Frilled to bits!

Hi everyone! How are you?

Excuse the pun, but I'm frilled to bits to wear this outfit! A monochrome permutation, showcasing these rather old flamenco inspired trousers, it was a joy to pair them with the frilly sleeved blouse to create an outfit that just cried out "Fun!" and oh, what fun I had!

Four years ago I set myself the Black Trouser Challenge - see here. It was the first time I'd succumbed to black trousers since my school days and I was positively evangelical about these delightfully ruffled ones. To my amazement, the weekly challenge ran for 13 inspired weeks and looking back seems to have been very popular gauging by the number of comments each post received. 

The eagle eyed amongst you may recall that this is an almost identical take on week two of the challenge, apart from the shoes and accessories. But hey, that was in 2017, so maybe I ought not to have even mentioned it!

What wasn't happening back in 2017, was the almost daily photobombing from Nick Halliday, CEO of the island! Nick clearly is up for a bit of fun too and may well become a regular on the blog at this rate.

You know what they say, "Laugh and the world laughs with you..."

And so, to the details - trousers were from River Island, blouse was from George at Asda, belt was charity shopped, shoes by Nine West, sunglasses by Quay Australia.

Rings are both pre-loved and handbag by Bags of Time. We sell these bags at Gallery Tresco. They're upcycled from old leathers and fabrics by Claudine Sear. Jamie bought me this one for my Christmas and it's my fave bag of the moment.

I love the mixture of classy and playful that these two elements combined say.

And just when I thought I'd regained centre stage ...

... this happens! Timeshare guest and friend Mark Rigby managed to edge into the limelight that is Anna's Island Style. Neatly done, I may add, as he keeps his 2m distance!

The silver disc necklace was a purchase from M&S many moons ago and yet still looks very contemporary. 

If this is the 14th feature of these (£40) River Island trousers then that brings the cost per wear down to £2.85. Not too shabby eh?

And one final thing. On Wednesday, weather permitting, I shall be leaving Tresco for a few days on the mainland. I have three health appointments to attend and beyond that I can already feel the siren's call of the shops. This will be my first time off the island in 15 months, a scary thought for a fashion blogger who claims to be ready for a change in retail habits. My aim is to shop responsibly; to buy only what I need or can justify by way of replacements. However, I accept my quest seems almost saintly and therefore am cutting myself some slack as I have a gift voucher left over from Christmas which will see my entry in the Portal of Joy - otherwise known as TK Maxx. Wish me luck!

                                                                  Anna x


That cold north wind doth blow!

Hello again!

I've seen on the weather forecast that parts of the UK have been having snow over the past few days, brrrrrrrrr! Well, not here thank goodness, but we're still feeling that brisk north wind. So much so, that I've dug out a scarf to go with my latest outfit. I rarely wear scarves. I'm just not a scarf person. I struggle to make them part of my look; they seem to stick out at funny angles or just sit in a big lump under my chin in the most unflattering of ways. 

Yesterday however, as I was making a dash for the door, I thought I might get away with not wearing a coat if I topped things off with a cosy scarf. And hey-presto, this one seemed to work! After a bit of a jiggle and windy round thing and then a looping through thing it looked like this. Get me, with a scarf, eh? A bit of personal blogging history being made. I'd bought this colour co-ordinated gem in Primark a few years ago and of course, this is the first time I've worn it.

This is only the second time I've worn my Adidas corduroy trouser suit and I'm happy to report that I'm still in love with it. I love the colour - coral or blush or salmon pink - call it what you like. The fabric too is ace; soft and cuddly and best of all the trousers have a touch of stretch meaning that they don't bag at the knees after the first time you sit down.

I opted for black and white as my accent colours by way of this gingham blouse which ties in nicely with my white and black boots. The blouse is very old indeed, but came from Asda and has worn well. The sleeves are very feminine don't you think? My sunglasses are old faithfuls from Quay Australia.

My rings and leather belt are all pre-loved items. The handbag was a Christmas present from my son, as were the pink leather gloves in the first shot.

I love the ribbon go-faster stripes down the outside of the trouser legs. My boots of the moment are here again - white patent leather boots (by Besson) - cos they work well with this look.

