Thursday, December 31, 2015

OOTDs: Festive White and Polka Dotted.

Happy New Year's Eve!  I am actually going to a party with some teacher friends, and I really hope to have a good time, but it's been forever since I have gone to a party like this, so I have a feeling I might feel out of place for at least a little while.  Thank goodness for champagne!

Before I begin, Boden is offering an additional 10% off clearance/sale styles.  I have a link for it in the sidebar and at the bottom of this post for those of you interested.  The affiliate program provided me with the link, which is awesome.  (Sometimes the affiliate doesn't get all the good ones.)

Day: Sunday, December 13, 2015.

Where:  Mass at our newly remodeled church.

Ease of Wear: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) It was kind of hot that day, so the topper (which is an ancient spring coat from Anthropologie) was worn for a grand total of twenty minutes.  But overall, a very easy outfit considering we had a very long mass that day (all total around 1.5 hours). 

Outfit Details: Coat, Anthropologie; Dress, Boden; Shoes, Nine West; Scarf, J. Crew; Sunglasses, Ray-Ban (here, they are the Meteor style).

Anecdote of the Day: The church looks lovely and bright now.  It used to be a touch dark in the space.  I was in the first Confirmation group to be confirmed in the original "remodeled" version of the church WAY BACK WHEN, so it is wonderful to know that my kids will be part of another group to enjoy their sacraments in the second remodeling of the church.  (Though Rex had his First Holy Communion in the old church design, and all the kids were baptized in the old design.)  They kept some of the original bits, including the ceiling, which was the one thing I didn't want them to touch.  So glad they kept that!

Day: Wednesday, December 16, 2015.

Where:  Christmas work party.

Ease of Wear: (4.75 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) This pretty sparkly polka-dotted dress by Boden is made of jersey, which is perfection for ease of wear.  I thought it was made with a woven jacquard fabric, so I ignored it as a possibility to wear, but by a stroke of buyer's luck, discovered it was a jersey stretchy material right around the Black Friday sales, so I was able to purchase it for a fairly decent price.  It had to pop back in my size, but once it did, I jumped on it, and was glad I did.  The sparkly shoes from last year are flat, so there was no pain there, either.

Outfit Details: Dress, (Sparkle Spot Jacquard Dress, here at Boden; my review of it here); Coat, Halston Heritage; Shoes, Boden; Necklace, Stella and Dot; Tights, J. Crew; Sunglasses, Ray-Ban (here, they are the Meteor style).

Anecdote of the Day: I like my drinks hard and manly, so when offered a neat Scotch or Bourbon, I will happily drink it.  I had the pleasure of enjoying a really lovely Scotch that strongly tasted of peat, which if you have traveled to any bit of countryside in the UK, you have smelled burning in the air.  It tastes amazing, but I do understand that the taste may be an acquired one.  ;-)

Day: Wednesday, December 24, 2015.

Where:  Christmas Eve Dinner.

Ease of Wear: (4.75 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) I originally planned on wearing this one only in the morning, but in the end decided I was fine with wearing it all day because 1) lazy and 2) need easy waistband for dinner gorging (ugh, must show more restraint in the future).

Outfit Details: Dress, Boden (Casual Weekend Dress, here; my original review here); Jacket, Boden (Boucle Jacket, here; original review here); Shoes, J. Crew; Necklace, gift from my dad; Sunglasses, Ray-Ban (here, they are the Meteor style).

Anecdote of the Day:  Dad brought Popeye's for dinner.  Popeye's.  I was appalled, Mr. Dina was thrilled (he loves Popeye's almost as much as he loves his white tennis shoes).

Extra 10% off sale prices with code 2SAL plus free shipping and returns over $49 valid 12/31-1/3

Monday, December 28, 2015

OOTDs: Festive Sparkle. And Some Plaid!

Hey, all!  I finally finished some of the recent stuff I needed to get done, including a sewing project using stretch velvet, so I can get back to posting.  I am trying here!  Maybe one day I can get back to the more regular posting I did prior to 2015.  We'll see.  :-)

The velvet dress was sewn up for the Fabric Mart blog, and it is very timely for the festive season, so if you are a sewer, or like velvet, definitely check it out.  I feel a bit like a female Oscar statue wearing it.  (In other words, I love it!)

Onto some festive sparkle!

Day: Thursday, December 25, 2015.

Where:  Christmas Dinner.

Ease of Wear: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) The salt content alone would have filled an ocean (based on how fat my fingers and toes felt at the end of dinner), but dang if this outfit wasn't super easy to wear all night.  I love J. Crew for making this plaid skirt with an elastic waistband.  Now I will never tuck anything into it, but that bothers me not one bit.

Outfit Details: Sweater, Boden; Skirt, J. Crew; Shoes, J. Crew; Necklace, Madewell (they still make it, find it here).

