If I Were a Handbag, our Style Not Age challenge for February

Hello and welcome our monthly style challenge! I'll 'fess up straight away - yes the subject was my choice this month. For those who know me, you'll agree that my featured handbag is a good reflection of my character - fluffy on one side and smooth on the other, and exceedingly bright and colourful. I have a scatty fun side away from work, but also a smooth, glossy business side which is how I see myself at work. So how do my fashionista friends see themselves...?

Jacqui's offering for the challenge is this compact satchel bag with ornate front. Not sure what this says about her, but it's a super practical bag. See more from Jacqui on Mummabstylish.

Gail is showcasing a red bowling bag which was a Christmas present. The compact, sleek style ties in with her elegant outfit. Find all of the details on her blog Is This Mutton? 

Hilda's choice is a bright green tote borrowed from a local boutique. The bag is big enough to carry a laptop, in a burst of colour from a local designer. See her back story on Over the Hilda blog. 

Emma's handbag is a funky colourful piece by Angel Jackson which has inspired a lovely mix of colours in her outfit. Read all about it on The Style Splash.

My dear friend Ben found this fabulous multicoloured bag in a market on his travels and immediately thought of me - wild and colourful! I was thrilled to receive such an individual piece to add to my handbag collection. It's been my go-to bag for the past month, inspiring various colourful outfits for my working day. 

The fringed side of the bag is a glorious fuzzy, tufted aspect of this oversized handbag. 

As for the outfit of the day - the leather coat is by Next, a charity shop purchase for £20, trousers are from Topshop (ah, the good ol' days!), turtle neck from Primark, shoes and glitter socks from TK Maxx - none of this is new. 

The ring gold coloured ring is pre-loved and the chunky silver and gold etched In Heaven on Earth ring is by Diana Porter. The mustard gloves are from TK Maxx.

The mustard hues continue with my Quay Australia sunglasses.

So how did we all fare with this month's challenge? I do hope you enjoyed it. I loved the opportunity to show you this glorious bag again and would like to think there may be some inspiration within today's feature for everyone. 

Sending love to you all and I do hope that you're safe. Take care!

                                                                                                Anna x


Another birthday present!

Hello again! Yes, mine is the birthday that goes on and on, but goodness isn't this latest worth the wait? My family clubbed together to buy me this fabulous faux fur coat last month, and after a couple of false starts delaying things (the sizing is very generous, meaning I returned it twice and downsized from a 12 to a 6 eventually) here it is in all its glory! You can tell how excited I am about this, can't you?

The coat is from River Island and I'm a bit gutted to see that it's now been reduced to half price in the sale - see here. However, I can see that it's sold out in a 6 which does help. 

I dragged my son Jamie to the beach in between storms this weekend and elevated him to the role of Blog Photographer and wow, didn't he rise to the challenge? The sun shone and the wind continued to blow, but we made the most of things and I was thrilled to gad about in my new ensemble. 

I've been panicking that the coat wouldn't get an airing until the autumn, but this cold blast of wild weather was the perfect excuse to get out and about on Saturday afternoon. Not a soul was in sight as we dropped down onto Cradle Porth on the low tide. The blond sandbar was the perfect backdrop for this monochrome outfit. It's quite a change for me to opt for such a muted palette, but honestly the look still delivers the wow factor, don't you think?

The camo two piece was also from River Island (see here). The stretch fit makes for easy weekend wear, either for working out or lounging around at home. Oh, and the camo print is fabulous - I've got a thing about camo at the moment. The leggings are sold as bum sculpting with a high waistband and the fit is great, even on my ageing derriere!

A touch more glam comes by way of the Radley sunglasses and two pre-loved rings. 

My favourite boots of the moment are perfect for this monochrome play - they're from Asos and you can find them here

I'm in full "cat who got the cream" mode here. This is one of those outfits that I could wear day after day and still feel fabulous. What a joy!

                                                                                      Anna x


My pretty new Zara blouse

Hello again! How was your weekend? Mine seemed to go past in a bit of a blur of cooking, cleaning and yes, dejunking. The boxes are mounting up as I clear out cupboard after cupboard, moving out anything that's not useful, beautiful or loved by us. Even poor Steve was involved as I attacked his guilty area of workwear calling on him to help cull his large, but very tired, collection of checked shirts of which there seemed to be many. We're still in the midst of the job, barely half way through the entire house, but as they say, out of chaos comes order!

So, this is my new blouse, a birthday present from my friend Bo who lives in Portugal. It's from Zara, but I can't find it online here. The fabric is lightweight and will be wonderful to wear in the summer (I'm imagining it with white jeans and sandals), but I was so impatient to try it on then decided to winterise it with my pre-loved Ralph Lauren fairisle vest.

I teamed up the blouse with my ochre Kate trousers from J D Williams - see them here on sale now. I love the fit of these slim trousers mainly because of the stretch which makes them super comfy. This is the first time I've worn them despite having them for years - yes, I really mean years. It's only due to the big clear out that I rediscovered them, still with tags on, and decided to try them on. How fab is that to find a great new pair of trousers hidden away? And doubly fab when they match my new blouse perfectly!

My pre-loved perspex rings pick out some of the colours in today's outfit adding to the pattern play too. Dark green pearls and Quay Austalia sunglasses complete the accessories.

Russet platform boots give a bit more leg-lengthening height to the look which is never a bad thing. These are very old indeed and were from Office.

And just to add a bit more pattern to the mix, I wore my Joe Brown's woolen 3/4 length jacket. This one is out of stock now, but I did find another cute jacket - see here.  The lining is a wonderful bit of pattern play too!

It seems that here in the UK we'll all be hunkering down for the rest of the week as we have two gales lining up to give us a bit of a battering. I'd planned to get some outdoor photos taken on the beach at the weekend, but I'll maybe have to come up a plan B just in case. Do take care, wherever you are and thanks for dropping by!

                                                                            Anna x


My snazzy new co-ord!

Hello again! How's things? Hasn't January just whizzed by? I can't believe we're already a whole week into Feb. So, anyway, here's me in a snazzy new outfit which was Sasha's present for my Christmas. While she was on the mainland in November she had messaged me from Primark to show me this fab co-ord and without a moments hesitation I said Yes! The brown and white colourway wouldn't normally have been my choice but the geometric print and cut of trousers and jacket were a winning combination easily outweighing my reservations.

I hadn't planned on the windswept look for this shoot, but Sasha invited me over when she was staying in Nautilus for her birthday (week) and I'd had this vision of showcasing the suit outdoors on the deck. 

I did also take some indoors shots...

The straight legged jeans work great with the fitted denim style jacket don't you think? I had planned to pop a high neck sweater underneath but it made the whole thing look a bit mumsy. 

Instead I opted for my white ribbed and chiffon sleeved top by Wild Flower, a purchase from TK Maxx a couple of years back. The see-through sleeves lighten the look and are just a bit more fresh and funky. 

I matched the flower motif pattern of the suit with various pre-loved pieces of floral jewellery to give a bit of a 60's vibe. My sunglasses are from Radley London. 

The fab new suit gives me the opportunity to bring out my ecru Chelsea boots which I bought from Asos not so long ago. They're still available here. I've not had the chance to wear this outfit to work yet as I've had a couple of weeks off work spanning my birthday weekend (spent on the dejunking project). However it's just a little over 4 weeks to go now until the Gallery re-opens and I'll be sure to be gadding about in this natty ensemble as soon as I can!

                                                                              Anna x

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