It's Dress Up Friday - again!

Here I come for Dress Up Friday!

Hello again and cheers for dropping by. Another Friday means another opportunity to dress up and gad about for a photo shoot. The sun shone and the wind blew, giving me a very windswept look too. I was keen to showcase this pleat on pleat outfit, but maybe not under such gusty conditions!

Both the skirt and top were charity shop buys. The top (by Alfani) was most recent and this is the first time I've worn it. The drop waist style with elastic hem wouldn't normally be my choice, but I decided to overlook that for the trade off that is the sunray pleated sleeves. The dove grey colour works well with the mint skirt.

I must admit that I love the feminine effect of this ensemble. All of the lightweight fabric moves well giving a lovely floaty feel. Not only that, but it's fit is easy-to-wear as the skirt has an elastic waist too. I wonder if I'm the only one emerging from lockdown with a waistline that seems to have softened somewhat over the past 12 weeks?

And hair, shall we talk hair? Are you rushing off to the hairdresser next week? I've recently braved the fringe trimming challenge and am snipping small amounts every now and then. Consequently, I'm going to let my hair grow until it becomes unbearable and hopefully by that time waiting lists will have shrunk to a reasonable size. I'm coming to terms with the grey colour around the temples and will see what happens about my overall colour as the summer sun and sea swimming takes its toll. So, for the moment, I'm sitting tight.

I've had these silver sandals for yonks. They came from TK Maxx and the brand is Chinese Laundry. I bought them for a cruise many moons ago and have barely worn them since. I suppose it's because they live in a box under a box in my wardrobe and have been forgotten for yonks. At least I've rediscovered them now and will keep them in mind for the rest of the summer. Silver is a lovely neutral isn't it?

Both rings are pre-loved, but perfect none the less.

My statement necklace cost me all of £6 from the fabulous Crisis charity shop in London when I was having a weekend away in November. My sunglasses are by Radley.

As always I'll be joining the rest of the Dress Up Friday crew over on Instagram if you want to check everyone out. 

Thanks for joining me and do pop over again on Monday when the Style Not Age collective will be back with our latest challenge. 

Late edit -
I'm linking with Nancy's Fashion Style this week.

In the meantime, have a super weekend!

Anna x


Weekend beach escape

Hello from Cradle Porth!

On Saturday morning Steve and I took ourselves off to the beach for a walk crossing the banks of deserted sand below Blockhouse beach and beyond. The wind was brisk, just right for blowing the cobwebs away.There wasn't a soul in sight as we dodged across the soft sand to stare out across the huge horizon towards the mainland. Like the rest of the UK, we're still waiting for the restrictions to be lifted so that the island can re-open and welcome our guests back for their summer break. By the end of the week we may know more, but in the meantime, we had one last long walk enjoying the silence and space. 

These past three months have been surreal. At first I considered the time off as a gift, but as we started to see the death rate rise, the enormity of the situation hit home. As the state of emergency has been dropped from what was a level 5 down to a level 3 three now, we on the islands are preparing for our first true exposure to the pandemic. We've been lucky so far not to have any cases (reported) within the Isles of Scilly and can only hope that by putting all of the right measures in place for these small island communities that we'll all be safe over the forthcoming months. Social distancing, hand-washing, masks and gloves will be our line of defense as they have been used to great effect worldwide. The warmth of greeting will be the same, just displayed over a distance.

These thoughts were on my mind as we stretched our legs, basking in the freedom that is island life. It's this sense of freedom that surely acts as a lure for our visitors. Scilly is all about wide open spaces and nothing says that more than a huge sky with the twinkling azure sea below and an expanse of virgin white sand without a footprint ahead of you.

So, let's talk outfits, shall we? You may recall me showcasing this jumpsuit not so long ago (see here). I've checked on the Tu Clothing website today and can't find it anymore which makes me pleased that I followed my instincts to buy it when I did. I bought the jumpsuit before we were plunged into lock-down and had already decided that it would herald a monumental change in my shopping habits. So much so, that I had decided that it would be my last clothes purchase for 12 months. I've kept this under my hat for a few months to try to keep the pressure off and also to give myself a chance to see how it would pan out. Then, within a couple of weeks of deciding on my shopping ban, lock-down was implemented and suddenly it all seemed very trivial in the grand scheme of things.

