Friday, June 29, 2012

Boden Weekly Review Roundup: One More Before a Sale?

And just like that, Thursday disappeared on me.  ;)

Happy Friday!  I hope everyone is gearing up for a fabulous weekend.  I know that the vast majority of people who read this blog have some sort of holiday next week, so if this is true, and you only tune in when you are at work (how cheeky!), then in advance I say, "Happy Canada Day," and "Happy Independence Day!"

I still have no clue when the Boden clearance sale is going to start, but it will not be today.  Today is the last day you can pick up items in the 40% off 40 sale going on (blogged about it here), so if anything in that sale is tempting to you and is low stock/popback, grab it now.  If there are full stocks, I say wait.

Last year the sale started on a Friday, July 1, 2011 (my bday, love you, too, Johnnie!).  Now clearly, I would be just fine if it started on Sunday this year, as it is my bday again, but I realize this isn't about me (although, Johnnie, if it is, thank you, again).

It will likely drop tomorrow, Sunday (the winter clearance started on a Sunday), or Monday.

So until then, I will tide you all over with one last Boden Weekly Review Roundup.  If the sale does drop this weekend, I will absolutely update this blog, but if for some reason I run into issues, here is a link to all published Roundups so you have a place to go to see items from this season's collection on real life people.

Regular Boden:
Floaty Jersey Dress.  I had this pattern in another dress (you can see me in it here), but it was getting too big, so I decided to offer that one up to the "for sale" gods, and buy this dress instead. 

I was heading off to eat French food with a groupon we had that was set to expire.  We brought the kids.  Which was fine...for the first hour of waiting.  When the dinner stretched to two hours, they got antsy, and Mr. Dina and I had to switch places, one of us would eat, then the other would go out and walk with Angus and one of the kids, and vice versa.  The restaurant was a bistro type place, so no worries on us bringing kids to a fancy pants place, but the service was so S-L-O-W. 

At least my dress was comfortable.

Front view.  This is a size 6 regular.  I love how the bust is enhanced by the v-neck and the empire waist.  Like my gal Egyptomaniac said when she reviewed this same dress (different color), it is an instant "boob job."

I paired it with the Uptown heels.  Once again, Boden's high heeled sandals are coming out to play.  :)

Side view.  The material is double-layered, with a silky soft lining and a thin lyocell outer layer.  The print is fun and the illusion it creates helps to enhance the curves where the curves should be enhanced.  I am not surprised many colors and sizes have sold out in this dress (yet it is 25% off, so still a decent amount off).

Back view.  The shirring at the waist in the back is a nice feature to help add interest.

Floaty Jersey Dress
Uptown Heels

Floaty Jersey Dress and Uptown Heels.

Kimono Dress
Kimono Dress.  Egyptomaniac wore this dress on her cruise when she was in Turkey.  She went to Turkey.  I am now officially jealous.  ;)  BTW, this one is one of the items in the 40% off 40 sale.

Must Have Jumper
Must Have Jumper and Long Sleeved Breton.  Poppy's Style is back home in the UK and has been showing us her good times on her blog (thank you, I am enjoying them all!).  One of her trips out and about she wore these two paired together.  :)

mini Boden (baby Boden):
baby Boden Surf Suit (on Angus) and mini Boden Surf Suit (last year's version on Rex).  I am that crazy mom you see at the pool liberally applying spf to every inch of her body and face.  It takes me a full five minutes to spray my entire body with the spf 70 (in the spray bottle) and then I apply spf 100 to my face (with the lotion).  If I did this with my kids, I would not get into the pool till 20 minutes later, SO I use the best solution of all, I make my kids wear surf suits, which are rated to spf 40+.  Thank goodness.

It covers all of their torso and their upper legs (and their kneecaps if they are on the smaller side of their size range).  It also has a mock-neck, so it covers the back of their necks, too.

Since Angus is still too little for spf, I put him in the floaty raft and put a full-coverage hat on him (this one is one I bought for Rex when he was this small), thereby allowing him to go without the spf.  Rex, however, can tolerate it, so I place the lotion on his face and ears, and then spray the bits of his body that are exposed (like his feet and hands).  CW (not pictured) gets the same treatment.  She has the girl's version of Rex's suit.

