September Style Not Age challenge - All dressed up with nowhere to go.




Hello and welcome again to our Style Not Age challenge where this month Jacqui chose the theme "All Dressed up with Nowhere to go!". Our interpretations of this are all delightfully different so I'll linger no longer and share what the posse chose.




Jacqui's outfit has graced a wedding and an anniversary which is no surprise at all. The dress is classy and stylish and yes, is begging for another outing I would say. See more on her blog Mummabstylish.




Gail's spin on this was more along the lines of "All dressed up with no office to go to" which is as sharp as her outfit. I love the mix of office smart and sassy after-work outing that speaks volumes about her idea of good work/play balance. Catch her back story on Is This Mutton blog.




Emma from the Style Splash has also opted for a lace dress for this challenge. I love the vibrancy of yellow which works so well with the russet accessories. 




Hilda is stepping out in a dress from LK Bennett with a brand new Zara jacket from two years ago that still is waiting for its debut - we all know how that goes don't we? See more from her on her blog Over The Hilda.




As you can see, I took this month's suggestion very literally, marooned as I was on Ganilly sandbar on the low tide last Sunday. There's surely no place that says "Nowhere to go" more than here. 












My mermaid coat seemed an obvious choice for this castaway shoot. I do love how this shimmering jacket catches the sunlight and said to Steve that I could easily waft about in it every day of the week. It's the most glamorous piece in my wardrobe with fabulous powers of transformation - oh how gorgeous it makes me feel!





The pastel shades remind me of the inside of an oyster shell. I felt in my element to be dancing and gadding about across the deserted sandbank, swooshing this way and that. Our only companions were the various seabirds who cared not a jot for my antics.




It's taken me a year to fulfill this desire to showcase my shimmering coat here on this sandbar.  In fact, it's my third photo shoot on this desert island beach this summer - see the others here. If you have another moment to spare you can read the post about St Martin's from last summer when I espied the heart shaped white sandbank appearing out of the receding tide. I'm such a romantic soul and loved the notion of showcasing this spot in a totally tropical photo shoot.




We were very lucky to find the right moment to take these shots, Steve and I. This was one of he biggest tides of the year and to have it fall on a Sunday in the middle of the day was perfect. We had spent a couple of hours on Nornour island, just a little way away from here waiting for the tide to go out and reveal the sandbar at its largest point. During that time we had a picnic as we watched several little boats and kayaks appear and disappear from the shoreline. Bang on low water Steve saw our opportunity to take sole ownership and off we went. 




We had picnicked on this little spit of sand on Nornour island, one of the Eastern Isles. The helicopters and planes fly across these en route to the Isles of Scilly. If you every spot our boat moored up as you fly into the islands, I'll be that crazy little dot on the sand waving to you.






To some, this may look like a little cool bag, but it did in fact contain my ensemble for the shoot. The pleated dress and sequinned coat both rolled up to fit inside without creasing - and they were kept dry too!




This beaded dress was from Monsoon and was a happy find in a charity shop a few years ago. I've worn it for gallery exhibition parties and love the fact that it doesn't seem to crease, no matter how badly I pack it. Talking of which, today (Sunday) is phase one of my clothes change over. Stripping the summer clothes out of my wardrobe will be the first step and then I just hope to bring out enough outfits to last the first week at work. Next weekend, I'll delve a bit deeper. It's always tinged with sadness to pack away my summer clothes. Summer is my favourite time of year.




I was particularly pleased to come across this rose coloured necklace which echoes the shape of the scales of my mermaid coat. Necklace and rings are all pre-loved. The rose gold bangles are: one from the Barbican shop and the other is by Kate Spade New York, bought in Singapore airport en route to New Zealand about 5 years ago. 




My blue tinted Quay Australia sunglasses seemed to be the perfect pair for this maritime shoot. 




Sunlight and reflections abound on this sparkling location. I'd like to say this was an staged shot by my creative director, but Steve confessed it was an absolute fluke.




