Another summer trouser suit

Hello, and how's your Sunday going? We've had a big gale blowing across the Isles of Scilly over the past few days, but at last the wind is dropping. Polly and I have relocated to give you a different aspect of the island today, showing Bryher in the background, which just so happens to be staging its annual Summer Fete this afternoon. I'll be at work by then, but I'll clip the doors open so that I can enjoy the live music. Fingers crossed for the good weather to hold!

Earlier on this season I declared that this is the year of the trouser suit and here's another one from my collection. Today's outfit isn't new, but is new to me. It's from M&S, but goodness knows how many seasons ago.  I bought it in a charity shop when I was in St Andrews in January with the sole purpose of wearing it on my flight to Cape Town. It's a size bigger than I usually wear which was ideal as I seem to suffer a bloated tummy when I fly. I avoid eating completely and don't drink carbonated drinks, but I still get a painfully tender stomach. Looking back at the photos from the airport in Cape Town, I'd say all of me looks pretty bloated!

Not so much a trouser suit as culottes and matching pyjama top if you wish. The low slung waist and pleated trousers make for a lovely comfy fit. I've added a vest top in similar colour underneath. The label on that says White Stuff which I think I bought many, many moons ago. The button fastening on the top is very clever and well worth a mention. Good ol' M&S have designed the buttons closure to overcome that dreaded gaping over the bust area by adding buttons on the underside of the shirt which don't show through either - how very neat!

All today's jewellery is second hand too. The necklace I picked up in a charity shop when Sasha and I were out shopping together last summer. When we got outside she gently told me that this necklace along with two others were hers, donated only the previous day. I love that we've all gained from this experience: she by getting rid of unwanted pieces and me for finding things that were useful also by putting money into the pockets of our chosen charity. Hurrah! Oh, let's not forget my sunglasses today as they're by Guess, for a change!

These platforms were a River Island purchase, but goodness, that must be at least 10 years ago if not more. I kept them in a box under the bed for yonks and couldn't bear to get rid of them even though I didn't want to wear them. It's funny how you can fall back in love with something after a break isn't it?

I decided to make a concerted effort to avoid any newly-bought-from-the-high-street items in today's offering. My trips to the mainland often result in my being seduced by the latest trends which drags me away from my ideals of buying recycled clothes. I do my best, is all I can say. I bet you're the same.

And finally .... I'm touting a new magazine this week. The Simple Things feels like it's got its finger on the pulse of life currently. The tempo is chilled and all about savouring the moment, whether it's during a camping trip and eating al fresco or how to incorporate mindfulness into our daily life, the mag was a joyful discovery for me.

Some of you may recall me (ages ago) mentioning that I was going to featured in a magazine, and here I am. A big thank you to those involved for getting me into print to showcase my island life. I'm putting a copy of this away so that I can remind myself of my 15 minutes of fame when I'm old and decrepit!

On Tuesday the gallery will be hosting our second-to-last summer show - how did that happen so quickly? Please join me later on this week to see how that one went, along with the outfit of the day. 

In the meantime, have a super week!

Anna x


Midweek monochrome

Midweek can sometimes be a bit blah for me clothes-wise. The start of the week usually prompts a surge of enthusiasm to find a fab outfit to set the right tone. Likewise, come Friday I have another boost at the thought of the weekend which acts to spur me on to delve deep and find something inspiring. But midweek is neither fish nor foul if you get my drift. However I've never worn this wonderful charity shop find before, even though I bought it during my autumn shopping spree. The jacket is from Planet and was a snip at a fiver. Five pounds could buy you a cup of tea and a sandwich and for the same money I've got this beautiful woollen jacket - wow!

I paired the jacket with my harem pants from TK Maxx, slipped a thin thermal top underneath (from M&S) and finished with my gorgeous wedges from Office. The rings are charity shopped, the gold chain was a gift and I'm wearing my old faithful sunnies by Quay Australia. 

I'm back from Harrogate, flushed with success from not only my business buying trip, but also from my personal shopping trip too. The Britishi Craft Trade Fair is where I find the design led gifts, jewellery and ceramics for the gallery as well as being a source of new talent from emerging artists who bring all sorts of novel ideas to the fore at these events. I never know what I'm going to find which is all part of the fun. See the full report here as well as the scoop on my purchases.