This one that Rex is wearing is a size 4-5 and was too large for him last year but fits him great this year.  He also fits into the one that was the 3-4 from last year, so I say go true to size, and know that there is a very good chance your kids can still wear it next year.  CW's one from last year is a size 2-3 and still fits her, so it is proven there, as well.

Angus is in a size 3-6 months and I definitely don't think he can wear it next year, but to me, the fact that they have a full coverage, high SPF suit for his age is all that matters.  And he can wear it all summer.  It also has the benefit of adding a bit of warmth as babies can get cold and shivery very quickly in the water.

Surf Suit
Surf Suit
Surf Suit
Surf Suit (baby top, girls middle, and boys on the bottom).

On the off chance that some of you may see a popback of an item you have been coveting and don't want to chance waiting for it to get to sale (and it isn't already reduced to another percentage off--i.e. 25% off, 30% off, etc.), below is the link running in my sidebar to receive 15% off and free ship and returns.

This link is also good to receive free ship and returns, even if you don't need the 15% off.

P.S. A quick reminder...when the clearance sale does drop, free ship and returns does not exist during the first few weeks.  So definitely remember that and try and buy all your sale items at once, since the regular shipping is 10 dollars and returns cost 7 dollars to mail (unless you kept a free return label from a past order).

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

OOTD: Kids Rule Our World.

I overdid it last weekend, you all.  ;)

Saturday and Sunday were overtaxing, in a good way, of course, but still overtaxing.

Rex finished out his tee ball season first thing Saturday morning, but because this is our world of three kids, it wasn't like we could just go home and be done with the day.  See Rex is now at that age where incentives (aka bribery) works really well to get him to try his hardest (aka what it seems every other kid his age does with no problem).  So this last Saturday we let him know that if he tried his hardest to play a great game (listen to the coach, watch the ball in play, run fast to the bases, etc.) we would take him to McDonald's for lunch.  McDonald's works every time.  Every time.  I think it may have worked on me when I was that age, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.  McD's is crack for kids, more addictive, though, based on how many times a day my kids ask me when the next time they get to go to McDonald's's count, 42.  (No.  Not really.  Only 6.)

After that, CW had a "fairy princess" birthday party to go to, and I was the one to take her, because as much as Mr. Dina likes prancing around with elves and other fantastical Hobbit-like creatures (and you all think I am kidding--the man has TWO action figure ROOMS!), he decided that these fairies at this party weren't manly enough for him, so I got tasked with the pixie dust duty.

Only then could I go home.  Angus joined me for the day, but then he always is with me, kind of like my driver's license, which I put to good use driving all over hell's half acre (also known as the NOVA suburbs).

I can only imagine how much more our kids will rule our world when Angus is old enough to have his own "firetruck and policeman" birthday parties of his own to go to.

Sunday was its own hootenanny, but I'll bore you all with that tale sometime later.  ;)

Open up the photo for more info on the pieces, but I will let you know that the Summer Shirt Dress is around again this year (I am wearing last year's version).  I suspect that some of the shades and sizes will make it to clearance (which should be happening soon). If you like it and would like to get it for a good price, I will definitely be announcing the start of the clearance sale, so definitely wait until then.

The shoes are the glitterati flats and because I am a sucker for CW and her adorable magpie ways, when the crewcuts version went on sale (with an extra 30% off), I got them for her, too.  And, yep, she wore them that day.  (Can you think of anything better for a fairy princess party?)

I like to smile.  So I took another photo.

Mr. Dina took this one of Angus and me.  I love him in these colors, just like Rex, he really does well in the lime green and aqua blue colors.

This is what Mr. Dina and I do at the tee ball games when we are bored.  We find ways of amusing Angus which amuses us. 

Rex got the game ball, so yep, the "incentive" worked. 

Fairy Princess CW.

You all have a great day.  :) 

Anyone else out there have any tales of excessive days out with your own rugrats?

P.S. I am going to publish the Boden Weekly Review Roundup tomorrow.  We have Rex's tee ball end of the season party tonight so I don't have enough time to get it all done.  If you have a review, though, and you would like to let me know, you can e-mail me at dinagideon AT aim DOT com or comment below.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Mommy Style Monday #29: Pregnant, Postpartum, and Nursing, Boden Sale Edition.

