I have been hearing good things about Boden for years. I remember reading interviews with the man behind the brand, Johnnie Boden, long before I had children.
Like most British people, I like to support British Companies where I can. Boden themselves state that, "Boden is proud to be British and nothing would make us happier than to design and manufacture all of our garments in the UK."
However, the determined Boden did not achieve this dream and unfortunately (and "with a heavy heart") ended up using manufacturers from abroad. The reasons they gave are they could not "source clothes of the right quality and price within the UK." All their designers remain in the UK, and where they are able to, cloth is sourced within the UK. In 2010 Johnnie Boden explained that he had "created 700 jobs in the UK. So it's not all bad."
Boden have been sending me their catalogues for years, and despite them having both a very personal and persuasive approach to their future customers, I had yet to give in and try them...until now.
The last incentive they offered me was 15% off, plus a £10 voucher and free delivery. Being a usually, savvy shopper, my initial aim was to buy something for as close to the £10 price tag as I could, so I would not have to part with too much of my own money!
I looked at their t-shirts and found that they were too similar to my own customised t-shirts to justify spending an average of £16 on (some t-shirts are now reduced to below £10). I also looked at their range of girl's skirts. Their Heart Pocket Jeans Skirt was £16 (it is now reduced to £12). I also looked at their dresses. Their Easy Jersey Dress was £18 (now £13.50).
But, these pieces of clothing were not special enough and I would have been like the naive sales shopper, making the classic mistake of buying something just for the sake of a bargain, which is never a good way to waste money.
So, I thought about what I really wanted for the girls and decided to look at the nice, classic Boden dresses. I knew that if I picked the right dress then I would still be getting my moneys worth in six years time when Isabelle will eventually be big enough to wear it!
Rebecca and I both loved the Vintage Print Party Dress. It was priced at £32 when I bought it, meaning I paid £17.20 with my discount and voucher. This dress is currently on sale at £27, although stocks are low.
I especially love the fact that it came with a separate Petticoat (Underskirt). I've wanted to buy the girls petticoats for ages, so to have one included in the price with the dress has been fortunate!
Being a fan of 1950's pin-up dresses, I own a lot of petticoats myself!
Rebecca chose the dress in the Slate Canvas Rose print. I liked the Silver Grey Squirrel Tree Print, whilst Caitlyn preferred the Dusty Sapphire Posy. They were all lovely.
When Rebecca tried the dress on for the photographs, we styled it with a Hand knit Dusky Pink Cardigan (by Nanny!), white party tights (Tesco), white sandals (Next) and her Vintage Style Bow Headband (Tesco).
This multicolour print really makes the dress versatile and Rebecca could have picked out any of the colours in the dress to emphasise with her accessories.
I think it will look nice with a silver, glitter shrug and Silver Ballet Pumps on Christmas Day.
It would also be nice to pick out the purple from the ribbon trim and wear the dress with a purple shrug, purple pumps and bag. This would brighten it up for Christmas parties. Ooh, with purple boots would "rock" the outfit up too!
Boden's Leather Ballet Pumps come in a range of colours, including purple and silver. They are £16.50 at the moment. I find you can pick Silver pumps up quite easily for a couple of pounds (not real leather) but I haven't found any purple ones to match the Boden ones, they are lovely and I will be very envious of Rebecca if I find her a pair!
I think this is a lovely dress and petticoat for £17.20. I was also very impressed with the Customer Service from Boden.
My parcel arrived really quickly in the post. The dress itself was perfect and of very good quality. However, there was a fault with the petticoat, it was double the width of the dress and had not been "scrunched" along the elastic.
I e-mailed Boden, as I wanted confirmation that I should return the Dress and Petticoat or just return the faulty Petticoat. They sent me a very nice and helpful e-mail. They asked me to return both the Dress and Petticoat and had already sent out the new item to me.
So within days I had been sent a brand new, flawless dress, that Rebecca could finally try on...and definitely decide to keep!
It was very easy to return the faulty clothing too.
Can you see how lovely the lining is?
The contrast lining makes this dress a classic, even without the petticoat. I can see Rebecca leaving off the petticoat and teaming the dress with leggings and pumps during Spring and Summer.
Rebecca said the dress was very comfortable. She felt lovely in it and spent a lot of time spinning around, which is always a sign that she loves a dress!
It is very flattering and a I felt the size was true to age.
So, thank you Boden! It was a very pleasant first shopping experience with you!
If you are interested in shopping at Boden, then I would recommend that you sign up for their e-mails and catalogues as they very often have special offers on.
From Britain with love is a useful website if you do want to find children's clothing made in Britain. One of the companies advertised, Brit Chic Limited, is based only half an hour from me!