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


Sending a little happiness your way

Hello! So here we go again with our third lock-down in the past 12 months. January and Feb are my least favourite months of the year, stretching my ability to keep cheerful and fight off the blues, but hey ho, here we go! I've yet to find out if being at home during this time makes it easier to bear. What has added to the challenge however, is the fact that my husband had a minor accident at work in December and is now at home laid up with a poorly foot. Hopefully he's to have an x-ray next week so he might have a diagnosis and idea of when he'll get back to work. In the meantime, I seem to be spending a lot of time providing cups of tea, cakes, snacks and meals as well as plumping up of cushions and generally faffing around him. Does he not realise that my Domestic Goddess outfit had to be returned at the end of the festive period?

Anyway, here's a little corner of Tresco where you can soak up some happiness under this golden mosaic, the creation of Lucy Dorrien-Smith. Smith Square, in the heart of the island, is where you'll find three of these lovely pieces of art, the other two being called Peace and Love. I set up my camera, timer and tripod here the other day and it wasn't without the odd hiccup as well as funny outtakes as I endeavoured to do this outfit justice. 

Colour therapy is my usual answer to anything that ails me, hence this warm combination of orange and bottle green that were the start of this OOTD. The orange gloves by Harssidanzar were a Christmas present from Steve; they are buttery soft Italian nappa leather, lined in cashmere for heat and comfort. Jamie bought me a pink pair by the same brand and both are a really impressive quality of leather as well as being a perfect fit. How snazzy will I be this winter with these two colourful pops to jazz up my outfits! The fun fur isn't new, but is a cosy snuggle-up coat for this time of year. The brand is The Vintage Boutique Collection from TK Maxx from a couple of years ago.

Not only have I gone strong with colours, but patterns too. Fairisle and paisley print for the cardigan and shirt (both by H&M), checked Italian wool trousers by No 21 (see their sale here, wow!) and my rich brocade boots by ASOS. Nothing here is new as I'm still on my shopping ban, month 11 currently.

Jewellery-wise I'm wearing pre-loved rings. The brown leather bag with orange piping is by Gigi and was a charity shop find ages ago.

This cute diamante Scottie dog brooch was a charity shop find also from a long time ago.

Taking photos of boots while you're actually wearing them isn't as easy as I thought...

My Quay Australia mirror sunglasses reflect the tripod as I rush to fix my hair before the capture... 

I'll leave you a shot from my walk around the island yesterday. Tresco was bathed in sunshine with not a breath of wind and honestly it looked just like a spring day. How grateful I am to enjoy the big outdoors on days like this.

Take care and see you soon!

Anna x


Sparkling my way into 2021

Happy New Year!

Hello and welcome to 2021 a la Anna's Island Style! I've decided to start as I mean to go on, with lurex sparkles and wild animal print finished with these over the top yellow sunglasses. You got my memo about no shrinking wall flowers here, didn't you?

This outfit is what I actually wore to work in New Year's Eve although no-one really saw it as I had no customers at all. I packed up goods and did some admin and before I knew it, it was time to go home to celebrate with my family. It's been such a weird year that I was really happy to have an early night and just move on. I'm sure I wasn't the only one to feel that way.

The ensemble is made up from pre-loved and high street purchases from the past couple of years. The gold lurex cardigan is by H&M and was charity shopped, the black lurex roll neck is charity shopped but has no brand label, the leopard print jeans are by Zara, fave patent boots are from Topshop and last but by no means least are the new yellow sunglasses from Quay Australia which Sasha bought me for Christmas.

The gold petal ring was a present from a friend and the other jewellery is pre-loved. The cowboy belt was from H&M several years ago.

I just love these crazy yellow sunglasses. I put them on my wish list for Sasha along with a couple of other pairs and was delighted that she chose these. Wild and funky and just such a lovely cheery colour - what's not to love about them?

I've lost track of how often these Topshop cuban heel boots have appeared on the blog, but golly they've not lost their charm have they!

Many thanks to Fiona for turning up to take photos once again. Her cajoling and forthright observations make the whole thing a joy.

I'd like to send you good wishes for 2021 and hope that you stay safe and well.

                                                                Anna x


New Year's Eve party outfit for 2020

Happy New Year!

Here, as promised, is my party outfit for that longed for, but non-existent New Year's Eve party. To be perfectly honest, it's not so much longed for due to our current circumstances, but also because what's the point of a Hogmanay party if you can't kiss and hug everyone? As a Scot, in exile, we tend to make more of Hogmanay than Christmas with 24 hour parties and the welcoming of that tall, dark (coal-bearing) stranger into our homes as a sign of good luck just after the strike of midnight. In England we seem to celebrate both Christmas and New Year equally which means double the excuse for over indulgences in both food and drink!

The star of the show has to be this wonderful vintage sequinned piece which I bought from Enjoy Clothing in Truro some two years ago. The 80's top by He-Ro Industries sports a zip up back and those massive shoulder pads in keeping with that era. I do love big shoulder pads - they help to draw the eye away from all lumps and bumps that may lie below.

This is the first time I've worn this top, not that I actually went anywhere in it yesterday apart from around the corner to have Fiona take these photos. I do hope that sometime this year social occasions will re-emerge once life settles into our new normal. I would have worn this to an opening night party at the Gallery, and indeed plan to in the future.

The rest of the outfit comprises of velvet trousers from F&F Clothing and boots from Topshop.

The glitter boots tend to only make an appearance over the festive season which means that they are still looking pretty smart on this their third year of wear.

The rings are both pre-loved, matching the outfit perfectly however.

The gold mirror sunglasses are from Quay Australia.

As we enter into 2021 I'd like to say thanks for your messages, comments and emails throughout the past year. It's a constant wonder to me that I have accrued interest and followers both here and on Instagram and for that I'm very grateful. I'd like to think that this island life of mine is a happy diversion during these difficult times; a wee place of escapism where you can sit down and catch up with life in this beautiful corner of the world. I send my love out to each and every one of you and wish you safe and happy New Year!

                                                                                            Anna x

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