The joy of the tent dress

Hello lovelies! How's your week going? I'll confess that my cold has reached the hacking cough and snotty stage now. I've managed to pass the virus on to my hubby who is not very enamoured with me. And my son, who is due to go on holiday on Monday, is treating me as if I've got the plague. I've defended my very own version of this bug, telling him that surely this family cold is preferable to any of the mainland brands that will be available to him as he travels through Cornwall to London en route to Barbados. London Underground will surely have thousands of various strains of the cold virus smeared on every touchable surface. Makes my little island variant seem much more acceptable don't you think?

Cold or no cold, here I am experiencing the joy of the tent dress. Now that British Summer Time is over I'm embracing tights once again too making this a cosy combination for this time of year. Are we still in autumn or is November a winter month? 

The tent dress in indeed a thing of joy thanks to the unrestricted nature of it. No tight waistbands or pinching bustline, the dress falls from the shoulder in a totally relaxed fashion making for joyful dancing, even here up on the heathland of Tresco. The dress is secondhand, the brand is Zara and it cost me £6 last week when I was in Truro. Washed and dried overnight on the airer, it didn't even need an iron before I popped it on for the shoot. The stretch cotton material is weighty; perfect for the months ahead. 

Another joyful feature of the dress is the long trumpet sleeve which acts as a good counterbalance to the length of the hemline. Long sleeves and short dress work well, making for an elegant look. Last of all, the floral pattern and colourway are even more reasons for a happy dance. In other words, I'm thrilled with this frock.

My accessories are pre-loved too. 

A touch of glitter finishes off this outfit. Blue Oxfords are by Xti Tentations from TK Maxx, not this season however. These shoes are great for stomping around all day long, offering comfort and bit of razzle dazzle too. The grey tights are both brand new and charity shopped, by Calvin Klein, and cost me £2.

My recent trip to Truro has garnered me a clutch of new clothes which I'll gather together for a show and tell session on Sunday if you'd like to see them? Pre-loved pieces and brand new bargains are in the mix with a lovely new winter coat being top of my favourite list already. Do join me on Sunday to see what my winter wardrobe looks like!

In the meantime, keep well!

Anna x


Is summer on the wane?

I don't know about you, but I suddenly feel summer is already showing signs of leaving us here in the Northern hemisphere. Every time we have a day or two of prolonged showers I fancy that the sun, when it returns, isn't shining quite as brightly. Do you know what I mean? With this in mind, I'm searching through my clothes to bring out anything summery that you may not have seen yet this year.

The outfit of the day is all new, bought either in London or Truro over the past month. Makes me sound like a real gadabout doesn't it? Anyhooooo, here we have this delightful lace top and pleated skirt both from Zara. I'm having a love/hate relationship with this brand currently. Loving it because of the pieces which feel fresh and exciting and hating it because of my mental battle with fast fashion. Please note however, that as I sit here writing, listening to Radio 2, I've heard that Pablo Isla, the Head of Zara UK has just announced his intention to make the brand more committed to helping their customers to recycle their old purchases and that by 2025 the brand will be using more environmentally green fabrics such as cotton and linen as well as recycled polyester. The more cynical amongst you may say that it's merely a ploy to lure clients into the store as they drop off their unwanted goods. I think that any attempts to slow down fast fashion has to be good.

Yes, I totally love this uber feminine ensemble and wafted about all day long feeling rather pleased with myself. Seeking out joy surely has to be my mission statement, especially when I'm dressed like this. It seems so much easier to spread the love when you feel lovely.

The lemon spotty skirt led me choose these two citrine rings that I was gifted back in 2017. See the post here. I often browse the Gemporia website when I fancy a gemstone shopping spree - well a girl can dream, can't she? I'm sporting my old favourite sunglasses by Quay Australia

I decided to take a break from the white sneakers look this time, plumping for these wedge sandals by Europen which I recently found in TK Maxx in Truro. 


A final note about the outfit of the day. My dear friend Rachel, on seeing me today, declared that I looked like I'd stepped straight out of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and started to recite the words of the song Truly Scrumptious. Thanks Rach, that made my day!

                                                                                                  Anna x


My Christmas detox

Before we go any further let me clarify that the detox was in fact a digital one rather than a food one. My gift to myself over the Christmas period was to take a step back from all things digital. No mobile phone, no Instagram, no blog, no emails - I called a truce with all the digital hungry mouths and stepped back into reality. And it was just like a little holiday.

And here I am, batteries recharged and so very pleased to be back with you again. This was my Christmas Day outfit in festive red and green. The fur coat has proved to be my go-to coat over the Christmas period. It's cuddly soft and has earned me lots of strokes as it's just like a soft teddy bear.

I showed you this dress previously as it came from Zara in my Black Friday splurge. In complete contrast to all of my glittery and sparkly Christmas clothes, I decided dress that this simple shift dress was just what I needed for the day. The feather trim lifts the dress from being too simple, however, as well as giving an element of fun to the overall look.

The other great thing about this dress is the fact that once again, my fabulous red boots come into their own. I may be accused of overkill with these, but hey, shoot me.

All of my jewellery is pre-loved, apart from my Vivienne Westwood pendant. The silver nail polish is called "Pedal to the metal" by Rita Ora.

My regular readers may have noticed the new grey/red/checked theme that seems to have cropped up in my clothes recently. Goodness knows how this has come about, but it's a new found delight for me.

The local pub, The New Inn, very kindly dressed their window in time for all of my Christmas photo shoots, so I really have to thank them for giving me the prettiest of backdrops. 

