Ping Pong Piece no 5

Welcome to the latest edition of Ping Pong Piece, the new and improved version of Ping Pong Post which entailed three bloggers posting our clothes around the world in the name of creativity (see how it started here). Now, instead of pinging clothes back and forth, we ping ideas around to each other. This month Samantha, Ann and myself along with my guest of the month, Mary Murnane are styling a beach cover-up. 

Mary is an Emmy Award winning TV news reporter and anchor whose love of photography and fashion has led her to publish her own blog. I've followed Mary for some time now and am in awe of her sleek, polished style which still incorporates a playful element and a penchant for beautiful handbags and shoes. Her cover up is by Neiman Marcus and slides are by Zara.

Samantha has recently been playing happy families on the beach in Scotland where the temperatures aren't quite making the 20's yet. Sam's answer is to keep her top half cosied up against the wind which enables her to don her shorts to catch a few rays. See more of this on her blog Fake Fabulous.

Outfit details -
Jumper: Charity Shop
Gilet: Joules
Sandals: Vionics
Shorts: Fat Face

It seems that Ann has a similar approach to the beach cover-up idea. An old favourite of hers, this fisherman's jumper is her go-to casual wear for summer by the lake. Sunnies, flip flops and cut-offs complete her summer essentials for a day in the sun. Join Ann on Kremb de la Kremb

Outfit details are -
Sunnies--Forever 21
Suit and Flip Flops--Target
Cut-offs--DIY thrifted Wranglers
Beach Tote--Louella Odié

My beach cover up was a charity shop find earlier on this summer, from ASOS, and cost all of £3.99. I love the crazy hooped hemline which reminds me of a Lady Gaga costume. The shoot took two days and two visits to my favourite desert-island-of-the-moment, Samson. The black hat on day one, left me a bit non plussed, but the pistachio hat and coral sandals were more the mood I wanted. And the joy of these islands is that you don't have to wait too long before a yacht or two will sail on by adding that Caribbean vibe to the shot.

Body confidence is in the news currently thanks mainly to the Loose Women photo shoot where the presenters all stripped down to their cossies shunning the aid of airbrushing. When you consider that the oldest, Janet Street-Porter, is 70 it's a brilliant message for women of every age that we ought to love our bodies - wobbly bits, scars, lumps and bumps - it's all part of our unique story and a celebration of normal life.

Every summer I promise myself that this will be my last one for wearing a bikini and this year is no different. Will I dare to bare next year when I'm 60? So here's my (maybe) last bikini shot. I share it to celebrate a body that's given birth to two babies and over the decades has gained then lost many pounds all in the name of body confidence.

I'm heading over to the mainland today and may not manage to respond to your comments during the next few days, but please do drop me a line and I'll catch up with you when I get back. Are you still wearing a bikini in your 50's? And why not? I'd love to hear from you if you are!

Anna x


Ping Pong Piece no 4

Here I am again with this joint feature from Samantha and Ann in our monthly style challenge, the start of which can be seen here. I must admit that this has to be my all-time low as far as these go. When Ann came up with her suggestion of cut-offs, well my heart sank. I don't even own a pair of this type of shorts. Yes, I know that's easily remedied by chopping up a pair of jeans, but hey I don't want to (grump, grump)! In the spirit of our Ping Pong Posts of the past (see here) Ann very kindly sent me a pair of hers and this is how I got on.

My outfit details are -
Shirt: charity shopped
Cut-offs: Ann's
Sandals: River Island
Sunglasses: River Island
Watch: Michael Kors

One of the new twists to our PPP feature is the addition of a guest and this month Ann has invited Ruth to join us.

Now here's a girl who doesn't look in the least bit peeved at having to wear cut-offs! Ruth's beaming smile says it all. This girl is revelling in the challenge as she sports these cute floral shorts. Her black sandals and white bag tie in with the striped off the shoulder top. How easy she makes this look eh? Ruth's blog My Little Nest is here and you can follow her on instagram here.

Ann's shorts have the look of well worn, much loved favourites don't they? I can understand why this was her choice this month and if I looked as good in shorts then I'd want to wear these too. This doesn't seem so much styled, as just an every day at the beach look and it's all the better for that. Truly casual, very cute and yes, you've nailed it Ann! See her blog Kreme de la Kremb here and her instagram here.

Ann's details -
Tee--Forever 21
Tote--Louella Odie 
Cut Offs--DIY Wranglers

Samantha's gone for white shorts too with a neutral spin by way of these simple sandals and sweater. I'd say that Scotland may not be suffering a heat wave at the moment as she's added a toning scarf to keep out the summer chills. I'll understand if you've not noticed anything apart from her amazing legs! Catch up with Samantha on her blog Fake Fabulous here or instagram here

Samantha's details -
Cut offs - DIY
Jumper- John Smedley
Earrings- H&M
Glasses- Asda
Shoes- Clarks
Scarf- A gift.

I'm off for a little paddle now the ordeal is over,  but want to tell you that I'll be back tomorrow with another new post - yes, nothing from me for ages and then two posts in a row! I hope you can join me. 

