Let's have fun with colour!

My motto is "Let's bin the beige and have fun with colour" and it's never been more true than with today's outfit. The marriage of orange and cerise are the perfect antidote to our recent weather.

I'm wearing another duvet jacket today - this one came from China, via my friend Rachel. I love the colour (obviously), the shape and the buttons which have a sharp, oriental style.

I found these funky psychedelic tights in a shop in Truro called Enjoy. It's full of all sorts of retro gear and is also my go-to shop for fancy dress clothes.

What a relief to be outside again after that trial I had with my indoor shoot a few days ago. It was quite funny though, and I did like giving you a bit of a chuckle at my efforts. The big outdoors is what works for me, so I'll be trying to fill my draft box whenever I get a decent spell like this. I've paired my favourite orange with cerise today to get this candy colour delight, throwing in these eye-popping 60's tights just in case I was in danger of taking myself too seriously. I do like my clothes to verge on the faintly ridiculous sometimes. I'm a bit of a clown and I like to make my friends and family laugh even if it's at my own expense. I think being a fashionista can still be fun.

The run up to Christmas is all about glitter and crazy cartoon jumpers but I'm holding off from that for a few days more. It's not that I don't want to wear them, just not quite yet. In fact, the search for the perfect party outfit is still on with only days to go until the island bash on Saturday. I'm still trying decide on whether to wear a maxi or a knee length dress or the midi I showed you on Sunday here. I have a dark green, heavily beaded shift dress that I wore to my 40th birthday party (makes it vintage now I think!) that I might wear with some new satin shoes in a floral pattern of orange and purples which would look great. Then I have a multi coloured maxi skirt with gold thread running through it which I could top off with a simple cashmere cardi. And finally there's the peach strappy chiffon number that's intricately beaded with a matching shawl...I had intended to capture these on screen the other day, but hey you know how that story goes already.

Anyway, here's a quick round up of today's offering. The jumper is by Compliments, a brand I've not come across before that came to me via a charity shop. The orange skirt with pink trim on the pockets is from Boden and was good money well spent as I've had it for years and it still looks good as new. My long sleeved top is one of many from M&S in their Heatgen thermal range - I have so many of these as they are a perfect winter base layer; not bulky in the least, slim fitting and available in so many colourways and patterns too. And my beautiful silver brogues are from Office

Linking today with
Elegantly Dressed and Stylish


Party season and the pitfalls of indoor photography

This isn't a how-to post, more a personal insight of my difficulties in moving from outdoors photography to indoors. We're starting at the end, where the camera flash finally worked and the backdrop was uncluttered enough not to distract.

This was a mid light problem where the automatic flash refused to work and left me in this murky twilight zone.

 I felt the lighting was gloomy using the overhead light.

Too much daylight overhead was a challenge for my camera too, as I couldn't seem to get a sharp focus.

And this was to be my perfect indoor location, but my temperamental auto flash wouldn't co-operate, aaarrrrhhh!

Maybe this light level is OK?

But trying to get the camera to focus on this pattern was a bit of a problem though.

The party season is upon us meaning lots of sparkle and bling and trying on of last year's party dresses to see if we can justify a new one. Well, that's what I've been up to this weekend. My photo shoots normally take place outside in daylight, but wild winds forced me indoors and this proved to be quite a challenge for my all-singing, all-dancing camera. I'm sure my wonderful camera knows what to do, the problem is in the operator - me! I've only recently started using the timer with tripod, and am just about getting to grips with that, but incorporating the flash with timer has been a bit of an issue. And just to compound things, I had problems locating my perfect backdrop. The spot I thought would be ideal was the one place where the flash wouldn't fire which was so frustrating. I had this master plan of revealing three party outfits today. My thinking was that my fellow bloggers might give me their opinion as to what to wear to the big island bash on Saturday. However, two hours later I admitted defeat and this offering is what I've managed to pull together.

Trinny Woodhall of "What not to wear" fame, was in the newspapers this week giving women styling tips, one of which I must admit rings true with me. That being, women should think of their body type, not their age when chosing an outfit. I wear this shape of dress to work often and love the simplicity of it. Even though it's very slim fitting, the long sleeves and round neck feel demure allowing me to show of my curves without looking too flashy. Although that doesn't quite hold true with this silver geometric print version which really comes into it's own at this time of year. I bought it from TK Maxx a couple of years ago and have worn before it on New Year's Eve. Our annual island party is a big gathering at our local bar and restaurant and covers all ages from across the entire island. It's a great excuse to dress up which I know most of us will be embracing. In addition to this one I have two knee length dresses in the running, but also two maxi skirts and one maxi dress as well, so I'm far from decided. All I can say is that by this time next week I'll be hoping to show you what I wore on the night (providing my camera doesn't play up!)

