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Oh Boden, how I love you. You go up past a size 12 and some of your items come in petite and tall. You have stellar customer service – seriously if you’re not sure what size to buy call them, they’re the best and so patient and knowledgeable. Easy shipping and returns and plenty of fun colors and figure-flattering cuts. However, I often end up returning because I love everything so much I forget who I actually am and what body I am in. I recently made some Boden purchases, what was a hit and what was a miss:
I first ordered this dress in Tulip (orange) and in a 16. I am not sure why I got a 16, maybe because 14 was sold out, maybe because the reviews say to size up. Anyway, a 16 was too big. It was loose everywhere and went down to mid-calf. But I liked the effect and felt I’d do well with a 14 petite. The color is rich, the knit is nice quality, it’s lined which is hotter but it also smooths everything nicely. The ruching seemed flattering, and I envisioned wearing this with some gold flat sandals (these to be specific) or a pair of sneakers (Adidas Superstars to be specific). So I returned and decided to order a smaller size.
There was no 14 petite available, but I decided to try it in a 14 Regular in Tulip as well as Navy/Ivory Stripe (you know I love me some stripes!). The 14 fit better, but the magic was gone. I still would do better with a petite, but the 14 made me realize the ruching was NOT flattering on my body. It made my lower belly look even lower and more saggy, and the dress is very va-va-voom/Marilyn-esque but in jersey it’s hard to figure out what shoes and where to wear such a dress. They looked stupid with flat sandals and sneakers, and looked try-hard with heels. I think if I was tall and slim the dress would work in the way I wanted it to. But for a woman with curves, it accentuates but makes it more dressy and sexy. Fail.
This top is essentially the dress above but cut off at mid-hip. I was torn over what color to get and decided to go outside my comfort zone with this green color. Glad I did, it makes me look tan and looks more elegant than orange or stripe and is more interesting than basic black. The 14 is the right size for me, though if petite was available that may have been a good choice as this if tugged down can be a micro mini.
But I like this top. A lot. I wore it with white ankle jeans, my silver cuff and Birkenstocks to a friend's house for dinner. I like it with denim cutoffs and girlfriend jeans, and it also looks nice with a black jersey swingy midi skirt I have. The length and ruching makes it adjustable; pull it down for a drop waist with a skirt, or ruch it more and wear with jeans or ankle pants. This is more versatile and more my personal style than the dress anyway. Win!
I didn’t get this dress recently, I bought it months ago but it’s still available and now it’s on sale. I think it’s one of the best fitting denim dresses I have ever tried; you can see it on me in this post and this post. Karl accidentally put it in the dryer and it shrunk in length like ¾” but didn’t shrink anywhere else. I miss that bit of length, I plan on trying to stretch it and line dry the next time I launder it. Win!
I can’t find the post where one of you recommended I try this jumpsuit. I was looking for a coveralls-esque denim jumpsuit and you helped out (I so trust your recommendations, folks!). Boden seemed like a good place for one that didn’t look too Gasoline Alley but would accommodate my curves. I ordered it back when I got the denim dress.
This is a weird blue color, sort of drab. It is NOT cut for my body. It fit to the waist, but the crotch was like 3” too low, the calves skin tight, and the elastic waist made the whole thing look like prison garb. Fail.
Boden makes awesome tees, and this one rocks. It has that linen/slub look but it’s not see-through (sure you can tell I’m wearing a bra but unlike many others, you can’t see the straps or the back or definition). The sleeves are super flattering, it has great drape, and it’s so awesome I’m super tempted to buy another in a different color. Do note this is a slouchy/boxy style. This isn’t fitted, it doesn’t skim your curves, it looks cute half-tucked into slim jeans, pants, or shorts or full tucked into a pencil skirt. Win!
As you know from this post, I like this top. It’s a crepey drapey fabric (viscose) and machine washable. I wore it to work with my navy pinstripe ankle pants (tucked) and navy suiting trousers (untucked with a long necklace to weigh it down), to a 40th birthday party on a boat with white ankle jeans and gold flat sandals (untucked), and can see me wearing it in the future with a skirt (tucked). It washes nicely and turns out the same way and it’s lightweight and breezy yet looks professional for work. I expect you'll see it on the blog in the near future. One thing though, this may run short on taller people. Win!
No idea what I was smoking when I ordered this. I was thinking it looked so breezy and cool. I bet it would be but it’s so sheer you can see the bow in the middle of my strapless bra. I wonder if that's why all the positive reviews and model photos are in the darker color combination. Also, on a short busty woman this wasn't emphasizing the positive. Fail.
I've toyed with buying this dress for a while but couldn't justify the price. It's just a jersey wrap maxi, I could find this same dress at Target for $45, right? Well I finally decided to order it… and it's no Target dress! This is lined and heavy which gives it gorgeous drape and keeps it from clinging and flying open in the breeze. The print is really eye-catching and surprisingly flattering. However, the same old song… it would be better petite. Length-wise it's fine, it touches the top of my feet so I can wear with flat sandals or a heel. However, the bodice is a hair long. Nothing that causes my bra to be on display, but the top blouses a bit over the belt. But the pros far outweigh this negative. Win!
Though I returned about half, I still find this very successful. It helped me know what works and what doesn’t and helped me realize that I do need some casual summer dresses, but they need to be looser and at the knee or higher to work with flat shoes and sneakers. And while I do have a strapless bra that is pretty comfortable, once in the blazing heat and humidity I’m far more comfortable in a standard bra without padding/molded cups. But these purchases have helped me feel more ready for summer!
Heads up, Boden has all dresses 30% off through Thursday!
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