lovin a little laceThis summer high on my wish list has been white lace. And although I totally swoon at exquisite red carpet handmade lace looks , what I’m loving is something a lot more wearable, by mixing boho inspired lace trimmed pieces with more casual elements of leather, stripes and denim.

I picked up this Wish Dress for just $50 on sale at Dfusion in Christchuch (worth checking out for their other lace pieces), and although my husband thought it was slightly ‘Little House on the Prairie’, I absolutely love it! By mixing it with black leather accessories it stops it from being more costume than cool.market1market3laceblog5

I’m now lusting after this lace trim blouse from Bohemian Traders (thanks to a reader who told me about this beautiful brand!).get the look, laceI’ve also found some other stunning and wearable lace pieces at Free People and The Iconic (all on sale!), enjoy! xx


how to shop a sale header

The word SALE can send the most sane women into a confused, excitable, unable to make smart decisions mess. Too often you’ll end up with items that will never see the outside of your closet because they are too small, too out there, too not you, too so last year. Fear not, there is a way to beat the sale, you just need a plan, and I just so happen to have one for you.


YOUR WARDROBE: After clearing out your closet (see guide here if you need) you should be able to see what items are missing. Do you have enough separates to mix and match with each other? Do you have the right shoes to complete your outfits? Are there any of your essential or basic wardrobe pieces that are getting a little worn and will likely need to be replaced soon? Make a list of those pieces.

FAVOURITE STORES & DESIGNERS: Now it’s time to make sure you sign up to your favourite stores and designers email newsletters and follow them on Facebook so you are first to know when a sale is starting. Look at these stores prior to sale season and find specific items that fit your most wanted list, remember to keep note of this.


ONLINE STORES: I really don’t like the frenzy of a sale, I much prefer shopping from the comfort of my own home, with a glass of wine if I need to relax a little! Also by shopping online I have so many more options, there’s a smaller amount available in the physical stores where I live. If you also decide to do your sale shopping online, if possible make sure you know your size in most designers first, as obviously you won’t have the opportunity to try on clothes before purchasing.

PHYSICAL STORES: If you do decide to go into the store to shop, go soon after the store opens so it isn’t too busy and make sure you wear comfortable clothes that are easy to remove, slip on shoes and if possible wear a bag that goes across your chest so your hands are free. Yes this is serious business.


DON’T settle for items that are close to your wish list but not quite – if you wouldn’t choose it full price, don’t now.

DON’T buy trend based items because they are ‘in’, you won’t have enough time to justify the cost before it’s ‘so last season’, remember the price per wear rule. Of course if you LOVE it and couldn’t care less if it’s a trend or not then get it.

DON’T be tempted to buy items that are a little too small or too big because of the discount, you won’t wear them. The exception to this is if you could alter it easily to fit. And for the love of your feet, don’t ever think you can fit into a size too small pair of shoes because they are just so stunning! I stupidly once bought gorgeous Marc Jacobs heels that were down from $900 to $400, I justified it as I was attending Australian Fashion Week and the shoes would be just perfect with everything I owned. The problem was they were a size too small and all the stretching in the world in the next week before I flew to Australia didn’t help. My feet were literally numb after the first day wearing them. Cost per wear = $400, ouch.

DON’T kid yourself. I’m sorry to break it to you, but the theory if you save 50% off a fabulous $400 dress, you are actually making $200 is not true. Money will still disappear from your bank account. And if that fabulous dress is a floor length evening gown, when you spend your days watching Peppa Pig and thinking up creative ways to hide vegetables in dinner, chances are you aren’t going to get a lot of wear out of it.

DO make sure you fully understand the returns policy, often you will find you can’t return sale items. However if you can, you may be more likely to buy those items you are a little unsure of, knowing you can return them if you decide they aren’t going to work.

DO google an item before you buy it. You could find it even cheaper at another store. I was so surprised when I googled a pair of $300+ Loeffler Randall sandals that I saw on Tash Sefton from epic blog They All Hate Us. I soon found a pair for just $65 from Amazon of all places, I didn’t even know they sold clothing or shoes?! You want to make sure you are getting the best deal before you finalise the purchase.

With this powerful new knowledge, you are now ready to go forth and shop, shop, shop…just keep calm and repeat – if it isn’t on the list, if it isn’t my size, if I don’t LOVE it, I WON’T buy it!


