Last week I shared the restrictions I impose on myself before I click on a ‘sale started’ link. I still stand by the suggestion that you should limit your high summer pieces to about 10% of your total wardrobe. However there is one sale that I shop a little differently and that is the Boden sale.
I’ve found that every time I’ve had a conversation about Boden this season people have been suggesting that it’s a brand that has lost its way. In fact it’s funny but these conversations always seem to take the same turn. It’s almost like talking to a friend about a man she’s falling out of love with. There’s a sad sense of dwindling affection followed by self examination – of whether it’s they that have changed or Boden.
My personal view is that they’ve ‘done an M&S’ and, in their determination to expand their market into a younger demographic, they’ve lost sight of their core customer. Currently it isn’t clear quite who they’re targeting. Whether that has changed for AW16 I don’t know; I think I’m too objective to be invited to their blogger press days – they save those events for the uncritical.
However I maintain that when they do summer well, they can’t be beaten. I noticed after my Marie Kondo clearout that most of the high summer pieces I retained were Boden because of their quality and their timeless simplicity. If you look carefully, a few of those iconic styles are still in their collection and I’m hoping that when the sale starts tomorrow (Saturday 25th June) they will be reduced. So if you’re itching to do a sale shop, these would be my picks.
Boden sale – top picks
This is my top choice; I love the clashing colours which make it less girly.
Again another simply cut summer dress. Whenever I feature these on Instagram my likes shoot up – people like the confidence of a bright block of colour.
If you don’t have a simple black day dress in your wardrobe this is a great investment. I have had a version of this dress from Boden for years and I wear it whenever I need to be serious – for funerals, for meetings with my accountant or bank manager – it always adds gravitas
It can be hard to get a denim dress that looks good – often they are made of thin ‘faux denim’ fabric and have a loose middle gathered with a self tie belt. This one however is cut to flatter but still has pockets which make it more casual than a shirt dress. Unless you’re petite go for long – remember that hemlines are on their way down.
Boden’s ottoman dresses are legendary because they require zero thought but you still look polished. This striped version was buried between the solid black and navy versions. I think the only reason it hasn’t sold well is because they didn’t shoot it on a model. It falls below the knee – if you’re worried that the stripes will accentuate your curves too much, the solid colours have great reviews too.
Shirt dresses are having a revival but in my view they are perennially chic. The stripes on this one make it look fresh, add a leather belt if you wanted to smarten it up. Again unless you’re petite go for long.
This Martha dress sold out in March when they launched it last year but it has been a bit lost amongst the boho stuff this year. I have it – you saw me wear it recently, I highly recommend it. The fabric is a stiff cotton so if you worry about bulges in ponte dresses this solves the problem. Again go for long.
This is what it looks like in real life to remind you
My last dress choice from the Boden sale would be this maxi. Why? Because unlike many it is quite a slim cut so it is more flattering than those with lots of fabric that gathers around your legs. It reminds me of the way that French women wear maxis – it’s understated.
One other Boden sale item I just had to mention – this bag which I have and love
I used it to add contrast to my Winser dress in Paris
So – there you have it – the Boden sale items that will earn their keep.
I started writing this before the referendum and it had already been a hectic week. I completed my course at the university. It covered all kinds of topics but the most interesting module was delivered by a Futurist who is an expert in ‘horizon mapping’ and advises places like Harvard on what is coming next. It is mind blowing to look ahead and see how much things are going to change on the technology front over the next 10 years but then just 10 years ago, newspapers were writing articles on “What is Twitter.”
If he’s right, you won’t be reading my blog in 10 years time, instead I’ll be popping up as a hologram in your bedroom each morning telling you what to wear! Actually I quite like the idea of having a cup of coffee and a chat with lots of you by hologram. You could come and sit in my kitchen and we’d put the world to rights.
Going back to intense days of learning has given me more sympathy with the boys. It’s exhausting listening and learning new things each day, going home, doing homework and then going back and doing it all over again. I feel stimulated but drained at the same time and actually just want to zone out with some rubbish TV which I never do.
Some of you might have seen on Instagram that we had a very nice but very wet Father’s Day. The walk after ice creams didn’t quite work out.
I was very glad that I wore my new love, these Finery boots – being patent they handled the rain well
When I ordered them I was torn between the bright blue and the brown pair, in fact I wanted them both because they are great for days when I am in London. The low block heel and square toe mean that they don’t hurt my feet but they have sufficient ‘edge’ to make a statement. So you can imagine my delight this week when I saw that the brown pair were reduced to half price at John Lewis and they are, so far, my only sale purchase.
The whole family was delighted to come across this chap who was sporting the same haircut as the middle son, we felt they had a lot in common but he was unconvinced (the son that is although the alpaca was probably just as insulted).
The ice creams are truly magnificent – all made on the farm – Devon and Cornwall don’t make ice cream anywhere near as well as we do in the North West, one of the benefits of the rain and the lush pasture!
Yesterday – referendum day – what an enormous thing for the UK that was. I’m not going to say anything other than what a strange, uncertain time we have ahead of us. I pulled out another Boden summer classic for a lovely English summer day
And again today, another vintage Boden number – this is the first picture taken with my expensive new camera – I don’t think we’ve got the hang of it, I look a bit plastic. I think Mr MC has focused on the bush rather than me – I’m not sure what that tells me.
I’m leaving you with two last sale tips. My all time favourite shoes, the ponyskin Jigsaw Millys that I bought as a celebration when I left my job are now less than half price in the sale. I still love them so much that I don’t mind the fact that I paid full price for them, I didn’t want to risk them going out of stock. Why are they so good? The pony skin is great if you’re caught in the rain, the water runs off, the heel is the perfect height, it’s very slim but they’ve been designed so that you can stand in them for hours without your feet hurting. I have the tan suede ones on in the picture above and the red ones in the Paris picture. Here are the black ones – I find when I wear them people look at my feet and then look again.
Jigsaw Milly ponyskin shoes – less than half price
The secret weapon of all Parisians, the Uniqlo ultra light down packable jackets and gilets are half price or less. Once you discover these, you will wonder how you ever survived a winter (or spring if you’re in the UK) without them. They pack down to the size of your fist and I keep one in my bag at all times, I even used one on an overly air conditioned train this week when I was coming back from London.
So, I hope you have a lovely weekend and if you shop the Boden sale, shop it well. It’s certainly going to be an interesting time in the UK over the next few weeks and months. I will continue to provide you with a sunny refuge of midlife style but the problem I have is that we will be falling into the period when there are no new clothes for us to talk about. This is why we started Project Happier in January and I think it is definitely time to revisit that for the second half of the year.
If there is anything else you would like me to cover, do let me know. Obviously because this is a blog it is a personal style journey so I’m not the best person to ask for advice on dressing for petites / apple shapes / tall skinny ladies etc. I think for someone to do that honestly on a blog they need to truly understand what it is like to live inside your body. I hope that makes sense.
I’m going to finish with a list of all the summer posts I’ve done because most of the pieces I’ve featured are in the sale now, the links will take you straight through to the reduced prices. I guess its a particularly good time to shop for those who can benefit from the exchange rate! Keep in touch my dear friends.
Summer 2016 clothing posts – most items now in the sale
The cropped trouser try on – which were the best!
The John Lewis edit (there are some really good offers on these pieces)
Disclosure: this is not a sponsored post