Friday, May 22, 2015

Boden: 30% Off! Memorial Day Weekend Only!

Heehee, the original image had way more writing.  Add words to the text box as you see fit.  I will add this, "...but only on items not already discounted."  ;-)

Okay, so after a L-O-N-G dry spell with no coupons, Boden's affiliate program brought out some discount banners for this long weekend.  It's a decent one, too, with 30% off everything (so long as it isn't already discounted).  You have to use the code 3M3M to receive the savings, though, so don't forget the code.

Here is the official word on the code from Boden (directly copied from them, word for word):

This offer is not valid in conjunction with any other Boden, Mini Boden, Johnnie b or internet offer.
The ‘30% off plus free shipping and free returns when you spend over $49' offer is valid until 23.59 PST on May 25, 2015, is not for resale or publication, and can be used once only. Previous purchases are not eligible for this offer. This offer applies only to personal orders. Orders that are considered to be commercial may be excluded from the offer. Free shipping and returns apply to your first order, only within the USA and only to orders where the total spend after discounts is greater than or equal to $49. Free shipping applies to standard shipping. If an item is returned that brings the total spend below the qualifying level, the offer value may be deducted from any refund. Boden gift cards, Preview, Men's Cheaney Shoes, Sale and Clearance items are excluded from this offer.

Blackberry Dress
Jacquard Tunic Dress
So what did I decide on to try?  I love my summer dresses, and I wear them a ton, so I decided to try both the Blackberry Dress in a 6 Long and the Jacquard Tunic Dress in an 8 Long.  I would have probably preferred the Jacquard Tunic Dress in a 6 Long, but the pink version was sold out in that size, and I figure that kind of dress is a substitute/church kind of dress anyhow, so a little less fitted will likely be fine.  If not, I know I can return!

I have published a few Boden Weekly Review Roundups over the last few months (not as many as I used to, but I still try to get them out!), and you can find all of them here

Florence Skirt
Selina Sunglasses
Mariella Tee
I have worn these three items above recently, but have not had a chance to formally review them.  My hope is to get them in a special sale roundup this weekend.

The Florence Skirt was in one my latest Instagram shots.  I wore it to a meeting on a very hot and humid day.  It is a puffy full skirt, and I made sure to grab the smallest size I could wear, which is a 6 Long.  If I had sized to an 8 or 10, the fullness would have been ridiculous.  The 4 Long would have fit at the waist and the puffiness would have been less noticeable, but I couldn't pull it over my hips when putting it on, so I opted for the 6 L instead.

The Selina Sunglasses I have worn once (and will likely wear them again today).  Normally Boden sunglasses are so big on my face, they must fit for a wider face, but these fit pretty well, so I am going to keep them.  I chose to purchase the nude shade and it is a great neutral, dark enough to contrast with my skin tone, but not so dark as to be too stark, either.

The Mariella Tee actually has a mini review here at this blog post, but when I publish the next BWRR, I will make sure to include more photos and information on it.

That's it from me!  Are you going to enjoy some (sale) shopping this weekend?

Remember, use the code 3M3M to receive the discount!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Boden: Autumn/Fall 2015 Preview Picks! Dresses, Knitwear, and Tops!

Hi!  Since the end of the 20% off discount on preview orders ends this Sunday, May 24, I wanted to make sure to get the preview picks up before it expired.  BTW, to use it, put the code 7D4N in the box on the shopping bag page.

I wrote a whole lot about the preview and the billing for the preview here at this blog post.  I still feel strongly that this collection is not my favorite (to say the least), but I have warmed up to a few pieces, so there are a few items here, just not in overabundance like in my past preview picks. 

In that same post, a lot of blog friends commented, too, so read those, as well, since a lot of good thoughts were typed that day.  :-)

Onto the picks! Today will be part one, dresses, knitwear, and tops.  Friday will be the rest of the line.

To see everything, head on over to the Boden Preview site.