Anecdote of the Day: Does salt make any of you all swell up the way it does me?  Maybe it's because I try really hard not to eat too many items that have it in overabundance, but when I do eat it in copious amounts, I feel it.  I hate all those cooking show comments that say "there's not enough salt, wah wah wah."  I'm always like, "dude, really, do you want to be pickled from the inside out?"

Day: Monday, December 7, 2015.

Where:  Meetings and writing lesson plans.  Boring.

Ease of Wear: (5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) Again, elastic waistbands to the rescue.  These Boden pants are in ridiculous deep discount, and because normally Boden pants are just crap on me, I figured these pair would be sent back.  But because they run large, and they have room for a booty, I find them ridiculously comfortable one size down from my normal Boden size.  Yes.

Outfit Details: Sweater, Boden; Pants, Boden (Jessica Jogger here, out of stock right now, but pops back); Shoes, Boden; Necklace, Boden; Sunglasses, Ray-Ban (here, they are the Meteor style).

Anecdote of the Day: I take so long to write lesson plans.  Secret--I never had to write lesson plans formally before this. I just had them written down so that the administrators could see them if they walked in the room.  I did finally write them down for a long-term sub when I was set to have CW, but that was during a frenzy of nesting, so I hardly remember it being a pain (and I did the full year for him, too, lol).  I think I may write too much, but my assistant principal seems to like it.

Day: Wednesday, December 23, 2015.

Where:  Picking up the turkey from Whole Foods.

Ease of Wear: (4.75 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) The Oona skirt features an elastic waistband.  Really, I should just retitle this post "Elastic Festive."  That sounds like a song.  Hmmm.

Outfit Details: Top, J. Crew; Cardigan, Ann Taylor; Skirt, Boden (Oona Skirt here, but this color has long since sold out, but the Tamara Top features the same fabric); Shoes, J. Crew.

Anecdote of the Day: The turkey has to be ordered in advance, it costs way too much money, but man, it's a good bird.  I went in and heard people crowing that Whole Foods had sold out of the turkeys, so I felt good that I had ordered in advance, regardless of how silly my family thinks I am for doing so.  :-)

Day: Wednesday, December 2, 2015.

Where:  I don't remember!  Maybe Winesday since it was a Wednesday?  I know it was raining, lol.

Ease of Wear: (4.75 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) Turner pants feature an elastic waistband.  And the Zoe coat is warm!  Hey!

Outfit Details: Top, J. Crew (here in stripe); Pants, J. Crew (no longer available in poly, but they have them in wool here); Coat, Boden (Zoe Coat here, review here); Scarf, J. Crew; Shoes, J. Crew.

Anecdote of the Day: Got nothing.  It was raining.  I was warm.  :-)

Have a great day, everyone.  Glad I have some time to get some ootds here.  Now off to go visit some of my favorite blogs!  :-)

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Boden: Sale Prices Drop More!

The sale has been a bit of a dud by my (very unscientific) research.  With prices in the sale pretty darn close to what they were before the sale started, it appeared most people weren't biting (I wasn't, but I am still pissy about the Toasty Roll Neck disappearing).  Now that the sale has ramped up to 60% off (some items are at 70% off!) (Here's the direct link: Up to 60% off (Price Set) plus free shipping and returns over $49 valid 12/26-12/30), I think the tide may turn.  The Mumsnet people echoed the same feelings last week, and though I haven't checked in a few days, I bet they prefer the prices now than they were before.

Anyhow, I haven't spent a lot of time researching the prices, but will definitely take a good look 'round once I publish this post.

Last week I published a post with some reviews in it, and many of the super sale items have been in prior Boden Weekly Review Roundups, so they may help you.  I also highly recommend the #bodenbyme page at Instagram, lots of photos there of folks wearing in season Boden clothing (most bought by the one photographed, though some were gifted from Boden, so watch out for that if you are wary of c/o items).  Two of the more recent photos show two pieces I own from Boden but never reviewed.  The Oona skirt is here (bought very early in the season, the color I own is always out of stock), and the Printed Popover is here (super sale back around Thanksgiving).

Do you see anything in the sale that you would recommend?  Let us know!

Talk with you soon!

This links says "up to 50% off," but the link still gets you to the proper sale.  My affiliate program hasn't updated their banners.
Boden USA

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Boden: Reviews Before a Big Sale.

This isn't a Boden Weekly Review Roundup, but it is a set of reviews for items I have recently worn that are from the fall/winter 2015 line.  I would have likely shown them off much earlier and with more frequency if my life had the pace that it had a few years ago, the "take the kids to preschool, bring 'em home, while they nap blog" pace.  Now it's a whole lot of wake up...holy crap why is it midnight already.  ;-)  I know many of you understand.

