This is the second Boden catalog I’ve received in a month, which is rather aggressive. I can take a hint: Let’s welcome Boden to Catalog Police, my weekly takedown of mail-order horrors.
First, a little background on the Boden brand, which I’d never heard of until a few weeks ago. (I figured it was a launch or a new J. Crew imprint.) Turns out, Boden got started in the 90s, and the brand’s achieved huge popularity and recognition in the UK market. If you’ve recently received a Boden catalog in the U.S., you’re a target in the brand’s latest strategy: to overtake the lucrative American mail-order market.
Before I dive into my critique, it’s important that to note that I’m likely NOT the typical Boden customer. Historically, the brand has served as a uniform for “yummy mummies” in their 30s or 40s with a pattern obsession that rivals Vera Bradley. The Boden brand is worlds away from my current lifestyle and aspirations.
But judging by Boden’s persistent mailings, their marketing algorithms seem to think I am a primary target. Boden, I accept your challenge.
Sigh. I wanted a CHEETAH peacoat, not CHEETO.
(PS: I showed a lot of restraint by not mentioning the overly alert cow in the background.)
How will you spend your discretionary $108? On the neon golf print that’s completely inappropriate for fall? Or the muddy tweed conjured from Mary Poppins’ carpet bag?
Those sad little leather Band-aids affixed to the waistband? Yeah, they can’t fix this bloody mess.
I know I’m being harsh. But before I launch into my final verdict, there’s some good news: Not everything in the Boden catalog was horrific. Here are two looks I liked:
The Oxford-sweater-skirt combo is a classic no-brainer. Meanwhile, the pink dress is incredibly flattering AND it’s machine washable, which is basically a miracle.
But all my goodwill drained when I spotted THIS huge grammatical error on page 57:
Boden, I’m writing you a ticket for zany color selections, poor fabrication and idiotic, easy-to-avoid grammatical errors. You’re lucky you had that pink dress — otherwise, you’d be spending the night in the slammer.