Autumn florals, our Style Not Age challenge

Welcome to September's style challenge! Autumn florals is what I came up with for my theme, which feels like the halfway house to admitting that summer is over. I've unpacked some of my autumn clothes today, but I'm not convinced that I'm ready for the decline into what I find the most difficult months of the year. Drab and dull is what comes to mind when I think autumn and winter, but I mustn't confuse the weather with the clothes must I? Anyway, let's see how my co-conspirators have done this time shall we?

Jacqui gives her florals a light touch by adding white to the mix. This is a clever bit of transitional dressing if ever I saw it! Read more on her blog Mummabstylish here.

Another pair of light coloured boots lifts Hilda's dark floral frock and adds a funky element that I really love. See her back story on Over the Hilda here.

Editor of Style Splash Emma is sporting a #secondhandseptember frock for the challenge. I would have snapped this pretty offering up too if I'd seen it! And how cute is that little bag?

So let's get down to details shall we? My floral frock is by Zara, an earlier purchase from this summer. The mustard suedette jacket is by Boohoo which I picked up in TK Maxx this year too. You may remember seeing these chestnut suede boots before. I've had them for a couple of years now - they're from Office and are still comfy as ever despite the height of those heels.

The maxi dress has one side split giving the odd flash of thigh. I think I'll be happier to wear tights with this during the colder months. The tiny and beautifully soft leather bag by Gigi is preloved and was a bargain at £3.99. I was rather pleased to match the orange flowers with the orange trim of the bag.

I've got a few maxi dresses that I'm planning on wearing with boots over the next month or so to see if I can extend their life beyond that summer fling. I think a bit of layering may be needed to carry it the look off, but it may be worth a try. My cream and peach floral frock from Zara (see here) is one that I'm loath to pack away just yet, so watch out for that bit of styling soon.

Rings are both preloved, as is the leather belt by Evie and my necklace is by Daisy Dunlop. Did you notice the punched floral pattern on both ring and belt? I can't help these tiny link-ups.

Sunglasses are by my fave brand Quay Australia.

So that's another month's challenge in the bag. Thanks for joining us again. Are we inspiring you? Does autumn inspire you? If so, please do share with me what fires you up most for this new season as I do struggle with this. Perhaps you've had your colours done and autumn is you? I think I may be autumn, but that doesn't seem to make it any easier for me. 

Have a great week and let's catch up again soon!

Anna x


Goodbye to summer?

Oh my goodness, is it really time to say goodbye to summer? I keep seeing these posts from other bloggers embracing autumn and oh, how I hate to give up on the joys of my favourite season! I'm dragging my feet at the prospect of cosy clothes, but here I am nonetheless posting my last summer offering for you.

Is summer your favourite season too? How on earth can it not be? I love the warmth of the sun, the promise that each day holds, the lightness in my heart, the spring in my step, the joy of my summer wardrobe and the delights therein. Nothing can rival the happiness I feel when I'm on the beach at six in the morning with the heat of the rising sun on my back, the company of a few Oystercatchers chattering their way along the shore. My morning swim sets me up for the day. As the sunlight reaches the turquoise water my mind turns to the outfit of the day. What shall it be? Can I find that winning combination of style plus comfort, especially in the shoe department? Today's ensemble pretty much fills all of those requirements.

Topshop seemed to come up trumps for me several times over the summer with this cinnamon zebra print skirt being one of those that were in the sale. The double splits up the front make for a bit of a flirty feel which is no bad thing. If seeking joy is my mission statement then this fits in nicely thank you!

This gold blocked logo tee was from TK Maxx, the brand is Public Envy and it cost me all of £5.99. You can't go wrong with a white tee shirt for summer, can you? And this one has the perfect message too.

It's a job to tell if my expression is one of outrage or laughter at something Polly had thrown at me. "Shut up" was her most often interjection, probably due to my endless stream of nonsense during these photo shoots. Happy days!

My white Puma trainers were well worn throughout the summer months and goodness how my feet loved the gentle support and comfort of these simple shoes. Will fashion dictate something as feet-friendly next year I wonder?

I sometimes wonder if it's right that I'm still having this much fun at my age?

I'm sporting a mix of old and new jewellery today - preloved rings, Primark gold chain necklace and rose gold Michael Kors watch, plus a new pair of Quay Australia sunglasses that I found in Topshop, once again in the sale. 

This weekend I'll be dragging bags and cases out from under the bed, ever hopeful that my autumn/winter wardrobe will be full of lovely surprises. The past week on Scilly has been a time of changing weather, one that I can't ignore any longer. Thick tights, tweed skirts, fluffy jumpers and cosy jackets will be back in evidence by the end of it - I hope!

In the meantime, please join me and the ladies of the Style Not Age Collective on Monday as we tackle this month's theme of "Autumn florals". My choice this time, so wish me luck with that!

