Saturday, April 28, 2012

Boden Weekly Review Roundup: Some New Summer Stunners...

Hi, all!  I am thrilled that I have found moments here and there to get this post published, finally.  It literally goes like this...find a few minutes, edit some photos, feed Angus, clothe the children, down some food, do the dishes, find another few minutes, find links for the roundup, repeat family needs, find a couple more minutes right before bed, grab a few html codes from my affiliate site...

It's all worth it though, I love seeing what everyone has in their closets from Boden, so even if it means staying up a few minutes later, watching a few minutes less of TV, or waking up a little early, it's all good.

Well, as I hinted at in the last post, most people who ordered from the Summer preview likely have received most of their items, unless an item or two were backordered.  I have had a chance to look at the Boden website and I see that reviews are also starting to come in, so that's good, gives folks who didn't order during the preview an opportunity to decide if an item will really work for them.

I still have no decent coupon for Boden, but the affiliate often doesn't provide me with awesome coupons at the beginning of the season, but I anticipate receiving fairly decent ones in the near future.  Until then, use the code WCM1 for an extra 15% off and free ship and returns (mobile users of this blog, there is a link to Boden at the bottom of the post).  (THERE IS NOW A NEW DIRECT COUPON--valid until 5/15/12, yay!) I used the WCM1 Friday morning in my shopping bag page and it worked (I noticed a dress I had been eyeing was close to selling out in my size so I thought I should order it just in case).

Okay, onto the roundup:

Regular Boden:
Textured Cotton Skirt.  I did a review of this skirt WAY back when I was pregnant, but now that I am not, and can fit into this skirt, I thought it was high time to wear it and review it in real life.

The skirt still fits exactly as I expected.  It is just right in the hips (I am almost to the low hip measurement I was before getting pregnant), with a lot of extra room in the waist.  This is problematic if you are a pear shape like myself.  I have a few extra inches on my waist because of my baby belly, and even with that extra, I still can easily take the waist in by two or three inches.

Truly this skirt is meant for a more straight shape, one whose body has less distance between the waist measurement and hip measurement.  For this skirt to truly fit someone well, the waist would be 33 inches and the hips would be 40.  (I am wearing a size 10 Long, fwiw.)

If you do like this skirt and are a pear, like me, then you may need to think about whether the cost to alter it (or the time it would take to do it yourself on a sewing machine) is worth it.  To me, it is.  I adore the mod pattern and since it would only take me ten minutes to take the waist in with the sewing machine, I will keep it.

From the side.  I also have provided info on this outfit for those of you that like my ootd posts.

From the back.  I am a bit bugged that the pattern is not matched at the mid seam there, but not all that much.  It could look way worse, and since this isn't a designer piece, I don't really expect it.

We were headed out for the evening and CW wanted to be in the photo, too.  :)  She has a Boden skirt (Spring 2011) on, too.

You can tell the long is really long on me.  Part of that is because the skirt is pulled down.  Once I take in the waist, I won't be able to do that, and the hem will be closer to my knee.

I actually felt really comfortable the whole evening (out to dinner to celebrate Angus's one month bday), the skirt wasn't too tight (even in the hips), but sizing up from what I had originally bought allowed for that.  Remember, measure your hips, compare it to the garment measurements (use the link from the stock photo to go that page directly) and then order from that.

Textured Cotton Skirt  
Textured Cotton Skirt.  This has been a best seller, even with the crazy sizing issues.  We ladies must be mad for the print. BTW, they photoshopped a different color skirt on the model in the stock photo, since the original color sold out completely.

Alfresco Top  
Alfresco Top.  I wore this to take CW to dance class on Wednesday.  You can see my OOTD and a review of it here at this post.

Ibiza Tunic  
Ibiza Tunic.  Poppy's Style is as pretty as a picture in her tunic.  Bare-legged, too!  Perfection!

Effortless Cardigan  
Effortless CardiganThe radish colorway that Poppy's Style wears is just lovely with her dark hair and fair skin!  The whole outfit is wonderful, even if it was just made for errands.  :)

Boho Tunic  
Boho Tunic.  Poppy's Style has a great written review of this tunic.  She did end up sending it back for another size, but her fit info is very helpful.  Fingers crossed the next one fits exactly right!

Glam Jersey Tunic  
Glam Jersey Tunic.  Despite some debate over at the FB page about this tunic, Poppy's Style quite likes hers.  And despite what she says, her legs could never look stumpy, even in navy flats.  Her legs look wonderful in that tunic!!!

