Out and About, our December Style Not Age challenge

Suddenly it's the last Monday of the month and we're back with our Style Not Age challenge - this month Hilda chose "Out and About" as the prompt for our outfits. I, for one, am happy to have a reason to cover up after consuming too many Christmas calories!

Hilda looks very snug in her cosy coat and boots (both from Primark) paired with these trendy camo leggings from F&F. Catch her full story on Over The Hilda blog. 

Emma from Style Splash looks stylish as ever in her mini skirt and fur jacket, topped off with that adorable hat. 

This tangerine jacket adds zing to Jacqui's ensemble of loungewear and heels for a look that takes her anywhere. See her back story on Mummabstylish

Gail's spin on this month's challenge is very cool - her velvet coat and faux leather Spanx leggings are an interesting mix of textures along with a dash of red to enliven the look. See more on Is this Mutton blog.

Some months I find the outfit to be the challenge, but this month it was the weather that proved to be the battle. None of my usual photographers were available either and so I was up against it time-wise when I set out with tripod in hand to find a spot out of the wind between the showers yesterday afternoon. I donned my much loved vintage woollen coat and set out in search of a sheltered corner.

I thought this backdrop would have been acceptable, but this gust of wind just about knocked my top-heavy tripod over. I managed to grab the camera as it headed downwards and decided to cut my losses and move on.

A big black cloud was looming towards me here...

...but before it hit I popped my buttons open to reveal my new Christmas sweater. This fuchsia cashmere sweater ticked all the must haves by way of colour, warmth and snuggle appeal - all from M&S (see here). Some of you may recall me saying that I'd given a very specific wishlist to my nearest and dearest this year, mainly because I'm still on my 12 month clothes shopping ban. This pink cashmere jumper was on my hubby's list. I paired it with some stretch jeans (ideal for that post-Christmas tum) by Curve Appeal, purchased from TK Maxx last year.

This rather fabulous bag is by Claudine Searle who creates bags from recycled coats and leather pieces. My son bought me this and the pink leather gloves. How very satisfying this new chose-your-own-presents idea proved to be. We all agreed to this new plan and it resulted in everyone getting useful as opposed to unwanted gifts. Hurrah!

The beaded wooden necklace was a Christmas present from a girlfriend who knew nothing of my Christmas colour scheme, but clearly knows me very well anyway. My rings are both very old. Sunglasses are by Quay Australia.

My Chelsea boots are by Office, but again are not new.

I'll be back at work again today like so many others, but it's been great to have some downtime with the family. All the frantic preparations and stresses seemed to melt away when we finally sat down together for our Christmas Eve meal. This year, more than ever, we counted our blessings for our life here on this tiny, remote island. That very feature of remoteness seems to have kept us safe this year, resulting in the Isles of Scilly being the only place in England to remain in Tier 1. However, the lure of Scilly is so great that a family from Tier 4 were apprehended by local police as they arrived by plane into the islands just before Christmas. Within the hour they were on their way back to the UK mainland from whence they came. You'll excuse me if I call them selfish. It's this cavalier, "It's not me", behaviour which could result in an outbreak of the virus within our tiny community, a community where we have no provisions for caring for the very sick in large numbers. Our tiny cottage hospital has no ICU or respirators and we have limited NHS staff within the islands. We consider ourselves more vulnerable than most. 

On a lighter note, I shall endeavour to showcase my "What I would have worn on New Year's Eve" party outfit in my next post on Friday. I've yet to decide on what level of sequins and sparkles that'll be, never mind the kind of weather I might have to contend with for some outdoor photography!

                                                                     Anna x


Vintage winter coat and cowboy boots

Hail showers and stormy days are still with us on the Isles of Scilly meaning this winter coat is as useful as ever. The bonus feature of it has to be the rich colours which would cheer up any dull day.

On my recent trip away I found these amazing cowboy boots in the vintage section of a charity shop in Penzance for £9.50. They're real leather, made in Spain and are hardly worn. The moment I saw them, I thought they'd go perfectly with my woollen winter coat (as well as so many other things in my wardrobe). 

Black jeans and checked shirt emphasise the cowgirl look and I picked out some red and black accessories to pull the outfit together. The belt is by Tommy Hilfiger (from TK Maxx), the red and black ring and necklace are both from charity shops and the silver and gold ring by Emily Nixon is the one Steve bought me for my birthday last month.

The day looked deceptively bright here, but the wind was hurtling along the beach towards us as Sasha and I tried to take these shots. I took cover behind the wall but the gusts whipped around us and played havoc with my hair.

This was my Donald Trump moment.

Seconds after this the hail started again ending our photo shoot. 

I just want to end with a note on sunscreen and moisturiser. Since turning 60 I'm (somewhat belatedly) questioning what order these ought to be applied and if it's even necessary to apply both. Well, I can only say that if you Google the question there are so many trains of thought that it left me baffled. I can see the importance for daily sunscreen protection and wear sunscreen from the word go as I head off for my morning swim. After my swim and shower, I'm now applying facial moisturiser with factor 30 sunscreen which seems as if it might be the right compromise. 

And finally, since writing this last paragraph I did a further search which advices to allow your skin 30 minutes of exposure to sunlight every day without sunscreen to avoid vitamin D deficiency. Ought my 30 minutes outdoors on the beach be my skin's time to receive the necessary daily dose of vitamin D? Or do I simply take vitamin D in supplement form?  I'd previously read that we in the Northern hemisphere are generally deficient in vitamin D. You can tell this is all as clear as mud to me. If any of my readers can point me in the right direction for some sound advice on these subjects I'd be really pleased to hear from you.

In the meantime, have a great week!
Anna x

Created by bo design