Monday, April 29, 2013

Boden: Mid-Season Sale Picks! Plus Some New IRL Photos!

Some of the items are actually 50% Off!

Good Monday morning!  Certainly is grey here in Virginia, unlike this weekend which had amazing weather.  Grey mornings mean I am stuck at home, so I figured I would take this time and finally get my mid-season sale picks done.  I first blogged about this sale last week.  :) 

One thing has changed since that post, though.  Now they are offering free shipping with the promo, so if you paid shipping, you may want to call and ask if they can refund the shipping fee.

Anyhow, this post will be split into three sections, the 50% off section, the 40% off section, and the 30% off section.  Yes, there are items that are 20% off, but I decided that 20% off, while a good promo, is close enough to the 15% off you get from using my sidebar coupon that I wouldn't add that to my list today.  (That said, there are still quite a few picks here from the 30-50% off...Boden has A LOT in this sale.)

The sale ends at 11:59 pm on May 1, 2013, which is this Wednesday.  I will definitely remind you all over at JCA, here, and on my facebook page that it is ending.  I seem to forget when promos end (I usually order the last day of a sale) and having reminders from fellow blog friends helps remind me.

Below is the direct link to the promo.  The prices for the items should show up properly if you use the link.

Okay, onto the picks!

50% Off:
Hand Crochet Jumper
Hand Crochet Jumper--50% off; $69 from $138.  I am tempted by this one myself, in the white.  I love the idea of having a sweater that you can wear in the warmer weather.  Still on the fence, but if stocks go really low, I may give it a shot since low stocks usually become no stock fairly quickly. 

Riviera Shirt Dress
Riviera Shirt Dress--50% off; $74 from $148.  You all know I am a fan of this dress since I am wearing its fall version in my blog header.  I didn't buy this season's version since I already own three of these, but I can see the allure of this version.  It even fills out the very thin model in the shot above, so it seems to suit many different body shapes.  The $74 is reasonable, especially for what you receive.

40% Off:
Vintage Ponte Dress
Vintage Ponte Dress--40% off; $70.80 from $118.  This dress is not selling well.  It is adorable, striped, and perfect for summer.  I wonder if most women already have a striped tank dress in their closet and don't really need another one.  Anyhow, if you do need a striped tank dress, this is a good price for a well-constructed version, made from a really nice thick fabric.

Cashmere Textured Jumper
Cashmere Textured Jumper--40% off; $118 from $198.  I thought this sweater had completely sold out in all colors a couple of months ago.  Turns out that there are still a few left, but stocks are getting low again.  If you wanted it and thought you had missed out, here is your chance to grab it.

Cashmere Hoody
Cashmere Hoody--40% off; $118 from $198.  I have now worn the one I bought when it went on sale the last time (and sold out, or so I thought) multiple times.  It is just the right amount of awesome...comfortable enough to wear whenever you need comfort, colorful enough to lift the mood (I bought the pretty rich green version), and dressy/fitted enough so that it doesn't look like you are wearing a glorified piece of gym wear.  My original review is here.

Textured Party Top
Textured Party Top--40% off; $88.80 from $148.  I did decide to grab this one this morning, since I had a credit on my account from a return, plus the fact that it is selling out in the smaller sizes.  I decided on the grey in a size 6.  I read that it is running large, but the garment measurements lead me to believe the 6 is the best fit for me.  I hope I decided well.  Anyhow, I love the shape, the slight peplum at the hip, and the adorable cap sleeves.  Add the fun textured, mod 60s fabric to the mix and I am sold.  Will definitely jazz up a cute pencil skirt or capri pants easily.  Plus, if you like the Clara Dress, but definitely can't afford it (or missed out on it--selling well!), this is a great alternative option.

Darcey Dress
Darcey Dress (Gold only); 40% off; $88.80 from $148.  The navy version in the stock photo is more expensive, but still on sale.  The gold, in my opinion, is prettier, though, and less expensive.  I really like that you can see the darling embellishment better on the gold, plus the gold is a rich, muted gold, so it looks expensive.  The dress is made from cotton sateen, as well, so it will stretch and move with your curves, instead of making you feel like you are wedging yourself into a dress. 

