Button, button, who’s got the button?

Betty bought this cape in one of Laura Ashley’s epic sales years ago, and wore it to death. It’s the perfect length for not feeling armless, it covers a handbag in the rain, it’s lovely for cycling in, and it’s not navy blue: edgy. To Betty’s surprise, it also gets a lot of compliments (along with some sideways glances, but to each her own). Betty’s only regret, apart from not getting the red one as well, was the distinctly naff buttons – so when one finally popped off, she decided to replace them with something more interesting.


The internet was fresh out of Midsummer Night’s Dream picture buttons, but after quite a while of keeping an eye out, Betty came across this set of three antique French postal service uniform ones on Etsy. There were sets of five listed on eBay, but only at horrendous prices. Betty snaffled up the thrifty three and found a fourth semi-neutral one at the fabric shop.




Et voila:


All looking a bit well-loved, but it’ll deliver for another day. Neither snow, nor rain, nor gloom of night…

Sunday best

Betty and the husband person caught the bus into town on Sunday. It was awfully nice. First off, Betty wore a funny hat – always a liberating experience. A young and honest friend at church greeted her with an enthusiastic, “You’re a baker!”


Afterwards, B and HP walked around the viaduct, and then sat for a while on the seats at the end of Queen’s Wharf. At least I think so. The one with the Cloud on it.



The tall building at twelve o’clock is practically Betty’s home. Or work, at least. Then the duo wandered through Britomart, made the obligatory duck into Lululemon (the husband person likes the reassurance of being asked if he understands the sizing) and Coucou and Made, and then went to Victoria Park for the next bus.

Betty returned home with tingly feet, salty lungs, a sample of Christopher Brosius’s Russian caravan tea on her left wrist and Jo Malone plum blossom on her right (both very nice), slightly muddy toes, and a hungry tummy. And she napped excellently. And behold, it was very good.


Adventures all round

To kick off this Thursday’s mandatory adventure, Betty had her hair cut. Viz:


Bob’s your uncle! And then Betty and the husband person went off to Vinyl in the Eden Quarter and had a spot of lunch, with curly fries. Betty has developed a sudden sensitivity to coffee and is going cold turkey this week to avoid bouts of dizziness, so she also had a lemon toddy. It was very nice, Vinyl being quite the thing: it’s also next to the sweetest old-school dancewear shop that sells superhero costumes.




All in all, a most excellent adventure.

Nice legs

Betty has rather a thing for stockings, although the budget does not stretch to as many Schiaparellis or Jonathan Astons as it once did. These, however, have been waiting in the drawer for an opportune moment: and what, gentle reader, could be more opportune than a moment with no clean socks? Betty threw caution to the winds and wore them to work.


They’re by Betsey Johnson, from Sock Dreams. Aren’t they nice?

Abi and Joseph

One of the interesting things about Pilates, from a sartorial perspective, is that it skirts in between some of the usual categories of exercise. It’s not like running, which requires warm layers and wicking and possibly racing stripes, or like ballet, which calls for regulation tights and hairnets. It isn’t ideally served by the baggy t-shirts of gym class (they end up around your armpits when you roll your hips up in Short Spine, and nobody wants to see that), the halter-tops of yoga (which are fine until your sweaty shoulders get stuck to the Reformer carriage), the low-rise leggings of jazz dance (as anyone who knows a Stomach Massage from a Balance Control will tell you), or the fisherman’s pants of contemplative bodywork (because, if it hangs into the springs, you’re going to lose it).

And that’s just doing Pilates — teaching it is another matter. You can teach in dress pants if you’re not going to demonstrate anything ever, and you can teach in skintight kneesies if you’re fourteen. The remaining 98% of Pilates teachers have to find clothes that are comfortable, easy to move and stretch in, presentable, and maybe even stylish and nice.

Enter Abi and Joseph. Abi, a teacher herself, developed her clothing line so that she could do Joe’s work without spending her life in unflattering trackies, and she now has a range of wonderful Pilates clothes that are also perfect for travelling and weekends. Betty met Abi a few years ago at a Pilates conference, and since then Betty has lived in Abi’s relaxed fit pants, which have a lovely wide waistband and easily roll up to the knees for serious working out, and her ballet wrap top, which is frankly the finest in the business.

She also makes a tee with the cues for the Hundred, in French, printed on the front. Can you imagine? The husband person gives this one to Betty whenever she doesn’t know what to wear. Betty likes it too.


Top Shop

Sometimes, when the boy person fiance is just chillin’, he will blurt out (or even text-message) the words “Top Shop”. Sometimes, when Betty has a spot of free time, she will wander through the Department Store, which is very near her work. Several days ago, the word muttered darkly on the lips of the beautiful people was Eyjafjallajökull. However, this morning, technology and modern British bravery will prevail, and Top Shop will open on the top floor of the Department Store, and all of Auckland’s fashionable and moderately budget-conscious will rejoice. No doubt they will queue up, as they did a short while ago when the shop opened for a weekend to sell the one measly order that had made it through the skies before the eruptions, and Betty will see them on her way to work.

Betty, incidentally, will not go in; she will race through town afterwards to meet the boy person fiance for a spot of premarital counselling, but she does want readers to be informed. Top Shop!

Epiphanies are always nice

The other day Betty was sorting out her camera bags, that she might take one to Parachute. She was, as always, surprised to realise that she owns several cameras: a trusty digital (Panasonic Lumix DMC F27, not bad, not breathtaking), an old Minolta SLR that belonged to her father until he rashly lost interest in it, a newish Minolta SLR that Betty has tried a few times to sell on TradeMe, and a Holga, as well as a rather nifty Olympus rangefinder that her mother may or may not still be attached to.

Along with these, she has a selection of camera bags. There is a big old one like a chilly-bin, a smaller squary one, and one molded obscenely around the lens. There is an old-school lens case that looks as if it could have been issued in the war, and a casual yet futuristic pod that the Lumix goes in. Apart from the old-school lens case, these bags are blue and black and as ugly as sin. Then there is Betty’s handbag, which is not ugly at all, and in which the camera usually finds itself. In fact, Betty once blew a colleague’s mind by producing a tripod from her handbag mere seconds after the colleague had wished aloud that she had one. Very often, there is a lens-cleaning pen with a retractable brush floating around in there as well.

Now, Betty is far from being an awesome photographer, though she does fondly plan to get better at it one day, but she does take photographs on an almost daily basis. Just imagine, then, how tickled she was to find that a genius photographer has designed a range of bags for the very purpose of being able to take photographs all over the place.

Her lovely website is Epiphanie Bags. It’s beautiful.

And look at the inside. Betty faints with the joy of nifty organisation.

Photos from the lovely Elle Moss at Diary of a Mod Housewife.