Friday, November 29, 2013

Boden: *At Least* 30% Off Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale!

Well I am not going to go on and on since you all know how Black Friday and Cyber Monday work.  In fact, many of you probably do what I don't do (because I am way too cranky at 2 am to do so*) and go shopping outside of your house when the clock strikes midnight on Black Friday morning.

*I did indulge in a few of those on-line sales that popped up yesterday that said "hey, here is our Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal RIGHT NOW! 

This year's big Boden Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale is to take *at least* 30% off everything on their site, and having just had a look around, I see that everything is at least 30% off, including the gorgeous (and made in the UK!) Tulip Party Dress that I am set to wear to my reunion tomorrow night.  (Remember size up, even if you think pear hips should fit better into a tulip skirt, lol.)  Now I had to purchase it at the 20% off since I needed it sooner rather than later, but if you love the look of one of the party dresses, and can wait a few weeks to receive it, this is a great deal on those since every year, without fail, most of Boden's party dresses sell out.

I already bought a sought after dress (the Woodland Knitted Dress) for CW this morning since that one is selling like hotcakes and had been sold out.  So I grabbed its popback and I look forward to seeing her happiness at that dress under the tree this Christmas (I got her the deer version).  There are a ton of popbacks this morning, so Boden is acting smart and putting out their returns at the same time as their sale is on...wish all retailers would do that!

If you need help with sizing or colors, check out prior Boden Weekly Review Roundups since they have a lot of information in them regarding all those things.  (This season has been well covered, too, I have had more reviews per roundup then ever in the past.)

Do you have any items that you will be grabbing this morning or over the weekend?  :-)

Below is the link to the sale:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

OOTD/Review: Textured Silk Blouse and Mardi Gras Colors.

Review is first followed by the outfit of the day since the top is on sale for at least a few more hours (it is part of the universal 30% off party clothing promo going on right now that I briefly mentioned at the bottom of yesterday's post).  The promo could go longer, but I haven't received word on when the party clothing promo will end, so I just bank on it possibly ending each evening, and if it is still there the next morning, well, yay!

Textured Silk Blouse.  As of this morning, the UK site was all out of this top in the green color, but the US site still has at least a few in the low stock category.  The discrepencies in stock aren't just on this item, either.  The Metallic Top is almost all sold out on the US side, but the UK side has plenty still available.  Since there are no reviews for it on our side, and the reviews aren't that favorable on the UK side, I am going to get this Shimmer tee from Madewell instead.  Bonus--it is a bit cheaper, and with the 25% off code going strong (along with free shipping), I am more willing to take a chance on that one.  Plus if it doesn't work out I will know super fast since Madewell has its warehouse here in VA and I typically get items from them within a few days of ordering.  Then I can watch for popbacks of the Metallic top, if need be.

Anyhow, the silk blouse is amazing.  LOVE the color, love the style, love the feel of the light as air silk chiffon and the slightly spongy silk "dots."

I chose to buy a size 6, and it fits wonderfully.  The 4 would have been fine in the waist and arms and length, but a titch too small in the shoulders and the hips.  The 8 would have been very large on my frame, and also way too long.

It is quite sheer, but if you own at least one cami, you will be fine.  I am wearing a light green cami under it, and it looks presentable.  I could have worn a nude cami, but the slight bit of color coming through appealed to me for this look.

The top tucked in well to my tights, which meant that even though I was running around after Angus and helping to set up for CW's Thanksgiving "Corn Feast," I didn't have any wardrobe mishaps.

The color is very Christmas, but if you also celebrate Mardi Gras, this is the exact shade of green used in the festivities.  The color was very nice with this paisley skirt of mine from J. Crew.  I could wear this on Mardi Gras next year and fit right in (and may do so depending on how little my brain is working that morning).

You can see from this shot *my* issue with the top, but it is only applicable to me, since my stupid back measurement is super short and my bottom is so big.  The top would have to be about three inches shorter in back for me not to have this happen.  But again, not necessarily going to be a concern for most of you.

