Christmas fashion inspiration

Hello lovelies! Here I am strutting my stuff on the island catwalk aka The Flying Boat Club slipway. Fiona and I grasped our opportunity of fine weather on Sunday to show you my latest offering of Christmas dressing. 

I promised you fur and lurex and here they are together with these fabulous paisley print flares with gold thread running throughout. The bell bottoms are from H&M and are quite old, but are perfect for festive outings. These hipster trousers have just the right amount of stretch to allow an extra mince pie or two.

Velvet and fur are fabulous Christmas fabrics, beautifully combined in this second hand Karen Millen coat which I bought a year ago when I was in London. If you missed that post you can see it here. The two fabrics combine to say luxury at its best. 

The lurex polo neck sweater is old (from H&M too). It comes out every year at this time and is a real workhorse of a piece. You'll probably have noticed that polo necks are essential winter wear for me. I love the simple figure hugging lines of this kind of sweater which also provides warmth and a physical barrier against the cold. The sparkle yarn of this one lifts it out of the ordinary and works with so many separates, so you'll no doubt see it featured again this month.

I've piled pattern onto pattern with these amazing black and gold brocade platform boots from River Island (old). To say that the colour palette is rather restrained today, the overall effect still delivers the wow factor. The richness of the fabrics counter what could be read as a brown outfit and God forbid I'd be seen in boring old brown, especially as this claims to be a post about Christmas fashion inspiration!

My mirror Quay sunglasses were a gift from a friend a couple of years ago. 

Both golden rings are pre-loved.

Coming up next time will be the second hand kilt that I bought in a charity shop for £5. I'm styling that up for Christmas to add a flavour of festive fun to what might be perceived as rather staid traditional national dress. It really is just a case of our imagination being the only limitation of our style. I do hope you'll join me on Friday for that one.

In the meantime, take care!

Anna x


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


Tartan and fur for that festive feeling

Hurrah, Christmas cometh!

Hello again my dear readers. I suddenly find myself on that crazy roller coaster ride that is the countdown to Christmas. I have a mixture of joy and panic flipping inside my tummy currently. Yes, I bought a lot of presents, but no, I've not checked if all the festive food menus are going to work out. This weekend I'll be nipping to St Mary's to have my hair cut and check out the last of my to-do list at the shops. How about you? Are you making progress towards the big day?

I've rolled out one of my favourite Christmas looks today with my teddy bear spruce green fur coat supported by a very healthy dose of tartan (or plaid for my readership across the pond). I'm terribly partial to bit of tartan which probably has something to do with being Scottish I suppose.

My beloved tartan boots were from M&S last year.  I must admit that my skirt and boots together remind me of my clan tartan.

This is Kerr tartan, the fabric of my clan. I wonder if this was worn to battle hundreds of years ago?

The only battle I was facing was with the driving winds, but that was a small price to pay for this stunning backdrop across the harbour at New Grimsby over to Bryher.

So, the outfit comprises of the fur coat by The Vintage Collection which came from TK Maxx last year, tartan skirt and black polo neck are both pre-loved and black cotton rich tights are from Tesco's. 

This has to be my favourite black sweater. I love the figure shaping ribbing plus the gilt buttons lift it out of the ordinary. Wash after wash it seems to hold it's shape beautifully. My necklace was a charity shop find, silver and black rings are one pre-loved and one from many moons ago.

My thanks for today's photos go to my lovely friend Fiona who gave up her lunch break to gad about with me looking for the right backdrop for our shoot. I hope you've enjoyed another peek at my island home. Have a great week and I hope to catch up with you again soon!

                                                                                    Anna x


Baby it's cold outside!

Snow is a novelty for those who live on the Isles of Scilly. In fact it's nine years since the last occurrence and so you could imagine the excitement today as the skies grew heavy with snow clouds. Initially there were just a few dancing flakes, but as the day progressed the islands disappeared in full white-out and snow settled on the ground, thick enough to make snowballs and even a snowman or two were built.

For some of the local children this will be the first snow they've seen in their lives.

If it's cold enough for snow, then surely it's cold enough to showcase my red fox fur again. I took these shots last month and was hoping to air them before spring overtook me. And here we are, as huge swathes of the are UK under snow I feel it's perfect timing.

I've gone with a casual styling of honey coloured jeans and striped roll neck sweater giving a simple counterbalance to the luxury of real fur. 

The top ring is quite old (from East) and the bottom one was charity shopped.

The final touch of glamour comes by way of these Michael Kors ankle boots, bought in TK Maxx a couple of years ago. The pale nude leather is supple yet soft and the elastic gusset ensures a snug fit. Yes, the heels are toweringly high, but I can still walk in them.

See? I walked all the way from one side of the balcony all the way across to the other before I had to sit down. Once I got my breath back, I got right back up again and walked all the way back!

I realise that my blogging friends across the pond won't be mightily impressed at the light dusting of snow on the road in front of my gallery, but hang fire - we may have more to show by tomorrow. The West Country is forecast to have heavy snow by the end of the day and you can bet your bottom dollar I'll be out there taking some shots if it comes about.

For those of you who really are experiencing blizzard conditions, do take care!

Anna x


Leather and fur

Hello again! How are you settling into 2018? Made any New Year's resolutions? I've not. All too often I set my sights on new goals and promises of improvements and then feel bad when they peter out after a few weeks. 

This year I'm taking a new approach to life. Gratitude is the way forward I've decided. We're constantly bombarded with images on TV and social media telling us what we need and how we ought to look to achieve happiness which, in my opinion, only causes us to feel disgruntled with our lot. Instead, I'm counting my blessings for all that I have.

What do you see? A crazy Scottish woman? Or a joyful soul who has started her day with a positive activity that enhances her well being? After my swim I always take a moment to give thanks for the opportunity to swim safely, to reconnect with nature and revel in the sights and sounds of the big outdoors. Never do I feel more alive than at this moment.

This was the view from my kitchen window just a day later...

It's almost a year since I bought these leather trousers (from TK Maxx) and yet I've only worn them a couple of times. I suppose green leather joggers (yes, real leather) aren't that easy to slip into the everyday.

I've been so keen to feature my new sock boots, but have been finding it difficult to put the right outfit together. Every time I came to do the photo shoot, my perfect pair of jeans seemed to be in the wash. I must speak to the maid about that. Anyway, these joggers were my next item of choice.

One thing that does seem to be an everyday item for me at this time of year is the turtle or polo neck sweater. I always feel chilly, (maybe something to do with that cold swim in the morning?) and rely on a high neck jumper to keep me cosy. I came across this version in Primark and proceeded to buy the same one in grey and black too. Primark is brilliant for basics like this.

The little fur gilet is a hand-me-down from my daughter and is the ideal length for this get up. I'm wearing my much loved Vivienne Westwood pendant (a gift from my husband) and the rings are both charity shop finds.

The fur coat was another TK Maxx find, by The Boutique Collection and has been a wonderful addition to my winter wardrobe. My thanks must go to my dear friend Ann who encouraged me to try this on when we were shopping together in London in October. She spotted it while we were browsing the aisles in TK and insisted I try it on. I had my eye on a huge furry coat in baby blue, but it was very over sized and just swamped me. Ann prompted me to try the green, "So your colour!" and she was right. I love it and can see it will be a Christmastime favourite from here on.

I recently read about the gratitude jar; you write one blessing from your day and pop it inside. The best part of this is to have it to call upon when you're feeling low and need a reminder of all of the joys in your life. A simple but effective way to give yourself a lift. 

Best wishes until next time!
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

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