The Prettiest Colors and Happiest Stripes: #DressingRoomSelfies at Boden




HEY HEY HEY it’s Leap Day!!  Which means Spring, which means color.   And no one does color quite like Boden.   But between the British sizing and online ordering….I often find myself with an online Boden cart full of pretty little things…but….I don’t pull the trigger.

I figure I’m not alone.  So.  A month or so ago I asked our FB crowd which pieces at Boden peaked their curiosity?  Which items were haunting their shopping carts?  Once I had a list, I….ordered.  BAM.   Below are the items readers wanted to know about, as well as a few additional items that caught my eye.

The Dresses

Let’s just start right in the with good stuff, shall we?   The one area that Boden just KILLS IT on the regular is the Ponte dress.  Boden’s Ponte dresses skim nicely over the body, and are thick enough to hide lumps and bumps.  But they’re stretchy, so you can move.  Like, really and seriously MOVE.  Pick up your kids, hail a taxi, play basketball – you get the idea.  I’m so freaking on board with Ponte, and Boden has the prettiest colors and the most flattering shapes.  Here are my favs:

The Prettiest Office Shift

Easily my top pick for an Office-to-Date Night or even an Office-to-Playdate situation.  Also?  This shape, drape and fabric only gets better with curvier girls.




Outfit Details

dressAuralia Ottoman Dress, $138  (size 2 petite – my normal dress size in designer is 2, at fast fashion – like Banana Republic, for example – I’m typically a 0 or XS.  This dress fit a *tiny* bit on the tight side, but not enough to go up a size.)

sandals: Old Dolce Vita – but found the nude version at 6pm

Mad or Mod?

Gwen (my nanny) said it best:  I look appropriately dressed for a funeral.




But there’s hope here.  There’s hope.  This dress is Ponte, so insanely comfortable and POCKETS YES, so let’s just see if we can take it up a bit….



Right???  I always have this problem with Boden dresses – even the petite sizes tend to run a bit long.

Outfit Details

dress: Boden Seam Detail Tunic Dress, $108 (size 2 regular.  I should’ve gotten the petite, but I suspect I’d still end up hemming it shorter.  I like an indecent hemline.)

shoes: Vince Claire Pumps (the mushroom suede is on sale)


The One That Makes Me Look Pregnant

Let’s be clear:  I’m NOT.


It might be the ruching, it might be the stripes.  It might be a little of both.  As you can see from the side, there was too much dress.  If I pulled it down, the dress hit really low and looked strange from the front, but if I messed around to get it perfectly shaped in the front, this is what happened in the back:



Also, I like a good eye full of boobs as much as the next gal, but this neckline was low, even for me.  Any movement revealed my mastectomy scar (aka “nipple” for you regular mamas).


Outfit Details

dress: Boden Scoop Neck Ruched Dress, $108 (size 2 – petite wasn’t available when I first ordered it, but it is now.  I suspect I would’ve been much happier with a petite size)

shoes: Superga (more comfy than converse)


The Oxford Shirts

A few readers wanted me to try on some of Boden’s button-down shirts.  I get why – it’s confusing.  They have both girl fit and boy fit shirts.  Here’s the scoop:

The Girl Fit Shirt

Boden makes a pretty fantastic button-down.  Slightly sheer, but not too bad, and I love how the shoulders are *almost* fitted.  Gives it a slouchy appearance without overwhelming.  My one beef is that the sleeves are too short.  Personally, I hate when sleeves fit perfectly – I prefer them a little bit on the long side.  I’m wearing a petite here, so I suspect I’d have less of a sleeve problem with regular sizing.



Outfit Details

shirt: Boden Girl Fit Shirt, $84

jeans: old Rag and Bone in surf wash – this is the closest wash I’ve found

shoes: Vince Claire Pumps (the mushroom suede is on sale)


The Boy Fit Shirt

Apparently, Boden thinks boys are tall and skinny with short arms.



Outfit Details

shirt: Boden Boy Fit Shirt, $88 (2Petite)

jeans: old Rag and Bone in surf wash – this is the closest wash I’ve found

shoes: Vince Claire Pumps (the mushroom suede is on sale)


The Sweaters

I love the clear, bright colors and the drape.  Boden does both of these things so freaking well.  (Also, the shoes aren’t bad.  They’re nicely padded and not overly stiff.  They do need to be broken in, however.)

The Relaxed V-Neck in Cotton




Outfit Details

sweater: Boden Everyday Relaxed V Sweater, $74

jeans: old Rag and Bone in surf wash – this is the closest wash I’ve found

shoes: Boden Strappy T-Bar (on major sale)


Boden Cashmere Vs. Equipment Cashmere

Boden’s Relaxed V-Neck sweater in cashmere is thick, insanely soft, and hasn’t yet pilled. (It will eventually.  I swear, all sweaters do.)



