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


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


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


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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