Tuesday 9 October 2012


So I’m browsing through Facebook and see a plaintive cry from the lovely Fiona.

Nice brogues...
‘What's going on?’ she asked. ‘I usually throw the Boden catalogue straight into recycling but in today's there are at least 20 things am salivating over. Has Boden got better, or... have I 'gone Boden'?
And I thought, yeah, good point well made.  In fact, I said, 'Yeah me too. WTF?'  Cos I’ve been feeling exactly the same.  I even stuck a Boden picture on Pinterest the other day with a rather pathetic note saying, ‘I find myself craving a dress and coloured tights. Why?’

Since I don’t go shopping, I do actually cast an eye over the catalogues that find their way to my door. Though, it has to be said, the catalogue people are obviously cutting back.  I haven’t seen a Toast catalogue in a very long time, so they have clearly given me up as a lost cause. Or that weird Peruvian one.  And, thank heavens, the tacky silver jewelry people have sidled off too.  But good old Boden stays faithful, despite my not having bought anything since James got too big for cute t-shirt and camouflage shorts (so, yeah, we’re talking seven years or so).  And even then I used to wait for the sale.

Anyhow. Said catalogues (the game survivors or those who can’t be arsed to figure out who’s actually still ordering their stuff) go to the loo where they are perused in lieu of magazines (another cutback). And usually I play the game of ‘Okay so which thing on this page would you wear if you Absolutely Had To Pick One Thing’ (at this point, let me point out that I don’t get very nice catalogues in the main – we’re talking Cotton Traders and the ilk).  This has taken over from the old pastime of ‘which house would you buy?’ which I used to play when my pal passed on her old copies of Country Life. I would add that I don’t spend a lot of time on this…  Unlike the males in this house who spend…HOURS on the bog. Aside: why DO men do that? Are they all constipated?  Just wondering. J  

But Boden. Hmm. Yeah.  They’ve suddenly upped their game. A lot.  As Fiona put it rather well:  ‘Yes – the coats, the little sixties-style dresses, the tweedy A-line skirts, sweaters and tops…want it ALL! Oh – and the boots.’  And then she mused, ‘Perhaps this improvement has been gradual, and I’ve missed the interim stages? There are none of the hideous mumsie dresses in terrible prints, or the ‘fun’ skirts.’

Oh hell yes, the ‘fun skirts’.  I used to spot a fair few of those at the school gate, along with the ‘witty’ cardigans.  And let me now just offer a swift prayer to the god of bad parenting for the TOTAL BLISS of no longer having to do the school gate thing. 

And I used to think, ‘Jesus, if I ever EVER buy a fun skirt from Boden, just shoot me.’  But now?  Nice things actually.  Things that, if I had an income, I might actually buy.  Whether I’d wear them, of course, is another matter.  J

Fiona writes great books by the way – check her out here 

I would wear those!
By the way, Boden know nothing of this post and there has been no bribery involved whatsoever. In these days of sponsored blog posts and wotnot I felt this was worth mentioning.  


Rachel said...

I thought that when I looked through the catalogue. Still can't afford any of it, mind.

Greg said...

Would just like to inform you, that I, despite being a male, am in & out of the toilet in a flash. This could quite possibly be due to the fact that I hate reading advertising brochures etc (which have also taken the place of magazines in the little room here in rural France. Next cost cutting measure will be to use them more... 'directly' whilst in there).

Rachel Selby said...

I also play that catalogue game. I had to google fun skirts as I'd never heard of them. I don't get Boden catalogues but I have to say that the Ikea catalogue has deteriorated over the past few years. It used to be like the Ideal Home Magazine with loads of room settings, now it's just a directory of homeware.

Ivy said...

Spooky, I nearly ordered those socks the other day. Had a15% discount voucher but decided to go 100% discount, better for that poor account of mine. While I was filling my shopping basket I realised they have some really nice stuff these days!

Lara said...

I've not bought from them for some time, since my first marriage broke down and I had to resort to slightly more economical clothing! I really thought their new stuff this season looked much more funky and current and I too have list of what I like, especially since they finally have included petite sizes

Anonymous said...

In the interests of economy all catalogues go straight into the recycling bin unopened. Instead I spend far too much time drooling over past seasons' fashions on ebay :)

English Mum said...

I'm the same actually. I wore a dress of theirs to an awards thingy last year and felt quite 'me' in it...

I'm with Rachel, though, still can't afford very much in it...

Irene said...

I regularly mention products by name out of my own free will because I love them and I would also love to get some sort of compensation but the word has not got out yet.

I do not know much about the Boden catalogue but possibly it is you who's changed and you may want to have a long hard look in the mirror and make sure you're still true to yourself :o)

Don't turn into a middle aged, countryfied, slightly dull, English woman yet. I like the more ornery, free fought version of you better and think you should develop her more.


Frances said...

The Boden catalogue occasionally shows up amid the various sections of my Sunday home delivery of The New York Times. I've never ordered anything thing but am usually curious to see what's on offer. In a recent Boden, I noticed the photo location was E. Pellicci, a London restaurant I've visited.

Jane...did you get my email about Cloud Atlas? Sent a while back...might have looked like spam.


Alison Cross said...

Typical. They post me loads of them over the years and THIS one doesn't appear.

Treat yourself to those socks. Do they come in your size?

Ali x

Cait O'Connor said...

Funnily enough I am in complete agreement about Boden lately and I spent half the morning deciding whether I dare order a tunic from Boden (and a denim shirt - don't tell anyone). Will have to cut down on food now :-)
Their cotton pull-ons they used to do are just fantastic, they are so well made and wash so well. I hope they bring those back.

Catherine said...

You're right. Boden have definitely upped their game! Just wait for the sales though.

Helen said...

Since David Cameron came 'out' and said he shops at Boden I haven't been able to face looking at another catalogue!

maddie said...

Trust me to leave the country when Boden up their game. Having had to send back a hideous cardigan just before I went two weeks ago, I can't believe it. The quality has been terrible in the last year or so.
In this part of the world, Boden sponsors the local point-to-point and Johnny, wearing comedy tweed plus-fours, brays for all he's worth. So no free Boden coming my way, that's for sure!

String said...

Stripey socks...yes

maddie said...

Fair play to Johnnie Boden - he's seen my comment your blog. Ooer:

--- On Thu, 11/10/12, Johnnie Boden wrote:
Date: Thursday, 11 October, 2012, 18:09

Hi Maddie, Sorry you don’t like our stuff- the hideous cardigan and the bad quality especially. We’ll continue to try harder. And I’ve never worn plus 4s to a point to point. I went this year in some jeans. All best Johnnie Boden.

This, from me:
Hi Johnny

They looked like tweed plus fours to me - this was a couple of years ago, mind. But fair play, must have left my specs at home.

Glad to hear you're improving the quality. I've had some great Boden stuff but stopped buying Boden for some time because the quality dropped off. And the cardigan - sadly, it wasn't pretty - the colour was different from the brochure.

Happy point-to-pointing next year.

Maddie Grigg