Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Boden Weekly Review Roundup: Shoes. Sale. Smile.

Hi, everyone! Happy Wednesday!

So we have a few reviews here for you all who love the Boden. :)

Oh, and before I start in, this post is #700!  Woo!  That doesn't seem like that many for the more prolific bloggers, but yay, I love that I am there...  And I love that it is a BWRR that is #700! 

First up, I wanted to remind you all that the mid-Season sale is going on right now, and because of that, I have pushed up two reviews to today. They are not my full on with photos kind of reviews, but I did want to at least put my thoughts out there for folks who may be on the fence about the items I have and love.

Second, as usual, I have the 10% off with free shipping and returns coupon running on the sidebar (plus at the bottom of this post for mobile users). This gives you a bit of savings on regular priced Boden items, but if you are thinking of getting something from the mid-Season sale, it will apply an additional 10% off the extra savings already marked off. If you have another coupon code, you can still click through all the Boden stock photos to go straight to the item page, but once you get to the shopping bag, there is a little box on the page where you can put in your unique coupon code.

To see an item closer up, click on the photo and you will be taken to another page where you can view a larger image. To see it on another blog friend, click through the link back to their blog. To see the item at Boden, click on the stock image and there you can check on other colors, sizing, and measurements.

Onto the reviews!

Boden for Women:
Upbeat Kitten Heels.  I wore these as part of a dressy casual look for a dinner out with the family.  I had my eyes on these pretty little heels since the preview, but chose to wait to purchase them until I could budget for them.  Recently Boden ran a buy 3, get the 4th item for $1 promo, and decided that was decent enough of a discount (and I had the budget, more importantly) to get these.  Having read that the shoes ran long but sort of narrow through the toe box, I was right on the edge of being a size 40/41.  In the end, I went with the 40 because I know that the all leather construction of Boden's shoes meant that if these ran a bit narrow through the toe box (they do, btw, if you have narrow feet like mine, go a size smaller than your tts, if you have wider feet, I say stay tts to be on the safe side), they will STRETCH out eventually with wear.  Even after one night of wearing them (we walked our meal off at Fair Oaks mall afterward), I could feel them giving a bit.  (However, they still hurt a bit, lol, but nothing that required me putting on bandages after I got home, so this is a very good thing.)

Aforementioned toe box.  For me, this is a fine fit.

I adore this tweed, very classic, and combined with the taupe patent leather, it goes with almost everything.  It was a great neutral for my very colorful outfit.

Heel height is awesome, just around 2 inches, very friendly compared to some of the more trendy platform heights that have been in fashion the past three years or so (although I still love mine, lol).

Upbeat Kitten Heels
Upbeat Kitten Heels. There is my tweed version, but it also comes in two animal prints.  The tweed is proving to be popular, so watch for popbacks. 

Fairisle Cardigan
Fairisle Cardigan. Polly may have received it by accident but she definitely saw an opportunity when it presented itself. :) Great review, and thanks!

Everyday Tweed Mini
Everyday Tweed Mini. AudreyS left me a comment with some great reviews in it, including this one for the (very popular!) everyday tweed mini: The mini is definitely more A-line than "fitted", as it is described on the website, but is very cute and because of the A-line, very easy to walk in -- key for me. I ordered my very reliably Boden size 4, in spite of being a size 0/2P in J.Crew skirts -- I find Boden to run smaller through the waist than J.Crew, although very similar to J.Crew in the hips. I do think the JC viridian green pencil skirt is prettier, but for me, the Boden style is more practical and I think I'll get more wear out of it.

Notre Dame Skirt. (Affiliate program still has no link to this skirt, but you can get to it by clicking on the name of the skirt.) AudreyS also gave a great review for this beauty: The Notre Dame skirt is really gorgeous. I LOVE it. As noted in XOXO's review you earlier posted, it is actually a tweed. If Boden had described it as such, it would have avoided the few negative comments about the material being so thick and rug-like. I, for one, LOVE tweed, and love this skirt --where else would you find tweed in such beautiful colors??? And I also second Polly's assessment of the petite sizing -- I ordered a 4P (normally a 4 in Boden) and it fit perfectly, unlike stores such as J.Crew and Talbots where I order one size up when I order in petites, which I find TOTALLY bizarre. Petite sizing should only differ from regular sizing in length, not in width, and unlike most retailers, Boden seems to understand this so yay for them.