Okay, so I do have plans to get at least one more BWRR done before January, but not till later this week.  I am desperate to get a few ootd posts on here already.  I realize many of you see what I wear at Instagram, but I am a talker and like to discuss the outfits.  Whether or not any of you read, lol, that's another story, but I want to dissect them.

The sale starts tomorrow morning, they are discussing it over at Mumsnet (a British site).  I am sure many Americans are all, "hey, no fair, they got it a day early," but now that we seem to be digging from separate stocks (most of my orders now come from PA, not the UK), I don't know that our sale will be affected by them getting to it first.

I have a link to the sale at the bottom, but bear in mind that if you try it before the sale starts, it won't work.  I don't anticipate a changeover right at midnight, likely it will happen in the morning sometime.

Groovy Swing Top.  Size 6 Regular.  I kept going back and forth.  Should I buy this one?  Should I leave it?  Well, finally my love of mid-century prints and those colors (coral, pink, grey, and sage) won over.  I am glad I chose to get it as I really think the style is "me." 

Audrey Bow Flats.  Size 41.  These are the ones I ordered in the last sale and was all verklempt when I discovered that they had only given me 20% off instead of 30%.  Of course Boden didn't see fit to refund me 10%.  Sigh.  Whatever.  As CC pointed out, I will wear them all the time.  In fact, I have worn them three times since receiving them.  They join my other four pairs of grey flats (I own a pair from Target with a black bow, a pair from J. Crew with a sparkly suede bow, a patent leather set from J. Crew factory, and a pair of grey loafers from Boden).  And, yeah, those get worn a ton, too!  Dollar for dollar my grey flats are always my best purchases.  (And hush I know I have a grey flat shoe sickness.  I am receiving therapy.)

The top is super swingy.  This is a good style for pear shapes since it is fitted through the shoulders and upper bust but very loose throughout the rest of the top.  It's always a good day when I can size to my shoulders and not have to stress about my hips and butt being so much bigger than the rest of me.

There is some problems with the shoulders and sleeves for some of the reviewers, though, especially if they carry their weight on their top half.  Many find their "smaller" size is too tight so they will size up and find that the rest being so swingy is too much for their frame.  Bear all this in mind if you have an inverted triangle shape.

The shoes run a touch small.  I can wear a size 40 a lot of the time, but had I sized for a 40, it would have been far too short and even a bit narrow.  I have very narrow feet, so often the 41 will fit great length-wise but be too wide on me.  This time the 41 is awesome for my narrow feet but almost too short.  Because they are suede they have stretched out and fit great now.

I love that my butt doesn't look so ginormous.  Way too much pattern going on for it too look ginormous.  Now you all know why I wear so many patterns.  Ha.

Overall the style of this top is not for the faint-hearted.  It is a lot of look.  But they do have more sedate versions if you like the silhouette.  I have washed and dried this, btw, and it is going to need a press, but since I line dried the top, it hasn't shrunk as far as I can tell. 

The shoes are definitely winners, and all the colorways look wonderful.  I highly recommend this shoe, but do consider the sizing issues.

Groovy Swing Top and Audrey Bow Flat.  These two items in these colors are close to selling out and are unlikely to be reduced too significantly in the sale tomorrow.  The other shades may, though.

Sparkle Spot Jacquard Dress.  Size 6 Long.  I decided on this when it was on a good discount (I think 30% off) and I had a voucher from Boden (thank you, Johnnie!).  I didn't realize earlier in the season this was a jersey dress.  For some reason I thought it was a woven jacquard like this dress I wore to my high school reunion.  I didn't want or need another dress like that, so as pretty as I thought gold sparkly dots and cream are, I decided "no." 

And then I saw it was jersey and realized this opened it up to wearing to school and church and at venues where I like some comfort, and I grabbed it when it popped back in the right size (this is a popular dress).

It is fully lined with a lovely, medium-weight jersey lining.  Very nice.  The ponte fabric they use for the outer layer is pretty thick, so they didn't even have to add a lining.  Very thoughtful of them to add one  The length is fine for me in the long as I don't mind my party dresses hitting my knee, but if you want something more flirty, go for the regular length if you are tall and the petite length if you are under 5'5".  I am 5'8" and a dress that measures 40" will hit right in the middle of my knee.  This dress is 39", if I am remembering correctly.

I decided to dress this one with my gold Stella and Dot necklace and my gold sparkly shoes from Boden from last year.  These gold items match the dots and worked well for the Christmas party we were headed to, but I do know that I could wear this with more demure accessories and it would read less "festive," so would be appropriate in the non-holiday season.  The tights are a pair of cotton tights from J. Crew and they are a deep olive color.  They worked fine as a dark neutral.

