Black trouser challenge 5

Yep, it's week five of my self-imposed black trouser challenge and I'm still going strong. I thought it was about time to inject a good ol' dollop of colour this time by way of this floralfest of a blouse. One of my favourite stylings of this fabulous blouse was featured on the blog here. Cost-per-wear for my trousers has dropped down to a comfortable £8 so I'm a very happy bunny. Let's take a look at this week's offering shall we?

So what can I say about this five week love affair? The ruffles still make my heart somersault, the fit is still good after lots of wash'n'wear, and I'm finding black such a dream to partner up with the contents of my wardrobe. This morning I found another clutch of tops which could easily have made an appearance here and not looked out of place in the least. I do wonder if I would have been quite so inspired if I'd chosen a plain, basic cut pair of black trousers for my style challenge, but hey, you know that I wouldn't have fallen for anything less than wonderful to convert me to the joys of black breeks! My sole concern is that you, my dear reader, are tiring of the repeated exposure to these fancy pants. Please whizz on by if this doesn't enchant you as it does me - I'll understand.

Trousers: River Island (still available here), blouse: Next (charity shop find, so may be quite old), shoes: New Look, rings: charity shopped, sunglasses: Quay Australia, heart pendant: boutique find, but no idea of the name, sorry!

This is a non-sponsored post.

My next post will be on Monday when I feature the #5Over50 challenge - hope to see you then!

Anna x


I can't get enough of these summer florals!

It's summer at last, so there's no need for me to apologise for this overdose of all things floral. The foundation of this outfit is this pair of magnificent billowing trousers. At £5 from New Look many summers ago I knew they were going to be worth it. I had them relined with a lovely swishy fabric as they had a stretchy lining which didn't enhance the grandness of them at all. Now, when I move about the gallery in my swishy pants, I exude an air of the VIP, which of course I am, being the manager. 

Any minute now and we'll hit July and August, our busiest period of all at work. It's a crazy mix of the most wonderful and most terrible of times - wonderful, as it's the culmination of all of my winter planning, and terrible, as it's so very busy that I have very little time to stop and enjoy it. Our exhibition period sees Polly and I like speeded up versions of ourselves; hanging, selling and taking down paintings in our very own groundhog day. But we love it, every single minute and make sure we laugh at ourselves as we unpack, hang, sell and re-wrap repeatedly in a flurry of bubble wrap and fragile tape over the most hectic 60 days of the year. We host 6 exhibitions in those 60 days, yes that's one every 10 days and they flash past us so quickly that one day, we look up at each other to discover that it's suddenly September. Crazy!

In the midst of all of this I try to ensure we get time to recharge our batteries and my favourite way of doing that is to hop onto our little boat and take off to a quiet beach somewhere. We took our friends Anna and Charlie off to an uninhabited island last week during that amazing heatwave and for us all it seemed like a day in paradise.

Not for us, those sandy sandwiches - no, we're terribly posh with our table and chairs to host the finest of fare. A huge coolbag stashed underneath to keep the refreshments cool and we're good for the next few hours. Now what else did the maid pack?

Just drop us over there, my good man.

The boat comes with this rather dashing boatman. All at no extra charge.

Please join me on Friday for the 5th instalment of my black trouser challenge. Today's outfit details are - trousers: New Look (very old), blouse, belt, clutch, bracelet, rings and sandals are all charity shopped, sunglasses: Quay Australia, green pearls: Almost Perfect.

Anna x


Scuba-doo skirt

I wore this scuba skirt during our recent heatwave and got so many compliments that I realised I need to showcase it more often. We had a leaving do for some locals a few days later and out it came, styled a bit differently, winning lots of approval. I didn't get any shots of that evening, but rest assured I'll wear it all again soon.

There's something about wearing a big net underskirt that gives me a real buzz. A sense of dressing up, of high jinks, frolicking fun and general joie de vivre are all embodied in this most feminine of undergarments. If you're looking to add impact to your wardrobe I would encourage you to take a leap of faith and buy one of these. Mine came from eBay and didn't cost very much at all. They are transformational for any full skirt or dress. Perhaps you could keep it for NYE or a party if you feel a bit timid wearing it for the first time. I swear that it will give you such a boost in confidence to whoosh about playing the part. Do try it, and if you do please let me know how it went.

Details - skirt: H&M, underskirt: eBay, top: gift, belt: charity shopped, sandals, New Look, jewellery: charity shopped, sunglasses: Quay Australia.

Linking with -
Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb
Cherie of Style Nudge

Anna x


Black trouser challenge 4

Week four of this challenge brings the cost per wear down to £10 which is a figure that I like, and I've not run out of ideas yet either. This is a non-sponsored post, done for the sheer joy of testing myself to see how many variations I can come up with over the next few weeks.

