December's Style Not Age challenge

Hello again and welcome to the final Style Not Age challenge of the year! The onus was on Jacqui to round off our year on the right note and she came up with My Perfect Little Black Number for NYE. Personally, I have very little that falls into this category so it was quite easy to choose between the offerings in my wardrobe. My vintage frock has been a stand-by for years since I found it in a charity shop and it seemed to be perfect for this challenge. But first let's catch up with the other ladies of the collective to see how they approached this month's task...

Emma from the Style Splash also shopped her closet, choosing this LBD from Bastyan and shoes from Quiz. Looking sleek and elegant, Emma is more than ready for that NYE bash!

Another stylish twist comes from Gail in her Hobbs black dress with mulitcoloured spots. Old favourite boots mean she'll be able to dance all night long. Find her backstory on Is This Mutton blog.

Over the Hilda is also sporting a spotty frock; hers is from Biba. Hilda has paired the dress with her long time fave Clarks sandals that have indeed danced many a night away! Do check out her blog for more.

Jacqui from Mummabstylish has recently rocked her NYE frock while she was on holiday. The lace and rivets add funk to this Julien Macdonald LBD. Check out Jacqui's blog for more.

My vintage frock is an Italian number by designer Gina Bacconi. I checked out her website and I'm delighted that I grabbed myself a bargain when I paid £20 for this flamboyant number. I love the ornate hemline with gold trim - it's suitably fancy for NYE. 

The gold ruffled hemline was what informed my choice of footwear; these black and gold brocade boots are old, but much loved. I bought them from River Island a few years ago and just love that they add real pizzazz to outfit. And just in case there wasn't enough going on, I opted for these (old) paisley print tights. There's no less is more with this outfit!

All of my accessories, apart from my Radley sunglasses, are second hand. I do miss my jaunts to the mainland to root around charity shops, seeking out those little gems of jewellery that add a personal touch to an outfit. One day when life settles down a bit I'll be back.

Some of my readers may well recognise my backdrop for today's outfit. I visited Cromwell's Castle last week in an effort to get ahead of things, but didn't really take the weather into account. When I climbed to the top of the building, which for some reason seemed like the ideal place for the photo shoot, well it was blowing an absolute gale! I have a heavy weight that I attach to my tripod to hold it down, but even then I was on edge as to whether it would be strong enough to stop my camera come crashing to the ground.

And this is me, all windswept and interesting! 

The jury is out, of course, as to what we will or won't be allowed to do on New Year's Eve when the time comes. I have another very sparkly outfit lined up in case I get lots of invitations to parties, but honestly I think Steve will be very happy if we have to stay at home. Needless to say, I'll be dressing up on the night just for the heck of it!

I do hope you've had a lovely Christmas and that New Year won't be a washout. Let's all keep our fingers crossed that Covid19 won't wreck another party opportunity!

Happy New Year!

Anna x


In the run up to Christmas...

Hello and Happy Christmas to you (in case you don't call by again this week)! I'm back to work for a wee while and that means work outfits are on my mind, particularly those with a festive feel. The eagle eyed among you might remember these rather racy wet-look trousers that I bought in May during my only trip off-island this year. The brand is Pull and Bear, but I found them in TK Maxx in Truro. Well, I tried them out the other day with a gold lurex cardigan (H&M) and pre-loved blouse and am now wondering if the pants are simply too racy for a Gallery Manager? Do leave me your thoughts...

I'm very keen to wear them, but sometimes living on this tiny island leaves me feeling a bit unsure of what's happening with fashion trends out in the big wide world. And dare I ask the question as to whether a woman of my age ought to be wearing wet-look pants full stop? 

One way around this might indeed by to close my eyes to avoid the looks of shock from those I encounter... Or maybe just laugh it off?

Or perhaps just gazing into the middle distance with a cool, confident air might be the answer?

As for accessories, I'm wearing a very old chain necklace from Primark, a gold flower ring, a present from a girlfriend and a large chunky ring from TK Maxx.

One thing that's for sure, is that I do love the pairing of my tartan M&S boots with the skinny pants! 

On the home front, I can report that the Christmas tree is up as are the decorations and the final batch of fudge has been made and packed, so progress is being made. The turkey is due to arrive on Tuesday as is the gammon joint along with the final order of Christmas supplies. Like most of you, we'll have enough food to feed a small army. As for my Christmas day outfit, well I really don't have anything lined up this year. I do hope that inspiration strikes by the time the big day arrives!

