Dressing to boost your confidence




Hello again! It's great to have your company, so thank you for joining me. Today I want to chat about what makes me feel confident, clothes-wise. It's not an easy thing to feel happy in your skin all the time and I certainly have periods when I struggle with the person I see in the mirror and how I feel about what I see. I think we've all had such a tough time of late with the less-than-normal life we've been subjected to over the past 20 months. For some we may have struggled with our mental well-being and for others it's been a battle to keep fit and trim when our lives were in lock-down with all its restrictions. With life still being far from back to normal it's understandable that our self confidence has taken a knock. Covid19 has a lot to answer for!




For me, confident dressing boils down to wearing clothes that make me smile. At the time of purchase when I try on a new item of clothing if it makes me want to do my happy dance then it's a winner. Whenever I'm felling bit low then I always make a bee-line for bright colours to lift my mood. My mood and self confidence pretty much go hand in hand; they both rocket up and down within the same scale. If I feel a bit lacking in body confidence then my go-to remedy will always be to pop on a dress as it can hide a multitude of sins. A loose fitting dress that skims over tum and hips can be a real confidence booster as well as making you feel very feminine. See the maxi dress I wore recently here. It's already a mainstay for work. 




Another new joy in my life is this Joe Browns Timeless Tea Dress, a perfect everyday dress for any time of year. It's currently on sale so do follow the link to grab yourself a bargain! I'm delighted to finally showcase this crochet cardigan by Karen Millen as I've been waiting for the perfect partner and here it is. I found this beautiful rust and brown and sludge green zip cardi in a charity shop a couple of years ago for the ridiculous price of £2.50! Layering is the best way to extend the life of what may be thought of as a summer frock; you could even add a thermal top underneath for a bit of extra of warmth. The tea dress is indeed a timeless classic and a real winner when created in such a pretty pattern with this warm palette of colours; green, orange and pink lend themselves to all sorts of happy mixing and matching. I've worn the dress previously with a long orange v neck sweater over the top which left the collar peeking above the neckline. A polo neck could be worn over the frock for warmth with a stylish twist. 




This is a new coat I was also gifted by Joe Brown's - it's called the Statement Checked Coat and does live up to it's name. Beautifully shaped to flatter the figure it's gem of a piece for the winter ahead. It ticks all of the boxes to make me smile and raise my confidence. Bold in pattern and bright colours mean it's a cheery find when I open my wardrobe. It's a good length for keeping the nether regions warm and also looks great with trousers. Of course, I'll show you that another time.




The big collar is perfect for keeping out the chills without the need for a scarf (I always seem to forget mine) and it's all the prettier for these flower shaped buttons. The check coat and floral dress team up so very well thanks to the harmony of green and orange in both. I do love a bit of pattern clashing and yet this is hardly a clash in my view.




Another of my confidence tricks is to create an outfit in my personal style; what particular style will definitely depend on my mood of the day. Quirky, more often than not, but other times I'll be channeling my rock chick or a touch of hippy chic or even an elegant, stylish and very grown up version of myself. I love to be a chameleon; to change up an item again and again is a joyful challenge for me and makes for an interesting life. And the easiest way to make a strong style statement is by adding accessories. Mine are more often than not from charity shops which serves my purpose well, bringing together items from all sorts of sources as well as different fashion eras. The belt, perspex rings and necklace are all very old and from vintage or charity shops. My sunglasses are from Radley London. Mixing old and new is a simple way to create a unique style and that makes me happy. We all want to be seen as individuals after all.




A bright belt draws the eye to the waist, a good indication that today I'm not suffering from tummy bloat or feeling too wobbly around the mid section. That may have been helped by the fact that only an hour previously I'd had my first sea swim for some time (howling gales have prevailed of late). I'm delighted to say that it wasn't too cold at all which was a lovely surprise. I was basking in the afterglow, the result of submersion in a calm, silky sea during a break in the clouds. It's totally life affirming, but I'm sure I've told you that many times before!