Dresses:
Ellie Ponte Dress. Might as well start with something we can wear as soon as it is dispatched, which will be in six weeks.  This is probably the only item from the fall collection that I could see ordering now, dealing with the hassle of the preview ordering process, and being okay with it, because at the end, I would receive a cute dress that could be worn in summer as well as fall and winter with appropriate layering.  That said, it is doubtful I will, but when it is rolled out, I will hope to buy it in the regular season. :-)

Harriet Shift Dress.  I love that at least one dress is so "Boden," and this dress is it.  The fabric reminds me a lot of what Orla Kiely puts out there, so it really is just a cute combo of both, which is okay in my book.  I will definitely be purchasing this one when the rollout on this dress occurs, in eight weeks.  Like the Ellie dress above, this one can easily be worn in summer.

Clementine Jacquard Dress.  I love the pockets, the fabric which is a bit stretchy yet structured, the interesting seam lines on the bodice, and the versatility of where this dress could be worn.  Very cute.  It says this color above is jade and pink, so be aware that this may be one the Boden "display one color and send you one that is distinctly different."  I can see the pink and jade, but something tells me this will be far more vibrant in real life.

Sixties Jacquard Tunic Dress. Though my hips can't go anywhere near a dress like this, I do have a friend that is OBSESSED with houndstooth fabric, and I could see her going nuts for this one, so I have to make sure she orders this one when the time is right.  This is NOT an item that can be worn when it comes out, unless you are in the Southern Hemisphere in your winter, as this item is a long sleeved, fully lined, cotton/poly blend fabric dress.  Ugh at wearing this in VA in August.

Abigail Tunic Dress.  I distinctly do not like the other colorway of this dress, but this one, in the teal and pink is really appealing to me.  It is a knitted dress, so it is bound to be super comfortable, too.  Length is sort of short in the long--38.5 inches, which on my frame would be at around two inches above my knee.

The Dresses I am not Loving:
Chic Full Skirted Dress.  I really don't like these colors together, though had there been a less ostentatious mixing, I may have found it to be pleasant.  I may be reacting strongly to the bright vivid crayon colors (blue and yellow) mixing with pastels (pinks) and the odd muted jewel tone (burgundy).  I love the shape, though, shame. (It probably has a pencil skirt lining, lol, so I probably am better off!)

Florence Dress.  I actually like this dress as an art piece, it is pretty, but on the model it looks kind of weird.  The other versions of the Florence dress are darn cute, but I can't warm up to this one.  I wonder if I would like it more as a top.

Victoria Dress.  Boden chose the wrong line for this dress, it should be in with Johnnie b.  I know that this silhouette is very difficult to wear if you are a woman with any hint of boob, and looks best on frames that are much smaller up top (the way the dress is meant to lay on the body--a bit drapey--can't happen with more of an ample bosom).  (This reminds me of why straight silhouette dresses should go nowhere near my frame as the big old bottom I have messes those lines up.)  Anyhow, I say this because on a teen, this would be darling, but I see a lot of women getting frustrated after receiving this in the mail and wondering why the dress isn't working for them.  Since I have no boobs, but a big butt, this dress would probably work on my frame, but I'll wait for a big sale since $95 is a lot to spend on a somewhat shapeless all viscose dress.

Knitwear:
Low Tide Sweater.  This is so darling, and not really that in your face about its quirkiness, so really a nice mix of old Boden and "new."  The boat detail is embroidered, which is a nice touch.  It's all merino wool and a fairly good price, too.

Heritage Check Coatigan.  I will be ordering this.  I love it!  In a field of very boring knitwear this year, this is a real standout.  It will need to be styled well, but I hope to figure out the best way to wear it this fall and winter.

London Cashmere Sweater.  I could see this either being loved or loathed.  I love it, but I like critters and the like, but I won't be getting this since I already have more than enough "Britannia" items from Boden over the years.  It is a bit expensive, since it is all cashmere, but if you don't own much to show your Anglophilia, then I suggest this as a fun option.  ;-)

Helena Cape. Not sure why this is in knitwear, as it appears to be a woven wool fabric, but whatever.  Basically it appears they took a large swath of wool fabric, cut it precisely, edged it to prevent fraying and called it a day.  However, for the relative simplicity of the design, it does look awesome on the model, and I could see a lot of very stylish women wearing this well.

