Tag Archives: what i wore

SUMMER OUTFITS: june

to say this summer went by quickly would be the understatement of the century. you see, i’m still recovering from my post-student days, where things would slow down in the summer rather than speed up. yes, i’ve been working full-time most summers (with one exception) for nearly a decade now, but never as intensely as this year. in june, it really didn’t look like it would be that way… but hey! a summer election campaign and your colleagues taking their summer vacations will give you a lot more to do!

i know, i know, everyone finds the summer goes by too fast. i just wanted to give you a bit of context for these very belated outfit posts. spending far more time at the office did not mean i toned down my warddrobe or forgot to take outfit photos! it simply meant it wasn’t until now that i found the time to share them with you.

let’s begin with june.

as i mentionned earlier, i started the summer with a haircut and a trip overseas. before hopping on a plane, i checked out the

i had the chance to have a sneak peek back in may, but was so excited to see it when it officially opened in june. in the end i visited the museum three times this summer to try and take it all in, and am very glad i did. you can listen to my radio report on it if you missed it.

wearing: thrifted dress from value village, 10$
sandals: hush puppies on sale

the summer also means high-time for yard sales, flea markets and church basement bargains. while riding my bike one sunday i came across a particularly awesome yard sale and picked up this stunning 1960s wiggle dress for a whopping 6 dollars. it is a wee bit snug for me (but aren’t all wiggle dresses?) but i simply could not resist for that price. one of my smaller-hipped vintage-loving friends might be able to give it a good home if i don’t end up wearing it enough.

dress: vintage, thrifted shoes: thrifted ages ago photobooth bag from meags fitzgerald

dress: vintage, thrifted
shoes: thrifted ages ago
photobooth bag from meags fitzgerald

simon and i in his favourite colours: black and white

simon and i in his favourite colours: black and white

even though we live together, simon and i try to make date nights a priority. not just hanging out, but getting decked out to the nines for no particular reason at all and enjoying the sights and sounds of our gorgeous city. i didn’t get the best photos of my outfit, but believe me we turned heads that night.

dress, vintage 1960s from courage my love in toronto. 1960s handbag thrifted.

so there’s june: i’ll be sharing photos from july and august shortly. thanks for looking!

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my favourite clothes are free clothes

may 1st julia

me in my neighbourhood on may 1st, 2012

it looks like i unceremoniously ended my commitment to share outfit photos with you guys on a regular basis here… partly because of the massive time commitment and work involved, but because i’ve been rethinking what it means to flood the internet with images of myself… but that’s topic for another post. right now, i feel pretty excited about my warddrobe. the changing of the seasons will do that to someone who lives in a climate of extremes! last week, a big part of my spring cleaning involved taking my summer dresses out of suitcases and putting my winter scarves, coats and woolly garments away. this ironically coincided with a heat wave! it feels like summer in may.

julia wearing her jean jacket

my new (free) jean jacket in my very pink and blue neighbourhood

i wasn’t the only one doing spring cleaning, though. coworkers of mine were clearing out the work closet and there were a few unclaimed stragglers. after a few days/emails, they were deemed officially up for grabs. most weren’t my style, but i tried some on anyway… and found the jean jacket i never knew i lusted for. it fits me like a glove and makes me feel super tough. i seriously own next to no denim (after having spent my teens basically living in jeans) so it’s a really nice change. great for spring evening bike rides!

julia wearing a green 1960s dress with a short beehive.

trying new things with my hair, as i’m way overdue for a trim

following the trend of free garments: i’ve had this dress for about two years, but have never worn it! when i volunteered at le vestiaire, a local thrift store, we were “paid” by basically having first dibs on the clothes we sold. for someone like myself who loves variety, it was ideal. i could take home a dress one day and if i didn’t absolutely love it, i could bring it back my next shift. my closet definitely expanded a bit too much during that time! i put this handmade vintage garment aside at some point, and must have lost sight of it in the shuffle. i don’t know why it took me so long to rock this dress because it’s definitely a new favourite. my necklace was a gift from my friend salima.

