If less is more.....

... then I'm on a roll. 

Continuing with my review of the Boden Spring range and this time round I thought I'd see what their basics are like.  Boden are well known for their prints but seeing I had such success with my plain jumpers from there last season, when they asked this time what I'd like to review, I said I'd go with the classics. 

With my French "less is more" ethos still front and foremost in my mind, I chose three things that I thought would work perfectly in expanding my Parisian wannabe wardrobe.  

First up - classic skinnies.  But with a slight twist.... Lovely detailing of an ankle zip, which you can open slightly to give a tiny flare to the bottom of the jeans (plus it makes getting them on so much easier.) 

These are the ones I chose.  I've had skinnies from Boden before and I have and do rate them highly.  I would love them to do a couple more washes in the denim and a little bit of distressing wouldn't go amiss but that's just my inner grunge coming out. 

Reasons I love these?  They're skinny but they're not spray on.  They don't look they've been hermetically sealed to your legs, giving that not so attractive, sausage bursting out of its skin, look. Even in white, Boden skinny jeans work.  Fact.  Oh and they don't stretch during the day, which randomly I always find worse with white jeans, and make you look like a saggy old bag by teatime.

Zip Ankle Skimmer Jeans £49 



I got them in the classic black (although to be honest, I could do with the grey pair as well.... love the faded look to them with the contrasting black zip) as I don't think you can ever have enough black skinnies.  These are the ideal every day fling on trousers - so many of my black skinnies I shy away from wearing as they're "for best".  I know I know, I shouldn't do this but, well I do.  And so having another pair would be infinitely useful.  And these are perfect.  I got the long and, at 5ft10, they are just above my ankle bone with a great mid rise to hide my muffin.

Black Zip Ankle Skimmer Jeans 





It was a toss up between choosing the black jeans or the pants below.  I love this whole look - it screams chic to me and I am very tempted to order the pants myself. 

Skinny Minnie Pant £49




These are the jeans that I have had before and can totally vouch for.  I have them in the white.


Skinny Jeans £49



Topwise, I was looking for something that was slightly more substantial than a tee but not so thick it wouldn't go under a blazer so selected the Easy Day Jumper and am really really pleased with it.  It's a very lightweight cotton so will take you right into the Summer, it's the perfect length - just on the waistband therefore hiding my *must do something about it* muffin.  And not too long over high waisted *actually I'll just wear these & hide the muffin* jeans. 

Easy Day Jumper £49



I chose the grey melange as I don't have a grey sweater and I thought it was the best neutral to work with the other basics that I have, navy, black, white and khaki for my Francophile look.  As well as being a black canvas for those other days when I'm in the mood for bling.  I also got the 12 as I don't find Boden generous with their sizing and I definitely didn't want it too tight. 

The sleeves aren't long long as say most of the reviews but I don't find them irritatingly short at all.  

In the grey melange 




First time I wore this, one of my closest friends revealed she was wearing the exact same jumper and couldn't rave highly enough about it.  We both agreed we'd be buying more in different colours. 

Top of my list would be the Breton version.  Which I would definitely wear with the black jeans - my obsession with navy and black knows no bounds.  Whether it is an ode to Paris, I don't know but I certainly am putting up there with my homage to all things glamourous and French.  It definitely seems to fit the brief.

Melange Navy £49



On the subject of Bretons of course, Boden have a classic set to choose from.  Now I've never had a Boden Breton but I do know people who speak very highly of them.  On the website reviews, recently it does seem to be totally personal preference as to whether they work or not but there are definitely more positives than negatives to them.  

The shape for me, is the perfect Breton shape.  I love the fact that it seems to be not a thick heavy Breton fabric as that really isn't that suitable for the Spring/Summer months and is certainly pants when it comes to layering. 

Top of my wishlist would be the classic blue £25  For the record, the chances of me swanning around on the beach wearing just my bikini bottoms and a Breton are totally non existent. There is a reason I asked them to send me jeans which will be clad to my legs for the foreseeable months.



And as we're staying on the subject of a pared back, classic French style (literally in the case of the model above - when I said, less is more, I meant in general and full on fashion looks as opposed to actual items of clothing.....just to clarify.....) then I'd go for colours that would complement that clean look. 

