FASHION: GET SHORTY

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?

MY STYLE: DOUBLE DENIM

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

STYLE VS FASHION

Style vs Fashion – but aren’t they the same thing you may be thinking?

Being fashionable is defined as ‘conforming to custom, fashion or established mode’, it’s following temporary trends, dressing for others. Whereas style is enduring, it comes from within, it’s personal. Like I mentioned in my post ‘How to Fake Being a French Girl‘ – French women dress to feel good, they dress for themselves and no one else. This is a rule we should all follow, it will help develop our own style, one that makes us feel our most confident and beautiful.

As Coco Chanel aptly put it ‘Fashion fades, only style remains the same.’

A few people commented after my post about the huge fashion comeback of the Birkenstock, they totally disagreed with me and in fact loved their Birks. And good on them! Just as important as not wearing something because the fashion world says you should, is wearing what you love regardless of other peoples opinions. If I didn’t truly believe this I certainly wouldn’t own four pairs of drop crotch / harem pants.

Although I haven’t always been so unconcerned about others fashion views, if I’m honest, I have spent much of my life choosing what I wear based on the image I think it will portray to others. In high school all decisions were label based, the bigger the better. I was so concerned about what the ‘cool kids’ would think of me! In my 20s I worked for many years in the fashion industry, from owning my own clothing boutique to managing sales and marketing for fashion designers. And you know what – I was still worrying about what the ‘cool kids’ thought! I was desperate to wear the latest designer threads, perfectly curating up to the minute trends head to toe. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve stopped caring so much about what others think about the way I dress. My love for fashion certainly hasn’t wained, however the difference now is I am choosing what I have in my wardrobe by what makes me feel good.

Think about your favourite items in your wardrobe. Is there any themes you can see about the looks you love to wear the most? If you’re a little lost about what your style is, go onto pinterest, start searching women whose style you admire. Pin whatever you are drawn to. What you will soon find are trends, colours, styles that you gravitate towards. You now have a fantastic template to start building a wardrobe that truly reflects your style, because it will be filled with items that you love, that are all about you and no ones else’s idea of what you should wear. Style inspirations for me are women like Emmanuelle Alt, Tash Sefton (specifically her shoes!), Julie Sariñana, Alexa Chung and Anine Bing. (You can see more of my fashion inspiration on my pinterest fashion page.)
my everyday style, two janes.com

Lifestyle is also going to shape your style. Currently I’m home with my kids, so my day to day wardrobe is all blue, black, grey and white skinny jeans, well cut shirts / tees and some kind of flat shoe. I choose quality over quantity every time and try to pay attention to the smaller details like accessories, hair and makeup (when my crazy toddler allows) to help my casual day to day look more polished. Obviously when I go back to working this will be reflected in my wardrobe – I’m so excited about that, getting the excuse to dress up a bit more and having a very valid justification to shop!

Hopefully this post will motivate you to think a little about your own style. Just remember there is no way you can go wrong if you are dressing to make yourself feel happy and confident, regardless of whether it’s ‘in fashion’ or not, to hell with the cool kids!

FASHION: HOW TO FAKE BEING A FRENCH GIRL

French women are renowned for being the worlds most stylish, perfecting effortless chic, always with an air of confidence. I’ve had a long love affair with all things French, I even named my 14-year-old daughter after the capital!

French actresses like Lou Dillon, Clémence Poésy and Paris Vogue Editor Emmanuelle Alt’s style is often used as a template for trendy women around the globe wanting to achieve the elusive effortless chic the French of synonymous for. Personally I am a little obsessed with Emmanuelle Alt, I pretty much want to be her when I grow up.

french girl style inspo

The confidence that exudes from French women is no mistake, it comes because they dress to feel good, they dress for themselves, and no one else. They don’t follow trends, instead they develop their own style, filled with classic pieces they love. A common French phrase is ‘I threw on these clothes because I had no time to think about my look this morning’, but don’t be fooled by this supposed non-chalant attitude, French women work hard to achieve their envious style.

french girl Collage 1

Clothing – the key is having perfectly tailored clothes that suit you, because you have to feel great and comfortable to have confidence. French women tend not to bare too much skin, preferring to show shoulders or a bare back. Buy the very best quality you can afford, yes this will mean you will have less in your wardrobe, but your clothes will look stunning and last so much longer. Keep to a minimal palette of black, white, blue, red and neutrals, allowing items to be mixed and matched.

Shoes – never too high, if you can’t walk confidently in your sky-highs then don’t wear them, flats are often favoured.

Makeup – minimal and fresh. There is a strong focus on caring for your skin, allowing natural beauty to shine rather than covering it with a lot of makeup. A bold red lip is often all that is needed for night time glam.

Hair – tousled, even messy hair is common, and considered extremely sexy.

Accessories – keep it simple, less is definitely more.

french lesson 4From top left: Country Road wrap shirt | Superette rails shirt | Moochi fringe bag | Sass & Bide hulsey strutter jean | Kathryn Wilson courtney heel | Meadowlark crystal chain earring

French Lesson 3From top left: Twenty Seven Names breton tee | Senso Shoes robyn heel | Juliette Hogan blake short | MAC Cosmetics lady danger lipstick

French Lesson 2From top left: Twenty Seven Names chessie daisy dress | Juliette Hogan johnny cardi | Meadowlark protea ring | Karen Walker bag | Country Road nora derby flats

If a wardrobe update is out of reach at the moment, just follow these five easy steps for an instant French girl makeover…

french 5 steps 2

how to be a parisianAnd for those of you who are ready for a master class, I was excited to find there is a new book called ‘How to Be Parisian Wherever you are’, which explores all facets of a Parisian woman’s world; style, beauty, culture, attitude and men. The four women behind this must have read are long term friends Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret, Sophie Mas and Anne Berest, who decided to debunk the myths of the ‘effortless chic’ Parisienne. I love that there is an entire chapter devoted to not apologising for bad habits, I am starting to think I may actually be secretly French.