I've only recently purchased these Asos wet-look boots and must admit that they too make me smile. In my teens wet-look boots were soooooo in fashion and here they are again. The platform sole helps to make the high heel more comfortable and golly, how I love with them! I knew that they'd work so well with my new Joe Browns clothes - it's the main reason I bought them. 




I'm on a gradual clothes clear out currently and although I'm featuring quite a few new items here it's all part of my master plan. The clothes excesses are going, leaving only pieces that I love, and that goes for all of today's outfit. The gathering over the years of clothes that I thought would be useful or might come in handy - well, that's what I'm going to be turfing out first of all. Likewise anything that doesn't fit. I can't hope to lose weight forever nor hold onto things that are too big either in case I need them again. No, life is about today and my clothes have to be what works now. I'm working on creating a clothes collection worthy of my happy and confident self. My best me is who I want to be which starts with clothes that reflect my state of being. 

My coat and dress were gifted by Joe Browns but all comments are mine.

                                                                                                 Anna x

Share:

Adidas trouser suit




Hello lovelies! Life rarely goes to plan and yes, I've still not managed to do my autumn/winter clothes changeover, but have mustered up this offering, my workwear from yesterday. The other promise of a round-up post has also fallen by the wayside, but it'll make an appearance at some stage. Disorganised is my middle name at the moment, but I hasten to add that's only on a personal level; work has mushroomed, including the three full days it took for me to pack up all of the art from our local pub, The New Inn, this weekend. The pub is undergoing a total refurb this winter and it fell to me to pack up the art collection and put it into storage for the duration. The back fire exit has a wooden staircase with 15 steps, below which was the container to hold the collection. I can testify that each time I ascended the stairs I ran up them - every single time. What a workout that was!




My salmon pink corduroy trouser suit is a great bit of transitional dressing. It's a heavyweight fabric that's cosy and comfy too, but decidedly smart. The trousers have a touch of stretch and very deep pockets - fab! I decided to jazz things up a bit by adding leopard print shoes (old from Office) and my Paul Costelloe handbag. 




The light was amazing yesterday morning when I took these shots on New Grimsby quay. Huge cloud formations were causing the sun to appear and disappear from shot to shot. 




My 60's vintage shirt is by Mark Roberts and was a find from a couple of years ago and maybe not seen on the blog previously. The white leather and silver belt is another charity shop find.




My gold chain necklace is from Primark (old), rings are pre-loved and jazzy yellow sunglasses are by Quay Australia.




So, the thought has just occurred to me that it's only a week now until the gallery closes and I take a month's sabbatical - sounds so much better than holiday or annual leave eh? Anyway, during that time there'll be no need for fancy work clothes at all. The pressure is off therefore to drag these out this weekend. It might make better sense to have this as one of my projects to do while I'm off. I'd really like to do that whole trying everything on and clearing out what doesn't fit or, more importantly, in the words of Marie Kondo, Spark Joy. As a clothes hoarder I acknowledge the need to delve deep and clear out from time to time.






Aside from the clothes sort out, I plan to read lots, swim every day on the high tide and clean my house! Oh my goodness, isn't that always the first thing to go when you're pushed time-wise? Every day when the postman opens my door to drop the mail onto the mat, I just want to apologise to him for the lack of hoovering once again! As usual, I'll also plan to factor in some down-time, but I seem to be hopeless at that too. Guilt at lying around watching movies during the day haunts me. But I'll be making a stab at chilling some way or another. I'd like to get back into my winter walking again and am sure Fiona will be keen to join in that again. All in all, I'm really looking forward to having a break from work. Work hard, play hard is my motto and it'll be great to have a go at the latter.

                                                                                      Anna x

Share:

October Style Not Age Challenge




Hello again! Yes, it's the last Monday of the month and that signals our Style Not Age Challenge again. This time Hilda has chosen Cosy Autumn Coats as our theme which seems to have turned up all sorts of lovely offerings. Mine is a bit lame I'm afraid as it's not exactly cosy, but still rather lovely even if I say so myself.  I'll spin my excuses later, but let's dive right in and see what all of my style sisters have come up with, shall we?




Jacqui is wearing a very sleek black quilted coat from M&S. It's my idea of a heavenly winter coat, ideal for cosying up in. Catch her backstory on Mummabstylish blog. 