I was asked by a blog friend, K., if I had any advice for her on choosing perfect pregnant/postpartum/nursing styles from the upcoming Boden clearance sale (set to drop anywhere between this Friday and next week).  She is currently 13 weeks pregnant, which is the beginning of the second trimester.  She wanted to plan for her pregnancy and future postpartum/nursing needs by seeking out the best prices on the very best options that Boden offers.

Having (obviously) just finished my pregnancy and (most of) my postpartum period wearing a whole buttload of Boden, I definitely know what worked for me and what should work for the vast majority of pregnant ladies.  There are some things that Boden does lack, and I will be mentioning them, but if you are savvy, and you do plan well, you should be able to grab the best prices on items that can work for the full ten months of pregnancy and beyond.  :)

I specifically chose items that can work year round, with the exception of the most hot and most cold days of the year. 

Below the photo of each item, I have included a link to the item, along with an explanation of why it works for either pregnancy, postpartum, or nursing.  I will also make note of if it will work for any other period, for instance, if a top works for pregnancy, but can also be useful for nursing.

Onto the picks!

Border Print Tunic.  Did any of you suspect I would go here first?  LOL.  I truly believe this is a magical clothing item as it worked on me during pregnancy, during the postpartum period, and will still fit me well five years from now.  The stretchy jersey fabric is amazing and stretches to accommodate a belly but doesn't looked stretched out after pregnancy.  It is worth the full price, but you can always get this with at least a 15% off.  However, there are likely to be at least a couple of popbacks on this item during clearance time, which means my friend could try and get it for the best price of the season (probably will be 35% off if past years are any indication).

This is not a great top for nursing, however.  As much as I love it, the longer length proves to be a hassle to pull up and the v-neck does NOT pull over enough for easy access for the baby.

Kimono Dress.  Like the Border Print Tunic, this is a great fabric for a growing belly, with the added bonus of looser armholes.  This is a nice feature if you happen to gain weight in your upper body, shoulders, or arms in pregnancy.

This would also be lovely during the postpartum period since it is super soft and a bright and cheery fabric. 

Again, not the best choice for nursing, for the reasons I listed under the Border Print Tunic.

I suspect this will go on deep discount, seeing as it is 40% off now.  It may stay at 40% off for a while, but if the stocks stay high, my friend can get it for much more off when the second cuts happen (usually three weeks post the start of the clearance).

Leggings.  Yes, I do mention the Boden Maternity leggings, but later.  For most of my pregnancy, I wore regular leggings.  Here's why...I happened to have a belly that sat super high and regular leggings fit fine on my legs and right beneath my belly.  Now, if your belly grows and sits lower, you will likely need maternity leggings earlier, but for most folks, especially in the first and second trimesters, you should be able to get away with normal leggings.  :)

These will work for nursing as well.  I do NOT recommend these for the postpartum period, especially if you had a c-section.  Your body needs soft, NON-constricting waistbands, and these elastic bands, while normally comfortable, can feel noose-like right after having the baby.  Do your body a favor and wear the loosest fitting items, at least until your body heals.

Leggings are such a staple that these MAY NOT go to sale.  If that happens, you can still grab them by calling the company (at clearance, any "normal" priced items disappear).  Or you can wait until the fall stuff comes on-line and buy it with whatever promo happens to be around then (it usually starts off at 15% off with free ship and returns).

Plait Trim Top.  Again, a non-maternity item for pregnancy.  I wore mine well into my third trimester and fell in love with the stretchy, soft material.  I also love how the neckline forces the eye up and away from the belly.

This top will work for postpartum AND for nursing.  It's a great buy.  It is nearly sold out, and I doubt the savings will be significant in clearance time, but still, 35% off is better than full price. 

Special Day Tunic.  I have this in the yellow color and I adored how pretty it made me feel.  It worked great with jeans and leggings, but now that I have had Gus, it works well as a mini-dress.  If you are a bit shorter than I am, you could wear it as an actual dress after you have the baby.

