In this post I will show you a retrospective of my holiday outfits of the last seven years. Each outfit is special on its own and comes with a story to share. For me, it was amusing to observe how my style has been evolving with years, and I hope you will share my amusement. Dive in!
Year 2008: Shine And Dazzle
In 2008 I had big cheeks, a pretensions style and a very different life from the one I have now. Back then I was married and was living in Rosemont, a cheap francophone quartier of Montreal. I had just got a new job in a small IT company. I was the #11 employee (counting the president and the vice president) and the only girl in the office; back then they had neither an accounting dep nor HR, so I was literally the only female in the whole building. It was my first Christmas party with these guys, and I was keen to dazzle them! Well I must say I did succeed.
I bought a bright blue cocktail dress, suede platform pumps and some cheap but sparkling jewellery with faux diamonds. I tried hard and ended up looking like this – see the photo. The party was in an Italian restaurant that had a expensive sounding name. In the reality it turned out to be a cozy but unsophisticated rustic place with home made pizza. When I came there all sparkling in my heels and diamonds, I got a bit shocked by the look of the place… and by the look of my colleagues! Nobody wore any nice clothes. No ties, no costumes. Plain sweaters and hoodies. Winter boots, messy hair. Typical computer geeks eating pizza. And here I was looking like a diva. Frankly speaking, I thought such situations could happen only in movies. I felt so overdressed and uncomfortable… and in the centre of attention! My colleagues were indeed quite dazzled, so I achieved my goal by 200 or maybe 300%.
What happened after? Well, we all had a good laugh about the mismatch in our outfits, then my boss ordered a bottle of expensive Italian wine, and we ate the pizza, drank the wine and enjoyed our company. All well that ends well!
Year 2009: Modest Neutrals
After dazzling my colleagues in 2008 with diamonds and platform pumps, on the year of 2009 I decided to opt for a more modest look. I was working in the same company as before and already knew that no one would be dressed up for the Christmas party. So, I chose a nice but neutral outfit: a fitted dress in charcoal grey, a multi-strand chain necklace in black and silver, metal bracelets and a black square ring.
As usual we went to a restaurant, but this time it was a fancy one with tiny but beautifully decorated meals. I brought my camera and took a photo of each single meal. Then we started taking pictures of each other. One of our bosses (the vice president) always wears a hat, and the Christmas party was not a good enough excuse for him to leave it at home. Being quite drunk, we started fooling around and took the hat off from his head. At some moment I decided to put it on and strike a pose. These pictures turned out to be the best pictures of mine of that year.
That year I wore the same outfit for a wedding of a friend of mine.
Years 2010-2012: Vintage Little Black Dress
Yes, that’s correct! Three years in a row I wore the same holiday outfit: a vintage LBD made in 60s. I got it at a thrift store for $6. The year 2010 marked the beginning of my passion for vintage clothing, and the dress was one of my very first finds – and one of my favourites too! It got a lace yoke, a thin string belt, a wrap skirt and is perfect in every way.
Montreal is a creative place with an environment that fosters art and fashion, so the locals are used to all sorts of crazy outfits. Yet the dress is so remarkable that even montrealers notice it. One of the Christmas parties I went to was in a restaurant, and in the end, when I was leaving, a girl at the next table came to me and said that my dress was amazing. Then she asked to take a photo of me. I was so flattered!
Apart from being the centre of the fashion attention, this dress also won me a fashion award! In 2012 I participated in a photo contest organized by ELLE Quebec on Instagram. The theme was holiday outfits. I posted a picture of the dress, velvet flats and a pearl strand that used to belong to my mom. And the picture won! I got prizes worth $300 and was invited to the ELLE Quebec party. Read the full report on the event in my post “How I Won “Bulles & Tendances” Fashion Contest By ELLE Quebec”.
Year 2013: Montreal Designers And Vintage
In 2013 I was deeply involved in the business with FripeFabrique (FF). It was actually the year when the relationship started. So, at the holiday time I wanted to show off the awesome pieces that FF got. I came to the store a few days before the office Christmas party (which is usually the biggest event in my social life), and Michelle, the owner of FF, styled my look from head to toe. In this outfit she mixed it all: vintage, designers and brands. The LBD is made by a Montreal designer Betina Lou, and the recycled fur collar is made by another Montreal designer Rachel F; both of the designers are best sellers of the store. Indie designer items go well with vintage accessories, so Michelle added a vintage necklace and a bracelet. As the final touch, she gave me her Miu Miu shoes: they have shiny heels and are super comfy, which is very important when you plan to dance a lot! At the party I told everyone where the outfit came from, and my colleagues were impressed.
Year 2014: Metallics
This year I got not one, but two holiday outfits, both featuring metallic creepers and items I got thrifted.
The creepers were a lucky purchase on Black Friday. I wanted exactly this kind of creepers in this kind of golden shade and actually wanted to order them online.. but the shipping cost and the custom fees stopped me. Luckily, one of the local stores where I dropped by a day before the Black Friday had the shoes in stock. Next day I came back and spent about one hour waiting in line to make my purchase. It was so worth it!
The sweater, the dress and the slip, all was bought during a huge thrift shopping session I did before the holidays. I wanted to get something original for the holiday parties, and a thrift store is the best place for that. Read more about the outfits in my recent posts: here and here.
While the golden sweater outfit turned out to be quite loved by you my dear readers, the offline world liked the dress better. I wore it to a Christmas party we had a few days ago at the office, and I received so many compliments! I bet the revealing neckline is responsible for its success; though the creepers did get their fair share of praise. I love to be in the centre of fashion attention!
For the office Christmas party I got a golden vintage purse (on the left) from FripeFabrique.
Let me know what you think about my outfits! Which one is your favourite? 🙂
Disclaimer: Yup, this post may contain affiliate links! If you buy something from me, I get some margarita money (not enough to buy a pair of shoes). Read more here.