DOES YOUR DRESS CODE MATCH YOUR AREA CODE?

Soon a good friend of mine is heading on an amazing trip to Italy and Greece, making me reminisce about my own honeymoon in Greece a few years ago. As I was looking through photos of the trip, I noticed that every outfit I wore mirrored the landscapes palette of white through to varying shades of blue and green. In all honesty I do vividly remember packing for the trip and only taking outfits I thought in my mind suited the ‘honeymooning in Greece’ atheistic I was going for!
final greece 111It got me thinking, have I always matched my outfit to my location? I’ve lived a in several cities around New Zealand, and on reflection my fashion sense has certainly changed too.

When living in Christchurch I certainly felt I dressed a little too over the top at times. The norm felt a little conservative, like people wanted to blend in with the crowd for fear of standing out or getting it wrong. I would sometimes get stared at, and not necessarily in a good way for what I was wearing.

In contrast when I lived in Auckland everyone wanted to stand out. It was quite freeing, I could wear anything I wanted! Of course a lot more emphasis was put on your personal style choices, designer threads were a lot more apparent, the words “who are you wearing” heard often (a little too often for my comfort).

Now living in Papamoa in the Bay of Plenty I find many have mastered the ‘polished casual’ style. Colours often reflect beach side living. There’s certainly less emphasis than Auckland about your appearance, but no judgement if you want to step outside the norm. (Although perhaps I’m just getting older and care less about others opinions!).

Some may say it’s more lifestyle that dictates your look, but when living in Auckland I worked in Sales and Marketing for a clothing designer that was stocked in boutiques throughout New Zealand and very obvious themes emerged each season as orders came in from around the country. In the deep South orders favoured black, dark tones and lots of layers, Christchurch was still quite dark, a little conservative, but with the odd pop of personality and colour, Wellington chose the more dark, edgiest pieces of the collection, the Bay of Plenty was quite casual and didn’t shy away from colour and Auckland wanted everything and a lot of it, showing it’s diversity and willingness to invest heavily in designer threads.

I’d love to know your experiences. Have you noticed a shift in your wardrobe when changing cities, does your dress code match your area code?

INDIE HOME COLLECTIVE

One of my very favourite home stores in New Zealand is Indie Home Collective, an eclectic mix of vintage furniture, incredible lighting and art, on trend interiors and lush plants all set against a raw, white backdrop. I think I could happily transfer the entire contents to my house and not want to change a thing. Until now I could only get my fix when I made a rare trip up to Auckland, but happy days are here with their online store now live.

Owned by husband Nell Girl and his talented interior stylist wife Claudia Kozub, what makes this store so breathtaking isn’t just the products it houses, but the styling by Claudia is incredible, you really feel like you’ve walked into a live version of a Vogue Living.

On the top of my wish list is a stunning Ay Illuminate light, a print from the Pampa Horse Series and one of their larger vintage wooden cabinets in black or white.
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20 FACTS ABOUT ME

I had been nominated by The Bubble to share twenty interesting facts about me, here goes! (eek I hope I’m interesting enough to get to 20!)
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1. I have never been an adult without being a mother. I do wonder what that would be like? I became pregnant with my oldest daughter at just 18! (cue total scandal throughout my Catholic High School).
2. I was a single parent until my oldest daughter was 8. Looking back I don’t know how I did it all by myself. It did help having a super fantastic family and an awesomely kind, witty and chilled child though!
3. I have an unhealthy obsession with cake. Oh how I love cake. And ALWAYS with extra cream on the side. Sometimes when it was just me and my oldest daughter we would have pre-ssert before dinner instead of after, bad mum I know.
4. I stalked my husband for months before he agreed to date me, there was no playing hard to get from me, I wore him down, this skill of debating until I win has fared well for me throughout our marriage.
5. My favourite overseas destination is Greece, I went there for my honeymoon and felt like I was in a dream the whole time, like I had stepped into a scene from ‘The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants’ (if you haven’t seen that movie, do it, trust me).
6. I have an amazing group of girlfriends of over 20 years, we all met in third form at high school, bonding over braces, perms (mine specifically) and a love of 90’s hip hop. Now scattered around the globe, time and distance doesn’t change a thing, they are like family and so many of my favourite memories involve them.
7. My favourite wine (and I am so missing it right now) is sweet Riesling, a seriously undervalued variety in my opinion! My top pics would be Main Divide, Millton and Pegasus Bay. A positive to no one else liking Riesling is at party’s or BBQ’s, I never have to worry that someone’s going to finish off my bottle.
8. My favourite TV programmes are Scandal, Homeland, The Goodwife, Orange is the New Black, The Block Australia and any trashy reality that happens to be on. I love how reality TV distracts my brain enough to relax, but doesn’t challenge it, it’s almost like meditating really, right?
9. When I am 40 and my oldest is 21, we are going to New York together. Just over 5 years to wait. The countdown has well and truly begun.
10. I feel a little like Carrie from SATC, when she worked out she had spent the equivalent of a deposit for her apartment on shoes, except for me it’s interiors magazines and maybe a deposit for a car.

