Flaming June!

Hello and welcome to this month's Style Not Age challenge! Flaming June is the theme set by Jacqui and goodness I do hope she enjoys the irony of my offering in this less-than-summery month. When she suggested this topic, Jacqui proffered tips on any fire bright colours from flame yellow through to brazier bright orange and all the way to sizzling shades of red. That seemed to be simple enough I thought. But as we all know, life rarely goes to plan and the minute I started to line up this outfit, well the weather seemed to take against me! Polly and I finally accepted that we'd shoot the gorgeous outfit regardless of the fickle British weather.

I've been trying a new style strategy to counter these grey summer days which is simply to wear bright colours on dull days. The resulting lift in mood has been remarkable helping me counter the blahs with a blast of colour confidence I've not experienced before on these rainy days. My default setting has previously been to wear black or at least dark colours when it rains, goodness knows why, but I've been drawn to these dour shades almost as if I've been reflecting the grey skies. My fashionista friends may have been luckier with the weather for their photo shoots, so let's see how they fared with this month's quest.

As this is Jacqui's challenge I thought we'd start with her and goodness, it's a fantastic start!  Her daughter's wedding and a holiday in Majorca seem to have fallen back to back, so goodness knows how she's found time to pull this great outfit together. Read the back story to the look on her blog Mummabystylish.

Emma never fails to impress me with these monthly tasks and this month she is as cute as ever. Not only does Emma have a great sense of which colours flatter her, but she has the most stunning figure to showcase the outfit too. Emma, this is fab-u-lous! See more on her blog the Style Splash. 

Last, but by no means least is Hilda from Over The Hilda showing she's pretty hot stuff too in her Flaming June ensemble. We've clearly all been inspired by this one! Join Hilda on her blog here to see more of this super outfit.

My fabulous yellow trouser suit is from JD Williams (not gifted, please note) and was on my wishlist for months after I saw Evon wearing it during the trip to Cape Town for the spring fashion shoot. The scene in the TV commercial where she throws those big doors open wearing this suit won me over immediately - I just knew then that I'd have to buy it! The jacket and trousers are actually on offer now see here

Evon's silver sandals are still available and also on offer currently as seen here.

My own styling twist for the zingy trouser suit has me wearing these brocade trainers by Replay for a practical workaday outfit. I've injected another burst of colour with my Frida Kahlo tee shirt from Primark. You couldn't get a more summery look could you? Well, maybe if the sun actually shone I suppose.

Polly and I did this photo shoot at the end of the day on Tuesday last week and I fancy if we'd held off until the weekend the weather might have been a bit brighter. However, this weekend I may well be in London, but that my dear friends is another story as they say ...

Accessories comprise of heavy gold chain (a gift from Sasha) and these gold coloured rings are both pre-loved. 

One of the best features of these trousers is the stretch fabric - no tweaking and pinching when they have that extra bit of give in them! I wore the suit all day long and there's hardly a crease to be seen either. This is the first time I've worn it and that was a real bonus to find it after a long day at work it was still sharp enough to withstand the scrutiny of these close up shots.

I'm sure the ladies from the collective will be laughing at my usual out-of-step offering for this month's challenge. I would have loved to showcase this fabulous suit in sunny weather, but life truly conspired against that. The photo shoot for last Thursday's post took place on Wednesday and on Thursday I had a whole lot of packing to do. As I write, my plans are just coming together for a quick weekend trip with Steve to London to see a concert. 

By Monday he and I will be back on the train hurtling back south to Cornwall for an overnight stay in Truro. And when I say Truro, you know what that means - it's my favourite stamping ground for a bit of charity shopping! I'll only have a couple of hours, but goodness, I'm pretty adept at speed shopping as it's one of the skills I've honed to perfection after living on an island for over 40 years. As the summer exhibition period is fast approaching I could do with some new inspiration in the party frock department. Look out mainland, here I come!

                                                                                               Anna x


Style, not age

Welcome to our new and improved group, "Style, not age" where this month we're having fun with faux fur. We've had a bit of a shake up since our last group feature and have taken on a new name, lost a couple of stylists and gained a new one, but apart from that it's business as usual. This month Hilda set the challenge so let's see the results shall we?

I can understand why Hilda chose fur; this coat is an old faithful and looks so cosy as well as super soft. Given the bitter East wind that's sweeping across the UK at the moment, Hilda is dressed perfectly to keep the chills at bay. And when the Siberian blizzard hits us later on in the week, Hilda's Russian hat will surely come into its own. Read more about her outfit on Hilda's blog Over the Hilda here and see her on instagram here.