I have always dreamed of a wardrobe that was almost like a mini boutique in my own house. Working in fashion only increased that desire and watching Big gift Carrie that jaw dropping closet in the Sex & the City movie kind of tipped me over the edge!

When we began renovations on our home last year, very high on my wish list was a walk in wardrobe. Boring things like money got in the way of that (I’m still not over it). However we still did manage to steal enough space to give us a very generous size wardrobe, which is lucky as our bedroom is so small we can’t fit additional furniture like a set of draws alongside our king bed. Regardless of the space available, through clever organisational skills and smart styling choices, I know everyone can have a wardrobe that inspires them.

This is not a super quick process I warn you, but well worth it I promise!

wardrobe makeover 101

Take all of your clothes out of your wardrobe and draws and place them on your bed in piles of similar items e.g all dresses together, all t-shirts, all jeans etc.

Try on every piece of clothing, group by group to help you decide whether to throw, give/sell or keep each item. Having a trusted girlfriend on hand through this process (and perhaps a glass of wine) will help.

THROW: Any items that are so worn you wouldn’t wear them out of the house need to be thrown out. Poor quality chainstore items often quickly appear in this pile, it’s not much of a surprise. But I was so, so upset to finally throw out several beautiful designer pieces that I had worn to death, but the fact was I hadn’t worn them in over a year because of the awful state they were in. Now I do have a little exception for this rule, I always keep a very small amount of old clothes for doing messy jobs around home, no need to ruin clothes you love when painting or cleaning!

GIVE / SELL: Any item that you can’t even remember when you last wore it, or if it’s two sizes too small or too large belongs here. You can either donate to charity, hold a clothing swap party with your girlfriends or if they are of good quality and especially if they are a designer label, put them either on trade me or sell through a consignment store. Personally I love the idea of a clothing swap with your friends, make a night of it with a couple of wines and you could end up making someones day and walking away with some great free clothes to take back home!

KEEP: What you should be left with is your very favourite pieces. Don’t breath just yet, there’s still work to do!

How you organise the clothing you have, really depends on the space available and your lifestyle. My current lifestyle of being a stay at home mum most of the time, sees me wearing a uniform of denim jeans or shorts with a loose fitting tee or shirt most days. So those are the items that need pride of place in my wardrobe. Think about your lifestyle? Are you a corporate worker? Are you always planning your next fun night out? Or perhaps you are a sporty girl that is most likely wearing lycra and trainers? Whatever your lifestyle, those STYLE STAPLES need to be most visible and accessible to you in your wardrobe.

STYLE STAPLE – TOPS: Hang up as many of your tops (camis, tees and shirts) as possible, it allows you to see your options so much easier that way. I find colour coding mine, the same way a clothing boutique does allows you to choose your outfits faster.

STYLE STAPLE – DENIM: Some may prefer to fold these out of the way in a draw, but as they are a style staple of mine, I stack mine by wash (dark, distressed, white) front and centre in my wardrobe.

STYLE REGULARS: These are the items that you wear often, but not everyday, so it’s still important to keep them visible. For me this is casual dresses, pants, blazers and my leather jacket. I hang them in order; skirts, dresses, pants, blazers and jackets, to keep them organised so I can easily see my options.

STYLE BASICS: Drawers are perfect for housing your basic wardrobe items. Allocate one draw per group of clothing. I have four drawers; one for my sporty gear, one for casual tees/knits, one for casual skirts/shorts and one for pyjamas. The drawers are actually quite small which works well as it limits the amount I can keep. Don’t jam pack your drawers or you’ll find it gets messy quickly and you are less likely to find anything you want to wear. You are better off moving some of those wardrobe basics to the GIVE/SELL pile.

SHOES: The best thing I did in our wardrobe was change the standard design to allow for shelving for my shoes. It means they don’t mess up the floor of the wardrobe and they are easy to see. I do secretly hide my not nice shoes at the back and only my favourites on display! If you have any space in your wardrobe, perhaps beneath a hanging rack, purchase a cheap white bookcase from Bunnings or Mitre 10, they moonlight as the perfect shoe rack!

my wardrobe organisation

ACCESORIES: Any favourite belts or bags I have displayed. I have little ‘S’ shaped hangers that hold them perfectly. Any others I pop in a basket on the top shelf of the wardrobe, so they are easily in reach but don’t clutter the space.

