This summer's best supermarket find

Hello lovelies! How are you? As you can see, I'm in fine fettle. And yes, can you believe it that this most colourful summer frock is a supermarket find? I happened across it when I was in Tesco's in April. The shirtwaister is such an easy to wear style and this one is in the most lovely of fabrics. It's weighty enough to move in that satisfying flappy way and yet not too heavy for summer wear. 

I've  only worn the dress once, but already it's earned much praise along with comments that it doesn't look like a supermarket purchase in the least. The floral pattern is classic and the shades of cream, orange, pink, yellow and green are all very much suited to my skin tone. I love the sleeve length too. In fact, what's not to love about this whole thing? It cost £25 - well worth the money in my opinion.

Nothing new by way of accessories here. The belt is a charity shop bargain in leather. The rings and watch are all old too. 

My necklace is from Zara and was a present from a girlfriend at Christmas. I like the fact that it's not a heavy gilt piece but is really lightweight and therefore I hardly notice I'm wearing it. My Sunglasses are by Radley, from another girlfriend.

If I'd been organised I could have shown you the orange wedge sandals that I wore for the first half of the day. But instead here's the afternoon's flat sandals in coral which are quite old now, from Primark a few summers ago. I fear that they won't last another year sadly.

Fiona did the honours with the photography at the end of the day. I swished about here and there, talking most of the time and spoiling many shots into the bargain. We meandered off to the beach afterwards to swim and chat as is our habit at this time of year. We are both ever grateful that Tresco life is on this small scale, our wild swimming so accessible, the backdrop to our daily lives so stunningly beautiful. With a post-swim flask in hand we regularly count our blessings.

Sending you lots of love from Tresco!

Anna x


Picnic perfect!

Hello and welcome to this month's Style Not Age challenge. Our quest was chosen by Gail this time, being Perfect Attire for a Picnic. For me this would of course mean a beachside venue and here I am on Skirt Island at the most Southerly end of Tresco. My style buddies are all set, ready to show you their picnic-ready outfits too so let's get going!

Gail set the bar quite high with her fabulous picnic basket alone! Bowie tee, silver pumps and a bottle of bubbly signal a great picnic don't you think? Join Gail over on Is This Mutton to see more. 

This tent dress was made for drifting about in a meadow of wild flowers, however the British weather had other ideas meaning Jacqui had to make do with her own back garden! Join her for the backstory at Mummabstylish

Emma from Style Splash chose her outfit because she thinks the pattern is not unlike a picnic blanket.  The pretty pink gingham two piece was a Zara purchase a few years ago and has come into its own for today's challenge!

Picnic ready, Hilda is sporting an entire outfit from Tesco's apart from her trainers. Her cute look is ready for fun. See more on Over The Hilda blog. 

My picnic outfit is a collection of old pieces which are still bright and colourful. The tunic top was a hand-me-down from my daughter which she bought from H&M years ago. I'm a huge fan of paisley print therefore was delighted when she offered it up to me. An outfit for a picnic needs to be comfy and easy to wear, as well as being practical enough for clambering in and out of boats or in this case across the sand dunes to get to this remote craggy setting. 

The tide was still rising, sending splashing foam up as I was setting up for shots. There's nothing like a quick soaking to send me off in a fit of the giggles!

The elegant hat pose isn't just for show; sunhat and sunscreen are part of my picnic essentials, especially as I've had surgery and other treatments for skin cancer. I wear factor 50 on my face everyday now and have established a routine whereby I apply suncream before my sea swimming every day too. My pale Celtic skin is very much at risk of more sun damage even at work where the sun shines into the Gallery window for a lot of the day. 

We all need a little bit of sunshine on our skins to absorb our daily dose of vitamin D, but it's really not that long. In my case only 5 minutes a day and for those with darker skin it's about 30 minutes. These times are for arms, legs and hands as well as faces. After that you start to experience sun damage which is the precursor of more serious problems.

My pom-pom raffia bag was a charity shop find some years ago. I love the bold colours and the roomy size that is big enough to take beach towel and swimming kit too.

The pink plisse trousers are from New Look - they're light and airy and ideal for sunny days. My floral sandals were from Primark years ago. Perspex rings were gifts from a friend.

A tiny seed pearl necklace was a pre-loved purchase. It's a habit for me to always finish off an outfit with a necklace, even for a picnic. Sunglasses are by Radley London.

Time to stop and stare. Nature is the perfect meditation isn't it?

I do hope you enjoyed this month's challenge. I was so pleased to have made the effort to spend some time outdoors on Saturday, as by Sunday we had rain all day long - such an unusual thing for us. The forecast for the UK is another mixed bag of weather, but improving in the southwest later in the week. Fingers crossed for Thursday as I'm off to St Martin's for the day for another picnic outing!

Wishing you a great week ahead!

Anna x


Two summer jackets (in autumn)

Hello there! At the time of writing it's blowing a gale outside with torrential rain battering against the windows which makes this seem a rather odd feature to be posting, but I've been promising this for days, so here we go. So far I've managed to get photos of two summer jackets and still have two more waiting in the wings, however they may have to wait until next year.