You could say I'm getting into my stride with these now. (Sorry.) But anyway, I'm having fun and that's what it's all about isn't it? This jacket is an old favourite of mine and Angela's too (hello!) but the fact that the top button doesn't close means I might have to get on the bathroom scales again to see what's amiss. 

Classic cream and black could sound a bit unadventurous, boring even, but the ruffle hems and mini pleats put paid to any nonsense like that. And just to ensure there's no trace of the mundane these lovely leopard print courts are a winning move. As the day warmed up I removed the jacket to reveal this pretty lace top. Lots of textures and fancy embellishments is what this outfit is all about and it has me in my element. Every time I stride out in these fancy pants I get a real spring in my step. They're a great blend of classy, stylish and a tad sexy too - what a winning combination! 

Details are - trousers: River Island, jacket: S'NOB, lace top: charity shopped (no label), shoes: Salord Jover, all jewellery: charity shopped, sunglasses: M&S (old).

I'll be back on Sunday so do swing by for the latest.

Anna x


National Selfie Day - #Gemfie

Did you know it's National Selfie Day today? For many, today will be celebrated for being the Summer Solstice with much dancing around standing stones and bathing in the early morning dew. But for me, well I've been enlisted by Gemporia to help celebrate National Selfie Day. The company offers a comprehensive range of gemstones in every kind of jewellery. I think there's something so very decadent about wearing gemstones. I'd love to spend a day browsing their storerooms playing with all those twinkling, shiny stones in every colour of the rainbow. Ah well, a girl can dream...

I've been gifted this beautiful citron gemstone ring for the occasion and as you can see I'm rather pleased with the choice of ring for my #Gemfie. I love a big cabouchon stone and this one will be such a great addition to my jewellery collection. I did in fact get two of these citrine rings as you'll see later. They arrived in lovely packaging after a very speedy dispatch thanks to Hannah . Some of the staff at Gemporia joined in the #Gemfie campaign too as you'll see.

These girls must have such fun working with these wonderful jewellery collections - can you imagine all the trying on you'd have to do when a new supply of stock arrives? If you're a fan of all things shiny and sparkly then do take a moment to check out the Gemporia website where temptation surely awaits you. 

Outfit details - top: so old, I've forgotten, trousers: Stanley Market, rings: c/o gemporia, watch: Michael Kors, sunglasses: Sainsbury's, sandals: Miss KG.
Anna x


Ping Pong Piece no 4

Here I am again with this joint feature from Samantha and Ann in our monthly style challenge, the start of which can be seen here. I must admit that this has to be my all-time low as far as these go. When Ann came up with her suggestion of cut-offs, well my heart sank. I don't even own a pair of this type of shorts. Yes, I know that's easily remedied by chopping up a pair of jeans, but hey I don't want to (grump, grump)! In the spirit of our Ping Pong Posts of the past (see here) Ann very kindly sent me a pair of hers and this is how I got on.

My outfit details are -
Shirt: charity shopped
Cut-offs: Ann's
Sandals: River Island
Sunglasses: River Island
Watch: Michael Kors

One of the new twists to our PPP feature is the addition of a guest and this month Ann has invited Ruth to join us.

Now here's a girl who doesn't look in the least bit peeved at having to wear cut-offs! Ruth's beaming smile says it all. This girl is revelling in the challenge as she sports these cute floral shorts. Her black sandals and white bag tie in with the striped off the shoulder top. How easy she makes this look eh? Ruth's blog My Little Nest is here and you can follow her on instagram here.

Ann's shorts have the look of well worn, much loved favourites don't they? I can understand why this was her choice this month and if I looked as good in shorts then I'd want to wear these too. This doesn't seem so much styled, as just an every day at the beach look and it's all the better for that. Truly casual, very cute and yes, you've nailed it Ann! See her blog Kreme de la Kremb here and her instagram here.

Ann's details -
Tee--Forever 21
Tote--Louella Odie 
Cut Offs--DIY Wranglers

Samantha's gone for white shorts too with a neutral spin by way of these simple sandals and sweater. I'd say that Scotland may not be suffering a heat wave at the moment as she's added a toning scarf to keep out the summer chills. I'll understand if you've not noticed anything apart from her amazing legs! Catch up with Samantha on her blog Fake Fabulous here or instagram here

Samantha's details -
Cut offs - DIY
Jumper- John Smedley
Earrings- H&M
Glasses- Asda
Shoes- Clarks
Scarf- A gift.

I'm off for a little paddle now the ordeal is over,  but want to tell you that I'll be back tomorrow with another new post - yes, nothing from me for ages and then two posts in a row! I hope you can join me. 

Anna x

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