Detail of the shirt.  I wouldn't go into a sandpaper factory with this puppy on, but it wasn't especially prone to snags, so don't stress about buying it if that is your concern.

Textured Silk Blouse
Textured Silk Blouse.  Selling out, and very popular.  The 30% off is a great deal, so I say go for it.

Day: Tuesday, November 19, 2013.

Where: CW's Kindergarten Corn Feast.

Ease of Wear: (3.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  Could have been more comfortable, but for what it is (a fairly dressy outfit), this felt pretty great on...and was easy to more around in and still look decent.

The stinking tights kept riding down, though, ugh.  I think I have to wear skirts with really slippery linings to keep that from happening.  I am currently trying to line all my items I am sewing in slippery fabric because I know how annoying not having that can be.

Cool Factor: (3 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest.) I kind of look like a lady who lunches.  Not super cool, but nice enough, I suppose.

Anecdote from the Day:  In addition to the Corn feast that morning, darling girl lost her very first tooth that night.  What a big day for her!

Okay, that's it for now.  I hope everyone is staying happy and healthy.  :-)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

OOTD/Review: Cashmere Chevron Sweater and a Bunch of Oldies.

Hi, all.  :-)  Long time no talk.

I hope everyone in the United States is all ready for the Thanksgiving festivities.  I know that I have two separate grocery stores to visit, and one of them has the awesome (and just recently discovered) "order on-line and pickup all your ready and bagged grocery bags" feature.  To make my life even easier, they store all the past purchases I made, including everything I purchased in store...not just on-line.  I feel like a changed woman.  I can't say I will always use it ($5 fee), but on days like today (yucky 35 degree weather and rain, cold, soulless rain) makes the $5 more than worth it.  So if you are a local of the Mid-Atlantic region, give Harris Teeter's on-line grocery shopping a go.

Okay enough shilling for something probably only 5 of you even care about.  ;-)

Day: Thursday, November 21, 2013.

Where: Little Gym/Playdate with friends.

Ease of Wear: (3.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  The pants are loose in the waist, enough so that I had to keep hitching them up, but they fit great in the hips, so I will likely take the waist in a touch on the sewing machine soon.  It was enough of a bother for me to give the outfit a 3.5 instead of anything higher.

The sweater is so soft and comfortable, but more on that in the review portion (below).  The scarf and boots are great, and I wear them a ton when they are seasonally appropriate.  The Women's Blakeley Riding Boots were reviewed here, and they are back again this season, and still at the same price.  Lands' End is offering 30% off if you use the code WONDERLAND and pin 3050 (that brings the price down a touch).

Cool Factor: (3.5 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest.) Love this outfit, perfect for a mom on the go, not super cool, but definitely not awful.

Anecdote from the Day:  Very typical day around these parts, just nice to have great days here and there.  (And ones that don't involve migraines...have had way too many of these recently.)

Angus is dressed up in his Saints gear since it was the night they were set to play Thursday night football.  I don't care, but won't stop Mr. Dina from dressing him up.  Plus all the other Saints fans in the area just love it!

Collection Cashmere Chevron Sweater.  Still available on-line for the same price it was at when I purchased it, but I say wait until the website goes into the "extra 40% off" sale mode, since that makes the price fairly reasonable at $95.

I chose to buy a small since lately J. Crew's items have swung back to the sizing they had back in the mid-2000s.  Although I could have fit into the extra small, it would have been a touch shorter, definitely more snug, and the arms would have been super tight.  (These in the small were pretty tight, and I have skinny arms, so bear that in mind if you carry your weight in your arms.)

This sweater is really pretty and slightly 70s, but in a subtle way.  It does chevron without beating your head with it the way the sequined chevron sweater did last year.  So if you prefer trends like this to stay more classic, grab this one since it is likely to last in your wardrobe longer.

The pink version was enticing, but I didn't like the white binding at the neckline and the hemline, so I went with the grey version instead.

No pilling yet, barring a few bits under the arms, but I expect that after a day's worth of wear.

