Boden Spring 2014 Review

And other retail therapy hits and misses . . . .

It’s a funny thing, online shopping.  You see the picture of the model, and it gets you all optimistic.

Casual Weekend Dress

Then you try it on and try to convince yourself that you look at least like a more-fit version of yourself:

Boden casual weekend dress

Boden casual weekend dress

But then you look reality squarely in the face:

Boden casual weekend dress


Again, fantasy:


Boden jersey dress

Boden jersey dress


Amelie dress


Boden Amelie dress 2014

Cut it out Laura

size 10 UK

This is turning into one of those I-hate-my-body rants, and that’s really not what I mean to do.

I guess my points here are (a) online shopping is a tricky mind game and (b) it’s best done with free shipping and returns and (c) none of these dresses was really flattering to me.

By the way, the dresses were all US size 10 Long, which matched my measurements on Boden’s size chart, so they run pretty true to size.

Fortunately, there are lots of polka-dotted shirts in the world (currently $15 at Ann Taylor, only size M left; I got a L.):


And stripes (Boden’s short sleeve Breton; with my wide shoulders I found this top most comfortable in a US 12, tho according to the size chart I’m a [perfect?] 10):


Because I clearly needed more dots and stripes:


And I think I’ll catch the tail end of the puffer vest trend, before it’s gone.  Lands’ End has down vests for $20 — $15 right now, with a promo code that ends 2/26/14.  

Lands End Core Down Vest

As the number of my long-sleeved shirts recently has expanded from 2 to 6, I think I feel my late winter/ early spring uniform taking shape.

But for now I need to get out of my pajamas.  😉

How about you?  Any retail therapy hits or misses?

40 thoughts on “Boden Spring 2014 Review

  1. Laura, just wondering, do you wear any, ahem, foundational garments? I’m convinced spanx is just a reality of grown up life so I’ve invested in several maternity and non maternity undergarments that make things a little better, especially when wearing dresses. Also, I think the more expensive and tailored you go in the undergarment department, the better the result. Just a thought. Way to score on the Lands End vest and polkys and stripes!

    • Yes, but I’ve yet to spring for the name brand. Really need to do that. . . . I agree w/ you but I was looking for a casual everyday dress (well, except for the striped dress, that was just a whim). I don’t think I could do Spanx on an everyday basis.

      • Oh, yeah, spanx on weekdays is not ideal. FWIW, I really liked the first dress and I didn’t think it was unflattering on you at all. One of these days I’m going to save my pennies and take the Boden dive, but I’ll probably have lots of problems with fit and all that too. I just don’t have a French woman’s build. 😉

  2. I like the dresses on you! Especially the second one, the colours go well with your complexion and the print is really neat. Doing a model-self sidebyside in the same dress, not fair! If those models stood straight on with a selfie shot, no perfect lighting, no photo shopping you’d have a more fair comparison.

    • Thanks Kristina. Yeah, it’s really not healthy to compare oneself w a professional model, tho that’s kind of why I’m doing here isn’t it? :-/ every now and then, the perfect dress comes along that makes me feel like a million bucks. These are okay, but they’re not _the_ dress.

  3. Ok – I think the striped dress looks great!! Maybe I am just partial to stripes but the varying stripe pattern is flattering. I have to admit that your blog makes me laugh … it’s a good reality check … and a good way to start the day. 🙂

  4. Wellllll I sorta spanx it up most days. Week or weekend. I just function better!

    I don’t think the striped dress looks bad at all! Sometimes I put on snazzy shoes and makeup basics to try on clothes via online ordering. It helps me a bunch!

    Glad you got a few pieces!!

  5. agree on the stripey dress–i thought it was great! and probably i will take the spanx dive so’s i can get into “normal” clothes sooner, and so this third-baby-and-over-30 belly will stop muffining on me . . .

  6. I think the striped dress looks great, too. And what a steal w/ that puffer vest! One shopping woe I have is that I might love a top I see someone wearing in a Pinterest picture, but realize if I saw it in a store I probably wouldn’t look twice. That has made me think about trying Stitch Fix sometime…

  7. I agree about the striped dress. I really liked that one on you, I thought it was very flattering with the different stripes.

    I think floral patterns are just really hard to pull off for anyone over the age of oh..10. Really….I just think you have be super, super skinny to pull off a floral pattern w/o being frumpy.

