Showing posts with label Boden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Boden. Show all posts

Thursday, 25 January 2018

My top 5 Boden picks from now, through to summer, and back again

I hold my hands up. I haven't really been in the shops that much since before Christmas - well apart from buying one very sequinned Zara jumper that is.  Sometimes, in order to re-light my fashion fires, it's necessary to take a little break and hold off for a while. It's also because, if I'm really honest, I don't actually need anything else.

Additionally, before Christmas, I re-organised my wardrobe. I made myself an "A" and a "B" wardrobe, which is something that I do with a lot of my clients. Rather than have all jumpers together, all skirts together, all tops together etc, I've created a section with about 7 or 8 of my "favourites" of each in it, so it's a little like a mini wardrobe.  It makes getting dressed a dream and it also means that I'm utilising what I have much better. It also means that I'm now looking at those pieces that aren't in my "favourites" section with fresh eyes and soon I shall probably swap some of them around.

Anyway, the point of all that is that there are some pieces that are great to wear all year round, are a little bit different to everything else and which just add an interesting element to an outfit.

There are few things more exciting than getting a new brochure through the door and one of my favourites is always the Boden one. Luckily it has the pieces that I'm talking about in spades, so I'm going to share my top five picks for all round, A lister dressing taking you from now, through to the warmer weather and then back again.

How cool are these trousers? I LOVE them! True, as these are a paper bag style, they aren't as fitted and some ladies find that they make them look heavier around the hips. However, for a change they are really refreshing and our skinnies will always be there tomorrow.  Also if you like the idea but feel a little out of proportion in them, wearing them with a heel of some variety definitely helps style them out. 

These trousers are great with white trainers as shown here, with heels or with ankles boots. And I just think that there's something lovely and modern about them. I will be digging out my Whistles pair tomorrow - for sure.

These are an alternative to the peg leg trouser - for those days that you fancy something a little more fresh than a traditional styled pair of trousers and which are flattering on curvier hips. They are lighter in weight so it may be a few weeks before they can be worn but it's lovely to have something new waiting in the wardrobe wings for when the sun's rays first appear.

Some of the pieces that I've really loved wearing over the last few weeks are lighter weight shirts and blouses, which I've layered under chunky knits. If you pull the sleeves of the jumper up it, it reveals a pretty cuff or detail on the blouse, which just makes the outfit that little bit special. Or a frill peeping through at the neck can also work really well. And then when it warms up, hey presto whip your jumper off and the rest of the top can be revealed.

Melissa ruffle neck blouse (£70)

Along with my pretty blouses, statement knits have been a real favourite this winter. Whether it's because of their bright colour, print, sequins, balloon sleeves or heavy weight, a knit with interest really puts a smile on your face. The rainbow stripes on the sleeves of this jumper certainly do that. Great for on the slopes! (No, I most definitely won't be going this year!)

cashmere crew neck (ivory stripe) £130

Updating your jeans has to be one of the best ways of injecting a whole new lease of life into your wardrobe. I have a pair very similar to this from the GAP and I love wearing them. They're also two toned with a raw edge and they are great for the every day and for going out. I wasn't sure at first but now I'm a real convert. 

And a midi dress is THE perfect addition to a wardrobe, especially one such a this which can be layered with knee high 70s style boots and a fitted polo neck in the winter and with pom pom flats and layered necklaces in the summer. It's a great shape too with a little arm coverage, a v neck a nipped in waist and a little volume in the skirt. Big tick in the flattering dress shape department. 

A bag with interest is a real show stopper all season round.  It doesn't have to be bright in particular - although I like a bright bag. But look for studs, tassels, detailing, leopard print or just something that grabs your eye and makes your heart skip a beat. 

Renee shoulder bag (£150) which also comes in ultra blue, navy blue, leopard and black.

And finally, the sunnies in a cats eye shape, which is THE shape of the season. I'm not really a sunnies girl in the winter - I feel a bit of a numpty in them - so I tend to save them for the sun. But on others? I think that they look fabulous. 

Oooh and these are probably a bit of a cheeky inclusion as I've run out of  my five choices but trainers have to earn their place in my favourite wardrobe items to see you through from winter to summer and back again.  Anything that you have that's feeling a bit blah and in need of a lift - just stick it with some white trainers. They'll soon give it a kick up the whatsit. 