*It's hard to get mad at Boden for knitwear being boring, since their knitwear swings between the over the top with massive critters and very subtle with plain pieces that mix well with the other pieces in their collection (great for pairing with their very loud printed skirts, for instance).  I think it is the actual colors that are bothering me this season.  Outside of a very vibrant blue and a bright orange red, the rest of the line is very blah, pale lavenders, odd beiges, and some of those mid-tone colors that can be hard for most people to wear.

Tops/Tees/Shirts:
Hotchpotch Square Tee.  This one is cute!  The hotchpotch is done more thoughtfully than it has been in the past, so it works on women who are not necessarily into wearing "fun" items, but still has enough interest in it for those that do enjoy "fun" items.  :-)  I won't be grabbing this one as I think I can make a version for myself here (it is a very simple design), but I do appreciate this version since it is giving me ideas to try it on my own!

Square Tee.  I think this would be awesome on that chic full skirted dress!  Why couldn't they have used this fabric on that one?  Anyhow, I find all versions of this top very pretty, and though not crazy unique, they are items that I can't see other retailers carrying, which is why I go to Boden in the first place!  It looks really pretty on the "I look like Jenna Lyons Madewell" model.  (Glad to see her over at Boden where they style her up versus making her look like a depressed hipster.)

Printed Sweatshirt.  Okay, I am big fat liar LIAR.  I want this one!  It has York on it, which is my very most favorite city in all of England!  If it had Grantham, I would probably want two.  (Don't laugh, my British blog friends, but I lived in Grantham for a half-year in college, and I LOVED it!)

Ponte Sequin Top.  This is a very unusual design, and I wasn't sure it was working for me, but the more I look at it, the more I love it.  Maybe not for me, ever, but I want to see it on others.  :-)

Not Loving These Tops:
Felicity Top.  Well the colors make me sad, I feel like I am looking at the sartorial version of a "before" depression ad, but beyond that, the close-up shots make me cringe from a seamstress's perspective.  The stitching is very obvious, it may be that they chose a heavier thread and needle than needed on such a thin material (polyester, hey!).  The stitching is straight, but a bit puckered.  That drives me crazy!  I know that they can do better.  Probably cheaper to not worry about such a detail, but on a plain shirt in solid colors, you have to be careful with how you sew things up. The neckline is also puckering a bit, along with the hem.  The neckline would have been better with a proper facing, and the hem would lay better with a thicker, turned up hem versus a thin version.

Lace Sweatshirt.  It's not that it's not pretty, it's just that we all own this already, amiright?  I have a lace sweatshirt or two already, along with a few lace tees.  It is so ubiquitous.  But I guess on the off chance you don't have one or don't want to buy one for cheap on ebay (they're everywhere), this is fine.  The lace itself is quite lovely, but beyond already having and seeing lace sweatshirts everywhere, the colors are super blah, too.

Okay, that's all for now!  My Mom is in town, so I am off and on these next couple of days, but should be able to pump out the last part of the Preview Picks on Friday. 

What are you all thinking of the Dresses, Knitwear, and Tops?

Monday, May 18, 2015

OOTDs: Made by Me May. So Far.

I already posted one photo from May, in which I wore a handmade item, here at this post.  Then the crazy came, in the form of a fever that lasted four days (me, up to 103!), a Communion suit that needed completing, and a pair of dresses I needed to sew up for a post at Fabric Mart.

I still wore "me made" items, I just didn't get around to posting them here until today.  So below are a couple weeks worth of ootds all featuring handmade items.  (For more on Me Made May*, check out this blog post.)

*Ugh, hate the term "me made." It goes against every fiber of my Language Arts teaching degree.  Sigh.  I do like the idea behind it, though.  Wish it was called "made by me" May.