I am having a love affair with my yellow breton - perfect with navy, black or grey and all the basic shades together. 

In Ivory/Butter 



The other colour I think would definitely work wonders with our basics is the Ivory/Aster (that's grey to you and me.....) version. 




My final choice of item to review was a pair of shoes that I have seen advertised again and again and simply had to try.  I thought these would be the perfect added interest to my French basics. 

And they are indeed.  Now, the one thing I will say about them is that they do need wearing in.  But I find that with every single pair of new shoes or sandals in those first months that we free our feet from the confines of socks and tights. 

If I had a £1 for every time I've been complimented on these, I could buy the silver pair too. 

Lille Lace up point £89



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And the silver.  Now I chose the navy as I thought they were a more classic colour and I know that I have more things to go with them.  Yes, I have had my concerns about the whole Irish Dancing connotation but in the navy suede as opposed to the black leather, for me, these really work. 

Although the silver were a very close second. 




So I've been trying out my basics with some old favourite clothes and I am over the moon with them.  I think they are the perfect Spring additions.  They are the ideal antithesis to the onslaught of 70s mania which, I'll be honest, has totally overwhelmed me. 

I have thought, thought about being able to combine my basic pared back look with some 70s influences and being able to create a look that works for me and one that isn't just lifted from the pages of a magazine that works on a 20yr old stick thin model with no kids to run around after but doesn't quite translate to a 42 yr old mum in Commutersville (who does get out occasionally......!)  Of course, the chances of this not working are high.  Very very high but that's the beauty of fashion and personal style - you can give it a go and if it doesn't work, just take it off and put something else on. 

The upside about having a great set of basics to work from, is that they will always work on their own.  And classic style never goes out of fashion. 

I'm quite pleased (she says modestly) with how they've worked so far and can highly recommend. 

Discount code that works at the moment - 4Q9S gives you 11% of one item, two items equals 16% off and three items or more will give you 21% off.  

So here's a repost of a pic from last week - the grey Easy Day jumper and the navy Lille shoes.  I love the simplicity of this outfit.

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And here - today in the zip skinny jeans with the shoes again.  

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White layering shirt - Me+Em
Black merino knit jumper - Uniqlo
Black zip skinny jeans - Boden
Check coat - Hobbs
Navy Lille pointed flats - Boden
Stone Maxi Zip satchel - Anya Hindmarch

I definitely think there is something to be said for finding excellent building blocks in your wardrobe.  My cunning plan is to accrue some great basics and then be able to go slightly off piste with some fully on trend fashion bits and "hopefully", if you put them together, it will work.  That's my theory anyway and, thinking about the dungarees, I think it works.  I'm sure there will be those who disagree but that's the great thing about personal style.  It's personal and so long as it works for you and you feel comfortable in it, then that's all that matters. 


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CONVERSATION

59 comentarios:

  1. I'm definitely one of those who fall on the 'huge fan' side of the Boden Breton. I have several, which have served me well over a good few years now. I'm not so keen on the pastels - they're just not me - but the navys and greys are just perfect wardrobe basics aren't they? Great choices all round here, I love the shoes (the pound's in the post), but alas the style doesn't love me back so I'll be admiring them from afar on everyone else this season! xx

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    1. Not a pastel person at all here either, although I have to say I have loved my lilac jumper (even though lovely Donna says it's not me!)

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  2. Thanks Kat. I sat for hours last night making a list of things I wanted to 'inject' into my staples this Spring (mostly recommendations from yourself!) so have just sat down and ordered the shoes, grey jumper and a yellow stripey Breton. Then felt guilty so quickly added 2 tops for Toddler 😉
    Fingers crossed the shoes fit. I've also had to order 16 in the tops. Do they come up small or do I just need to eat less chocolate? I want them 'slouchy' and after 2 spells round the dryer for my existing size 14 ones they aren't quite right 😞

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    1. The jumper, I definitely sized up in as I didn't want it to be skimpy on me and I have always found Boden to be cut on the not so generous side. It's not as easy as you'd think, finding basics for a plain wardrobe, is it?! Glad to have been of help x

