Mermaid coat

Yes, the wanderer has returned! Hello and how lovely to have your company again. The past three weeks have gone by in a flash, but conversely I feel like I've been away for ages. My huge trip has generated lots of imagery so I'm not going to rush into things, but want to sift through the photos and put together some easily digestible features for you over the next little while. 

Let's go back a bit, shall we, to that crazy flurry aka Christmas when my darling husband bought me this - from here on known as my mermaid coat due to the massive sequins/scales. Isn't it bloody lovely! Yes, I'll admit, he did have a bit of guidance as to what I'd like, but surely that's better than having an unwanted gift? The coat is from Topshop and for those of you who may be drooling at the sight of this completely over-the-top jacket, well it's good news - here it is in the sale.

I can see that the coat will be an absolute asset to my wardrobe - I imagine that I can wear this on exhibition nights as well as the obvious beach shot on a desert island somewhere too. What fun I'll have with this! The subtle iridescent colours are so flattering and lend themselves to all sorts of pastel pairings. Today's outfit features a pale pink cotton roll neck sweater and bleached denim flares with a rose gold belt - all preloved. The silver high heeled leather boots are by Buffalo London, giving just the right edge to the look.

I've used both rose gold and silver as my accessory colours here to great effect, even if I do say so myself. You can see how lots of pastel shades are present in the coat - lemon, gold, pale aqua, pink, peach, pale green - all of them opening up future styling possibilities. I know it's not everyday wear, but goodness, since when did that stop me? As you know, I've just come back from the mainland where I scooped up an orange sequined padded bomber jacket at the last minute and as I couldn't fit it into my already stuffed suitcase, well I just put it on, zipped it up, and travelled home in it from Truro. On the early morning train, waiting at the station for my lift, and at the airport, where I breezed in as if it was absolutely normal to be wearing orange sequins at nine in the morning. Dahling - I've just returned from a fashion shoot in Cape Town, luvvies!!!!!

I've mixed all kinds of textures and colours for my jewellery too - a plastic peach toned ring with another of silver and enamel, both charity shopped, plus the rose gold watch gifted to me by Nordgreen, a gold rose belt (preloved) and the glittery silver clutch which has no brand but was a ten pound buy from a small boutique somewhere. The rose gold sunglasses are by my favourite brand Quay Australia.

In my absence my dear friend and designer Bo, has been busy at work giving the blog a face lift and doesn't it look gorgeous? A new year, a new start and all that jazz, eh? 

If you've been following my recent adventures on Instagram, you'll have seen that the client asked me to have a new, sharp haircut. The image they sent me, showed a picture perfect young model with button nose, cheek bones like coat hangers and skin like porcelain. I do wonder if they had considered how this would translate across to my generous nose, wrinkled skin and thin lips? No matter. What I wonder is, which you prefer - this hairstyle or the micro fringed number?

It's great to be back on the island and to think about 2019 and what it holds. My recent trip to Cape Town showed me how life can be full of surprises, (albeit some of them rather last minute), but if you are willing to say Yes to the universe then anything is possible. We're all different and we all want different things in life, so whatever you want I would say - wish for it every morning, send that wish out to the universe couched in gratitude and then get on with everything that comes your way with joy in your heart and a spring in your step!

Please join me again on Monday when the Style Not Age collective will be featuring our January Jumpers - very topical indeed. Until then, have a lovely weekend!

Anna x


Pattern clash

This is the first time I've worn this checked trench coat (a charity shop find, originally from Topshop). Styling something for the very first time gives me carte blanche as I have no set idea of how it ought to look which is always exciting. 

My first thought was to pick out the orange and use it for my accessories. The scarf - I think I'm having a senior moment here and am stumped as to what the correct description is for those circle scarves (never ending perhaps?) - anyway, the scarf is deliciously soft to the touch and also has a lovely shade of contrasting green which I adore. You may have seen my orange ostrich skin bag a few times before, but I appear to have "rested" it over the winter months and now here it is all bright, and bubbly and rarin' to go. The scarf is thrifted and the bag by L Credi was from TK Maxx.

The ankle boots are new, well when I say new, I actually bought them last summer in the sale at Sainsbury's when Sasha and I were allegedly buying a hot chicken for dinner. It was our favourite way to shop; to be on a legitimate mission aka getting something to eat that often entailed us doing a slight detour of the clothes section just in case someone had relocated the hot food counter next to Gok's most recent offerings. Again, this is the first outing for these babies too. They're imitation suede and despite the pointed toe are quite a wide fit so are uber comfy. And best of all they were only £5 in the sale!