Finally, let me just take a moment to say thank you for dropping by today and any other time you've called. As the year draws to an end I'm feeling all sentimental about my readership and how lovely it is to have your comments and feedback. For those of you who have actually beaten a path to my door (aka the desk at Gallery Tresco) during the past 12 months - it's been great to see you and have a chat in person!

I hope you have a great Christmas, that you manage to see family and friends as planned and that our lives aren't too disrupted over the festive period. Take care!

                                                                                    Anna x


70's psychedelic flares

Hello again! How are your Christmas preparations coming along? Today I'm making my first batch of fudge which means I'm pretty much on track. I've also started wrapping presents, but that's mainly so that I can check what's arrived and what I still need to order. Writing Christmas cards will be next. The Christmas tree isn't up yet, nor are the decorations, but that's always very last minute in our house. So hey, let's talk about my outfit of the day, shall we?

I've had little online shopping splurge of late and these 70's flares were a wonderfully joyful find on the Asos website (find them here). I'm having a bit of a nostalgic fashion spell currently, revisiting the 60's, 70's and 80's. In my last post I was raving about wet-look boots and now here I am, totally loved up with these fab psychedelic loon pants - another reminder of my teens!

I love the muted palette of this outfit which still has that festive feel thanks to the fun fur jacket (New Look, very old). The trousers are a mix of glorious pastel hues in blue, lilac, aqua and dusky pink. I've revived an old fluffy sweater in pale blue (a charity shop find) and added these chunky heeled Chelsea boots which are also new and from Asos (find them here). These awesome ankle boots in ecru are going to be so versatile, mixing with lots of my existing outfits. I've got a couple of brown and cream outfits in the pipeline which may sound very blah for Anna's Island Style, but with the addition of these awesome boots, you'll appreciate how amazing these colours can look...

Don't these boots and trousers look a dream together? I'm head over heels with both of them and have this lined up for a workday outfit when I'm in the run up to Christmas next week. The gallery is open for four days in Christmas week so I'm trying to plan my outfits ahead to lessen the stress of the day. I'm happy to report that I'm back into my daily swimming routine which has a great knock on effect to my body confidence. We all want to approach Christmas in the best mindset too and that time in the sea helps to calm my mind, helping me enjoy my watery meditation. 

I'm so pleased to have the chance to showcase this icy floral necklace again. I bought it in the Crisis charity shop in London a couple of years ago for only £12. While I was there I learnt a lot about what the charity does to raise awareness of homelessness within the city and it was good to see how my money was going to have a direct impact on the situation. Do check out their website to find out how you can make a difference to someone in need this Christmas. My dear friend Ben gave me guided tour of the finest charity shopping in the capital that day (see here) and he really did me proud. My perspex rings are all second hand too. My old favourite sunglasses are by Quay Austalia.

My thanks to Fiona for popping out with me at short notice yesterday to capture the golden sunshine after what had been a day of mist and rain. It wasn't so much seize the day as seize the moment!

                                                                                               Anna x


Dressing to boost your confidence

Hello again! It's great to have your company, so thank you for joining me. Today I want to chat about what makes me feel confident, clothes-wise. It's not an easy thing to feel happy in your skin all the time and I certainly have periods when I struggle with the person I see in the mirror and how I feel about what I see. I think we've all had such a tough time of late with the less-than-normal life we've been subjected to over the past 20 months. For some we may have struggled with our mental well-being and for others it's been a battle to keep fit and trim when our lives were in lock-down with all its restrictions. With life still being far from back to normal it's understandable that our self confidence has taken a knock. Covid19 has a lot to answer for!

For me, confident dressing boils down to wearing clothes that make me smile. At the time of purchase when I try on a new item of clothing if it makes me want to do my happy dance then it's a winner. Whenever I'm felling bit low then I always make a bee-line for bright colours to lift my mood. My mood and self confidence pretty much go hand in hand; they both rocket up and down within the same scale. If I feel a bit lacking in body confidence then my go-to remedy will always be to pop on a dress as it can hide a multitude of sins. A loose fitting dress that skims over tum and hips can be a real confidence booster as well as making you feel very feminine. See the maxi dress I wore recently here. It's already a mainstay for work. 

