, then grab it.  I see there is a 10 L on sale today, so I grabbed it, but I am going to be honest, I am not holding out hope it will work for me.  I suspect that one will go back, too.

Now the sale info...

So the sale is pretty basic, 30% off everything that is current season.  It does not apply to clearance stuff, and this is the sale I like for buying items that will NOT be 30% off in the clearance sale when that rolls around in early July.  (Most of the time items that don't get to 30% off are the ones that are very popular during the regular season, you can tell those by how little of the items are left in stock right now.  The Rose Dress would be a good example of this.  When it goes in clearance, it might get to 15% off, which is about the regular "sale" price during the season.)

The sale ends midnight tomorrow night.

The link below will get you to the sale, but remember to use the code 2Z7C to receive the 30% off.
Boden USA

Friday, May 20, 2016

Boden: 20% Off Clearance...Plus Two Clearance Dress Reviews.

Ottoman Shift Dress, on sale for $66.24
Hey you all!  How have you all been?

May has been great, raining constantly (barring my daughter's First Holy Communion Day, thank goodness).  I have been wearing a ton of Made by Me items for this month, as a bunch of us on Instagram celebrate our "memade" (shudder at that grammar, btw) outfits every day. 

Recently I chose to buy some very nicely reduced work jersey dresses from Boden from clearance.  Alas I missed both of these with the extra 20% off, but I will say I was happy enough with the price I paid (clearly as I have already worn both!).  (To fit in the "memade" month, I wore both with made by me circle scarves.)

I will get to the info on the extra 20% off at the bottom of this post, so if you don't need these reviews, that's where that 411 is. 

The Ottoman Shift Dress was a bit hit from last fall at Boden.  I actually know, in real life, a French lady who purchased this and has worn it to pick up her kids from school.  She pointed to it, smiled, and said "Boden."  I winked back and said I could probably never wear it (big ole hips) and called it a day.

But then I tried this Ottoman top after buying it from my friend after she decided she wanted the smaller size, and realizing how much I love the fabric, I decided I should give this shift a try after all since it is so stretchy.

I purchased the shift in a size 8 Long, and it turned out the size was more than big enough.  In fact, with the cotton jersey being a bit less "bouncebackable*," I maybe could have gone with a 6 Long, but I think with multiple washings, plus the fact that I work in a conservative environment, makes the 8 the best choice, even if it means I will have a bit of a saggy Sally dress at the end of the work day (only a bit, and only at the back bit).

Plus, those darn pockets!  They are amazing.  Especially if you are a teacher (can hold a phone, pencils, kleenex, you name it). 

*Bouncebackable--totally a word.

This picture shoes how it has gone a bit saggy at the back, right under the bum, and at the elbows.  But, really, truly not that big of a deal.

The cozy comfy more than makes up any negative I can muster about the lack of bounce back it has.

Ottoman Shift Dress.  There are plenty in this color and the orange/pink available.  If you think you like this style, but are unsure of the fit, this extra 20% off time is a good time to pick one up.

Louise Ponte Dress, on sale for $55.20
Size 8 Regular.  I tried the 6 Regular, too.

This dress does come in a long, and though I normally buy the longs, this one was set to hit at my lower kneecap and I wasn't really digging the thought of this shape skirt at that length on me.  It would have been fine for the modesty requirements at the school, but honestly, this one is fine, too.

The 6 regular fit, but it was like a glove.  And this ponte, though lined in a very soft and thick jersey fabric, shows everything.  The 8 regular is a much better choice for my frame.

If you look at the models on the page, even they have wrinkling throughout, so I know that at least I am in good company.  :-)

The dress did have bouncebackability, so that gave it some points, fabric-wise.  The ponte is thick and warm, and the color combo is so beautiful together.

The back view is weird.  I don't mind the zip, but I wonder how much nicer it would have looked without it.  The 8 fit fine enough that I could keep the zip zipped up and pull it over my head (though that day I did unzip and step into it, as evidenced by the fact that it didn't make it all the way back up).

The colors, btw, are true to color for what I see on my monitor versus the actual dress.

The seam at the waist does fall as a slight curve.  It could make one look a bit "with child."  Even fully sucking in, I felt like there was a big old arrow to my tummy, and I actually rather like my belly (lol, what an odd thing to type), unlike my poor bottom, which bears all my body wrath.  ;-)  Just a thought to bear in mind if you worry about your waist silhouette.

Louise Ponte Dress.  There are virtually no sizes left in both colors.  So despite wrinkles, weird colored zip, and some tummy bits, it is a popular dress.  The Louise of What Lou Wore 365 doesn't own it, sadly.  I hope that changes one day.  I personally think she would look amazing in the darker blue version!

