Black trouser challenge 13

Well, well, well, I really can't believe I've been going so long with my self-imposed Black Trouser challenge. I kinda thought six weeks would be good and yet here I am still with some ideas in the pipeline. My new pink belt has inspired some different summery outfits, but I worry that autumn may descend before I can show you them. Yes, boots and jackets are waiting in the wings however!

Today's shoot took place in two halves due to a sudden shower that caught Polly and I on the hop. We had to change our location too thanks to the blustery wind so all in all it felt a bit shambolic. Does that show?


Rain splatters on silk handbag and jacket were not really what I had planned...

And this is where charity shopping really has its rewards. My oriental jacket was a thrift shop find earlier this summer and cost me £4.50, so imagine my delight when this weeks You magazine featured it as the latest trend. I'm loving pre-loved fashion! And I'm not alone in this. Waste experts "Wrap" have recently published a report stating that fast fashion is on the wane with consumers preferring to buy secondhand from charity shops and auction websites resulting in us throwing away 50,000 fewer tons of clothes annually than we used to - that's the equivalent to 300 jumbo jets full of clothes! Half of the population are now buying secondhand clothes. In addition to this, make do and mend is rising in popularity with workshops, repair cafes, repair surgeries and online sewing tutorials enabling us to take on projects that previously may have caused us to through away clothes. Getting help and gaining new skills is prolonging the life of our clothes by up to another 18 months all of which helps with this most green issue. Hurrah for this groundswell of change and well done to all of us who are part of this new shopping revolution!

Outfit details - trousers: River Island, jacket: Siruili, sandals (ancient): River Island, rings: pre-loved, handbag: gift, sunglasses: Quay Australia.

Linking with -
Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb

Anna x


Black trouser challenge 12

Week twelve of this personal style challenge and I'm still not tiring of these frilled fancy pants from River Island. I'm hoping that I'm managing to keep you interested too...

We're still clinging on to the remnants of summer here on the Isles of Scilly even though there's (seemingly) wild weather due this weekend. I thought I'd better bring out this little top which is a tad late to the party re statement sleeves, gingham and cold shoulder trends. Lots of bloggers are already airing their wishlists for A/W17 making me dig my heels in a bit - I'm not finished showcasing my summer pieces yet! This pre-loved top originates from F&F at Tesco and fulfilled all the requirements for this summer's hottest trends - florals, checks, bell sleeves as well as the obligatory cold shoulders. I'd promised myself that I'd not be entering into the yards of flesh being exposed in the name of fashion that is the cold shoulder look, however these split sleeves seemed like a tiny nod to the trend without being too revealing for the workplace. 

The white mules were a supermarket purchase last year (Sainsbury's) and have taken me a whole year to get them on the go, as it were. Now that I've managed to stretch them a little I feel I ought to get some wear out of them before boots and brogues take centre stage. The clutch is pre-loved, but no brand label to be found. The belt is a new purchase from eBay and I have it lined up with a vintage blouse for another styling soon. The sunglasses were also from Sainsbury's sale last summer and the bangle and rings are from random sources (gifts and pre-loved).

I'm still getting a kick out of these frilled trousers and they get me a fair few compliments too. It'll be interesting how long this challenge will fire me with enthusiasm, but I promise to drop it before my passion wanes. The joy is in discovering pieces within my wardrobe that work well rather than just can be worn with black - the difference is huge in my book.

Please join me on Sunday for another edition of Ping Pong Piece where we'll be styling wide trousers for our sins! In the meantime, I do hope that the hurricane Gert swoops over the top of us all without causing too much damage. Stay safe x

Anna x


Black trouser challenge 11

Another week, another variation on the black trouser challenge. If you missed the start of this then you can catch the first instalment here

So here we have the 11th styling of my fabulous fancy pants and I thought it was time to go the whole hog with leopard print. In my book, there was a time when this print was very Bet Lynch of the Rovers Return - way be before your time? 

Since then, I think leopard print has graduated into the classics. No longer is it tainted with that slightly seedy influence, but has become mainstream fashion. Hands up out there if you don't have one single piece of leopard print, not even a scarf, in your wardrobe. Why do I think that both my sisters have are sitting at the back with their hands held high and eyes rolling? 

Anyway, I'll skip right along now to the bit where, right about this time of year, I send my apologies to my fellow bloggers and those of you who very kindly take the time to comment here and on my instagram account. Yep, I'm confessing to being over-run at work, home and life generally and am just about keeping the blog on track - apart from the fact that I'm not managing to answer my comments or visit other bloggers. Please know that I have the best of intentions, but have had to make the decision between keeping posting my own blog or doing the rounds to others as well as responding. All of this takes time and I thought it best to keep you coming back to see new features. Hopefully, in about a month's time, I ought to get back on track and do hope that I won't have lost too many followers through neglect. Please hang on in there - I love reading your comments!

