Spots and culottes


Hi, hello and welcome!

I've been wanting to showcase this spots and culottes outfit for weeks now. In fact, this is the third time I've had it on, ready for the blog. The first two times I spent most of the day waiting for my photographers to turn up and both times they forgot me. I suppose family can get away with that, can't they? We had a good laugh at the end of the day at least.




Even this photo shoot had it's problems with too much wind on one side of the island and then too much sunshine when Lora and I finally found a sheltered corner. Anyway, here we are with a double dose of spots; the mustard blouse is from Primark and the culottes are a hand-me-down from Sasha from a couple of years ago (purchased in Thailand when she was on her travels). She had a big clear out when she was moving house and I inherited a bundle of clothes which have trickled onto the blog ever since then. The culottes are pleated and swooshy as well as having a half elasticated waist at the back, making them comfy as well as rather lovely. My winter coat is by Covent Garden, from TK Maxx.




My sock boots from Zara are wearing well, as I'm sure this is the second winter I've worn them as well as throughout the spring and autumn too. I'm trying to ration myself as to how often I feature this Paul Costelloe bag in case you tire of it. In fact I'm using it as my winter handbag regardless of whether it goes with the outfit of the day, such is my love for this exquisite piece. I tend to leave it inadvertantly in the gallery window on display or at least on the front desk so that anyone passing during these bleak/wild days can share in my pleasure.




The gold jacket (H&M) was another gift, this time from my friend Ben who had seen it in a charity shop window and immediately thought of me. The colour is indeed very me and the fact that it's satin is another plus. The quilted sleeves and plain body are nice feature too.




I do love this spot with spot look but nearly discarded these photos because of the upwards angle. Lora was standing on some steps below me and really tried her best not to offend me with the wattle shots. We did a retake of the ensemble a few days later in a different location but without the mustard blouse but I felt it lacked that bit of punch.





The belt and rings are all pre-loved.



I'll be back again on Monday with the monthly style challenge from the Style Not Age Collective. This month we're all sporting a bit of Flower Power and we have a new member joining our group too, so please do swing by.

                                                                                    Anna x

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Zara loungewear, perfect for work and play





Welcome back!

Hello again and thanks for dropping by to see me. No new outfit today and no apologies for that either. I'm more than happy to share this velour and embroidered lounge suit which has worked so hard since I bought it just a little over two years ago when I was in London. I remember picking it up in Zara and showing it to Steve who didn't quite know how to respond. Was I merely showing him this outlandish outfit or asking for his approval? For me, it was love at first sight and trying it on simply sealed the deal. I've topped it off with my green fur coat by The Vintage Boutique Collection and a diamante dog brooch (pre-loved).









At this time of year one of my most pressing jobs is to check the art in the holiday cottages on the island to make sure that all the paintings are in the best condition in time for the new season starting. I'm currently upgrading the art in some of the houses and that's what I was up to here. The painting I'm brandishing is by artist Iona Sanders. The bright contemporary piece will lift this traditional cottage interior injecting a breath of fresh air to the surroundings. I love this aspect of my job as it's such a quick fix and very rewarding to transform a room with a handful of select paintings. 










Anyway, back to the outfit of the day. Despite the ornate stitchwork this jogging suit is surprisingly hard wearing. On days when I'm hanging art it's great although I wear it mostly at the weekends; the stretch waistband and roomy trousers make it perfect for doing the housework/shopping or for just lounging around. The hooded top is loose enough to accommodate a thermal top underneath and by wearing cotton tights underneath the suit is toasty warm, extending it to become an all-year-round piece. I machine wash it on a cool wash (almost weekly) and there's no noticeable fading or shrinking or even going baggy which happens all so often with a high cotton content jogging suit. But wait - this leisure wear is far too luxe to be called a jogging suit!






Last weekend I helped out at our local Community Centre as we were having a big island clear-out to send off our bags of clothes, books and toys to the British Red Cross. I had a very hands-on role, helping to fill the container which appealed to me and made use of my packing skills. The stacking of boxes and crates was a satisfying task for Sasha and I and we were soon squeezing the last few bags and bundles into the little nooks and crannies left around the towers.






The container has been shipped to the mainland where it was collected and transported to the sorting centre in Plymouth. Our island contribution will be redistributed to the Red Cross shops across the West Country. We, as a small island community, feel we can enjoy our post Christmas dejunking, and at the same time we're helping to swell the coffers of this great British charity.






