Hello, hope you’re all well. I feel as though I’ve hit my ‘wall’ this week to borrow a runners’ term. I think the initial new term energy burst has worn off in our house, especially as there seems to have been a school related meeting every night that I’ve had to go to which makes for long days. The eldest is mid-UCAS statement and application, still not having a clue what his 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th choices will be, even though the form has to be handed in before half term. The youngest is settling well into the first year but is already on his knees with the ridiculous amount of homework that grammar schools seem to feel compelled to give and even the middle one hasn’t been doing his usual thing of sliding under the radar. Before I elaborate, I’ll give you some context. Unlike the other two he had no desire to take part in the 11 plus frenzy and chose to go to one of the local mixed sex high schools. It’s a C of E school with an outstanding Ofsted rating and competition is fierce to get in so I guess you’d expect it to be full of the usual middle class kids with pushy parents(!) He’s really happy there however, for some reason this term his friends have decided to nickname him ‘posh boy’.

This apparently is our fault which means he is coming home every night railing against everything ‘posh.’ This includes the books in the house which he thinks we should get rid of along with the photo wall in the dining room of all the lovely times we’ve had since they were babies. Seemingly we should buy a much bigger television, in fact a huge television to replace the ‘rubbish art’ in every room – in fact it is tantamount to child abuse that his friends have discovered he doesn’t have a TV in his bedroom at all. And we should definitely have Sky with all the channels. It is a source of social annihilation that he isn’t allowed his phone during meals or after bedtime which means he can’t reply to the critically important texts that come in. It is also totally ‘naff’ that he has to switch the TV off and sit at the table to eat with his family. This however does give him the opportunity to continue his litany about how unfair it all is! How long this will go on I don’t know. Mr MC has helpfully suggested that I remedy it by hanging round the bus station one night after school wearing my sports luxe trousers (loathed and referred to by him as my shell suit). Anyway I’m trying to get this blog post out before said dearly loved child gets home and tonight’s session begins (she pauses for a moment to ponder just how highly having a mum blogging about cashmere jumpers will score on his radar)!

Anyway onwards – every Autumn I invest in a new cashmere jumper. I’m building up a nice collection and it cheers me up on cold wintery days. This year I’d planned to buy a deep V-neck and, thinking carefully about the core wardrobe I’m building, I really wanted a camel colour but they are almost impossible to find. So when the Boden 20% started, I ordered a navy one but when it arrived I was a bit surprised – it just didn’t feel like cashmere; it was heavier than usual and a bit stiff, more like a cashmere / lambswool blend. The reviews have been good so far and it is nearly sold out in every colour so I wondered if it was just me (even though I compared it directly to past seasons’ jumpers). I looked everywhere for a similar style to compare it to eventually unearthing this one from John Lewis. This is how they compared (John Lewis on the left, Boden on the right):

high street cashmere review

As you can see, the John Lewis jumper is a bit brighter but it is also longer and has lovely deep ribbing on the cuffs and waistband. By comparison, Boden’s looks a bit plain. The John Lewis cashmere was also the softest although it still wasn’t brilliant, but it is hand rather than machine wash. This is how they look on (forgive the rather weary looking photos, as I say it’s been a long week):

Boden cashmere v-neck jumper £99

high street cashmere review

John Lewis Deep V-neck cashmere jumper £89

high street cashmere review

The result – of the two, the John Lewis one is the clear winner but I don’t think I’ll be keeping either of them, they just aren’t special enough for the price. If you are going to order one though you might want to size up for that more relaxed feel that you want with a deep v-neck. You’ll notice that I am still wearing the Boden Jackie shoes. Despite your wicked exhortations to keep them I thought I’d try them for the shot and then send them back. That was until the youngest, who is off school with a sore throat, piped up that he thought they were really nice and I should keep them. He’s actually turning out to be another little shopping ally, a bit like the eldest (I haven’t risked quizzing the middle for his opinions on leopard print although maybe leopard print isn’t posh)! So the shoes are still here and I’m still thinking about them…but they really aren’t the right winter shoes for someone who lives in what will soon be a soggy, muddy Lake District.

You might also spot the Esprit jeans from Gray & Osbourn which I have decided to keep. I’ve rolled them up because it’s just so hot today (especially when you’re trying cashmere) but they come as normal straight leg jeans. They’re just what I was looking for, a chic dark navy without any shading. They also fit like a corset with a high waist that sucks everything in. Gray and Osbourn have sent me an offer code today for 20% off all trousers and jeans until Monday 23rd September using code RYUA4 – too late for my purchase (grrrr!) but hopefully it will help you! And last of all today I have another purchase to show you that hasn’t quite worked:

boden zoe dress review

The Boden Zoe dress. As you know I wear a lot of Boden’s ponte dresses for work and I really liked the neckline on this one. However, not only is the colour very similar to the orange one that I was wearing in the last post  but it is also a bit of an unflattering fit from the waist down. I love the collar though, shame. (If you’re going to try it, size down on this one).

So here we are at the weekend which is where rugby chic begins for me as the first matches are tomorrow with the eldest and the youngest both playing. Mr MC is off for his long awaited black belt regrade so I will be alone on the touchline unless I meet some new mums to talk to (or the middle one joins me for an extended moaning session). I’m feeling a bit nostalgic about the lovely summer weekends with no rugby fixtures and lots of festivals and fun nights out. Everything goes very quiet here as the winter approaches although having said that, I nearly forgot to mention that Mr MC and I are going to a ballroom dancing class tonight – hurrah – ballroom chic anyone! How are you finding September, are you still full of new season enthusiasm and I have to ask you – according to the lore of the 13 year old, are you ‘posh’ too?!?!