Springtime dress and some shopping

How's your week going? Like a true Brit I'm gonna talk about the weather and say that after a whole weekend of rain, the sunshine has returned therefore all is well in my world. The forecast is for a sunny Easter weekend which will be ideal for us as we're hosting our first exhibition of the year on Saturday and I do love it when the opening night party can spill outdoors, drink in hand, to enjoy the vista in front of the gallery.

Today's outfit has been aired before, but deserves to be seen again I thought. Polly has named her theme as "the year of the dress" and turns up to work in a cute little number most days now. Following on from her lead, I'm pulling out some of my favourite dresses too. This ditsy print shirt-waister was from H&M last year and has a very grown up feel to it. I wore it before with these H&M red sock boots too, so there's nothing new here at all. I decided that it still warrants another look though. 

The seaweed and high tide had left the rocks a bit slippery - we really ought to have done a risk assessment!

Easy does it!

My pre-loved accessories are belt and rings, my much loved sunnies from Quay Australia and the gold chain necklace was from Primark earlier this season. 

I call this my master of illusion dress simply because it draws the eye to all of the right places. The red belt puts the focus on the smallest part of the body as the dress skims over the hips and thighs, the floral pattern disguising any lumps and bumps which may be lurking there. There's not too much material either which could cause bulk and it's long and flowing giving the impression that I may be long and flowing too, hahaha! I've just about talked myself into buying another of these, but I won't ....

I stumbled across this limited edition print in a charity shop in Harrogate recently and it couldn't have hit me at a better time. If you're a regular reader you'll know that Harrogate charity shopping is some of the best for me, resulting in a mammoth shopping spree. But this year I've had a fair dose of retail therapy over the past few months. I had decided to rein myself in, use my powers of self control and only buy pieces that would be really useful within my existing collection. I'm having this print framed up to act as a reminder of this new mindset. Pity I found this at the end of my stay and not the beginning!

Anyway, with this statement firmly to the fore, here's what I succumbed to -

I'll confess that these neon sweaters may not be the most stylish, in fact when I got them home I did a double take at how terribly bright they really are. But this is what seems to happen to me when I get my first sniff of the shops. A friend of mine who lives just along the road said she suffers the same problem. We go a bit stir crazy you see. Living on this tiny island (only one mile by two) with very limited retail opportunities, well it can make you impulsive when you get to the mainland and have your first dose of retail therapy. The excitement can go to ones head, resulting in some rather dodgy purchases. Thank goodness this was only a Primark splurge - it didn't break the bank!

The two pairs of dressy courts are a completely different ball game. Each of them was £20, both are Italian made and are indeed very classy (I think). These will be ideal party wear for our summer exhibitions.

In the sale at TK Maxx for £24 the brand is Tokyo Laundry and is a very practical purchase indeed. Ideal for dog walking or for wearing on the boat, this jacket is cosy and fits like a glove.

Pretty and practical, these Replay trainers were £35 in TK Maxx. Being pretty alone would have been fine, so it's a real bonus that these are comfy enough to be drafted in as afternoon shoes when the heels from the morning session are playing havoc with my tootsies. 

This Topshop skirt was a charity shop find and like so many pieces you come across it was stained. I trusted my instinct (and stain removing prowess) et viola, it's as good as new.

Another charity shop piece here, this time by Classic brand and coming in at under £5. The apricot shades are what attracted me - such a flattering colour for me.

And yet another charity shop find. By Boden, I thought this might look good with a black polo neck sweater and some pink or silver brogues - what do you think?

It was very exciting to find these snakeskin boots in New Look in Harrogate. I'd tried these on in Truro a few weeks ago, only to discover that one was a size 5 and the other a 6! The sales assistant scoured the entire store to see if she could find the other odd pair, but with no success. Clearly someone had bought them believing they were a pair. These were a 5 and had been reduced to £10, so it was a win-win.

This M&S dress is brand new with tags still attached. The retail price was £89, but thanks to the Scope charity shop, I only paid £14 for it. I've come up with a kooky plan to stop this looking too frumpy - watch this space.

Last of all are these leather and hessian sandals by Dune, from TK Maxx. They are nice and broad and the wedge belies the fact that they seem to be high, but the angle of them is very slight, making them all day sandals.

The next thing on the agenda for me clothes-wise is to change over my wardrobe for spring and summer wear. I'm keen to see what I've had packed away for these past few months. What about you? Do you do a seasonal changeover or are you someone who believes in layering up for the winter instead of having a complete change of clothes? Do share!

                                                                                           Anna x



  1. Hello, dear Anna! The dress is awesome - very 90s and very currently on trend! Funny what comes around again, but these dresses are insanely comfy and fun to wear. I love the red accessories with it.

    What fun shopping you had! I think the sneakers are actually my favourite - that is the same yellow brocade as my Aldo purse. I'm also guilty of buying things I don't LOVE or are useful. Sigh. But sometimes those other things surprise us! We shouldn't beat ourselves up over a splurge.

    Hope your weekend is delightful - good luck with your first show! Can't wait to see what you wear.

    1. Hi Sheila, am on my way over to see what you're up to. Glad you like the sneakers - I'll have to check out that purse of yours - I know you're not big on handbags so this will be interesting, hahaha! Wishing you a fab Easter weekend! x

  2. Gosh I love those fabulous pumps! And both skirts! And that amazing dress! Gosh take me with you on a charity shopping trip!

    1. Cheers Nancy! Oh wouldn't that be fun to hit the shops together? Do let me know the next time you plan to visit the UK... x

  3. I read once that a shirt dress is a design that is attractive on all body types. You certainly look great in this brightly colored gem! I also think this classic silhouette will ALWAYS be around and only skirt length and fabrication will change.
    Once again you've picked up a few treasures. I'm envious of those brocade sneakers!! Smart buy!!That golden dress looks promising and I'm anxious to see some of your chique and unique styling Anna!!

    1. I don't seem to have many shirt dresses but can see the mileage in them. The brocade sneakers have already earned their corner in my closet - have worn them four times already! Plan to wear the gold dress to a show this year so watch out x

  4. The court shoes are fabulous but I would only be able to wear them in 'car to bar' situations! I think maybe you'll regret the neon tops.................
    I'm coming to the end of my into summer clear -out, much helped by the fantastic weather drying my winter jackets and woollies so fast. Very surprised to realise just how much underwear I have (white and nude for summer) so won't need any additions.
    I've got a couple of big bags for the charity shop & a few items for the want list. I'll probably buy most second-hand from E-bay or the really good charity shops near where my sister lives as I'm visiting her this week. I have difficult feet so shoes are a perennial problem....sigh!
    Happy Easter

  5. The court shoes are probably the best investments and luckily I only have a short commute to work so ought to be able to manage. The neon top in green has had an outing, twice, and even my husband remarked that he likes it, so that's a surprise to me too. Have found a pair of culottes that might work with the pink one too, hurrah!
    I did my clothes changeover yesterday and have one full bag destined for the charity shop too. I had to smile at the thought of your "difficult feet" - do they talk back or are they always late for events? Sorry, I just couldn't resist that. Thanks for dropping by lovely! x

  6. You've found some super pieces Anna! Looking forward to seeing that M & S styled! Strange how people can bin stuff they've obviously not worn! Thanks for sharing Jacqui Mummabstylish

  7. This dress looks awesome and love it with those accessories in red, particularly your red booties! You totally rock! and look very elegant too!
    And I'm in love with those brocade sneakers you purchased, they look fabulous and really comfy!. Looking forward to see them 'in action'


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