Stitch Detail Dress
Stitch Detail Dress. AudreyS purchased this dress in the same color as I had (the antique brass color) and here are her thoughts: I had to try out the stitched detail dress (WH293) that you paired with in that earlier post. First, the dress is SO olive -- how can Boden describe as gold or brass???? But like you, I happen to like that muted sort of antiqued color so that worked out okay. I will say the dress looked much better on you than on me -- I agree with your review that it runs loose, maybe to accommodate layers as shown on the boden website. On me, it looks like a mom dress, but whatever, I am a mom, and it is awfully comfortable. With some black tights and patent boots, I think it will be cute.

Hi!  I think the dress does have a "mom" vibe, but in my opinion, that is okay!  Sometimes moms need to be moms.  Ya know?  :)   At least we can be super-colorful and comfortably cute while doing it!

Ribbon Trimmed Coat
Ribbon Trimmed Coat. AudreyS also grabbed this coat, of which she says: I also ordered the Ribbon Trimmed Coat (BE012). This was RIGHT after I did a major closet reorganization and committed to NO MORE J.CREW COATS this year. I have every imaginable color. But then comes Boden with this gorgeous ribbon trimmed coat. I ordered the navy trimmed with pink and grey in my normal size 4 (J.Crew size 2) and it fit perfectly. It's not a super warm coat (maybe similar to non-thinsulate J.Crew) and perhaps not super figure enhancing, but the details are just so unusual and pretty that I will have to keep it. This is much more of an Anthropologie-esque item than J.crew, which is how I justify its purchase...

I love Boden coats, and J. Crew coats!  Like you I have to constantly just say "no," lol.  :)  This is a really pretty coat...good choice!

Mid-Season Sale Reviews:
Animal Bow Flats
Animal Bow Flats. Although I don't have any pics of this, I have received them and can add a few thoughts for those of you contemplating this purchase. I bought the olive green colorway in a size 41. I always get nervous buying any shoes from Boden as I find their footwear to run long and wide. I had always thought of myself as a size 42, but I never buy that size from Boden. I have even had to buy a size 40 from them in the past (as we saw above in the upbeat kitten heels). The 41 fits nicely, not too loose, but I wouldn't say they are so narrow that any of my friends with wider feet will have to size up. The color in the olive green reminds me a bit of Army green camo, but with the really cute crystal bow, it takes it down a notch or two from military. I don't think the military thing would even be a concern in the grey or camel colorway.

Venice Dress
Venice Dress. Again no pics, but I do love this dress enough to give my two cents before the mid-season sale ends (tomorrow). I had been contemplating buying one of the yellow dresses that Boden is offering this season, but I knew I wanted one for the colder days of winter and one that offered a bit of stretch. After some thought and being swayed by the neat ribbon detailing all over this dress, I got this in a size 6 Regular. (I almost went with the 8 Regular but saw that it was running large so I took a chance on a smaller size.) The 6 Regular fits beautifully, just stretchy enough through the hips, and not too oversized at the bust. The waist is a bit baggy on me, but this is always my issue. The merino wool is super-soft and looks very classic, smooth and fairly thick. The color is a true deep yellow a bit darker/brighter (I know, weird right?) than what you see on  Boden's site (but the color is not super off like the Stitch Detail Dress, lol). I say go for it if you want a sort of dressy casual dress for winter. The other colors seem more popular, but I was definitely wanting a bit of sunshine. :)

I need a pic of this dress for Polyvore, but it also lets you all see it close-up, too.  :)

Hope these reviews helped some of you.

For mobile users, here is a link to get to Boden's website with an additional 10% off (which can be used along with the mid-Season sale for extra savings!):

Shop Boden!

Talk with you all soon! :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mommy Style Monday #22--Turn It Into Something Else...

Hi, all. It has been about a billion months (give or take a couple million months) since I last did a Mommy Style Monday.

Technically, I could open this to all fashionistas, but I feel like us mommas have a ton of tunics/beach covers in our closets, and this specific column will be great for giving our wardrobe a non-summer fix up. (Is it just me or is the tunic really a mom's best friend?  It may just be me.  LOL.)

And to be completely fair, I have definitely tried this with other tunics/cover-ups, but when I saw this particular silk tunic on sale at J. Crew in the spring, I knew it wouldn't really get used as a tunic in my closet, or a beach cover-up.  From the beginning, I knew I would wear it as a blouse, because it just seemed better to me as a blouse (and I really think J. crew missed the boat by not making this print into a blouse).

