Kimono My House, our SNA challenge for July

Hello and welcome once again to our Monthly Style Challenge where my friends and I all take turns at choosing a theme. Gail has opted for Kimonos this time, resulting in a lovely variety of styles and colours. Mine is more of an overshirt, but that's mainly because kimonos are few and far between in my wardrobe. Let's see how the four fabulous fashionistas fared, shall we?

Summer is here, according to Jacqui! While the rest of the country is besieged with showers, Jacqui is ready to hit the beach in this beautiful all-white outfit complete with lace kimono. See her backstory on her blog Mummabstylish.

Hilda is showing the local shoppers how to do it in style in her fabulous paisley patterned kimono over her white trousers and mules. Catch up with her news on Over The Hilda blog.

Canary yellow trousers and blue patterned kimono make for a colourful offering from Emma this month. Her eclectic mix comes from the high street, eBay and charity shops to maximum effect. Read more from Emma on the Style Splash blog.

Gail's palette in more understated in soft turquoise, lilac and white. This elegant look comes from the high street aka John Lewis, M&S and ASOS to create a soft summery feel. Find out more on Is This Mutton.

My outfit comes from Number 36 in Penzance, a small boutique that I frequent when I'm on the mainland. The shop is small and beautifully curated to offer unique pieces in fine fabrics, usually holding only one of each style and colour to ensure clients find something special. The prices are good too, given that you end up with an individual garment or outfit that you know won't be seen elsewhere. My white linen trousers have a Made in Italy label as does the cotton kimono/overshirt. 

I'm wearing a white vest top and stretch belt to finish the look off, along with a pair of silver and white sandals. White sunglasses are obvious touch for this summer inspired outfit, although summer is playing hide and seek currently.

My silver and glass bauble necklace as well as both my rings are pre-loved from charity shops over the years, and the stretch belt is ancient, from good old Dorothy Perkins.

Apologies for my absence last week. 5am starts and bouts of insomnia are both taking their toll on me at this time of year, resulting in a mini-burnout situation. I'm trying to take things easy on the home front as that's the only area I can step back from currently, which means minimal amounts of after work chores, including admin. Thank you once again for being there, for coming back to read the blog and for your lovely comments which mean so much to me. I'll finish off with a shot of my back garden and the glorious agapanthus that are in bloom. 

Have a great week!

Anna x


Sheer maxi over palazzo pants

Hi there! How's June for you? Are you enjoying sunshine or are you, like us here, having a mixed bag of weather? So here we have Saturday's work outfit, a new mash up, not seen previously and worth showcasing here I thought. 

I struggled with end of day fatigue and was also trying to people-dodge around teatime to find the right backdrop for the earth tones of this ensemble. Green was a good contrast, but the road looked a bit scrappy with these weeds.

This was a good jewellery shot however, so let's start with that today. My friend Maggie gave me this fab shell and chain necklace for my Christmas and somehow it ended up at the bottom of my jewellery box until recently. It was from Zara of all places! My rings are both old and sunglasses are from Radley London.

My second location after the Great Pool was the road overlooking Appletree Bay, which even on a low tide looks lovely. And so to the outfit - the nutmeg trousers are a silky fabric and I bought them last year in TK Maxx, fully expecting to wear them over the festive period, but never did. The sheer maxi dress is by Zara, but was a charity shop scoop for a fiver! The white vest top is a brilliant basic, seen often on the blog, and is from H&M (wish I'd bought a couple of them as the quality is really fab and they wash very well). The stretch belt with leather clasp is very old, from Principles. 

My third and final location is on Saffron Cove offering shades of green as well as white sands to provide the perfect backdrop. I'd been lurking about, waiting for everyone to go home at the end of the day and finally had the beach to myself. How spoilt we are to expect such luxury even at this time of year! 

I'd had a couple of compliments on this outfit which is good as I wasn't sure if this was very me. A few years ago I might have been happy to wear it without the sheer overshirt, but now I'm in my mid sixties, well my arms resemble anemic dimpled blancmange. Maybe a bit harsh, but depressingly true. I'm working on them though with a touch of fake tan supplemented by lifting weights to try to stop the decline.

Moving swiftly on, the daisy bejewelled sandals were from Amazon last year. They're super comfy as well as being very pretty. They have an elastic strap at the back making them easy to wear all day without any discomfort. Pardon me if my age is showing so much in today's post!