And yes, the update on the camera situation is that I bought a replacement last week and here it is in action. Lora is back working with me for a couple of months and she was very happy to take my photos. I feel I may have to look into pricing up a heavy duty expanding tripod for those times when I have to go it alone. I've had an expensive month as my washing machine broke down and I had to buy a new one last week too. Sometimes life's just like that, eh?

Thanks for swinging by again. I'll be back on Monday!

Anna x


White jeans and gingham top

Welcome back!

Hello there! How's your week going? The Monday rush pushed my post back into to Tuesday, but here I am resplendent in my new white jeans. No, I've not broken my shopping ban - I've been rummaging through my stockpile of goodies that I've not worn yet. The last time I was on the mainland was February and that's when I bought these River Island jeans. I picked them up in TK Maxx where they were reduced to £16.99. I'm a late bloomer as far as white jeans go, but have ended up with two new pairs both bought out of season at bargain prices. 

Much as I like how white jeans look on others, I've always struggled with how they look on me. I've not helped myself by choosing wide legged cropped jeans as they can only serve to broaden and shorten the wearer. Oh to be six foot tall and willowy as a beanpole!

That old trick of standing sideways sometimes helps... Nah!

Anyway, moving swiftly on. I've  chosen this checkered top with frilled sleeves as partner today, adding black and white hessian platform sandals as a kind of bookend look. The blouse is years old and was a supermarket purchase from Asda at the time. It's particularly useful as it requires minimum care beyond chucking it in the wash and line drying. I've not had to iron it, ever.

I bought the wedge sandals last year in the Harrogate branch of TK Maxx for £14.99. I love the chevron sole plus the fact that they're a broad fit and therefore all day comfortable. 

I decided to pep up the look with orange as an accent colour by way of these two perspex rings (pre-loved), matching necklace (a boutique purchase many years ago) and these retro sunglasses from Topshop last year.

So this is my second week of being open to the public again and I'm pleased to say that I'm getting used to it. The islands are looking like normal again, which is great for business, but can be tricky as far as remembering that this is our first (potential) exposure to COVID19. Anyone travelling to, from and between the islands must wear face coverings for the journey and I'm seeing people coming off the boats choosing to keep their masks on as they walk around the bay past the Gallery and beyond. The islands offer a carefree, relaxed beach holiday experience and as such are enjoying a veritable stampede for bookings. I've heard that Tresco is fully booked until mid October. Hurrah! Our Tresco visitors are very grateful to be able to come back to the island and as such are happy to comply with our local safety measures and restrictions. We've seen shopping queues on TV for months and now our local supermarket has one every day too. I'm offering appointments for viewings at the gallery and am as busy as ever. Even though the risk assessment for the building is for only two people at a time I'm still managing to keep up with demand. All in all, it's good to be back in the swing of things.

                                                                                          Anna x


Boden Richmond trousers

Hi, hello, and how's your week going? I'm off-island currently but have scheduled this post for you to enjoy in my absence. Did you see my Mother's Day feature? If so, you'll have picked up on my love affair with pink at the moment. This was a workday outfit from recently when the sun was a constant for a few lovely days. 

The Boden trousers were in the sale, in fact some still are, but not this bubblegum pink version I'm afraid. Did I cause a run on them? Hahaha, maybe not! The trousers are akin to chinos in the smooth cotton fabric which has a slight sheen. The regular length is long enough for high heels, but also not too long for flats and did you notice the neat slit at the hemline? The cut is a slim, sleek fit with deep front pockets and fake back pockets. The back pockets did have a bit of extra bulk to them which I snipped out to create a smooth outline. Cue rear shot - (sorry)

Anyway, as I write this my mind keeps wandering to the next project this evening which is to pack my bags ready for leaving to go North to Harrogate tomorrow. Travelling by train does restrict how much luggage I can take, but also I have every intention of scouring the Harrogate charity shops so I need to try to create that elusive capsule wardrobe thus leaving space for all of my finds. I'm away for a week, travelling for four of those days and at the trade fair for the other three. How many/few outfits can I get by with? Wish me luck with that!

