My Boden order arrived much more expeditiously than the M&S one. I will also have to pay for returns for this order, but took a chance anyway because I really love the quality of their knits and several that I was interested in went on substantial sale.

My 3 keeps:

Pics 1-3 Striped oversized merino sweater. I had to order the smallest size here and it is still very oversized, but not in the shoulder area or sleeves, which is key. It is a thick, substantial knit but because it is merino, it drapes. I can semi-tuck it, which makes the proportion better with the baggier jeans. This is a kind of no-brainer item for me -- I will likely wear it for years in different ways and even once the oversized trend is over, I will enjoy it at home. The quality is superb.

Pic 4: Cropped sweatshirt: Such a soft cotton and a fun paisley pattern in colours that brighten my winter days. Is this an illustration of Kibbe's theory that "no amount of detail" is too much for a gamine type? Maybe, though he'd recommend geometric patterns over organic swirls. But I like paisley, so there!

I'm also keeping a plain white tee with a nice neckline. This is for layering. I did not have one, and this one is substantial and a nice cut.

My maybes: Pics 5-7 -- a knit dress for summer. This was on substantial discount, so the price was very reasonable. On (wise) reviewers' advice, I sized down. But I'm not sure. This is a type of dress I desperately want/ need. Easy wash/ wear, throw on and go. You may recall my forays this past summer with one from Barbour that unfortunately had a logo splashed above the boob. Anyway...this one needs a racerback bra style (fine with me). It's too long, but could be shortened (I have shown it in the last pic roughly paperclipped up in front.) However, I feel the gathering at the waistline area is just a bit too much. I am getting a mutton dressed as lamb vibe. So I'm unsure.

Crepe pleated skirt, Pics 8-15. Pros: I love the pattern on this. I don't own such a skirt. It is basically all season in my climate, with tights beneath and boots in winter and bare legged in warmer weather.

Cons: the colours are mostly warm. The background is navy (not black) and there is a lot of white in it. But the pinks are warmer than described in some of the reviews (one reviewer claimed there was lilac in the pattern -- I would call it salmon pink). And the red is really a rust..

So the question is, do I have anything to wear it with besides navy or white? I am trying it here with various options -- a fire engine red jacket, darker red sweater, red sweater, the lilac M&S sweater I'm returning, a pink cashmere sweater, and a magenta sweater. It is surprisingly chameleon, at least in the photos, but I'm just not sure. Quality is lovely. It is a bit loose on me -- I ordered up because people complained about the snug waist and I can't stand that. I think I'd have been fine in my usual size but this gives an added measure of insurance in case of layering and it doesn't twist around.

Another potential "con" is simply the question of whether I'd wear it at all. Sometimes I still buy for my imaginary lifestyle. Am I imagining occasions to wear this? I don't know.

I hope these reviews may help someone else and I would appreciate any thoughts on the "maybe" items. Thank you!

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