Draycott Coat
Draycott Coat (Navy only); 40% off; $100.80 from $168.  Another one from Boden's spring/summer line that I have already worn to death.  :)  My original review of the navy is here, and even though I only received 20% off (bought in the preview), I am perfectly happy having paid the higher amount as I am definitely getting a good return on my cost.

I wore it all over NYC last weekend when it was a touch cool on both Saturday and Sunday.  Above I am wearing it (with my darling little princess) before we left to go uptown to do some shopping and watch Cinderella on Broadway. 

30% Off:
Breton Sweatshirt
Breton Sweatshirt (Grey only)--30% off; $40.60 from $58.  Of course the only color in the sale is the color I bought during preview.  LOL.  Doesn't matter.  Like the Draycott Coat, I have been wearing this one constantly, which is definitely outside my M.O. of "wear something once or twice a season."  I think this may be because of my "great closet cleanout of 2013" which is wonderful for my pocketbook (consignment shops--woo and hoo) and for my ease of dressing, just a lot less to choose from...  My initial review of this top is here.

Wore this sweatshirt on the trip to NYC (in the car for four plus hours--hence the crumpled me you see).  I love the top with with the J. Crew pleated short in structured cotton and ballet flats, very simple but still dressy enough to not look like a total schlub (although my hair looks terrible).

Wardour Dress
Wardour Dress (White, Black only)--30% off; $103.60 from $148.  Well now, bit surprised this one is in the sale, but maybe some ladies are like me, all "nuh-unh" to the idea of adding that much of a bump to the hip area.  I love the look, though, and would likely have been all over it had there been either a straighter skirt or a more a-line skirt. 

Adelaide Dress
Adelaide Dress (Soft Red only)--30% off; $54.60 from $78.  Did the review of this one on Friday, late in the day.  The grey/yellow version is not 30% off, but if the soft red would suit you, then you are in luck, since this is a great dress, no matter what color.

Sumptuous Silk Dress
Sumptuous Silk Dress (Printed versions only)--30% off; $152.60 from $218.  I have enough printed silk dresses to last me many months of dinners out, church visits, and parties.  If you don't, though, this is an exceptionally pretty version!  One of the reviewers compared it to a Monet painting, and that is *exactly* what I was thinking.  :)

Hotchpotch Jumper
Hotchpotch Jumper--30% off; $61.60 from $88.  I never did a formal review of the one I received, but I bought the gold version (also on model above).  I bought the size 6 and found it ran a big snug, but nothing so small that I would have sized up.  I would only recommend sizing up if you carry your weight in your shoulders or bust.  This one is warm, lovely, and thick, so it was perfect for my trip to Ireland.  Definitely not a sweater for warmer weather, though, so if you live in the South like I do, you will only get use out of it 4 or 5 months of the year.

Here is how I styled it the first time I wore it on my trip in Ireland.  I really love it with the cobalt blue and neutral accessories.

Okay, that's it!  Don't forget that the sale extends to Johnnie b. (many of the styles can be worn by us women, too), mini Boden (girls, boys, and babies), and Boden for men.

If you just love something that is not in the sale, you can always use the coupon below (also found in the sidebar) to get an additional 15% off items not in the sale.

Do you have any picks from the sale that you would like to share?  Anything we should stay away from?

Friday, April 26, 2013

OOTD/Review: Simply Adelaide. And Big Sales. And a Church Tour.

Day: Wednesday, April 17, 2013.

Where: Winesday and a tour of my church (celebrating its 75th birthday!).  Photos of the church at the bottom of the post.

Ease of Wear: (5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  FIVE STARS, you all!  FIVE STARS!  Since I didn't add much to it, just a very simple pair of sandals, we have my first five star ease of wear ever on this blog.  Most of my outfits hover between 3 and 4, but there is always SOMETHING stopping it from being fully comfortable (it usually involves my stupid hips, btw).  Not this one, the Adelaide Dress is more comfortable than my freaking pajamas.

Cool Factor: (3 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest.)   It has the kind of cool retro 80s thing going on and the sandals are effortlessly cool, but there ain't enough going on for this to be cool all the way.  I would have to jazz it up much more, maybe by adding a straw fedora, a simple large pendant necklace, and a side braid.