OUT OF SEASON: Currently the chance of you wearing chunky knit sweaters and thick winter coats is close to nill, so why let them take up valuable real estate in your wardrobe? I prefer to fill either a box or an empty suitcase with my out of season items and then store them out of the way. I still like to keep a couple of knits for colder summer nights, so put these in a basket at the top of my wardrobe for easy access if the mercury plummets.

SPECIAL OCCASION DRESSES: I used to actually have quite a busy social life (seems a distant memory these days) and got plenty of chances to dress up in stunning dresses and sky high heels, I even kept my favourite collection of them on a clothing rack in my room so I could swoon at them whenever I wanted. Well times certainly have changed and now instead I group several dresses together in garment bags and keep them in the wardrobe in our playroom.
I remember when working for a magazine, the owner drummed into me ‘if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it’. And he is damn right. The only way to know if your wardrobe is working for you is to measure the results. There are a couple of great tips to see if you are actually wearing the clothes you swear are your favourites. For any hanging items, turn all your hangers backwards, once an item is worn you can change it to face forwards. For folded clothing you could try placing something like a coloured piece of card on top of each pile of clothing, each time an item is worn you place it back on top of the piece of card. After a few months it will become obvious what you aren’t wearing – hanging items whose hanger is still backwards and folded items still beneath the coloured card, it may be time to consider moving them to the GIVE/SELL pile.

I would love to know how you get on with your wardrobe makeover! Please let me know if you would like any specific advice about your own space and how to make it work. The very best thing about having a well organised wardrobe is not only that it allows you to more easily choose what to wear each morning that makes you feel your best, but it becomes a lot clearer the items you are missing to make your wardrobe complete and what you need to put on your shopping list! (I love how I’ve managed to make this whole process yet another justification of shopping! It’s a talent I tell you!).


Who ever said ‘date night’ had to be reserved for the evenings? I love sneaking a few hours when we can when our toddler is at preschool to enjoy time together. This morning we had a lovely morning in Pilot Bay, the perfect excuse to give my new Chaos and Harmony Cascade Sandals their first spin! Their gunmetal finish means they suit pretty much any colour they are matched with, so mixing with your existing wardrobe is easy (This was another way I justified their purchase!)jumpsuit1

The warm, breezy weather was ideal jumpsuit conditions. I am loving how comfortable jumpsuits are, and the fact that like a dress there’s no need to mix and match separates. The only negative is the reality of getting in and out of it is kind of a mission, especially this one from Neon Gypsy with over a dozen little buttons down the front. Here’s a free hot tip – don’t wear this while drinking a few wines as you will find like me on Christmas evening, you spend way to much time trying to redress yourself in the bathroom!

Today I styled this look with my chocolate Deadly Ponies bag (8 years old and still going strong) and my every day essential accessories – Lindi Kingi bracelets and Kirstin Ash fine rings.



Is it just me who buys their own Christmas presents from their kids and then pretends to act surprised on Christmas morning?

My present from my thoughtful children this year is this beautiful Turkish Tribal Coin Necklace from Neon Gypsy. I’ve recently discovered their amazing store in Mount Maunganui, I love its boho rock vibe. They have a great online store too, so no one has to miss out! I couldn’t resist but play dress ups, I swear I’m going to take it off right now and wrap it up. Maybe.

necklace1necklace2necklace 3

If I decide my children want to be super generous this year, here’s a few other things I would love them to get me…

christmas wish list

The Horse Watch from Paperplane Store How stunning is this watch! It would look perfect stacked with my Lindi Kingi bracelets. I love the combination of silver and rose gold, and that nude leather is just beautiful.
Peony & Blush Suede Perfume from Jo Malone I was introduced to Jo Malone by one of my best friends who used to work there. I have several different fragrances from Jo Malone, and Peony & Blush Suede is the latest I’ve fallen in love with.
Hammock Hanging Chair from Citta Design I’m hoping a sunny day and quiet children come in a package with this Hammock Chair from Citta!
Diptyque Candle from Mecca Cosmetics Over 90 hours burning time with this Diptyque Candle, and then when it’s finished I love using the glass holder to house makeup brushes or as a small vase for summer blooms.
Rose Leather Sandals from Chaos & Harmony I have tried on these sandals and fell in love, alas I can’t afford them at the moment with my shopping ban firmly in place, Santa? Anyone?
Market Bag from Paperplane Store There are amazing ‘Little Big Markets’ here that alternate location between the Mount and Papamoa Beach, this bag would be perfect to fill up with all the treats I get each visit.
Polka Dot Journal from Paperplane Store Imagine the amazingly insightful yet witty things I could write in this journal?!