Hollie spot trainers (£75 to £98)

So my lack of trips to the shops? Well that's all about to change as I have lots of Personal Shopping appointments coming up. In the name of "research" I shall be hitting the shops soon - do let me know if there's anything you're on the look out for in particular.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Cross Body Bags - the gem of a handbag collection

Since I went to Bicester a few weeks ago and bought an LK Mariel cross body bag, I've barely taken it off....

The thing that really works about this bag is that it has two compartments to it, which means that it's big enough for a purse, credit card holder, keys, lipstick, phone AND some spare plastic bags for my bits and bobs. And that's all it needs to be capable of carrying, making it perfect. Oh and of course having two hands free and not having to keep hoiking your bag onto your shoulder is also a real bonus.

This is this season Mariel bag from LK Bennett (£175), which comes in animal print, black studded, grey, red, black, oxblood and there's a sunshine yellow one for £77.

Another of my favourites is the Fifi bag from Hush (£99), which comes in grey and black. It's width from front to back is substantial so although it doesn't have the two separate compartments, it can still hold plenty. And (predictably) I love the star.

The Wren cross body bag from Jigsaw (£99) comes in navy, black, Nordic orange and wine. It's a real gem and again has the two separate compartments gig going on. I like the idea of a small bag - it's chic and elegant and makes it look as though I have my schizzle together. Plus I can't gather too much rubbish in a small bag so it makes me keep on top of my receipt/tissue/chocolate wrapper game. Is that possibly one of the best (or worst) excuses ever for a purchase?!

The Esme camera bag from Mint Velvet (£109) also made it onto my list. Obviously the Gucci one would too, but for it's price tag - but this would do nicely instead. I love the studded tassel which is just a little bit rock chick. But of course it would be easy enough to find a tassel and put it on a similar bag to create the same look. 

For a relatively inexpensive option, there's the M&S faux leather cross body bag (£29.50). I love the mixture of navy and black with the silver hardware and it's a great place to start for anyone who feels that a more streamlined bag maybe a little too "studio flat" for them, rather than their usual mansion style bag. 

And of course we might expect Boden to be in on the act, which they are with this Lyon cross body bag (Boden £77 to £110). The great thing is that it is available in five colours, so there should be something for everyone. 

Oh and just by way of an update, thank you so much to everyone for your marathon good luck wishes and also for responding to my last post. I will get back to you soon, I promise! I came in with a respectable (but not fantastic) time of 4:10. The first 19/20 miles were great and I loved them but the last 6/7 weren't a particularly pleasant experience. It wasn't that I hit the wall, or that I hadn't hydrated well enough, or that I was in pain. It's just a flipping long way, my music was a bit rubbish by then, there weren't that many people and I'd had enough. Plus it was a really hilly course. And whoever thought that it was a good idea to put in a steep hill at mile 25 was an absolute numpty. I'm three toe nails down with a slightly sore hip (which didn't start until about Wednesday) but oddly my back and my slightly sore hamstring stood the test and feel much better for it. Isn't the body a weird thing?! So thank you again - and to my lovely friends and family plus anyone else who came out to support - it makes such a difference, especially when you've resorted to counting the white lines down the middle of the road to make sure that you keep putting one foot in front of the other! 

Monday, 4 September 2017

September, I'm coming for you!

September can be a funny month. The start of a new term, children moving onwards and upwards, a chill in the air meaning that autumn is on its way and most of all, change. I've concluded that humans don't like change very much.

Don't make me go home!

During our last few days in Guernsey I was sort of dreading the return home, to life and a daily routine. And then I re-visited the "roundabout" as per my earlier post and I decided that either September could rule me, or I could get my schizzle together and tackle it head on. So before I left Guernsey I started to get my act together and I sent just one or two emails of things that I knew needed doing around the house, just to get the ball rolling. Little steps and all that.

So in no particular order these are things that I'm going to tackle and this is what I have in mind to do - a list of New (school) Year Resolutions - if you like.

Stuff around the house:

I've contacted a local handy man. The tap in our downstairs loo needs fixing, plus I have pictures to go up. I'd like to re-grout the bathroom floor and buy a new blind for the bathroom too. Even knowing that those things are in hand have made me feel better.

The girls have both tidied their bedrooms and the car is full of stuff for the charity shops. I've been through my wardrobe and sorted my clothes out, meaning that I now have a better idea of what I have and what I'd like to add. That too is a weight lifted.