But.  If you’re looking at a $200-ish price, would you be better off with Boden’s cashmere, or Equipment’s?  There are some key differences.  Here’s another look at the Boden (I lightened it to show the drape):



It’s delicious, there’s no doubt.  Now here’s Equipment’s Asher sweater:



Ok – ignore the wrinkles.  And the pilling. (I sleep in this sometimes.)  Look instead at the sleeves, neckline, and overall length.  Equipment sweaters have longer arms, a longer body, and a wider (and lower) v-neckline.  This may not be a great choice for a conservative office (Boden wins that one), but I prefer the slouchier fit of Equipment’s cashmere sweater.

And I always half-tuck.




Boden’s half-tucked:


So Boden’s black cashmere sweater is….OK.  It’s just OK.  However, I had bought two of these sweaters – one in black, one in mushroom, and have found myself reaching for the mushroom time and again.  For some reason, the lighter color looks much better:



Maybe the more conservative fit is balanced by the casual, heathered color?  I’m reaching here, but don’t you agree?

(Also, Pax is fantastic.  OMG I love that kid.)


Outfit Details

sweaters:  Boden Relaxed Cashmere V-Neck Sweater (size 2, in black and mushroom) OR Equipment’s Asher v-neck sweater (size xs)

jeans: old Rag and Bone in surf wash – this is the closest wash I’ve found

shoes: Vince Claire Pumps (the mushroom suede is on sale)

bra: Kimchee Blue bralette (on sale for $20)


The T-Shirts

I’m a big tshirt girl.  And Boden’s tees are good.  They’re the Goldilocks of tshirts:  thick, but not too thick, sheer, but not too sheer, soft, and just drapey enough. Here’s what I tried:

The Baseball Tee Readers Wanted To See

This is Boden’s baseball tee.  I appreciate the pretty colors, and the fact that they aren’t all two-toned (like a typical baseball tee, though a few two-tones are available).  My only beef is that Boden calls this a “relaxed fit”.  Uh, no.  Not at all.  For a relaxed fit, I’d size up.  Oh, and the arms run shortish.  But in general, this tee would layer well, and still look cute when you pull off your sweatshirt.



Outfit Details

tee:  Boden Lightweight Baseball Tee, $38 (size 2)

jeans: old Rag and Bone in surf wash – this is the closest wash I’ve found

shoes: Converse


A Perfect Black Tee

I know, me and all my black stuffs.  BUT.  This black v-neck is indeed perfect.  Nice and low, thick enough to smooth over bumps, and not overly clingy.  The sizing almost doesn’t matter.  Here’s the size 2:



And here’s the size 4:


You can see a bit more length in the size 4:



Outfit Details

tee:  Boden Lightweight Deep V, $28 (size 2 and 4)

jeans: old Rag and Bone in surf wash – this is the closest wash I’ve found

shoes: Vince Claire Pumps (the mushroom suede is on sale)


Sad Stripes

I didn’t love this one.  The pics look OK, but in real life the stripes + dolman sleeves were just overwhelming.  (And in the shape of a frowny face, which is just never good.)

long-sleeve-striped-tee  sad striped top, $48 (size 2)


The Happiest Stripes

This was one of my very favs.  I love the style of tee to be a bit fitted, and Boden nailed the whole thing – the fit, the neckline, the length, the colors.  It’s seriously perfection.

ps.  comes in a longer length for tall girls (I’m only 5’2″)




Outfit Details

teeBoden Short Sleeve Breton, $34 (size 2) – or the longer length

jeans: old Rag and Bone in surf wash – this is the closest wash I’ve found

shoes: Boden Strappy T-Bar (on major sale)


Drapy, Happy Stripes

Now THIS is what I’d call ‘relaxed fit’.  So comfy and cute.  I adore this top.


Boden Supersoft Seam Tee, $38 (size 2)

Cardigans:  A Necessary Evil?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:  nothing wrecks a good outfit faster than a cardigan.  But MAN, I’m ready for striped tees, even if it IS early March.  So:  If we take a v-neck cashmere cardigan and crop it….does that make it better?

You be the judge


Boden Supersoft Seam Tee, $38 (size 2) | Boden Cashmere Crop V-Neck Cardigan, $138 (size 2)


I often have trouble finding pencil skirts that fit.  The waist/hips/butt/something is always off.  But this one?  It fit like a glove – even at my waist!  Compared to Banana Republic or similar, I’d say Boden pencil skirts run small.

But they’re so pretty (especially at the waist – check out the detail below)…..



Boden Supersoft Seam Tee, $38 (size 2) | Boden Modern Pencil, $88 (size 2 petite)

And thus concludes my shopping “trip” to Boden.   Thoughts?  Your favs?  And I’d love to hear what you guys thought about the cashmere sweater compare, and the cropped cardigan shape.  And please do share if you have a favorite Boden style below. Feel free to check out other women’s fashion trends!

Happy March!



ps.  The bright lips are Bite Beauty Pigment Pencil in Zinfandel, which was recently restocked.  So freaking flattering on so many skin tones.  Really.