As we left the stunning sandbar nature took over once again as seabirds and seals reclaimed their homes. We, and all of the other adventurers, had enjoyed escaping to this oasis of calm for a short while before the tide turned and moved us on.






My thanks go to Jacqui for creating this opportunity for one final beach day before the weather forces us to bring our boat up for the winter. It was a great style challenge - one that really captured my imagination. 

Update 
Apologies to my long term readers and also to the Style Collective - it seems that old age has set in with me. I've showcased this coat 18 months ago during one of our previous monthly challenges. I completely forgot - oops! 


                                                                                Anna x

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Two summer jackets (in autumn)




Hello there! At the time of writing it's blowing a gale outside with torrential rain battering against the windows which makes this seem a rather odd feature to be posting, but I've been promising this for days, so here we go. So far I've managed to get photos of two summer jackets and still have two more waiting in the wings, however they may have to wait until next year.




I was particularly pleased with the pairing of jacket and dress in this outfit. I love the stripes of colour echoed in each even though the patterns are different. The colours too work really well together. It's a real match made in heaven.




It's the first time I've worn the jacket (the brand is Divas) and it's a neat fit with discreet zip up pockets and zip front. The dress is by Per Una and is a perfect summer weight in linen with fitted waistband and inverted pleat creating a generous skirt and those lovely pockets making it a sure fire winner. The v neck kept me cool and the pretty pleating added a bit of style in what could have otherwise been an overly simple frock.




The dress, jacket and rings are all pre-loved pieces which just goes to show how second hand isn't just the green option, but can be a colourful and stylish one too. The necklace is by Drift jewellery one of the brands we stock in the Gallery. I collect Tresco sea glass from our beaches and send it to Fiona, the maker, who turns it into one-off pieces for us to sell. 




The Primark petal sandals have jewelled centres. I've had these for a couple of summers now and goodness, they're so comfy!




The second summer jacket is showcased just a day later in what was a real dose of pea-souper fog. It disrupted flights, delaying departures and arrivals with some guests not moving to or from the island at all. Fiona and I decided to go ahead, aiming for that atmospheric shot ...




The pre-loved jacket is by River Island. It's unlined, but has pockets and again this is its first outing. I seem to collect jackets as that handy item to finish off an outfit. I'm quite formal on the quiet, despite my efforts at rebellion sometimes. When I'm being smart, a jacket is the finishing touch and yet is easy to discard when it gets too hot.




The Topshop orange satin trimmed top is also pre-loved and very well worn by me. The off-white trousers were from F&F at Tesco many moons ago. They are great wash and wear trousers requiring the minimum of ironing to look sleek and smart. 




Comfort and style are combined in these glorious embroidered trainers by Replay, bought in the Harrogate branch of TK Maxx last spring. They certainly do draw lots of compliments every time I wear them. 






The shopping my closet theme continues with my jewellery too. Both rings and the tiny seed pearl necklace were all gathered along the way over the years. Vintage and second hand are always more interesting to me. 




And so here we are bang into autumn with fog, rain and gales. My newly found jackets look like the only place they're heading is into a suitcase along with the rest of my summer clothes. The big clothes change-over may be coming sooner rather than later...

In the meantime, I've got one more summery outfit coming up on Monday for our monthly style challenge with the posse from the Style Not Age collective. Our theme for September is "All dressed up with nowhere to go". It'll be no surprise to you if I say that I took this one rather literally! Do swing by on Monday to see what that might look like.

                                                                                                Anna x

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Summer jacket no. 1



Hello again and thanks for swinging by! 

It's half way through September and I'm on a mission to show you four new-to-me summer jackets that I've never worn before. Shame on me for hoarding these for so long! Anyway, here's the first of four. I was drawn to it because of the patchwork fabrics as well as the colours and patterns. It's such a cute little jacket and the first time I wore it was last weekend on a jolly jaunt to the beach. Steve and I cycled to the south end of the island to stretch our legs and get some photos for the blog - a two for one morning.






