Windsmoor dress

A Windsmoor dress - how very conservative of me! I've taken myself by surprise with this one you know. Last week while I was away on the mainland, I just happened to slip into one of my favourite Truro charity shops and this took my eye. The classic shape looked as if it might be figure flattering, so off I went to the changing room. Some changing rooms in charity shops comprise of a tiny, badly lit curtained-off area, housing a wobbly chair rammed into a corner with one measly hook which threatens to fall off the wall if you dare hang anything up on it. They generally also suffer with shrunken curtain syndrome where the sad scrap of material hangs mid-air with little or no chance of touching the wall on both sides, resulting in a bit of strategic shuffling and hopping about as you make vain attempts at pinning it closed using shopping bags; ultimately it leaves you with the decision as to which bit of you you is going to be revealed to the loiterers queueing outside. In this particular shop however, there is a properly designed changing room area, with two generously billowing curtained compartments which are brightly lit and have room for both chair and shelf for ones handbag as well as several hooks to accommodate an extensive trying on session. No wonder it's one of my favourites!

I've always thought of Windsmoor as being a terribly grown up brand, but then it occurred to me that maybe at 60 I'm grown up enough to wear it now. On trying it on I discovered that yes, the cut is very flattering and the silky fabric, although a man made polyester, did in fact swish about as if it were more like silk. The front of the dress crosses over with a slight gathering above the waist and the neckline finishes with some stitches to avoid any over exposure. The dress has two very tiny shoulder pads. The longer length too which I thought might be a bit grannyish was instead saying stylish and elegant. All in all, Windsmoor had won me over! £10 very well spent I say.

I'm showcasing my new (preloved) Cupcake handbag which was from the Harrogate charity-fest. It's compact and bijou one might say and pretty enough to compliment this 40's style dress. I have two rose gold bangles worn with my Emily Nixon ring on one hand and the other ring is preloved. The pink elasticated belt is from eBay.

The silver and rose gold feather necklace and matching bracelet came in a box that states "When feathers appear, angels are near" - isn't that lovely? This was gift from my dear friend Bo. 

I'm slightly bemused that this little critter seems to have flown out of my ear!

These gold wedge sandals came from TK Maxx last year and hopefully will earn their keep in my wardrobe again this summer. Yikes! Did I just say summer? Yes it's nearly June, and I can hardly believe we're half way into another year. Where on earth did the time go?

I've already worn this dress twice since I bought it; the other time I accessorised with my big pearl necklace and swapped the sandals for mid green suede Mary Jane's - it was a much more 40's look which earned me a few compliments on the day. I'm rather pleased with this new frock and can see it will be very useful over the next couple of months. What do you think about this rather conventional style - is it something that you would or already do wear? I'd love to have your feedback. 

Have a great day!
Anna x


My Jumpsuit Joy with the Style Not Age collective

Hello and welcome to this month's challenge of My Jumpsuit Joy! It was my turn to chose the subject and the ladies from the collective have each embraced it well, but first here's a quick look at the funky jumpsuit I've been wearing to work recently. The giraffe pattern is fun and the fit is easy thanks to the elasticated waistband. I often wear this on busy days when we might be hanging a show or clearing up after having just taken one down. I love that there's no tucking in and keeping tidy with a jumpsuit - it just holds everything together nicely!

Also this particular jumpsuit doesn't need high heels which again helps with practicalities like climbing ladders too. We'll come back to the finer details in a moment, but first let's see what the Style Not Age ladies showcased.

Jacqui has styled her black jumpsuit with green and white leaf print with her earth tone accessories to great effect. I love those open toed mule sandals and a tribal necklace paired with this simple cream clutch completes this fresh daytime look. See Jacqui's feature on her blog Mummabstylish.

Wow! Isn't Emma looking fabulous in her Jumpsuit Joy! This elegant black all-in-one is sizzling hot with that deep neckline and huge trumpet sleeves. Red accessories pump up the volume a tad too. Catch the full story on Emma's blog Style Splash.

And here's Hilda looking stunning in her Coast jumpsuit. This is another totally flattering design giving a sleek look which enhances Hilda's perfect figure. I really like the asymmetrical neckline with the flounce over one shoulder and a strap on the other - very unusual! Catch up with Hilda's post on Over The Hilda blog here.

I don't wear neutrals very often as you'll know, but I had to make an exception with this jumpsuit when I found it in a charity shop last year. The giraffe pattern is fun and more than compensates for the lack of ta-dah colour wise. The cuffs are elasticated, as is the waist, but I still like to add a belt for definition as this has a puffy midsection otherwise. This studded belt also helps to draw the eye away from the extra material around the tummy.

The back shows the extra straps which are just a nice feature too. You'll notice the strategically placed hands covering what can often look like yards of material across the derriere. I do really, really like jumpsuits, hence My Jumpsuit Joy, but they can be a difficult item to wear and not always the most flattering, although the silky fabric of this one does give it a sleeker line. I did, in fact, have another one lined up for this feature, but time and bad weather meant I couldn't get the shots together for our deadline. I hope to feature it next month instead.

