Recently I attended an Autumn/Winter styling event at the Boden store in London's Westfield. We were joined by Boden Stylist Sarah Corbett-Winder for a talk on the key pieces to carry you through Autumn into Winter. As well as being Boden's in house stylist, Sarah is founder of Sarah's Wardrobe where she shares where she is shopping and what's on her wish-list. Sarah is a self-confessed serial shopper, who has a serious addiction to clothes. As she has a treasure-trove of a wardrobe, she started to also rent out her wardrobe for weddings, parties, lunches, holidays through Sarah's Wardrobe.
As in house Stylist at Boden, Sarah's main role is putting all of the outfits together as well as working with the brand team on various projects, including press days and events, so who better to talk us through the key pieces from Boden for Autumn and Winter.
For a while now I've been trying to be more mindful when I'm shopping for clothes, I even did a 3 month shopping ban earlier in the year. I love clothes and shopping, that's not going to change, but I'm much more conscious about how much I'm shopping, whether I really need an item and the wider impact of what I consume. I'm also trying to stick to a budget when it comes to spending. Where I do purchase anything, I want it to be something I really love and will get a lot of wear out of.
The style event with Boden was great as it let me identify gaps in my wardrobe and really focus on items which are worth investing in as I'll love them and want to wear them for years to come. It also made me realise where I have something similar already and gave me ideas on how I can wear them and get the most out of my wardrobe. So I thought I'd share some of Sarah's picks and tips with you, as well as some of my thoughts as it may help you in a similar way.
Trouser suits have made a huge, huge comeback and are not just limited to the office as Sarah demonstrated. If you're after a good suit then Boden is a great place to start. The choice of fabrics is great, ranging from corduroy, velvet and the softest, stretchiest ponte fabric. I'm going to confess that I've never owned a suit. I just wanted to rebel a little from what I thought was a super corporate look, but I do love the way a well cut blazer makes me feel so I can see the appeal. Boden's offerings such as the cord pink suit and the patterned velvet design are really tempting me to try something new. The suits that are hitting the high streets allow you to show off your personality more with floral and bright colour designs, they're just fun especially if you team them with a slogan tee as Sarah has done. I love that you can wear a suit to work for those important meetings and then with an easy little change of top or shoe twist you're good to go for a date night or drinks with friends and be completely comfy!
A great leather jacket
Many a time throwing on a classic leather jacket has pulled my outfit perfectly together. My trusted go to jacket is years old and looking a bit too worn now, so Sarah definitely had my full attention when she showed us this gorgeous jacket. 'Everyone needs a great leather jacket in their wardrobe; it's the perfect versatile piece as you can throw it on with everything!' Sarah informed us and obviously I couldn't have agreed more. I loved this jacket! Classic cropped biker style but more fitted. The length and fit is super flattering and suitable for everyone. Plus how cute is the polka dot lining? I would wear this with a floaty midi dress or with a pleated midi skirt (my favourite look at the moment) for the perfect date night outfit.
Boden shoes are my weakness. They are just beautiful and I have a couple of pairs which I adore! I've got my eye on the Annie pointed slingbacks, I just can't decide between the rose and the polka dot ones, though so far I seem to go for pink when it comes to Boden shoes. There is a gorgeous shoe wall in the store, it made me happy just looking at it and yes I wanted to leave with a pair of each style in my size! I learnt a little tip at the event, that a number of the shoes come in half sizes, and the best thing to do is ask in store and they can order them in or contact customer services who will be able to help too. Handy to know.
Leopard print love!
Sarah remarked on what we've all noticed, that leopard print is here to stay! There's no escaping leopard print at the moment, every store has something to offer here. A good leopard print coat is a classic and will last you years! Boden's faux fur leopard coat skims the thigh. A cut which Sarah was very excited about as it's super flattering and accessible to all regardless of height. This coat is seriously cosy and feels so soft. It has a semi-fitted style and again another piece which will go with everything. Sarah reminded us that leopard print is a neutral so this coat will look just as good with jeans and boots as it does with an elegant dress, especially with the party season almost here. One of Sarah's key messages through the evening was not to save things for best or one off occasions. Get the most out of your favourite items, if they make you feel good, wear them as often as you can and that includes on the school run or the weekly shop. I think for me that's something that resonated with the shift towards slow styling. It isn't about being seen in something new all the time, it's about having some well chosen items that you love, that you happily wear again and again and last for years!
One of my favourite things about this time of year is knitwear! I love a bit of cashmere, and over the years I have invested in a couple of pieces which are still going strong. If you look after it, cashmere will last you ages and it doesn't date. Boden's cashmere is amazing, soft and cosy as it should be, but I appreciate cashmere may not be accessible to everyone's budget. That's why I like Boden's knitwear; they have a range of styles and price points but quality is never compromised. Some of my favourite picks are a gorgeous forest green woollen roll neck and a cute breton stripe jumper, both very versatile! Sarah's top pick was the Agnes Fair Isle jumper. Warm enough for woodland walks and perfectly cosy for relaxing by the fire; Sarah also loved the bold colours. It'd be my Christmas jumper of choice and I have to admit it was giving me some definite Sarah Lund from The Killing feels, which isn't far off what I'm after when it comes to Winter knitwear.
A beautiful classic coat
I completely fell head over heels in love with this coat. The check pattern, the wrap with tie belt detail and the beautiful A-line flare were all huge ticks when it comes to my coat of dreams. Again this coat will go with everything and the check print makes it another classic wardrobe staple you'll be turning to again and again. I'm a big fan of Boden coats, the quality is always amazing and long lasting. I picked up a gorgeous mint green Boden coat about 2 years ago in the sale and I think it's one of my all time favourites. It makes me feel happy every time I wear it, which is really important in the grey winter months. A classic cut in my favourite colour, I'd kept looking at it and when it went into the sale I had to snap it up.
Yes, I know, leopard print is a neutral and I mentioned Sarah reminded us of that during the evening, but this bag to me is a little statement. I think it's because I'm leopard print obsessed and so this bag definitely catches my eye. It's different than the average tan leather bag and I adore it. I liked the detail which has gone into the design, such as the lower leather panel which will help preserve the animal print cow hide and the cross body strap as well as the spacious tote design. I like a statement bag, but it has to be useful and hold all my essentials (and lets face it random non-essential items too). I was so so tempted to purchase this bag and I would have done, but I had just picked up a large leopard print bag which I'm loving. My goal to be more mindful about shopping and spending kicked in on that occasion, but I do still think it's a beautiful bag and yes as Sarah stated, it's a bag which will go with everything!
I have a weakness for a good slogan tee and I'd been admiring this Oh Darling tee for a while before I arrived at the event. Before I saw Sarah team it wonderfully with her suit. In fact this was the first thing I grabbed as soon as I arrived at the store that night. The fit is great; super comfortable and not too clingy. The boxy fit combined with the scoop neck is super flattering. As soon as I tried this on I just felt comfortable and happy. I just felt like me, so I know I'll get plenty of wear out of it. The hot pink leather clutch was kindly gifted to us on the night, so thank you Boden and thank you for a great evening of style. I’ll be popping back in a couple of weeks for the sparkle season style edit, so maybe see you there.
What are your most loved wardrobe must haves and styling tips?
This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own and based on my own experiences of the event. I purchased the tee myself and received the clutch bag as a gift for attending.