I was particularly pleased with the pairing of jacket and dress in this outfit. I love the stripes of colour echoed in each even though the patterns are different. The colours too work really well together. It's a real match made in heaven.

It's the first time I've worn the jacket (the brand is Divas) and it's a neat fit with discreet zip up pockets and zip front. The dress is by Per Una and is a perfect summer weight in linen with fitted waistband and inverted pleat creating a generous skirt and those lovely pockets making it a sure fire winner. The v neck kept me cool and the pretty pleating added a bit of style in what could have otherwise been an overly simple frock.

The dress, jacket and rings are all pre-loved pieces which just goes to show how second hand isn't just the green option, but can be a colourful and stylish one too. The necklace is by Drift jewellery one of the brands we stock in the Gallery. I collect Tresco sea glass from our beaches and send it to Fiona, the maker, who turns it into one-off pieces for us to sell. 

The Primark petal sandals have jewelled centres. I've had these for a couple of summers now and goodness, they're so comfy!

The second summer jacket is showcased just a day later in what was a real dose of pea-souper fog. It disrupted flights, delaying departures and arrivals with some guests not moving to or from the island at all. Fiona and I decided to go ahead, aiming for that atmospheric shot ...

The pre-loved jacket is by River Island. It's unlined, but has pockets and again this is its first outing. I seem to collect jackets as that handy item to finish off an outfit. I'm quite formal on the quiet, despite my efforts at rebellion sometimes. When I'm being smart, a jacket is the finishing touch and yet is easy to discard when it gets too hot.

The Topshop orange satin trimmed top is also pre-loved and very well worn by me. The off-white trousers were from F&F at Tesco many moons ago. They are great wash and wear trousers requiring the minimum of ironing to look sleek and smart. 

Comfort and style are combined in these glorious embroidered trainers by Replay, bought in the Harrogate branch of TK Maxx last spring. They certainly do draw lots of compliments every time I wear them. 

The shopping my closet theme continues with my jewellery too. Both rings and the tiny seed pearl necklace were all gathered along the way over the years. Vintage and second hand are always more interesting to me. 

And so here we are bang into autumn with fog, rain and gales. My newly found jackets look like the only place they're heading is into a suitcase along with the rest of my summer clothes. The big clothes change-over may be coming sooner rather than later...

In the meantime, I've got one more summery outfit coming up on Monday for our monthly style challenge with the posse from the Style Not Age collective. Our theme for September is "All dressed up with nowhere to go". It'll be no surprise to you if I say that I took this one rather literally! Do swing by on Monday to see what that might look like.

                                                                                                Anna x


Welcome to the Jungle our Style Not Age challenge for May

Welcome to our style challenge for May!

This month Emma chose "Welcome to the Jungle" as our Style Not Age theme, a great idea if I may say so. I was delighted when she suggested this as I've had the perfect outfit waiting for this very opportunity. But first, let's see what sparked her challenge shall we?

Style Splash's Emma has nailed it with this fabulous trouser suit by Scotch and Soda. In fact, I love everything about this outfit - the cute tee shirt, matching necklace and the orange accessories all amount to blooming perfection!

Hilda from Over The Hilda is a woman after my own heart by borrowing her daughter's cardigan for this feature. I'm partial to a bit of clothes sharing too! The beautiful cardi is by designer Hayley Menzies, as stocked by Liberty amongst other stores.

Gail from Is This Mutton is sporting a snazzy palm tree print jumpsuit with mules from Topshop. A neon see-through clutch and statement necklace finish off the look.

Jacqui from Mummabstylish played a great move here by borrowing her jumpsuit and scarf from her daughter too and boy doesn't she look great in them?

My silky and comfy two piece is from by George at Asda and was a charity shop find last year. I picked up the trousers while I was in Truro at one of my favourite shops. On taking them to the till, the assistant asked if I'd seen the matching top .... Well, I hadn't, but was delighted when she flicked through the racks and yes, it was still there! Both the trousers and top are loose fitting with elastic waistbands making them just right for lounging around or getting out and about on hot days. The two piece cost me £7.50, so what's not to love?

Just a quick mention to my artistic director of today's shoot for capturing these jungle shots. My long suffering husband gets dragged out twice a week for the blog photos and it's all done with good humour, but isn't one of his favourite tasks. I gave him the jungle remit and he delivered this great backdrop. I spotted this fallen log on what looks like a jungle swamp and said it would be great to stand on this for some atmospheric shots. This entailed him carrying me down a slippy bank and across this marshy bog to plonk me atop the slightly rotting tree. Thank goodness no-one saw me getting a piggy back especially as he nearly tripped as we were navigating the downwards slope. I was impressed that he lined up the Montbretia flowers to add to the shots - hurrah for my darling hubby!

Here's a better look at the outfit. The short sleeves have a cute bow as adornment. 

All of my jewellery is pre-loved. The sunglasses of the day are by Quay Australia.

The perfect footwear for today's outfit, these flower sandals were from Primark a couple of summers ago.

Thanks for joining us again this month and I do hope you've found some inspiration from the collective. I'll be back on Friday with the weekly Dress Up Friday feature so I hope you'll join me for that too.

Wishing you a lovely week!

Anna x

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