As normal life is just about to try to re-establish itself, I thought it might be timely to share this with you. And oh goodness, I do realise that for the sake of the economy we're all being encouraged to get out and spend, but I'm sure my annual spend really isn't going to make a huge impact. The Year of Less by Cait Flanders inspired me at the time of reading way back in February and I knew it was something that I'd hankered after for some time. Even though I shop mainly in charity shops with perhaps only 20% of my retail shopping from the high street, I still am painfully aware that I have more than enough clothes. Lock-down has given me the perfect opportunity to delve deep into my closet as well as under every bed and inside cupboards full boxes and suitcases. And yes, I really do have more than enough clothes to last me for the next 12 months. Advertising will try to tell me otherwise and crikey I see the irony of this coming from a gal whose defining moment in her 60th year was to be chosen by JD Williams to tout their wares, but I'll be sticking my fingers in my ears and avoiding TV ads for the duration. I've found a few charity shop buys still with labels on from previous mainland trips and these will be drip fed through the blog when I have a shopping urge.

I love the simplicity of a jumpsuit as it requires so little to make an outfit. I decided to keep within a natural palette adding a simple stretch belt (preloved) to give a bit of definition. I must add however, that the waist is actually elasticated and can be worn without a belt. 

The Converse boots were from TK Maxx last year and are great for kicking about at the weekends.

The tribal print necklace is the only dash of colour with an ethnic vibe. I bought this in the Topshop sale last summer for £10. The gold floral and gemstone ring was a Christmas present from a girlfriend and the other is a charity shop piece. My old faithful sunglasses are by Quay Australia.

Anyway, that's been a whole lot of chat for one day, so I've leave you with some shots that encapsulate the joy and freedom that Tresco means to me.

Thanks for joining me again today. I'll be back again with Dress Up Friday and hope that you can swing by then. Take care!

 Anna x


Be bold with pattern play!

Hello again!

Hi there! Did you miss me? Sorry! Life seemed to run away with me last week. I missed posting on Friday as you may have noticed. Life rarely goes to plan, as they say, but here I am again now. I'm urging you to be bold in your styling today - these complimenting prints have inspired me, helping me find some new combinations for work next week. Are you back in the workplace again? Or maybe you'll be working from home for a while longer? 

I really have no idea what I'm going to feel like when I'm back behind the counter serving customers once the island has re-opened. However, I've already decided that feeling anxious and fearful in advance will do me no good at all, and so I'm going to cross that bridge when I get to it - or better still, to use one of Polly's delightful mixed metaphors, "I'll burn that bridge when I get to it!"

Today's outfit is a mix of pre-loved and high street fashion. Sasha bought me this ornately patterned jacket (by Vial Clothes) as a Christmas present a couple of years ago, but this is the first time it's made it onto the blog. The satin floral trousers by Carolina Belle, Montreal, were from TK Maxx in 2018 and were aired on the blog last time here

The lace top is really quite old and being a charity shop find, may be very old indeed! No matter, I love its stretch lace making it an easy-to-wear fit and the cream colour is very versatile too. The ring is also a charity shop purchase.

The silver satin pumps by Kelsi add a playful touch to this relaxed look. These too are from a charity shop, but were brand new and only £8!

I fancy that the retro round framed sunglasses (by River Island) add an air of Annie Hall to this look. Do you agree? Anyway, this is outfit number one, all lined up and ready for the day job. As this is my last week at home, I'll be rushing around like the proverbial blue ar*ed fly, trying to finish all of my spring cleaning. I plan to spend some time pulling clothes together to create new ensembles for the forthcoming weeks too. For those of you heading out for your first bit of retail therapy in 12 weeks, I say "Have fun and keep safe". I've seen huge queues on TV outside Primark in major cities this morning with shoppers keeping their distance and wearing face coverings. It looks like our national hobby has returned!