Jeepers only half way! Hang in there…

11. I love sleep, can’t get enough, naps especially, how good is feeling of dozing off on the couch in the sun. I don’t understand why children don’t click onto its goodness.
12. I am a list person. Have a to do list everyday. Love them, so satisfying to cross off. Sometimes I write things I’ve already finished just so can cross them off immediately. When we did our Home Reno last year I had the the most amazing excel spreadsheet of to do lists for everybody. It was really a thing of beauty.
13. My absolute dream job would be to buy and renovate houses within a couple of months, before selling them and blogging about it. I day dream about it often.
14. I watch cooking programmes on my laptop every night when I make dinner, Masterchef Australia is my current thing, some how I feel like their skills are transferring onto me through osmosis or something.
15. Throughout the seven or eight years I’ve been with my husband, we have never lived with each other for more than a few months due to his work. Eeeek I hope he still likes me when he is around me all the time!
16. My daughter Ava is three in August and suddenly is having full on conversations with me. It’s so adorable. Yesterday as I buckled her into her carseat in the pouring rain, she started singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, I couldn’t move it was so damn cute, so my butt and legs got saturated with rain while she finished two full rounds complete with hand moves.
17. I would absolutely love to travel to Italy with a group of girlfriends, stay in a villa, take cooking lessons, wander along the Amalfi Coast, take thousands of photos….whose with me???
18. I love the beach, don’t feel at peace unless I’m living very close to it, but hate swimming in the ocean.
19. Although I live in Papamoa, in the Bay of Plenty my very favourite place in New Zealand is Sumner. A stunning spot in Christchurch with the best wee community. If only I could manage to transport it up to the warmth of the Bay!
20. My sister and I found out we were pregnant on the same day. I was 18, she was 21. I fainted. Literally. Neither of us were married, our committed Catholic parents were incredible, stayed strong and said everything would be ok. And it was. Not until many years later did I find out that later that night they had gone down to their best friends house and balled their eyes out. Best lesson of parenting I have ever got, love your children through EVERYTHING, always tell them you it’s going to be ok and hug them tight. And then freak out if you need to when they can’t see it.

Wow, that’s 20, hope you managed to make it through! xx

Wondering what I’ve been up to recently?

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My heart has been so warmed by how many of you have messaged me to ask where I have disappeared to and hoping Two Janes will be back soon!

The last couple of months have been an extremely challenging time for our family and I’ve been pouring all my energy into focusing on that. Fortunately some how amongst the cloud of this time, a wee miracle has burst into our lives.

We have been trying for another child for quite a while and were very surprised to find out we had more chance of winning lotto than having one without help. My head knew we were so blessed for the two children we already have and I should just be happy, but my heart hadn’t quite got to that place yet. We didn’t qualify for funding and could only afford to do IVF privately once. After all the fun of countless tests, mood swings, daily injections and a raft of intimate procedures we managed to get one embryo. Just one. All our hopes of having another child rested on a single chance. All our eggs were literally in my basket. Fast forward 15 weeks and some pretty intense morning sickness later and here we are with my big puku stretching everything I own already. I’ve actually been about this size since I was only 6 weeks pregnant?! I think my body was so damn excited to be pregnant that it grew to my usual five months pregnant size overnight, as if to shout to the world “Look!!!! It worked!!!!”.

I have learnt something very important over the last few months, although as mothers I know our first instinct is to put our selves last and pour every ounce of our being into our children and family especially in hard times like we are currently having, I noticed as that spark, fulfilment and happiness I got from doing this blog stopped, I had less to pass onto my family, not more. I think we have to be our best self to be able to give our best, so back to Two Janes I go and a very big thank you to each of you that takes time out of your day to read my posts because it’s all of you that fills me up with that spark.