There's a chair I'd like re-covering, and I'd like to replace the blind in the spare room as well as get a new sheepskin rug for it - so those things are now in hand. 

I've booked the decorator to come at the end of October to paint one of the bedrooms and also the bathroom. We've been in this house for nearly 13 years now and neither room has been decorated since we arrived. How bad is that?!

So that's it for the house for now, other than needing a new desk chair. It's GCSE year for our son and he will be sitting at his desk a lot. Oh yes, he will! 

Stuff to do for me:

Get a hair cut. I purposefully haven't had my hair cut for ages but now is the time to go for the chop. That will make me feel a whole lot better. 

Think about having a spot of botox. I've never really seriously contemplated it before now but I might just investigate it. It may not go any further than that but there's no harm in looking. 

Get back to eating 3 proper meals a day rather than summer type food. I love home made soups and stews and with the marathon coming up, I need to keep on top of my nutrition game even more. 

Plan my winter wardrobe - but that's worthy of a blog post in its own right!

Back from holiday and contemplating the jobs (and washing!) to be done

Stuff to do for work:

Say "yes" to more things that I'm invited to do. Historically I've felt that every minute of my working day should be accounted for - it stems from having time sheets as a lawyer. But I need to get out and have more fun at events, socials, networking and just in general.

Manage my work streams better. Being freelance I have lots of different "arms" to my work from personal styling, to fashion and commercial styling, TV work, blogging, working with brands and running style events. I'm never quite sure that I'm top of all of them at all times.  Any tips would be gratefully received! 

Get on top of my social media. My profile pics need updating, my Pinterest link doesn't work on my blog and there are a million and other one little things that need attending to. 

Get back in the shops pronto so I that I can fully suss out the new season's collections in preparation for all the personal shopping I have coming up. 

Sort out all my paperwork and maybe do my tax return before the end of October, rather than waiting until the end of January. 

First day back at work - judging the Midlands Media Awards. Excuse the knackered plant pots. I'm going to go and move them RIGHT NOW! 

Stuff to do for the children:

With Flo heading off to University, there are a lot of things that I need to do with her. We need to shop for bits and bobs, get her meningitis C vaccination organised and I need to help her with her bank accounts and finances. 

So that's my list of tasks for the month ahead. Does anyone else have anything that they want to add? Is there anything that you routinely do in September? (Please don't mention Christmas!!!) and which makes you feel a whole lot better. Oh but of course I forgot the most important thing. September traditionally means new school a new pair of shoes must feature in there somewhere! 

Thursday, 10 August 2017

The trouser detail of the season....

We saw them last season and they're going to be back again with a vengeance .....(re)introducing the side stripe trouser.

What I love about side stripe trousers is that they're not a "shape" of trouser but rather a detail on a trouser. And as well all know, not all shapes suit all figures - but this detail is accessible to all. Plus what a flattering detail it is, effectively narrowing the width of the legs. Double love!

I also think that compared to last season, we're seeing more textures used in the stripe on the trouser. For example this Gap pair has a satin side stripe (£54). I quite like the style of these trousers which is clearer in the image below...

They are high waisted, pleated and a peg leg but none of those features are too extreme, making them more wearable than some other, similar, styles.

For a smarter look, there's the Charlbury wide leg striped trouser from Boden (£98). With their red side stripe, they have a little bit of a nod towards a soldiers' uniform. Although of course anything can be dressed up or down these days, so stick them with some trainers and a t-shirt or crew neck jumper and you have much more of a casual look going on. 

Then there's the side stripe jean from Me & Em (£139). What I like about these jeans is that they come in sizes 24" to 31" - which means that they start very small and they don't miss out any of the sizes in between, which so many brands do. Plus note the kitten heels. If you've any lurking at the back of the wardrobe, this is the season to dig them out. 

And finally, with a nod to the side stripe trend, there's the Boden indigo jeans with navy velvet stripe (£60). Again there's texture in the stripe and this one is a narrower one, for people who prefer something more subtle.

Last winter I had a pair of side stripe trousers from M&S but I can't see any online at the moment and Oasis also had a pair in the other day but again, they're not online yet. (Well unless someone else succeeds where I have failed). But I don't think that it will be long before they're everywhere. What do you think? Tempted or not and have you seen any great pairs out there recently?  