So this clearance extra 20% off lasts until Sunday night.  I will likely pick up an item or two.  There are a TON of leftovers from last summer, so you can even shop for what you need right now.

There are always popbacks, so if you check a few times over the weekend, you may catch an item you formerly thought sold out, is now back in stock.  If an item is low stock, though, remember that it means there are five or less of the item available.

Okay, that's all for now.  I hope you have a great weekend, and enjoy (sale) shopping!

The below link is the banner the affiliate gave me, but it is 20% off (to dream of 25% off!):
Boden USA

For non-clearance items, you can use this link and code:
15% off plus free shipping and returns with code 3K9M, valid 5/1-5/25

Monday, May 9, 2016

Boden: Fall 2016 Preview! And a Couple of Picks!

Textured Knit Skirt (here) and Textured Knit Top (here)
Before I start in on the Fall (Autumn) 2016 Boden Preview, I wanted to let you all know what I have been up to in my life.  :-)  As you may remember from last year, I made a full suit for my son for his First Holy Communion.

Well this year was CW's turn, and I made her a very fancy pants lace dress for her First Holy Communion.  Hers, though, is mine cloaked in lace.  I knew I wanted her to wear my original 1980s dress (which was also handmade for me), but it was needing an update.  At some point, I will write up a post on it since it took nearly as long as it took me to make Rex's suit, but it will be a bit.  Still working a lot, still sewing a lot, and still running around a lot.  I make amends with the blog every couple of weeks, but it definitely doesn't feel like enough.

Okay, so onto the Boden Preview.  When CC first mentioned it in the comments in this post, I went immediately to the site and nearly sobbed over the boring.  I was all, "that's it, they have officially determined they want nothing to do with the Boden they used to be, and I may just have to sit in a corner and sew up some happy dresses in Swedish folk prints instead."  (Which I probably still will do, lol.)

Today I realized I hadn't gone back, and they definitely updated from that first visit.  There are some really cute items, and I actually have a basket full of items.  I haven't done that in years!  That doesn't mean I will pull the trigger (don't love the way they charge cards for preview orders), but I know that I will likely want a few things this fall from them.

There is a code for 20% and it is 5D9T.  I don't get affiliate commissions on preview sales, so I know I can legitimately give the code.  :-)  (I can only give current season codes that the affiliate program gives me, I have one right now, it's in the sidebar and the bottom of this post.)

My picks list is short, but mainly out of necessity of time, which I only have spare bits of in each day.  I hope that you all will add your favorites to the list in the comments!

I obviously love the Textured Knit Top and Skirt at the top of this post, but I hesitate trying it myself with my pear shape.  I may give it a go, but I will probably hold off for the time being.

High Neck Top (here)
It's kind of weird, but so is my style.  I love the severe cut, and would definitely pair it with sleek pants (think cigarette shape) or a cute knit a-line skirt (tucked in, of course).  It also has pockets (!!!).

Mia Top (here)
This is a pretty little mid-century inspired silhouette with a fun print that isn't too wild.  It has a design in the back that reminds me of the back of my Martha dress (review here), and so maybe this is this year's name for the Martha of the past two years?

Fab Fit Tweed Blazer (here)
I love the Moon collaborations with Boden.  I own a few items from this partnership, and I adore them.  They wear well, come in beautiful shades, and are well priced for the craftsmanship and fabric.  This year's blazer is very modern-looking with its especially pointed lapels (they thinned them out, too).

Floral Ponte Dress (here)
I am always such a sucker for a border print, and in a ponte, well yum.  Body forgiving fabric, in a green ponte, with a border print?  Well, I am sold.

Hannah Seam Detail Dress (here)
I don't about this shape for me personally, but the pockets and the print are awesome.  The print is wee little birdies (that from far away read as an abstract).  Swoon.

High Neck Dress (here)
Sister to the High Neck top (above), this is just as beautiful, and because this color combo is more sedate, it is also more appealing to more people.  I am almost 110% sure my body shape wouldn't work with this style, but if it ends up coming up in the reviews it fits pear shapes well, I will definitely bite.

Lucinda Knit Dress (here)

It is the updated version of the Amelie Dress (see it here on me) that I know many of us loved.  This is super cute, but the colors are pretty blah, and I already own more than enough grey knit dresses for ten women, so I will say no.

Mia Knit Jersey Tunic Dress (here)
This is the second appearance of a Mia in this picks post.  :-)  I don't think this especially looks like my style or what I expect from Boden, but I dig it and want it.

So there were no accessories or shoes on show for us, and with the expiration of the 20% off code happening in a few days time (the 13th is the last date you can use it), I don't think they will have any on show for us this time around.

For those of you interested in current season styles/discounts for it, below is the link to the current sale.  You have to use code 3K9M to receive the 15% off, though.

Boden USA