Sunday, October 23, 2016

Boden: Spring 2017 is Live! And Some Picks!

Oh, work.  You vixen. 

I was actually over the moon excited about the new Boden preview (I received the email last Tuesday), and I really really wanted to share it with you all here, but dang it all, I had to you know, grade, plan, sleep, etc., so I decided I should probably wait since I like the money I get and I do actually really like the job.  So I put off my desire to share and waited.  :-)

There are some really adorable, sweet, pretty pieces for Spring 2017.  FINALLY, BODEN.  Finally!  They seem to have remembered the things that initially drew people to them and designed items for those of us that truly love quirky, colorful patterns in flattering, feminine silhouettes.

The email included a code, and since the preview is not affiliate related, I can share with you (normally I am bound to share only affiliate created coupons and codes).  It is 4M2V.  It gives you 20% off with free shipping and returns. It also expires October 28.

Tomorrow, Boden will be having a new sale, the diminishing discount sort.  It will mean that your basket (barring clearance items or items more than 25% off) will be reduced by 25% off.  This will go till Thursday.  I have a coupon for it at the bottom of this post and I will make sure to update the sidebar of the blog before tomorrow morning.  (I think I can also do a very quick review post, too, of items I have purchased over the past few months--a lot less than I used to, but there are still a few cute items to be had.)

Onto the (VERY) pretty:

Fleur Fitted Dress. Come on.  Swoon.  The border print is used so exquisitely in both versions.  LOVE.  As I own this Martha Dress, I think I will preorder the navy and red version.  It is made from a lovely stretch cotton blend, so I know it will be perfect, as most of their stretch cotton blend items are.

Martha Top.  This lovely print also shows up in a non-border print version as a top. 

Isabelle Dress.  This print is very Boden.  It has the punchy colors, bold florals, and tailoring we {{had}} come to expect before Boden decided to become Britain's purveyor of a whole lot of blah.  I mean we all know they have had winners over the past few years, but the items were not as plentiful and you had to seek them out amongst the sad-looking tees and frumpy trousers. 

Philippa Top.  Yep, the punchy colors are reversed on this stunning little number.

Riviera SkirtThis is the one item that reminds me most of Boden circa 2008.  The lines are a bit more fitted (the fun skirts of the past were a bit more bell shaped), but the return to this kind of skirt with a nice friendly pattern is welcome (by a whole lot of us who read or write here). 

Martha Dress. This print is verdant and reminds me of being in a lush growth of watercress.  I love the Martha Dress (I bought my last one in a size 8 regular, which is true to size and not a long, which I normally choose). 

Rita Ruched Dress. Instead of buying the green Martha dress, I am going to get this ruched dress instead, which features a border print in a precious pink floral.  It is a lyocell knit, so I am going to size up to an 8 R instead of a 6 R as the lyocell combined with this fitted silhouette may be too tight for my frame, especially my lower half.

Riva Jacquard Dress.  Okay, I know this seems more current Boden than that of what they have done in the past, but I do see a need for dresses like this in a lot of our wardrobes.  I personally love having a structured, forgiving knit dress in a comfortable shape, that features pockets, for my daily teaching work.  The red color is also very alluring, and is a right pick-me-up.  It does appear to be very tomato colored, so if you are a cool coloring, then this may be too warm of a red.  (It doesn't seem to be that true red that all skin tones can wear.)

Posy Shirt Dress.  I am not preordering it, but I really wonder if I should since most of the cute printed shirtdresses made by Boden sell out right away?  This is a print of a botanical garden so unusual and unexpected.  This print in the skirt reminds me a whole lot of this seaside skirt from J. Crew back in their golden years.  Love!

Marina Dress.  This dress would get a whole lot of action in my closet.  I could wear it with tights and a cardigan in winter, but leave it be with sandal for summer.  I don't think it will sell out so I will wait to buy it, but it is on my list to purchase.

Isla Dress.  What a special garment!  I love the mix of the darker print with the lighter one.  It is a print and not a jacquard.  Sometimes jacquard fabrics have a reverse weave on the back and so you can use both sides in a garment much like this.  I think, though, a process like that would have made this a whole lot more expensive, as jacquard fabrics are much pricier than stretch cottons.  (Also not super spring or summer friendly!)

