October Style Not Age Challenge

Hello again! Yes, it's the last Monday of the month and that signals our Style Not Age Challenge again. This time Hilda has chosen Cosy Autumn Coats as our theme which seems to have turned up all sorts of lovely offerings. Mine is a bit lame I'm afraid as it's not exactly cosy, but still rather lovely even if I say so myself.  I'll spin my excuses later, but let's dive right in and see what all of my style sisters have come up with, shall we?

Jacqui is wearing a very sleek black quilted coat from M&S. It's my idea of a heavenly winter coat, ideal for cosying up in. Catch her backstory on Mummabstylish blog. 

Emma's Style Splash is also sporting an M&S coat, although hers was an eBay bargain for £10! I love the leopard print collar and would be very happy to add this to my coat collection. 

Gail's velvet military style jacket is from Joe Browns, paired with a velour skirt from Hope, giving a very sumptuous look. M&S brogue boots add an edge to the outfit which I love! See more on her blog Is This Mutton

Hilda wears a super Michael Kors coat from TK Maxx that has a fur trimmed hood to keep cosy against the chill winds. See her full feature on Over The Hilda.

You'll have seen my KEW 159 coat before and I had hoped to have something much more cosy for this challenge, but honestly my life is like a whirlwind at the moment! I've still not had time to do my clothes changeover this week and do wonder when that will happen. I'm scheduled to work all next weekend, so goodness knows when I'll find the time! Anyway, this is one of those transitional outfits where my Topshop lightweight dress has been given the seasonal treatment by adding a long sleeved thermal layer underneath, plus some thick tights creating a warm under layer. 

I've found that another clever way to keep cosy is to add a belt which traps warm air around the middle. My olive green studded belt was a gift from my friend Bo in Portugal. I'd admired this and a black one when I was last there on holiday and lo and behold she sent both to me as presents! My rings are both pre-loved and the dark green pearls are very old but much loved. Blue rimmed sunglasses are by Radley London.

We're still basking in some glorious golden autumn weather here on the islands which is probably how I'm still getting away with not having any autumn/winter clothes to hand. 

My mint green Office brougues are quite old now, but I'm still very happy with them despite the odd scuff or two around the toe area. Less than perfect is fine and is surely a sign of being worn and loved.

Yup, can you believe the size of this stick insect? I've no idea what kind it is, or even how common or uncommon this fella is, but it was a lucky break to stop here for my photo shoot and capture him. Details on the back of a postcard please.

Many thanks for dropping by again. I do hope you've enjoyed this month's challenge. I'll be back soon and plan to share the last bit of boating fun that Steve and I managed to squeeze in while the fine weather held out this month. Boating fun and some swimming news - how does that sound? Hope to see you soon!

                                                                             Anna x


Smart and sassy!

Hello lovely readers! How are you today? Well, I hope.

Today's title refers to the outfit, not me by the way. You'll have seen the dress featured previously, but the addition of a jacket just gives it a smart edge. My love of pattern play is truly evident here too, even down to the heart sprigged tights. It felt like a proper spring outfit when I wore it earlier this week. 

The jacket is by Heyton, bought in TK Maxx a few years ago. It really is a beautifully tailored piece, with perfect proportions for my height; flattering cut, neat stitching and lovely sleeve length. I had a search online for the brand, but couldn't find a web page, however I did find the same jacket on eBay if anyone is interested. 

My leather brogues are from Office (very old), but do work so well with this Zara snakeprint dress. I love the mint shade of the shoes although they're quite a difficult colour to tie in with a lot of my outfits. They are absolute heaven to wear, being all day long comfy with no need for that lunchtime swap over as so often happens to me. The Radley handbag was a wonderful charity shop find, a stylish neutral bag for this look.


My rings are both pre-loved, charity shopped and blooming perfect for this ensemble. Hurrah!

The dress came with its own self tie belt, so as is my wont I changed that for a different one; yet another charity shop find. It's leather and elastic woven with gilt trim to create an unusual accessory that had earned its place in my collection.

Next month is my 6 year blogging anniversary and I'm inviting any of my readers to send me an email with a photo of yourself in an outfit inspired by Anna's Island Style. Some of my blogging friends have responded to this, but I'd love to showcase readers too. So don't be shy, please step up and let me feature you on my anniversary feature!

                                                                       Anna x


Wet and wild!

Winter is upon us, that's for sure, when the view from my office window looks like this. 

No swimming on these days either!

The following day it was much improved and only a bit showery so I ventured outside with tripod, camera and timer to try a morning shot. I only managed one snap when the first shower hit and I had to grab my camera and run for cover.

I toyed with the idea of setting the camera up inside the gallery so that I could gad about outside, but as you can see the door was centre shot and not quite what I wanted. 

There was nothing else for it, I pitched the tripod and camera up outside the gallery door (downwind of the rain to keep it off the lens) and my new tartan brolly was brought into play. Lining up to get into the shot took a couple of goes though!

Oh well, third time lucky then ...

Yay! Here I am. So shall we talk outfits? Starting from the shoes up - these silver golfing type brogues are from Office, not new, but not terribly old either. I think I've only worn them twice before this and I can't imagine why cos I really do like them. They get packed away in tissue, boxed up and slid back under the bed, so maybe that's why I seem to forget about them. 

