Save and splurge

Today's outfit sums up my shopping ethos of save and splurge. The majority of the time I like to shop to save, preferably from charity shops where I'll often find a gem vintage piece or even just a high street brand from a few seasons ago. I'm not averse to shopping from the high street, but I do like the varied selection that pre-loved shopping offers. 

I bought these alphabet trousers in a charity shop in Truro when I was there recently. The brand is River Island and they cost me £2.50. I'll hazard a guess that they would have cost about £30 in store. A quick wash and they're as good as new.

The jumper was again second hand, the brand is Topshop and this time costing me £3 as opposed to, say £25. Over these two items alone I've saved nearly £50 to set against the cost of the (non-charity shopped) shoes.  

The brand of the shoes is Church's - check out their website here with the other fabulous city smart shoes on offer currently. I found these ones at the Edinburgh branch of TK Maxx when I was there in January. But that's not the price I actually paid for them ...

This was the ultimate in savvy shopping. I saved a massive £363 on these, and gained a pair of high class shoes at the same time. So maybe not so much of a splurge after all!

And yes, the blue soles on these Oxfords was a big plus point when I was considering buying them. Well, the considering took a very brief time in fact, only as long as it took to try them on. I love something a little bit quirky, a bit off-centre and these pretty much tick all of the boxes for me. Plus, I knew how versatile they would be - black and white are a wardrobe staple - as they've proved to be today.

My only piece of jewellery is this charity shopped ring which cost me 99p and again is just a bit unusual, a little bit funky to go with this retro inspired ensemble.

Polly and I were forced indoors yesterday for our photo shoot due to the storm that was blowing across the Isles of Scilly at a ferocious speed. I don't think there were any flights into the islands all day and the freight ship has been affected by the weather for days too. But such are the joys of island life. If I hadn't been at work I would have loved to be wave watching at the North end of the island. I bet it would have made for exciting viewing!

                                                                                           Anna x


Fringe jacket

When I came across this gorgeous little beauty in a charity shop in Harrogate the question did occur to me "Is there a cut-off age for wearing fringe jackets?" and no definitive answer came back. For many women they might be saying teens, 20's or whatever, but for me the test is to try it on and if it makes me smile and want to do a little dance then I buy it. I'm not one to conform as you know, nor am I out to shock or be totally outrageous. In my teens I came across the saying "Dare to be different" and that still chimes me now. I just want to be me; dressing to have fun; wanting to look good in my eyes; maybe even inspiring others; all of that makes me happy. 

The wide trousers were bought at the same time and by pairing these together I felt they helped to create a hippy chick vibe which I love. The generous dollops of orange in the shape of these bold accessories add a great pop of colour and I finished with these metallic pumps which have sat (forgotten) in the box since I bought them from TK Maxx many years ago. Working in an art gallery gives me licence to be expressive in my dressing without raising too many eyebrows. Many moons ago I worked in a bank meaning I had to be so conservative with what I wore, but honestly, I found it all pretty depressing. I don't think I could go back to that kind of restrictive dressing again. Hopefully I won't have to.

Details - trousers: River Island, jacket: prettylittlething, tee shirt: M&S, handbag: Topshop, shoes: Ras, belt, bangle and rings: all charity shopped, necklace: old, sunglasses: Quay Australia.

Wanna see that little dance?

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Wishing you a great week!
Anna x


Hurrah for Harrogate!

Yes, here we have the post about my annual business trip to Harrogate which also happens to be one of my best shopping trips too. I'm back home now, firmly at the helm at work and wearing the most fabulous of outfits, even if I say so myself.

Outfit details are - leather trousers are from TK Maxx (£14.99!), jacket by Autonomy (charity shopped), blouse from Sainsbury's, boots from River Island, necklace from Du Barry, clutch borrowed from Sasha, rings are charity shopped, sunglasses from Quay Austraila.