Lily Ponte DressIt's the big sister of my Floral Ponte dress.  :-)  I do really like this one, too, but I think I have to hold off and hope for reviews before it sells out, since my curvy lower half is not really suited to this kind of shape.  I need to know more about how it fits before purchase.

Lolly Dress.  This bird print seems very subdued from this vantage point, but if you zoom on in, they are really cute.  This dress also has pockets.  :-)

Lucia Dress.  So simple, but so elegant, so lovely, and so utterly perfect in linen for a summer night out.  Yes!  Good, Boden!

Off Duty Slim Jogger.  Haha, I know, I know.  But I love them.  And I would wear them.  All weekend long.  (With the tee below.)

Juliette Top.  They are birds!  Wearing sailor hats.  Oh, so so cute.  This is a Johnnie b top, so it will only fit if you can wear a women's size 6 or smaller (the 15-16 is equivalent to a large 6 or small 8).

There is a lot more to love.  Definitely check it out. 

Anyone else as jazzed about the return of the Boden we all know and love?  (And I really hope they read my gushing review so they know some of us are really stoked!)

Here is the link to the current diminishing discount sale at Boden, 25% off for their 25th birthday. You must use code 8Y3R to get the 25% off!  Boden USA

Monday, September 26, 2016

Boden Reviews: Ottoman A-Line, an Alisa, and a Patti!

I won't bore you all with too many details, but yes, I am alive, yes, I am fine, and yes, I am definitely a full-time teacher with three kids.  It's a bit insane.  If you've been here, you get it.  ;-)

Okay, so Boden sent out a postcard saying there would be an "up to 40% off" sale starting today, but it wasn't until today that I realized it was a mid-season sale.  (MID-SEASON!  CRAY!  It's been a fast few months!)

The sale is decent!  I think there is a bit of a lag in sales based on what is in the sale (a lot) and how much of it is reduced to the 30-40% off.  I have plans to ask for a discount adjustment as I made an order last night (I had a voucher set to expire), and though I received 20% off, the two items I purchased are now 30% off.  Does anyone else get the sense that barring a few items, very little is selling well?

Anyhow, links are in the usual places, in the sidebar and at the bottom of this post.

Onto the reviews!

Ottoman A-Line Dress. Size 6 L.  I LOVE this color, but I wasn't so sure about the dress initially.  It came off as a bit blah, a bit frumpy, but I am glad I held onto it.  It needs major accessories and such to be a good item.  Since I usually wear prints, I am also a bit uncomfortable with that much solid color all over me.  But I do really like the look with the scarf, the shoes, and the sunglasses. 

I think I will like it even more in the winter with a cute long necklace and burgundy tights and a pair of low heels. 

It is a bit big, the 6 L is almost a touch too big all over, and I normally wear an 8 in these ponte dresses, simply because I would prefer my lumps be skimmed over than on display.  (I don't have that issue with the viscose spandex jerseys they make, their fabric there is very beefy and does many good things for my curves instead of showing the not so awesome bits off.)

The L is not that long, so if you are truly very tall, this will likely hit at mid-thigh.  At 5'8" and a lot of leg (my outseam is 42"), I am at three inches above my knee, which is the highest I'll go for school or mass.

It didn't stretch out the way other of their ottoman ponte dresses have, so big thumbs up there.  They might have decreased the cotton and increased the spandex content to achieve that.

Ottoman A-Line Dress.  This dress is not selling that well.  The green is doing fabulously well selling, but the pretty lighter pink version I am wearing is fully stocked.  I wonder if it is a pink thing, but I am here to sing the praises of its loveliness!  (It is also 40% off!)

Alisa Dress. Size 6 Petite.  I did buy the petite.  I did not want a midi dress, and though I know that is what they meant for the dress to be, I know that this style dress (higher neck, short sleeves, and full skirt) will definitely, for sure, look very frumpy on me.  NOPE.  I did the whole "sister wife" thing back in the '90s, and not going there again! 

Anyhow, the good:

1. It is a very cute design, like little dandelions or bubbles.  The blue color is very flattering and neither too soft or too bright.