So what has kept me away from my blog?  I have been working like a mad beaver on this retro pattern from 1969 (Vogue Paris Original--Laroche 2048).  I have this idea that I can wear it to Thanksgiving dinner.  Clearly the above photo shows it unfinished (and it still is, btw), but I had to try it on to get an objective view of what I needed to fix and see how the overall fit is.  The gathering at the waist still needs some fixing, and if I could I would shorten the bodice's bib (I will on my next version, which I plan to do in a black wool), but overall it looks pretty good (yes, I know I have to hem the skirt and the sleeves).  So you know, the directions are beautifully written, and the pattern is drafted so well, but it is so time consuming.  Ridiculous, really.  I basically have to do couture procedures on this dress, all while trying to maintain a household of crazed children and a blog that is supposed to be on top of Boden massive sales.

Wish me luck...I am also in the process of making 70% of my Christmas presents, too.  Eeep.

So, I have been bad at alerting you all to the latest Boden sale, basically it is for 30% off all party pieces. You can find them all at this link.

You all have a great night, be back soon. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Boden: Winter Warmers Sale!

They do look oh so cozy and oh so photogenic.

Apologies for not posting this yesterday either here or at my facebook page.  I was wrong in thinking the dress sale ended last night.  In fact, it ended on Wednesday night.  Eep.  I feel like I fell asleep at the wheel. 

I was out all day yesterday, and when I was home I was continuing to work on my most insane sewing project to date (this Vogue Paris Original from 1969--why are set in sleeves SO HARD???), so I really wasn't paying any attention to the computer outside of an e-mail here or there.  (It was an e-mail from Boden to my other "secret" e-mail account that alerted me to my misstep!)

Okay, so the deal is the same as it was for the first sale of the week, which I blogged about here

My feelings are the same...if you really really need the item before clearance (even if it is fully stocked), grabbing it now at 30% off is a great price.  If you really like an item that is nearly sold out or sold out but pops back, then DEFINITELY grab it at this price since it is unlikely it will go for even less (outside of a *possible* Cyber Monday/Black Friday deal--don't know 'bout that, though).

This sale extends to the whole family and is for the coats, knitwear, winter accessories, and boots.  There hasn't been a restock today, but many favorites have at least some popbacks, including my favorite, the Ingrid Coat (review here).  I am not sure how well the Vintage Heeled Boot will do at keeping your feet warm, but that is one fine looking boot.  :-)

Anyone out there have any picks for us?  Share in the comments if you get a moment!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Boden Weekly Review Roundup: Shoes, a Smithfield, and a Sweatshirt Dress.

Hey, all.  A lot to get to today, but I definitely wanted to remind you about the sale that started on Monday.  I wrote a lot more on it on Monday, but I figure it never hurts to remind you. 

The half-weekly sale that started Monday (and ends tomorrow night) is featuring 30% off dresses, shoes, and bags, so I planned today's roundup with that in mind.  So while I may have a few reviews that are older than these in my queue, I know that having the information on sizing for the two pairs of shoes I am featuring will be more beneficial today than any other week specifically.

Have any of you indulged so far in the new, more reduced items?  I haven't yet, since I am still waiting on the Tulip Party dress to arrive, but when that happens and I can get the other (too small) Tulip Party dress returned, I will be using some of the credit to probably grab a few lovely mini Boden and Boden for men items as gifts.  ;-)

Before I begin, a blog friend Emma has posted a few photos of the Spring preview line (2014) on her blog Fashion Mommy.  I am glad that she was able to make the press when will they do more of those here in the United States?  (Cough cough.)

Onto the roundup!

Regular Boden:
Heeled Brogue and Smithfield Skirt.  Size 41 and 6 L. 

Both of these pieces I have already reviewed here (shoes) and here (skirt), but this was the first time I had worn the skirt in public, and only the second time wearing the shoes out in public, so I can add some depth to the original reviews for you all.