Last night I mentioned that I went to the gluttonous capital of the free world, aka Texas de Brazil, and part of my plan was to wear a fitted, fixed waistband outfit so as to not overeat.  It worked, I have to keep that in mind if your family brings you to a buffet (even if it is a really good buffet like America's favorite Brazilian steakhouse).

Skirt: J. Crew No 2 Pencil Skirt, Viridian Green, Size 8.  Prefer this size for the fit through the hips, the 6 would fit, as I mentioned in this review of the flame color, but the fit was too vavavoom for me.

Cardigan: J. Crew Short Sleeved Cardigan in Bright Citron, Size Medium.  I have had this FOR YEARS.  What a cute little topper.  :)

Bracelet: J. Crew Crystal Starfish Cuff Bracelet.

Shoes: Boden Upbeat Kitten Heels in Tweed, Size 40 (one size smaller than my true size at Boden).  Will do a longer review of these on Wednesday in the Boden Weekly Review Roundup.

And there's my top.  I bought the Calais Silk Tunic in a size small figuring that if the hips didn't fit I could alter it and make it shorter, but I did find that it fit, so this is exactly as I wore it on my night of gorging.  :)

Basically I removed the belt (which was used, btw), safety-pinned the notch neck up a bit for modesty, and tucked the entire tunic into the skirt.  I found that because the silk was so thin, you couldn't even see it through the skirt, which is a bonus, as I didn't have to tuck the tunic into a pair of spanx to keep the line of the outfit clean.

Then I bloused the "top" out a bit and through the epaulets (on the shoulders--hard to see on the model shot, but look closely), I threaded the belt through one side, up the back part of the collar, and then down through the other side, leaving one end on either side of notch neck opening.  Then I tied the ends into a loose bow, making the blouse look like it is supposed to have a silk tie (the best photo of this is at the bottom of this post).

From the side.  I have a couple of other skirts that could work with this top, including some summer pencil skirts I bought from the Crew a few years ago.

I have not tried this "top" with pants, but I assume that as long as the pants are lined and of a heavier fabric, then you could hide the bottom portion of the tunic easily enough.  And of course there is always spanx.  ;)

Top Half.  My hubby quite liked the entire outfit, but I suspect it was because it is uber-feminine and I wore my hair down, and not because of my ability to be a magician with clothing.

Close up of the bow.  I kept the bow tied like this until I wash it, I want to see if I can keep it in this shape as I find it hard to tie the perfect bow.  

I love this cuff bracelet, and though it technically isn't important to the post, I really wanted to show off how pretty the beading and crystals all look together.  Why can't J. Crew bring back the beautifully embellished cuff bracelet???

Alrighty, now it's your turn...what was your biggest magic trick with a piece of clothing?  I would love to try this with other garments in my closet.  :)

Viridian Pencil Skirt plus Brights, Yum!

BTW, polyvore ladies, above is the polyvore of the outfit.

Boden mid season sale--woo!

Pretty jewelry on sale, yum!
Okay you all, I am forced to do this on. my. phone because fairfax county's cox internet service is DOWN, grrr.

Real of boden's best sales is on right now, with many items an extra 25% off, and in the past, you could use any coupon code to enhance your savings like the one running in my sidebar and at the bottom of this post (for all of us mobile users, especially in fairfax county, lol). Go ahead and click on through and do let us know what strikes your fancy. I hopefully will be back on line later today and can do a more comprehensive post at that point!

Reminder, the additional savings may not show up until you access your shopping bag...

Enjoy sale shopping!

10% off plus free shipping and returns!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Target Love, Merona/Missoni Style.

All, hi!

How has everyone's weekend been? Ours has been great, a bit tiring overall, but that seems to be status quo for me lately, huh. :)

We went to a restaurant called Texas de Brazil last night, and if any of you have been there, you will agree with me on one thing, that restaurant is like my blog name turned into an eating establishment. Holy freaking cow, what overabundance. I am not a huge eater, so I definitely didn't get my money's worth, but my son, oh, yes, the $5 it cost to feed him was definitely not wasted.  That outfit I will present tomorrow, and no, I did not wear an elastic waistband.  LOL.

Anyhow, I thought I would present you all with two recent outfits from the past week that include a Target item. I don't buy a ton from Target anymore, but I will say that I rarely get rid of a Target item, they wear well, and are usually distinctive enough that I want to keep wearing them.