Another new joy in my life is this Joe Browns Timeless Tea Dress, a perfect everyday dress for any time of year. It's currently on sale so do follow the link to grab yourself a bargain! I'm delighted to finally showcase this crochet cardigan by Karen Millen as I've been waiting for the perfect partner and here it is. I found this beautiful rust and brown and sludge green zip cardi in a charity shop a couple of years ago for the ridiculous price of £2.50! Layering is the best way to extend the life of what may be thought of as a summer frock; you could even add a thermal top underneath for a bit of extra of warmth. The tea dress is indeed a timeless classic and a real winner when created in such a pretty pattern with this warm palette of colours; green, orange and pink lend themselves to all sorts of happy mixing and matching. I've worn the dress previously with a long orange v neck sweater over the top which left the collar peeking above the neckline. A polo neck could be worn over the frock for warmth with a stylish twist. 

This is a new coat I was also gifted by Joe Brown's - it's called the Statement Checked Coat and does live up to it's name. Beautifully shaped to flatter the figure it's gem of a piece for the winter ahead. It ticks all of the boxes to make me smile and raise my confidence. Bold in pattern and bright colours mean it's a cheery find when I open my wardrobe. It's a good length for keeping the nether regions warm and also looks great with trousers. Of course, I'll show you that another time.

The big collar is perfect for keeping out the chills without the need for a scarf (I always seem to forget mine) and it's all the prettier for these flower shaped buttons. The check coat and floral dress team up so very well thanks to the harmony of green and orange in both. I do love a bit of pattern clashing and yet this is hardly a clash in my view.

Another of my confidence tricks is to create an outfit in my personal style; what particular style will definitely depend on my mood of the day. Quirky, more often than not, but other times I'll be channeling my rock chick or a touch of hippy chic or even an elegant, stylish and very grown up version of myself. I love to be a chameleon; to change up an item again and again is a joyful challenge for me and makes for an interesting life. And the easiest way to make a strong style statement is by adding accessories. Mine are more often than not from charity shops which serves my purpose well, bringing together items from all sorts of sources as well as different fashion eras. The belt, perspex rings and necklace are all very old and from vintage or charity shops. My sunglasses are from Radley London. Mixing old and new is a simple way to create a unique style and that makes me happy. We all want to be seen as individuals after all.

A bright belt draws the eye to the waist, a good indication that today I'm not suffering from tummy bloat or feeling too wobbly around the mid section. That may have been helped by the fact that only an hour previously I'd had my first sea swim for some time (howling gales have prevailed of late). I'm delighted to say that it wasn't too cold at all which was a lovely surprise. I was basking in the afterglow, the result of submersion in a calm, silky sea during a break in the clouds. It's totally life affirming, but I'm sure I've told you that many times before!

I've only recently purchased these Asos wet-look boots and must admit that they too make me smile. In my teens wet-look boots were soooooo in fashion and here they are again. The platform sole helps to make the high heel more comfortable and golly, how I love with them! I knew that they'd work so well with my new Joe Browns clothes - it's the main reason I bought them. 

I'm on a gradual clothes clear out currently and although I'm featuring quite a few new items here it's all part of my master plan. The clothes excesses are going, leaving only pieces that I love, and that goes for all of today's outfit. The gathering over the years of clothes that I thought would be useful or might come in handy - well, that's what I'm going to be turfing out first of all. Likewise anything that doesn't fit. I can't hope to lose weight forever nor hold onto things that are too big either in case I need them again. No, life is about today and my clothes have to be what works now. I'm working on creating a clothes collection worthy of my happy and confident self. My best me is who I want to be which starts with clothes that reflect my state of being. 

My coat and dress were gifted by Joe Browns but all comments are mine.

                                                                                                 Anna x


Festive Finery for November

Hello again! Yes, it's time for our monthly Style Not Age challenge and Festive Finery has been chosen by Gail as the theme. I've only recently unearthed my winter clothes which is ideal as I came across this sequinned top, perfect for the feature. Sasha bought me this from New Look as a Christmas present a few years ago and yet it's never made it onto the blog before. Nothing says festive more than a bit of sparkle, eh? So let's see what the ladies of the collective have to show us, shall we?

Gail has been shopping her closet for this lemon and lilac offering. I love the mix of maribou and leopard print that she has come up with. See more from her on Is This Mutton blog. 

Hilda found the perfect backdrop for her green velvet jacket, black leggings and Asos boots on a recent lunch date with her husband. Catch up with her latest news on Over The Hilda blog. 

