When I was wee, I used to pore over the Boden catalogue when it arrived. It wasn’t just the gorgeous bright colours that leapt from the pages, but each of the wee stories it told. For every Breton-stripe-clad child model, it would tell you a bit about them – their favourite colour, pet’s name, what they wanted to be when they grew up. Sometimes I wonder where those kids are now, and whether they got that dream job. Boden for me has always represented a heady mix of polka-dotted optimism and rainbow bright nostalgia, sartorial and otherwise.
A couple of decades on, Boden are still telling such stories – whether through their gorgeous blog or vibrant Instagram feed. Colourful, contemporary and classic, the quality speaks for itself. Immersing myself in Boden’s stories was always aspirational – and as a thrifty trainee teacher, it largely remains so! However, I’ve kept my eye on each new collection and was particularly enamoured with Boden’s AW14 offerings, so paid extra attention when the sale rolled around. The Isla dress was top of my wishlist but I was sad to miss it being marked down. To my excitement, weeks later my size came back in stock with £100 off (!) and I added it to my basket quicker than you can say bargain.
When it arrived, wrapped in beautiful polka dot tissue paper, it was like Christmas all over again. The dress is made from the most beautiful British wool, and the quality of cut and fit is second-to-none – it’s fully lined (no wool itch!) and with a generous amount of fabric in the skirt for that retro feel (and maximum swishability). I’ve worn it for work and at weekends and it’s incredibly versatile in a classic yet modern plaid. I wore it here with my vintage coat, Clarks boots and Cambridge Satchel for a late Winter walk in South Edinburgh.
It’s been a while since I’ve bought from the high street; I’ve already spoken about that strange middle ground I’m in just now – too old for trend-chasing at Topshop, but without disposable income for the likes of Whistles, COS and co – but it’s definitely made me think about buying less and paying more for quality, wear-forever (read: Boden!) items. I’ve already been doing the ‘buy less’ part, after all! Some pieces are worth waiting for: it’s all about sale-savvy shopping, and cherry-picking items to style and wear in your own way – for years to come.
What have you been wearing lately? Are you a Boden fan?