A few days ago I was checking out local chain stores looking for a cheap pair of sunglasses (I have a talent for both breaking and losing them, so cheap is a necessity). I was struck by how great the clothing looked, but once I took a closer look at the quality, it had me second guessing my initial excitement. Yes the clothes are cheap, but are they worth it?

chainstore collage

Chain stores have fashion buyers who regularly travel internationally to ‘research the latest trends’ aka buy clothing from overseas stores and then completely copy them. The factories they use can produce these knock offs incredibly quickly and have them ready for sale instore in a matter of weeks. At first glance the clothes may look fantastic, just like in designer boutiques or from the pages of your favourite fashion magazine, but look closer and you’ll often see poor quality fabric or questionable workmanship. I mean think logically, if a top is $20 the labour costs, fabric, thread, buttons and company overheads like retail staff, marketing, advertising etc have to equal much less than half that amount. So how is that even possible?

Who made my clothes?
Earlier this year Francis Hooper, designer and co-owner of World, did a really interesting documentary about the horrific conditions often found in the factories used by our most popular chain stores. Workers are paid incredibly low amounts to work extremely long hours in awful and frequently dangerous conditions.

He was glad the worlds media took notice in April 2013 when 1133 people were killed and over 2500 injured when the Rana Plaza factory complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh, but commented:

“Consumers got to see an insight behind the veneer of glamorous fabulous fashion, the underbelly. But that was just one factory disaster. They happen every week. Not to that same extent in terms of numbers, but it’s true there are frequent, deadly episodes in the clothing manufacturing business.” I encourage you to view the 15 minute documentary here, such an eye opener.

I couldn’t ignore the reality of what my need for cheap, instant shopping satisfaction really meant. I tried to find out if my favourite chain stores were involved, it was actually really hard, but this article by Consumer has the most comprehensive list I have found on major brands and where their clothing is made.

To keep the end retail price competitive, even the chain stores that do act ‘ethically’ still have to keep the labour and fabric costs extremely low. This inevitably means hourly rates for labour are shocking and the quality of the fabric is typically poor. Even if you love what you see in the dressing room, after a few washes the quality issues can start to show. This has happened to me so many times!

Chain Store (Glassons) vs Designer (Helen Cherry)
I really loved grey knits over winter and found what I thought was a great boyfriend style knit cardigan from Glassons for $50. Then on a girls trip to Wellington I fell in love with a grey mohair Helen Cherry jumper from Workshop for $240. Yes it’s a major price difference, but the current state of them is also majorly different. The Glassons cardigan has awful pilling all over it, is misshapen and the overall colour is washed out (yes this is possible even with it being grey!). In stark contrast the Helen Cherry jumper looks and feels as stunning as the day I bought it. I will be able to wear it season after season, but the Glassons number is now donated to charity.

Chain Store (ASOS) vs Chain Store (Cotton On)
I bought a plaid shirt online from ASOS for $60, and a similar plaid shirt for my teenage daughter from Cotton On for $30. We have both worn and washed these shirts regularly over the last few months. My ASOS shirt has worn very well, with no pilling or fading, my daughters Cotton On shirt is now badly mis-shapen and has holes the size of my hand in it.
shirt 2Exceptions to the rule
Like the ASOS plaid shirt showed, there are those gems that really are easy on the wallet and wear very well. I’ve found a few I can trust like Just Jeans singlets (they are usually 2 for $30 each summer), Witchery shirts, Country Road knits and Cotton On jeans. Unfortunately it does feel a little like a fashion version of russian roulette with it being impossible to tell the difference until it’s in your wardrobe and too late for a refund!