Fab Jersey Tunic  
Fab Jersey Tunic.  This is a new piece from the Summer selection, and Poppy's Style does a wonderful overview of two of the colors and the fit.  Thanks!!!

Woven Trim Jersey Dress  
Woven Trim Jersey Dress.  This dress was so off my radar, owing to the terrible shots in the Boden catalog (model is adorable, but the styling is bland).  Egyptomaniac turned a whole slew of us back onto it.  She looks GOOD!  :)

Notes on Items:
Strappy Beach Dress  
Strappy Beach Dress.  This dress that I fell for when it debuted a few weeks ago is definitely bitten quite a few ladies, and is looking like it could sell out.  I decided to purchase the size 8R, as opposed to the 6R, based on the two reviews that are on the site right now (last night, now there are more and I am thoroughly confused, grrr).  The garment measurements are crap, truly.  I think a drunk monkey put the measurements in one night, late at night.  So, in other words, unhelpful to those of us who actually, you know, use them to help us decide what size to get.

Esme Dress
Glamorous Maxi
Mia Dress
Scarlet Dress  
Limited Edition.  There are new arrivals, including the Bella Dress (top--photo only, the dress is NOT AVAILABLE, huh, scratches head), the Esme Dress (second from top), the Glamorous Maxi (third from top), the Mia Dress (second from bottom), and the Scarlet Dress (bottom photo).  I love the styling and how they look on the model.  I don't know if any of them do it for me just yet, but give me time, you know how I feel about a pretty printed frock (such a crazy crazy thing to over-love).

Okay, ladies (and gents?) have a great Saturday night, Sunday or Monday (whenever, really!)...I am done for now.  (Stick a fork in me...)

Mobile users, below is a direct link to Boden.  It appears I now have a direct coupon for 15% off and free ship and returns!!! Holla for a good coupon!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Boden: Alfresco Top Styled and a Review.

Hey, all! I am so glad that I found a moment or two to write a post tonight.

I was planning on creating the Boden Weekly Review Roundup, which had I published it tonight, it would have only been one day late, but based on how tired I am (family commitments are wonderful, but definitely wearing me out), I doubt it would happen tonight, so I will say instead, "tomorrow?" :)

Anyhow, if you are a big Boden fan, and you ordered from the Summer Preview, you should have started receiving the items in the mail in the past week or so. Most of what I ordered was for the kids (and they love it all, even Angus gave a "coo"), but there are a few Momma items interspersed. I received the Alfresco top on Monday and immediately tried it on. Like the plait trim top (reviewed here and here), it was love. I knew I would wear it right away, and had my chance yesterday (we had CW's dance class, with me bringing all 3 kids, I needed super comfy, flexible pieces).

Alfresco Top.  Size 6 Petite.  I decided to keep my comments brief, but I added some info about the fit in the photo.

I also added info about the rest of the outfit.

All in all, I felt good, comfortable, and the top's print was pretty enough for me to feel like I had "tried."

From the side...I see the empire waistband hits where it should, and the cap sleeve hits at a decent place on my arm.

I love the fabric, just thick enough and stretchy enough to make my post-baby belly a little smaller looking.  The print helps with that, too.

Had I been super concerned over my belly (which I am not, I don't mind if people know this comes from having just had a little one), I could have gone one size up, but five months from now I may have regretted that decision (I overbought larger sized tops with CW and couldn't wear them a year later).

From the back.  The petite hits me at the low hip, I think it is your call on which you would you want a regular top (and have a fairly short torso)?  Buy the petite.  If you are interested in a tunic (or have a fairly long torso), order the regular.  If you are a petite woman (say under 5'3") and you have a short torso, you could buy the regular version and possibly even wear it as a minidress.

The print, although a hotchpotch, is not as in your face as previous hotchpotch items from Boden.  I adore the mix of citron yellow, grey, white, and charcoal.

It was just chilly enough for me to throw on a cardigan.  I also needed my Thierry Lasry sunglasses for the brightness (not complaining, LOVE the sun!).

Alfresco Top
Alfresco Top.  The color I chose is on backorder in many sizes, but the other colors are proving less popular.

Alfresco Top Styled.

Above is the polyvore.  I am slowly getting back into that other passion of mine.  :)

BTW, if you are interested in the Alfresco top (or any other items from Boden), you can use the below link, along with the code WCM1 (on the shopping bag page) for 15% off and free ship and returns.
Shop at Boden!