2. The length in the petite is fine for my frame, a couple inches above the knee.

3. The waist was high on me, which I need as I have a short torso.  (This is like a "bad" for most of you.)

The bad:

1. See #3 above if you are long-waisted. 

2. The material is a bit odd, I like crepey rayons, but this one is more sheer than the ones they have used in the past.

3. The pink is nearly see-through.  I immediately sent it back as I didn't want any underwear on display (I wear nude for the most part, but if sunlight were to peek through my legs, you would see the outline of my legs).

4. I personally was fine with the shoulder and neck fit, but it was bordering on tight.  I have a size 6 upper body (sometimes a 4) at Boden, so beware when buying, especially if you have a larger upper body.

5. There are zippers at the shoulders.  They were weird.  I would rather they be super visible, or not there at all.  Or just add a darn zipper somewhere else for access.  Seriously!

Back View. This material was very rumpled on first inspection. I did spray it with water and hang it to dry, but I definitely haven't ever seen that in most rayon crepe I have encountered.  Odd odd stuff here.

I am keeping it, it does seem to work for me, but this is my cautionary tale if you have particular things that drive you crazy, I'd rather you not buy and be saved the return. 

Alisa Dress.  The blue is selling far better than the pink.  (Umm, lining, Boden, ever think about it as a possibility?)  This dress is at 30% off.

Patti Flat Point. Size 40.5.  Love these!  And though they are a decent price now, I am so glad I bought them when since they are all sold out in my size (I prefer the 40.5 to the 41 for my size 9.5 foot as I have a very narrow foot, and the 41 is often too wide).

I especially love that they match so many of my outfits, since apparently I own about 3,989,513 items in this deep peacock color. 

The comfort level was fine, but I definitely had to apply bandages to the back of my feet after wearing them all day while teaching today (no socks, fwiw).  Usually it's a one day issue, as the leather stretches out in length enough that I never have to do that after the first day.  I know, for sure, the 41 would have been too wide as the 40.5 width was perfection.

So I say going normal size for length and width, but if your feet do run a touch wide, maybe size up one to compensate for this width being potentially more narrow than other Boden shoes.

The dress I am in is the Clementine Jacquard Dress, Jade/Dusty Pink, Boden, which oddly enough, is still available at Boden (it is from Fall 2015). 

It's a good design.  The point is very feminine, but not an absurd point that can look comical.  The coverage on the toes is nice, as I am not the hugest fan of toe cleavage (I find I look pointy or something, and I don't love my toe cleavage, lol).

Patti Flat Point. This color and the yellow are nearly sold out.  The others are not selling as well.  These are all at 40% off, which is a very good price for what you get.

Okay, that's all.  It may be another nearly two months before I can post again, but really, sincerely, I hope I am able to do a post earlier than that.  :-)  Missed you all!

Hey, it's creepy bent neck girl! But click on her and you will get to the sale. :-)
Boden USA

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Made by Me File: Vogue Couturier 2439. It's a Valentino!

You can pretty much guarantee that if I am silent here AND on Instagram, I probably have been delving deep in sewing, and that was for sure the case this past week and weekend.  (I haven't even used Instagram from Saturday forward, and I blame the oversaturation of sewing for that, as Instagram couldn't be any easier to use.)

Anyhow, there is a Vintage Pattern contest running over at Pattern Review, and though I really (honestly!) don't care about winning, I like to have an excuse to make something, and this contest seemed the perfect kick in the behind to get my sewing mojo on and get a dress done in time for school to start (and with the perfect retro flair, the way I really like it).

I have in my stash of patterns this beautiful Vogue Couturier pattern from Valentino from 1970.  I have a real sickness for these older patterns.  There's also the Vogue Paris Original patterns that are lovely, too (I made this LaRoche pattern a few years back).  If I see that one or a few are for sale and they will suit me and fit me, I'll put in a bid on ebay or purchase them outright from Ebay. 

There is a lot of history on Vogue designer patterns, and this very recent (as in yesterday) article from the New York Times explores it a bit.  They even mention Valentino in the article. 

I knew most of what was in the article, but it always bears repeating, the garment on the cover of these patterns ARE the garment as designed and shown by the original designer, and the pattern makers from Vogue use that as their base for their patterns.  So I was basically recreating the original garment that Valentino crafted even before I was born.  This is still true today, and the Anne Klein dress that I copied was from an original from the Anne Klein line.

