Festive Finery for November




Hello again! Yes, it's time for our monthly Style Not Age challenge and Festive Finery has been chosen by Gail as the theme. I've only recently unearthed my winter clothes which is ideal as I came across this sequinned top, perfect for the feature. Sasha bought me this from New Look as a Christmas present a few years ago and yet it's never made it onto the blog before. Nothing says festive more than a bit of sparkle, eh? So let's see what the ladies of the collective have to show us, shall we?




Gail has been shopping her closet for this lemon and lilac offering. I love the mix of maribou and leopard print that she has come up with. See more from her on Is This Mutton blog. 



 
Hilda found the perfect backdrop for her green velvet jacket, black leggings and Asos boots on a recent lunch date with her husband. Catch up with her latest news on Over The Hilda blog. 




Emma has opted for a mix of sequins and velvet like yours truly and doesn't she wear it well! The shimmering gold of jacket and boots surely say Festive Finery. See more on The Style Splash.




This red and black ensemble declares very Festive Finery that's for sure. Another dose of velvet from Mummabstylish looks very sleek on Jacqui. Do swing by her blog for the backstory.




I too have been shopping my closet for this festive look. The velvet trousers cost me all of £1 many moons ago and were then the subject of a bit of diy as I chopped six inches off the legs and then hemmed them, adding floral beading scavenged from an old vest top. 



 
I picked up the pink hue of the beading and carried that across to tie in with the brocade Asos boots (very old). I love how these boots add depth to an outfit.




The early morning winter sunshine picked up the shiny sequins and the array of colours that again tie in with the boots. 




The frosted gold rings were both charity shop finds from long ago.




I'll be back at work in the week before Christmas and am pleased to have at least one festive outfit organised for that already. Fur, velvet and sparkles are always high on the agenda for my Christmas fare. I'm in the midst of my Christmas shopping at the moment and did make the most of the Black Friday deals recently. Did you? Within the family we'll be keeping to wishlists for each other as it worked so well for us all last year. 




And finally, If you're looking for viewing inspiration on the TV, then I have to say that my latest joy is Sort Your Life Out with presenter Stacey Solomon. Dejunking is a topic I often talk about as I battle with my gathering and holding on to too much stuff. Well, Stacey and her team transform the lives of the families who are drowning under the clutter of years if not decades. I'm taking baby steps however, but following their advice to either keep, sell or give to charity and am pleased to say that I yesterday uploaded 6 items onto eBay. A drop in the ocean I know, but I promised myself not to take on any big projects over my annual leave, so am taking this at a gentle pace as it will take months to work my way through this lifetime of squirreling things away.  Wish me luck!

                                                                                                 Anna x

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Style inspo from Sheila




Hello my lovely readers! Apologies for the erratic nature of my posts recently, but as you can see from the above, summer is here and my work life is hectic with long hours and late evenings. Sales are going well at the gallery and every day brings another few familiar faces, all happy to be back on our little island paradise so I'm not complaining. 
I fancy that I make these apologies every year about now and just want to thank you for keeping on coming back as my cycle of posting becomes increasingly unpredictable.




This was my work outfit on Friday, a classic vintage two-piece by French designer Paul Mausner (1910-2001). I bought it in a charity shop in May for £15 and this is the first outing. I must admit that exhaustion of both mind and body has been evident some days with regards to my outfits resulting in me grabbing a dress, any dress, and white trainers without much thought going into it. Those days will often be the same days that I've not managed my morning swim and am therefore not firing on all cylinders. My cycle back from the beach is usually when I mull over what I'll wear to work as I consider the weather and temperature.




Anyway, on Thursday evening I finally found half and hour to visit my blogging friend Sheila of Ephemera. I was delighted to learn that she has been interviewed by another fashion blogger, Lucy Bertoldi and the piece can be heard on her podcast here. And do you know, this was just the cure for the fashion blahs that ailed me! Sheila was one of my first finds when I was researching blogs for women over 40. I've followed her for the past 6 years, being awed and inspired to be bold and colourful just as she is. And, here's a funny thing, in my mind I imagined that she had this husky voice like rich roast coffee when in reality she sounds clear and light like your favourite citrus fruit. Sorry Sheila for this strange analogy.




