My signature colour - July's Style Not Age challenge

Welcome to another Style Not Age challenge!

Suddenly it's the last Monday in July and time for this month's style challenge. Where has this month gone? Since returning to work three weeks ago I've fallen back into that crazy headless chicken mode again. In fact, it's as if I never had all of those months on furlough, getting on top of chores and making home a place of order, tidiness and calm. Now it's back to the chaos that seems to come with normal working life. But hey, let's focus on the challenge of the month - My Signature Colour. As you can see I have opted for a veritable rainbow of colours as I have no single one that is my signature. We'll have a closer look at the outfit in a minute, but first let's check out the rest of the Style collective to see what colours they chose.

Jacqui from Mummabstylish is bit like me, not able to choose only one colour, instead she's opted for this pretty pink and blue patchwork dress that she picked up in the Next sale.

Style Splash's Emma is a big fan of red and is sporting this fabulous creation by Dark Pink from Asos with co-ordinating shoes from M&S.

Blogger Gail from Is This Mutton has chosen lilac as her favourite colour and how very flattering it is! I do love the pink accessories too Gail. 

Hilda says orange/red is her colour and this looks stunning on her. She's recently had her hair coloured and it, and she, look great. Catch up with Hilda on her blog Over The Hilda.

I'm never happier than when I'm wearing bright colours and this look has it all! The Jaeger skirt is a vintage piece, pre-loved of course and a much loved favourite of mine. 

The net underskirt gives body to the skirt and add that bit of pizzazz that I so love. There's nothing understated about this outfit today, but sometimes I'm just larger than life!

The white ruffle blouse is by Jovonna, a find from TK Maxx last year and perfect for this over the top bit of dressing up. 

Much as I think the skirt and pop art shoes are perfect together...

... by adding this handbag it takes the outfit to a whole other level. It's pure riotous assembly in colour and yes, represents my signature style colourwise. 

The handbag has no label and is a charity shop find from my November shopping trip in London with my friend Ben. My rings are both charity shopped too.

A show-off outfit deserves show-off sunglasses and these old favourites are just the job! In case you've missed them before, the brand is Quay Australia.

Steve and I had an interesting time when we did this photo shoot last weekend. Within a minute of leaving the house (which is actually exactly here in this photo) the heel of my shoe came apart from the sole. In true the show must go on style, Steve bashed said heel and squeezed it back into place so that I could walk about (albeit gingerly) for the shots.

The heel came off the other shoe almost a year ago so I posted it to the cobblers in Truro to have it mended. And then when it came back, a funny thing happened. I had lost its partner. As it sat on a book shelf during the winter I kept looking at this beautiful solitary shoe mocking me for having paid £30 to have it repaired and now it seemed that it would forever be a showcase piece with its wearing days a thing of the past. I even put it out of the way at one point, annoyed at my stupidity. I questioned the chain of events. Had I just thrown the partner away when the shoe broke as I was appalled at the quote to have it repaired? The shoes had cost me £8.50 in a charity shop in Harrogate, worn only once before and now it'd cost me £30 to have it fixed? Yes, clearly I'd been so cross that I'd chucked the other one away in disgust. From time to time throughout the winter I'd come across the single shoe and get all excited that I'd found the other one. Only it wasn't! And then when I was unfurloughed I was digging through a pile of boxes at work and hey presto! The partner was in a shoebox under some files. So here's another £30 gone as I have this one repaired too. Man these shoes aren't quite the bargain I thought they were!

                                                                                   Anna x


Friday means dressing up!

Hurrah, it's Friday!

Hi there! How are you? I'm ready for the weekend, aren't you? I worked right through last weekend, getting the Gallery cleaned and prepped for re-opening on Monday and it's great to be back. I've loved seeing all of the familiar faces of our regular visitors, and it's also good to have that sense of control that working gives too. I'm offering viewings by appointment only and in between times am trying to catch up on the admin as well as unpacking the new artworks being delivered. It looks like this summer will be hectic as ever. The great thing about that is that the days simply fly by - in fact I can't believe it's Friday already! 

Steve and I took these photos a couple of weeks ago and already I can see how my hair has become much more unruly since then. I'm at the stage of having to wash it much more often so that it looks presentable. Have you been to the hairdresser yet?

I'm taking part in the Dress Up Friday feature again this week, but decided to opt for this much loved and pre-loved trouser suit for a change. I adore the deep midnight blue colour and it's also got massive deep trouser pockets and oh goodness, I do love a deep pocket! It's a man's suit, hence those pockets and the reason I have to roll up the sleeves - but hey, that salmon pink lining looks okay revealed doesn't it?

You'll remember seeing these shoes last Friday (see here) when I wore them with my colourful vintage frock. From Primark these babies cost me £5 - I just can't help bringing up the price of these bargain beauties!

My other feminine addition is this heavily beaded top (from Next). Like lots of my clothes it's a charity shop find and actually came in under a fiver! It even still had the dry cleaning label on it. One or two of the longer beads were loose, but it only took a few stitches to repair and now it's good as new. Sunnies are by Quay Australia.

Today's blue rings are recycled too.

Are you back at work again now or are you still working from home? I must admit that I did love to have the focus of Dress Up Friday when I was at home. Searching through my wardrobe, trying on clothes and finally taking the photos was all a great reminder that there was more to life than just housework! I'm a glass half full kinda girl however and did love my time at home, becoming more domestic with every week that passed. Already my house is looking a bit neglected and forlorn. I plan to have a big blitz on Sunday, although if the weather forecast is correct, we may have high pressure about to bring a sunny spell our way. Gardening may well take priority in that case.

Thanks for joining me again today. Do leave me a comment if you like the outfit or even drop me an email if you want to chat - it's great to have your feedback.

In the meantime have a super weekend!

Anna x


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

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