green dress and hair down

when i say “next to no demin” i literally mean you see all the denim i own in this post. that black denim pencil skirt was a gift from a friend, and this shirt is what i THOUGHT was denim… that is, until i read the latest issue of WORN, i realized it is in fact chambray. (i’ll be making a post about some of the best magazines i’ve read lately, and WORN is among them!)

blue dress and my little pony graffiti

posing with my favourite my little pony stencil

speaking of worn, this is one of my softest most worn-in dresses… so much so that i wear it quite rarely for fear it will soon end in tatters. i’ve shown it to you guys before, in april 2010! and that my little pony stencil at my feet? one of my favourite things about québec city is the abundant street art. these particular guys have been around for about a year now. i did a short radio piece on them last year, which you can listen to here.

last but not least, one little photo from april when i was visiting one of my best friends, morgan, in kelowna. it did my heart so much good to spend time with some of my favourite people when i had time off in april, and i’m so grateful to have such generous and loving people in my life.

i’m posting this on the train. i’m on my way to visit my sisters in ottawa, go to my younger sister’s bachelorette party and celebrate my older sister’s birthday! so expect a bid of radio silence. june holds many adventures for me, too!

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spring has sprung: what i wore today

hanging out in the alps

i’ve got so many ideas and words running around in that head of mine, and for a rare occassion, a bit of time to work on them. it feels really good. but! before i start posting a million new conversations, i’ve got an obscene back-up of outfits from january, february, and march. let’s start with the surreal weather that’s hit most of ontario and quebec for the past two days.

you see, in québec city, spring doesn’t really feel like it’s here until april. mid-march is often the time of year where i long for the southern ontario springs i’ve known and loved, where the sun beats down on the happy folks drinking pints on the freshly opened patios around mid-march. but this year, for the first time in 65 years, we’re reaching double digit temperatures before spring has even officially arrived!

march 18th

yesterday was one of those deliriously joyful early spring days, where i squeal at all the adorable passing puppies, laugh at the melting snowbanks, and want to stay outdoors until the sun sets. look! bare legs! no winter boots! GRASS!!! suffice to say, i dressed for the occasion and took a long stroll around my beautiful city.

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outfit details: everything thrifted over the years except for the hat and shoes
hat: mino delavictoire, borrowed from simon’s generous friend marie-hélène
shoes: hank & co.

we strolled around st. roch, and i stopped by one of my favourite antique stores and oggled some particularly impressive couches… that happened to match my hat.

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cute my neighbourhood

highlights: a big great dane wearing a red cape (yes, cape), strangers telling me they loved my hat, a gorgeous young woman with my little pony lilac hair (who i stopped to tell her i adored, of course). last but not least, laughing ridiculously with simon as a result of this image:
hilarious

i hope it made you chuckle as well.

singing off for the most recent me me me me me post, julia.

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working clothes: how your job changes how you dress

earlier, when was at work, i was listening to some tape i gathered earlier this week of some sound art installations. “what is that sound?!” i ask myself as i hear a high pitched squeaking.

my colleague listens back and guesses, “was there a mouse around?”

“no,” i insist. “there weren’t any mice around. it’s a sound art installation! that’s not part of it… it distracts your ear too much though.”

my colleague agrees, “yeah, you can’t use that.”

i know it’s not useable. but if only that squeaking weren’t there it would be great! disappointed, i think back… was i holding my microphone correctly? which one was i using? where was i aiming? what was that squeak?!

then, it hits me.

my shoes.

my awesome black and white dapper shoes i bought in mexico city two years ago.

they are the stylish source of the squeak.

black and white outfit worn by garconnierei’m practically kicking myself listening back to my tape. yes, those shoes looked good. yes, when i got dressed that morning i chose flats instead of heels, because i wouldn’t make too much noise walking around the gallery space. but i forgot that these shoes squeak, and didn’t even begin to think they’d ruin my sound.

it’s alright, though. i found sound from later on where they don’t interfere too much… but it was still a bit more work than it needed to be, simply because what i was wearing interfered with my job (which is often gathering sound and information).