  8. My occasional Boden splurges have resulted in far worse outcomes, ones I would never photograph and post online…agreed that none of these dresses looks bad at all on you. Boden models are just. So. Skinny. It makes them look like different pieces of clothing altogether.

  9. Yes, I agree the striped dress was cute on you. And puffer vests rule. Did you see the cute pea coats on LE? I’m really wanting one of those.

  10. Thank you for being honest about the world of online shopping. I’m always so amazed that *everyone* seems to shop online and find things that fit perfectly. And especially through ThredUp and Twice, when you’re guessing at different brands, sizes and cuts! I’m kind of done with it all. In-store try-ons or bust.

    • Yeah it’s so tricky. There are a few brands where I know how certain pieces fit, so I’m on the lookout for them used. But other than that …. Gotta have free returns! I think twice has a better return policy than thredup? But I’m not sure about that…

  11. I think the floral jersey dress looks great on you! But I totally feel you on occasionally having online clothing flops. I’m really short-wasted AND have broad shoulders, so if the cut of the dress (or anything tailored) isn’t just right, the results are frumptacular.

  12. I am so glad you bought that navy jersey dress. I daydreamed about buying it once I lose the last 10 lbs of baby weight, or now as a way to feel pretty postpartum…but now I know it definitely wouldn’t look good on me. And I love the polka dot and striped tops! So cute.

    • Hi Lauren. One thing I should have mentioned is that I ordered the dress in a Long, so it wouldn’t necessarily be too long and dumpy if ordered Ina regular. ( I think you’ve mentioned being petite?)

  13. I kind of super dig the second dress and the Amelie on you, but I feel you…I have moments of “wait this looked SO MUCH better” on Sally Supermodel than me. LOL.

    Thanks for letting me know about your blog. Adding you right to my reader! Yay! 🙂

  14. So did you send them all back?? I really liked the second, and the striped looked great on you!

    And does Boden not have free returns even in the States? I’ve never ordered from Boden because I’m terrified of returning it from here in Canada. But I love everything they have.

    Also; have you found a great everyday dress since you’ve had kids? Because I feel like I haven’t. And you know how they say “jersey dresses are universally flattering” they aren’t. I feel so disappointed whenever I try on dresses. My body has changed so much that I just can’t seem to find a dress that fits and is flattering. I feel like my boobs are too big, so no dress fits properly on top and even to tailor to that on a dress never is possible. The cotton/jersey dresses seem to show every roll and baby bump I still have. Anyways, sorry I dumped all that dress angst on ya. I’ve got issues!

    • I agree jersey is not so flattering. Ponte is more so, in my limited experience. But it’s usually a poly/rayon blend, so not comfortable for everyday in the summer. . . . Yes, I sent them all back. I don’t want to spend the $$$ if I don’t love something. Boden has periodic free shipping + free return offers here in the States. I don’t know about Canada. They ship from a location in Pennsylvania, though, so the rates for returns are reasonable.

  15. Ok I just looooove your style posts, please do them more often! I was so excited today when I was catching up on blogs and I saw this 🙂 Boden’s spring catalog is kind of to die for (I posted an outfit that I love from it in my Quick Takes today)…I’m liking them better than J. Crew lately, not that it matters since I can’t wear any of it anyways haha. Also, I think the second floral dress is really flattering on you and the striped dress looks amazing (you should keep it in my opinion!) I know what you mean about catalog pics not delivering though in real life, J. Crew used to get me all the time.

  16. Laura, you are too witty! Love the side-by-sides! I nervously just ordered my first post-baby Boden dress ( here goes nothing.) You have a cute figure and I think you ordered too large. I’m 5’9″ and tend to steer away from long/tall dress sizes because I usually end up with that unflattering “knee curtain” length. It seems more often than not, they’re cut for the 5’11” + girls. Any skirt that stops just below the knee will optically cut you off at the wrong spot and add weight. Especially skirts with some flare. The second dress is adorable on you and I think would look great if you had ordered an 8R. All the dresses look a bit too large on you. Happy shopping!

  17. I think you have a lovely figure!!! and the stripy one in particular looked fab! ps Have you looked at White Stuff online? Great patterns but you will need to size down as the sizes always come up too big xx go look!! now!!! xx

  18. I know it’s already fall time, but I saw this post and wanted to comment. I think patterned dresses are hard to get right on someone who is in great shape but not sized as a model, so maybe plain colors or less busy patterns would work better for you. Also, I would go with a Regular or Short length in Boden (the Long seems too long for you 🙂 I like your other choices 🙂

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