But let's talk about this spring outfit first shall we? This top does have a connection to Harrogate though, as I found it in the Asda store there a couple of years ago and it's still good as new. I love the ruffled and fluted sleeves as well as the checks. I almost added the pink trench with the checkered lining, but it was too warm to warrant a jacket. I'll maybe have to try that another time eh?

Check out this bit of sleeve action! My necklace is old, but was from M&S and the sunglasses are from Quay Australia.

The silver leather boots by Buffalo were a TK Maxx find from well over a year ago. The very high heels do restrict my gadding about nature though - I usually only wear them when I know I've got a day in the office planned. By lunchtime I had to dash to the Post Office and ended up changing into some flats. But not any old flats - these ones

They seem to be the perfect compromise of comfort and style, don't you think?

I'll leave it to you to decide which is the star piece of this outfit today. I love to have your feedback and enjoying reading your comments, so do please stop for a moment longer and get in touch. I'll be home again by the weekend with tales to tell and shopping bargains to share with you too I expect. Hope you'll come back to join me for all the latest news!

                                                                                         Anna x


Black trouser challenge 2

If you missed the start of this self imposed challenge then rewind here to see what's driving me. This week I've added another trend from this summer, the never-out-of-fashion gingham. The blouse encapsulates another two current trends, those being frills (oh, I can't get enough of these) and statement sleeves. All of this in one supermarket scoop! 

The beauty of these trousers is that they're the perfect canvas to add a playful touch to. I've combined a bit of pattern play to today's version by way of checks, stripes and the sunglasses, and yet I still feel this has a restrained look (by my standards anyway). No riotous colours or florals here, just plain ol' black and white and yet without dropping into the boring zone. Last week Samantha commented that she thought black trousers would equate to mega yawns and zzzzzzz's but how wrong could she be! These ruffled hems could never be mistaken for boring and certainly lift these black trousers out of the ordinary.

So that's my second version which brings the cost per wear down to £20. I have no idea what I'll dream up for next week, but that's the inspiring bit for me. Creating the new look, surprising myself with a random selection of pieces that somehow bond together to make an outfit. I fancy that I may take another gentle step forwards, nothing too dramatic yet. I'd really like to think that I can entice you to try something a little out of your comfort zone too. For some that may be just popping into River Island to try these trousers on in the changing room. For others, you may send for a pair to try at home so that you can play around and see what outfits you could create. Or maybe you'll just enjoy seeing me playing dress up - well that would be lovely too!

Outfit details - trousers: River Island, blouse: George at Asda (sold out I'm afraid), shoes: New Look, belt, rings and pendant: all charity shopped, sunglasses: Quay Australia.

Please note, this is not a sponsored post. 

Anna x


Gorgeous gingham

So you'll remember last month when I went to Harrogate and had a rather splendid shopping spree? Catch up here if you missed it. Well one thing that was rather unusual for my trip is that I planned to buy a specific piece that I'd seen in the magazines. True fashionistas always keep their finger on the pulse trend-wise, but my clothes shopping is usually led by whatever I come across in the charity shops leading me to walk my own fashion path. However I'd seen that the statement sleeve was the thing and decided that if I could find statement sleeves in gingham I'd be sorted. This was one trend that I wanted to follow.

The blouse that ticked all the boxes comes from George at Asda of all places. Yes, the shops are full of gingham currently and this one (see here) came in a close second, but it didn't have the statement sleeve I was looking for. I paid £12 for this lovely blouse and considering it's currently on trend and yet will become a classic over time, I think it was a good purchase. Much as I prefer to buy vintage clothing or at least shop in an eco-friendly way from charity shops, I think sometimes I have to allow myself some freedom to step away from my own confines and enjoy fashion from the wider market place. TK Maxx is a regular haunt of mine as is Office, purveyor of the finest brogues (that I can afford). Fashion should be fun and this top certainly feels good to wear, causing me to do a little shimmy on the shore.

Details - blouse: George at Asda, trousers: M&S, boots: ASOS, sunglasses: Quay Australia, ring and pendant: charity shopped.
Anna x

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