Check me out! June with the Style not Age collective.

Welcome to our June challenge!

Hello! Can you believe that it's the end of June already? This month it was my turn to choose the theme and I came up with Check me out! I was keen to bring this summer trouser suit out again and threw down the gauntlet to the style crew to see what they came up with.  So let's catch up on my friends to see what they made of the checkered challenge.

Emma from Style Splash has created her own black and white trousersuit by pairing a jacket from M&S and trousers from Zara and doesn't it look fab? I adore the spotty handbag too - what a great style feature!

Another take on the checkered trouser suit from Gail of Is This Mutton? This is pink perfection don't you think? And wowee, I do love those metallic boots!

Jacqui has added a lightweight checked shirt over her summer dress to great effect. Blue and white are a lovely fresh mix. See more of this on her blog Mummabstylish.

This funky young look is brilliant on Hilda. I love the checked trousers paired with these cool trainers. See the full story on Over The Hilda

April last year was when I first showcased this Primark trouser suit (see here). I've opted for a total black and white palette this time. The black tee shirt was a sale item from Topshop last spring. Monochrome isn't normally my thing, but sometimes I like to go for a classic look.

The silver rings are pre-loved.

My shoes are by Nine West - a fabulous find in TK Maxx last year.

The mirror sunglasses with white and black frames are by Quay Australia. They're probably my most featured sunnies of all time, but I shan't apologise for that as I love them! The retro necklace was yet another charity shop scoop (£2.50).

And that rounds up this month's challenge. I do hope that we might have given you some new style ideas to inspire you. I'm off to raid my closet to see if I can recreate one or two of these looks...

Thanks again for joining us and I'll be back on Friday with my latest dressing up ensemble.

See you next time!

Anna x

Weekend beach escape

Hello from Cradle Porth!

On Saturday morning Steve and I took ourselves off to the beach for a walk crossing the banks of deserted sand below Blockhouse beach and beyond. The wind was brisk, just right for blowing the cobwebs away.There wasn't a soul in sight as we dodged across the soft sand to stare out across the huge horizon towards the mainland. Like the rest of the UK, we're still waiting for the restrictions to be lifted so that the island can re-open and welcome our guests back for their summer break. By the end of the week we may know more, but in the meantime, we had one last long walk enjoying the silence and space. 

These past three months have been surreal. At first I considered the time off as a gift, but as we started to see the death rate rise, the enormity of the situation hit home. As the state of emergency has been dropped from what was a level 5 down to a level 3 three now, we on the islands are preparing for our first true exposure to the pandemic. We've been lucky so far not to have any cases (reported) within the Isles of Scilly and can only hope that by putting all of the right measures in place for these small island communities that we'll all be safe over the forthcoming months. Social distancing, hand-washing, masks and gloves will be our line of defense as they have been used to great effect worldwide. The warmth of greeting will be the same, just displayed over a distance.

These thoughts were on my mind as we stretched our legs, basking in the freedom that is island life. It's this sense of freedom that surely acts as a lure for our visitors. Scilly is all about wide open spaces and nothing says that more than a huge sky with the twinkling azure sea below and an expanse of virgin white sand without a footprint ahead of you.

So, let's talk outfits, shall we? You may recall me showcasing this jumpsuit not so long ago (see here). I've checked on the Tu Clothing website today and can't find it anymore which makes me pleased that I followed my instincts to buy it when I did. I bought the jumpsuit before we were plunged into lock-down and had already decided that it would herald a monumental change in my shopping habits. So much so, that I had decided that it would be my last clothes purchase for 12 months. I've kept this under my hat for a few months to try to keep the pressure off and also to give myself a chance to see how it would pan out. Then, within a couple of weeks of deciding on my shopping ban, lock-down was implemented and suddenly it all seemed very trivial in the grand scheme of things.

As normal life is just about to try to re-establish itself, I thought it might be timely to share this with you. And oh goodness, I do realise that for the sake of the economy we're all being encouraged to get out and spend, but I'm sure my annual spend really isn't going to make a huge impact. The Year of Less by Cait Flanders inspired me at the time of reading way back in February and I knew it was something that I'd hankered after for some time. Even though I shop mainly in charity shops with perhaps only 20% of my retail shopping from the high street, I still am painfully aware that I have more than enough clothes. Lock-down has given me the perfect opportunity to delve deep into my closet as well as under every bed and inside cupboards full boxes and suitcases. And yes, I really do have more than enough clothes to last me for the next 12 months. Advertising will try to tell me otherwise and crikey I see the irony of this coming from a gal whose defining moment in her 60th year was to be chosen by JD Williams to tout their wares, but I'll be sticking my fingers in my ears and avoiding TV ads for the duration. I've found a few charity shop buys still with labels on from previous mainland trips and these will be drip fed through the blog when I have a shopping urge.

I love the simplicity of a jumpsuit as it requires so little to make an outfit. I decided to keep within a natural palette adding a simple stretch belt (preloved) to give a bit of definition. I must add however, that the waist is actually elasticated and can be worn without a belt. 

The Converse boots were from TK Maxx last year and are great for kicking about at the weekends.

The tribal print necklace is the only dash of colour with an ethnic vibe. I bought this in the Topshop sale last summer for £10. The gold floral and gemstone ring was a Christmas present from a girlfriend and the other is a charity shop piece. My old faithful sunglasses are by Quay Australia.

Anyway, that's been a whole lot of chat for one day, so I've leave you with some shots that encapsulate the joy and freedom that Tresco means to me.