As comfort was the watchword of the day for this outfit, I chose to wear my pull on stretch boots (again by Zara). I've had these for about 18 months now and they are still holding up well. I foolishly wore them out in the rain a couple of times which has caused the adhesive that glues the sole to the upper to start to come adrift, but I'll continue to wear them until they fall apart as they are soooooo comfortable!






Many thanks to Lora who is helping me at work and also as blog photographer when the need arises. We're having fun working together on the art collection although at times last week we did resemble the Chuckle Brothers as we staggered about moving large paintings in high winds and driving rain, tripping over each other's feet as we were blasted sideways, dissolving into hysterics once we'd battled into the safety of the cottage. Any damage was confined to fingers and toes rather than the artworks thank goodness!

                                                                              Anna x

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Another reprise on the brown theme


Yes, another dose of brown!

Hello again! I'm not one to take defeat lying down and therefore I'm facing the brown challenge head-on again today, this time by adding a suggested pop of colour by way of my winter coat by Covent Garden. The brown on brown had mixed reviews the other day, both on the blog and on Instagram, so I decided that I'd push the boundaries further by adding leopard print to the mix as well as this mustard coat. Less brown, more print, more fun, more me.






The star of the show today has to be my fabulous new handbag (a Christmas present from my dear hubby). The Paul Costelloe leather and leopard print bag was a happy find in TK Maxx which also means it was a cut price bargain too. (Hubby paid, but I found it). It's my bag of the moment, my latest crush and I'm more than a little in love with it.




The granite backdrop works as a perfect camouflage for this animal print fest, don't you think? The gold flower ring was another Christmas present and the diamante ring was an airport purchase last year. The bangle was a charity shop find for a pound - yes, £1!




The necklace is from Topshop and the cardi is from H&M, although a bit ancient now.




It was another dreich day, but Lora and I dashed outside when the skies opened up momentarily to reveal a watery winter sun. I know I'm not alone in feeling the post-Christmas slump currently, not helped by the dull weather. The rest of the outfit reads like this - jeans are by Zara, as are the boots and I'm layered up with a thermal long sleeve top by M&S underneath the cardi. Sunglasses are by Quay Australia.




So that's it guys. Did I redeem myself? Are we all agreed that a fair old dollop of leopard print has the ability to pep us up out of the brown doldrums? 


Thanks for dropping by. See you again soon!

Anna x

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The Style Not Age Collective goes back in fashion


Welcome to our monthly Style Not Age challenge. 

It's Hilda's turn to choose our theme this month and this time she's given us all the opportunity to showcase a blast from the past by way of one of our own vintage pieces. For me this means my 20 year old leopard print fur that I bought from Dorothy Perkins two decades ago. I remember turning up to Sasha's Christmas play wearing this and as I walked into the room someone joked that I was wearing Bet Lynch's coat - everyone laughed, including me. (To my 10 year old daughter this was probably one of her first public exposures to parental embarrassment.) Some 20 years down the line this coat doesn't draw a comment as it's back in fashion, although in my eyes it never went out!

But, let's shilly-shally no longer. Here's what my blogging friends wore as trend setters all those years ago...


Hilda found her beautiful velvet jacket and ornate boots when she was clearing out her attic. What a great discovery! They hark back to the 1990's and haven't lost any of their charm, have they? See more on Over The Hilda.


Jacqui of Mummabstylish is sporting her vintage trench coat which dates back to 1987, a purchase from Principles. I love the handbag which is vintage too. The black and white shot is a great touch Jacqui!


Emma of Style Splash has been raiding her attic too and has come up with this fabulous mix of old and new to create her very unique look. Do pop across to her blog for all the details. 


My gold dress has a vintage feel to it although it's not (well, not that I know). I bought it in a charity shop earlier this year. It's from M&S and somehow feels a bit 1940's - maybe thanks to the pussycat bow.


Rings are pre-loved.


There's nothing vintage about these boots though. I don't think Zara even existed 20 years ago, although I do remember having knee length sock boots when I was only about 12 years old, making that fashion over 50 years old. Wow, that makes me feel rather ancient!


I like the notion that this doorway may indeed be a back-to-the-past portal.



Ah well, it seems a magic portal it's not, just the gateway to a very windy viewpoint.

I do hope you've enjoyed our fashion stroll down memory lane, and please do hop across to my fellow bloggers to read more about their outfits. 


                                                                                                                                       Anna x

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Less colour, more detail


Further to my post on Monday where I placed myself well out of my comfort zone by wearing top to toe beige, I decided to run with the theme of less colour but more detail today. My default setting as you know is to turn the volume up colour-wise at every given opportunity, but the positive response to the March Madness feature gave me cause to consider the value of more neutral tones.