this brings me to my next point: since i started working in radio more frequently, there have been a few very clear changes in what i wear. there are the more explicitly practical changes that have happened; i’m a big jewelry wearer, and i own more pairs of earrings than i can count. i feel like a beautiful locket or necklace can really make a boring outfit really bold, and i love when people ask me about them and i get to share the stories behind them.

when working in my daily life though, i’m often wearing headphones. listening back to tape, cutting it, recording. when i’m not, i’m often on the phone, making calls, trying to find stories or guests.

slowly but surely, earrings have migrated their way out of my daily wardrobe. i tried with all different pairs, studs, dangly ones, light-weight… but every time they interfered and made their way from my earlobes to my desk drawer. now, they feel like a “special occasion” type accessory… which is part of why i wore them everyday! to conquer that silly “daytime/evening” outfit crap! bummer.

necklaces? again, much like the squeaky shoes, they can make too much noise. bangles are out of the question.

nov 20thfunky pins on chunky old man cardigans? hrm. not sure. will people be more distracted by what i’m wearing, than what i’m asking?

this brings me to my next point. it’s not so much just accessories that either prevent me from doing my job comfortably, or effectively… it’s also how my clothing choices have evolved. depending on what story i’m covering, i’m increasingly conscious of how i want to – or should – present myself.

february 24th - detailspress conference at city hall? let’s go for the tied and true black and white. yeah, sure it’s a white dress shirt i’ve worn since 7th grade with stains from high school art classrooms, but i look professional in it. part of this is obviously that i’m still kind of a rookie, and that i’m a young woman who wants to be taken seriously. a fun pair of tights can be my way of putting a little spin on what i would otherwise see as a boring conventional outfit.

reporting on the occupy quebec protest in november? get your slick looking coat out of the closet, some practical gloves, warm clothes. don’t forget, you don’t want to be mistaken for one of the prostestors, you slightly reformed hippie activist! but OH SHIT. but you get assigned randomly very early one morning, because there’s a big change all of the sudden and you need to go RIGHT NOW? forget one glove, wear your ridiculously over the top fur trimmed coat, look kind of ridiculous. get photographed and be in the background of all the newscasts. feel awkward.

overall, it’s nothing to lose sleep over. but i’d be lying if i said it’s not something i think about before i get dressed in the morning to go to work. everyone does it to some extent, but i’m more interested in tackling the shift of someone who plays with fashion and how it relates to their (gender, sexual, class or political) identity, and how they feel they should dress depending on their line of work.

four panels from jenna b.'s interview clothes strip. click the image for the rest.

some of these are ideas that j. bee and i touched on earlier this summer, when talking about why we looked “good,” and the frustrations of dressing for job interviews. dressing “professionally” for the first time can sometimes feel like you’re trying to fool people. if you’ve had a punk phase, or followed any sort of subversive community’s fashion decree, you might feel like you’re selling out to “the man” by dressing like the “suits.” i think i felt that a bit more when i had my very first “professional” job, but there is definitely a balance to be had of still feeling like you’re dressing in a way that is “you” all while still being taken seriously. sometimes, that means keeping my neon 1960s mod dresses, sexy lace shirts, sequined skirts, and funky tights at the back of the closet (or just until friday night).

of course, i’m not the only one who has wondered about these weighty questions. i shared this article on tumblr a while back, but it definitely deserves reposting here. Q & A with dean spade on Queer Couture is mainly a discussion about the ten years since spade’s influential essay “Dressed to Kill, Fight to Win” for an ANTI-FASHION SHOW zine in 2002. what really struck me about spade’s reflections was how his work life affected how he presented himself, and his own struggles with that. it’s something i’ve been increasingly conscious of in the past two years, as i made the shift from student, to unemployed, to working in a somewhat more conventional “career” driven environment. here’s some of what spade had to say:

A big influence on my day-to-day fashion experiences is my job as a law professor.  When I worked at SRLP, I had to go to court and deal with government agencies and officials, and I wore a suit for those things, but my working space at SRLP was an office full of trans and gender non-conforming people.  Even though we all looked different from each other, I still felt affirmed while in the office, like I was among people sharing an oppositional approach to many appearance norms and thinking politically about how we look.  It was a big shift to start working in such a straight, upper-class, gender normative environment. It’s a drag to manage my perceptions of other people’s perceptions of me.  It’s exhausting.   I think that is why reading the tone of this old essay feels good—its affirming and relieving.