Okay, that's it! If you have been kind enough to leave me a comment lately, I have read them, and do plan to comment back. Soon! :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

J. Crew: Whole Lot of IRL Fitting Room Reviews.

In a stroke of sheer luck, I was able to get to the Pentagon City store on both Saturday and Monday nights.  My hubby stayed at home with at two of the kids and I brought the other child to the store with me, along with my stepmom.

I had no real reason to go to the store other than I just really wanted to go.  My stepmom was very excited about the sale (extra 30% off sale items), and so it wasn't exactly difficult convincing her.  LOL.

I ended up not getting much, other than items I already had put in my "wishlist," but it was a ton of fun to try items on in the store.

Best of all was the appearance of Greg, my man, Greg, manager extraordinaire.  You can read about my why I adore Greg so much at this post here.  I had heard from my girl, Cleo26 that he moved, but I forgot he had moved to Pentagon City, so when he popped over to me on Saturday night, I yelped in excitement.  :)  It was great catching up with him, and to be completely honest, I anticipate visiting the Pentagon City store more to see him...

Okay onto the reviews:

Villa Dress in Stripe, Size small.  I had this one on my radar after seeing it in the catalog last month, so I made a beeline for it as soon as I entered the store on Saturday night.   I knew the small would fit, didn't even think of trying another size on, so I guess I would say this is true to size for your "maritime dress" size, if you know what yours is...

The material is super thick, and the shape is simple, with a fitted top and a slight a-line bottom. The way the stripes are placed don't over-emphasize any one area, which is nice, as I always worry about stripes on my hips making them look massive.

In fact, I would belt this dress with red belt or sash to give my waist a bit of a boost.  Normally dresses make my waist look smaller, this is an outlier, one of the first I have ever tried that makes my waist, hips, and bust look the same size, roughly.

I could see wearing this in many summer outings.  As my blog has proved summer after summer, I LIVE in dresses when the temps go above 75, so this sundress is right up my alley.

My stepmom grabbed this one of my little man making a really funny face.  He must like his stripes better than mine.  BTW, his striped terry cloth onesie is a gift from my fellow DC JCAS, the Nature Baby Terry One Piece.  He approves, so if you have a new little one in your life, this could be a great gift for them.  I like the idea of babies and children having a few pieces made from terry cloth, wonderful at keeping them warm, but great if they accidentally spill something on themselves, too.  :)

Ultra Eyelet Shell, Size 4.  This was also on my radar.  Sadly, this photo is terrible, the lighting atrocious, etc.  The top is quite lovely and I can see why it has been so popular with folks.  I had heard it ran small (AJC mentioned it in her review), but she specifically mentioned going up a size for the chest reasons, so I tried my normal size 4 and it fit fine.  My stepmom wanted me to get it because she likes the idea of me showing off my arms.  She also says that since I have a smaller chest and she doesn't, she will live vicariously through me when I wear this.  I told her that sounds fair because she can go into any store and pick a pair of pants off the rack in a size 2 and know that they will fit her (oh, to be small hipped with no thighs!).

I look forward to losing the last few inches off my high hip, once I do, this top will flow a fair bit better.

Much better view of the color and the eyelet.  I also liked that my stepmom took a picture with the March catalog cover on the wall, which happens to highlight this exact top.

Spindrift Sweatshirt in Stripe, Size extra small.  This is a popular top amongst the blog world, and I can see why.  It is really a nicely made, great feeling piece of loungewear.  I didn't quite care for this mid-brown color on me (kind of washed me out), so I left this one behind.  The sale price is great, though, something like 20 dollars?

That said, this one in blue is really really nice, and definitely worked much better with my skintone.  I anticipate using this one on those lazy Saturday mornings or when I get home from the preschool run.  This is a size small, but I honestly couldn't find a significant difference between the extra small above and this size small.

Last smart phone photo.  This dress is nowhere to be found on the website, must be from the next online rollout.  I liked the print (very subtle geometric print on a black background), and I sort of liked the shape, but I kind of think this will be a big ole hot mess on most women.  My issues concern the empire waistband.  Since it was made from two rows of elastic (one right below the bust and one an inch below that), the fabric bit in the middle kept bunching up, making my ittiest, bitties part look far bigger than it is (FAIL, J. Crew!  Most women are tiniest here...).  I also don't care for the spaghetti straps, even though I don't have "girls" that need support.  I feel like the dress would have looked better with a thicker strap. 