So what’s the answer?
Unless you discover a long lost great aunt has left you a hefty inheritance so you can dress designer head to toe, the reality is you’re going to have to mix high and low fashions, so keep these tips in mind…

1. Designer Threads – Buy the best quality you can afford, yes even though this will mean having less in your wardrobe. I invest in a few designer pieces each season, pieces I LOVE and know I will wear year after year.
2. Trademe – Most of my clothing is bought from Trademe. I’d rather buy a second hand designer piece still in great condition that I know is constructed well with quality fabric, than spend the same amount in a chain store. To make it quick and easy I have saved the searches of each of my favourite New Zealand and Australian designers, and am emailed any new listings each morning. Find out what designers you like, what size you are in their ranges and what styles suit you. I take a quick look each morning over a coffee and will only bid on an item that is in new or near new condition.
3. Opshops – I’m not fantastic at opshopping, I don’t have the patience or the right eye, but I do have a one friend who pretty much buys all her clothes from opshops and she is one of the most stylish woman I know! Think of it like a physical Trademe store.
4. Chainstores – These are still a really good option for items you or your friends know will wear well, for accessories or for trend based items that you are happy will only last a few months.


Without a doubt the most comfortable outfit in my wardrobe is my gym gear – leggings, a tee and trainers. If only I could wear this everyday! I guess if I was a daily gym goer I could, but keeping it real, that’s just not going to happen. Luckily, thanks to the current fit inspired fashion taking over the catwalks and style guides around the globe, you can now sport your leggings daily without worrying about judgemental glares when people see your leggings cruising around like they think they are pants.

fit fashion 1

I love this style loop hole, now I can go about my day all casually smug, looking just like a girl who could have just had a damn hard workout, for someone that is equal parts lazy and a procrastinator, faking a gym visit is often as good as it gets. No one needs to know that in reality all the lunging I’ve done was stretching over the tornado of toys my toddler left in the kitchen so I can flick the jug on for a cuppa.

Now although I’m not into following trends for the sake of being trendy, the fact fit fashion is so ‘in’, means that sports brands are really stepping up their game and providing more variety and style within their ranges than ever.

With the likes of Lululemon now gracing our shores and Stella McCartney lending her design prowess to Adidas, it’s easier than ever to look stylish when working up a sweat (or not in my case). For a cheaper option, and my usual go-to, Cotton On Body is definitely worth checking out, in fact I just saw they have 40% off everything online today only (just enter the code PRECHRISTMAS40 at checkout). If quality and support are important to you, I’d advise waiting for the big Boxing Day / New Year sales that Rebel Sport etc have each year.

work out

Here’s a few styling tips…
* This is not an excuse to wear your baggy-kneed trackies and holy tees people!
* Don’t go too bright with your clothing options, neutral tops and bottoms work best. Save the colour and pattern for your trainers and sports bras. Think of them as your ‘accessories’.
*If you’re not used to wearing this type of clothing, choose a silhouette that mirrors your wardrobe. E.G I usually wear skinny jeans and a tee most days, so leggings and a loose tee/singlet work for me.


With December just a few days away, it’s well and truly time to start thinking about your summer wardrobe. One trend I’m really loving is print shorts. I found this pair at Moochi recently, the fabric is an abstract animal print in neutral black and grey with a pop of vibrant neon yellow. I’ve worn them several times already (trying to get the cost-per-wear price down!), with a plain tee and converse for a casual look, to heels and a dressier top for a night out. One styling tip I think is very important if you are showing a lot of leg, keep your look balanced by covering up more of your top half, think more tee’s and shirts rather than a strapless or low cut top.

Recently on a date with my husband I wore the shorts with a sheer Shell Tee and Crop Top both from Moochi (it was an expensive day prior to my shopping ban!) and black gladiator sandals from Loeffler Randall.
shorty6 1shorty2shorty4shorty3

A new feature I’m going to showing on the blog is ‘Jane vs Jane’, presenting shopping options from both sides, Sensible Jane will show affordable options and Label Lusting Jane will show the most fabulous she can find regardless of the price tag .