Because I spend so much time now in a very professional, gender normative work environment, I have to remind myself that I love weird people, I am weird, I want to be weird, and being normal is truly horrifying.  I’m thinking of that experience of seeing someone on the street or on the bus who is working some kind of weird, non-normative look and feeling some delight and relief, like the person’s existence is making space for you. I have often felt that way when I see other visibly queer or visibly trans people, or other kinds of rule-breakers.  It’s beautiful to see people taking those risks and its wonderful to have those moments of mutual recognition with a stranger in the midst of a hostile world. I think I appreciate those moments now more than ever, as I wander the hallways confronted with the gray business suits of professors and the university sweatshirts and Uggs of students. Sometimes I’m just blown away when I look around a classroom of 80 students and almost all the women have long hair and almost all the men have short hair. The level of norm abiding and of standardization should shock us.  It suggests the significance of the processes people go through to decide to make major departures from those norms.

my relationship to fashion in the workplace is quite different from spade’s for a variety of reasons, but i can relate to the crux of the argument. once a wierdo, always a wierdo. and if fashion was the one way you feel like you can express that wierdness, it can feel wrong to have it taken away from you… even if you’re the person taking it away, to some extent. for the most part, i’m still able to dress however i choose, and have felt lucky enough to have not had any rude comments made about some of my funkier outfits. i’m also thinking back to the first time i had to wear work uniforms in my early, crappier jobs, and how it encouraged me to be more adventurous every hour i didn’t have to spend behind the counter. quit your rambling, julia! you know i could go on and on about this…

i’m curious to know of your own thoughts and feelings about this, and how this varies from field to field. i’m sure the opposite happens, as well – where more straight-laced folks might feel pressure to dress funkier, say, if you work in an organic health foods store but like to wear a suit and tie. what have your experiences been with your sartorial choices and your field of work?

let me know what you think, and thanks for reading.

RECOMMENDED READING:

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what i wore: december

december

well i sure am late on this one. here’s a quick post of what i wore in december, so i can bring you up to speed and show you what i wore in january. phew! these are more work and dedication than i anticipated!

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i started the month by travelling light, and heading off to visit my parents for the first week of december.

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getting ready for a friend date!

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a date to see my dear friend ashlee in trenton! we went to the quinte mall, of course, my old teen stompin’ grounds, and i fawned over beautiful books like this alexander mcqueen one. why didn’t i get it!!!

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my new favourite dress, hands down. here it is again later in the month, paired with cool new tights from my mom (click the photo if you want to see better details):

sixtiesdress

i got it at lucia f! it’s hard to sell things there, instead of getting paid i tend to trade with other sellers! such good stuff there.

cleaning out the closetthis probably my most “outside the box” look of december. definitely a new kind of thing for me: animal print. i’ve never owned anything animal print, ever. but i kind of love it these days? feeling like i’m channeling slutty badass housewifes, i.e. peg bundy. when i bought it, my sister jasmine dolled me up:

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and let me hang out and cuddle with her awesome dogs.

now for some more “professional lady” looks:

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catching up on the latest worn journal… i swear, it was my lunch break!

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IMG_1124betterIMG_1133tights

sequintits

ha, i called this file “sequintits.” and i’m saving it.

oh yeah, and i guess there were holiday things in december too?

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IMG_0485dancing nights

celebrating my friend karina finishing her job! and starting new adventures!

christmas dinner

christmas with the in-laws in bellechasse.

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birthday girl

birthday!

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working on december 23rd, my sad attempt at looking festive!

flapperflappertights

my sister bought me those tights for my birthday, and the photos don’t do them justice at all! i layered them over red tights so it was warm enough for a december evening date.

camera presents!

playing with my new cameras and lenses.

date night: the artist

that black flapper style 60s dress above is what i wore under this coat. i took simon on a date to go see the artist (WHICH I LOVED) and people were staring at us and pointing. it happens when you look this good :)

NYEnyetights

last but not least, here are some really bad outfits of my fantastic new year’s eve outfit. we had a pretty low key night but it’s always a good excuse to get super dressed up. a neighbour stranger told us he always loved our style, which was very nice! glitter glitter glam. it’s where it’s at.

