Hurrah for Dress Up Friday!

Hi there!

Yes, it's that time of the week again! Is it a sign of my age that it always seems to be Friday? The days continue to rush past me with the sudden realisation that it's Friday once again. I recall my mother-in-law saying something very similar decades ago and I always used to be puzzled by the comment, and here I am now, finding the same thing. Anyway, it's Friday and I'm all dolled up for another sashaying session. 

The sunshine dodged in and out from behind the clouds making for interesting tonal variations with each shot of this bubblegum pink dress. I love the deep frill which creates a super swish and flirtiness to this Polo Ralph Lauren dress which was a TK Maxx purchase ages ago. The round neck and sleeveless figure-skimming fit would be classed as a shift dress were it not for the audacious frill. Oh yes, the frill makes it!

If you remember this brooch pile jacket then congratulations to you for being a long-term reader - it was 2016 when I last featured it here. I toyed with the idea of wearing my grey fringed cowboy jacket with this dress, but I think it fell into that dreaded category of Mutton dressed as lamb! The 30 year old that resides in me constantly clamours for a fun and flirty look, but thankfully I still have a cringe radar that sounds when I'm too close to the edge of ridiculous. The Gap denim jacket was a charity shop buy and remains adorned with brooches which I still add and subtract depending on recent finds. The sunglasses are from Sainsburys, again many moons ago and the rings are both pre-loved.

Flashing too much thigh for a bird of my age, but heck, so what!

The two tone suede heels are more pink and red than the burnt orange this shows. Needless to say, these aren't work shoes, but are too pretty not to pair up with this fabulous frock. I bought them from River Island some years ago, but they don't get out much (surprise, surprise!) apart from the odd airing on an exhibition night. 

If you want to check out the other participants of Dress Up Friday then check out the link here. I fancy that by this time next week I'll be back at work, but plan to keep on posting this Friday feature, so please swing by to see what I've been up to. In the meantime, I'm searching for another work outfit to showcase on Monday, so maybe see you then?

Thanks for dropping by and have a lovely weekend!

Anna x


Be bold with pattern play!

Hello again!

Hi there! Did you miss me? Sorry! Life seemed to run away with me last week. I missed posting on Friday as you may have noticed. Life rarely goes to plan, as they say, but here I am again now. I'm urging you to be bold in your styling today - these complimenting prints have inspired me, helping me find some new combinations for work next week. Are you back in the workplace again? Or maybe you'll be working from home for a while longer? 

I really have no idea what I'm going to feel like when I'm back behind the counter serving customers once the island has re-opened. However, I've already decided that feeling anxious and fearful in advance will do me no good at all, and so I'm going to cross that bridge when I get to it - or better still, to use one of Polly's delightful mixed metaphors, "I'll burn that bridge when I get to it!"

Today's outfit is a mix of pre-loved and high street fashion. Sasha bought me this ornately patterned jacket (by Vial Clothes) as a Christmas present a couple of years ago, but this is the first time it's made it onto the blog. The satin floral trousers by Carolina Belle, Montreal, were from TK Maxx in 2018 and were aired on the blog last time here

The lace top is really quite old and being a charity shop find, may be very old indeed! No matter, I love its stretch lace making it an easy-to-wear fit and the cream colour is very versatile too. The ring is also a charity shop purchase.

The silver satin pumps by Kelsi add a playful touch to this relaxed look. These too are from a charity shop, but were brand new and only £8!

I fancy that the retro round framed sunglasses (by River Island) add an air of Annie Hall to this look. Do you agree? Anyway, this is outfit number one, all lined up and ready for the day job. As this is my last week at home, I'll be rushing around like the proverbial blue ar*ed fly, trying to finish all of my spring cleaning. I plan to spend some time pulling clothes together to create new ensembles for the forthcoming weeks too. For those of you heading out for your first bit of retail therapy in 12 weeks, I say "Have fun and keep safe". I've seen huge queues on TV outside Primark in major cities this morning with shoppers keeping their distance and wearing face coverings. It looks like our national hobby has returned!

I'll be back with Dress Up Friday this week - hope you'll drop by then!

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


Dress up Friday, again

Happy Friday!

Hello my lovely readers and thank you for coming back. As promised, here's my second offering of Dress Up Friday. I'll be honest with you - it's great to have the chance to dress up again. After 4 weeks on furlough, I'm chomping at the bit to put on my finery and this is the best reason I could find. The trend is gathering momentum on Instagram for this feature, so why not check it out when you get a minute.

I'm missing the routine of work. The daily dressing up is always a joy, rarely a headache for me. I like nothing better than to rummage around in my colourful clothes collection finding the pieces that reflect my mood of the day: sometimes playful, sometimes arty or bohemian, others I'll strive for a sleek professional look with a quirky touch making it all mine, but never is it a chore. 