This skirt you have seen before, here, and if memory serves correctly, you all have seen all of these pieces before.  :)  I don't have time to look up all the pieces to show when I last wore them, but I read somewhere recently that people love it when blog authors show how items can be worn in different ways and with different pieces.  I will try to get back into that, I had done it for a while, but for one reason or another, I stopped doing it.

(And so you know, I realize that the way I wore it last time is similar to this time, but ah, well, no big deal, I am sure I will blow you all away with my creativity at some other point in the future.)

Merona Collection Paisley Print Skirt, the pattern being a exact match for J. Crew's Coppelle Paisley Pattern.

Anthropologie Moth Paisley Gust Sweater Jacket.

J. Crew Sevigne Capri Sandals.

Open Sweater Jacket showing off the cute Goldfish Graphic Tee by J. Crew.  BTW, I love the sweater jacket both opened and closed, I am a fan of the draping both ways, each way doing something great for my outfit.

And no sweater jacket here.  It was a warm-ish day, but I knew that buildings can still run cold-ish, and I would prefer to be nice and warm no matter what.

BTW, I did own the dress, but now KDot does, and I think she rocks it way better than I ever did.  :)

Missoni for Target Girls.

Above is the polyvore of the next outfit.  You will notice that the top is actually a Missoni for Target GIRLS dress, which I bought in a size extra large (thank you non-gouging ebay seller for only marking it up $5) so I could use it as a tunic.

My hubby bought us tickets to an Elbow concert at the 9:30 club here in town and I knew I wanted to be comfy, but still kind of cool, hence the outfit.

BTW, you know how I know I am verging on old?  I have been going to the 9:30 club for EIGHTEEN years.  One of the first bands I saw there?  The Crash Test Dummies.  Yes, I loved all things Canada even back then.

What makes me feel even older?  I saw Blur at the Capitol Ballroom back when no one in the US knew who they were and there were {maybe} 100 people there?  Yes, that old.  Cripey.  And although the Capitol Ballroom was HUGE, they couldn't fill the space.  Definitely wouldn't happen today if Blur came back (although the Capitol Ballroom became Nation and then became an office building, sigh...).

Elbow was amazing.  Haven't heard of them?  Check this song out then...

Missoni for Target Girls Zig-Zag Sweater Dress (worn as a tunic).  It is definitely short.  Ladies over 5'1" have to wear this as a tunic.  It fits beautifully though, not too tight, with armholes that are more than wide enough for my arms.  Probably better to be a B cup or smaller if you want to wear it, but try it on to be sure.

J. Crew Painter Tee Boatneck Top.

J. Crew Signature Leggings.

Frye Ada Heels in Black.  Mint Condition was selling these for $22.  I think that is more than a fair price for these...all you Anthro ladies who love Frye?  I get it now.

Bloomingdale's Aqua Brand Multi-Strand Gold Necklace.

Bit dark this photo, but gives a good view of how all the pieces worked together.

Okay, that's it for tonight.  :)  I have a really neat outfit to show off tomorrow (yes, the one from the "let's go and gorge-a-thon" night).  I got inventive with the "top."  And no, it didn't have elastic, either.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Boden Weekly review Roundup: Sizing Matters.

Lovelies!  Happy (early) Thursday.  :)

Today there are a few reviews, no 14 and counting like last, but I am sure you all will find something useful here today.

Quick Reminders: If you would like to see something closer on me or Rex, click on the photo, which will pop a larger version of the photo on your screen.  If you would like to see something on a blog friend, click to their site through the link I have provided.  If you would like to see the item at the Boden site to check on measurements, sizes available, and other colorways, please click on the Boden stock photo, which will open the item page in a new window or tab.

If you have a coupon code, you can use it through my links (which defaults to 10% off with free ship/returns), but in the shopping bag portion, make sure to change your code to whatever one that was sent to you (in the box that says coupon/code).  If you don't have a code, you can automatically apply 10% off by clicking through the dedicated coupon in my sidebar (or at the bottom of this post for mobile users).

Onto the reviews:

Boden Limited Edition:
Amazing Embroidered Skirt. This skirt is D-I-V-I-N-E. It is (HANDS DOWN) my favorite Boden piece ever. However...I want to tell you there is a reason this post is entitled "Sizing Matters." There was another review given to me a couple of weeks ago (that I missed, grr, disqus, grr) that mentions how disappointing this skirt was for her. More on that in a moment.

