December's Style Not Age challenge

Hello again and welcome to the final Style Not Age challenge of the year! The onus was on Jacqui to round off our year on the right note and she came up with My Perfect Little Black Number for NYE. Personally, I have very little that falls into this category so it was quite easy to choose between the offerings in my wardrobe. My vintage frock has been a stand-by for years since I found it in a charity shop and it seemed to be perfect for this challenge. But first let's catch up with the other ladies of the collective to see how they approached this month's task...

Emma from the Style Splash also shopped her closet, choosing this LBD from Bastyan and shoes from Quiz. Looking sleek and elegant, Emma is more than ready for that NYE bash!

Another stylish twist comes from Gail in her Hobbs black dress with mulitcoloured spots. Old favourite boots mean she'll be able to dance all night long. Find her backstory on Is This Mutton blog.

Over the Hilda is also sporting a spotty frock; hers is from Biba. Hilda has paired the dress with her long time fave Clarks sandals that have indeed danced many a night away! Do check out her blog for more.

Jacqui from Mummabstylish has recently rocked her NYE frock while she was on holiday. The lace and rivets add funk to this Julien Macdonald LBD. Check out Jacqui's blog for more.

My vintage frock is an Italian number by designer Gina Bacconi. I checked out her website and I'm delighted that I grabbed myself a bargain when I paid £20 for this flamboyant number. I love the ornate hemline with gold trim - it's suitably fancy for NYE. 

The gold ruffled hemline was what informed my choice of footwear; these black and gold brocade boots are old, but much loved. I bought them from River Island a few years ago and just love that they add real pizzazz to outfit. And just in case there wasn't enough going on, I opted for these (old) paisley print tights. There's no less is more with this outfit!

All of my accessories, apart from my Radley sunglasses, are second hand. I do miss my jaunts to the mainland to root around charity shops, seeking out those little gems of jewellery that add a personal touch to an outfit. One day when life settles down a bit I'll be back.

Some of my readers may well recognise my backdrop for today's outfit. I visited Cromwell's Castle last week in an effort to get ahead of things, but didn't really take the weather into account. When I climbed to the top of the building, which for some reason seemed like the ideal place for the photo shoot, well it was blowing an absolute gale! I have a heavy weight that I attach to my tripod to hold it down, but even then I was on edge as to whether it would be strong enough to stop my camera come crashing to the ground.

And this is me, all windswept and interesting! 

The jury is out, of course, as to what we will or won't be allowed to do on New Year's Eve when the time comes. I have another very sparkly outfit lined up in case I get lots of invitations to parties, but honestly I think Steve will be very happy if we have to stay at home. Needless to say, I'll be dressing up on the night just for the heck of it!

I do hope you've had a lovely Christmas and that New Year won't be a washout. Let's all keep our fingers crossed that Covid19 won't wreck another party opportunity!

Happy New Year!

Anna x


Christmas fashion inspiration

Hello lovelies! Here I am strutting my stuff on the island catwalk aka The Flying Boat Club slipway. Fiona and I grasped our opportunity of fine weather on Sunday to show you my latest offering of Christmas dressing. 

I promised you fur and lurex and here they are together with these fabulous paisley print flares with gold thread running throughout. The bell bottoms are from H&M and are quite old, but are perfect for festive outings. These hipster trousers have just the right amount of stretch to allow an extra mince pie or two.

Velvet and fur are fabulous Christmas fabrics, beautifully combined in this second hand Karen Millen coat which I bought a year ago when I was in London. If you missed that post you can see it here. The two fabrics combine to say luxury at its best. 

The lurex polo neck sweater is old (from H&M too). It comes out every year at this time and is a real workhorse of a piece. You'll probably have noticed that polo necks are essential winter wear for me. I love the simple figure hugging lines of this kind of sweater which also provides warmth and a physical barrier against the cold. The sparkle yarn of this one lifts it out of the ordinary and works with so many separates, so you'll no doubt see it featured again this month.

I've piled pattern onto pattern with these amazing black and gold brocade platform boots from River Island (old). To say that the colour palette is rather restrained today, the overall effect still delivers the wow factor. The richness of the fabrics counter what could be read as a brown outfit and God forbid I'd be seen in boring old brown, especially as this claims to be a post about Christmas fashion inspiration!

My mirror Quay sunglasses were a gift from a friend a couple of years ago. 

Both golden rings are pre-loved.

Coming up next time will be the second hand kilt that I bought in a charity shop for £5. I'm styling that up for Christmas to add a flavour of festive fun to what might be perceived as rather staid traditional national dress. It really is just a case of our imagination being the only limitation of our style. I do hope you'll join me on Friday for that one.

In the meantime, take care!

Anna x


Gold, brocade and the Christmas party outfit

Hi, hello and draw up a chair, why don't you!

How are you? Are to catching up on some of those Christmas chores? Well, don't worry. Neither am I! And the blog seems to be like a poor relative at the moment too, limping along behind the ever growing to-do lists. But never mind, I'm here now and you have my complete attention. 

Today I'm channeling that festive feeling by way of this gold lurex cardigan which I bought in the big charity shop haul in London last month (see here). The brand is H&M and it was a snip at £6. I've added some more depth to the outfit with the addition of brocade, twice - once on these red pre-loved trousers (Oxfam) and secondly with the black and gold boots from River Island.

The gold lurex cardigan is really weighty making it feel more like a jacket. I like the popper fasteners, but do wish it had some pockets - oh how I love the slouchiness of a pocket! My blouse is another recycled item, this time by Jacques Vert. The embellishments in gold and sequins add another layer of fancy to this already fancy pants ensemble, but hey - it's the festive season isn't it?

I wonder if someone might get the hint as I model this ring today? It's made from the sea glass washed up on our shores. I collect bags of this a couple of times a year and send them off to a couple of artists who then create jewellery for the gallery. 

Another pre-loved purchase is this red leather belt by Tommy Hilfiger, but it looks as good as new and well worth the £5 I paid for it.

Fiona and I were trying to capture some indoor shots, but the lighting issue (too much sunlight flooding the scene) and camera settings were an interesting challenge for both of us. Later on that evening we were back here at the New Inn attempting to get some photos of my Christmas party outfit.

Automatic flash wasn't quite what we wanted ...

No flash didn't work either.

The lighting here was better, but blurry and you couldn't see the whole outfit.

What do you mean, "suck your tummy in"?

How's this?

Yes, the fringing shows up better like this!

My fab black glitter boots were from Topshop last year, as were the sparkly tights. The pre-loved skirt (Oasis) was from the Crisis Centre shop in London too, and the lurex top is ancient, but second hand. 

My sparkling rings are pre-loved and the handbag is almost a vintage piece by now as it's about 20 years old. The island party was very well attended, so much so, that I didn't know half of the faces there as they were from behind the scene at the various eateries on the island. I had a lovely evening, catching up with locals and dancing for as long as my boots would allow me.

                                                                                             Anna x

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