The geometric print trousers are from H&M and I've had them for a couple of years now. The fabric is synthetic and therefore really stretchy which is very handy as I was having a bit of a bloaty day when I took these shots. Sometimes these just skim over my thighs like a dream and might even need a belt, but this time it was more a "thank goodness these have stretch in them!" moment.

And here's the final part of the pattern clash, a lovely bit of leopard print. In my eyes, this is more pattern play than clash as I think it all works so harmoniously. What do you say? Note the little sprinkling of orange by way of the rings - charity shopped of course. The gold chain necklace was a present, the sunglasses are by Quay Australia and my watch is in rose gold and is by Michael Kors.

I'd spent the whole day at work thinking this outfit warranted a photo shoot, but it was only at the end of the day that I finally found time. The winter sun was weak and also dancing behind the clouds making for an interesting challenge throughout. From shot to shot, I was altering the timer to try to capture the golden light before the next cloud came along. Sometimes the shot was fine, but often I'd forgotten to compose my face and would have a questioning/worried expression which wasn't the look I was aiming for!

This time last week I was about to start on a Mindfulness workshop that was being held on the island over a few days. It was a trial run for one that is going to be offered commercially later on this year. I'm going to feature my experience on the blog, but - and hey you'll appreciate this - I'm not wanting to rush into it. Joking aside, I'm trying to implement some of the skills I learnt and one of the main things I know I want to attend to is the crazy speed I lead my life. It's ironic given that I live on this incredibly peaceful and idyllic island, but as an employee I still have deadlines and budgets just like any other job and that's before you even touch on all my personal goals.

Apart from that I have a new group post coming up on Monday, so please do join me then. In the meantime, I'm going to be taking my time to catch up on some outstanding projects on the home front as well as saying Hi to some of my fellow bloggers who I've neglected to visit of late. If you want to find some new style inspiration then do take a look at my blog list on the right for the ones I love. And last of all, I'm going to link up with one of my favourites, Catherine, below. By following the link you'll be led to lots of new bloggers too as well as reading one of the best blogs on the block.

Linking to -
Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb

And finally... I want to introduce you to one of my favourite instagram accounts featuring Julie Alpine of She wears the trousers. I love Julie's wit as well as style - do take a look.
Anna x


Anna meets... Ruth

It's been a while since I posted one of these, but I'm delighted to bring it back with today's guest, Ruth Connolly. Ruth has been working on the island for the past few months and has become a friend of my daughters, and as such I've got to know her. And now it's your turn. I posed a few questions for Ruth to answer.

Ruth and I are both wearing H&M Christmas jumpers, but not just any old jumpers, as these (my Elfie Selfie and her Penguins) were designed by Ruth. 

A. Tell me about these jumpers and how they came about.

R. Whilst completing my Textile Design degree I was given the opportunity to spend a year working in the fashion industry. I was fortunate enough to be selected for an internship with the Ladies Everyday department at H&M in their head office in Stockholm. One of the projects we were working on was the 2015 Christmas jumper campaign. 

A. Is your background/training in fashion design?

R. I am a specialist in Printed Textile Design so I create the fabric that is used for garments. Although I specialise in print for fashion I am also experienced in designing fabrics to be used for interior purposes too. As a print designer I have a good eye for colour and current trends and also strong drawing, painting and digital skills. Print Design is a fantastic way of working with both traditional drawing methods and digital technologies to create innovative designs. 

Trend Forecasting is my other passion. This involves analysing key movements and trends both artistic and political to predict what we will be seeing in store within the coming years. This allows me to discover new concepts and ideas to work with which for me is the most exciting thing about being a designer. 

A. Do you prefer to shop on the high street/designer/charity shop?

R. I primarily shop on the high street (Zara and &otherstories are amazing for key, on trend pieces) but seek designer finds in thrift and charity shops. I like to keep a file of images from magazines, lookbooks and fashion history books that inspire my wardrobe. I buy key items for each season and pair them with existing garments I already have. I have lots of images of Victoria Beckham’s pre-fall 18 and Valentino’s A//W 2017/18 collections in my file at moment and am lusting over the colour combination of blush pink, terracotta and mauve. 