Anna x


Ping Pong Piece no 3

Yes, here we are again. The monthly collaboration that used to be Ping Pong Post (see the start of the feature here), has progressed from physical items into this ping-ponging of ideas instead. I'm so pleased that you've joined me to see the verdict on this month's piece chosen by Samantha - the white shirt. The new remit is for us to chose something ordinary that, hopefully, can inspire our joint readership. We all own a white shirt, don't we? Well let's see if we can enthuse you. 

I had to give a bit of a wry smile when I first saw this photo of Samantha's. To say she chose to showcase the white shirt, I really wanted to say "Where the heck is it?" as this must be the smallest white shirt I've seen! But wait. On reflection, Sam has done a great job in showing us something quite novel here. These little Peter Pan collars completely change the neckline of her dress which is obviously the whole point. Sam is all about layering, partly down to the cooler weather she has to cope with up in Scotland and this shows how she layers up for summer in the North.Today she looks all set for an afternoon about town with the girls, stepping out in style with these fab leopard print shoes. Top marks Samantha! Follow her blog Fakefabulous here and join her on instagram here.

Details -
Dress: Bonmarché
Belt: French Connection
Shoes: Office
Bag: Hidesign
Earrings: A gift
Glasses: Tkmax

Samantha has invited Monica to join in this month's challenge.

Monica, like me, is a huge fan of bright colours and pattern play, so the notion of a classic white shirt is almost an anathema to her. But like all good fashionistas she welcomed a new opportunity to stretch her comfort zone. Monica used the textured white shirt worn open to top off her bold outfit that is so much her signature style, while adding white sandals to tie the look together. Lashing of colourful jewellery by way of double necklaces and armfuls of bangles are typical of Senora Allnut style. The white shirt as an overshirt - tick. Another nifty move, this time from our guest blogger. Follow Monica on her blog Senora Allnut here or on instagram here.

Details -
- pants, Festa (old) / pantalón
- white shirt, La Redoute (ages ago) / camisa blanca, de hace siglos
- shoes, El Naturalista (last summer sales) / zapatos, rebajas del año pasado
- striped t-shirt, C&A (old) / camiseta rayas
- orange trench, La Redoute (old) / gabardina naranja
- necklace, Sfera (old) / collar
- bag, Surkana (old) / bolso

Annie won't mind me saying that she's the sex kitten of the group always raising the temperature with her take on the challenge. That coquettish pose along with the glimpse of her golden midriff is enough to assert her position in the luscious league. She has strategically tied her giant overshirt to draw the eyes downwards to cute white jeans, beaded anklets and pristine wedge sandals. Ann has given us all food for thought with her take on the white shirt. See more of Ann on her blog Kremb de la Kremb here or follow her on instagram here.

Details -
Earrings--Forever 21
Too many other baubles to mention!
Jeans--Gloria Vanderbelt from charity shop, double DIYed hem by me

My take on the classic white shirt is pretty conventional by my standards. The pleated front with pearl and gilt buttons mean my shirt offers enough detail to stop it from being a jaw breaking, big fat yawn. In fact, I shied away from what you may have expected from me - white ruffles and lavish chiffon - in favour of the most basic white shirt I own. 

I did joke with Polly about the fact that I look like a barista in this white shirt and waistcoat combo. But that aside, I enjoyed giving the more is more touch to my much neglected white shirt. Pattern play, metallics and a bit of bling all came together in a cohesive look which I will definitely wear again. I've been inspired by this challenge and I hope that you've been too.

Details -
Blouse: charity shopped
Waistcoat: River Island
Trousers: Primark
Boots: Primark
Ring and pendant: charity shopped
Sunglasses: Quay Australia

Linking with -
Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb
Patti of Not Dead Yet Style
Jess of Elegantly Dressed and Stylish
Laurie of Vanity And Me

Please join me on Thursday for a rather special post - see you then!

Anna x


Ping-Pong Piece no 2

Yes, it's the 20th of the month and time for this regular feature with my blogging friends Ann and Samantha. It's my turn to choose a piece for us to style and I've chosen the most ordinary of jackets, the blazer. My reasons being that a) most of our readers will either have or have once had a blazer, b) I wanted to alter the preconception of this conservative article of clothing (I'm surely not the only one who thinks navy and nautical when you mention blazer?), c) it's a chance to show you all sorts of interesting versions of the blazer, d) to offer up a variety of ways to wear it that aren't in the least mundane. Also, I've invited my friend and fellow blogger Julia to join us in the style challenge. 

Julia is a breath of fresh air in the blogging world: exuberant, fun and refreshingly honest that her body type doesn't conform to the norm as far as mainstream fashion goes, but will be damned if that means she's to be excluded from the party. She champions all the lovely ladies who, like her, are apple shaped as well being generously blessed in the bust department. I love her for all these reasons and more. I've know her since she started her blog last year and am so happy to see her blossom as time progresses and her confidence grows. Julia is wearing a longer length blazer in cornflower blue. The blazer and her gorgeous coral handbag are artfully tied together with the floral dress. The one constant throughout Julia's blog is her dazzling smile - she just exudes happiness! See Julia's blog, When The Girls Rule here and follow her on instagram here.