I'll be back with Dress Up Friday this week - hope you'll drop by then!

Anna x


5 years of blogging - a mega post!

Thanks for joining me today!

I'm amazed to think that I've been larking around like this for five years now and still you guys are here with me! Thank you so much for keeping on coming back to follow my antics, my ups and downs, my work, home and island life all wrapped up in this twice weekly update. 

Although I'm mostly known for my colourful outfits I thought it might be good to feature a more sophisticated, elegant version of Anna's Island Style today. And nothing says elegance more than the chic combination of black and white, does it? 

The bubble sleeve jersey top was purchased in February when I was last on the mainland. Apart from charity shops, my go-to high street shop is always TK Maxx and didn't fail me in its offerings. I bought this and a white version, both slight variations on this theme and equally lovely coming in at £15.99 for the white and £17.99 for the black. This one is from By Clara Paris.

I paired the rib knit top with these off white trousers that were another bargain, this time from F&F at Tesco a couple of years ago. They were in the summer sale for £5. The material is man made, but a lovely heavy weight that drapes well and is virtually crease resistant. 

Oh how my heart soars when I see these shoes! I had them packed away for the winter until recently and goodness, how exciting it was to rediscover them. I bought them in TK Maxx and the brand is Nine West. The elasticated band of black contrasting beautifully with the white leather pointed toe, plus the fact that they are all day comfortable put these in my all time top ten pairs of shoes.

The tartan clutch and rings are all charity shop buys. My black and white sunglasses are long time faves from Quay Australia.

So that's the outfit of the day, but what about the past five years? I've spent some time looking back through both my photos and blogs from this time and my first observation has to be about my personal appearance. I don't mind the ageing aspect, but it's probably no surprise ('cos I'm a woman and afflicted by the vanity gene) that I hanker after my slimmer self of five years ago. Oh golly, how I hope I knew how slim I was at that time! I certainly had an air of happiness - hopefully that was because I knew how nicely my clothes hung due to the lack of back fat, soft waistline etc. 

From July 2015, see that post here.

Another July 2015 post here.

This outfit was from September 2015 and you can see the post here. I was only five months into my blogging dairy and Polly was my photographer of that time. Oh happy days! Oh skinny days! My most popular post of 2015 can be viewed here - it's called These arms. Do you remember it? I might have been dismayed at the less than perfect arms on display below had I not written the ode to those limbs the previous year.

The votes are in and a travel post is the most read feature on my blog for 2016 - you can see that feature here. I must admit this vintage designer ballgown is one that I have such fond memories of wearing. I can't recall if Steve and I danced that evening, but I certainly floated on air all night long. 

The most popular blog post of 2017 was in response to my radio debut with Johnnie Walker on Sounds of the 70's. I've only listened to this once and can't bear to again as I sounded high as a kite! The beach shot above is from another popular feature, Ping Pong Piece from July 2017 - see it here.

In 2018 I turned 60 and tried my hand at modelling, namely with JD Williams. The Christmas campaign was one of three I did with them and was my most read feature that year - catch it here. 

2019 brought a challenge of very different kind when I decided to swim around my island home of Tresco. The resulting post was my most popular one of the year - read about my crazy escapade here.

And so, here we are half way through 2020 and thus far, my most popular post of the year is Escape from storm Ciara as featured in my February post here

I do hope you've enjoyed this whistle stop tour of the past five years of Anna's Island Style. If you're new to the blog, then this may provide a wider viewpoint of what may initially appear to be a fashion blog, but the brushstroke is broader; effectively it's my online diary. 

And finally, a thank-you to my readers, old and new, for without your feedback, emails and stats I wouldn't be able to gauge how I was doing. It's as much a pleasure to share my island life with you now as it was when I started five years ago. Will I still be blogging in another five years? Who knows. But in the meantime, thanks for joining me on my colourful journey!

                                                                            Anna x

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