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BLEEDING HEARTS – CHAOS & HARMONY AW15

c&h 2I first discovered Chaos and Harmony many years ago, but it was a long distance, one sided affair. I would lust after their shoes but never invested in them. That changed last winter when I visited their newly opened store BlakChaos alongside renowned clothing label Blak, in Mount Maunganui. The lust turned to love, and I ended up walking out with not one but two pairs! What struck me most was their ability to create shoes that felt like instant wardrobe classics, but still had a uniqueness and edge to their design to make them feel truly special.

It came as no surprise to me that lead designer and managing director Bec Anderson studied in Italy at the Instituo Europeo di Design, the beautiful quality leathers used and faultless construction of their shoes are hallmarks of Italian design.

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This seasons range Bleeding Hearts was inspired by the captivating work of artist Ruben Ireland, known for his contrast of humanity mixed with abstract conception. The result is a collection that too plays on contrasts, light and dark, strength and softness. Beautiful leathers and gorgeous textures shine in a palette from stark black and white to rich wines and blush pinks.
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The range has started dropping instore and online already, with injections of new styles throughout March and April. I was lucky enough to be shown some of the samples that aren’t quite in store yet, you can view the full Bleeding Hearts collection here, but below are my favourites…

These Shadowbox ankle boots in white are stunning and beautiful croc leather features around the ankle. I’d feel a little fancy doing the school run in these for sure!
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The Ingrid boots are the absolute perfect everyday heel for winter, comfortable enough to wear all day and a stunning woven leather contrast on the ankle.
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I love the rounded toe on the Allegiance boots and the strap detail gives it the needed edge,(this sample wraps around the ankle three times, but the one in production will wrap around twice) it can also be removed for a more streamlined look. Due April 16.
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Ahh how hot are these Momento boots!? They are definitely going to be my first purchase this season. The pointed toe, the cracked leather, what’s not to love! Due March 30.
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I have been looking for the perfect pair of black pumps for ever, every woman should have at least one pair in their wardrobe. I think I’ve finally found mine in the Rosette. The cut of these shoes is just stunning, the heel height is perfect and the cracked leather gives the needed point of difference to the classic black pump. Due in store today.
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Almost a work of art, the Enlighten heel is captivating. Made from patent leather in the richest pinot coloured hue, these heels are guaranteed to turn heads.
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Chaos and Harmony design for a type of energy in a woman; creative, unique, independent, rather than a specific age group or being heavily focused on trends, allowing their designs to have longevity. Although it’s their stunning aesthetic that catch your eye, it’s the incredible quality of design and construction that will make your investment one you will never regret.

CREATE A STYLISH STUDY AT YOUR HOME

Is it just me whose ‘home office’ is comprised of a draw in the kitchen filled with bills and paperwork, and a laptop proped on your knees on the couch? Now although not every home can dedicate an entire room to a study, every home can and should have one.

In fact personally I think if you are a parent, the best place for it is in one of the main living areas of the home. With how much technology is a part of our children’s schooling and as they get older, social lives, we need the study to be in an ‘easy to sneak a look over their shoulder’ spot.

In our home we have an open plan living/dining/kitchen area and very little usable wall space because of 4 large sets of sliding doors, but we do have just over a metre beside our lounge that I think would be perfect for a study area. You really don’t need a lot of room, in fact I’ve seen a great idea of re-purposing a cupboard space by taking off the door and inserting a built in desk and shelves above.

In my view it’s just as important for the space to be stylish as it is to be functional, the atheistic of our home is a little scandinavian and a little beachy, so I’m wanting our study to also have that vibe. Here’s some images from my pinterest page that have inspired me.

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Recreating the looks of some of these stunning spaces may be cheaper thank you think! Here’s a few options with various price points of my favourite looks.

This black, white and timber palette would be perfect for our home. The trestle desk is ideal for a small space and I love that they have used images that inspire pinned onto the wall behind the desk. final study look 1Desk Ikea Linnmon Desk from Living Concepts $109 Chair Replica Eames DSW Chair from Zuca $79 Lamp Guaride Table Lamp from Citta Design $229 Basket Black Wire Basket from Let Liv $35 Art Prints from Paper Plane Store from $15

This Scandi inspired space is kinda perfect in my eyes. I bet even paying bills would almost be a pleasure sitting at this desk! The trestle desk has really usable shelves below the legs, I’m always looking for extra storage solutions so I love that feature. Floating shelves are perfect in most areas of a home, and work so well here to keep clutter off the desk, personally I’d add the shelf brackets from Father Rabbit. The Wall Flip Clock from Let Liv has been on my most wanted list for a couple of years, I think it would look very at home on one of the shelves. I think this is my fav look!final study look 2 Desk Trestle Desk from Let Liv $360 Chair Replica Tolix Chair in Gunmetal from Cintesi $89 Clock Wall Flip Clock from Let Liv $280 Basket Fog Linen Desk Basket from Let Liv $36 Shelf Shelf Bracket from Father Rabbit $21 Light Hanging Miners Lamp from Let Liv $90 Accessories Dante Set of 2 Stacking Boxes from Country Road $31

