Today I’m really pleased to be bringing you a bumper Boden edit – Autumn 2019. Longstanding readers will know that I’ve been trying to open a dialogue with Boden for years. As you’ve seen, since spring we’ve been getting to know each other by doing a small monthly edit – and during that time, from your feedback and comments they’ve learned a bit more about you too. For this post I’ve had a chance to go right through their current collection so that I can show you my favourite pieces; some you’ll have spotted, some you may not have but it means I can give you an idea of how they look on a midlife size 12.
I think it’s clear that quite a few of us feel a particularly strong connection with Boden, after all, we were their founding customers. A lot of us were establishing our careers in the 90s and then having children in the noughties. We dressed not only ourselves in Boden but our children too because they made it easy for us to look stylish at a time in our lives when it really wasn’t easy at all. But then they seemed to look away from us, expanding into new territories, targeting younger age groups and suddenly we didn’t see ourselves reflected there any more.
I’ve said lots of times that when I started blogging, my dressing room was about 85% Boden but by last year that had dwindled to about 5%. Other brands have been quicker to court the attention of the time poor, cash rich (or at least slightly richer) midlifer over the last few years and so as Boden turned to look in one direction, we were drawn to another. However I like to think of us as the sort of sassy, sophisticated women who can get over things like that and so now that Boden are building a conversation with us, I hope you’ll pick it up.
Bumper Boden edit – Autumn 2019
Before I begin I should add that these clothes are not all mine to keep but they did let me choose some of my absolute favourites. This isn’t a general trying on post where I give a few styles a go to see what works. Instead I was able to look carefully through the current collection and pull out the pieces that really made me look twice. Not all of them are showstoppers, some of them are quiet wardrobe heroes. However with a focus on sustainability, I think that is what we all want more of – clothes that are stylish rather than fashionable and will work season after season.
Boden edit outfit 1
I’m starting with an outfit that I love, firstly because it really feels like me but also because it fits my point exactly. The coat is, in fact, a showstopper but it’s neither classic nor on trend, I’d go so far as to call it iconic. I have Boden coats in my dressing room that date back to the last century(!) and I still wear them every year because they’re the epitome of timeless chic like this one. I love the fact that you could it dress up with trousers as I have here or down with jeans and boots – and the length will also work well over midi, mini or knee length skirts. A coat like this enables any fan of navy to go through winter dressed in a block of blue, just using the coat to lift it.
In terms of fit the 12R was absolutely perfect for me, it felt as though it had been made to measure and it’s a good, heavy quality so it’s warm. I’m wearing it open here so that you can see the outfit underneath but it looks even smarter buttoned up (also available in red with pink or aqua blue with navy).
Moving on to the rest of the outfit, the shirt is another piece that’s new in. Unusually for me it’s jersey but because it’s so well cut it doesn’t have that limp look that jersey can have. It fits snugly to your body but doesn’t cling, it just hugs the best parts. Because the ruffle is made from the same fabric it’s quite subtle and it’s a detail that elevates it from the ordinary. It’s also available in ivory along with three patterns and I’ve found it works just as well casually with jeans as it does with trousers.
Which of course brings me on to the trousers. These are Boden staples but they’ve been on backorder for a long time because every time they come in, they seem to sell out straight away. Purely because of this I’ve always wanted to try them and now I have I can see why they’re so popular. They’re made of heavy ponte which I like because it gives them texture. Navy trousers can look very flat and when they do, they remind me of a uniform (too many years spent in a navy six-gored skirt at school).
As well as texture, the ponte gives them weight so they swing slightly as you move and as you’ll know, movement in clothes always distracts the eye and so flatters your figure. They’re also available in black, they’re washable and for me with my ‘regular’ length legs they were just right for wearing with a low block heel or trainers. If you wanted to wear a high heel you’d need to go for the long.
For more casual dressers, here are the latest slim straight leg jeans in a hard to find dark denim. I found them true to size and the length left me with a conundrum. I would usually have them shortened to an ankle grazing length but fashion’s crystal ball is predicting a return to full length jeans. Whether this will capture the universal imagination I don’t know, cropped lengths have been around for so long that I can’t imagine people embracing them but we’ll see. I’m wearing them with a wide mock croc belt which helps when you have a midriff that’s showing the signs of a summer well spent.
Bumper Boden Edit Outfit Two
Moving on, here’s the next combination I wanted to show you. The press have been trying to identify the wide leg tweed crops that Kate, Duchess of Cambridge was wearing with her spotty blouse last week. Looking at them I could swear they were these – but I’d already taken this photograph so I got there first!
They took me straight back to the Boden quality that I used to love when I was based in formal offices. They’re lined so they don’t itch and being a wool tweed blend, they don’t crease. They’re elegant and they hit at the most flattering point on the calf for most people (also available in navy).
Last year a few people mentioned that they miss roll neck jumpers because they find them too hot to wear in midlife. This top could be a solution, it’s 96% cotton, 4% elastane and, importantly for me, it sits away from your neck rather than hugging it. This not only helps you to stay cool but it also means that it won’t seize on to any loose skin, making you look like a tortoise. The other thing I really like about it is that it’s matte. So often tops like this are shiny but this flat texture makes it look more like wool and it’s available in eight colours.
On the subject of tortoises, the tortoiseshell earrings pull the outfit together and you could use other animal prints to set it off. I’ve added snake boots but leopard would work really well too.
Bumper Boden Edit – Outfit Three
And here we have outfit three – which I don’t need to tell you was the very first one that I picked out… I am to red as a moth is to a candle but there are three other options if you’re not a fan of red. Some of you will automatically link this to the shiny season but I think it’s something you could wear all year round. Not when it’s hot obviously and perhaps not on an everyday basis but you could add a white shirt or a cashmere jumper for daytime, a silk camisole for evenings and a blouse like this for weddings or other events. I always think that trousers or a jumpsuit are better options for eveningwear than a cocktail dress, they’re just more youthful.
In terms of fit, the jacket is true to size. I ordered a long in the trousers because the regular was just a little higher than I wanted it to be. Thinking about how you’re likely to wear these – with a top tucked in – I’d say size up, especially if you have a predilection for plum pudding.
The blouse is unusual for me but I really like the botanical patterns that Boden has done this year. The collar has an Audrey Hepburn vibe about it and it generally works well to add a touch of 2019 to a plain outfit.
Bumper Boden Edit – Outfit Four
And with my last outfit I bring you more pattern. It’s the ribbon at the waist and cuffs that drew me, it’s such a lovely detail. This is one of Boden’s dresses of the month, perfect if you have an event coming up. There was actually a wedding going on behind us here and I must have looked the part because we were offered a drink (don’t worry, we didn’t gatecrash). It’s true to size and the perfect length for me in the regular.
I’ve paired it with low block heeled, navy suede boots – get them while you can. Navy boots are like the proverbial unicorn’s tears, impossible to find, it’s no wonder that they’re selling out fast. The low block heel makes them so easy to wear, you’ll have them for years, I’m still wearing Boden suede boots from 2004.
So there you have it, my Bumper Boden edit – Autumn 2019. You may have discovered other gems – if so, do let me know in the comments. They will of course will be reading what you have to say – so here’s your chance to talk directly to them on any subject Boden-related. In the meantime, code 6T2C will give you 10% off full priced items along with free delivery and returns plus a 40% mid-season sale has just started.
Disclosure: ‘Bumper Boden edit – Autumn 2019’ was commissioned by Boden however outfit choices, thoughts and photographs are all my own
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