The flower strewn top and silver ankle boots are from TK Maxx, but aren't recent purchases. Delving deep into my closet revealed this fabulous pleated skirt (from Tu at Sainsbury's and also old) that has pale golden tones that shimmer to silver depending on the light. The waistband is elasticated making for an easy to wear fit. 

The leather boots are by Buffalo and cost me £50 a couple of years ago. I still love them as much as ever, probably because they defy the expectations of what a woman ought to wear when she's classed as "older". I do wonder if the rebel in me will eventually fade away or if it's just part of my character.

This fluffy feathered handbag is almost vintage by now. I bought it in a boutique on Ghandy Street in Exeter many moons ago. I only bring it out every couple of years and yet it gets me lots of compliments whenever I do. The handles are suede, the lining is satin and has a popper to close it. If I were a handbag, then this would be it - totally over-the-top and attention seeking! The rings are both pre-loved. The rose gold knot bangle is by Kate Spade and the other one I bought at the Barbican Centre a couple of years ago.

Radley sunglasses.

Today's outfit surely has twirl appeal!

I'm happy to say that my focus has been better this week meaning that I've managed to get lots done on the spring cleaning front. I've finished the entire upstairs of the house and am now based in the kitchen. I bit the bullet, attacking the oven first of all. I couldn't bear to show you how bad (filthy) it was with baked on grease on the racks and glass door making it a two day marathon clean. I don't like those heavy chemical cleaners that tell you not to get it on your skin and have lots of fresh air so that you don't inhale the fumes - yuk! 

First of all I soaked as much as I could in the bath for two days (racks, side bars and glass facing), refreshing the water every 12 hours. I used Biotex as my pre-soak. Yes, I know it's meant for clothes, but it  also works like a dream on this most tricky of jobs. After soaking, it really didn't need too much elbow grease to bring them back like new. I dread to think how long it's been since I cleaned my oven, but I would like to try to make it a weekly habit now. The only problem will be when I return to work and become that crazy over-run creature again. Will I be able to sustain that routine? The alternative is not to allow anyone to use the oven ever again!

The highlight of our week here in the UK has been the celebrations for Captain Tom Moore, fund-raiser extraodinaire who has prompted us to dontate over 32 million pounds for the NHS through his walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday on Thursday. Captain Tom embodies all that is great about Britain, proving his grit and determination despite his frail stature. He has stolen our hearts, lifted our spirits and shared his gentle philosophy, that the sun will shine again and we will all be okay. We have taken this humble hero to our hearts and are all the richer for his presence in our lives. Hurrah for Captain Tom!

                                                                                       Anna x


Style Not Age does Comfy Casuals

Welcome to our monthly Style Challenge!

Thank you for joining us for our end-of-month challenge, this time being that of Comfy Casuals which is very pertinent under the current circumstances. Jacqui chose the theme this month and it really couldn't be more relevant as the majority of us are housebound and therefore are spending our days in comfy clothes. I'm sure that when we exit lock-down from the Covid-19 crisis, one of the most noticeable things for us all will be the effort we make in our appearance once our normal routine comes back. I, for one, can't wait to get back to my daily dilemma of what to wear - what a lovely problem that will be again!

Jacqui starts us off with her comfy chiffon camo top with elasticated waistband paired with 3/4 length chinos. See her backstory on her blog Mummabstylish.

Gail from Is This Mutton blog is looking very sporty in her casual gear. I love those leggings and reckon they'd be pretty inspiring to get you up and at 'em!

Hilda is looking quite sparkly in her diamante bows sweater and neat checked trousers. Do catch up with her take on comfy casuals on her blog Over The Hilda

Emma of Style Splash mixes comfort with style here. Sparkly Peter Pan collar and metallic espadrilles are a lovely counterpoint to her utility trousers. 

This is a great easy to wear outfit and fulfills my requirements for comfy casuals: I like to feel comfy, but also want to have a splash of colour to help buoy up my mood. Everything here is relatively new (bought within the past 6 months), but hadn't made it to the blog as yet. The entire outfit came from TK Maxx (sobbing quietly as even their online store is closed). 

I particularly love these trousers for lounging about due to the elasticated waistband and voluminous shape. These also wouldn't look out of place on some exotic holiday would they?

Steve and I walked to the bird hide along Pool Road for our photo shoot, but again were prey to the mixed light that kept changing and making our shots a bit challenging.

Minimal jewellery today, just this ethnic necklace (charity shopped) and a ring from a girlfriend.

This was the first outing for these funky Converse boots. Soooooo comfy!

 Sunglasses by Radley.

The mustard jacket was also from TK Maxx last year and I'm very pleased to showcase this Orla Keily bag that I was given as a Christmas present from my dear friend Bo. We share a love for the colourful designs of this iconic brand. Cheers Bo!

I hope you've enjoyed this month's challenge and maybe been inspired too for your stay-at-home outfits? Please make a note in your diary that I'll be back at the end of the week with my latest ensemble for Dressing Up Friday. See you then!

                                                                                        Anna x

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