Style by Claire Lopez

It’s catalogue time

Sartorially speaking, summer you are dead to me. You’ve gone and done a runner so I am no longer going to sit here pining for you. Onwards and upwards to the new season because this is the time when the catalogues start arriving on the doorstep to tempt you. And this week, you have caught my eye Boden. Now I like Boden, but I like the pieces that don’t really look like Boden. In the same way that I like M&S for the pieces that don’t scream Per Una. So I am a sort of non-Boden, Boden lover if you get me.

When it isn’t quite summer, nor is it quite the new season, it’s a great time to stock up on those pieces that are trans-seasonal. So instead of putting all your eggs into a particular new trend basket, think long-term. Think about the basics and the building blocks of your wardrobe.

The Bags

I think that Boden’s accessories and shoes are one of their best assets and having a cross body bag is a must for me because it works so well day to evening. Their Lyon Crossbody Bag £98-£110 which comes in red, navy, leopard and spot is perfect as you can wear it with denim and trainers or with heels and a blazer. It’s nice not to go for something a bit more interesting than a plain which is why animal print is so great as it is basically a neutral that goes with everything.

You also need a good shoulder bag in your life and the Valence £198 is one of those. Yes it’s an investment, but it’s a classic in either the black or the animal.

Or for something a big more relaxed, there is the Toulon £198 which comes in a range of colours.

Feet

On the footwear front, trainers are top of the list and they are a perfect buy for now, when you aren’t quite into boots territory. The Esmerelda Trainers £75-£85 are great and you can wear these with tailored track pants, joggers, trousers and denim. To think I didn’t used to be a trainer girl…

Ok I can’t quite resist an ankle boot and I love the Alexa £140. It’s not going to be your everyday boot (for that there is the Henley Ankle Boot £130, Alford or Marlow £120-£130 ) but a sexy going out number this is and it comes in leopard £150, black, oxblood and gold.

A good pair of courts will take you from the office to dinner and beyond and the Carrie Courts £98- £110 come in two heel heights – a mid heel at 3″ and a high heel at 3.5″.

Statement flats are where it’s at. They can do work, casual and play and there are several options to choose from, including the Albertina £90.

Stripes

A Breton stripe is another lynchpin of any wardrobe and Boden is great for doing a basic style in a multitude of colours. But here are a couple of other options to make something basic, a bit more interesting and a bit more current: Celeste Frilled Breton £35. This comes in navy and white as well as the red. I also love the red Toulouse Shoulder Bag £160.

For a slightly different take on the frills and ruffles trend there is the Rae Ruffle Sleeve Tee £35. Don’t think of these as just ‘with jeans tops’ – you can easily up the ante and wear with trousers and skirts. Add a blazer, a biker, some heels and it is another hard-working piece in your wardrobe.

The Blouse

Forget you granny, the blouse packs serious style points and this Ella Silk Blouse £110 in the blush colour is a real goodie. Perfect for the office but pair with some boyfriend jeans and heels and you are set for the evening too.

Knitwear

Now I may be getting a bit ahead of myself here. It is pouring with rain but that doesn’t mean we want to reach for our woollies just yet. However, Boden’s Cashmere Crew Neck Jumpers £98 are very nice indeed and if you are getting your back to work wardrobe sorted, these are very useful. Perfect with tailored trousers or a skirt for the office, you can go classic and neutral or add a nice pop of colour. And if the corporate world is not yours, pair with some jeans and boots for the daytime.

Power dressing

So if you have to smarten up your act for work, Boden has a number of great dress styles so you can rival Claire Underwood in House of Cards in the power dressing stakes. The Elsa Ottoman Dress £90 is a best seller which comes in a navy, black, rose and teal. I love the teal as it is a great colour you can wear year round and much softer than a black so will work on all colourings. It doesn’t come with a belt, but looks finished with one add. This is the Polly £30 but you could just add one of your own.

If this is a bit too structured for you, the go for the Lavinia Ponte Dress £80 which is a looser fitting shift dress that comes in green, navy, rose and black. Add a statement necklace and some courts and you are on your stylish way. As with many of their styles, these both come in Petite, Regular and Long.

Pencil Skirt

The pencil skirt is another work-wear staple and this season, it’s all about tweed and checks. The British Tweed Pencil Skirt £90 will work well with a simple woven top, piece of knitwear or a blouse and give you the sartorial edge in the office. While I wouldn’t go all out on the pink front, there are other tweed options here. And as with the dresses, this comes in Petite, Regular and Long.

Or the Freya Pencil Skirt £90 is a classic hounds-tooth check which also comes in a black base as well as the pink.

Snazzy Trews

Well actually these are more of a basic. But a great one at that – Richmond 7/8 Trouser £65. If print isn’t your thing (and these are just a bit too Boden for me) then they also come in plain black and navy and are the perfect length, as well as being tapered without being too tight – which is what you want for work. Pair with all the tops above and many, many more.

Or for something very much on trend, go for the British Tweed Trousers £98. And matching jacket of course – it’s all about the suit dressing this autumn.

Outerwear

A casual lightweight jacket is right up there on the list of must-haves and this Beaded Military Jacket £110 is good for spring and autumn – and let’s face it summer too.

I can’t quite bear writing about winter coats given it is the middle of August so a blazer is as far as I will go and this Elizabeth Ponte Blazer £98 is a work-wear no-brainer. But you can also pair this with jeans and boots or heels for an evening or with a tee and trainers for the day. If the pink suiting combo scares you (although this is a bona fide thing – both the pink and the bright suit) then fear not, there is black or navy. And yellow.

This may not be front row style or ground-breaking new season looks, but these pieces are the perfect balance of stylish staples coupled with a nod to the trends. And that for me is the best of Boden.

Oh and the fact that there is 20% plus free deliveries and returns until 2nd September. Now that is worth looking at.

(Btw, this is not a sponsored post!)

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