Jacqui of Mummabstylish has stepped forward to lead our newly reformed group and is showing the way in style in her electric blue dress from H&M, topped with a faux fur gilet from M&Co. Not only do her Lotus shoes look fab, but they tie in perfectly with the graffiti. See more of this outfit on her blog here and follow Jacqui on instagram here.

I'd like to give a warm welcome to Emma from Style Splash. Her working background is TV and radio, and like the rest of the group she is also a mother. It was while she was an at home mum that Emma decided to pursue her passion for fashion and now works freelance as well as volunteering at an animal hospital and yet still finds time for running her beauty, fashion and travel blog. Emma chose a faux fur collar for the challenge and how clever that it echoes the red hues of her hair! Click on the link above to see her blog and follow her on instagram here.

The story about this coat goes something like this - you know when you have things in your house that eventually become invisible? Yes, sure you do! Well, in the corridor upstairs we have a few hooks, actually nails if the truth be known, spaced along the wall and on them hang about half a dozen coat covers. OMG is this another senior moment? You know what I mean - those grey zip up storage bags that you use for coats to winterise them?

Well, they had become invisible until the other day when I kinda brushed against them on my way past and thought, "Hey what's inside these then?" and here was this faux suede, faux fur coat. Lots of other coats and jackets were lurking there too and I really think that they might all need to be sorted through ready for my next eBaying session. 

It's so long since I bought this coat, I can't be 100% sure where I got it, but fancy it would have been from TK Maxx. It certainly was before my charity shopping days. It's fully lined in faux fur and is toasty warm to wear, making it ideal for this cold snap.

And yes, some of you may recognise the dress from last month when I wasn't all that happy with my styling efforts that time (see here if you must). This pleases me much more, thank you. The boots are slim and elegant and yet edgy enough to give the dress what it needs to sharpen it up. The belt with its studs lends a rock chick feel. And the long fur coat says sleek, so all in all I'm happy.

You'll gather by the shots that this was an interesting photo shoot for Sasha and I on Saturday afternoon.. We both struggled to keep our balance against the gusts of wind that came hurtling over the top of the hill towards us. We'd had words (surely not?) about what was the wind direction and where would be best to find a sheltered spot, but this was the best we could do.

If you're on the island over the next couple of weeks you're sure to see me in this again. It's a bit like an old love affair that has been rekindled and I'm looking forward to seeing what other outfits will be enhanced by this slim fitting coat. I usually wear trousers during the winter months as I always feel the cold, but the longer length and thick fur of this coat means I can wear skirts and dresses and still be toasty warm.

I found this new gold chain necklace in a charity shop last month (£3.50) and it has a matching bracelet (£3) too. I like the stones for an extra bit of sparkle and makes it a bit different to my other (go-to) chain necklace. The large ring was from TK Maxx, the other is from Sainsbury's, the dress and boots are from Zara, the belt comes from Portugal (a gift) and the black tee is a thermal layer from M&S.

I was all set to write about the pro's and con's of fake fur which would of course mean I'd have to write about real fur. But you know, we're all intelligent adults here with access to the latest information about this fashion minefield. My blogging friend Hilda put it very succinctly by saying she's pro choice, and I have to agree. It's not my place to be judge and jury about the rights and wrongs of wearing fur. Last time I wrote about it, the response was huge so do feel free to visit that post if you want to challenge your own viewpoint; Fur - fake or real read here.

I'll leave you with a very contrasting photo taken, would you believe, only four hours earlier than these others. I've been asked to take part in a magazine feature that will be published in the height of the summer which requires shots of me throughout the day, with the required accessory being a cuppa. I have only two weeks to gather a bundle of about 12 images together showing one day in my life here in the "summer", drink in hand! As I was heading off to the beach on Saturday morning I decided to take my flask with me in case the right opportunity arose. 

No-one could be more surprised than me that I managed to nail this shot. I had just been for my swim (hence not a scrap of make-up, not even lippie!) during which time the sun had started showing itself in fits and starts through the cloud cover. I quickly unpacked my kit - tripod, camera with timer and then somehow I had a perfectly stage managed moment when the sun shone boldly and click, there we have it! One down, 11 to go...

This week I'll be linking with Patti of Not Dead Yet Style.

P.S. Just in case you're worried, I'm hanging up my cossie for the next week as the temperature is due to fall below freezing even here on the sunny Isles of Scilly. Do take care on the roads and wrap up well!
Anna x

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