The pieces felt great overall, and I regretted nothing in choosing the sizes/colors I did.  I was glad I chose the 6 L in the skirt since as you all can see above, its length and drape suits my shape, which I am so ecstatic about.  The 41 in the shoes also was the right call, even though I sometimes have to size down.  If they had a 40.5, I am not sure I would have sized down, which means this shoe is definitely running tight and short.

The skirt did get a bit wrinkled, but a couple quick presses with the steamy iron, and it was back to polished perfection very fast. 

If you love shoes, I have a feeling these images are going to have you swooning.  My dad adored them, said they were very retro and pretty.  I think my dad's definition of pretty usually is that--must look like something his mother would have worn in the 50s or 60s.  :-)

This is quite a heel!  I wasn't uncomfortable since the balance of the heel and toe box is done well, but if you are not a fan of higher heels, this may be too tall for you.

There was a bit of wear on the brogues after the second use (you can see the crimp at the bend of the foot), but I like leather shoes that have wear.  I think the character is a welcome patina, would not prefer something too perfect.

Oh, well, why not throw in another image of the darling shoes?

The 30% off is a GREAT price.  I don't think it will go lower this season *unless* Boden has another universal sale of a greater amount (say they decided to do a 40% off everything sale on Cyber Monday, for instance).  We can't guarantee that will happen, so if you want them, you should probably grab them now since stocks are super low.

Heeled Brogue
Smithfield Wool Skirt
Heeled Brogue and Smithfield Wool Skirt.  Heeled Brogue is selling very well.  Do watch for popbacks since this shoe is running small and there have been returns off and on throughout the fall.  The skirt is a great staple, but if you already own a similar skirt, you will likely have less of a need for this one, which may explain why it is still pretty much fully stocked.  But because Boden knows it is a great item, it probably won't get *greatly* reduced since it can be rolled into future seasons.

Embellished Ballerinas.  Size 41.  I forgot to get a better shot of these from the side, so the next time I wear them, I will do that, but for now the two close ups will probably suffice, since I suspect many of you want to see the color/embellishment anyhow.

The size is fine, if I am going to be super specific, this is a pair I wish came in a 40.5.  The 40 would have been too short, I am sure of it.  As per usual, this flat is a bit wide on me, but most Boden shoes are, so no surprise there.

The gold color is not super rosy nor is it super golden, really is just a lovely mid range color.  It isn't too metallic, either. 

The grosgrain ribbon does peek through a bit, but unless you get your macro lens all situated on the bow and really peer at it, you aren't likely to even notice it.  But there it is, all zoomed in for you all.

The embellishments are super secure on mine, but I have heard they aren't super secure on every pair (I read some of the online written reviews).  Definitely check yours over, just in case.

Embellished Ballet Flats
Embellished Ballerinas.  You could probably wait for these to be more greatly reduced unless you have a need for them this holiday season and need them sooner than later.  I could have waited, but I also wear ballet flats everyday, and having a comfy, fun pair in my wardrobe is nice to have.

Reviews from Blog (you can always add your own!):

Jewelled Collar Sweater
Embellished Drapey Top
Jewelled Collar Sweater, and Embellished Drapey Top.  CC had written some reviews of these for us.  :-)

I ordered a couple of items from the Holiday roll-out. 

First is the Jewelled Collar Sweater in black. It was very pretty and I thought the black would be the best option for me since I wanted to dress it up (or down) and I thought it would look nice because I am blond and, usually, the contrast looks good. However, I just felt like the beading was too big and the sweater did not look that great on me. I felt like I was just wearing a sweater, rather than a pretty beaded sweater. I returned it, but must say that the sweater is very well-made, is non-itchy, and there is some facing under the beading, so there is no scratchiness. The return was just how I felt I could wear the sweater, personally, but had nothing to do with the quality or the prettiness factor. 

