Not Square With Gingham - our Style Not Age challenge

Hello and welcome! Thanks for joining me today as I gather together my Style Not Age friends who between us are presenting "Not Square With Gingham". It was Hilda's choice this month, and one that had me scratching my head a bit as I wondered what to wear. I really only have three gingham pieces, one of which I've already featured on our monthly style challenge (here). With no shopping trip in sight and a clampdown on spending this month due to far too many expenses with out little motor boat, I had to give up on my idea of eBay solving my problem. Anyway, as you can see I've gone all bright and colourful (oh what a surprise!) wearing this floral gingham top that came from a charity shop last year, but more on this later.

Hilda wears gingham check fitted trousers by Puno Roma and a classic Zara shirt. Why oh why, does that half tuck look stylish on her and yet half undone on me? Hilda's feature can be seen in full on her blog Over The HIlda.

Emma from Style Splash wears a summery pink and white gingham skirt and tee shirt both from Zara. (Have these ladies both been cashing in on the Zara sale site I wonder?) Her sleek and stylish summer shoes are from River Island. Do pop over to see more from Emma on her blog too.

Jacqui has given us a double dose of gingham with these crops and matching brolly, but she's also added some pattern play by way of this sleeveless duster in summer florals - fab! Last minute photos brought about this weather-led shoot which turned out both cute and playful for her. See Jacqui's post on Mummabstylish.

My photos were weather-led too as I panicked at my last minute attempt to find somewhere out of the high winds and between showers to capture my gingham offering. Steve kindly did the honours in his lunchtime. If he had zoomed into the sea in the distance you'd have seen the white horses driving over the tops of the waves. Heavy showers for the past few days has brought inches of welcome rain to the UK which is long overdue as you can see by the parched grassland of Jimmy Cox's field. (Jimmy Cox is long dead, so we weren't in danger of being chased off!)

I pushed the boat out by adding these pop art courts by Chockers to my jolly vintage skirt by Jaeger. They cost £8.50 in St Michael's Hospice charity shop in Harrogate in the spring.

My gingham top is by F&F at Tesco's but was sourced in a charity shop last year. I like the feature of the split sleeve which was a great compromise for me when off-the-shoulder tops ruled the roost, but weren't my thing. The addition of flowers and greenery to the gingham appealed to my need to break with convention. 

Today's jewellery is all preloved apart from my favourite gold chain necklace which was a gift from Sasha. This pretty pink cuff is a recent and welcome addition to my stash.

My other go-to accessory has to be this pink stretch belt which I found on eBay a couple of years ago. At £5 the cost per wear must have dropped down into the pennies by now as I seem to wear this belt at least once a week - it's turned into a signature piece of mine - not the most stylish, classy or expensive, but certainly useful!

The final flourish to my outfit was my black net petticoat, adding fun and fullness to the skirt. The simple act of adding a net underskirt instantly adds a sense of occasion to any ensemble - a favourite trick of mine.

Thank goodness that there was no-one about to see this windswept scenario as they were out for a woodlands walk - what would they have thought?

Thanks for joining me today on this last post of July. I can't quite believe that August is upon us! The summer is rushing past me with so many things left behind in the rush and tear of life; no link-ups as I'm too time challenged; far too infrequent exchanges with blogging friends; not enough miles clocked up ready for my big sea swim challenge - oh dear, I must try harder. On the plus side, I'm drawing on my mindfulness training from earlier this year (see here) and remembering to take a moment which has been a life saver. The "musts" and "shoulds" and "have tos" are being dropped in favour of power naps, picnics and revelling in the outdoors life. Counting my blessings is a great way of grounding myself and stopping the runaway train of thoughts that can sometimes drive me to exhaustion. Summer on these beautiful islands is in itself a huge blessing and one not to be overlooked. On that note, I shall leave you, my lovely readers and wish you well. Downtime is just what the doctor ordered methinks!

Until next time, take care!
Anna x


Hurrah for 2 years of blogging!

No-one can be more surprised than me to discover that it's two years since I posted my first feature on the blog (see here). When I started out on this adventure I really had no idea how long I could keep up a good head of steam, as it were. Would I get bored? Would you get bored? Would I run out of outfits that were worthy of a photo shoot? Would I run out of ideas to keep you interested? Today these very same questions still loom over me and all I can promise is that when the joy of running this online diary starts to wane, I'll bow out gracefully before the ratings become too embarrassing to read.

In the meantime I will take a moment to gush and say thanks to my readership without whom this whole thing would be pointless. Thank you for coming back time after time to follow my antics and for the occasional email you send me out of the blue to talk to me about your life and what the blog adds to it. Hello to my lovely reader who returned from abroad to settle in Truro and was excited to visit all the same charity shops as I do - maybe we'll bump into each other one day. Hello to my far flung readers in Australia and New Zealand who are always out of sync with our season and yet still join me to see the outfit of the day. Thank you to my readership in the far East who surprise me with a massive hit of 3000 or so every six months - I wonder if I'm the subject of some college course or a network who follows me? Hello to Angela, Joan and Jude with whom I have become friends through their support by email. And a huge thank you to the blogging community for welcoming me into the body of the kirk. Your comments keep me on the right track, and encourage me when I'm not sure about my clothes or even my choices in general. The blogging world is huge and I realise that my blogging community is tiny in relation to that, but that somehow makes it all the more special. We all search out our niche, our crowd, those that we identify with most and I'm so happy to be part of a blogging family, who like many families may be too busy to catch up from time to time, but always, always regroup and are there to support each other.

Last of all, let's not forget that a blog is only as good as its photographs and mine are always better when Polly is around to do the honours.

Thanks to her for her ideas, advice and technical skills and most of all for her ability to make me laugh! Poor Polly is a captive audience, forced into the position by default, but takes on the role with enthusiasm and good humour every time. In these last few shots she captured the fun when the wind decided to play havoc with my skirt and despite my warnings she just carried on snapping anyway. Thank you Polly x

Outfit details - top: H&M, skirt: vintage, Jaeger, net petticoat: eBay, shoes: TK Maxx, belt: Dorothy Perkins, clutch and rings: charity shopped, bangle: gift, necklace: Noel, sunglasses: Quay Australia.
Anna x

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