I believe this could be worn postpartum, but I hesitate to suggest that because of its blatant "pregnant" style.  Since you carry a lot of extra weight in your middle postpartum, it could make you look still pregnant.  Once you shed that weight, the concern goes away, but bear that in mind if you want to wear it post-baby but pre-loss of baby weight.  :)

Boden Maternity does NOT go to clearance sale for the current season (for most of the items, anyhow).  This means the spring/summer maternity items will go to clearance next fall.  That does mean, though, the fall stuff will go to sale this upcoming week.  That works very well if you are going to have your baby anytime between October and January!

That said, the Boden Maternity stuff does sell FAST if it goes to clearance, especially to the very audience looking for it, so be quick if you see your item in the pink "low stock" box.

Alfresco Top Yet another one of my favorites from the postpartum period.  This soft as silk top is able to stretch, but does not look like it is straining in any way if it goes beyond its garment measurements.  Its v-neck and empire waist highlights what is, for most postpartum women, their thinnest parts. 

This top would also likely work for a pregnant lady (not the late third trimester, though) and definitely will work for a nursing mom (wore mine last week, in fact).

This should go on some deeper discount but is also popular, so will need to be picked up within the first few days of the clearance.

Evie Dress.  I felt so good in this dress three weeks after Angus was born, I truly thought I had a whole new body.  In reality, I did still have many lumps and bumps, but the silk jersey fabric skimmed over my curves instead of clinging to my curves.  You may not want to leave the house after having the baby, but it is really nice to have a dressy option if you do end up going out for dinner (which you should, btw, you 100% deserve a nice night out!).

Great dress for pregnancy, I wore its precursor while in my early third trimester, but definitely not a great option for nursing as the v-neck is not capable of being pulled to the side.

Maternity Leggings.  Yes, I put the maternity leggings here, instead of in the "pregnancy" part.  I really, truly feel that the soft, non-binding, high waistband of these leggings are so SO nice for the first week after giving birth, that I want and insist all pregnant women buy them.  I was SO happy I had them to wear home from the hospital.  :)

Now if you do need the higher coverage leggings earlier, obviously these are fantastic for the pregnancy, but like I said above, many of you can get by with regular leggings for 3/4s of your pregnancies.

These will probably not go on sale, but their current price is more than reasonable.  

Wrap Jersey Top. I actually have seen this top on a non-pregnant lady, and she looked so comfortable and happy, it immediately struck me that a postpartum woman would feel wonderful in this top.

This could also work for pregnancy (stretchy fabric again) and nursing (pull the top up rather than moving the v-neck to the side). 

This is literally the only color left in stock.  It will likely be the only one to make it to clearance, and it won't be super-super cheap.  I do know you will get a lot of use out of it, though!

Drapey Jersey Cardigan I added this cardi with the rest of my nursing choices because the extra fabric there in the front is AWESOME for covering up baby when you are nursing.  I know some ladies can easily nurse with the goods all out there (and it is protected by my most states, so you all know), but I am not one of them, so I always have a cover-up with me.  This cardi, though, could easily take the place of the cover-up, so bravo for that.  Definitely not a summer option, especially around here.  ;)

Obviously a cardi can work whenever, so enjoy while pregnant and postpartum!

This will make it to sale and should make it to a great price.

Elegant Summer Maxi.  I am not crazy suggesting you get a maternity dress for postpartum...I promise.  Hear me out.  Since Boden is notorious for making shorter length maxi dresses (hello ANKLE length, lol), the extra length the fabric has for the belly will make the dress nice and long up front (and much more like a traditional maxi dress).  But here is why it is the perfect nursing can be pulled down from the straps for access to baby's breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. (I show the back of the dress...if the straps on the back are defined and separated, you can do the pull down maneuver, if the straps are not visible on the back and instead you see a swath of fabric, the front strap portion cannot be pulled down--not good for nursing).

This one can clearly be worn during pregnancy, and postpartum, but keep it around for later.  :)  It comes in a nice neutral so that in winter you can dress it up with a sparkly jacket or cardi and call it a night out.

This will not likely go to sale, but if you fancy longer gowns, then its current price will probably be decent enough to justify it (especially if you will wear it often).

Favourite Jersey Maxi.  Like the one above, these straps can be pulled down for easy access.  I own this one in the pink pansy color and loved it for that very reason.  I plan on wearing this for many years to come, but this was an added bonus.  :)

You can definitely wear it pregnant, but bear in mind that it will be shorter in front the further you get into your pregnancy.  It is definitely soft enough for postpartum, but it might be a touch too difficult to get over your head, so if your body is saying no to putting it on, just don't.  LOL.