So let's rewind to the beginning shall we? I started my trip with a stopover at Sasha's new flat in Truro (where's the photos from this, I now ask myself?) and a visit to the hairdressers. My stylist, Matthew, is also the owner of Afina (see more about the salon here) one of the busiest salons in the county, where massage chairs at the backwash come as standard, and the welcome drink ranges from a glass of bubbles, a blast of caffeine or soothing herbal tea according to your fancy.

Matthew worked his magic and after various hair treatments I'm feeling ready to step out in style with the elegant ladies of Harrogate. The following day was spent on the train heading north reading this month's book for book club which is an absorbing read, a captivating story and as you can see has the most ornate of covers.

The main objective of my trip to Harrogate is to visit the British Craft Trade Fair see here to find new, often hand crafted gifts to sell in the art gallery I manage. The show delivers exactly what it says on the tin: British made goods that are craft orientated rather than mass produced. 

I met Matthew Read last year at the fair. This year I'm back to replenish my stock of these beautiful one-off pieces of gold and silver jewellery. Matthew is an extraordinary craftsman who collects all sorts of rare jewels and minerals (such as pieces of meteorites) to mount and mould into his quirky jewellery.See his website here to find out more about him.

The trade fair is based in one large hall located out at the Great Yorkshire Showground. After quartering the aisles for hours I would step outside for a breath of fresh air, take on some fuel and consider my plan. Spring is in full bloom here.

One of the new suppliers I found this year was Hazel Holland from House of Hazel. This range of tableware has a wonderful, fresh contemporary vibe that will sit perfectly in our gallery - I can't wait to put a window display together. Hazel also makes plush cushions and sells co-ordinating fabrics to compliment the range.

Hazel and her husband, artist Tom Holland, work from their studio in Penryn - see here for her website. Tom has been one of my gallery artists for years, and yet I've been blissfully unaware of Hazel's work. Their stand at the fair became a daily highlight for me to drop by and chat about how our endeavours were going.

This year, as every year, I stayed in a lovely guesthouse on the Kings Road in Harrogate, The Alamah (details here) which is run by Judy and Sue. The house is as warm and welcoming as they are, with every creature comfort you could need. Breakfast is a running banquet or in my case, more simple fare which set me up for the day ahead and the big bed was luxury at the end of my miles clocked up at the fair.

The boiled eggs hidden under these old fashioned egg cosies are the best protein packed fuel for me. Sue waits table while Judy acts as chef. I don't know of anywhere else you'd get the chef come to your table to check that the eggs were scrambled to your liking whilst they're still in the pan! I featured Judy's ceremony of the eggs to my table one morning as the little spiral egg cup in the background bobbed and danced its way to me - find it on my instagram here  

And yes, let's not be too coy about the other draw to Harrogate - the shopping! The sales were on, but aren't they always? I scored new shoes and boots from all sorts of shops, none of them charity.

From left to right, back row to front it reads like this - black and gold boots from River Island, silver boots from Primark, tassel sandals from River Island, pink and orange sandals from River Island, black lace heels, pale gold heels, coral and gold trainers, floral mules and burgundy oxfords are all from TK Maxx. Yes, that will keep me going for a few months.

Here's the loot all waiting to be loaded into the taxi ready for the journey home. I did in fact have to leave the blue holdall with Sasha to bring home for me as I couldn't carry it! I caught the train and finally the ship home to Scilly on Thursday. The islands were bathed in sunshine as we rounded into St Mary's quay. It was great to be back.

I count my blessings every time I see this sight. Island living suits me, and much as I love my trips to the mainland it's no longer a way of life that I hanker after. These forays to hunt and gather fulfil my needs and I'm happy to retreat to this smaller island existence. The season is well under way here and my focus is now all about the job. Our first exhibition of the year is next on my agenda and I'll be able to share that with you next week.

I'll leave you with the clothes spread as per usual. I think it's a great haul, mainly from charity shops with the odd purchase from TK Maxx. 

Linking with -
Patti of Not Dead Yet Style 

Anna x

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