I do hope you've had a lovely Christmas with plenty downtime as well as fun time. There will be a New Year's Eve party at the pub as is the tradition here on the island, but I'm not sure if Steve and I will be going. We've suddenly hit on the pleasure of the box set and are working our way through Game of Thrones in readiness for the next set (out on the 8th of Jan). What are your plans for NYE? Are you heading out to a party or snuggling up in front of the fire with a movie and a bottle of bubbly? Whatever, I wish you a very Happy New Year!

Anna x


Sequins, beading and embroidery

It's been an eventful time since I last posted. Unfortunately most of it has been health related, hence this middle of the night posting. I've got toothache, that keep-you-awake, throbbing type toothache. I think it's actually an infection underneath the tooth as antibiotics are helping. On top of that I've also had a two day migraine. I only tell you by way of apology for my absence, not for pity. Hopefully by the next time we get together all will be remedied. In the meantime, let's get on with the party preparations, shall we?

The annual island party is less than a week away and I'm still dithering about what to wear. You may remember this skirt from last year. See how I styled it up that time here.

I'm pleased to say that the only new thing here are the boots, and oh what boots! And best of all, they're super comfy and I can dance in them - I did my happy dance when they arrived.

Beading, sequins and embroidery - I feel very at home with all these embellishments.

Outfit details - skirt: H&M, jacket: TK Maxx, top, clutch and rings: pre-loved, necklace: old, tights: Dorothy Perkins, boots Zara (still available here).

The top is sleeveless, so if I get too hot, I can just slip the jacket off and I'm ready to dance. I know I said about not dancing cos I'm tea total, but honestly, I just like to give myself a get out clause. I'm a bit funny like that. I think I don't like to build something up to being too wonderful in case it doesn't deliver. It saves you from that sense of anticlimax, you know? On the outside I look like a grown woman and yet inside is the 16 year old me still getting excited about whether I'll be brave enough to get up and dance. I suppose that's where a bit of Dutch courage comes into it, eh? 

Golly you can tell it's the middle of night by the amount of blathering that's going on here. There's no filter, just a stream of unconscious drivel I'm afraid. Well done you for hanging on in there in the hope of something worthwhile! But wait, there is something worth a look. I've been doing some sewing, a little bit of hand sewing to take my mind off my toothache.

I bought these velvet trousers for a pound, (yes that's 100 pennies!) in a charity shop in Exeter a couple of years ago and so far I've never worn them. Anyway, I decided to chop a few inches off the bottom and scavenge the bead work from this (very scratchy) top to make...

...these! Beaded crop trousers that are totally unique. The weight of the trim helps to give the trouser bottoms a real swish factor as well as looking lovely, don't you think? It was a labour of love, and did stretch my patience, but I'm so glad I persevered. I'm going to see what I can find in my wardrobe to go with these and will showcase them soon. Thanks for dropping by, and apologies if I've not replied to your comments or visited your blog lately.
Anna x


Take three colours

One of the best things about making friends within the blogging world has to be our common bond through fashion. Jacqui of Mummabstylish and I got on like a house on fire when we met up in London (see here), chatting about all our ideas and concerns on our joint blogging horizon. She told me about her rule of three; the magic number of colours that she uses to create her outfits. The idea had never occurred to me and we laughed about that too.

So here's my ode to Jacqui in yellow, green and burgundy. I suppose in this pure form, it also meets the criteria for colour blocking as I've eschewed my normal pattern play too. 

Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb has recently posted a feature on fashion bloggers who excel at minimalist styling which got me thinking: why does minimalist dressing look so classy on these women and yet I know would look so bland on me? Apart from the obvious - they're young, slim and pretty of course! Anyway, do click the link to see the ultimate in chic understatement.

With this in mind, today I thought I take a baby step towards minimalist style by dropping down to three colours, albeit quite bold ones. I say baby steps as it's still over the top in other ways; namely the tiers on the tunic as well as the velvet trim and tiny beads. 

I will be honest with you, the idea of an entire collection of clothes that comprises of black, white and neutrals leaves me totally cold, but in the interests of a style challenge I think I may have a go. But not yet, my lovely readers! With Christmas only a month away, I have more bold colours and patterns, a sprinkling of glitter and of course, a liberal dose of sequins all lined up for your delectation.

The tunic is actually an early Christmas present from a friend. She lives in Portugal and had ordered it online to be posted direct to me. She prompted me to open it in case I didn't like it, meaning I could just send it on to her. Sorry Bo, as you can see it's rather fabulous and I'm keeping it!

And that brings me onto another style matter. I would never, never have chosen this shape of top. Tunics are just not my thing. My reasons are usually to do with the boxy shape, the lack of definition, and the focus on the bust making me look bigger than I like. However, I was so bowled over by the colour that I was happy to step out of my comfort zone and try it on. It's a lovely floaty material and it feels really feminine. I'm a convert! 

Outfit details - coat: The Vintage Boutique Collection from TK Maxx, top: Zara, trousers: Tesco, boots: pre-loved, sunglasses: Quay Australia, rings: Sainsbury's, necklace: gift, handbag: purchased in Rome, no brand.

This week I'll be linking up with -
Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb
Samantha of Fake Fabulous

This shot captures me as I've just hung my coat up in the hedge and was waiting to see if the wind would whisk it off. 

Here's a couple of snaps taken from my office window over the past week. This view is balm to the soul. Have a great week and see you again soon!

Anna x

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