Will go to clearance in this shade, but will sell fast.  I am willing to bet on that one. 

Gathered Front Vest.  This has the pull down straps that I prefer to use (I don't mind tugging the shirt up, but it leaves my belly exposed, which I don't care for) and has the added bonus of being infinitely layerable.  Great on its own with some jewelry in summer, wonderful in the fall and spring with cardi on top, and perfection in winter with a jacket and scarf.

Usable in pregnancy, but may be too short for use in the last bits of pregnancy, especially if you have a long torso and/or bigger belly.  Definitely nice and cozy for postpartum.

This one should make it to sale, and be a decent price.

Oil Cloth Slouchy Bag.  I decided to add a bag to my "must have" lists because this one is so utterly right for the nursing momma.  It has a fabric that can withstand spills and gross bathroom floors (use a cleansing wipe on it afterwards), plus its large size and long strap mean that it can hold a lot (pumps! wipes! 5 size 2 diapers!!!) and can be worn across the chest (hands free, woo hoo!).

Yes it can be used by all sorts of women, even worn the silly way that Vanessa is holding it.  :)

It is fully stocked in the floral shade above, but sold out in the ditsy pattern in the lower photo. 

Shirt Dress.  Made from linen, it isn't my favorite fabric (bonjour wrinkles!), but it is definitely exactly what a nursing mom needs, easy access and a cool fabric.  This one has a placket that extends deeply, so you can unbutton the dress as far down as you need to (for me, I typically need to undo four or five buttons).

I don't recommend this for either pregnancy or the immediate postpartum period as those awesome easy access buttons will be gaping like mad with growing or shrinking bellies. 

This will make it to sale, but not at a super great price.  I have noticed Boden's linen items sell fast, too.

Strappy Beach Dress.  I love love mine, but only once I found the right fit.  I am a big fan of the straps which make Angus's life easier because he doesn't have to wait for food as long (these are the pull down type of straps).  Unfortunately all colors are sold out except for the top shade (still lovely, though).  I do not expect there to be a great reduction on this one even if a color pops back during clearance.  For all the sizing issues people had with it, the dress sold like hot cakes.

Not recommended for pregnancy (early pregnancy, maybe) or postpartum (possibly after a few weeks gone, though).

Notes on Sizing
I say in jersey fabrics you should buy your normal size if you are postpartum or nursing.  If you are pregnant and want to wear it pregnant, buy normal size if you are fine with not wearing it the last few weeks OR buy one size up if you want to wear it all the way to the due date.

Boden Maternity is sized generously.  I always take a size 4 in their dresses, tunics, and tops, and was taking a 6 in their maternity leggings.  I did NOT give their pants a try because they got pretty dismal reviews and I already had a stockpile of AWESOME duo Maternity (JCP) pants from my prior pregnancies.  I could have sized down to a 2 (!!!) for some of the dresses and tops because Boden gives a lot of room for growing bustlines, which mine did not (grow, that is).

In regular fabrics, the decision is harder.  I would say size up one if you want to wear something immediately after birth, but plan on getting a tailor to help you bring the item in once you have lost all your weight.  If you have never had a child before, I highly recommend waiting until you know what your body does.  My body does return to its normal waistline fairly quickly and I don't have porn star sized ladies (sadly, lol) ever, even at Angus's most hungry.  But I knew that from my past experiences.

So if in doubt on sizing, especially with non-jersey items, don't get it.  Boden will likely make something just as lovely and be on sale when you need it in the future.

Boden is Lacking?
No shorts!  I lived in my maternity shorts when I was pregnant with both CW and Angus (thank you, freaky warm winter).  This is a big oversight for all of us warm-blooded American women.  (They really don't have much in the way of shorts for non-pregnant ladies, so I am not all that surprised.)

Great Prices Elsewhere
Remember ebay.  Many great past season jersey items are available there, so definitely look into that avenue if you so desire. 

Good luck to all my pregnant, postpartum, and nursing mommas out there.  Hope this upcoming sale does you well!  :)

Any thoughts from any of you all on some possible good buys for this blog friend?