I also purchased the Embellished Drapey Top, and this one I kept. I purchased the Charcoal Marl color and the embellishments blend into the tee really well with this color. I also feel that I can comfortably wear this with jeans and with a pretty skirt. The fit is why the item is not getting great reviews. It says it is a sem-fitted top - not so much. It is rather drapey, as the name implies. Sizing down might be needed here. I kept my regular size since viscose often (not always) shrinks, even if hand washed. So, I was happy with the way it looked and felt (it is Boden's super soft jersey). Other reviewers also had a problem with the "puffy" sleeves, saying that it made their shoulders look too big. I did not think that they were that puffy, but everyone has their own problem area. It does look like they may have pinned the sleeves down in the catalog shot and the mostly faceless (although sometimes we see her lips!!) model wearing the black tee doesn't really showcase the shoulder area as I think we just can't see the detail enough here. There is also a front lining in the tee, so the embellishments are not against the skin. So, for me, this was a keeper!

Mercer Dress
Mercer Dress.  As you can see above, LS provided us with a photo of the dress IRL and a written review of the dress.

Mercer Dress: it is rather unpopular but I decided to give it a try because I really liked the raspberry jam colour. I wear a lot of black and when I wear colours they are often very subdued but this was the nicest colour of all Boden dresses this season (I seldom go for prints so my options are more limited). The dress is interesting and the fabric has some stretch so it is very comfortable. The colour is marvellous. The long length (6L American, I've learned ;) skims my kneecaps so the length is good. Now for the negatives: I don't like the back zip, makes it difficult to put the dress on. The zip also gets stuck where the fabric is thick. The waist is slightly above natural but passable. The waistband is quite thick so I would imagine not too good unless your stomach is quite flat. The sleeves are an odd length, neither here nor there but again, passable. The v-neck is not exquisitely flattering but then not really unflattering either. It is not too low cut and there is no glitter that often adorns Boden dresses so the dress is appropriate for work. The only part which I would say is really disappointing is the hemline: somehow the dress does not fall straight, it comes across as uneven and the fold does not sit well so from the side it does not look sharp and neat. I suppose a bit of ironing can remedy this. I will keep mine because of comfort and colour but I can't say that this is very flattering and I see why it does not sell well.

Johnnie b.:
Crazy wonky bit of hair not included with purchase of Cosy Sweatshirt Dress.
Cosy Sweatshirt Dress.  Size 16+.  I am on the fence about whether or not I should have gone with the 15-16.  Clearly it fits fine, but the skirt is really full, and since I am not *ever* going to wear this as a dress (tunic time only, this sucker is short), maybe the 15-16 would be less full overall?

Whatever.  It was really really comfortable, and quite warm.

I received compliments on it, I think people really liked the color and the fact that it had just a touch of sparkle.

You can see how full the skirt is here.  I may wash and dry it, and if that doesn't work, I can also trim those seams down a bit in the skirt with my sewing machine.  That may be the first time (ever) I have wanted to make a bottom smaller.

It looks way less full from the side.

You can see the folding in the back which indicates two things...the length of the back bit is too long for me (happens all the time on clothes I wear) and that the overall bodice is too wide.  It doesn't look terrible, so I won't bother fixing that portion of the dress.

Cosy Sweatshirt Dress
Cosy Sweatshirt Dress.  This is only sold out in the size I own.  If you wear a size 6-8 dress in Boden, you can safely buy the 15-16, unless you have a larger cup size.  If you are a size 2-4 in Boden, you can purchase the 13-14.  If you wear a size 0 (which Boden doesn't carry), you could grab a size 11-12.  If you are a normal height lady, don't even attempt this as a real dress, though.  Trust me.  This dress is part of the 30% off half-weekly sale.

Faux Fur Vest
Faux Fur Vest (Fur Gilet--for those of you on the other side of the pond).  This has been a huge hit with both Joanna and Avril buying and wearing it.  I can see the allure.  Well done, ladies!

This version is selling fast, you may want to consider the Faux Fur Jacket instead if you like the look. :-)

As usual, this review roundup couldn't happen without the help of all the blog friends out there, so THANK YOU!  :-)

Current Coupon Code:

Link to the Half-Weekly 30% Off Sale:
Take 30% off Dresses, Shoes, Bags, and Cold Weather Accessories (plus Men's/Boys' Trousers) at Four days only beginning November 18.