This space is actually the home office of Superette Owner Rickie Dee, so no surprise it’s super stylish. I love the paired back palette combined with a pop of colour found in the chair.
final study look 3 Desk Trestle Desk from Freedom $399 Light Bell Basket Pendant from Freedom $149 Chair Replica Wishbone Chair from Zuca $235 Drawers Ikea Alex Drawers from Urban Sales $373 Plant Boskke Sky Planter from Superette $99 Calendar Stendig Calendar from The Paper Room $125

I had so much fun sourcing pieces for these study looks, the best shops I found for furniture were Freedom, Mocka, Let Liv and Ikea via various Trade Me stores, accessories from Paper Plane Store, Father Rabbit, Let Liv, Country Road, Citta Design, Superette and Collected and to complete your space I’d suggest you head along to my favourite very stationery store Kikki K.

NEW YORK STYLE THROUGH THE EYES OF TOMMY TON

Although I love seeing the amazing collections at New York Fashion Week, I’m actually much more interested in what’s happening outside. There is one person that can magically transport you to the fashion capital, amongst the hustle in the streets, feeling the breathtaking chill in the air and that’s Tommy Ton. Street style photographer Tommy Ton is the best in the business, his ability to capture candid moments rather than the traditional rigid head to toe fashion shots give his images a life of their own. He created one of the very first fashion blogs I ever followed- Jak & Jil, American Vogue even declared it to be ‘as much essential viewing during the collections as the shows’. Let’s not argue with Vogue.

Here are some of my favourites of his from New York Fashion Week
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Follow Jak & Jill or Style.com for the best street style from Tommy Ton.

THE NYFW COLLECTION OLIVIA POPE WOULD GO CRAZY FOR

It’s always exciting to look through the collections from New York Fashion Week, even if half of them aren’t wearable (I’m looking at you Kanye). One collection that I would certainly love to fill my closet with and I’m sure Olivia Pope would agree, is Victoria Beckham’s latest offering.

The sophisticated and feminine collection in a neutral palette of cream, taupe, black and navy has won rave reviews from the fashion elite and it’s easy to see why.

If your memory of Victoria Beckham is from the Spice Girl era or as some famous footballers wife, you may be shocked to know she is now a widely respected fashion designer in her own right. Her eponymous label even won Brand of the Year at the 2014 British Fashion Awards, over the likes of Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen.

VB2Of her Fall 2015 Collection Victoria Beckham explained ‘it is not about one theme – but instead thinking about what women really want to wear and how they want their clothes to make them feel.’
‘Familiar shapes have been deconstructed and reworked. Volumes have been subverted, menswear elements re-engineered to fit the female form and twists, spirals, seams and asymmetry interplayed. Fabrics bounce and move, a swing is sculptural, and a more body conscious silhouette emerges…’

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Obviously I would need a serious lifestyle change from housework and toddler swimming classes to justify my new wardrobe, but can’t you just imagine Olivia rocking the hell out of those light ensembles while saving the world and drinking insanely expensive red wine, which incidentally she would never spill on those fancy whites, because well she’s Olivia Pope! (If you don’t watch my favourite show Scandal you will be very confused right now).

FIVE WINTER FASHION PIECES WORTH INVESTING IN

Winter is without a doubt the most stylish season. It’s when fabric, cut and construction shine in exquisite coats, lush knits and the softest leathers. I know with the stunning weather still gracing our days, it’s hard to to believe but the latest winter collections from the country’s best designers are dropping in store now. This is when I like to start planning the few investment pieces I buy each season, like most women I know, I can’t afford to purchase everything I’d like to (not even close!), I have to be very, very choosy. If designer prices are out of reach, consider waiting until around June when they start to go on sale, or search second hand shops and trade me to find your favourite brands at a fraction of full retail, as you are looking for pieces to last years, who cares if its a season or two old. To get your started, here’s five fashion pieces definitely worth the investment.