Anecdote from the day:  My church celebrated its 50th birthday when I was in 8th grade.  I remember it very clearly because that was the last time they overhauled the church, taking it from mid-century yellow wallpaper and turquoise embellishments to a more understated, yet still evocative of the period in which is was built, feel. (Though the church is 75, the church as it stands was built in the 60s.)

Since it has been 25 years (I AM SO SO SO SO SO OLD) since that facelift, they feel it is time for another.  None of us in the tour agreed.  A cleaning or a sprucing up?  Sure!  But an overhaul of the beauty that church is now?  No!  We seemed to agree that the original design was a bit too modernist for the cathedral space (it is the cathedral) but the re-do in the *LATE* 80s hit the sweet spot exactly right, so why change it too much?

I attended this tour, btw, since I know I will still be there at the church for its 100th anniversary, and since I really will be much much older then, and probably the only person still alive who remembers the church from way back when, I suspect that I will be tapped to run/be part of the 100th celebration.  Might as well get started on the research now.  ;)

Adelaide Dress.  Size 6 Long.  I went with this size initially because I thought the a-line shape would be hip friendly and it proved to be exactly that.  Pear shapes, rejoice!

In addition to being nicely shaped, the length is wonderful, I am glad that it hits right at the top of my knee, which is a lovely spot for a summer dress to hit.

It is a wee bit too long in the bodice, but had I ordered the regular to get a shorter bodice, I would have been faced with a much shorter dress which definitely limits where I can wear it (not church, that's fo darn shure).

Side view.  Have I mentioned how much I love these pockets?  They are so much better placed than the pockets on the Newquay dress.  As much as I {heart} the Newquay, those pockets bug a bit the way they have a tendency to flare out.

The fabric is a jersey, similar in feel to other cotton jersey offerings from Boden.  In other words, the fabric is thick, stretchy, nicely printed in pretty colors, and well tailored.

The price is very good for what you get, especially on the quality end.  J. Crew (sorry, J. Crew) would cut corners to offer this dress at this price (no pockets, no button detailing at the shoulder, and definitely an inferior cotton jersey in blah colors).

Back view.  I might add a belt next time I wear it, but even from the back, there is still a nice definition at the waist (thank you, elastic waist band--I can't even believe I just wrote that).

Before I get on to pictures of the church from the church tour, I thought I would let you all know of a couple of sales going on right now at some of the retailers we like here at this blog.

Obviously, Boden is having a big sale right now.  I initially blogged about it here, but I want to mention it again since the Adelaide is part of the sale, and the purple/red color is at a very nice discount (so if those colors work for you, grab it, I say!).  The other two colors are not as well discounted, but you can use the sidebar's 15% off coupon to make it a little bit cheaper.  The link to the Boden sale is below.

Pure Collection, which is still on my radar, is having a sale on selected spring items.  That means you can get 40% off some of their offerings.  I don't have a ton from Pure, but everything I own from them is insanely beautiful, well tailored, and made from the NICEST fabrics.  I do plan to do a Pure Collection picks of the season post but with my time very constrained right now, it has been put on the back burner for far too long.

There isn't a ton in their sale, but I love the Luxury Lace T-Shirt, so feminine, a bit impractical, but definitely a great addition to any wardrobe.

If you are looking to purchase an item from Pure that isn't in the sale, my sidebar's 25% off coupon is still working and will give you a good saving.  (This 25% off is not able to be stacked with the 40% off sale items, though.)
Shop at Pure Collection
(USE CODE SS13GL to receive the 40% off the selected items.)

Lands' End also just announced a HUGE sale, with 40% off all regular priced items.  I will definitely be doing a picks post from them, I may just end up combining it with the Pure picks, like I did with the last post I did on the two of them.

I have purchased the Pattern Stretch Chino Bermuda Shorts from them this season and I think they fit well, are a great length, and in a cute printed pattern.  Definitely don't size down, though.  These shorts are running a touch small in my opinion.

Below is the promo link for the sale.  Enjoy!
Lands' End 40% off Reg

This is a photo of the nave of the church.  The teal/gold/deep brick-burgundy color was the 1989 re-do.  The lighting fixtures are an original feature of the 1960s church.  I really hope they don't get rid of either of those.

