Vintage joy!

Hurrah for a sunny start to the day and the opportunity to nip outdoors in a frock! The weather here was frosty first thing on Sunday morning, but I think we got away lightly in comparison with some places in the UK where they were under inches snow. I lost no time in putting an outfit together so that I could capture some golden rays and inject some joy into my day.

This vintage dress has lived in my wardrobe for years now; I bought this piece in my favourite charity shop in Harrogate and think that may have been three years ago. I love the huge shoulder pads and the frilled finish around them, giving that top heavy look to flatter the waist and hips by comparison. The pleated insert below and the shirred elastic waist all go to make a Diane Freis dress worthy of its current price tag of around £200 (not the £25 I paid for it).

I took my lead from the pattern of saddles and equine paraphernalia and added my red vintage boots to complete the cowgirl theme. The gold link chain was from Primark and rings are preloved. The corset belt is very ancient but accentuates the waist.

The leather cowboy boots are also vintage (from the 90's) and cost me all of £10 - what a brilliant bargain! The chiseled toes do pinch if worn all day however which is probably why they ended up in a charity shop.

Red glitter tights and Radley sunglasses complete the look.

I was listening to Michael Ball on Radio 2 while I was getting dressed for these shots and it heartened me to hear him urge us to find ways to keep happy and enrich our lives during lock-down. His suggestions range from keeping a journal, taking up a musical instrument, writing letters to distant family or even just dressing up for the sake of it - oh how grand to have my whimsical hobby validated by this lovely, lovely man!

I do hope you're bearing up at the moment and beg to remind you to be kind to yourself, as much as you are to others. Getting outside once a day is a Godsend for me and my sea swimming really has come into its own this time. I'm reading a fascinating book called The Wim Hoff Method that explains the science behind cold water exposure. The book goes on to justify a lifestyle choice that I made some eight years ago when I was unwell and consequently I swam my way back into robust health. Sure, you can say that it's preaching to the converted, but for me, I'm pleased to find out the physiological changes that go on as a result of my daily swims. Maybe I'm not so mad after all!

Yes, I know that sea swimming isn't for everyone, but Wim is also a big advocate of a 30 second burst of cold at the end of your daily shower... Hey, you can't blame me for trying eh?

                                                                        Anna x


Jewel Brights, our Style Not Age challenge for January

Welcome to our monthly style challenge!

Hello and thanks for joining us again for this month's Style Not Age challenge where we're featuring Jewel Brights. It's probably no surprise to you to learn that this was my choice. Who else would be proposing these colours? Needless to say this was a joyful undertaking for me; it gave me the perfect opportunity to showcase this fabulously ornate patterned skirt that does indeed shine with lots of jewel bright colours. Enraptured though I am, I'll hold back and direct us to the other ladies of the Collective first to see what they made of this theme.

Clearly Jacqui enjoyed this theme as much as I did! She's incorporated a wealth of rich and bright colours in this gorgeous outfit. Plus, she's sporting an envy-inducing tan from her recent skiing trip! Catch up on all her latest news on Mummabstylish.

Hilda struggled (she said) with this challenge, but eventually unearthed this superb ruby red coat and toning necklace which totally fit the bill. Pop over to her blog Over The Hilda to see more.

The Style Splash Emma has truly embraced Jewel Brights with this glorious emerald green trench alone, never mind all of the other colours that adorn this ensemble. Hurrah and well done I say!

Not satisfied with the vibrancy of the satin skirt, I decided to add these red cowboy boots and red glitter tights just to get the message across - I love Jewel Brights! The skirt is from TK Maxx and the brand is Urban Gypsy (I mixed the labels up with the silver trousers from my previous post). 

The boots are vintage, no label.

I found this suede crop cowboy jacket (second hand, no label) when I was on the loose in London a couple of months ago. My friend Ben had encouraged me to buy it, saying I ought to create a Dolly Parton look. 

This is my take on his suggestion.

The rich colours and pattern of this gorgeous skirt caught my eye straight away when I was browsing in TK Maxx. I know it will work well for an opening night party at the gallery this year, so do keep your eyes peeled for that. A pair of dainty high heels and perhaps a lace blouse would be equally pretty.

The gold flower ring was a Christmas present and the other was from an airport concession.

Many thanks for joining us today. Perhaps you've been inspired to run riot with some jewel brights too or maybe pick some up when you next go shopping? 

