Welcome to this month's Style Not Age challenge.

This time for our monthly challenge Gail came up with the brilliant idea of "What I'd wear on the Frow".  To the uninitiated, like me, that's the Front Row of a fashion show. Paris Fashion Week is due to commence on the 28th of September and despite the pandemic, the show must go on! My take on this was that my particular fashion show was socially distanced and therefore the runway is an outdoors affair. You can tell by my expression that the next model is impressive.

As you can see, Gail truly entered into the spirit of things, inspiring us with this timely theme.  See more and get the low down on her outfit over on Is This Mutton blog now.

Jacqui chose a fabulous backdrop for her relaxed but stylish ensemble. Check out her blog Mummabstylish for her spin on this challenge.

Style Splash Emma opted for a funky pair of culottes to build her Frow outfit around. A spinkling of animal print raised the bar just that little bit higher too!

Hilda played it super cool with this fabulous Spanx trouser suit, topping it off with a stylish fedora - can't you just imagine her turning up at a fashion show in this? See more on her blog Over The Hilda.

If indeed I were going to attend a fashion show, then the coat would be equally important as the outfit. This pink trench, (Topshop, pre-loved), with its black and white gingham lining couldn't be a better match for today's ensemble. The turned up sleeves show the fabric nicely and also allow the lace cuff of the blouse to be exposed too.

The lace blouse was from Zara last summer and has become a real wardrobe staple for me. I seem to wear it at least once a week currently as it's so versatile with a vest top underneath or like today worn as part of a dungaree combination. I wanted to show the pretty pattern in this shot.

My outfit may not be of the caliber of the immaculate Anna Wintour and perhaps if I really did attend a fashion show I would chose to wear a less quirky and more classic type of ensemble. Who knows?

The mini Candy Bag is by Furla and is my bag of the moment. The black and white shoes are by Nine West, sourced at TK Maxx.

And of course if I'm showcasing a black and white outfit then it's gotta be my black and white Quay Australia sunglasses. 

Many thanks to Gail for throwing the gauntlet down with this great challenge. It was good to have a bit of role-play this time too! I do hope you enjoyed it and will find time to pop across to read the backstories of the others in the Style Collective.

                                                                                          Anna x


White Stuff linen tops

After last week's joyful find of that gold 80's two piece, I decided to delve a bit deeper into my closet and did indeed find more gems. I'd bought these two White Stuff linen tops on the same shopping spree last year and had put them away until the summer. The aqua and white boat neck tops were both £6.95 each from the Cancer Research charity shop in Truro and were a great bargain. They still have that crispness of new linen which makes me wonder if they've been worn at all. The aqua version goes well with some wide beach trousers (another blog post in the offing).

The loose linen top and wide low slung trousers proved to be a winning combination on the heavy, muggy day at work. A boat neck top is a new style for me and one that I wasn't sure would suit me. I'm a big fan of a necklace and yet it seemed difficult to find one that worked with this neckline. The photos show that this doesn't look like anything is lacking at all which was another new learning curve. The next challenge was to find the perfect neutral colour bra - I'm not a fan of a white bra under a white top. I have three neutrals currently - one with a pinkish hue, one a slightly toffee colour and one that is genuinely flesh coloured which did become invisible under the pristine white top. 

The cotton hipster trousers are by River Island (thrifted) and look great with a wide belt and fitted top (maybe a look for next time). 

These sandals aren't new, but rediscovered in the recent wardrobe rummage - the brand is Sixtyseven and were from TK Maxx.

The rings were both gifts from friends. The mulitcolour one is perspex and the other is Venetian glass.

My white and black sunglasses are long time favourites from Quay Austalia.

So, Bank Holiday weekend is upon us and what does that mean for you? Like many people I'll be working on Monday, but am home over the weekend catching up on chores and fitting in a couple of swims on the high tide. On Monday I'll be back with the latest Style Not Age challenge and I'd love it if you could drop by to see what we're up to.

Until then, have a super weekend!

Anna x


Episode two piece

Week 46 of 2019 (November 11th to 17th be precise) I was on the mainland, in Truro and the reason I know that is because I uncovered this gem in my wardrobe recently. It's a linen two piece that I'd bought and hidden away as a surprise for myself for the summer. At that time, little did I realise that I'd be deep in the midst of a 12 month shopping ban! What a great gift therefore to unearth it this summer just when I was needing a little retail therapy. I wore it to work for the first time last week with white trainers in the afternoon, but had started the day with sandals, like this -

Steve took these shots at the Old Blockhouse castle on Saturday after my return from the hairdressers. Not that you can really tell I've had my hair done! Storm Ellen was just on the wane, but it was still very windy up on the ramparts.

I ducked out of a revamp of my hair as I wasn't really sure what I wanted. Instead I opted for a tidy up of the ends plus fringe and had a few highlights and lowlights added to give a richer colour overall. For the moment I'm going to carry on growing it as Steve likes me with longer hair and in the meantime I'll try to find some style inspiration for next time. The salon experience was great - my stylist was in mask and visor and there were only two clients in the salon at a time. I was sat by the door which was open and it all felt very safe and clean. 

So, back to the outfit. The linen two piece has big shoulder pads which indicates this may be from the 80's, the decade of power dressing - a proper vintage find then. That, plus the shorter length dress place in in that era. It's in very good shape, feels hardly worn and the colour is strong and bright making me think it's been one of those old gems where it was kept for best. The lovely gold and green colour is a great combination. I got lots of compliments when I wore it the other day.

