Black trouser challenge 10

And here I am in double figures with this Black Trouser Challenge. Instead of it being difficult as I half expected, this has become a really enjoyable weekly feature. Today I've acted on the suggestions of a couple of bloggers who wish to see a casual twist. Let me know what you think Mary and Jude.

These LA Gear trainers were a recent purchase from TK Maxx. I totally love the colours, texture and pattern of them - so much so, that I did my little happy dance when I tried them on. That would have been fine if I'd been in the changing rooms, but I was on the shop floor being watched/ignored by my daughter. She soon told me to stop as people were watching. I like to be embarrassing at least once each time we're out together, so that got it out of the way for the day.

I had to ham it up a bit to counter the fact that I didn't comply fully with the remit of casual. The black trousers are strictly work wear for me and as such I do have to look semi-smart behind the desk as I serve customers. A tee/sweat shirt would have been more casual, I know, but I could only see me wearing that on a hanging evening (such as this evening, I suppose). Anyway, our photo shoots are first thing in the morning when we catch the morning light before we start the day's work. This is the first time I've ventured out in these with flats of any sort and I was pleasantly surprised that they didn't feel too out of place styled this way. It's given me a couple more ideas along these lines too which is great. And let's not forget that today's outfit brings the cost-per-wear down to £4 which is pretty cool.

Outfit details - trousers: River Island (still available here), top H&M, body: TK Maxx, shoes: LA Gear, bag: Candy Bag, pearls: Almost Perfect, striped ring: gift, brown ring: old.

This is not a sponsored post.

Anna x


Squeezing the last drop out of summer

I'm the kind of person who likes to squeeze the last drop of juice out of a lemon, force that desultory dollop of ketchup out of the bottle and push the final slick of conditioner out of the tube. It'll be of no surprise to you then, that I've got one final hurrah before I say goodbye to my summer outfits. The defining line between summer and autumn for me is the lack of, or need to wear tights. That sudden bit of chill heralds the extra comfort layer for me. And golly, do I love my tights - patterned, tartan, lacy and every colour of the rainbow - I love them all! However today, here we have the (probably) final bare-legged offering of the year. And with that, a slightly formal, secretarial look too, I fancy.

The smallest of things give me such pleasure: these striped rings from my friend Wendy which work so well with this shirt and also the cuff links that I found in a charity shop.

This wonderful satin striped shirt (by Hawkes & Curtis, Jermyn Street, London) was a charity shop scoop from my last trip to the mainland. I thought the full spectrum of colours could stand an understated look, which brought to mind this simple grey pencil skirt. Black shoes and handbag would have been a classic way to take this, but hey, since when did I conform like that? My yellow, jelly, Candy Bag tones in beautifully and the wild card had to be my leopard print heels. 

Friday brought not just Polly's last day working with me, but also our final show of the year. The evening was a resounding success. The show is a platform for the emerging talent from Falmouth University's Drawing students - see the full exhibition here. We had a fantastic turnout for our drinks party, despite the wind and rain that descended just as we opened. Our normal photo shoot was a wipe out consequently so you'll have to make do with a couple of indoor shots. My (other) new boots had an outing along with a dress bought for the occasion from H&M. I was all ready to proudly link to something new for a change, but it turns out that the dress must have been so popular, it's all sold out! I can however let you see the boots from ASOS which seem to be still for sale here.

And I can't finish without giving a huge thanks to the team of helpers who have made the exhibition period run so smoothly. Thank you ladies - (LtoR) Ruth, Heather, Polly and Max - brilliant teamwork from you all. Please come back again next year!

Anna x


As suggested by ...Julie

Once again it's time for a reader of the day to steer my outfit choice. A very kindly worded email from Julie has prompted me to bring out this 70's psychedelic blouse again after she saw it some time ago see here and thought it could do with another outing. This was a great suggestion allowing me to go all out with my favourite of all games - yes, pattern play. The blouse and trousers (or shirt and pants if you're across the way) are maybe a bit bright for some, but spell out fun in my book.

The recycled paintbrush necklace is by Zincwhite. Fab isn't it?

Thank you Julie for this recommendation which has given rise to such a jolly summer outfit. It's great to have a hand with the daily decision making and if you have a favourite piece you'd like to see again I'd love to hear from you. Please do contact me either in the comments below or by email through the contacts box in the sidebar or here through my Instagram account. I love having your input, your feedback or suggestions and even questions are all very welcome.

Blouse is by The Old Welle via charity shop, the trousers (no label), shoes are from Topshop and the bag is a Candybag. The jeans jacket is from Benetton (no longer available), necklace Zincwhite designs, sunglasses are by Quay Australia and rings are charity shopped.

Anna x


That Friday feeling

Some outfits have that real Friday feeling; that end of the week buzz which sets you up for the weekend. This is mine. I adore this Boden skirt, the shape, the colourway, the print - all of it. It's a great building block that never fails for me. My blue biker jacket is another favourite piece which never lets me down. Put the two together and I feel on top of the world. 

My other go-to item is, of course, a pair of brogues and today's are my mint green lovelies. You may argue that my yellow Candy Bag is not the best partner for this colour of shoes, but I'm not really one to play by the rules. I pretty much do my own thing, my own way, to please myself. And this is the end result. A collection of much loved pieces put together creating a fab look of the day. And so I shall head off into the weekend with a spring in my step. I hope you too are looking forward to some down time, maybe even a bit of retail therapy, over the bank holiday weekend. Perhaps we can reconvene on Sunday over a coffee and croissant?

Jacket: Toxic3 (TK Maxx). Skirt: Boden. T shirt: charity shop. Shoes (currently on offer at £45): Office. Tights: Dorothy Perkins. Necklace: Daisy Dunlop. Candy Bag: Furla (TK Maxx). Sunglasses: Quay Australia.
Anna x


Introducing the Candy Bag

Every once in a while a handbag appears with your name on it, and this Candy Bag was one of those. I was on the search for a fringed bag while I was away recently, but when I finally got the chance to check out TK Maxx (where I was convinced said fringed bag would be waiting for me), well blow me, it wasn't anywhere to be seen! The only two sorry and tired-looking fringed offerings were evidence enough that this trend was old hat, and I needed to move on, pronto. Once I removed my blinkers, I was free to see what might be mine amongst the 400 or so bags that were on display. Suddenly, this beauty caught my eye as it sat proudly on the front of a shelf. Wow! I grabbed it quickly and carried it around, making sure it didn't have any rivals. Nope, not one. This was it. My trophy. My new handbag.

The wonderful bag is see-through PVC, yet doesn't look cheap; it's bright, yet not garish; conventional in shape, yet unusual in it's entirety. In short, it's my perfect new bag. I'll make my apologies now for the fact that it may well feature in far too many posts this summer, but that's pretty much how it goes with my latest love affair. Until the next one comes along...

The outfit today was really all about the bag. Understated is not my default setting, as you probably know, but it just seemed like the right thing to do. Let the bag have its moment I say. The Candy Bag has arrived. All hail the Candy Bag! 

Candy Bag: Furla (TK Maxx). Raincoat: Banana Republic. Dress: Tu at Sainsbury. Shoes: Salord Jover (charity shop). Tights: Dorothy Perkins. Watch: Michael Kors. Bracelet and matching ring: Dorothy Perkins. Nude/gold ring: Boots. Rose gold bangle: Kate Spade New York.

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Dawn Marie at Fashion Should Be Fun  

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