Obviously I really dig the style and silhouette of the dress and if a current designer or clothing company made a dress like this, I would want to buy it.  The pockets are integrated into the front dress design, and those belt carriers are part of the dress design, and are NOT added as a waistband feature from a waistband pattern piece.  Instead they are part of the dress front and pocket and dart pattern piece.  (All in one.  When you see the instructions below, you will agree with my hesitation in cutting my dress fabric in the convoluted design they wanted me to...of course it worked out, clearly, but I couldn't believe that design would lead to what you see above.)

The dress, as made up, is very pretty, but practical.  I made it from a double knit, so it is very comfortable and stretchy, but the pockets and belt add a level "I didn't know I needed these features until I had them here."  I now want all my dresses to have these details.  Especially the pockets, which are not your typical inseam pockets, hiding from the world.  These are integrated on the front and help showcase the unique seaming. 

Nearly all my belts fit in these carriers, and the fancier, jeweled belts helped create a more formal look, while this patent leather one suited a more casual outing, like teaching school, or going to church.

The mockneck is very comfortable, and though it could read frumpy, the sleeveless and fitted bodice help keep it from looking too dated.

Though I have few plans to wear the cloche with the dress, I did like the look, and would possibly pair the two for the right occasion.  :-)

The back was far less complicated than the front, but I will say the dart that extended from the back yoke to the hip was one of the longest I have ever encountered.  It also integrated the belt carriers into it, so there was a bit of finagling there, too.  There was also an additional back carrier that had to be created by making a welt insertion for the facing piece, and that terrified me that I would place the welt in the wrong place and ruin all my work.

Because my hips are larger than the pattern called for, I had to bring my seam allowances from waist down from 5/8" to 1/2".  If this had not been an a-line skirt, I would have likely had to add allowances to the pattern itself as no straight skirt from this era would ever fit me in a size 12 (the hips on a size 12 are a 34, I am that plus 5!).

The mockneck called for hook/eye closures that are hidden, but I wanted to use a loop/button closure.  I wish the loop was a bit tighter, but I don't think it totally ruins the look of the dress, either.

I love this fabric.  It was exactly right for the job.  The weight of the double knit means I can wear it in non-summer months, but it also meant I didn't have to try a designer pattern from 1970 in a non-stretch woven.  Plus, it even looks a bit like the original Valentino dress fabric (though I know that was likely a brocade of some sort).

Here's a good closeup of the fabric, the carriers, and the pocket detail.  So glad this all worked out.  :-)

Yeah, those are the (dang) clear directions.  But look at the illustration for #2, that was the shape I had to cut.  I mean, it makes sense how that becomes what you see on me, but it does require a bit of a leap of faith that it will all work out.

If you would like to see my pattern review, it is here.

In other news...before I even started my pretty Valentino dress, I had to complete this ridiculous Piranha costume.  I used Simplicity 2853 for the pattern, and yeah, I recognize it doesn't look a thing like the pattern shows.  That was because I took a lot of liberties with the design.  It all worked out and the swim team LOVED it (or was scared, rightly so).  What a monstrosity.  LOL.  :-)

Okay, that's all for now.  I hope all of you are doing well, and I'll be back soon. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Boden: Floral Ponte Dress Review.

Hi, all!  Hope all of you have been well.  :-) 

I realize it's been a while since my last Boden review, and since I actually had an opportunity to wear something from this fall's collection this summer (most of the fall items are made from fabric not really suited for Virginia summers), I figured I could get it up before it completely sells out.

Floral Ponte Dress.  Size 8 Long.  I took a chance on buying this in preview since it was so pretty and unique that I was pretty sure it might sell out.  And it actually looks like it may just do that, based on the numbers/stock levels I am seeing today.  Others that I have noticed nearing sell out status include the Alisa Dress (in blue) and the Carolyn Ponte Dress (yellow on deep backorder).

Anyhow, the measurements were up for this one (by some miracle) in preorder, so I knew I had to buy the 8 Long in order for it to work for my frame and height.  And it does fit, with just enough ease to keep it from clinging to my curves, but still fitted.  It is a touch loose at the shoulders, bust, and waist, but anytime I purchase an 8 instead of a 6, that's what happens.

