Very Ralph

Hello my lovely readers. What a treat it was to watch the documentary Very Ralph that aired on Sky Atlantic on the 15th of November. If you didn't see it then I urge you to find it on catch up TV. I was totally enthralled for the duration and duly inspired. It was like a running buffet of every delicious food you could possibly imagine, only it was clothes not food. And not just clothes, of course, as Ralph Lauren encompasses an entire lifestyle brand - his vision is breath-taking. In the words of Vogue 

'Very Ralph' Is A Future Classic – And The Most Stylish Documentary Of The Year

Today's outfit is my attempt to recreate a look I had a fleeting glimpse of amidst the technicolour fashion fest. Ralph is all about elegance, understatement and flair. Here's my rustic translation of his style. That little mocking voice in my head was all set to tell me that I'm not 6 foot tall, nor a willowy young beauty with legs like bean poles and for me not to make a blooming fool of myself with my copycat efforts, when I just said "so what?" and got on with it anyway. That's the whole point of fashion isn't it? To inspire us to copy.

Designer fashion this isn't, but the magic of Very Ralph caught my imagination, firing me up to find an outfit that echoes his ethos. Ralph's main influences were the film stars he saw in the movies as a young man. 

I've shopped my closet for this outfit, but more than that, the clothes are all second hand. The beautiful woollen Oxford Bags are by Escada but I have to admit that the luxury brand makes my eyes water at the their prices. The rust frilled blouse (no label) adds a feminine touch to the otherwise masculine look. I bought the burnished leather bomber jacket (House of Leather) a couple of years ago and seemed to pick myself a bargain at only £20. The nude leather belt (another second hand purchase at £5) is as good as new, by Country Casuals.

I bought these high heeled brogues in Portugal about five years ago and especially love the ribbons. I can't read the brand name now as it's too smudged. They're wearing well.

All my jewellery is pre-loved too. I'm doing well with my luxury-for-less look today!

My friend Jilly and her dog Boo photo-bombed us, in the nicest way possible of course.

And she returned the favour by capturing Steve and I together which doesn't happen often enough. Please let me know what you think of the documentary. I loved it, but want to hear your opinion too.

Thanks for dropping by. See you next time!

Anna x


Neon yellow jacket

Hello my dear readers! How are you? I hope you've not been affected by the recent floods that have hit the UK. The rain it doth raineth every day down here on the islands, but thankfully it just runs off the land and into the sea. We had a lull in the weather on Sunday which is when Steve and I dashed out to capture these shots.

No sooner had we arrived at our chosen spot when the first shower hit us. The show must go on, I declared and we wiped down the lens and carried on. Blog photographer isn't my husband's preferred hobby, but he never turns me down when I ask. He's a gem.

I was prompted by one of my Instagram friends to try to counter my S.A.D. symptoms with a bit of colour therapy which is what I'm doing today. This neon yellow jacket (Primark) offers a great splash of colour - kinda like a good ol' slap across the face and equally effective. It's impossible to feel glum wearing this bright burst of loveliness. The biker jacket is soft and smooth and made of faux suede. I bought it in the spring when I was in Harrogate and I've worn it quite a few times since then. It's one of those classic Moto jackets that will just go on and on. Whether it's suede, leather or fabric, I'm a big fan of these biker jackets. I feel very much the rock chick when I wear them.

The jacket led me to bring out these new trainers by Steve Madden which I found in TK Maxx last month. I love the spotty soles as well as the funky shape of them. Wearing trainers to work is my idea of bliss. These are comfy and practical, so what's not to love?

The jodhpur style trousers are pre-loved and from M&S. Another easy-wear item, they're as comfortable as a pair of joggers but smart and stylish for work. 

I finished the outfit with a ribbed stretch sweater from Primark. I bought these in various colours and necklines as I knew they would be perfect for winter layering. They're incredibly soft and light, yet cosy too. I'll pop a thermal layer underneath them as the winter progresses. At only £6 each I wonder if there were any other colours I ought to have snatched up when I was there.

A simple gold chain (Primark) was all I needed to accessorise this look along with these rings which were both from airport concessions last year.

I'd like to think that my sunny outfit chased the showers away. I've heard that colour therapy can be very effective, even where the weather's concerned! Hahaha.

Thanks for dropping by!

Anna x


Note to self...

Dear Anna, 
Sometimes you forget how to keep yourself happy, how to keep yourself well. This is a little memo for you to refer to when you're feeling cranky, low, or generally out of sorts.