Linking with -
Laurie of Vanity And Me
Anna x


Ping-Pong Post no12

Hello and welcome to the 12th edition of Ping-Pong post, the monthly collaboration between myself, Samantha of Fake Fabulous and Ann of Kremb de la Kremb. To see the background of this style challenge read here. This month Samantha proffered her black drapey top which almost flummoxed me completely. Despite being simple in shape, it was still one of my least favourite of colours to work with. Let's start with Samantha who certainly didn't seem to struggle -

The black top has a scoop neck and cross over front, but very cleverly Samantha has chosen to wear it back to front revealing a stunning strappy feature below. Wet look leggings, and patent boots lift this plain cotton top into the realms of fabulousness. She has finished this off with a statement bag and necklace leaving no room to doubt that she is indeed a true style icon. Follow Samantha on Instagram here.

Details -
TOP: Yong Kim
NECKLACE: Oliver Bonas
LEGGINGS: Pamela Mann
BOOTS: Vagabond
BAG: River Island

Ann has given the top a more casual spin with her snakeskin jeans, biker boots and striped shirt, but hasn't forgotten a dash of glamour by way of her diy ostrich handbag (see the link below). A roll neck and gloves give a nod to the cooler weather Ann is experiencing in Hong Kong this week when she took these shots. Black doesn't look very difficult to wear when you've got the right hair colouring does it? Fab styling Ann! Follow Ann on Instagram here.

Details -
Outfit Details
Earrings--my guy Ben in Jardines Bazaar, a great ladies market in Hong Kong
Turtleneck--heat technology, Uniqlo
Striped Shirt--Zara
Black Top--Sam's
Gloves--market in Shanghai
Ostrich Bag--Kremb de la Kremb DIY
Snake Jeans--Bershka
Moto Boots--boutique on Houhai Lake, Beijing

Those who know me will recognise my default setting here - when in doubt, dress it up! Glitter tights and glitter boots, seemed like a great way of detracting from the pallor-inducing colour of the top. Adding some softer, more neutral tones against the skin also helped. One feature I did like was the pockets and by adding a belt the tunic took on a bit more shape. A splash of silver jewellery and studded clutch were the finishing touches. Samantha - I gave this my best shot, but heck it's been my least favourite of our challenges so far!

Details -
Top: Samantha's
Dress: H&M
Belt: Dorothy Perkins
Tights: H&M
Boots: Topshop
Necklace: M&S
Rings: old
Handbag: charity shopped

The news on Ping-Pong Post is that having completed a whole year of this style challenge we're going to evolve the series a little next month, so do come along to see exactly how on the 20th of March.

Linking with -
Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb

Anna x


Winter woollies

I know there are parts of the UK which are being hammered by sleet and snow currently, but thank goodness we in the far southwest are not. Still, we do have a bitter north wind blowing across the islands and I'm taking cover with my favourite woollen coat. 

The coat was a holiday purchase when Steve and I were on our cruise last February see here. The colours pack a punch and it's a real lift on the dark days of winter. Like lots of people I suffer from the winter blues and tend to drift into wearing gloomy shades of grey and black in the winter, so this coat is a brilliant antidote to the blahs. My handbag is a brand new addition, a great find in a charity shop in Penzance. It's ostrich hide, but best of all, it's a perfect match for the bright pink tone in my coat. I've been on the lookout for a stylish bag to take away when I go to the mainland in this fine coat and I found this bag in the very first charity shop on arriving in Cornwall in December. The bonus feature is that the bag is dual purpose acting as both a conventional handbag and a neat backpack. It's great to have a classy bag that I can pop on my back for hands-free shopping.

My other new purchase worth mentioning has to be these glitter boots. I can take no claim in finding these, as I stole the idea from my utterly sleek, style icon of a niece, Kate. We all spent some time together over Christmas and the first time she turned up wearing these wonderful boots I knew I had to have a pair too. By the time I came to buy them, they were in the sale at Topshop see here which was double the joy for me. I don't plan to pack them away until next Christmas. No, I'll be wearing them as and when I think the outfit warrants. You can wear a sprinkling of glitter any time of year in my book!

The rest of my outfit comprises - cashmere polo neck: M&S (charity shopped), trousers: HM, rings: gifts.

Linking with -
Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb 
Cherie of Style Nudge

I'll leave you with this shot taken from my office window looking across the bay to Bryher. There was a momentary break in the cloud to give a glimpse of the sun setting and a tantalising peek at the blue sky before the next dark clouds obscured the view. The resulting heavy rain over us may well have fallen as snow on mainland Cornwall.
Anna x


Sparkle and shine

Today's offering is my attempt at wearing sequins in a more casual manner. However, I do realise that my default setting is probably a bit more blingy than most, in which case this maybe isn't as dressed down to you as it is to me. The fabulous mini skirt was a purchase in the January sales and this is the first time I've worn it. 