I didn't photograph everything with my nice camera, but I usually tried to capture all outfits here at Instagram, so there are probably a few there that you won't see here.

Okay, here goes, and in order of date worn...


Day: Saturday, May 2, 2015.

Where:  A Bar Mitzvah and a Communion Retreat.

Ease of Wear: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  This dress is so wonderful, I am glad I spent the time working on it last year to exactly fit my shape.  The cotton sateen has a touch of stretch and it is lined in a stretch silky knitted material.  It's like heaven in the form of a dress.  :-)

Outfit Details:  Dress, handmade (using Burda 7137); Necklace and shoes, J. Crew.

Anecdote of the Day:  The Bar Mitzvah was beautiful and I am so glad I was able to make it for at least part of the ceremony to see my friend's son participate in this very special occasion.  I then went to my son's Communion retreat to volunteer, and halfway through, I got very chilled and couldn't bend down without it hurting.  I asked everyone if they were cold too and no one else was.  My spidey sense went crazy and I suspected a fever (both boys had it earlier that week).  Little did I know it would be a four day fever that wouldn't break.  I finally had to go to urgent care on Tuesday.  I didn't have the flu, I didn't have pneumonia, and I didn't have strep.  I just had something.  Ugh.

Instagram here.


Day: Wednesday, May 7, 2015.

Where:  G Street Fabrics and School Pickup.

Ease of Wear: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  I feel like such a broken record, but man these handmade dresses are all so easy to wear.  I also really love these new sandals from J. Crew that were kind of a "whim" purchase.  They really are very vibrant in real life and fit well (I did size down to a 9 from my normal 9.5 since I have very narrow feet and I know the 10 would have fallen off of me).

Outfit Details:  Dress, handmade (using Simplicity A1636--may be available at Walmart, too); Malta Crackled Leather Sandals, here at  J. Crew; Cardigan, Boden; Necklace, gift.

Anecdote of the Day:  I went to G Street hoping to buy a bunch of pressing supplies I needed, like a tailor's board or a sleeve roll, but the walls in the notions department were EMPTY.  I am getting really concerned that the beloved G Street is going down, and will soon shutter its doors.  I really really hope not, as much as I love online fabric shops, I adore G Street for his selections of beautiful high end fabrics and its gorgeous selection of notions (normally).  And they have the most amazing vintage buttons for sale.

Instagram here.


Day: Sunday, May 10, 2015.

Where:  Mother's Day and some time with my Grandpa.

Ease of Wear: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  My matchy match dress with my daughter (last worn Easter) was more comfortable this time around.  I have washed it since the last wear, so maybe that is why it is more comfortable.  Hmmm.

Outfit Details:  Dress, handmade (using New Look 6262); Necklace, J. Crew.

Anecdote of the Day:  So my Grandpa came to visit for a few weeks, and on Mother's Day, my dad was part of an "intermission" play at the local community theater.  We went to go see him first (where my Grandpa declared that my dad's performance was far better than the rest of the actors, lol, of course he said that), and then we headed off to a very late lunch.  Just a nice time all around.

Instagram here of Grandpa and me.
Another Instagram here of the kids and me.

Day: Monday, May 11, 2015.

Where:  Subbing Kindergarten.

Ease of Wear: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  This printed linen dress was perfect for the very hot and humid day that Monday was, and I felt exactly right, not too hot, and definitely not too cold. 

Outfit Details:  Dress, handmade (using Vogue 8615); Sandals, Boden; Sunglasses, Anthropologie.

Anecdote of the Day:  There isn't much to say other than Kindergarten kids are a whole box of energy.  I stayed on top of the situation, but man, I always sleep well the nights I sub the little ones.

Instagram here.

Day: Tuesday, May 12, 2015.

Where:  Subbing Kindergarten.

Ease of Wear: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  I love this skirt, but I have to say it felt a bit short for wearing that day, though I realize it is fairly modest.  We went to church and I prefer skirts and dresses to hit right at the knee.