Details -
Jacket - Calvin Klein
Dress - Worthington
Shoes - Franco Sarto
Handbag - Liz Claiborne

Samantha is also sporting a blue blazer, hers being a striped version. Never one to miss the chance to mix her patterns, Samantha has added a spotty print mini skirt to ensure this look won't drift into the boring category. And as if the pop of red in brooch and handbag aren't enough to drum the point home, she adds a final punch with those stellar boots! Find Samantha's blog Fake Fabulous here and follow her instagram here.

Details -
SHOES: Topshop
SHIRT: Urban Outfitters
BLAZER: Primark
SKIRT: Boden

Ann's pink blazer has done a bit of Ping-Ponging itself - once handed over at a clothes swap party, the remorse was too much for Ann who instantly regretted it. A couple of years later it appeared almost as if by magic at another swap party where she snatched it back and isn't planning on letting it go again! Ann's styling is anything but conservative here. Trainers, micro mini skirt, tee shirt and pretty pink sunnies all say casual with a capital C! Find Ann's blog Kremb De La Kremb here and follow her on instagram here.

Details -
Sunnies--Thailand Night Market in Hua Hin
Earrings--Betsy Johnson (and one sadly just broke!)
Necklaces--TJ Maxx
Tank--Florence Market
Blazer--H&M and then a swap!
Denim Skirt--DIY from second hand shop

This beautiful blazer was a Christmas present from my husband (guided perhaps by my daughter). It's been too cold to wear it until now, so the timing couldn't have been better. I've ended up all Great Gatsby meets New Romantics, wearing pleats, frills and pearls to compliment the intricate pattern of the jacket. Lace tights and burgundy Oxfords finish the look.

Oh dear! How disappointing that I've ended up with Nora Batty tights on the last shot. This really wasn't the image I was after.

Details -
Blazer: Vila Clothes
Blouse: Jo-Ed Sophisticates
Skirt: charity shop
Belt: charity shop
Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell, California
Tights: Topshop
Pearls: Debenhams
Rings: charity shop

Linking with -
Laurie of Vanity And Me

Anna x


Ping-Pong Piece No 1

Hello and welcome to our monthly offering previously know as Ping-Pong Post and now rebranded as Ping-Pong Piece. After 12 months of posting our clothes around the world to be styled by myself and my two blogging friends Ann and Samantha, we decided to make life a bit easier. Now we're merely ping-ponging ideas back and forth, with each of us taking it in turns to suggest an item for us to wear in our own particular way. Easier too for us to invite a guest to take part. Ann has started the ball rolling with fishnet tights and has invited Mary to join in the fun...

Ann has chosen a large fishnet to add a bit of funk to her shredded jeans to brilliant effect. The mix of leather, denim, fishnet and those Stella McCartney patent beauties deliver all that's needed for today's hottest rock chick. See Ann's blog Kremb de la Kremb here and follow her on instagram here.

Details -
Sunnies and Tee--Forever 21
Leather Moto--a swap
Fox Bag--Hong Kong Salvation Army
Shoes--Stella McCartney
Tights--Hong Kong Ladies' Market

Ann's guest is Mary of blog Miss Mary Powers see here. Mary has taken black and tan as her palette giving a stylish edge to her street cool. Her accessories of black felt hat and suede booties are a real touch of class. Follow Mary on instagram here.

Details -
Jacket - BlankNYC
Dress - Shop Missa
Shoes- Sam Edelman
Hat - Rag and Bone

Samantha's love of colour and pattern is ever evident here. I love her pattern clashing as well as the khaki fishnets and toning brogues. See her blog Fake Fabulous here and follow her on instagram here.

Details -
Earrings: H&M
Top: old…can’t remember where from (I cut the label out as it was scratchy)
Skirt: Boden
Tights: 50p in a charity shop… M&S ones from about 100 years ago!
Shoes: Clarks
Bag: Vintage

When Annie came up with the suggestion of fishnet tights I was rather pleased as I'd been saving these blue ones for the right outfit since I bought them before Christmas. Finding the right outfit was to be the challenge however. Amidst the flurry of reopening the gallery on Friday and doing my sewing homework for Saturday, I was pretty pushed to find time to do much trying on. I took the easy option and was led by the blue trim on these gorgeous courts. This green and blue vintage dress was a no brainer that only needed a cardi to finish the look. The final hurdle for Polly and I was the gale that was blowing down from the north across the front of the gallery where I pose. Crazy hair day? Yes!

Details -
Dress: Peekaboo (vintage)
Cardi: Phase Eight
Tights: Topshop
Shoes: Roberto Gil 
Necklace and rings: charity shop

Ping Pong Piece is no more a competition than Ping Pong Post was - it's all about showcasing an item and hopefully doing so differently enough to give you lots of inspiration. I think we've pretty much filled the remit then don't you? I'd love to hear that you think of our new variation on the theme.

Linking with -
Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb

Anna x

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