First up Sensible Jane has put together this selection of print shorts from New Zealand chain stores and all but one pair are $50 or under!
sensible jane short guide
Top Row: Spotted Waffle Shorts, $50 from Glassons | Ikat Double Layer Shorts, $44 from Dotti | Print Shorts, $25 from Jay Jays
Second Row: Wrap Shorts, $44 from Dotti | Lace Trim Shorts, $88 from Witchery | Stripe Shorts, $38 from Glassons
Third Row: Flirty Short, $25 from Cotton On | Spliced Print Shorts, $44 from Just Jeans | Print Shorts, $25 from Jay Jays

Label Lusting Jane is like usual, acting like money ain’t no object and has put together a selection of stunning but pricier shorts from some of the country’s top designers. I’m pretty obsessed with the Juliette Hogan floral pair personally!
label loving jane's short guide
Top Row: Sports Shorts, $240 from Moochi | Bill Culottes, $275 from Twenty Seven Names | Raven Shorts-Secret Garden, $249 from Juliette Hogan
Second Row: Cub Shorts, $250 from Moochi | Feather Silk Shorties, $199 from Superette | Raven Shorts-Jagged Silk, $289 from Juliette Hogan
Third Row: Palm Beach Culottes, $299 from Twenty Seven Names | Camilla & Marc Lorenzo Short, $190 from Sisters & Co | Julian Danger Lucy Shorts, $175 from Sisters & Co

What’s your favourite pair?


Here’s a wee round up of what I would LOVE to be buying at the moment. But I can’t. I thought mortgages and children were bad enough at eating up my money previously destined to purchase designer digs. Well they ain’t got nothing on three little letters, three VERY expensive letters. IVF. We are currently busy saving for IVF but the mountain we need isn’t being built fast enough, so it’s time for drastic action. Two Janes will just have to live vicariously through others shopping fun, because for at least the next few months there can’t be ANY fancy new purchases, NONE, no amazingly crafted justification will cut it. Hopefully by saying this out loud it will help force me to stick to the rule. I will still post about fancy new things I can’t buy though, so never fear!

twojanes wishlist for home
From Bottom Left: Kara Rosenlund Print from Indie Home Collective | Wildfolk Candle from Paperplane | Our House in the City from Paperplane | Turned Wood Candlestick from Flux Boutique | Concrete Pots from Superette | Madam Stoltz Wire & Wood Basket from Superette

get in my closet
From Top Left: Spur Stud Earrings from Meadowlark | Dresden Jumpsuit from Juliette Hogan | Converse Dainty Whites from Stirling Sports | Stripe Tank Dress from Bassike | Cascade Gunmetal Sandal from Chaos & Harmony | Violet Frill Top from Twenty Seven Names | White Girlfriend Jeans from Glassons


Disclosure Statement: I have been a little apprehensive (actually totally chicken) about writing fashion posts featuring myself for obvious reasons 1) I am not a model and 2) I am not a fashion blogger. But then I thought ‘get over yourself!!’, many of my readers can probably relate to 1) not being a model and 2) not being a fashion blogger, so maybe seeing a ‘normal’ woman in ‘normal’ clothes is not a bad thing right?! Currently I can only offer novice smiles, but in time I hope to graduate to advanced model moves like smizing while looking deep into the camera and maybe even looking out of shot with aloof concentration.

Double denim, it’s so wrong, but it feels so right. I actually ‘borrowed’ this denim shirt off my teenage daughter a month ago and it’s been on high rotation every since. The secret to making double denim work is to make sure you wear contrasting coloured denim. I love wearing this light blue denim shirt with either my dark blue, black or white jeans. This weekend I finished the look with my Steve Madden leopard print flats and a little bit of lace courtesy of Cotton On Body.

Double denimanimal7I love the look of touch of lace peaking out from a singlet or shirt, especially when the rest of the look is so casual. Local designers Lonely Hearts have a stunning range of underwear, or for the budget conscious Cotton On Body have just bought out $15 lace triangle bralets that are really pretty. If you are lucky enough to require more support simply wear the triangle bralet over another plain bra you already own in the same colour, the lace trim will still give you the effect you want but you’ll have all the support you need.
animal5animal4A great friend introduced me to this nail colour, OPI Mind Your French Quarter and I just love it! It’s neutral enough to wear with almost anything but still adds a bit of an edge to a look. I bought my Deadly Ponies bag eight years ago and still wear it most days. Yes Deadly Ponies Bags are mostly around the $400-$700 mark, but they really are a fantastic investment. The New Zealand brand have a large range of stunning designs, all beautifully made, and will last long enough to make your purchase a very wise one.

animal2animal1aLike something you see?
double denim polyvore