This was my vain attempt at giving you another look at the shoes. Oh Polly, where are you now? Next up are my cotton/bamboo tights from TK Maxx which are uber soft and comfy. The tartan pencil skirt is rather ancient now and I've no label to identify the brand. I've got a thermal polo neck under the red sweater which is by Berkertex and cost me £4 in a charity shop. 

The piece de resistance of the whole outfit, well apart from the cute tartan umbrella, has to be this wonderful jacket by Moschino from TK Maxx. I love a bomber jacket at the best of times, but this one just caught my eye as I was cruising through the designer racks. A little bit quirky and yet functional too as it's nicely padded so is quite cosy - well how could I resist it? The label price was £550 reduced to £120. A few times a year I treat myself to something special that's not pre-loved and this is most certainly a very special piece.

Last of all is the silver disc necklace that I bought from M&S a few years ago. 

I've been struggling with a low mood ever since the rainy weather settled here and I'm having a job shaking it off. I'm making an effort every day to find something cheery to wear and this mix of red and tartan was great to partner with my new jacket. I know when the S.A.D. is really taking hold with me when I start to wear the same outfits on a very tight repeat pattern. My yellow and red tartan jeans are becoming my default setting, my comfort zone. The blog is great drive for me however, pushing me to think beyond the same old, same old day after day. Sasha has offered to take some shots for the blog tomorrow so I'll knuckle down to find you something worth coming back for.

And finally, I had a funny Heath Robinson moment today when the sun made a momentary appearance between the rain clouds. The sight of this brightness in the sky really lifted my heart making me feel hopeful, optimistic I suppose, that the weather was going improve and with it my mood too. I suddenly had this vision of a diy version of instant sunlight where we could access sunlight from our own personal reserve, by way of a solar hat, no less! Imagine if you could store sunlight in a natty little hat and when you need a burst of sunlight it could be projected from the panels for your own enjoyment, nay mental well being! Laugh if you will, but maybe I'm just ahead of my time. Ought I to be putting a patent out on this now?
Anna x


Feels like spring

I don't know about you, but I've had enough of winter coats and at the slightest hint of spring I've been embracing a lighter look. I bought this rather fabulous pinstripe trouser suit for £7.50 in a charity shop in Penzance in January. The lining caught my eye before the price, but the combination of the two meant I just had to buy it.

I decided to push the boat out colourwise by adding my favourite floral satin shirt (preloved from Next) which upped the style factor to at least 8 out of 10. 

And to finish the look it had to be these old faithfuls, my silver brogues from Office. Between these and my Quay Australia sunglasses I'm pretty sure this could be a 10 out of 10 outfit today - what do you think?

For this shoot Sasha and I took a wander off the beaten track and ventured onto the boardwalk that leads to the bird hide. Her photographer's eye saw the creative opportunities that lay here. Not only did I benefit from some lovely photos for the blog, but she gave me some lessons with her snazzy camera too. 

At the moment I'm actually on the mainland with Steve on a little jaunt. We're spending a few days in Cornwall catching up with friends and then on Tuesday will be travelling to London. Wednesday will see us at the O2 as we join the thousands of star struck fans gathering to enjoy an evening listening to Paloma Faith. Our tickets for this have been delivered to a guest house in Truro so I'm not 100% convinced that we're really going until we and tickets are firmly together.

I'll be posting on Instagram over the next week, but I'm afraid that there's no blog post lined up for you mid-week this time. The hiccup with the loss of broadband for five days meant that I've struggled to get ahead of the game before I left.

In the meantime, I hope you're having a breath of spring wherever you are. Enjoy your week and I hope to be back with another post next weekend.

Anna x


Brogue love

Winter can surely be no better time to show you some brogue love. These beauties are from Office and must be about two years old, but are still in great condition. I clean, polish and buff my shoes before storing them in the box which helps to keep them ship shape until next time. (Does that make me goody-two shoes or just OCD?)

I've dragged these photos out of my draftbox, where they've languished for months. This may have been the last photo shoot Polly and I did together before she took her leave for another winter. And now it's just a matter of six weeks until she'll be back in my employ - hooray! Of course I see her all the time - she's working just along the road in the local grocery shop - but it will be lovely to have her in the gallery, buzzing about, getting things ready for another season.

The Michael Kors jacket isn't new either and yet really came into its own when I was in London recently. In fact, there seemed to be a bit of a trend with these studded and even pearl adorned jackets, although mine was bought two years ago. Good 'ol MK was surely the trendsetter and it's taken two years to catch up with him!

The skirt and blouse are both pre-loved; the skirt from Primark, the blouse from H&M, rings are also pre-loved, Tiffany silver necklace was a find in a charity shop in Ireland, tights are very old and sunglasses are by Quay Australia.

Black, red and grey are the simplest of combinations to play around with. I have a red tartan skirt that I could have swapped in, replacing the tights with a plain black pair and still have the same visually interesting outfit. Another combo could be my red sweater and leather pencil skirt with the tartan tights, but maybe that would need some high heels to balance things out. 

And sure, I really just ought to have shown you all of these permutations, but that would have required some forward planning and to be perfectly honest, I'm just flying by the seat of my pants at the moment. So much so, that if the weather doesn't sort it self out at the weekend, I'll be delving even deeper into my draft box to find something else to amuse you.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with some brogue love. These ones are pewter, but Office have the black version on sale now - here, so go! Hurry, before you miss them!

Anna x

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