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    2. You are so wise. I ordered the Breton and the grey jumper in a 16 (due to excessive love of tumble drying) and love them both. Also bought the navy Lille points and although I'm trying really hard to play it cool, my heart does a little skip when I see them on the side in the dressing room waiting for a nice spell of weather.
      And just to chime in, I think it's jealousy!! So what if Boden have given you nice things? Good for you. I doubt you'd lie about them and you deserve every opportunity that comes your way. I'm always jealous when I see my fav bloggers being sent freebies...I don't criticise them for it though!! xx

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    3. Oh I'm so pleased you love them! xxxx

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  3. I love your Boden edit Kat, but I have to ask if you've found the Boden Lille shoes a bit meagre soled? I've had to send a lovely navy pair back to Boden this week and I'm on the fence as to whether to reorder...

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    1. Hmm now that's interesting, I haven't even thought about checking the sole.... So no, I haven't noticed that... Like I said, they definitely have taken some wearing in on me but then I find that with so many Summer shoes that you first wear without socks. Of course everyone's feet are different so they're going to fit differently on different people!

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  4. Whoops, I forgot to add that the zip was faulty which is why I returned them.

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    1. Ah. Well that would definitely be a returning thing!

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  5. I think I'm going to have to order a couple of Breton tops from here as everyone raves about them so much. The shoes are fabulous :) x

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    1. Like I say, I've never tried the tops but yes, people do rave about them and they do look great. I can though personally recommend the Every Day jumpers! (which are more like tops to be honest!)

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  6. Oh careful you'll have some of the witches saying you are sponsering boden ! . I love the lemon Breton , but I was in tescos and the Bretons are 7 quid and amazing !. Xx

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  7. Kat, I love your blogs and look forward to having a chuckle as I read them. This blog however just seems like free pr for boden in exchange for free goods and i feel that however honest your reviews it is hard to accept. Such a shame as I usually look forward to your blogs.

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    1. I'm sorry that you feel that way. And I don't really understand your point as every single blog has recommendations on things I like from various retailers - all of which I would wear. i'm not sure how, just because I was asked to choose a couple of things to review (I could have chosen anything on the site) - a site that I feature regularly and have purchased from - suddenly calls into question my honesty. I am sorry that you haven't enjoyed this blog and I guess there's nothing I can say to make you think differently, as I have put this point across every time i (very very very rarely) accept a product (that I love) to review.

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  8. Gotta agree with anonymous above, I read your blog every day and look forward to it but free pr for companies... Feels odd to me. But then I know you need to make a living and would I do the same? Well probably yes. Does make question it all a bit though.

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    1. As you agree with the above hopefully you won't mind reading the reply rather than me repeating it!

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  9. My only Boden purchases are 3 Breton tops that I still love and they've held up really well. I really like the shoes, so cute. Boden in the US is more expensive, so I wait for sales. But the few things I like typically sell out by the time a good promo rolls around.

    It doesn't bother me at all that you've done a review of Boden. Your blog is about clothes, shoes, bags, scarves, hats, etc. If you did a rando promotional review of a vacuum cleaner or even Eileen Fisher clothing on your blog, I'd side-eye. But cute shoes? Never. Maybe having disclosure language somewhere on your blog (or applicable blog post) that addresses promotional considerations but your opinions are your own, etc. would help?

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    1. AHA! but have you seen the new Eileen Fisher basics....? Funny you should say that, as I do know the (lovely lovely) PR person from EF and I do keep meaning to go and check out her wares at her shop in Covent Garden!!

      But thank you xxx

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    2. I'll have to check it out, Kat, and keep an open mind. When I think of EF, those shapeless long linen dresses come to mind. But I used to think Boden was just dowdy tea dresses, and it's not anymore. I will say the fabrics and materials that Eileen Fisher uses seem very luxurious, which elevates any basic.

      And in agreement with the poster below, KOKO Kat! Love what you do here.

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  10. Kat does a blog, most days, about fashion that we get to read for free. Kat has also said before that she gets loads of opportunities for promo blogs and only accepts what she will wear. Kat says in this blog that she got to pick the items and she's picked her favourite items. Not sure what the issue is. And let's face it, the shoes are gorgeous.