Saturday, 29 July 2017

A quick OOTD for travelling in.....

Boden Rae Ruffle Sleeve T (£35), Pineapple tassel long pendant necklace from Accessorize
Next leggings (old) Carvela "Kake" gold flatforms (£99 but I was jammy and bought them from ASOS in the sale for £60 ish although they don't seem to be available now.)

Yesterday saw us heading off for sunnier climes and this was my travelling outfit. The leggings are as old as the hills (and older) but they're comfortable, which is all that matters. My other bits and bobs were new - a sale buy, a purchase made with a voucher and a birthday present. And it all worked well in so far as I was comfortable and not too hot or too cold. We're here safe and sound and the villa, which looked too good to be true, does exist and isn't a mud hut as I thought it might be. Result - so far. But it is only day 1.

I hope to bring some quick OOTD posts but I'm slightly suffering from FOMO when I hear the others in the pool/gym/playing my posts may be short and sweet!

Friday, 21 July 2017

A cheeky weekend purchase from Boden...

Rae ruffle sleeve T from Boden (£35)

Well if Boden send a £10 voucher through, it would be rude not to spend it wouldn't it? I love a bit of a frill sleeve and a few stripes - especially if they're navy and white - so I have high hopes for this little number.

It is absolutely throwing it down cats and dogs outside but it seems that a lot of people are getting ready to go away and the excitement is palpable. It's another week before we head off to the sun but this year I'm determined that we will be packed a good few days in advance (famous last words). I'm going to start squirrelling the clean clothes away rather than distributing them to the family. Sneaky huh?

And I may have just subscribed to the ASOS "next day delivery for a year" service. I fear that the floodgates may be about to open.....

Friday, 9 June 2017

My perfect Boden holiday wardrobe

I know that I'm a little late to the "holiday booking" party, especially when said holiday is only six weeks away - but today, after months of procrastination and inactivity, I finally managed to book one.

And the thing is, I'm really excited. Since we've had children, which is now heading towards 19 years ago, we've done very few "hot" holidays. True, we've had some that were meant to be hot but that weren't (the rain is attracted to us like bees to honey) but other than that, we've been happily UK based. Partly we just weren't hard core enough to face travelling with the children (I'll admit, I like an easy life!) but also with our annual trip to Guernsey which we all love, and a few trips to Wales and Cornwall here and there, we were content with not going very far.

But this year we felt like a week in the sun. Flo will be off to University in October so who knows where she might be next year and after what seems like a never ending winter of rain and damp, a week in Crete is just what we could all do with. And don't talk to me about the skiing "holiday". That doesn't count. I don't think that I've ever sworn so much in a week.

So when Boden invited me to take part in their campaign to celebrate the launch of their "Holiday Hub" I felt that it would be the perfect way of pulling some of my holiday wardrobe essentials together.

For me it's the "bits around the edges" that make a summer holiday wardrobe. It's the holiday accessories - the pieces which shout "I'm on holiday and yes, I might even buy into one of the crazy local souvenirs which seems a good idea to wear when I'm here but which I might live to regret when I get home and re-visit the photos." It's the things that I don't necessarily wear on a daily basis when at home, that make all the difference.

So first off I would choose the Antibes Cup Size Bikini Top because obviously it fits my brief (no pun intended) of not being something that I would ordinarily wear when visiting my local supermarket. I love navy, its such a classic and the polka dot gives it that lovely 50's feel. Plus the cup sizing is a god send for someone like me who just doesn't fit the standard size 8/10/12 norm. Oh and the wiring - let's not forget that all important push both inwards, and upwards, that the wiring gives. And those children I've mentioned - well let's just say that they've all played a part in things not being what they could be (and of course I wouldn't have it any other way!)

And I think that I will go with plain bottoms. I just feel happier that way. Let's just draw the eye upwards and away from those cheeky bum cheeks shall we? Yup, good idea. Very good idea.

And for those days when a bikini just feels too much like hard work, then I'm a fan of a full on figure flattering swim suit. It still needs support and the clever styling of this Santorini Swimsuit ticks all of my swimwear boxes.

The words "body sculpting" and "lightly padded cups" are all music to my ears! I love the print on this swimwear - it's just like the gorgeous tiled floors that all the instagrammers take photos against in their summer sandals. Speaking of which...