The next morning, refreshed by the sights and sounds of my wild and wonderful style inspo, I searched through my wardrobe for something that would lift my spirits and impress my mentor. This pale peach (polyester) suit with embroidered lapels and satin trim caught my eye and was the start of my fashion challenge. Pale nude sandals beckoned, but I knew that Sheila would eschew these, therefore so did I. The suit has a matching belt, but I wanted to change that up too. I bent down to survey the back of my shoe stash, catching sight of these leopard print pumps - perfect!




From there the rest was easy - leopard print belt and wide bangle tied the look together along with this tribal print necklace (Topshop) and leopard trim sunglasses (Radley London).







A couple of charity shop flower rings tone in well with the outfit of the day.




After a whole day at work, the outfit remained crease-free and had been very comfortable to wear. I shall be taking heed of Sheila's fashion advice to never wear the same outfit twice, even if it's simply a matter of changing jewellery or accessories.  




Another nugget from her was - Life is short, wear those clothes! Saving things for best isn't our remit. And with that I'll leave you with a twirl of pleats and leopard print. 






Wishing you a great weekend! 

Anna x

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Sparkling my way into 2021




Happy New Year!




Hello and welcome to 2021 a la Anna's Island Style! I've decided to start as I mean to go on, with lurex sparkles and wild animal print finished with these over the top yellow sunglasses. You got my memo about no shrinking wall flowers here, didn't you?




This outfit is what I actually wore to work in New Year's Eve although no-one really saw it as I had no customers at all. I packed up goods and did some admin and before I knew it, it was time to go home to celebrate with my family. It's been such a weird year that I was really happy to have an early night and just move on. I'm sure I wasn't the only one to feel that way.




The ensemble is made up from pre-loved and high street purchases from the past couple of years. The gold lurex cardigan is by H&M and was charity shopped, the black lurex roll neck is charity shopped but has no brand label, the leopard print jeans are by Zara, fave patent boots are from Topshop and last but by no means least are the new yellow sunglasses from Quay Australia which Sasha bought me for Christmas.




The gold petal ring was a present from a friend and the other jewellery is pre-loved. The cowboy belt was from H&M several years ago.




I just love these crazy yellow sunglasses. I put them on my wish list for Sasha along with a couple of other pairs and was delighted that she chose these. Wild and funky and just such a lovely cheery colour - what's not to love about them?




I've lost track of how often these Topshop cuban heel boots have appeared on the blog, but golly they've not lost their charm have they!




Many thanks to Fiona for turning up to take photos once again. Her cajoling and forthright observations make the whole thing a joy.

I'd like to send you good wishes for 2021 and hope that you stay safe and well.

                                                                Anna x

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Christmas fashion inspiration




Hello lovelies! Here I am strutting my stuff on the island catwalk aka The Flying Boat Club slipway. Fiona and I grasped our opportunity of fine weather on Sunday to show you my latest offering of Christmas dressing. 




I promised you fur and lurex and here they are together with these fabulous paisley print flares with gold thread running throughout. The bell bottoms are from H&M and are quite old, but are perfect for festive outings. These hipster trousers have just the right amount of stretch to allow an extra mince pie or two.




Velvet and fur are fabulous Christmas fabrics, beautifully combined in this second hand Karen Millen coat which I bought a year ago when I was in London. If you missed that post you can see it here. The two fabrics combine to say luxury at its best. 





The lurex polo neck sweater is old (from H&M too). It comes out every year at this time and is a real workhorse of a piece. You'll probably have noticed that polo necks are essential winter wear for me. I love the simple figure hugging lines of this kind of sweater which also provides warmth and a physical barrier against the cold. The sparkle yarn of this one lifts it out of the ordinary and works with so many separates, so you'll no doubt see it featured again this month.




I've piled pattern onto pattern with these amazing black and gold brocade platform boots from River Island (old). To say that the colour palette is rather restrained today, the overall effect still delivers the wow factor. The richness of the fabrics counter what could be read as a brown outfit and God forbid I'd be seen in boring old brown, especially as this claims to be a post about Christmas fashion inspiration!




My mirror Quay sunglasses were a gift from a friend a couple of years ago. 




Both golden rings are pre-loved.