These sandals are a lovely combination of practical and trendy in my eyes. I like that I can dash up and down stairs on this solid platform, be steady on my feet, and best of all have no need to change them mid-day because they hurt!

I've been looking for the perfect black necklace for ages now and was delighted to find this one recently. It's by Melissa James a new jeweller that I discovered at the trade fair in Harrogate last month. The matt black pillow beads with one patterned silver piece say simple yet contemporary which makes it the ideal necklace for this outfit.

Holding centre stage here is the citron ring I was gifted by Gemporia last year (see here). I've just taken a meander through the ring section of their website and came across another lovely temptation, be it much more ornate, here. The other ring was a charity shop find and you'll have seen my rose gold Michael Kors watch before I expect, but I've just found it's on offer here, so hurry and you could grab yourself a bargain.

A few more outfit details are: shoes by Sixtyseven, jumpsuit by George at Asda (this was quite a surprise for me), belt was a gift and is from Portugal, tee shirt is preloved with no label and sunnies are by Quay Australia. 

My Jumpsuit Joy may not have been quite what I envisaged personally, but the ladies did me proud with their offerings. Jacqui will be hosting the challenge next month and I fancy it will have a slightly different aspect to it ... 

Thanks for dropping by and see you soon!

This week I'll be linking with -
Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb
Jacqui of Mummabstylish
Anna x


YAY! My three years of blogging.

Thanks for joining me today as I celebrate three years of blogging. It's been great, made all the more special by your participation, be it with your comments, emails or silent readership - it's all been very welcome, so thank-you!

What finer place is there for me to spend my anniversary than on one of my favourite beaches here on Samson. Everyone loves to get away from it all and this is where Steve and I like to chill.

To be perfectly honest, I wasn't really sure if I'd make it to three years. Blogging is a funny old game, quite lonely at times as you sit facing the screen, wondering what to write that might keep your audience engaged. Sometimes the words flow, especially if there's been something exciting to share, but at other times I really do feel I'm scraping the bottom of the creative barrel.

At those times, I think of my dear friend Carole who lives in Oxford and who used to holiday here on the island for many years. We became friends during that time and still are now. When I get stuck with what to say I think of her and how pleased she is to still have contact with me through the blog; seeing my swimming antics, my colourful outfits and of course, the beautiful island I live on. So this one is for you Carole. As you no doubt know, I've just returned from a dental appointment on the mainland and have had no time to put together a fancy shmansy anniversary post, but I do know you'll be delighted to see this glorious backdrop and the happy memories it evokes of your and Nick's time spent here.

Carole used to holiday with her best friend Teddy and therefore I can't mention one without the other. Teddy laughs that her job entails her wearing scrubs all day and yet how coming home to see the latest from Tresco's fashion scene has her captivated. Not one for dressing up, Teddy still loves to share in the often over the top, flamboyant ensembles that I wear. I think maybe that could be one of the strengths of my blog - we all need a bit of a escapism. 

And if I'm doing name checks today, then I must mention Angela, another long term friend who visits and keeps abreast of things thanks to the blog. Her entire year is a countdown to the next trip for her week's timeshare. These islands have a lure, a heartfelt attraction that keeps her and those like her in this state of addiction. Worry ye not Angela, all is well here and I'm looking forward to seeing you in September!

The outfit seems to have become a secondary feature today - the top was from New Look last summer and the skirt is another ancient piece that has no label to ID it. 

More and more I see the blog as an avenue to build relationships, and all because of my wish to share this island life. Sometimes my life is too hectic and draws me away from the blog, but the way I look at it, is that I'll have something more to talk about when I return. And talking of returning, I have returned from Truro with some new clothes which I'll share with you in due course. Primark came up trumps with a rather fab pair of striped culottes for the summer in a nautical theme. And yes, I did a quick scour of my favourite charity shops too resulting in some fabulous bargains. Be patient my lovelies - you'll see these all soon.

In the meantime, I'll be found (in reality, not on the blog) at our local "Fun Day" on Sunday where I'll be hosting the Cheap Chic stall as I recycle lots of my clothes as well as those from many others on the island. And on Monday it'll be time for the monthly challenge from the Style Not Age collective. I've still to get my offering photographed, so on that note I must leave you.

Thanks again to everyone who reads this and for making my three years of blogging worthwhile.

Anna x


Looks like a maxi

Appearances can be deceptive, and this maxi skirt is actually a pair of trousers. Found, of course, in a charity shop, these were brand new with labels still attached, and yet they only cost me £3! I'd not come across the brand Molly Jo before. These palazzo pants are quite unusual in that they have two layers; the inside layer is a conventional pair of trousers, and the top layer is loose giving this lovely floaty effect. 