Almost exactly 12 months ago I was just beginning to falter with the first signs of flu. I struggled on until Christmas day when I managed to cook the turkey with all the trimmings, missed the lunchtime drinks at the pub, then almost as soon as we ate I spiralled downhill. By 4pm I was wrapped up in a duvet on the sofa, in denial, still trying to get my money's worth out of the big day. Things continued to deteriorate from there on and days drifted past in a blur of sweat, aches and pains. Eventually I resurfaced, well into the New Year to be greeted by an avalanche of parcels - evidence of my efforts at self medicating and proof of my influenzia delerium shoppingitis (as coined here) - which covered every glittered/sequined anything that you could imagine. Much of it I returned immediately, and many sparkly pieces of finery were placed in a holding pattern until I could get a second opinion. Polly came to visit and this mini skirt was the final item to be discussed. Yes, you'll not be surprised to hear that I was concerned that it was WAY too short for me/someone my age. Thick tights and flat shoes were our joint decision as to how to make this more wearable, so what the heck has happened today? Glittery tights and these brand new boots with fabulous gold high heels are what's happened, because this Christmas I've got a whole lot of catching up to do!

Skirt: H&M, sweater: TK Maxx, boots: New Look, tights, H&M, thermal top: M&S, rings: charity shopped, sunglasses: Quay Australia.
Anna x


#Ping Pong Post no 9

Welcome again to our monthly style challenge where an item of clothing traverses the globe between my friends Samantha of Fake Fabulous who lives in Scotland and Ann of Kremb de la Kremb, a resident of Hong Kong. It's been nine months since we started Ping Pong Post and you can see how it all began back in March see here. This month it was the turn of Samantha to proffer up something - her pink dotty jacket was a fabulous challenge - let's see if we'd be foiled or if we'd flourish shall we?

The inclement weather didn't dampen Samantha's enthusiasm for her weekend spin on the pink jacket. Samantha's Scottish home is prey to chill winds and more rain than it deserves, but she works around this with a cosy pashmina and clever layering featuring shades of cream, navy and burgundy reflected in bag, boots and over shirt. I love the rosy pink glow created by her brolly which enhances her lovely, healthy complexion. Samantha is growing out her signature pixie cut in favour of a longer, shaggy style which suits her pretty features so well. Follow Samantha on Instagram here.

Shirt: Second Female
Poloneck: M&S
Jeans: Topshop
Shoes: Mini Boden
Bag: Charity shop
Ring: My daughters!

Ann too, has changed her hairstyle this month and is looking equally cute with this swept back look. She's added polka dots and snakeskin print to a black and white palette to showcase the pink jacket. The simple mini skirt paired with fantastic Stella McCartney patent, platform shoes almost steal the show were it not for those beautifully tanned legs of Ann's - the result of a recent beach holiday methinks! Metallic nailpolish and toning jewellery are her finishing touches. Follow Ann on Instagram here.

Shirt is Target
Top, Sams
The tie is Zara as is the snake bag--but from the girls department.
The suede mini is Forever 21
The shoes are Stella McCartney
Oh, the strings are from my buddy Ben from a market here in Hong Kong.
And the hair tie I found in a random jewellery shop in Kowloon. 

I must admit I thought the jacket was a fantastic offering this month. The fit was great, it had a little bit of stretch and the colour was a the ideal springboard for creativity. My initial thought was to add some jeans as I'm aware I don't dress down very often for the blog. I pulled out a couple of pairs, one black drainpipe and the other a dark blue cropped. Hmmm, not sure. The pink frothy blouse nearly leapt out of the wardrobe next and that really helped move things along. I remembered seeing these studded leggings of Sasha's when I was rooting around in a drawer the other week. Once I'd recovered them, the boots were a no brainer. The finishing touches of this tartan clutch and the belt were both trophies from my last charity shopping episode in September see here. Lots of silver jewellery was my final nod towards this rock chick look - at my age? - YES!

Thanks to Samantha and Ann for the Pink Pong Party this month (Ann's take on this) - it was great fun. Next month we'll be showing a bit of razzle dazzle thanks to Ann, right on the cusp of Christmas. Hope you'll find a moment to swing by for a look.

Jacket: Sam's
Trousers: borrowed from my daughter
Blouse: charity shop
Clutch: Ness 
Necklace and rings: charity shop
Watch: Michael Kors

Linking with
Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb
Cherie of Style Nudge

                                                   Anna x

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