Thanks for joining me again today. I'll be back again with Dress Up Friday and hope that you can swing by then. Take care!

 Anna x


It's fabulous Dress Up Friday!

Welcome to another edition of Dress Up Friday!

Yes, it's that time again. The joy of dressing up has been a saviour for me this week as I've been a bit washed out. My behind the scenes hobby of late is the reclamation of a piece of land within our garden that hasn't been touched for over 50 years. Totally overgrown with brambles and bracken, I thought it might be a good idea to try to clear a patch for us to grow some veg. I'm an absolute novice at gardening and OMG, I didn't realise what this would mean! Steve broke the ground for me, but I've been in charge of digging and getting rid of the network of roots and weeds some 12 inches deep. The past month has been particularly exhausting, but we've got some plants in now and the tiny allotment is shaping up. Anyway, I think I kinda overdid it recently and have been paying the price this week. 

My Friday frock was a TK Maxx buy from a couple of summer's ago. The brand is Never Fully Dressed, is 100% polyester and yet moves like silk. I've only worn it once to a Gallery exhibition and this time I swapped the self tie belt for this charity shop black stretch belt. The plastic D rings are to make it adjustable.

The statement necklace is from Topshop, £10 in the sale (not this year).

I'm pleased to showcase these yellow and black snakeskin print sandals here - don't they match the dress so well? From New Look, again a sale item for £6.

Perhaps I need to do a bit of weeding before we do another photo shoot here next time?

This will be another everyday work frock when I get back to the Gallery in due course (although the shoes may be a bit high). I'll probably opt for some wedge sandals for height and comfort. Many thanks to The Brand Ambassadors Agency for creating the Dress Up Friday campaign.

Wishing you a lovely weekend!

Anna x


5 years of blogging - a mega post!

Thanks for joining me today!

I'm amazed to think that I've been larking around like this for five years now and still you guys are here with me! Thank you so much for keeping on coming back to follow my antics, my ups and downs, my work, home and island life all wrapped up in this twice weekly update. 

Although I'm mostly known for my colourful outfits I thought it might be good to feature a more sophisticated, elegant version of Anna's Island Style today. And nothing says elegance more than the chic combination of black and white, does it? 

The bubble sleeve jersey top was purchased in February when I was last on the mainland. Apart from charity shops, my go-to high street shop is always TK Maxx and didn't fail me in its offerings. I bought this and a white version, both slight variations on this theme and equally lovely coming in at £15.99 for the white and £17.99 for the black. This one is from By Clara Paris.

I paired the rib knit top with these off white trousers that were another bargain, this time from F&F at Tesco a couple of years ago. They were in the summer sale for £5. The material is man made, but a lovely heavy weight that drapes well and is virtually crease resistant. 

Oh how my heart soars when I see these shoes! I had them packed away for the winter until recently and goodness, how exciting it was to rediscover them. I bought them in TK Maxx and the brand is Nine West. The elasticated band of black contrasting beautifully with the white leather pointed toe, plus the fact that they are all day comfortable put these in my all time top ten pairs of shoes.

The tartan clutch and rings are all charity shop buys. My black and white sunglasses are long time faves from Quay Australia.

So that's the outfit of the day, but what about the past five years? I've spent some time looking back through both my photos and blogs from this time and my first observation has to be about my personal appearance. I don't mind the ageing aspect, but it's probably no surprise ('cos I'm a woman and afflicted by the vanity gene) that I hanker after my slimmer self of five years ago. Oh golly, how I hope I knew how slim I was at that time! I certainly had an air of happiness - hopefully that was because I knew how nicely my clothes hung due to the lack of back fat, soft waistline etc. 

From July 2015, see that post here.

Another July 2015 post here.

This outfit was from September 2015 and you can see the post here. I was only five months into my blogging dairy and Polly was my photographer of that time. Oh happy days! Oh skinny days! My most popular post of 2015 can be viewed here - it's called These arms. Do you remember it? I might have been dismayed at the less than perfect arms on display below had I not written the ode to those limbs the previous year.

The votes are in and a travel post is the most read feature on my blog for 2016 - you can see that feature here. I must admit this vintage designer ballgown is one that I have such fond memories of wearing. I can't recall if Steve and I danced that evening, but I certainly floated on air all night long. 

The most popular blog post of 2017 was in response to my radio debut with Johnnie Walker on Sounds of the 70's. I've only listened to this once and can't bear to again as I sounded high as a kite! The beach shot above is from another popular feature, Ping Pong Piece from July 2017 - see it here.

In 2018 I turned 60 and tried my hand at modelling, namely with JD Williams. The Christmas campaign was one of three I did with them and was my most read feature that year - catch it here. 

2019 brought a challenge of very different kind when I decided to swim around my island home of Tresco. The resulting post was my most popular one of the year - read about my crazy escapade here.

And so, here we are half way through 2020 and thus far, my most popular post of the year is Escape from storm Ciara as featured in my February post here

I do hope you've enjoyed this whistle stop tour of the past five years of Anna's Island Style. If you're new to the blog, then this may provide a wider viewpoint of what may initially appear to be a fashion blog, but the brushstroke is broader; effectively it's my online diary. 

And finally, a thank-you to my readers, old and new, for without your feedback, emails and stats I wouldn't be able to gauge how I was doing. It's as much a pleasure to share my island life with you now as it was when I started five years ago. Will I still be blogging in another five years? Who knows. But in the meantime, thanks for joining me on my colourful journey!

                                                                            Anna x

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