The side of the dress there (left) is sticking in a bit because the lining was attached to the hem at the wrong place.  Since the lining is shorter than the dress, I just cut the thread that connected the two and that solved that problem.

The dress features a back zip, which I love.  Since it is a stretch ponte, it could slip on, but that would be a pain, so I far prefer the zip and being able to step into the dress when putting it on...

I have a few other views of this at Instagram if you are interested in seeing them.

Sparkle Spot Jacquard Dress.  There is a lot of  "low stock" there, so your size and color choice may not be available.  The navy is beautiful and is more popular than the ivory.

Chevron Sparkle Knitted Dress.  Size 7-8. I am so glad I purchased this one in preview (only thing I ordered besides the reindeer yoke sweater).  This dress sold out nearly immediately.  There are popbacks, but they are sporadic. 

Can I just tell you how much I love this and wish they had an adult version?  It is so pretty!  It is also not super "kid" but not so "adult" you question whether the kid is being a kid in it.  The sparkle is the gold yarn used in the hem and collar detail, fwiw.

The dress is well-made, and provided you properly wash it, it should stand up to a couple of seasons of wear.  I know it will be shorter on her next year, but because it has a bit of stretch, she'll still fit into it and will just need to wear tights for modesty.

Chevron Sparkle Knitted Dress.  (Use link in name, the affiliate program didn't have this one in its directory.) Only two sizes available right now.  There will be popbacks, but you have to be on top of it and get it when you see it.  It is expensive for a girls dress, but it is very special.

Cosy Sweatshirt.  Size 6.  I purchased this on sale because I am a sucker for warm pretty tops like this.  I do actually have plans to wear it as part of an outfit, but for now I am wearing it as loungewear, as it was intended.  (In fact, this photo was just taken of me two hours ago, and today's ootd has been nothing more involved than this--an easy shirt and a pair of pj bottoms.  I'm tired, you all.  LOL.)

It fits well, it is a bit long for me, hitting right at my top thigh, but it isn't constricting, so I would say go with your true size.  I can't wear it out, I have to tuck it in, unless I am wearing it with leggings.  The material is thin enough that any bulges from the pant or skirt fabric would show through, and personally, that bugs, so I just tuck it in.  :-)

The little sparkly stars are precious, just enough twee to make you smile, but not make everyone around you sick from the "cute."  They aren't super obvious unless you get up real close, btw.  They are more obvious on the blue version, though.

Christmas Woven Pull-On.  Size 10.  I have bought these from Boden before, once in a size 6 and once in a size 10.  I finally figured out that the size 8 would fit me best, but you know what happened here, right?  The only size that kept popping back was the 10.  So I just said "meh," and ordered it.  I am excited that I can wash it and throw it in the dryer and let it shrink a bit.  In fact, I have already done this and the size up now fits a bit better, not quite an 8, but closer.  They are very comfortable.  The size 6 I own is fine, but they fit close, and I have to make sure to line dry them.  These run short for those of us with longer legs, they finish at the top of my ankle.  Since they flare out a bit at the bottom, it does look a little funny.

The print is beautiful, I dig this Scandinavian type of folk art.  They have other items in this print, including a lot of the homewares, so if you want it, that may be a good way of grabbing it.

Cosy Sweatshirt and Christmas Woven Pull-On.  The sweatshirt is likely to be reduced well since it isn't selling well (except the deer version, which baffles me).  The pull-ons, forget it.  Maybe 20% off if we're lucky.

Harriet Shift Tunic Dress.  Size 8 L.  I cannot believe I forgot to include this review in the last *two* BWRRs.  You had one job, Dina.  :-/ 

Anyhow, this dress is odd.  I initially ordered it in a 10 L after I figured there was no way a shift dress like this would fit over my hips in any size but a 10 or larger (I even flirted with buying the 12).  But at the beginning of the season, back in September, this dress was sold out and popbacks were rare.  I finally saw it come back in a 10 L and gave it a chance.  I received it and after putting it on, said this:


It was HUGE.  HUGE!  Even in the hips.

I thought well I could alter it, but then I noticed that the stocks were leveling out (likely from all the wrong size ordering) and I could get the 8 L if I wanted, so that is just what I did.  I grabbed the 8 L and found a much better fit for me.

The hips fit a bit close, but nothing that I need shapewear for, so that's good.  The top half is a bit big, but because it isn't "falling off my shoulders" big, it works.

The design is beautiful, and the material is a stretch woven which also helps me in the hip area, so bear that in mind for your ordering if this is something you are contemplating.

Harriet Shift Tunic Dress.  The color I chose is popular, but many sizes are still available.  I think this dress will be reduced even further, so if you held off, that probably was for the best.  :-)

Okay, that's it for tonight.  I hope you have a great one, and enjoy (sale) shopping!

Boden USA