The outfit was built around the jacket, a lightweight cotton piece which I found in a charity shop in February.





Sorry about the blurry shot. I've never heard of Foul Fashion, so I did a search for the brand and had to laugh when I found a similar jacket, classed as suitable for fancy dress or hen party! Not that it'll stop me wearing this. I think it's great fun and all the more so when I came across this (pre-loved and unworn) long sleeved top (by East) which was lurking in the back of my cupboard. They look great together, don't you think?




I love the floral print and turquoise colours that tie both top and jacket together beautifully. My stretch jeans are from Tesco, a few years old now.




These satin ribboned Puma trainers have really come into their own this summer. They're perfect for being on my feet all day long and after a quick cycle in the washing machine come up good as new!




Today's rings are both charity shop finds, in keeping with the shopping my closet theme of late. 




Good ol' faithfuls, my Quay Australia sunglasses.





Check out the fabulous colourful lining of this too!




The back of the jacket is just as fancy as the front!




My next quest is to find a block colour shift dress from my closet to go underneath this for work. I surely have one of those don't I? In the meantime, I'll be looking at those other three jackets, trying to find some new outfits to go with them. It's 7 months since I last visited the shops and I've surprised myself how easy it's been to shop my closet instead. Are you inspired to give this a go?

                                                                                 Anna x

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I've got that Friday feeling!


Hurrah, it's Friday!

Thank Crunchie it's Friday! Wow, what another busy week I've had. It's all downhill now to the weekend! Anyway, here's today's offering from my closet and yet another new-to-me piece to share with you. This lovely yellow blouse (another boat neck) was a charity shop find last year and yet this is the first time I've worn it. The brand is Tu at Sainsbury's and it cost me all of £3. Increasingly I'm finding how much I like yellow and how it really does give me a mental lift. I'm drawn to the yellow and orange hangers in my wardrobe, especially if it's a dull day and I'm fighting the blahs. Dull days do have that effect on me.




The fabric is a lightweight cheesecloth weave with these pretty sleeves and boat neck making it light and easy to wear. It's been very hot at work lately, and I'm finding that loose tops help me from overheating. (Wearing a mask all day is certainly raising my temperature too, that's for sure!)




The jungle print skirt was another second hand piece, this time the brand is River Island. It's a synthetic fabric, silky and light too. I love the big roomy pockets for that slouchy, casual feel - perfect for that Friday feeling!




I don't often wear earrings and that's because I don't have pierced ears. As a teenager I had my ears pierced, twice in fact, but both times they went septic despite the Dettol dousing as suggested, so I finally allowed them to close up. Every once in a while I come across some good old fashioned clip-ons. These beaded ones were bought from a friend who sells vintage jewellery. 




I've had these comfy yellow sling backs for years now. The toes are beginning to show wear and tear, but I'll be keeping them for as long as they hold together. I bought them in the Topshop sale many moons ago - too many to recall in fact. They are fake leather and buttery soft with it.










My sunglasses are old, from Tu at Sainsbury's. The striped perspex ring was a gift from my friend Wendy and the other was a charity shop piece. I just want to say that despite not shopping now since the start of March (in fact the last time I went shopping was actually February, but I had an online purchase in March), anyway, I've really surprised myself how I've not missed shopping at all. In fact, I've been amazed at the number of new-to-me items that are loitering in my cupboards and closet that have never yet seen the light of day. I'm trying hard to showcase these pieces before my seasonal change-over. Summer jackets seem to be abundant and I'll be featuring the first of these on Monday.






And that's just about it from me. Have you any plans for the weekend? Steve and I will be keeping an eye on the weather, ever hopeful that we'll get away for an outing on our boat. The house is however, showing terrible signs of neglect and also signs of the fact that my sea swimming regime is back on track. If only I could clone myself, the other version could be the stay-at-home housewife who kept everything spic and span while I worked during the week and had fun at the weekend! Who knows - in some future realm that may well be the norm...

                                                                                  Anna x

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