I am wearing this today.  Preschool run, plus a consignment appointment means I can dress up a little bit.  I am finding this to be very comfortable to wear, definitely not too tight, and just warm enough (it is in the 70s today and overcast).

Size 10 (note, size 10, not 8 like I normally wear in Boden).  I had looked at the measurements and I was teetering on the edge of an 8 or 10.  I went with the 10 partly to be sure it would fit and partly to gain just a smidge of extra length (it is fairly short by Boden standards at around 19 inches).

The waist is a bit big, but I don't mind that.  This is always my issue in pants, skirts, etc.  Plus Boden is generous with their waist measurements normally.  The hips fit nicely in the 10, and since the skirt is lined in a contrast colored material, it glided perfectly over my hips, no spanx required.  The 8 would have definitely required a bit of "control."  LOL.

From the side.  I like tucking in the top, as I think the grosgrain waistband ribbon is pretty, but even with the back exposed zipper (see next photo), you could definitely untuck if you wanted to.

From the back.  You can see the exposed zipper here, but again, not a big deal breaker for me.  In fact, the zipper pull has the same grosgrain ribbon attached to it making pulling the zipper up super easy, which I always appreciate.

For Polyvore.  Does anyone else HATE the photos they use for pants and skirts at Boden?  Very unfriendly for those of us that use Polyvore.  ;)

Amazing Embroidered Skirt
Amazing Embroidered Skirt. Note that the model who is likely at least an inch or two taller than me (only Vanessa is shorter than me, she's 5'7") has a far longer skirt. Hmm...

Now, there is a wonderful review from the opposite perspective of mine by Kit's Mommy: I just wanted to let you know that I received the embroidered limited edition skirt from Boden yesterday. I have to give it a big thumbs down. I ordered my usual 6 (the metallic broderie skirt from the spring was baggy in a 6 on me and a 4 would have been a better fit) and could barely get it past my hips to try it. I would need to size up at least one size (seriously, this felt like a size 2 from JC or AT to me and was definitely smaller than the measurements on the site). I ordered the darker colorway and it was drab in person. The fabric does not feel particularly luxurious to me and is made stiff by the stitching and laser cut. It is well made, but I was very disappointed. I would not reorder at any price point, but I am very interested in hearing other's reviews. I have a feeling the blue and gold will at least look prettier, but I would strongly suggest sizing up at least one size.

Interesting. I appreciate the thoughts and based on the pics alone, I think kit's mommy is right...the blue/yellow colorway does seem more stunning. The fabric is thick and woolen, but I definitely like how different it feels from any of my other skirts. I also like that the fabric will NOT wrinkle on my trip to France (yes, it is coming with me).

Thanks again, Kit's Mommy!

Gorgeous Cashmere Cardigan
Gorgeous Cashmere Cardigan. Kit's Mommy also provided a review of two of the colorways for this cardigan in the same review comment: I also ordered the pearl and flint in the cashmere cardis (hangs head in shame). They are beautiful in a more subtle way than the red and yellow. The pearl is a true deep ivory and much darker than I expected from the photo. The flint has a strong purple cast that I did not expect from the photos. I am keeping the pearl, but will probably return the flint as it only looked great with black. It is an odd grey that really clashed with most of my camis and tops that are in grey or charcoal tones. 

In the photo, the flint looks grey. That is too bad, it could have been a great neutral. The pearl is on my wishlist!!! Thanks, Kit's Mommy!

Boden for Women:
Rainyday Mac
RainyDay Mac. Always a popular choice at Boden, Polly models the mercury disco spot version for us! We absolutely needed it the past few weeks. It has been CRAZY here with all the rain...

Boden for Women Clearance:
Petal Kaftan
Petal Kaftan. Suburban Mom looks so chic and casual in the blue version. Love it with the black pants. :)

Portobello Pumps
Portobello Pumps. Suburban Mom wore the above Kaftan with these cute jeweled ballet flats.

mini Boden:
Rex loves all of his Boden tees.  He saw this the other morning and was all "MOMMA, I WANT TO WEAR MY DINO TEE!"  He and CW now have a ridiculously long wishlist of mini Boden clothing.  LOL.  We'll see, guys.  ;)

Dinosaur T-shirt
Dinosaur T-Shirt. Also has two other roar-riffic (groan) versions.

Okay, mobile users! Here is a code that you can use to get 10% off and free ship/returns (remember clearance does not get 10% off, only the free ship/returns):
10% off plus free shipping and returns!

Alrighty, you all have a great day! Talk soon!!!