It took me almost an hour to find my perfect spot, but it was worth it, with photos taken and time to sit and chill, enjoying the view and looking forward to having a couple of days off. Thank you for joining me and hope to see you again soon!

                                                                                       Anna x


Summer in September?

Hello and how are you this fine weekend?

So the question is, can it still be summer in September? Well, when the sky is as blue as this, then I say yes! I was keen to share this outfit with you before I cave to the pressure of autumn fashion. The white linen skirt with embroidered silver and gold dots (by M&S, preloved) has languished in my closet for the past few summers but is rarely given an outing. The yellow top is rather ancient (picked today for those raised dots which tie in beautifully with the skirt), maybe also M&S, but definitely preloved. Today's look came about because of the introduction of the rather swish little jacket which I finally purchased last month after seeing it on three separate occasions over the summer. 

The leaf print jacket is by Heyton at TK Maxx. Each time I saw it, I asked myself if I needed it. Note I say needed, not wanted. I'm trying to reign in my hoarding tendencies, not because I really want to, but simply because I don't have room for much more in my summer wardrobe. My hangers are jammed side by side with barely an inch of movement between them all and my tops, sweaters and trousers are piled high in towers that demand the gentlest of handling lest they will topple over. Clothes are my passion, my addiction and blogging somehow helps to justify this. Please don't judge me.

I crumbled and decided to buy the jacket on the third occasion as it had been reduced to £15 which really did seem to be a bargain for this navy lined, perfectly fitting cute little number. The shape fits my frame well and I particularly like the shorter length sleeve. I seem to recall reading somewhere that the wrist can be a great focal point, particularly for older women - that seemed to be a bit ageist, but still stuck in my mind.

Some of you may think this to be a fairly sober ensemble for me, but sometimes I do like to wear a conservative piece to which I add my own twist - the gold sandals here for example. It's good to underplay things one day as more often than not I find it feeds my imagination for the following day. The blog post coming up next time is the perfect example of this. Today's jewellery goes like this: necklace - gift from Sasha, frilly ring by Emily Nixon, broad gold ring  is preloved, rose gold watch is by Michael Kors, and let's not forget my so-perfect-I-seem-to-wear-them-every-day-sunglasses by Quay.

So you can see the metallic dots on the skirt much better here which were what informed my choice of sandals. Kitten heels or courts might have been more chic, but adding a bit of quirkiness was what I was aiming for. 

And finally, further to my news about my modelling job with JD Williams I'd like to share this link with you to the website. Over the summer months I've dodged back and forth to the mainland for casting sessions, wardrobe fitting and finally filming and throughout it all I've tempered the whole thing with the idea that my contribution would end up on the cutting room floor (such is my lack of self belief). A friend stopped by the gallery yesterday to tell me I was featured on the website as "one of the stars" of the "I AM" campaign. Pinch me, I think I'm dreaming!

Anna x


Summer equals white linen

I say that Summer equals white linen, but the fact of the matter is that despite owning many pairs of white linen trousers and three white linen skirts I don't often wear any of them. The only reason you see me in this outfit today is that the British heatwave gave me the confidence to wear these wide legged crops as I felt safe in the knowledge that the weather wouldn't change. It's my worst nightmare to be caught wearing weather inappropriate clothes - think rain mac in the sun, sandals in the snow and worst of all white linen trousers in the rain. 

Yes, that there big shiny yellow thing in the sky has liberated these preloved trousers giving rise to much fun and laughter while Polly barked orders at me. "Stop talking", being the most frequent request. Seemingly no-one looks attractive mid-chat, especially me I think.

Because I rarely wear white linen this ensemble was thrown together at the last minute once I'd come back from my morning swim. It was literally a case of looking for a top that had white in it too and this floaty little number caught my eye. I picked this up not in a charity shop, but here on the island a couple of months ago when I was in charge of the "Cheap chic " stall at Tresco Fun Day. I don't normally like wearing things from the island as I feel awkward at the idea of someone I know seeing me in their cast-offs. But then it occurred to me that I had donated boxes and boxes of my clothes to this event and what if everyone thought as I did? Instead I decided that someone might be pleased to see that their recycled item was going to be cherished by me and maybe even featured on the blog.

Here's the Cheap Chic finery on display on the day.

And this is Anna, one of the local ladies having a browse.

Accessorising my outfits is always the fun part and today's was particularly joyful to find this bangle which is heaven sent and rings that are tonally perfect too, all preloved of course!