Outfit details - trousers: River Island, cardigan: H&M, shoes: BCBGeneration, necklace: gift, rings: old.
Anna x


Black trouser challenge 10

And here I am in double figures with this Black Trouser Challenge. Instead of it being difficult as I half expected, this has become a really enjoyable weekly feature. Today I've acted on the suggestions of a couple of bloggers who wish to see a casual twist. Let me know what you think Mary and Jude.

These LA Gear trainers were a recent purchase from TK Maxx. I totally love the colours, texture and pattern of them - so much so, that I did my little happy dance when I tried them on. That would have been fine if I'd been in the changing rooms, but I was on the shop floor being watched/ignored by my daughter. She soon told me to stop as people were watching. I like to be embarrassing at least once each time we're out together, so that got it out of the way for the day.

I had to ham it up a bit to counter the fact that I didn't comply fully with the remit of casual. The black trousers are strictly work wear for me and as such I do have to look semi-smart behind the desk as I serve customers. A tee/sweat shirt would have been more casual, I know, but I could only see me wearing that on a hanging evening (such as this evening, I suppose). Anyway, our photo shoots are first thing in the morning when we catch the morning light before we start the day's work. This is the first time I've ventured out in these with flats of any sort and I was pleasantly surprised that they didn't feel too out of place styled this way. It's given me a couple more ideas along these lines too which is great. And let's not forget that today's outfit brings the cost-per-wear down to £4 which is pretty cool.

Outfit details - trousers: River Island (still available here), top H&M, body: TK Maxx, shoes: LA Gear, bag: Candy Bag, pearls: Almost Perfect, striped ring: gift, brown ring: old.

This is not a sponsored post.

Anna x


Black trouser challenge 9

Yes, it's week 9 of my self-imposed Black Trouser Challenge featuring these marvellous fancy pants by River Island. Today's post is very special however, due to a spot of luck. Earlier this month I entered a give-away sponsored by ADRA. Now, I'm sure we all have friends who are always lucky with raffle tickets and prize draws, but I never win anything. Until now. ADRA chose me as one of their four winners in their 4th of July draw and I won this beautiful white blouse. Huge fanfare, streamers popping and technicolour fireworks zooming skywards please!

The blouse is a dream to wear, made out of 100% silky smooth cotton and is crispy cool for summer. I love the cutaway shape to reveal shoulders and also love that it's cut high enough to clevery hide that unsightly overspill that can happen between bra and underarm - the angle looks sharp, modern and chic. The cutout on the back is beautifully placed to show an area that I'm very happy to reveal, but still allows you to wear a bra. And let's not forget to admire the fabulous frilled finish that has to be the best feature of all. Little wonder that I was so keen to win this as it's the perfect partner for my ruffled hem trousers. The blouse is long enough to wear over trousers rather than tucked in and I'll be showing you that next month when I wear it with a splash of colour to show you a more casual look. So, thank-you ADRA for changing my luck and making my day!

Outfit details - trousers:River Island, blouse: c/o ADRA, necklace: Du Barre, shoes: New Look, belt: Dorothy Perkins, rings: Sainsbury's, sunglasses: Quay Australia.

Anna x


Black trouser challenge 8

Yes, I know it's just a couple of days ago that I covered no 7 in this challenge, but my week is all a bit upside down. On the 20th it's time for Ping Pong Piece again and is also the day I take myself off to the mainland for a few days. I'll schedule a post in for my regular slot on Sunday so by the end of the week I'll have posted three times which will be grand.

Week 8 brings the cost-per-wear down to £5 for these frilled fancy pants by River Island and that's surely a bargain in anyone's book! My blogging friend Sheila asked if I'm not getting sick of these week-in, week-out trousers and I can honestly say, No not yet. As a latecomer to this black trouser party I'm still pretty evangelical with regards to the flexibility that black offers. All the years of shunning this most sober of colours is suddenly like I've opened the floodgates and all of the options are revealing themselves to me. 

Today's offering of frills with frills along with beading and multicolour mules has me strutting my stuff with confidence. Orange is one of my favourite summer colours and I've been holding back this Coast top (a charity shop find, of course) until it was the perfect summer's day. Only it clouded over by the time I got to work! My early morning swim was in golden sunlight, the warmth playing on my back as I wandered across the sand to the sea. The temperature of the water has risen to about 14 degrees now which is a big improvement on the 8 degrees that I encountered way back in February. The forecast is for rain and lightening across the West Country today, ho hum!

Apart from my fancy pants, I'm wearing this Coast top, belt by Sainsbury's, mules by Carmen Poveda, pendant from New Zealand and other jewellery is charity shopped.

Thursday brings another edition of Ping Pong Piece with the piece to be styled being a beach cover-up. Do pop back to see how we fared and to meet my guest of the month...
Anna x

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