Seeing spots and stripes in Boden summer dresses…

When I was invited by Boden to write a post  on a topic of my choosing, there was one topic that immediately sprang to mind – summer dresses.

It doesn’t matter what else I may have in my wardrobe, my search for the perfect summer dress is always on. And then, when a sunny day arrives, knowing that my perfect dress is sitting in the wardrobe makes my day complete, even before I’ve opened my eyes.

To me spots always signify the arrival of the spring and summer and it is for that reason that I chose to include the Iris shirt dress (£79) which comes in four colour ways. This classic combination of navy and white would work well for an office or work environment, without being too formal.

Although the dress would look great teamed with a navy or cream bag, I felt that with its dark background it could take an injection of colour and this yellow Kate Spade bag ticked that box nicely. For me, whatever the occasion, it’s nice to have an element of something unexpected in your outfit, which is why I also opted for the spotty shoes, rather than a more traditional plain shoe.

Spots also lend themselves really well to a pattern clash, so I worked in some leopard print shoes and a leopard print belt, above and below. In fact spots pretty much work with anything – so just have a play and see where they take you.

Style notes, I’m wearing the size 8 in this dress but there was enough room in it for me to have sized down to a size 6. Although I’m only 5ft 6″ tall, I ordered the long length as I was interested to see how “long” the long really was. For a smarter dress like this, I liked the longer length – and to me it’s a real bonus that Boden does a longer length.

Another favourite of mine for the spring and summer are stripes, hence my choice of the Blackberry dress (£49). This dress comes in seven colour ways, not all of which are striped.

This dress is a more casual option that the Iris shirt dress although it can be styled up. The soft jersey fabric makes it a really easy dress to wear and perfect for a summer holiday or day trip out with children in tow and all that that entails!

I’m wearing this dress with an old favourite statement H&M necklace which people ask me about whenever I wear it. In the top picture I’ve opted for a summer basket and above and below I’ve swapped the basket for a tasselled flamingo pouch, which instantly makes the outfit more pub/dinner appropriate, despite the flat Topshop shoes.

Style Notes: This dress is also a size 8 and comes up true to size. I think that it might be possible to size down to a size 6 but then I might be conscious of the elastic on my waist and I don’t like that feeling, even if it’s not tight. As to the length? Again this is the longer length but because I would wear this dress casually and probably with flats, I would be tempted to try the standard length, just for comparison purposes.

Honesty policy! Although I have received payment for this post, Boden have not had any control over its content. All of the statements and opinions given are my own and all are completely genuine. The trust that readers place in my recommendations is very important to me and I wouldn’t do anything to jeopardise that.


  1. Carol
    June 8, 2015 / 9:33 am

    Gorgeous dresses – particularly the stripey one which would be very useful for my casual lifestyle. Wish I had your arms though…I run too but it doesn't seem to help that department! Beth re your snakeskin lace up flats – I bought some after seeing you wear yours fairly often – and finally I've found a pair of ghillies that are comfortable! However am now wondering if I should have bought the black rather than snakeskin????? I do have a pair of black pointed flats – although they're not lace up – what do you reckon?

    • StyleGuile
      June 9, 2015 / 9:14 pm

      Hi Carol, the striped dress is lovely and comfortable to wear – colourful but stylish too. I would stick with the snakeskin lace ups as Rachel said – they are really versatile. I just prefer them against my fairer skin tone too!

  2. Gareth From
    June 8, 2015 / 7:32 pm

    Gorgeous dresses, Beth. I'm loving the polka dots, especially. And those shoes you've paired it with are just lovely x

    • StyleGuile
      June 9, 2015 / 9:15 pm

      Hi Gareth – thank you! It could be deemed spot overload but you know, the summer calls for a bit of spot and stripe madness!

    • Gareth From
      June 10, 2015 / 7:37 am

      You're very welcome. Nah, I love it! Precisely what the Summer needs! x

  3. Rachel Gear
    June 9, 2015 / 8:07 am

    Lovely, fresh looks and you've reminded me that I need to dig out my H&M necklace too! In answer to Carol above, I'd say stick with the snakeskin as they are more of a neutral and will therefore be more versatile! I found them comfy too but couldn't get round how long and 'witchy' my feet looked, so back they went…

    • Carol
      June 9, 2015 / 3:49 pm

      Thanks Rachel! I agree the snakeskin is very useful. And a bit more interesting too. I know what you mean about the length and witch look of them…especially as I had to size up! But I'll get used to them!

    • StyleGuile
      June 9, 2015 / 9:17 pm

      Thanks Rachel – yes, do dig your necklace out! That's a shame re the shoes. I know a few people who have come to that conclusion but I think that the "from where I stand" view is very different to how others see them. That's what I'm working on any way!!

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