Fashion

Spring 2021 haul review: Boden Petite

Spring has sprung, but the pandemic is still in full force here in Canada. After nearly fourteen months of lockdown and working from home, I’ve purchased almost no clothing (other than masks) because, quite frankly, I haven’t needed much. But the other day, I was browsing the petite collection at Boden, a UK brand I’ve reviewed before on this blog, and I got tempted by a few of the selections and decided to treat myself to a bit of a birthday present in the form of some online shopping.

Boden has a pretty big selection of items in classic styles that appeal to my tastes. My past experience shopping with them has been a bit hit-or-miss; shipping to Canada can be slow, and returns through their global logistics partner can be a bit of a headache. But I decided to take a chance on a few items.

First up, this cap-sleeve jersey dress in a super-cute navy polka-dot print:

Dress: Amelie Jersey Dress, size 8P UK, $96 CAD (reduced from $120)

I loved that it has pockets (!!!), a waist belt, and is machine washable. The shape and style seemed like it would be very flattering on me. I bought it in my usual size of UK 8P, which converts roughly to a US 4P. Here it is on me:

 

In person, it’s even cuter. The navy polka dots are amazing and classy and whimsical in all the right ways. I love how the waist belt hits me at exactly the right spot to emphasize my waist, and the skirt has a gentle a-line flow that skims over my hips. The length is perfect, hitting me just above the knee.

And did I mention it has pockets? POCKETS!

Yes, that’s my pockets happy face. This one’s a keeper.

Next was this belted cotton fit-and-flare dress that I took a big gamble on. The thing is, I thought I’d ordered it in a sort of scallop-patterned pretty teal green:

But there must have been a mistake somewhere, because the dress that showed up was bright yellow. Very, very bright chartreuse yellow.

Dress: Mischa Belted Dress, size 8P UK, $128 CAD (reduced from $160)

This chartreuse green-yellow is a colour I tend to avoid. I can sometimes get away it in a few items, including this blazer, which I love. But overall, I don’t find it’s terribly flattering on my skin tone, and it’s hard to pull off since it doesn’t match well with a lot of other items. Since the dress came all the way from the UK, and had since sold out in the other colour, I tried it on anyway in hopes I might like it. But alas:

 

Yeah, nope.

The fit, in my usual size of UK 8P / US 4P, is actually pretty good. I like the notched neckline, the versatile removable belt, and the flattering a-line shape that hits me at all the right places. And it, too, has pockets! In another colour, this dress might actually be really great on me.

But chartreuse. Yeesh, no. The colour is god-awful on me. It’s way too bright. It’s one thing as an accent colour. But, all over on a dress, it makes me look sickly. Note to self: Chartreuse is not in my colour palette. Sending it back.

Finally, if there’s one wardrobe item that I’ve always wanted to find in the perfect fit and have never been able to, it’s the classic white button-down shirt. I’ve had so many ill-fitting versions over the years that I never end up wearing, because they’re too loose at the shoulders, too long at the waist, they pull at the bustline or the hips, you name it. I’ve never been able to get it right. But I keep trying.

So when I saw Boden had this petite-sized 100% cotton version in my size, I decided to take another kick at the can. It comes in a number of fun prints, too, but I opted for basic white for maximum wardrobe versatility:

Shirt: Modern Classic Shirt, size 8P UK, $70.40 CAD (reduced from $88)

Here it is on me:

 

The fit is actually quite good. I ordered my usual size of UK 8P / US 4P. It’s actually slightly big and baggy on me, and I may have been able to size down, but it’s not bad as is. The reinforced buttons prevent anything from popping or pulling where it shouldn’t. The sleeve length is slightly long, but I can roll them up pretty easily.

I don’t love the fabric, which is a thinner cotton than I expected, and has the worrisome potential to be slightly see-through. I also have the same issue with this shirt as I do with most button-downs; that is, I don’t like buttoning them up too high since they look awkward on me. When I leave this one open to the third button, the fit is quite good, but I think I’m going to need to iron down the collar to keep it from pulling closed all the time.

Overall, though, this is a basic item that I was missing from my current wardrobe. So despite the slight fit issues, I’m keeping this one.

Haul summary: Pretty good. Two out of three items are keepers, netting me a new dress I love, and a new basic white blouse that will fill a wardrobe staple gap. Both these items may get relatively little wear as COVID drags on and there’s nowhere to go. But hopefully, we’ll be back in the office one of these days, and these are both classic pieces that should still be useful by the time that happens.

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