                                             Have a great week!

                                                                           Anna x


Style or mish-mash?

Welcome to my midweek mash-up!

We none of us live in a bubble and sometimes I'm very happy to dip into the latest magazine to see what's trending or what those in the fashion know are predicting. Other times, like today, I have no fashion compass, no style road I'm trying to follow or icon I'm trying to emulate. Today is all about colour and very much harps back to my fashion motto of "Let's bin the beige and have fun with colour".  

The fun comes by way of the vibrant mixture of checks, leopard print and another pair of vintage boots - not so very different from what I wore in my last feature actually!  I didn't plan this or even notice the connection until I started putting this post together and noticed the similarities.

The season of winter coats is well upon us now; this beauty of mine is a vintage piece from Sicily. You'll have seen it over the past couple of winters no doubt, but not paired with these stretch trousers (Zara). You know how I love a bit of pattern play!

The leather cowboy boots are vintage too, bought from a charity shop in Penzance last year.

The fluffy jumper is a bit old, so much so, that I've forgotten where I purchased it. No matter, the power of the fluff is all that counts. I've layered a thin thermal top (M&S) underneath which truly signals that we're in winter now. 

Today's necklace and rings are pre-loved and my sunglasses are by Zara.

With only 20 days to go until Christmas I'm starting to look out my Christmas jumpers along with all of the sequins and sparkles I've got stashed away ready for the festive season. My recent shopping expedition to London has supplemented the cache which is very exciting. Is it too soon to be adding a glitter cardi to the outfit of the day I wonder? I'm off to check out some of my favourite bloggers to see if they've succumbed to the lure of the glitter yet ...

I'll be linking up with -
Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb
Jacqui of Mummabstylish

                                                                                           Anna x


Island cowgirl!

Yee-ha! This island girl is striding out in vintage cowgirl style. 

Yep, I hold my hands up, I've been seduced by the lure of high street fashion of late, but today I decided to redress the balance by bringing out some of my vintage favourites. The petticoat and cowboy/girl boots are both vintage buys, the petticoat from some time ago and the boots from last year. The fringed waistcoat was a hand-me-down from Sasha, originally from H&M. The dress is minus its label, but was a charity shop find I think. All the jewellery is preloved too and the sunglasses are from my favourite brand, Quay Australia.

It's totally impossible to be glum when you're dressed like this.

The boots were made in Spain, are real leather and the brand is either Moruss or Morusso (the name is partly rubbed off). The experts amongst you can get back to me on that. Regardless of the brand, I'm loving them and seem to have fallen in step with this A/W trend. I like it when a trip to the charity shop last year can ricochet me bang into fashion now. Oh, and they only cost £12!

Steve and I don't see much of each other in the mornings. He's out before it's light and by the time he comes back for breakfast I've gone to work. Lunchtime is our first time to see each other and for Steve is the opportunity to give me his opinion on the outfit of the day. "Wow, that's pretty out there!" was his comment, raising his eyebrows and swallowing down something more than just a bite of his pork pie, something less diplomatic I fancy. I shrugged, carried on making my lunch and flashed him a grin while responding "I'm owning it!" We both had a good laugh at that.

I have to tell you another funny story about this ensemble. I was just loading the dishwasher before I had to dash off to work when the plumber arrived to do some work on our heating system. I was suddenly aware of how I must look, all dolled up like this in the middle of my domestic chores. The next thought that popped into my head was of the Queen video with Freddy Mercury dressed up in drag with black wig, ample bosom, mini skirt, fishnets and heels as he was vacuuming, singing "I want to break free..." Can one ever be over-dressed while doing the housework? Surely not!

The snakeskin effect, elasticated belt is preloved too, so no surprise there then.

My passion for fashion, old or new is ever present in my daily life and for that I'm truly grateful. When I'm on the mainland I often see the beige brigade and they remind me that I would be a much lesser version of myself without colour and frills and the flamboyance they lend to my outfits. That's not to say that I think the beige ladies are unhappy with themselves. On the contrary I expect they aren't shallow like me, and are able to find happiness in much more important things. I know that beige in all its many hues can look terribly stylish on the likes of Victoria Beckham, but at my age it seems to be the fast track to becoming invisible. When I say to my readers to "Let's bin the beige and have fun with colour" I do so because I live by that mantra and it works for me - it might just work for you too!
Anna x

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