throwback PHOTO CONTEST: $500 Mini Boden Gift Card

Do you remember deciding on your outfit for the first day of school? That was a BIG DEAL for me. I remember shopping for back to school clothes with my mom and specifically setting aside that first day of school outfit.




And then the day would arrive and you’d realize— OH #$%$#! I can’t wear suede boots and a corduroy skirt with tights on September 7th! It’s still summer and 90 degrees!





But then there was always school picture day and school dances and school assemblies and plenty of other opportunities to wear your favorite outfits throughout the year.



You could bust out your favorite pieces again and again, like the rest of your closet was just filler. Hell, you could wear them every week. Every other day, if you were one particular weirdo in my fifth grade class… but I wouldn’t advise it. KIDS TALK.



I used to love fashion when I went to school. Since you were seeing the same people every day, when you repeated outfits, broke out something new or switched things up was important. Every day was an opportunity to show off my personal style.

I don’t know if I was ever very good at it, but it was not for lack of trying.



Now, about five people see me on a regular basis, two of them five and under. One of them only through a computer so I don’t even need to wear pants.


If there is one thing I miss about working at a big company, it’s my wardrobe. I used to love getting compliments when I put together a particularly nice outfit.



Now I must live vicariously through my kids.




Mini Boden (based in London but super popular here too) supplied all of Mazzy and Harlow’s back-to-school outfits featured in these photos. They were also kind enough to dress Mike and I in their Boden line.


Mini Boden has long been one of my favorite brands for kids, because although their clothing is small in size, it is big on special details— just check out Mazzy’s sequined Peter Pan collar and the bright blue zippers on Harlow’s gold boots.





Speaking of boots, Mazzy is OBSESSED with her brown suede boots with the pink zippers. I practically had to rip them off her feet so she wouldn’t wear them to camp the day after our shoot.


The really great thing about Mini Boden is that even though their clothes look super special, they are comfy, cozy and perfect for romping around, since they are all made with materials meant to be washed time and time again.




I can attest to this because all of Mazzy’s well worn Mini Boden clothing is in perfect condition to hand down to Harlow.


Now— I almost hate to ruin such a beautiful post with some throwback photos, but… do you want to see some of the outfits I handed down to my little sister when I was a kid?

Let’s just say she didn’t make out nearly as well.

Here I am wearing a pink print button down with a thin white belt. If you look closely, you’ll see the end of the belt points down, as was the style at the time. Or at least, the style in Roslyn, Long Island. I cannot speak for the rest of the country.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 2.41.30 PM

Here I am in a school production of “Free to Be You and Me” wearing my favorite purple corduroy pants with a shirt I remember being in regular rotation way past its expiration date.


This next photo does not do my favorite sweatshirt justice, so you’ll just have to trust me when I tell you that it was covered in hand painted balloons, each bejeweled with a single rhinestone.


And here I am dressed up for a school dance in quite possibly the best outfit of the decade— at least, according to my seventh grade(?) self.  Were you lucky enough to own a white oversized button down with hand painted “Paris” graphics? I’m also really loving how I paired it with a thin neon belt, two-toned Guess jeans, several rhinestone bracelets and white lace tied in my hair as an ode to Madonna, I’m guessing.

Note: It also looks like my jeans are tucked into my socks.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 2.43.34 PM copy

I am also participating in my father’s favorite “artsy” camera technique— having me stand in a mirrored corner. Mirrored walls being quite prevalent in the ’80s.

And here’s a family shot that is not really school related (except maybe that book was required reading?) but it’s too good to pass up.


Don’t my parents look like passengers on the Love Boat? And yes, I am wearing a Members Only jacket. They weren’t just for men, you know.

Wondering what ’90s Ilana looked like?

Apparently, I wore bold patterned button downs under oversized blazers. And had a very serious PERM.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 2.46.00 PM

I would think this outfit was odd except all my other friends in this series of photos were also wearing oversized blazers. Unless we were going to an oddly themed “Blazer Party”, I have to assume this was in style.

Funny, because I remember wearing strictly flannel in the ’90s but could not find the pictures to prove it.

Hey— let’s have a look at Mike, shall we?

Mike spent most of his time in the ’80s and ’90s without a shirt on, so it was honestly hard to decipher any really style.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 2.09.15 PM copy

When he did put on clothes, he liked wearing hideous ties…

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 2.09.46 PM copy

Hideous sweaters…

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 2.09.56 PM copy

…and tucking tops into jean shorts.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 2.10.34 PM copy

He also played soccer like a champ.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 2.10.11 PM copy

Today, I’m launching an old school photo throwback competition for the chance to win a $500 Boden/Mini Boden gift card!

Post your old school throwback photos on the Mommy Shorts Facebook page or on Instagram tagging #FirstClassThrowback. If you enter on Instagram, you must follow both @mommyshorts @Boden_clothing to win.

I’m looking for photos that really show-off the styles of the time and the clothes you remember being your favorites.

One grand prize winner will be chosen on Monday August 31st to receive a $500 Boden gift card. Three runners up will all receive $50 Boden gift cards.

You can find the full rules here.

If you click on the graphic below, you will automatically get 15% off applied to your order, plus free shipping on all Boden and Mini Boden clothing!


My friend Raquel Langworthy took these photos of my family and she told me she purchased Harlow’s dog dress for her daughter as soon as she got home from the shoot.


Can’t wait to see that dog dress in Harlow’s throwback photos one day!


This post was sponsored by Mini Boden but all thoughts and opinions are my own. All photos (except the throwback ones!) were taken by Raquel Langworthy.