Less colour doesn't necessarily mean less fun though!


What is fun, is the fact that even though I'm in my 60's I am still learning about clothes. If Hilda hadn't come up with that particular challenge I would never have pulled those random separates together to make my homage to beige. 


The starting point for today's ensemble is this snakeskin jacket which has been gifted to me by JD Williams. The fabric is a suede effect making for a very soft finish, comfortable to wear and more lightweight than if it were real suede. I'm a big fan of biker jackets, so when the offer came to through to choose something from their current range, I was happy to see this one. I don't have a patterned biker jacket in my ever expanding collection so this seemed to be the ideal opportunity. Made to the usual specifications the jacket has zipped pockets and zips on the sleeves plus the slanted zip across the body. The fit is good - I'm a size 10 and this was as expected. My favourite points have to be the pattern (snakeskin is always on trend in my books) plus the cool look of a biker jacket crosses all age groups. 


I decided to pair the biker jacket up with black work trousers to give a less rock chick look, but as usual I couldn't settle for plain old black trousers could I?


These eyelet trim trousers were from Zara last year. They tick the right boxes for me when I need a well fitting ankle length black trouser that keeps me out of the boring zone. The sock boots were from Zara too. I suppose if you don't feel this adventurous you could indeed wear plain black trousers with simple boots or even a pair of sandals with this look - see some ideas for sandals on the JD Williams website here


In my quest to wear less colour I've gone big on accessories, bringing out a new handbag which I bought in a tiny boutique in St Andrews in January. The turtle shape plus all of these sparkling gemstones had that quirky appeal for me and was also in the sale coming in under £40 which suited me too. I've been saving the bag for a special outfit and this seems to be the perfect one. Tonally the jacket and bag work so well together and the black ties in with the trousers too. I really like this mixture of black trousers saying work and biker jacket saying rock chick - it's all about being an individual, isn't it? This may not be a conventional work outfit for some, but it would be great for a lunch out or after work drinks with the girls, don't you think?


The final touches for today's look are this statement necklace from Topshop along with these gold coloured rings, both of them pre-loved. 

Before you go, let me confess that I had to give this gorgeous snakeskin jacket the true Anna's Island Style treatment and dressed it up with a mega splash of colour here -


Leave me have your votes please for which look you prefer. Either way, I'm a winner!

Wishing you a fab week ahead!

Anna x

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Floral jumpsuit


Happy Sunday and hurrah for some beautiful autumn sunshine!


I'm pleased to have a chance to show you the rather fabulous floral jumpsuit I purchased from H&M in Manchester the last time I was there in September. The two shops I always managed to visit during these trips were H&M and TK Maxx, both providing me with some new inspiration and joyful finds. Polly tells me that there are lots of vintage and charity shops in the city, but they're in a different quarter to where I was located. I did find one, near to Piccadilly railway station, and yes was successful there too with those striped Boohoo culottes you may have already seen (here).


This jumpsuit is from the collaboration between these two brands and if you love it as much as I do you can find it still for sale here


I had to make a small adjustment to the jumpsuit as it had an open back with only a button at the top of the scoop neck. I bought an orange zip and unearthed my sewing machine - et viola! A camisole or vest top would have worked equally well, but I fancied not having to make that extra decision every time I wore it. 


The fabric of the jumpsuit is a blend of viscose and lyocell which feels silky smooth and light. I think I've just managed to sneak this in below the wire before cooler weather descends for the rest of the year. I tied the sash around twice to give a lovely snug fit and also cover the elasticated waist. The other noteworthy point is, of course, the large roomy pockets - yay!


With so many different colours to choose from it would be easy to accessorise this with pretty much any colour from my jewellery box. I finally chose this collection of orange pieces all of which are preloved. I added my gold chain necklace and Quay Australia sunglasses too.


Now, the jury may well be out as to whether these Zara sock boots are the right thing to wear with this floral (and therefore summery looking) ensemble. Because it's autumn I couldn't really bring myself to wear sandals, despite having orange strappy ones that would work a treat. I somehow wanted to anchor the whole look with a solid and autumnal colour, hence the olive green. The sheer comfort of sock boots plus these funky silver heels were the other deciding factors. Do pitch in here and give me your thoughts, especially if you think I've got better footwear for this.


As I look at this last photo I feel a pang of sadness at the thought that I'm going to lose dear Polly to her winter job in less than three weeks. Her input into these daily sessions is what sparks joy in me, producing these happy shots for all to see. In the meantime, let's enjoy Polly's flair and ability to bring out the fun in me.

Until next time, have a lovely week!

Anna x

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