The stretch is just enough if you feel inclined to purchase a smaller size, but since I plan to wear this teaching, I would prefer the extra length and room throughout that the 8 provides.  The length is 39" and it hits right above the knee, which is typical for 39".  (42" hits right below my knee, and 37" hits two inches above the knee.  I will only go shorter than 37" if I know that it is a super loose style like I am wearing here in this Instagram photo.)

The decoration is so special, the printed border snaking up each side of the dress, and fully covering the sleeves.  The green is an army green, while the print is a nude shade, not quite tan, but definitely not white/beige, either.  The neckline and silhouette are not anything write home about, but they are both fine for day to evening, and as you can see, can be accessorized, provided you keep it on the simpler/more neutral end.

Those shoes are the Georgia Woven Sandal, btw, and I purchased them in a size 41, which is the right size for my narrow 9.5 foot.  The neutral color on the sandal matches the print on the dress, so it was the right choice for that day.  :-)

If I had sucked my tummy in even more, and got rid of my (very flat) chest, it would almost look like there is no solid green at all from the side.

If you are NOT a pear shape, this dress will likely be more a-line on you.  I clearly am a pear shape, and my thighs/hips/bottom fully fill out the skirt portion.  I wish that wasn't the case, but I do like the look of the dress as it looks on me (different from the model).  The model looks cute but not like this, at all. 

I love love love the way the print was placed on the back.  It makes me look so much thinner from the back than most dresses do.  I don't love the blue version of this dress, but had they made another colored version of it, I would be very tempted to purchase it. 

There is a zip, but I didn't need it.  I just slipped the dress on right over my head.

Okay, that's it!  Has anyone else bought this dress?  Thoughts?

BTW, if you have commented here on the blog in the past month, THANK YOU, and be assured I have read and appreciated every comment.  I will reply back.  I have been busy with a lot of swim team stuff (I am one of their in water coaches, too) and traveling, so I am now just settling into quiet time (phew).

I have a coupon from the affiliate, but do make sure to use the code 5H7B to receive the 15% off!

Boden USA

Monday, July 11, 2016

Boden: Fall 2016 New Arrivals Are Really Here!

I remember the days that Boden would do this glorious rollout of a gazillion items for fall/winter (with only a very small holiday rollout in October), so now it feels a bit less celebratory than it used to, but this one feels a bit more special than the past few seasons.  I think it's the fact that they went to Italy (I believe) for their catalog shoot, and well, that makes for a special looking set of photos/clothes.  :-)

Besides the soft rollout of a few items that they did a few weeks ago (I discussed that in this post), they have been keeping most of these items under wraps.

Before I briefly talk about what I am seeing in the new arrivals, I did see that the affiliate program has updated their coupons/links, and I have inserted two in this post to help you save 15% off.  You do have to use the code 5H7B once you are at the shopping bag page, and I have made sure to note that wherever the links are.  

15% off plus free shipping & return over $49 with code 5H7B, valid 7/11-8/7

Okay, some picks, etc.!

Above is the Lucinda Knitted Dress and the Carolyn Ponte Dress.  They are both very pretty, and I love LOVE this image.  More of this in your catlogs, Boden.  Some of the shots feature the models contorting themselves ridiculously (like the very crooked neck of the model in the Floral Lace Dress shot, yikes!). 

I have a similar dress to the Lucinda Knitted Dress (I love it, btw), so I have no desire for a new one, but the Carolyn Ponte Dress seems perfect for a teacher, and I just love that yellow color.  We'll see!

This is the Floral Ponte Dress (I bought this one in my larger dress size of 8 Long), and I actually brought this with me on vacation (I am in GA/SC until Wednesday) so I have plans to wear it tomorrow night.  I most likely would be unable to update this blog after wearing it, so check out my Instagram to see it (I usually update my Instagram at 7 pm).  Later this week I should be able to do a more in-depth review of it here at the blog.

Finally, the Mia Jersey Tunic...I praised its beautiful fit in this post, but I really think you can see how flattering it is here on the model.  The sides of the front have very deliberate seaming, and the placement of the darker splatter/animal print is there, and it very much slims and highlights the curves.  It feels magical to me.  :-)  I sized to the smaller of my dress sizes on this one (6 Long) and it's fitted without being too tight.

Do you all see anything you are loving?  How do you feel about the models' poses?  The location? 

Remember to use the code 5H7B to receive the 15% off.
Boden USA