Johnnie Boden launched a mail-order catalog in the U.K. in 1991--simply named Boden. Though the first catalog featured only menswear lines, the entrepreneur soon realized that women were easier to target, so he introduced a women's clothing line just a year later. Children's apparel followed in 1996, under the sub-brand Mini Boden. When it launched its UK ecommerce website in 1999, the company really began to pick up steam and started getting some recognition internationally. The brand also became more financially sound after being subject to several robberies in the first few years, which drained most of its savings.
Boden officially launched in America in 2002, which led to a gradual rise in international sales that would go on to outpace growth within the UK. The brand moved to a larger warehouse in Leicester in 2003, and it ships more than 12,000 parcels from the location each day. Boden has expanded into other niches as well, with the introduction of Baby Boden in 2007 and Johnnie b (a teen line) in 2010. In 2015, the company announced plans to begin opening retail stores in the U.S. and the U.K. to supplement flourishing online and catalog sales.
According to its slogan, Boden's apparel is "New British," which essentially translates to casual basics with a distinctly European flair. With all the sub-brands under the Boden name, the company makes apparel for every major age group. For babies, you can find options like bodysuits, rompers, sleepbags, and hooded towels geared toward infants. Toddlers also have an array of clothing, including dresses, knitwear, pants, jeans, playsets, and jackets. Clothes for kids are divided into boys' and girls' collections. For boys, you'll find casual button-down shirts, sweaters, graphic tees, henleys, thermals, trousers, and sweatpants. Girls' options include dresses, skirts, blouses, and leggings. Both genders also have selections of underwear, socks, outerwear, and skiwear.
Boden's catalog of women's apparel is even more exhaustive and features almost everything you need to create a complete wardrobe. Tops include tees, tanks, blouses, tunics, scoopnecks, crewnecks, button-downs, sweatshirts, kaftans, and more. Dresses are available for both casual and dressy occasions and feature an array of stylish cuts and patterns. In bottoms, jeans, leggings, leather pants, trousers, and crops are all popular, and the brand features shorts and skirts for warmer weather. Workwear brings a little formality for an office environment, while loungewear and nightwear are perfect for wearing around the house. Activewear collections complement your workout, while swimwear options include one- and two-piece swimsuits. Pumps, ballet flats, wedges, boots, and booties are all popular and stylish footwear options.
The clothes from Boden have a unique quality that sets them apart from other brands in the same general niche. Styles put a new spin on traditional designs, and they are all infused with a certain European flair. Boden apparel is fashion-forward without feeling stuffy, and the creators' senses of humor shine through in a way that is refreshing. Clothes aren't cheap, but the brand is less expensive than designer apparel--even with the costs of importing garments from the U.K. We give Boden 4.5 stars out of 5.