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    1. Thank you - people will always have their opinions and if that's what they want to think, then they're entitled to their them - I've done everything I can to try and point out how I think I've maintained my integrity and that it really doesn't affect my honesty but well....

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  11. Heartily agree with Michelle. I have no idea why people get so het up about it when Kat very occasionally does a promo blog. Kat you are always clear about it when you do - and most importantly you share your views and are honest about what you are promoting. And you wear your freebies again - not just for the promo blog - I've been following you long enough to notice. Come on people - again, what Michelle said - we get to read this hugely entertaining and very helpful blog for nothing. If you ask for advice Kat offers it freely and kindly. And if she thinks something doesn't work, she says so!

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    1. What I meant to say before getting all hot under the collar (!)...I have ordered three Boden Bretons (navy, yellow, red) and I have the navy Lilles already but am a little ashamed to say they remain unworn cos it's still too bloody cold! However you have inspired me and I am wearing them today!

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    2. My red breton arrived today, very happy with it, already had the navy from a year or so ago. washes up lovely and no fading either. opted for red as 16 year old daughter pointed out i dont do colour, as its all black, grey and navy, so the red will be my tribute to colour. :) I also agree with the points both you and Michelle made. .

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  12. Ohh la la. I am loving you Parisian flare this year. 3 perfect items that I'm betting you'll wear over and over and over again. X

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    1. I'll be whapping out the onions soon (and no that's a euphemism unless we're talking shallots!)

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  13. Great choices, Kat. Love Them all! I have the easy day jumper and you're right, it's so flattering! I honestly don't see what people are getting so get up about, you regularly feature Boden in your blog and wear their clothes anyway. Your reviews are always honest and to the point, which I love. Great post! Lynne xx

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    1. Couldn't you have the Easy Day jumper in every colour? The ideal non clingy top that is still thin enough for layering. And thank you love xxx

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  14. Anons and their productive comments eh? :/ Maybe they're just jealous, like me, at not being able to quite afford those shoes *dreams*
    I think you picked perfect staples for your wardrobe, clearly YOUR style, effortless ❤
    Someone should tell anons to cry me a river ;)
    I love your blog Kat xx

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  15. So strange reading the negative comments as while I was reading your blog I was thinking to myself that I must check out those zipped jeans and get myself a Boden Breton!! They look great on you. How I would love (dream) to be that person wearing it on the beach with my bikini bottoms! Great blog as always Kat.. very inspiring, Audrey xx

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    1. The jeans are honestly amazing! Love 'em. Thank you xxx

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  16. I've always HATED Boden, and looked at it as hideous stuff for people with cankles ( I know.. mean right) but.. I'm going to admit, the jeans look great, I've bought some skinny Mint Velvet jeans which are identical but really skinny so quite like the look of a less skinny skinny and actually the Breton Sweatshirt looks amazing ( Having ordered and returned the Wang Breton Sweatshirt from last year I'm still on the hunt)
    So.. anyway, what I'm saying is that whilst I've always been on the I hate Boden side of the fence, this post is making me thing, hang on don't be an arse and maybe try the stuff you've just seen on here and actually liked...thanks Kat xxx

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    1. Thank you. you've hit the nail on the head with the jeans - they're skinny but they're still just on the right side of loose not to be unflattering with a tighter top. I'm not sure that the Breton tops are sweatshirts - I think they're definitely more of a teeshirt fabric so you might want to continue your hunt (have you looked at the Saint James ones Atterley Road but size down as they're huge. Alternatively check out Petit Bateau.....)

      The whole point of this blog is that it doesn't matter WHERE you shop - it's about finding the right product and hell, it's quite nice to find somewhere new to shop!! xx

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    2. Yeah, your'e right, the cankles comment is really mean spirited.