Everything including shoes is preloved today, apart from the sunnies which I bought in Accessorize recently. Did I really need another pair? Does day follow night?

I'll leave you with a little jig, a tiny boogie, a wee dance to start my day.

Do feel free to stop me and say Hi if you're ever on the island and see Polly and I in this morning ritual.

Anyway folks, I'll wish you a Happy Wednesday and do hope you have a fab day! 
Anna x


Summer is here!

Yes, I know I may be tempting fate, but for the moment, summer is here and I'm embracing the heatwave that has us under its spell. Time for a summer dress then and this linen one (preloved) is from M&S. The candy colour stripes caused Steve to remark that I looked like an ice lolly! He said more than that but as we're U rated on the blog, I'll gloss over that.

I fancy that the dress hasn't been worn much as the linen is very crisp and the colours are strong too, hinting that it's not gone through the wash many times. It's a size too big for me, but the side zip gives it a good slim fit which helps and even though the top is a bit roomy, it's not gaping around the armholes or showing too much cleavage. My standard trick of adding a belt works a treat to pull the slight bit of excess material together which I then distributed evenly around the back.

My statement piece of jewellery today has to be this fabulous pendant which is made from sea glass that I found only 50 metres from where I'm standing. About once a year I spend an afternoon gathering sea glass from the beaches and send it off to one of my jewellers, Fiona Petheram, who then tumbles it and turns it into jewellery for me to sell in the gallery. This particular piece of glass is an unusual lilac colour and when I found it, it was a big disc that may have been the bottom of a bottle before it got smashed. I requested that Fiona turn it into a necklace for me and the resulting piece is beautifully smooth to the touch and is still quite weighty. Check out Fiona's website Drift here.

I've picked out the red, black and pink hues of the dress to match my rings to (preloved) and the bangle was a birthday gift a few years ago. My old favourite Quay Australia sunglasses are gradually becoming apparent again after a period when they were replaced with my all new and improved ones. Favourites are favourites - what can you say?

I bought these sandals from Deichmann last summer (all sold out now, I'm afraid). Anyway, I thought the colours worked well with the dress. What I had forgotten however, is that by lunchtime my poor feet would be swollen in this extreme heat and I'd have to change them for something more comfortable. Enter stage left these pretty and comfy sandals -

These sparkly leather beaded sandals were from New Look maybe last summer, perhaps the summer before. What I'm really saying is for you not to go looking for them as they're old stock. I suppose they might be found on eBay though ... Whatever, they are super comfortable, nice and broad fitting too, so I had a really lovely afternoon of beetling about with no pinching toes or even having to think about my feet at all.

Have a great weekend!

Anna x


...and the second one

Following on from Friday's post I said I wanted to show you another summer outfit and this is it. Somehow this splendid orange and fuchsia ensemble was overlooked in the flurry that was July, which I can only put down to the fact that our summer exhibitions had me on the run.

Nothing here is new, but that doesn't mean it's not worthy of showing. I've had the skirt for yonks, maybe more than 10 years and I think it may have come from Dorothy Perkins. I'm one of those sensitive skinned types who always snips the labels out at the first sign of an itch. Not much good if you're a blogger with a poor memory though!

The handbag was a charity shop find from last summer I fancy - a perfect match for today's outfit.

These sandals are pre-loved, but couldn't be more a more perfect match for the skirt, don't you think?

And this'll be me singing as I do my spinning around.

The clothes chaos still continues at home this weekend as I do battle with far too many boxes and suitcases that have been evacuated from Sasha's bedroom now that she's home again. I must have gradually taken over every cupboard and wardrobe of hers, but done it so slowly that I didn't really notice. Under her bed offered a wonderful space for storage too, so you can imagine the bedlam that remains as she is now tidily ensconced in her rightful place. So today I will continue with my seasonal changeover and hope to pack up what's left to stash in the loft. With my summer clothes neatly stored away I will be forced to look to tweeds and brocades, brogues and boots, fair isles and fluffy sweaters, gilets and jackets, furs and coats for my inspiration. I'm sure the transition into autumn will be much easier when I actually find some suitable pieces to wear. I've already come across a pair of cowboy boots that have sparked a rather fabulous autumn look - see that later on this week.

Outfit details - skirt: Dorothy Perkins, shoes: Laundry by Shelli Segal, top by M&S, handbag: no brand, sunglasses: Sainsbury's, all jewellery either gifts or pre-loved.

Anna x

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