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


Where did autumn go?

Hi there! How's tricks? Life here on the island is finally slowing down to an easier pace and looking around me this week I've been wondering what on earth happened to autumn? We seemed to fast forward from balmy September into the depths of winter within the space of a couple of weeks. I've now packed away the last of my summer fripperies and am back in the land of woolly socks and winter coats again.

I was delighted to rediscover this oxblood Next leather coat during the seasonal clothes changeover. I bought it in the Truro Oxfam shop last year for £30 and think it's a blooming bargain at that price. The colour is an unusual one for me, but it has become a firm favourite already. Leather is wonderfully wind proof and therefore perfect for island life where we're subjected to wild winds for almost half of the year. Worn here at the weekend it's great for a casual look, but is also handy for a smart finish to my work wear too.

I like the simple straight lines of the jacket - no belt or flap pockets to create bulk - and love the fact that it doesn't have a back vent. Oh goodness, how drafty they can be, flapping open when the wind attacks you from behind!

Dressing down for the weekend is my time to be quirky and creative away from work. I've teamed the pre-loved fairisle vest (known as a tank top in my youth) with skinny jeans embellished with embroidered flowers, beads and pearls for this trend clashing look. The tan heavy brogues by John White have leather soles which sound out with every step - a great way to announce this style statement. Under the vest I'm wearing a skinny ribbed sweater to keep out the cold - this was from Primark.

The jeans were from TK Maxx a couple of years ago when ornate embroidered jeans were in fashion. Trends may come and go, but if I like something I'll wear it regardless. They have a bit of stretch which adds to the comfort value of them, another winning feature.

The floral leather belt is rather ancient which again adds appeal and character to the piece. The wool vest is by Ralph Lauren, a wonderful charity shop find. The scottie dog bracelet and matching necklace were a lovely set which I bought in Harrogate about 5 years ago. I have them wrapped up in one of my jewellery boxes where they lie forgotten for months on end, waiting to be found once again with renewed delight. Such joy for me in these simple pleasures!

The flower ring was charity shopped and the domed ring was from a street market in Cape Town. Sunglasses are by Quay Australia.

The classic leather brogues are from that era when I seemed to purchase them in almost every colour - cream, mint green, blue, black, brown, silver, gunmetal, pink, burgundy, two tone blue and bronze, two tone yellow and brown, flats and heels - and in leather, suede and patent leather too. These ones came from my beloved TK Maxx. Talking of which I'm on the final push now of my 12 month shopping ban. It's 8 months since I went shopping for clothes or shoes, although I did one online purchase in March. My autumn/winter clothes collection is a fraction of what I have for spring/summer, but that's probably because I really don't like this time of year. Perhaps if I made more of an effort to find interesting and colourful clothes for the darker months I might enjoy this season much more? Still, that won't be happening any time soon.

Thanks for swinging by today and if you're a new reader then why not introduce yourself in the comments box? It's always lovely to have your feedback. Fingers crossed we shall all have some nice weather this weekend so that we can get out for some fresh air and exercise. I'll be out and about taking photos for the blog, weather permitting, as well as catching up on some long overdue housework!

Have a super weekend!

Anna x


Charity shop finds

Hello again!

It's great to have you join me again today. I've had this outfit sitting in my draft box for a while and thought today was the right time to bring it out. We all know the ripples from the Coronavirus are being felt across the globe and are affecting almost every business now. Yesterday I heard that the future of many charities is under pressure, with the threat of collapse due to their lack of income. Events like the London Marathon produce a large percentage of income for most charities every year and without that and so many other fundraising events it leaves their future hanging in the balance. Small animal charities are the most vulnerable with worries about how they'll feed their livestock within the weeks and months ahead. Such a worrying time. As you know, I'm a huge fan of charity shopping, in fact, it's a mainstay of my wardrobe and I do wonder if the high street shops will survive once Covid-19 has passed. 

My outfit comprises of two items from the Oxfam shop in Truro. The oxblood leather coat is from Next and although not brand new, it shows no signs of wear and is a beautiful quality of hide. I paid £40 for it and see it as a great investment piece. 

The nutmeg vintage skirt is by Mondi, made from wool and polyester, fits like a dream and best of all still had the original tags on it. It cost £19.99 and again is another real investment buy. I suppose the skirt encapsulates all the best reasons to charity shop: it's unusual, stylish and an absolute bargain.

The fabric has a lovely drape, the pleats sit nicely and of course, the bonus has to be these pockets. I do like the button feature down the front too. My bronze and black sock boots are by Zara from a couple of years ago.

These are some of my last work outfits before I was furloughed. From here on I'll be going back through my draft box to find those ensembles which I might have bypassed previously, but beggars can't be choosers now!

Lora did a great job taking these shots on this particular day as I had given her the camera with the setting on the wrong place. When we got to the jewellery shot it wouldn't focus - stupid me for leaving it on the Scenery setting!

Nothing new with these rings as I've had them both for ages. H&M leopard print cardi is old too.

Yet another new pair of Radley sunglasses, (aren't they fab) paired with this chunky tribal necklace from Topshop last year.

A week into my furlough now and I'm still trying to create a work structure on the home front. One thing I've found is that too much news and social media definitely affect my energy levels. It's draining to have the reality of our world events come at you hour after hour. I'm limiting my news updates to once in the morning and once in the evening. The same for social media. And I'm letting the days roll by with less have-to's that I thought. I'm cooking and cleaning and swimming and resting, but not in any of the tight regime I previously would  previously have done.  I'll often find myself looking out at the island view from my window where there's not a sole in sight. Most of the time Tresco is like a ghost town. I expect you're finding life so very different too. Do drop me a line, leave me a comment and let me know how you're bearing up.

In the meantime, I'll be searching for outfits to keep us both entertained.

Anna x

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