You can probably see the satin edging along the inside of the over layer giving a neat finish. The only downside of these fabulous trousers is the length of them. I've had to buy these massively high sandals to go with them as I didn't want to (attempt) to alter them. The sandals are preloved (from Office), but not very worn, probably due to the fact that the heels are six inches high and the platforms are three inches. I had to forgo my usual Post Office run (walk) today and delegated the chore to Polly as I thought I might break my ankle along the way as I teeter on these skyscraper heels.

The rest of the outfit reads like this - ruffle top by Coast (preloved), floral jacket by River Island (hand-me-down from Sasha), rings are preloved and new sunglasses by Quay Australia.

Today we had just the right amount of wind to showcase these chiffon trousers off to their best.

See me stride out like this ...

... and like this!

Orange and fuchsia make another stunning combination. It seems that fuchsia is set to be featured again and again with me this year. I wonder what I'll conjure up next?

As you read this, I'll be on the mainland for another dental treatment. I'm trying not to think about it too much and just hope that I'll still have some gnashers left by the end of all of this. But I trust my dentist and can report that so far I've not experienced any pain whilst in the chair which is my biggest fear of all. I'm sure we're all the same. Wish me luck!

P.S. I'll be back with an extra post on Friday, so do please join me for that. Until then, have a lovely week!

Anna x


A vintage dress for our May exhibition

We opened our May show last night with a reception party at the gallery, attended by guests and locals as well as one of the artists, Amanda Hoskin. See the full exhibition online here

I bought this vintage dress when I was in Harrogate last month; one of my favourite dresses from that shopping spree I think and that's down to all of the detailing - the huge shoulder pads, accentuated by frilled edging as well as tiny pleats below. (A note to any of my readers in Yorkshire - do take a trip to Harrogate for this one particular charity shop-St Michael's Hospice-as it's more like a boutique than a charity shop. All of the goods are designer or top end pieces from the high street and the shop itself is teaming with every kind of accessory too, all of the best quality.)

The minute I put it on I knew it was for me. The shoulder pads made me feel very Sue Ellen from those Dallas days. The shape is very flattering with an elasticated waist; the perfect counterpoint to the huge shoulders. The 80's were all about emphasising the female form. No zips or buttons to complicate matters either, just pull if on and you're ready to go. 

I'd not come across this 80's designer, Diane Freis before, but you can read a bit more about her here

Oh don't I look so fabulous darlings! Oh dear, maybe not - I'm being photo-bombed!

I've had these kitten heels for yonks and only rediscovered them when I did my seasonal changeover recently. They were the perfect height to wear for the whole evening without any of the usual shuffling and tweaking I have to do in higher heels.

I decided on my jumbo pearls to help balance out the over sized shoulders, and the patterned metal of the stretch belt seemed like a good choice to tie in with the print of the dress (looks like I didn't clip it fully together though). Preloved rings and rose gold bangles finished the look.

And last, but by no means least, here's my happy team of helpers by way of Max, Polly and Ruth. Thank you ladies for doing a stalwart job as usual! Ruth had spent the day on the beach with her family and boy, isn't she glowing from all of that wonderful Tresco sunshine!
Anna x



I've had a day off today, filled with lots of household chores, blah, blah, blah, but my reward was a jolly jaunt off-island for a picnic and photo shoot at the end of the day. Steve took me to Samson which was deserted and looking lovely as ever on the high tide.

A day off means dressing down for a change. The jeans are from Next, the top is from H&M but is very old, as are the sandals which are so old that I can't read the brand name on the sole (they came from TReds in Truro many moons ago). The bag was a charity shop find last summer.

Rolled up jeans are just right for jumping on and off the boat. I particularly like these as they're high waisted and seem to hold everything in place better than low rise jeans do on me of late. I seem to be suffering from not just muffin tops, but also there are real signs of that softening around the middle aka the dreaded middle aged spread. 

A strange thing seems to be happening to my figure which I suppose I could put down to the big 60. Much as my weight remains more or less the same, there's a definite slackening of skin tone which is not what I signed up for. I know I'm not fat, but I can gather bits of me up in rolls that I never used to have. Sorry, probably too much information!

The view from up here is fab. Rocks, sea and dazzling sunshine.

It's amazing what a little bit of sunshine does for our mood. Just a couple of days ago we had fog and yesterday it was bitterly cold with a strong north east wind ( I was in winter boots and a polo neck) and yet today it could pass for a summer's day. Hurrah!

The decorations on my sandals are cleverly wired so that no matter how long they're packed away every winter, I can easily tweak them back into shape again. The embroidered butterflies and ornamental flowers don't look a bit out of place in the bed of flowers underfoot.

I've lived on the Isles of Scilly for 40 years and this is the first time I've been right up on the top of Samson. The view is stunning and you can see all of the other islands from here.

And here's my photographer, boatman and picnic companion. Thanks Steve for making this happen!
Anna x

Created by bo design