The shiny gold buttons led me to add gold in my accessories with my go-to gold chain necklace, gold rings (preloved) and gold cuff. The retro sunglasses are from River Island.

The gold coloured cuff is an old piece that I bought in the gallery from Almost Perfect, a brand that doesn't seem to be trading currently.

The gold wedge sandals were from TK Maxx, but not this year.

The neutral (see how I avoid using the word beige?) handbag is a beautiful Radley piece, second hand from a charity shop in Harrogate a few years ago. Every time I bring it out I wonder why I don't use it more often. It's a lovely size and the quality is superb.

The rest of my weekend was filled with ordinary domestic chores. I did have a lovely long swim on Sunday morning on Pentle Bay. The yachts around the islands are beginning to thin out now and Pentle Bay was completely empty. I do love to have a beach to myself in the morning. My swims have been few and far between of late due to the pressures of work, but when the tide is high in the morning I feel the call of the sea quite intensely and will juggle what I can to create space for this chill time. Storm Ellen had curtailed swimming for a few days too and it was a real bonus to get back in the water again. One of the results of the storm was finding a line of detached thongs of seaweed, each about four foot tall, which were staggered along beach in the sea at about chest height. They were each spaced about 20 feet apart, maybe about 10 of them in total, drifting in the water showing a round knobbly head on the waterline like sentinels. As I swam the length of the beach I could observe them underneath the sea, resembling Dementors from the Harry Potter movies, their long cloaks of seaweed billowing beneath them, hanging in a strange limbo unlike anything I'd seen before. The high tide was creating a rhythmic dance, wafting them this way and that as I passed by them. There presence was all the more spooky as the sun kept disappearing behind the clouds making the sea gloomy and dark. Typically, I didn't have phone or camera with me to capture this strange sight!

Thanks for taking the time to visit. Apologies to my blogging friends for my lack of contact recently, but as you know, work is all consuming at the moment (work, eat, sleep, repeat). I'd like to think that September will see an easing up for me. Fingers crossed I'll be back at the end of the week with something else to share with you. The forecast isn't too good and I've not got any photos taken yet, but hopefully I'll be on top of things by then!

Have a lovely week all of you!

Anna x


Bubble sleeves and scuba skirt

Happy Friday to you!

Yay, it's Friday and I'm ready for the weekend! What about you? It's been a busy week at work and now we've got storm Ellen blasting over the top of us. My photos were taken a little while ago which is just as well because the same view looks like this today -

Island life does mean that we really experience the full benefits of the weather, be it a wild storm like today or a wonderful sunny day. The big outdoors is only a step or a boat ride away and what a joy that is!

I've been delving into my wardrobe again, playing mix and match with skirts and tops, this time coming up with this old scuba skirt (from H&M) and adding the bubble sleeved top from TK Maxx (the brand is By Clara Paris). My silver and white sandals were a hand me down from my daughter (the brand is River Island).

The stretch and leather trim belt was a charity shop find and works a treat to pull the two separates together. The ribbed jersey top is quite thick and does bunch up just by the nature of the fabric, but I find that a snug belt adds a bit of smoothing and control. 

My black pair of Radley sunglasses work really well with the bubble top. See the pretty rose adornments close up here. Cute eh?

Both of my rings are charity shopped too. The rose one is particular favourite.

Weather permitting I'll be going to St Mary's tomorrow to have my hair cut and coloured. This will be the first time I've been since March. We've not had any boating for the past two days however due to the storm so I may not make my appointment. Wish me luck with that! In the meantime, here's a shot of the Gallery from a couple of minutes ago. I was in at work early this morning, but decided to leave when the spray started hitting the gallery windows. I didn't like the prospect of high tide still to come and even more water dashing against the building.

I'll be back on Monday with the Style Not Age Collective, so please do join me then.

Late edit! The Style Challenge is next Monday, the 31st! 

Anna x


Frills and florals

Hello again!

I don't know about you, but it seems to me that August is just rushing past me at a rate of knots. In less than two weeks it'll be September and as so often happens I know I'll feel that summer has flown by without me catching hold of it properly. In that way, life feels just like normal - I know I'm always saying this kind of thing pretty much about now - but in others we're still all floundering about, trying to come to terms with the new normal. At work, I'm coping with the new way of running the Gallery single-handed, although some of my clients don't agree with the rules and restrictions in place. I think this comes from the desire to believe that coming away on holiday equals getting away from COVID too. Unfortunately it doesn't really work like that.

Steve and I wandered off the beaten track on Sunday to take some shots for the blog, ending up here on the walkway leading to the bird hide. There wasn't a bird in sight, apart from me of course!

The outfit of the day comprises of a second-hand linen top from M&S which hasn't been aired previously. It's a lovely tomato red delivering a punch of colour to what was a slightly overcast day. I paired it with these huge swooshy culottes that are a few of years old. I bought them from New Look in the summer sale for £5 and then paid for them to be lined professionally. I bring them out every summer and they always get lots of compliments.

The white leather belt was a charity shop find, as were the silver bangles and silver ring.

The necklace and this ring were also thrift finds. The sunglasses are by Quay Australia.

The wedge sandals are very, very old and were from River Island. They're quite high but the slanted sole at the front means you roll along nicely.

I'll leave you with some shots from our boat trip from Saturday when we went off for a picnic and ended up on Northwethel island. We saw a couple of large bull seals on the way, their massive heads causing ripples as they coasted along. It was lovely to be out on the water on such a perfect day. See you again soon!

Anna x

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