coat montageYour winter coat will arguably be the one item you wear the most over the cooler months. If you are wanting just one coat to work with every outfit you need to choose a neutral colour like black, dark blue, grey or camel. Choose a classic cut that won’t date in seasons to come, if you choose wisely you should be able to easily still be wearing this coat in five years. Brands that are renowned for their gorgeous coats include Juliette Hogan, Twenty Seven Names, Kate Sylvester, Workshop, Country Road and Witchery. A new coat is on my list to buy this season, here’s a couple of favourites I’ve seen so far…
coat final 27 names 2 Twenty Seven Names Pembroke Coat $750

coat final 27 names Twenty Seven Names Clairmont Coat $550

coat final witchery Witchery Wrap Blanket Coat $450

leather montageLeather Jackets have been a staple of any stylish wardrobe for many years now, and they aren’t going anywhere fast so it’s definitely worth the investment. From the most casual look- think jeans, a tee and converse to a night out in your favourite cocktail dress, a beautifully cut, soft leather jacket is the perfect way to complete your look. I got mine about five years ago from Moochi and it’s still in fantastic condition, in fact I think it’s still their most popular style.
leather jacket final moochiMoochi Piper Jacket $749

leather jacket final witchery Witchery Double Zip Biker $699

knit collageThe difference between a quality knit and a cheap knock off is extremely obvious within the first few wears. A quality knit will feel cosy, soft, stay pill free and keep its shape season after season. Choose a shade that best compliments your skin tone and eye colour, I normally choose greys, blues and greens as they compliment my eyes the most. Brands like Workshop, Juliette Hogan, Kate Sylvester, Witchery and Country Road always do stunning knits. My absolute favourite already is this stunning jersey from Juliette Hogan.
knit final jho 1Juliette Hogan Roll Neck Sweater $459

knit final country roadCountry Road Maxi Cardigan $199

bag montageI haven’t bought a new bag for 8 years and I think it’s time. Deadly Ponies is New Zealand’s best in my eyes, they strike the perfect balance of style, function and quality. Yes they are expensive, however if they last 8 years like mine current one has, the cost per wear is cheap as chips. I’m tossing up between getting another Deadly Ponies bag or one from Kate Of Arcadia. Katie Smith, the woman behind Kate of Arcadia happens be one of the original designers of Deadly Ponies. Other brands that I’ve heard fantastic things about are Saben, Mimco and even Kathryn Wilson has also bought out a great bag this season. If like me you are after just one bag to work everyday, just like a winter coat, choose a neutral shade that will go with every look in your wardrobe, colours like black, dark ink blue and camel would work well.
bag final dp 1 Deadly Ponies Mr Fill & Zip $750

bag final dp 2 Deadly Ponies Mr Fill & Zip $750

bag final loa 1 Kate of Arcadia Mickey $395

bag final koa 2 Kate of Arcadia Manx $525

boots montageThe perfect blend of comfort and style, the best boots will feel like your favourite Converse but give your outfit the needed edge. Last Winter I bought my first pair of Chaos and Harmony flat ankle boots and they were worth every cent. This season I can’t wait to see what they are going to do, other brands that always get it right are Beau Coops, Kathryn Wilson and if you are really wanting to invest a mortgage payment or two check out Anine Bing and Modern Vice.
boots final beau coops Beau Coops Beau5 Ankle Boot $389

kathrynwilson Kathryn Wilson Frankie Boot $379

boots final modern vice Modern Vice Jett Classic Ankle Boots $530

boots final bing 5 Anine Bing Boots $900

One final piece of advice, only invest in quality pieces that speak to your sense of individual style, forget ‘fashion’, forget ‘cool’ – your style is timeless and pieces you love will be worn season after season and make your investment worth every cent.

ONCE YOU GO BLACK…

Buyers remorse. It’s something I would normally associate with a hot wee dress that cost a mortgage payment and never saw the light of day outside my closet. But after my house renovation, buyers remorse is a much bigger cloud over my day. We only renovated last year, and already I desperately want to change some big ticket items. When I was researching for our renovation I had lusted after incredible black tap ware, but it wasn’t available in New Zealand so I had to settle for silver. Mere months after dancing around my fancy new kitchen, I now see that New Zealand has finally come to the party and does stock black tap ware, and I’m glaring at my silver tap sideways like it’s an impostor. I tried to console myself by thinking it would be stupidly expensive anyway and therefore would never have been an option, but alas it’s not. It’s totally reasonably priced. Damn it.

I torture myself looking at amazing kitchens and bathrooms with their fancy black tap ware hanging out all sleek and stylish, and so much cooler than my chrome, especially when mixed with lots of white, marble, concrete and timber. See what I mean…

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