Coming up next time will be the second hand kilt that I bought in a charity shop for £5. I'm styling that up for Christmas to add a flavour of festive fun to what might be perceived as rather staid traditional national dress. It really is just a case of our imagination being the only limitation of our style. I do hope you'll join me on Friday for that one.


In the meantime, take care!

Anna x

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Sgt. Pepper comes to Tresco




Hello again! How did your weekend go? Mine seemed to whizz by in a shot with a couple of good swims, a dash of cooking and a laundry catch up and here I am suddenly back at work. Today's 60's look is instantly recognisable, even to my dear hubby who chirped up "Sergeant Pepper" as I appeared for the photo shoot.




So, here we are, it's mid-October and I'm working hard at keeping on top of my mood by using colour therapy. The past few posts will testify that not only is it working for me, but you too, are finding it a pick-me-up. Thank you for that! I'm delighted that something so simple can change my day and make a difference to yours as well.




I last wore this Polo Ralph Lauren military jacket in the spring (see here) and it's been playing the waiting game since then and the trousers made their last appearance on the blog last Christmas (see here). I've always thought the jacket would work well with these brocade trousers, but I wasn't happy with the cut of them. They are actually men's trousers and as such are quite straight legged - or should I say they were until last weekend, when I decided that I wanted to streamline the shape of them. Every now and then I take a crazy notion to undertake some sewing and this was one of those times. It's crazy because I'm not very good at it and even find sewing in a straight line a challenge! But I turned the trousers outside in, tried them on, pinned them to fit, then ran a running stitch down the pins and finally machine stitched them. Ta-dah! The fit is much neater now and makes them much more wearable. Off to work I go!




And if last weekend's little bit of crazy was sewing, then this weekend's was counting shoes. I'm not sure why this came about, but I think it was because I couldn't find a particular pair of shoes and had to go through all of the cupboards, wardrobes, shoe boxes and tubs under the bed. At some stage I've had a comment from a reader asking how many pairs of boots I have and it must have stayed with me. Before I confess to the amount, let's take a moment to reflect on the fact that I haven't bought a single pair of shoes or boots since the last time I was in a shop, which is February. I'm on month 8 of my shopping ban and might have felt slightly smug about that had I not discovered that I possess 183 pairs of shoes and boots in total. (In fact, it's 183.5 pairs as I have one odd boot - a brand new, with the label still on boot - which seems to have come adrift from its partner somehow. My dear friend Ben sent them to me last winter and I've yet to wear them, although the chances of that are looking rather slim currently!)




Note that I don't looked in the least abashed at this excessive amount and that's probably because I'm not. Clothes and shoes, jewellery and bags are all part of my collection of finery that makes my life all the richer. I love them all, and if I don't then I get rid of them. Once I'm done with them I pass them onto charity shops so that someone else may enjoy the fun of them. I could justify my excesses by explaining how I don't smoke or drink, I can't eat cakes or sweets, crisps or chocolate, but really, that's got nothing to do with it. Dressing up is my daily pleasure. It makes me feel more me: brighter and happier with a spring in my step and hopefully it brings a bit of joy into someone else's day too - and surely that's no bad thing!




Anyway, let's have a quick run down of the outfit shall we? Jacket, by Polo Ralph Lauren, brocade trousers have no labels, but cost me £20 from the Oxfam shop in Truro (beautifully curated for a charity shop and well worth a visit if you can get to it). White lace blouse is from Zara last summer, black boots from Topshop (oops, I wore these last time!) and the red leather belt is pre-loved by Tommy Hilfiger. 




Jewellery is pre-loved and my sunglasses are by River Island, although they are rather old by now.




I love the close-up of this, showing all of the ornate details of the outfit. Sometimes my idea of dressing up might be mistaken as fancy dress and goodness, that makes me laugh!




Thanks for dropping by and thank you too if you follow me on Instagram. It's great to know that I'm inspiring you to try new things. Lovely too, to know that you're enjoying seeing the snippets of my island life. Perhaps the blog is a momentary distraction from the everyday stress of COVID-19. I hope you're coping with the latest upsurge if you live in the UK and are managing to keep safe as you go about your daily business. Wherever you are, look after yourself and come back soon.

                                                                                              Anna x

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