Outfit Details:  Skirt, handmade (using Simplicity 1887); Top, J. Crew Factory; Sandals, Saltwater; Sunglasses, Anthropologie; Bag, Hobo, Intl.

Anecdote of the Day:  We had the May procession and living rosary at school that day.  It was awesome.  The Kindergartners even managed to pay attention the whole time!

Instagram here.

Day: Wednesday, May 13, 2015.

Where:  Subbing Kindergarten.

Ease of Wear: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  The voile of the blouse is very soft and feels so nice against the skin.  Love this shirt so much. The Esska sandals are the best, very secure on the foot, and a nice, cushioned footbed.  I wish more American retailers would sell this brand.

Outfit Details:  Shirt, handmade (using vintage Simplicity 9559); Turner Pants, here at J. Crew; Sandals, Esska; Glasses, Madewell.

Anecdote of the Day:  Another day of subbing!  Not much to add to that. :-)

Instagram here.

Day: Thursday, May 14, 2015.

Where:  Subbing Kindergarten.

Ease of Wear: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) For a dress that didn't take me long to sew up, it sure feels great on, and though fitted, it isn't so skintight as to be innapropriate. The J. Crew Factory version of the Malta Sandals (you saw those in green above) fit exactly like the retail version, nice and fitted in the size down from my normal 9.5.

Outfit Details:  Dress, handmade (using McCall's 6886--you'll notice the photo has the knitted version of my fabric from the Burda dress at the top of the post!); Factory Raffia Boardwalk Sandals, available here at J. Crew Factory.

Anecdote of the Day:  Last day of subbing.  I was glad to have Friday off.

Instagram here.

And for those of you curious, here is a link to my son's Communion suit review (will eventually blog about it here), a link to the Lilly Pulitzer inspired dresses I made for the Fabric Mart blog post (will also include those in an ootd post), and a link to the instagram of today's outfit (which will not be published here).

Hope you all have a great day!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Boden Weekly Review Roundup: Kiera Goes to Communion.

Hi, all!  Happy Sunday!  I have a very small BWRR this week, only three reviews.  There are lots of pretty items for sale, but it seems most of the bloggers and friends that usually do reviews of Boden items have been purchasing less, so we are seeing fewer items overall, which considering my insane schedule may not be a bad thing this time around.

That said, Boden has made a new tag for Instagram called #bodenbyme.  I have been using the tag #boden on any of my Instagram posts that feature Boden, but apparently they want you to use this one.  Whatever.  Will do!  If you want to check that page out to see how folks like us are wearing their Boden, head on over here for that.

Some reminders:

1. Boden's Autumn Preview 2015 is set to end its additional 20% off preview orders on May 24, 2015.  I will definitely do a picks post this week, in fact if I can get my act together, I will write it on Tuesday morning (bowling has ended for the year).  The preview code for 20% off is 7D4N.  BTW, mini Boden has its preview up now, too.

2. Boden had a very tiny rollout of summer items.  I missed it.  I think an email was sent, but unlike J. Crew, who literally SCREAM from the rooftops that there are new arrivals (their emails always seem over the top that way), Boden's are more subtle, so likely it said something like, "something's afloat here at Boden HQ--come check out all the beachy new garments for your holiday!"  Anyhow, they are cute, and I recall seeing some of them in preview, so if you ordered some items from the summer preview, it is likely that you will receive them soon if you haven't already.

Lou also mentioned that the Festival line is set to roll out and when that does, I will let you know.