One final word about underwear. Bodycon dresses really need clever and comprehensive underwear not matter what age you are. With this dress I'm wearing an underwired bra topped off by a brilliant all-in-one which starts at mid thigh and gives smooth cover over hips and bum, tum and waist all the way up and over the back leaving the bra front uncovered. Don't make the mistake of buying magic wear in too small a size (they always seem to be very small in sizing) as it will just make you bulge and push lumps out at the extremities. It needs feel comfortable too, so you want it to contain, but not be so tight you want to take it off after the first 20 minutes.

Dress, shoes and tights: TK Maxx. Clutch: boutique (unknown). Necklace: Dorothy Perkins. Brooch: gift.

This week I'll be linking with
Not Dressed As Lamb
Not Dead Yet Style
Elegantly Dressed And Stylish
Kremb de la Kremb


Fake fur, frills and tartan

The British weather is in the news lately thanks to the recent storm which blew across the land dropping record levels of rain onto the North of England, leaving thousands of families homeless after the floods. I can't begin to imagine the heartache of this, never mind in the run up to Christmas. Here on the islands we've suffered much less rainfall, but constant gales have been sweeping over us for days on end. My camera and tripod haven't been out for well over 10 days which is when this was taken. If I'd known what was ahead I would have spent the entire day filling my draft box with outfits!

I'm proud to say that today's offering is made up entirely of pre-loved items. All purchased at different times from different sources, each element is a joyful find. The retro patchwork leather boots cost me £20 in Exeter and have buffed up beautifully. The tartan skirt a la Vivienne Westwood came from eBay, as did the faux fur bolero. And the gorgeous russet blouse is from a charity shop in Truro along with the stretch belt. My sister Sandra found this wonderful necklace in a charity shop on Orkney (I think she's enjoying coming across trophy pieces for my blog too).

I'd like to take a moment to say thank you to all my followers for joining me every week to chart the progress of this my island fashion blog. To those I know, hello and I look forward to seeing you again soon, and to those of you across the world who don't know me in person, but who may be getting to know me through the stories and events I share, hello to you also and thank you for coming back time after time. I love to chart my audience, to see it grow and see new countries being added where I have viewers and imagine the people on their phones and at their computer screens. And finally thank you to the newly discovered world of fashion bloggers - this community has been warm and welcoming to me, giving me feedback when I thought no-one had the time to chat. I've had my moments of doubt about running a fashion blog. Am I a fool to show how vain, shallow, needy and narcissistic I am? Or is this type of thinking just a by-product of living in a small, insular community? I think that may be so. And then I take a look at all the other blogs out there, and I can see the pleasure in doing something entirely harmless, see this dialogue that's non-political, non-religious, a hobby that's inclusive for the ordinary, which shares and brings happiness into so many lives, creating new friendships across the globe. Thank you to all who have joined me on this joyful journey.

Anna x


RIP Mary Jane's

You may recognise the photography style as a bit of a blast from the past - yes, Polly was at work here. This post has been tucked away in my draft box ready for, well, today I suppose. 

Instead of my signature riot of colour the theme today is pattern - paisley print tights, jungle print skirt, animal print blouse and the over the top frou-frou patterned fur and feather bit of fun that is masquerading as a handbag. This mish mash of patterns came about quite randomly as some of my outfits do with the only real thought going into my choice of shoes. I didn't want to vamp it up too much, hence the cute Mary Jane's with the little bows. These sweet green shoes have lived in my closet for years now without many outings, but this was their day. And I'm so pleased that they have made their debut, because after 10 years of being in store they have cracked and had to be sent on to the big shoe retirement home in the sky. The final two pieces of note are my beautiful leather jacket as seen here previously and the fabulous Vivienne Westwood pendant which adds the wow factor.

Jacket: charity shop. Skirt: charity shop. Blouse: eBay. Handbag: old. Shoes: Debenhams. Tights: old. Pendant: Vivienne Westwood. Rings: East.

Linking with 
Not Dressed As Lamb 
Not Dead Yet Style 
Kremb de la Kremb 
Elegantly Dressed and Stylish 

Below I just wanted to feature my new jewellery box which was a recent find in a charity shop. Like most fashion bloggers I do tend to collect jewellery as well as clothes (and shoes) and am always struggling for storage space which also lets me see what's what. This beautifully decorated box was only £10 and doesn't have a mark or scratch on it. Best of all it's huge - 40cms x 40cms x 20cms and holds lots of treasures.

Although this only houses a token of my jewellery collection I do feel a bit more organised now. It was a joy to come across something as lovely as this in the shop window of one of my favourite charity shops in Truro. I just love the fact that each compartment is decorated differently, and every one in such a pretty colour too. Aaaahhh, joy of joys.

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