  1. Thanks for the Boden post!! I wonder what their swim line is like? I get the girls surf swimsuit for my daughter and it is perfect. Have any of you Mamas out there tried Boden swimwear for yourselves?

  2. What did you think of the cotton relaxed v-neck sweater, Shana? I’ve been eyeing it in exactly that mint color.

    • I liked it! It was a tiny bit stiffer than I expected, but the color was GORG. I suspect it’ll soften up with wear.

  3. I live in Florida and love their swim wear. It’s very well made and the prints are always so cute! I’m not curvy but need to size up one size sometimes.

    Also, one thing to note on their tees- they sometimes shrink very badly. Be careful! Though they accepted returned shrunk ones bc I had followed instructions!

  4. OK, Love the striped Breton, and definitely snagging two of those Black Tees. I LOVE a deep V Tee, and feel like most are never deep enough. This one looks perfecto!

    But, um, also, can we talk about Pax’s PANTS for a second? The ones that look scribbled on? Oh my god my son would go crazy over them! Source? Please don’t tell me the source is Pax and his markers, unless you’re looking to get him a shop on Etsy, stat.

  5. Girl. You’re so funny about your “short” long sleeves. So many of my long sleeve shirts look like 3/4 length! If something hits my wrist? Amazing.

    Thanks for the reviews! I have had similar reservations about ordering from Boden… Will have to try them soon! Especially the amazing v-neck t-shirt. I always love a v-neck.

  6. Just curiou…are the style name of the Jeans the same as in the link (or just the color)? The ones you have on looked a little longer and looser at the ankles so I wasn’t sure. Thanks!!

    • I’m wearing Rag & Bone’s mid-rise skinny jeans. The ones I linked to are the capri version of the same jeans. They should be pretty exact, just shorter.

  7. Sleeves! Thank you for length notes. Wouldn’t it be great if there was an arm inseam length on everything?!
    Also, I need a half tuck tutorial. I didn’t master it in high school, I’m still having trouble this many years later.

  8. I am totally with you about the mushroom sweater. 100 x better than the black. I would swear the cut was different! Thanks for the great recap!

  9. Thanks so much for posting these- it’s so hard to really know from their website. I had been eyeing that striped dress but your notes on it definitely gave me second thoughts. Oh, lipstick is awesome and Pax is adorable!

  10. I adore Boden and have had great luck with day dresses and sweaters. Shoes haven’t been very good quality. Oh, and I love love love the slouchy purse I bought from them this fall. If you catch the right sale each season, newer items can be had with free shipping and returns. Just looked at the spring catalog and I want way too many things!

    • The Boden one is clingier than Everlane. If you want loose and slouchy, do Everlane. If you want slouchy but still a little clingier, do Boden. (For a black v-neck, I’d go with Boden – waaay sexier.) 🙂

  11. Thanks for this! I’ve pored over the Boden catalog and even had things in my cart, but I’ve never pulled the trigger. Their dresses really are gorgeous.

  12. I love these kinds of posts! As usual, you are adorable. But is it just me, or is anyone else over the whole ‘half-tuck’ thingy?

  13. So one of the things I love about Boden (and for whatever reason, they’re kinda secretive about it) is that they have high standards when it comes to social ethics. They closely monitor their factories, and have joined initiatives to help the workers. So even though I may not always LOVE the style, I keep them on my radar.

    • Yes! I actually love their clothes (the dresses, for work) and only *just* learned about their ethics policy. It definitely makes me more likely to shop there.

  14. Hi Shana- Great roundup! I too, have never ordered from Boden but I like their stuff.

    My question, which is HUGE, is what to wear instead of a cardigan? I find them so easy at work, or with changing temperatures in general. Anyway, I know this is a big topic but if you ever do a post on what to wear instead of a cardigan I will be all ears.

    Thanks! Love your blog.

  15. I love the way you half-tuck, but I am a nursing mom with a leftover belly and the side view is a disaster! Can you post some side view pics in future blogs of how it is supposed to look?

  16. I love a lot of Boden’s clothes, but the shirts I’ve bought from them in the past shrunk – A LOT. Maybe it’s because British people air dry their clothes more often? I don’t know, but I like the convenience of my dryer and I was not happy with how much their shirts shrunk.

  17. I have a pair of their Cafe Capri pants that I nearly LIVE in! they’ve washed and dried like a dream, barely wrinkle and don’t stretch out too much after wearing them once. Love them!

  18. Amen about the sleeves. I’m a long (tall) lady with long arms and I just can’t buy their tops or long-sleeve sweaters for this reason. What is up with that? Thanks for the cashmere review, I’ve wondered about it.

    The cardigan? Nope. I do think the cropped cardigans work with some of their cute dresses or buttoned all up with a pencil skirt (I dig the 50s thing) but mostly cardigans should be avoided at all costs.

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