The church's organ is supposedly one of the nicest in the whole country!  It cost many hundreds of thousands of dollars and has an incredible sound and fully envelops the church.  My husband is a huge fan of the organist and says it is his favorite part of the church. 

The weird looking organ horns jutting out from the wood paneling there in the front of the choir loft?  Those are specifically for the Bishop and are only used when he is at the Cathedral.  I have been there for his masses, and I must say, they are quite loud and booming.  Definitely gives the church its place in the ranks of places that do "pomp and circumstance" well.

From Angus's baptism.  Probably one of my favorite photos ever.

This one, too, taken in the light of the "John the Baptist" stained glass window.

Okay, that's it!  Thanks for your patience with this post that had many disparate elements to it!  :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

J. Crew Review: Collection Secretary Blouse in Hummingbird Floral.

Good Tuesday evening, all!

I made a promise in yesterday's JCA weekly exchange (looking to sell) post that I would do a quickie review of the beautiful secretary blouse in hummingbird floral that I was able to get from the Madison Avenue Collection store (via my awesome online personal shopper).

I am not going to be keeping it, but only because there are a few things that make it a less than justifiable purchase for me personally.  Had these few things not been part of the equation, I would happily keep it, since it is very lovely.

Size 4.  The size is pretty much spot on, fitting about the way that my perfect shirts fit.  It is a touch slimmer in the armholes, bust, and hips, but even still, it isn't uncomfortable, nor does it look like it is too small.

I tucked it in because I feel like the hemline is kind of blah, really wish they had made a more interesting shape there, so that even if it is untucked, it would still look unique and fresh.  Instead it is your basic flat shape, doesn't even have vents in the lower side seams to help give it some oomph.  On a $300 blouse, it should be exquisitely finished.  But that wouldn't detract me from keeping it, if that was the only issue I had.

From the back.  This really shows how special the fabric is, harmonious coloring, not too overtly twee birdie print (some sort of parrot, not a hummingbird, btw), and the prettiest shade of blue. 

That blue, though, is my ultimate downfall.  Even if I could justify the higher price tag, in the end, this blue is far too cool for me to wear on its own, and I would need to pair it with a jacket or cardigan in a more flattering color (like the red or ivory in the print) to make it work.  At the higher price I bought it for (I got a discount, but it was still very pricey), I would want a shirt that I could wear on its own too.

Not horrible, of course, but I have better blues for me, like the mid-teals, the deep cobalts, and the denim shades.  This would probably work better if it had a touch more green or if the blue was a bit more saturated.

It breaks my heart to have to either resell it or return it as I do adore this print. 

Here it is opened at the neckline.  The shape of the blouse is darling, and opened up the blouse takes on more of a sexy secretary vibe, while buttoned up, the blouse is definitely all business.  ;)

So, the pros of this blouse: Gorgeous fabric, exquisite print, soft, slightly sheer silk, neat details in the blouse's construction, and pretty colors.

Cons of this blouse for me: Wrong shade of blue, boring hemline, a touch too small at the bust, and way too high of a price tag for what I would be getting.  I would only keep this blouse if I had managed to grab it at $75, which is never going to happen since the blouse is now all sold out.

I had sort of given up ever getting the blouse, so I went ahead and made a plan B, which was to buy two yards of the blue Floral Eve print by Liberty of London (found it at Jones and Vandemeer; out of stock there, but they still have some with the white background) as it had a similar feel but with a more greeny-blue background.

Upon receiving it, I was thrilled as it was exactly the right shade of blue for my complexion, and the print was just as lovely. 

Of course, two days later my PS writes that she has found the secretary blouse, and because I know it would take me a while to make my plan B shirt, I figured I could wear that one in the meantime, and sell it when I had completed this shirt on my own. 

Now that I know I won't be keeping it, I will be pressing forward more swiftly with my plan B, so I hope to have it done by late summer.

If you look closely, version 1 of this mid-80s pattern looks a lot like the secretary blouse.  :)  Yay!

Okay, that's it!  I hope this helped any of you who are considering this blouse (either in the hopes of a popback or on ebay).