The skirt portion I did like, as a pear shape, it definitely skimmed over my curves nicely.  It also showed off my shoulders and arms, which I prefer to do whenever possible. 

This one was $88, so not over the top expensive, but in my opinion, not even worth that.  I can definitely see this one going on super sale quickly.  The size small fit great, so stay with your jersey dress/maritime dress size if interested.

Lucille Dress in Scalloped Eyelet, Size 6.  I had received the measurements from my online PS and like I anticipated, the 6 fit like a glove.  At this point, with my inches coming off (slowly), I know this is the right size if I choose to purchase it in the future (I left it at the store). 

I adore this shape, color, fabric, and femininity.  CW really liked it, too.  :)

The top has a slight scoopneck, and cap sleeves.  The waist falls a bit above my natural waistline, and the skirt has just enough room for my hips (even now!).  I like that the hemline is an inch above my knees, making this a great dress for dinner out with the in-laws or church. 

Even though I switched to an actual camera, the lighting was still pretty terrible.  You can kind of tell there are pockets, though, because of the lighting, you can see the shadow on the skirt about four inches down from my hand (the one on my hip).

Pretty detail of the top.  I love the white version the most and if I purchase this dress (a possibility in a few weeks when my budget allows), I will likely buy this color...however...

I tried on the violet version and promptly fell in love with that color.  Agh!  I normally shy away from purple as I don't like it with my "spring" colored complexion, but this purple must have just enough warmth to work.  CW preferred the purple on me to the white, but she is biased...after pink her favorite color is purple.

BTW, that clutch is AWESOME.  It is not on-line, but I kind of fell deep in love with it, and decided that I would use it enough to justify buying it. (I try to switch purses at least twice a week now...I will have my "main" purse full of my regular stuff, and then take a smaller purse and just put in the wallet, phone, camera, etc., when heading out for dinner or hanging out with friends.  My main purse, btw, I use for preschool runs, errands, and the like.)

Brompton clutch in leopard.  This clutch is $128 and is made from linen and has a leather edging where the clasp is.  The clasp is the typical "Brompton" clasp.  The linen fabric is the same as the one in the Seville Printed Wedges.   This clutch does not have a strap, so it is a true clutch.  I held it like above, fully loaded with wallet and phone and it felt very comfortable.  It also felt good under my arm.  I decided I didn't care for the one I was holding as the clasp wasn't perfect (I am a stickler for details like that), but the SA brought out another one which was perfect, and that sort of sealed the deal.  I do like the way the clutch looked with this dress and the way it is neutral enough to go with many items in my wardrobe.

I gather this will be online fairly soon, can't imagine this one being an in-store only item.  There was also a bigger Brompton in the same fabric, really lovely.  I have a Brompton hobo in carob (one of the original colors from 2010), so I don't need another, but this may be your speed if you don't own a Brompton and like this animal print.

Oh, I saved the best for last.  No, I didn't.  Guh, this is just terrible on me.  And it has nothing to do with being postpartum.  (I was able to grab the cafe capris in foulard print in a size 8 and they look SO much better on me than these cotton atrocities in a size 10.  Sadly I didn't grab a photo of the capris, but I expect I will wear them in an ootd post soon.)

Scoopneck Blouse in Anchors Away, Size 4.  This was just meh.  I liked the fit of the top in the top of the blouse, but the blouse is too long for my torso, and unfortunately the blouse is the same measurement from top to bottom, meaning it was far too tight around my hips.   I think I would size up to a 6 if I ever got it, but seeing as I am a meh, I doubt that will happen.  I do like the buttons on the shoulder, adorable white ones with navy anchors on them, but not worth it if I won't wear the darn blouse.

The pants are not on-line, but I fell in love with the color (oh, so pretty and summery!), but yikes on the fit.  The tens fit, but the pockets only emphasized my widest part (right there for God and everyone to see).  The length of the pants is nice for flats (if you have a longer inseam), and I think the wider leg opening is a good idea, but eee, only go for these if you have supreme confidence in your hips, butt, and thighs.  OR if you have SUPER SUPER STRONG shapewear.

Side view because I like making people laugh at my visible panty line.  Hawt.  Ugh.

Any questions?  Anyone try any of these on and have thoughts or links to reviews?

Okay, you all have a great night.  I am off to have some wine.  ('Cause I can.)  :)