Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Review/OOTD/Giveaway: Boden's Amy Dress Goes to School!

Okay, so many of you have seen me hinting at a big something something here at the blog, and today it is here!  More on the very fabulous giveaway (trust me, you'll want to enter!) at the end of the post. 

Boden, basically the bread and butter of my wardrobe, contacted me and asked me if I would be interested in a free garment of my choice and the chance to host a giveaway at my blog, and within maybe a half-heartbeat, I wrote them back and said, "um, yes, please." 

I told them I wanted to choose an item that would serve me well in a back-to-school way since I have recently gotten back into substitute teaching after a two-year absence of any teaching at all.  While I have clothing that is fine for substitute teaching, I love having extra-special pieces that are all at once unique and hard-wearing enough to stand up to whatever children will bring during their learning.  Boden was my favorite place to find pieces like that when I was teaching middle school.  (Heck, it was another middle school teacher who, in 2004, told me I HAD to look at this "Boden" place, since she took one look at the catalog and determined it was very "Dina.")  So rather than go with a tee or pants or skirt, I knew that my free item would have to be a dress in a lovely print made from a *washable* material that was also conservative in cut (we have a modest dress code at the school).

Enter the Amy Dress (find it here at Boden).  It fits the criteria for my needs as a substitute teacher, a lovely print (gorgeous mid-century take on plaid), washable fabric (cotton sateen lined in a poly), and a modest cut (knee-length in my size and sleeves).

In addition to the c/o dress, I added two additional Boden items to the outfit, the gorgeous Flat T-Bar Points (here, but sold out in many sizes/colors, watch for popbacks), and a pretty necklace from a few years ago.

The flats are the perfect *almost dressy* shoes while also being exceedingly comfortable, which is great when you are on your feet all day helping little ones with their school work.

Regarding sizing, I took the dress in a size 6 Long, which was chosen because the bust and waist garment measurements matched mine (with an inch for ease).  With the full skirt (and a full skirted lining), the hip measurement was n/a.  Definitely size for your chest if this dress calls your name, it is definitely more fitted through the bodice, and it has a side zip, so you need to ensure you can get it over your head, shoulders, and bustline.

The shoes are a size 40.  I was worried these wouldn't fit me and be too short, but they fit both length- and width-wise, so my US size 9.5 feet are happy as can be.

The silhouette is very classic, mid-50s, early 60s, in feel.  The detailing is sublime.  As you may have seen on my sewing project from last week, I made a vented cuff on my sleeve, so I *know* that those kind of details take time and would not be made if Boden was trying exclusively to think about profit.  That is precisely why I shop at Boden, they are special and unique, but they also care so much for details that many retailers overlook these days. 

Although you would think a back zip would work here, and I would prefer it personally, my friend pointed out that she prefers that kind of side zip, so to each their own, I suppose.

The back view is beautiful.  I really dig how the skirt pieces were cut on the bias, while the rest of the dress was cut "normally," so the plaid was going the way you would expect it would.  The way the pattern directions work together is darling and eye-catching.

The pleated collar is a lovely feature, but the seamstress in me is a bit put off by the fact that the outermost pleat right near the shoulders is not cut deeply enough (with enough fabric for the pleat), so the effect is a bit lost and looks like the pleat disappears into the underarm.  This happens on the model, too, so it isn't necessarily a size thing.  Having said that I *notice* it but no one else did.  :-)

I love this shot!  It, in one moment, shows exactly why I was excited to get this on and wear it out.  Look at that twirly skirt in motion!

The color is more grey than the photo on-line would have think, so definitely bear that in mind if you were hoping for a brighter cream color.

I have already washed it and dried it (hung to dry, not in the drier), and it is just as lovely as it was the first time I wore it.  I will give it a bit of a press and it will be ready to go for my next time!

In addition to this gorgeous dress, Boden rolled out the Isla Dress (here) in the winter rollout, and it is a wool version of this same dress.  (And I believe the Flowershow Dress--here--was the summer version of this dress, too.)  Um, yum.  I might have to get a cold weather version of this dress for those days I have to sub in frigid temperatures.

So, remember how I mentioned that a friend introduced me to Boden in 2004?  (And a blog started in 2009?)  Well, now it's your turn.  Obviously I may have paid forward my own Boden love to others out there in the internet, and Boden really wants all of you to do the same, so if you have a friend that you think would love Boden, definitely remember to participate in their "refer a friend" program which is beneficial for both you and them.  You will receive a $15 voucher to Boden after their first purchase and they will receive 15% off their first order.  You can find out more and how to refer them here at this link.

Okay, now for what I know many of you are excited to find out more about--THE BIG GIVEAWAY!

Boden has decided to treat one of you very faithful readers of this blog to $125 to spend at Boden.  (I know!  Yes!)  They ask that you comment below with the one item from Boden that you just love!  (Or more, but one is sufficient!)  I would pick from this season the Eliza Coat (here) followed by the Amy Dress (above, obviously, lol).  I could pick more, but I'll stop.  ;-)  You have until October 3rd to enter.  I will announce the winner on the morning of October 4! (The giveaway is open to US residents only, though!)

You all have a lovely day, and thank you for reading my blog and for loving Boden as much as I do!