  • Clean shiny hair will set you up for the day. I know it's a faff to wash your hair every day, but honestly it does make all the difference. Bouncy clean hair makes you feel bouncy too!
  • That daily sea swim is a lifesaver, mood-wise. However, if you're unwell or still carrying that lingering cough - (yes I know it's been over two weeks now), then even a walk every day helps lift your mood. 
  • On the same note, try to incorporate some downtime that invests in yourself. Find time to read a book/magazine/be outside to enjoy the view. By doing this you're putting some good habits in place to future proof yourself against the S.A.D. that plagues you every winter.
  • Have an early night. The lethargy of staying up late, zoning out in front of the TV really won't improve your lot.
  • Try to catch up on one outstanding chore every day, even if it's only a little one like running the hoover round or moving the laundry from A to B.
  • Paint your nails. It's so lovely to see unchipped nail polish and doesn't take long to do.
  • Make some time at the weekend to organise your wardrobe and try on some clothes. There's nothing nicer than knowing an outfit will look good because you've tested it out already.
  • Plan a holiday. We all deserve a break!

As you can gather, I'm finding things a bit tricky at the moment. I'm missing the lift that my daily swims inject into my routine and finding it difficult to motivate myself to do anything apart from lay about after a day at work. I can't seem to shake this cough, despite eating well and taking lots of vitamins. My immune system is clearly depressed, making my mood the same. I hate to play the "poor old me" card, but honestly - Poor Old Me!

Today's OOTT is indeed one that I planned in advance as a result of my new ankle boots. These are still in the Office sale see here. The only problem I'm having with these fabulous Chelsea boots is that I want to use them as the starting point for most of my outfits currently! They look great with skinny jeans, super with blue tights and my floral tent dress and groovy with black leather jeans. But I shall hold off from the siege of the snakeskin boots and just trickle a post in from time to time over the next few months.

I've had this Pea coat since last year when I bought it in a charity shop in Truro for £10. The condition was like new and the brand is Kew159 which apparently went out of business in 2012. The 3/4 length sleeves and slim fit are both very figure flattering. The geometric pattern looks very contemporary and I do love the colourway of blue, zesty green and soft lilac. The long ditsy print dress was a bargain in the H&M sale when I was in Manchester one time last year. 

My rings are both pre-loved and the lovely embroidered Fat Face leather belt is too. My white and black sunglasses are from Quay Australia. I've enjoyed putting this collection of patterns and colours together today. For some, a patterned dress might call for a plain coat with accessories, but this mish-mash is such fun in my eyes.

Thanks so much for dropping by today. Hopefully by this time next week, I'll have shaken off the last of this blooming virus. In the grand scheme of things I know this is nothing and have pangs of guilt when I think of others battling much more serious health problems without a word of complaint. 

I'll be link with -
Patti of Not Dead Yet Style
Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb
Jacqui of Mummabstylish

Until next time, take care!

Anna x


Colour blocking in my new winter coat

A midweek welcome to you, my dear reader. How's things shaping up for you this week? I'm doing fine and am so pleased to be able to show you my new winter coat. The brand is Covent Garden, not one that I've heard of before, nor could I find it online, but the coat was a purchase from TK Maxx in Truro last month. It looks and feels like wool, but is actually 100% polyester, but no matter - it's toasty warm which is all I need for the months ahead. The minute I tried the coat on in the shop, it just felt like me. Don't you just love that? The fit is perfect, the pockets just deep enough and the collar folds up to keep the drafts out without needing a scarf. Gloves and scarf will be the final sign of defeat that winter is truly here. In the meantime, I'm perfectly cosy like this!

I decided to do a bit of colour blocking with this splash of mustard being my starting point. The strong autumn hue of yellow goes beautifully with the punch of paprika of these flared culottes (from Zara last year, or was it the year before?). The final block of colour is the ginger of the suede boots by Office (not this season's either I'm afraid). 

I picked up the bag of the moment, aka the across the body bag, from TK Maxx too. I like the mix of colour and animal print that will make it truly versatile even once the trend is dead and gone. The brand is Carvela and it cost me £28 in the sale.

The plum spiral ring is from Venice and is made out of glass. I've had it for years and thought I'd lost it. The knotted bobble ring was a purchase in Cape Town when I was there in January - oh happy days!

The long retro necklace was a charity shop find for the grand sum of £3. The striped crew neck sweater was from Topshop earlier this year.

Am wondering if this crazy hair shot might be the next hairstyle trend? Reminds me of my blogging friend Mel of Bag and a Beret... 

                                                                                 Anna x

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