A. How would you class your style?

R. Classic and on Trend: one of the many advantages of being a trend forecaster. You’re unlikely to see me dressed the same as the crowds or in head to toe TopShop for example (although I do own a pair of those oh-so popular Stan Smiths... just too damn comfy). I spend a lot of time in London so channel classic YSL: a good black trouser and jacket but will jazz it up with a quirky pair of shoes (my absolute weakness). 

A. Where would you like to be in 5 years time?

R. Still designing and trend forecasting. I would also like to have expanded my concept design work and collaborate with artists from other areas of the arts such as choreographers and filmmakers. Also, I want to go back to university to get my Master of Arts in Textile Design and History of Art. 

A. If you suddenly came into money (say £5000) how would you spend it?

R. I am going to talk fashion here rather than all of the boring everyday bills and loans I could pay off. 

I would invest in a printed Valentino A//W 17/18 floor length coat. The prints remind me of David Hockey’s LA work and I haven’t been able to find a high street alternative this season. 

Or I would turn to Dior and their beautiful A//W 17/18 sheer gowns in stargazer print- grungy, elegant, beautiful.

A. What are your plans when you leave the Isles of Scilly?

R. In January I move to Vancouver, Canada for a few months. I will continue to freelance whilst exploring and capturing the beautiful landscape. I am on a hunt for #vancouverssecrets which I will document on my website ( that is launching soon. 

A. Will we see you back here again?

R. I holiday on Tresco every year so will definitely be back in September with my family. The Scilly’s are key inspiration for my collections so I come and explore the islands at least once a year to photograph, draw and write. 

A. What will be your abiding memory of your time here?

R. Apart from the luxury of waking up to, in my opinion, the most beautiful landscape in the world, it would have the be the people of Tresco. My biggest fear before moving out to the Scilly’s was if I would fit in with island life and make friends. The community made me so welcome that I am the happiest and most myself I have been for a number of years. The thought of leaving this amazing island with its equally amazing people is very sad, but I thank them for giving me the most incredible experience. 

A. What possession is most precious to you and why?

R. A letter my late father wrote to me inspiring me to live my life with love and optimism. 

Many thanks to Ruth for taking part in today's feature. I'll be following her with interest as this young lady will surely do well no matter what path she takes within the fashion world. 

No style conferring had gone on prior to our photo shoot, so it was quite funny when I met up with Ruth to see her sporting silver boots too. In the battle of the bargains however, I won! Mine were £5 from Primark and hers were £8 from TopShop. My jeans were from Zara in my Black Friday shopping spree. Silver jeans are exactly what you need when you're about to turn 60, don't you agree?

Before I sign off, I just want to acknowledge those amongst us who find this time of year a struggle. Whether you have painful memories of years gone by or are alone and feeling lonely it's not always easy to live up to the Christmas dream we're fed at every turn. A fellow blogger, Tamera Beardsley has posted an article giving some timely advice that may be helpful - see here.

Anyway folks, I'll take a few days off now and be back later in the week to show you my Christmas day outfit. I do hope you have a wonderful time catching up with family and friends. So let's eat, drink and be merry. Until next time -

Happy Christmas!

Anna x


Easy summer dressing

There can be nothing simpler for a woman to wear in the warm summer months than a maxi dress. This one is hand made, vintage too I think, and is perfect for swishing about and keeping cool. 

Everything in this outfit apart from my Quay Australia sunglasses is charity shopped - well almost everything, as my rings are c/o Gemporia. The handbag is by Topshop and sandals by Capollini. 

Coming up on the blog soon will be the Black Trouser Challenge no7, another summer exhibition outfit from the next show on Saturday, Anna Meets... will be back too after a long break, and we're only a week away from Ping Pong Piece. It's my turn to choose what we style for PPP this month and I've chosen a beach-cover up. 

Next week I'll be taking a few days off to skip over to the mainland for some appointments. If you can hear the alarm bells ringing, then you may be right. Much as I'll try to deny it, I might, just might, have time to pop into my favourite retailer, TK Maxx, to see what bargains are to be had. And yes, I could take a quick look at the charity shops too along Truro's main thoroughfare. All the good work from earlier this year when I sent boxes and boxes of clothes off to the Salvation Army may well come undone over the course of this couple of days. However, I see this almost as a bit of a public service. My purchases benefit many different charities initially and then some months later I send a consignment off to another charity for others to buy, bringing in more money. Why, I feel almost saintly with all of my good deeds!

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?

Linking with

Wishing you a great week!
Anna x

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