                                                                                        Anna x


The Best of the Rest

Welcome to our round-up of the last show of the year, The Best of the Rest, which showcases five of our established and new artists. Above on the left is Morag Hensleigh and right, Patricia Wilson who enjoyed their first ever exhibition with Gallery Tresco. To say the evening was a success is an understatement, as we were inundated with lovely guests staying on the island, all keen to see this diverse mixed collection. At one point we had clients queueing up outside the door as our helpers broke open box after box of glasses to pass wine around to those waiting in the evening sunshine. See the full spread of work here. Both Morag and Patricia sold two paintings each which was a wonderful start to their evening. International artist Hugo Grenville also kicked off his sales with one as did Sara Bor. Our end of the evening photo reflects the post-opening relaxed atmosphere as we raised a glass to a very successful party.

All set up and ready for the fray!

I make no apologies for this repeat outfit, well almost repeat, apart from swapping trousers for a skirt - see the first version here. I simply love this mermaid coat and couldn't let the opportunity pass me by to swoosh about to the shushing sound of this wonderful jacket once again. Steve bought me this from Topshop for my Christmas present. The beaded vest top was also from Topshop, but was a second hand find some time ago (£2.50). The metallic skirt adds to the completely over-the-top sparkliness of the ensemble. It was from Tu at Sainsburys ages ago and cost me all of £5. "I see you've gone for the understated look" quipped hubby as I dashed past him, sweeping by like some minor celeb.

Rose gold mirror sunglasses are by my fave brand, Quay Australia. Rings are pre-loved.

My pale gold satin kitten heels are from Wallis, and may be vintage by now.

One final swoosh!

I was definitely giddy with excitement as we drew a line under the show schedule for another year. The relief of finishing on such a high was a bonus for all involved. My back up team of girls have done me proud again, as did Jack the chef who supplied us with delicious canapes throughout the year. A final thank you goes to Fiona who stepped up as my blog photographer in the final stretch. Thanks to you all!

                                                                                             Anna x


The North End

Hello dear friends! How are you? Here I am, having a bit of a gadabout at the North End of Tresco, the wilder side of the island. After my recent big sea swim, I decided to revisit this corner of my journey to view it from the land. Fiona and I had the day off work and walked there replaying the events of the day from each of our perspectives. It was pretty memorable for both of us and good for us to share our stories.

As you can see, it was a wild and windy day, making my trousers flap gloriously in the breeze. 

We're standing at the ramparts of King Charles Castle which affords a spectacular view around the headland as well as the vista south towards St Mary's and St Agnes.

I'm entering this outfit in the campaign that's being run by Oxfam this month - Second Hand September. The charity is trying to encourage us all to fulfil our clothes shopping needs this month by choosing second hand via our charity shops. We can all make a difference with this simple change in habits so why not give it a go? My top, vest and trousers are all charity shop finds, as is the pretty bangle.

My rock climbing escapades were made all the safer by some rather sensible footwear from Topshop. I picked these up in the summer sale for £20. I love the trend for functional trainers that's now part of our everyday dressing.

What kind of crazy person would choose to swim in this channel?

Thanks for joining me today. I'll be back at the weekend to showcase my outfit for the final exhibition of the year, although as per usual, that particular ensemble has yet to reveal itself!

                                                                                            Anna x


Time for a bit of Hush

Hello again my lovelies! It's business as usual as I share with you today this rather wonderful summer dress from Hush. I'd not come across this brand until a couple of months ago when a gorgeous lady swished into the gallery wearing this very same dress. My first comment to her after welcoming her in, was to tell her how fabulous she looked in this vibrant print. Since then I've had so many conversations about the brand, sparked by this glorious frock. If you love it, you might find one online - I've found the same style, the Alvers dress, in the sale on the Hush website but in a blue leopard print which is rather pretty too - see here

I'm making the most of this super September sunshine to get a final wear of my summer finery before I have to pack it away for the winter. I do hope that you're having a blast of Indian Summer wherever you live too. I spent the afternoon on the beach yesterday and managed to fit in an early morning and late evening swim too. It took me a few days to recover from last Sunday's watery adventure and it wasn't until Thursday that I finally ventured back into the sea with my lovely friend Fiona's encouragement.

I added some simple accessories to this trapeze dress by way of a nude perspex ring, a pre-loved gold coloured ring, a brass cuff and gold link chain necklace which was from Primark in the spring. I love to mix up my metals - gone are the days when you had to choose one colour and stick to it. My uber glam sunglasses are by Quay Australia

I've thrown another shade of gold into the mix with these cork wedge sandals by London Rebel.

I'm just coming to the end of a week off work and goodness how I needed a break! I work hard and play hard, but sometimes I just need to stop. My marathon swim depleted my energy reserves to an all-time low, meaning I slept for almost two days after the event. I somehow expected to spend the next few days catching up on household chores, but that wasn't to be. I've chilled out mainly, reading magazines, napping and also catching up with friends. Thanks to all of you who left me messages of congratulations this week. I'm aware that sea swimming isn't a sport with massive appeal and therefore your comments mean all the more because of that. 

                                                                                        Anna x

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