3. Coupons. Sigh, coupons.  The affiliate program had a coupon last week, but every time I clicked on it, the coupon did not give 15% off, but instead just landed me at Boden with no discount.  Something is not right over there.  I wonder if the manager is a robot that isn't bothering to check emails or links, etc.  It's bizarre.  They used to be so much better about getting coupons up and running, and if I had an issue, I could email and have a response that day.  Ultimately this hurts Boden most, if I don't have proper working coupons, I don't bother to promote them, and while I am in no way, shape, or form more than a little teeny tiny drop in the big bucket of money that Boden makes, I must help somehow since I see the sales that are made from links here at my blog.  Anyhow, when the act actually comes together and proper coupons start rolling back in, I promise to let you know.  For now, I recommend using the emails that come your way from Boden, as they usually have a discount attached to them (I have received recently a 25% off one, and one for buy 3 items, receive the fourth for $1).

Kiera Dress. Size 8 Long.  This dress was a purchase made during preview last year, and was officially the last item I received from Boden from a preview order that didn't get massively screwed up.  I am really glad it didn't get screwed up as this dress is just lovely and a great addition to my wardrobe.  (Although we all know how many yellow dresses I own, but in fairness they all get worn!)

The 8 Long was a guess as they didn't have the measurements up on the page during preview.  I made the right choice, though the 8 Long bodice is pretty big overall.  The 8 Long hips and length, though, are exactly what my body needs. 

The skirt portion of the lining, though, suffers from the ill-conceived "let's use a pencil skirt lining for a full-skirted dress" phenomena that only Boden seems to do.  Ugh.  Having said that, the skirt's lining is not as excessively fitted as I found it to be on the worst offender of this tragic trend of theirs, the Selina Dress.  I still need to take the skirt's lining out (it isn't needed for modesty, and I can always wear a separate skirt slip if I need it for some reason), but I wore this dress just fine at my son's First Holy Communion (that is an hour plus service at the church), so it isn't too terrible of an issue.

The shape is pleasing, a bit more fitted at top and a slight a-shape tulip skirt.  If you carry any weight in your stomach area, this dress may be a difficult fit for you as the waist is the most fitted part of the dress.

It has a back zip, which I prefer, it made getting in and out of it quite easy.  The photo here really shows just how loose the bodice is on me, especially through the middle part.  I found that if I took up the straps a touch, it fit better, so that is a possible future alteration I may make on my sewing machine.

The fabric is a substantial rayon/cotton blend, which I wasn't sure I would like, but it wore very well, and the colors are very vibrant and summery.  The color you see in this photo is the closest to its real life color.

Instagram of my outfit here.

Kiera Dress
Kiera Dress.  It is currently 30% off since it is an older spring item, and I would say the price is good for what you receive.  The stocks are running low, and considering how very "Boden" this is, that doesn't surprise me, at all.  With Boden featuring fewer "Boden" type items, those of us that love Boden for being unique are probably buying up what they still offer that are like what we have always loved from them.

Cerys Dress
Cerys Dress.  Lou loves hers, and it is absolutely stunning on her in the tropical blue shade.

Lily Skirt
Lily Skirt. Lisa mixed her plaids!  The Lily Skirt in light blue looks adorable as she styled it.

Okay that's it!  You all have a great Sunday!
Great clothing for men, women, and children

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Boden: Diminishing Discount Sale Ends Tonight! And a Quickie Mariella Review!

Hi, all.  I promised you a reminder on Thursday, and while knee deep in pants sewing for Rex (but, it's all good--they look great), I remembered I forgot the post this morning! 

So in order to kind of make up for it, I decided to do a very very brief review of the Mariella tee.  I was pleased that at least one item from my preview order didn't fall apart, especially since I really ended up liking this one a lot.

I chose the size 6 and I am so glad I did.  Though it is a linen knit, it starts off a bit snug, so I was glad that I chose a size up from what I thought I would need.  By the end of the day, the top was looser, owing to the linen knit, but it wasn't overly stretched out or anything.

The length might be short for some of you ladies, but I liked where it hit on me, right around high/mid hip.  The v-neck is continued in the back, and is not immodest, at all.

The colors are pretty true to what you see on your monitor (if you see what I see, anyhow).

Mariella Tee.  Running low in stock in this color and the other striped colors. 

All the info on this diminishing discount can be found at this post from Monday.  :-)  Hope you all have a great night.