I would be taking these Pom Pom Sandals  in snap dragon, which sounds so much more engaging than red, with me.

And for nights out - which largely exist in my head, I would be taking these Caterina Sandals. Not only because I love the idea of them with boyfriend white jeans and a bardot top but also because it wouldn't be so easy for my son to tap me on the head, look down at me,  and say "All right short arse?"

The reality of course is that really I could do with the Eva Espadrille because whilst I'm not the slightest bit concerned about everything going with everything, they will go with everything and they will be comfortable, particularly for travelling in.

And speaking of travelling, I love this Ariana jacket for travelling in. We land back in the UK late at night, when no doubt it will be a little chilly, so this would be perfect. In fact it might be the piece that I wear the most on holiday as the "battle of the air conditioning" commences inside the villa. Why my husband chooses to go somewhere hot and then make it as cold as back at home, I'm not sure. 

Then I need some eye catching sunglasses, such as these dahlia red Luz sunglasses which will just add a bit of colour to my outfits and make me look very cool and trendy (well, in my head at least.)

After that, how about a fringed towel which I can use as a sarong, around my shoulders - or indeed as a towel (although it's probably too nice for that and I'll just stick a few old Ben Ten/Tweenies ones from home in one of the kids' suitcases)

I always have a gorgeous scarf wherever I go on holiday, which I use as a blanket, around my neck (obviously), to tie on to a bag, to wrap a child in, as a pillow on an aeroplane, or to put around my head chic startlet style (OK old woman style) when we end up whizzing along somewhere and there's a breeze. This pom pom scarf would work perfectly for me. 

Then I will need a gorgeous bag trips to the pool or the beach...

Some jewellery... such as the Diona Bracelet

And the Lena necklace which, being simple in its styling, will again go with anything and everything.

And then I'm good to go. Except, as you may have noticed, I don't really have any clothes. But then again for a week in the sun I don't need many clothes - as I said before it's all about the "bits around the edges". Having said that...

A beach kaftan would be a perfect addition to my holiday wardrobe, as much for everyone else's benefit as for mine when I'm walking around between beach and bar (OK, pool and fridge.) The Luz sunglasses will work like a dream with it too. 

But for sure I would need some shorts, so I would take the Lottie Linen Shorts because they will be cool and shorts crease whatever they're made of, so that fact that they're linen is immaterial...

....and a pair of plain shorts could be a good idea, in which case the Pippa shorts, with their broderie texture, fit the bill perfectly. 

For tops, I'm not really a fan of lots of piles of plain vests or t-shirts, instead preferring to cover up with some cooler, looser, boho or bardot tops. So let's go with something lightweight but with sleeves, such as this gauzy boho top which I can pop over my swimwear or wear with the Pippa shorts.

...or the Henrietta linen top which will go with both of my pairs of shorts and also underneath my Ariana jacket. 

Ooooh and the Allegra top has my name on it too. This would look great with the Pippa shorts and pom pom sandals. 

Skirts, for some reason, I'm not too concerned about. All of my tops will be quite long so their proportions will work better with shorts or trousers but a couple of dresses? Now we're talking. I love a summer dress - so easy!

The Terese dress is 100% cotton, so it will be cool and lightweight plus it will work really well with the Luz sunglasses and pom pom sandals. 

I adore a black dress in the summer. I find them chic and a fantastic back drop for jewellery, such as the gold Lena necklace, which I've featured above, so this jersey maxi dress would be perfect.  In the evening I would wear it with the necklace and Caterina sandals and in the day, with the pom pom scarf and pom pom sandals. 

For a week in the sun, I think that I'm done. Oh, apart from nightwear - I definitely need nightwear. The Suzie shorts and the Featherweight T would work like a dream (I know, terrible pun. Again.)

So, the things is, I'm too tight to pay for the bags to be booked into the hold, which means we're all travelling on hand luggage. Consequently, someone might need to let me have a little room in their suitcase. Husband, you can manage for a week in a couple of pairs of budgie smugglers and a pair of crocs right? Yes? Excellent.

Just so that everyone is in the picture, Boden may send a small gift to me for writing this post - but I have no idea what that may be. All the items that I've chosen I've done so myself and all wording is my own (as if anyone else would write what I write!!!) And I'm so pleased that I was asked to write it as the timing was perfect (although not perhaps for the bank balance!) Have a lovely weekend. Beth x