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  17. Love those shoes Kat, they look fab, I have a Johnnie B breton that has lasted me years, Am now tempted to get the grey sweater! xxx

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    1. The grey sweater would look fab on you xxxx

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  18. I think you can, pretty much, get away with any look. I always love your' simple, classic outfits but I am girding my loins for your' FULL ON Gucci look. :0) H xx

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    1. HA HA HA There will be no full on Guci look...... Hmmmm

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  19. Dear Kat, been reading your blogs from the beginning. I have no problem with it. Love your honesty and wit. Let the haters hate, you're gorgeous and a lovely person.
    From a 40 something mum with one Asperger child and one autistic child. Xx

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    1. Thank you. That means an awful lot xxxx

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  20. Just to add my penny to this. I agree, your blog is so fab and funny and you are an honest, personal blogger. I have seen too many suddenly raving about some obscure brand that they have 'discovered' - ie been paid to review. No problem with that either if it is upfront. Lets face it we all have a bit of a love hate relationship with Johnny B. Kat you're not saying you LOVE Hotchpotch are you? That I would find hard to believe - but but but Boden do do good, plain staples in among the dodgy prints that you just know will be heavily discounted very soon. I ordered those criss cross shoes in orange but they are cut too low for my wide and corny trotters (sorry for detail) and the orange is a bit faded. Love the Bretons though and the unusual colourways - feel the love Kat and keep on keeping on (yes the 70's vibe has got me!±)

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    1. I have to say I do still struggle with a lot of Boden but then i'm not going to wear it, promote it, or recommend it! They have definitely upped their game and have a lot of very different wares now that are absolutely gorgeous. This has been the case for a couple of seasons now and if people don't want to acknowledge that, there's there very little I can do about it now.

      Alternatively, if it's still not their thing, that's fine. Again, horses for courses, I accept that they don't like it but I do struggle when people are insistent that it's not for me either!

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  21. Don't know anything about Boden ....but your hair looks lovely straight! X

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    1. Thank you! A change is as good as as rest and I haven't got round to getting a new Big Hair yet!

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  22. Kat I love your blog, honest, funny and well written and you've probably cost me a fortune over the time I've been following you! I've fallen out of love with Boden recently, nothing seems to fit me, I'm 5'8" size 10/12 and struggle with length of tops, jumpers and sleeves but I may have another look after reading this and knowing you are taller than me. Great choice of items, I love those shoes. Xx

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    1. Thank you! I found it does help if you size up - they aren't generously cut at all. I wouldn't want to wear the Easy Day top with very low cut jeans but it's perfect for a mid rise and sits nicely just below the waist band on me. Perfect and not too long x

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  23. Hi Kat, interesting post and I want to hit the buy button! How do the zip skinnies come up size wise. I am a standard 14 in many things but do have a fat tum - should I size up or is there enough give in the waistband. Many thanks,
    Sarah

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    1. I think they're absolutely true to size. hmm and I think there's a fair amount of give in the waistband. I don't have a waist and do have a thick middle but these are fine on me in my usual size. Hope that helps xx

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    2. Perfect sense! Thank you for your reply x

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  24. Good Lord what is wrong with people... don't they realise that a huge percentage of fashion bloggers feature freebies in almost every post?! And don't they know that someone as intelligent & strong minded as you is not about to say they love something they actually hate?

    Actual despair.

    Adore these shoes as you know, though have read a few reviews about comfort / breaking in issues and am so paranoid about sore feet (aka old wuss) that this puts me off. I do like the grey jumper a lot though.

    Keep doing what you're doing Kat. Other people's issues are theirs, not yours.

    X

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  25. Really helpful review Kat. I've been wondering about how good the skinnies and bretons were from Boden. Love the blog - only one I read! Love your humour and all the detail you go into. Keep going! Kate, Hants

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    1. Thank you, I'll keep going! xx

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  26. Hi Kat, Love, Love, Love your blog. Always look forward to reading the latest discovery - have finally given in after drooling after so many lovely pieces and bought both the easy day jumper and the lille shoes in silver:) Bec xx

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  27. I think going for the navy shoes was a wise choice Kat & they really look fab in all your outfits! I'm yet to purchase from Boden but that doesn't stop me lusting over some of their stuff, the Bretons especially & every year they bring out a killer pair of shoes that everyone goes mental for! I hate the way you have to justify your reviews to the average Joes & everything you have ever reviewed has been worn more then once! In your words, my dear.....jog on haters! x

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