Emma's Style Splash is also sporting an M&S coat, although hers was an eBay bargain for £10! I love the leopard print collar and would be very happy to add this to my coat collection. 




Gail's velvet military style jacket is from Joe Browns, paired with a velour skirt from Hope, giving a very sumptuous look. M&S brogue boots add an edge to the outfit which I love! See more on her blog Is This Mutton




Hilda wears a super Michael Kors coat from TK Maxx that has a fur trimmed hood to keep cosy against the chill winds. See her full feature on Over The Hilda.




You'll have seen my KEW 159 coat before and I had hoped to have something much more cosy for this challenge, but honestly my life is like a whirlwind at the moment! I've still not had time to do my clothes changeover this week and do wonder when that will happen. I'm scheduled to work all next weekend, so goodness knows when I'll find the time! Anyway, this is one of those transitional outfits where my Topshop lightweight dress has been given the seasonal treatment by adding a long sleeved thermal layer underneath, plus some thick tights creating a warm under layer. 






I've found that another clever way to keep cosy is to add a belt which traps warm air around the middle. My olive green studded belt was a gift from my friend Bo in Portugal. I'd admired this and a black one when I was last there on holiday and lo and behold she sent both to me as presents! My rings are both pre-loved and the dark green pearls are very old but much loved. Blue rimmed sunglasses are by Radley London.




We're still basking in some glorious golden autumn weather here on the islands which is probably how I'm still getting away with not having any autumn/winter clothes to hand. 




My mint green Office brougues are quite old now, but I'm still very happy with them despite the odd scuff or two around the toe area. Less than perfect is fine and is surely a sign of being worn and loved.





Yup, can you believe the size of this stick insect? I've no idea what kind it is, or even how common or uncommon this fella is, but it was a lucky break to stop here for my photo shoot and capture him. Details on the back of a postcard please.




Many thanks for dropping by again. I do hope you've enjoyed this month's challenge. I'll be back soon and plan to share the last bit of boating fun that Steve and I managed to squeeze in while the fine weather held out this month. Boating fun and some swimming news - how does that sound? Hope to see you soon!

                                                                             Anna x

Share:

Bonus days




Hurrah for these last few bonus days of golden sunshine and calm weather that we've had here on the Isles of Scilly. Tresco is still buzzing with holiday makers, especially now that we're coming into half term time meaning that the island is busy as ever. I finished work at 4pm the other day and instead of tackling the behind the scenes jobs and mounting admin, I opted to lock up promptly and head out for a walk in the late afternoon sunshine. It's ages since I've been up to the two castles and thought they would afford good light for a photo shoot too.




Up here at the top of the island is a fantastic opportunity to get a 360 degrees vista of the islands. King Charles Castle sits at the entrance of the channel between Tresco and Bryher islands and was build as a fort to protect the north end of the island. However, the site was too steep too be practical and was superseded by the Star Castle on St Mary's which held a better location to protect the islands from invading forces. 




To the north in the background you can see Round Island Lighthouse which is no longer manned but is still operated remotely to keep the shipping traffic safe from the surrounding rocks and reef.




Out in the east, I knew that Brittany Ferries ran from Portsmouth to France and Spain but had no idea that they passed so close to the islands. 




Looking west towards Shipman's Head on Bryher and the big Atlantic ocean beyond.




And so, on to the outfit of the day. Transitional dressing is still the theme, whereby I've not pulled out any of my autumn/winter clothes and am trying to get by with clever dressing. These fabulous corduroy dungarees have been perfect for the past couple of weeks when it's been chilly in the morning but warmer by lunchtime. I bought them at Enjoy Clothing in Truro and every time I wear them they attract lots of compliments. The colour is fab and the fit is wonderfully relaxed and easy to wear; slouchy and yet still okay enough for work. 




The neon top works so well with the ribbing of the corduroy, don't you think? The high neck is again, cosy for the mornings, but being short sleeved is still cool enough when temperatures rise. And neon is making a big comeback at the moment isn't it? I do like it when fashion and my wardrobe collide like this. My blue plastic rings are both charity shopped and sunglasses are by Quay Australia.