PHEW! january coming soon, i hope that satiates your appetite for my outfits for now.

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champagne birthday: twenty six on the twenty sixth

champagne_starthis year, i decided i wanted to pull out all the stops for my birthday. you see, i tend to be a little grumpy about my birthday, namely because of when it falls – the day after christmas. this has often meant either not celebrating it on that day, or not feeling like it was “special” enough. obviously this was a bigger deal when i was six. i always moped about having to invite friends to come over either a week before or a week after, and knowing many couldn’t make it regardless (i was kind of a sensitive kid). my loved ones spoil me rotten though, like last year when my parents threw me a murder mystery dinner with friends! but overall, something about being a boxing day baby always rubbed me the wrong way. this year would be different, i said. i’m turning twenty six on the twenty sixth! some refer to it as a golden birthday, but my friend iris always called it a champagne birthday. i liked the sound of that, and an excuse to live exorbitantly (my favourite). champagne birthday it would be!

after talking to my best friend lots, and having ambitious plans of perhaps celebrating my birthday in montreal, or ottawa… it became very clear that many of the people who i wanted to be there couldn’t regardless of where i celebrated it (hey, it’s the day after christmas, and i live pretty far). to top it off, if i really wanted champagne on my birthday, there would be no way i could afford that at any bar or restaurant… aside from the fact that very few of them are open on december 26th… especially when it falls on a tuesday.

all planning kerfuffles aside, i decided it would be at my house. if you could come, great! if you couldn’t, oh well. champagne for all! good food for all! and dancing. i started tagging things on tumblr as “champagne birthday” to figure out what i wanted. i brainstormed on livejournal. it became clear: debauchery, laughter, dancing, masks, sequins, sparkle.

champagne_me2later, when i saw this dress at hank & co., i stopped in my (online browsing) tracks. now, i don’t have very much pink in my closet… aside from maybe one hat and one scarf. even when i found great pink vintage dresses, i sold them instead of wearing them myself. for the longest time, i had a strong aversion to pink… namely because it was associated as very feminine. nicolette mason talked about this recently over at her blog, and i left a bit long comment about my own relationship to the colour traditionally imposed on girls and women. i think it was a combination of internalized misogyny and fear of the unknown, but lately i have crossed that line and am loving pink. so! hot pink sequins? fuck yeah! when i saw that it was my size to boot, i knew i had to snap it up.

and here are the tons of photos from my birthday celebration. enjoy!

champagne
champagne courtesy of simon’s recent trip to france!

bashful birthday gal

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my wonderful guests!!!

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simon et karina

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get ready for some grub! millet stuffed bell peppers from get it ripe.

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post dinner champagne, anyone?

cake
my decadent cake, courtesy of annemarie

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i love these gals.

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simon, his sister ély and his brother patrick!

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now it’s time for a little bit of dressup.

bedroom glamour 2

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annemarie playing with my glasses (hey! look at my awesome lucky jackson print from iris last year)

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annemarie and i have a bit of tall gal-big feet solidarity going on.

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some glamour shots…

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and we’re ready for a break outside! followed by…

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dancing!

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corinne et karina

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i’m a bit of a diva. how can you NOT be in this dress?

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aaaaaaaand a little bit drunk.

happy belated birthday to me!

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november: what i wore this month

nov  26thanyone in canada can tell you we’ve had a surprisingly mild winter so far. usually, in québec city, we can expect our first snowfall in early november. this year, however, we’ve been holding off the snow for the most part – in fact, i think i’ve only see three little snowfalls that have hardly lasted. so obviously this has had a huge impact on how i’ve been dressing! i’m always happy to stave off the winter boots a wee bit longer.

without further ado, here’s a selection of some of my favourite november outfits.

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on my way to see sandro perri & ryan driver at l’agitée, a really really fantastic show. impossible spaces is definitely one of my favourite albums of 2011!

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