Emma has opted for a mix of sequins and velvet like yours truly and doesn't she wear it well! The shimmering gold of jacket and boots surely say Festive Finery. See more on The Style Splash.

This red and black ensemble declares very Festive Finery that's for sure. Another dose of velvet from Mummabstylish looks very sleek on Jacqui. Do swing by her blog for the backstory.

I too have been shopping my closet for this festive look. The velvet trousers cost me all of £1 many moons ago and were then the subject of a bit of diy as I chopped six inches off the legs and then hemmed them, adding floral beading scavenged from an old vest top. 

I picked up the pink hue of the beading and carried that across to tie in with the brocade Asos boots (very old). I love how these boots add depth to an outfit.

The early morning winter sunshine picked up the shiny sequins and the array of colours that again tie in with the boots. 

The frosted gold rings were both charity shop finds from long ago.

I'll be back at work in the week before Christmas and am pleased to have at least one festive outfit organised for that already. Fur, velvet and sparkles are always high on the agenda for my Christmas fare. I'm in the midst of my Christmas shopping at the moment and did make the most of the Black Friday deals recently. Did you? Within the family we'll be keeping to wishlists for each other as it worked so well for us all last year. 

And finally, If you're looking for viewing inspiration on the TV, then I have to say that my latest joy is Sort Your Life Out with presenter Stacey Solomon. Dejunking is a topic I often talk about as I battle with my gathering and holding on to too much stuff. Well, Stacey and her team transform the lives of the families who are drowning under the clutter of years if not decades. I'm taking baby steps however, but following their advice to either keep, sell or give to charity and am pleased to say that I yesterday uploaded 6 items onto eBay. A drop in the ocean I know, but I promised myself not to take on any big projects over my annual leave, so am taking this at a gentle pace as it will take months to work my way through this lifetime of squirreling things away.  Wish me luck!

                                                                                                 Anna x


Back on my feet again!

Hello again! How lovely it is to be back. My previous post was a brave effort by me to get back on track, but I ended up being poorly for another five days in response to the Covid19 booster. All in all I've lost 12 days with today being the first one where I felt well enough to apply make-up and get dressed for some blog photos. Nothing too fancy as you can see, but a wonderful burst of colour therapy was just what I needed. 

My dear friend Tiggy kindly passed on this gorgeous orange sweater to me recently and I've been making plans on how to wear it ever since. The ribbed knit sloppy joe is perfect for weekend wear, but works really well too over a dress to add a lovely pop of colour (this to come on the blog soon).

As orange is the midway colour between red and yellow it seemed like the perfect pairing to put the sweater with my lovely tartan jeans. These were unearthed just yesterday when I tackled the seasonal clothes change over. As my energy levels are still pretty low I kept things to the bare minimum and have got from A to B without too much fuss. 

Today's footwear comes from another friend, Ben, who sent these to me last year but this is the first of them making their way onto the blog. The brand is Geox, that clever Italian brand which delivers dry feet through their innovative mix of waterproof and breathable insoles. They're also very comfortable too!

Both my rings are pre-loved. My bejewelled turtle handbag is a few years old now and came from a tiny boutique in St Andrews. 


It was a stoke of luck that I'd recently been gifted this Smart Temperature duvet cover from The Fine Bedding Company. As I've said, I suffered terrible fever and sweats since my booster and was so grateful to have this skin sensitive bedding to help make me more comfortable. The fabric is 100% cotton, known for it's cool touch and in addition it has been treated to respond to a rise in body temperature. The techno bit is beyond me but I've linked through to their info page here.

Not only useful during my recent fever, but I know that the bedding will be a great relief from my never ending night sweats as I attempt to break the record for the world's longest menopause... If this is a problem for you too then I urge you to look into this new wave of temperature control bedding as it might just help make your nights more comfortable. 

The bedding launders like any other cotton which for some may be a downside as it creases badly, but I for one, don't mind a bit of ironing to get it crisp and smooth ready for another good night's sleep. The Fine Bedding Company have found a niche in the market with this range and it extends all the way to pillows, duvet and mattress covers to offer full temperature control. I'm about to replace our old duvet with their Breathe Duvet to compliment the existing duvet cover - in fact, I wish I'd done that a couple of weeks ago before I was ill!

Another happy find in my clothes changeover was my teddy faux fur coat. Roll on winter - I'm ready for you now!

The Find Bedding Company duvet cover has been gifted to me, but all comments are mine.

Anna x

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