My grey platform trainers are old, but hardly worn. I bought them online a few years ago from Zara and even though I didn't totally love them I couldn't be bothered to send them back. Anyway, they've come into play this summer which alleviates the guilt somewhat.




It was a glorious afternoon; peaceful and calm away from the hubbub of the village. 




These cannons are defending Cromwell's Castle which is below King Charles's Castle. 






And looking south down towards St Mary's and St Agnes. Golden light, the best for flattering my pale skin tone!




As the sun started to drop in the sky I made my way home along the coastal path. This beautiful big gin palace appeared and moored up between the islands. We don't get many visiting boats coming into the islands after summer, but the spell of calm had surely brought this latecomer. 










A couple of hours spent outdoors had done me the world of good. The pressures of work have held me hostage for far too many weeks over the summer months, but at least I can feel things beginning to ease at last. As we drift into the winter I plan to take a month off work with no real aims or goals at this stage. I need to recharge my batteries and what better place to do that than here.

                                                                                          Anna x

Share:

Animal print jumpsuit




Hello again my lovelies! Today sees the start of my transitional dressing - that tricky time when the weather fluctuates during summer and autumn or winter and spring causing havoc with one's outfit choices. Last weekend I had big plans to do my seasonal wardrobe changeover, but life as they say, rarely goes to plan. It was our Ruby anniversary (yes, 40 amazing years of marriage) and although the celebrations were decidedly low-key, I still couldn't find time to do the deed that needed to be done. One thing of note from the weekend was the arrival of my long-lost friend Caroline who was my accomplice on our Thelma and Louise adventure which brought us to Tresco 43 years ago. We had a few catch up sessions together, visiting the site of the Island Hotel where we spent our summer working together and we also had a lovely sea swim at Cradle Porth followed by tea and lots of reminiscing. Happy days!




Anyway, on to the outfit of the day. This animal print jumpsuit is on sale on the ASOS website currently (see here). I've had a small trickle of new purchases recently for which I'll make no apologies. Each new item has been actioned by a moving out of something old to free up space in my closet. If I had time to spare I'd be selling these things on eBay, but for the moment I have no such luxury. 




As you can see, the main feature of the jumpsuit is the wonderfully wide legs. It looks like a maxi dress unless you make exaggerated poses like this. The fit is relaxed with a v neck and button front. The loose fit is perfect for layering a thin thermal top underneath for this time of year, easily whipped off if the temperatures suddenly rise during the day.




Made from 100% viscose, the fabric is drapey and elegant. 




For those of you who have been following the pink trouser suit saga - well the suit arrived, but turned out to just be a jacket in one material and trousers in another meaning that the colours and fabrics were too different to say trouser suit in my book. And so the search continues. I fear it may be next summer before another rash of pink suits hit the market.




Rings in neutral tones were both charity shop finds from a long time ago.




Retro sunglasses are a few years old, from River Island and the necklace is positively ancient, from goodness knows where!




Very soon I'll be packing my Puma white trainers away in favour of white patent boots, although my black patent boots will work fine with this ensemble too.




I'll finish with a couple of anniversary shots from my Instagram page. This was Steve and I in the pony and trap on our way to the wedding reception at the Island Hotel in 1981. We were married on St Mary's and our guests had endured a rather bumpy boat trip after the ceremony, some of them loosing their breakfast along the way. 




And this is the painting I bought for our Ruby anniversary. It's by Lizzie Black, one of our popular artists at Gallery Tresco. See more examples of her work here. These are the Blockhouse Cottages at Green Porth. Steve spent most of his childhood living here and we also had our first year of marriage at Blockhouse no.3 while we waited for work to be completed on our home at Cliff Cottage over at New Grimsby. The row of cottages is due to be rebuilt over the next 12 months, so it's good to have this as a reminder before construction begins.

Many thanks for joining me again. I'll be back after the big clothes changeover and hope to have found all sorts of inspiring clothes to share with you. 

                                                                    Anna x

Share:
Created by bo design