“I think I’m in a bit of 1970s phase,” I text my friend Steph. “You don’t say!” She replies. She’s partly to blame, lending me the loose tent dresses of her wardrobe for the duration of my pregnancy. I went through a “1970s phase” when I was 17, long-haired and venturing into my first coffee houses, becoming politicized by my studies, and greatly influenced by. But this was different. If anyone had told me back then that a dozen years later I would be wearing long psychedelic polyester dresses at 40 weeks pregnant, I probably would have laughed in their faces.


This paisley cotton nightgown is a DREAM. I had my hopes set on finding a bolder, more graphic muu-muu style garment but this one was of the easiest, most comfortable pieces to wear in my last trimester. It has pockets!


In the colder months, I adapted one of my vintage coats into a bit more belly-friendly format. This Jeanette Hardy (Made in Quebec) coat has been in my closet for nearly a decade but doesn’t get much wear. I changed that by taking off the too-snug invisible snaps and belting the coat around the waist instead.



And how badass do I look in that Holt Renfrew dress. Well, perhaps more surly than badass. Empire waist cuts, why did I avoid you for so long? Here’s a better picture of the Made in Italy design:



I snagged this great little corduroy dress while visiting Iris in Seattle, and even though the exchange rate was brutal, I do not regret it one bit. It has probably been my most worn dress during my 3rd trimester. It’s not an official maternity dress, as you can tell when I turn to the side and the front of the dress is a wee bit higher than the back.

The dress was made by Candi Jones, and from a little bit of googling it looks like a lot of her dresses from this era are quite similar to Gunne Sax. I’m glad this one has a little less frou-frou than those for sale on Etsy


Admiring the children’s section at Drawn and Quarterly, one of my favourite places in the world


This one was lent to me by my friend Steph, and it automatically makes strangers smile. It’s a wee bit snug in the sleeves for me but so so great for my big wonderful belly. And from the shortest dress… to the longest.


At le Lièvre et la Tortue, the tea shop that has become a regular hangout for me since it’s around the block from my midwife appointments!


I love love love this dress! Can you tell? All of these long dresses have been in my wardrobe for quite some time, but rarely got worn for whatever reason. May and June have changed that.



I can’t wait to one day show these outfit photos to my baby! In the meantime, I hope you all enjoyed them. Now wish me a swift and painless labour.


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1950s outerwear


Wearing a black deadstock FashionWise maternity dress from the 1950s (41 weeks pregnant)

In November, just as I was started to share the news with friends and family, I hit the vintage maternity wear motherlode while thrifting at Emmaüs. Racks and racks of mostly deadstock vintage maternity clothing from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. The first time I set eyes on them, I think I audibly gasped and was totally flustered. It was 15 minutes until closing time on a Saturday and I knew I wouldn’t have the time to come back until the next week. Fearing they’d all be gone, I frantically tried on 3 gorgeous pieces and left with all of them for 20$. I’ll be back, I told the woman at the cash. I’ll be back, I told the dozens of immaculate deadstock dresses.

I returned, and the dresses had waited patiently for me. With original tags that read “Expectantly Yours” and “FashionWise Maternity” along with illustrations of storks and terrifying cherubs, these garments waited for me for decades. Not only were so many pieces in fantastic condition, many were in my size. In fact, many would only look good on someone as tall as myself, which is a rare thing to find in vintage (I’m 5’11”). Best of all, they were practically giving them away. I think the most I paid was for a silk number you’ll see in my 1960s post, which was more than worth the 20$ price tag.

The most common item were these strange top/skirt sets, complete with expanding window for your belly. Yes, just like this one. High-waisted pencil skirts but with room for baby. Or at least, very tiny growing baby.

This red maternity set has one of my favourite tags: Expectantly Yours.

red-exThat said, these skirt/top sets were not the best for my constantly changing body. As lucky as I was to find these pieces only weeks after I found out I was pregnant, I didn’t get much wear at all out of the skirts when my hips grew in the 2nd trimester. The tops, on the other hand! I am still wearing at 41 weeks, and were really great to wear at work.

Also, I was mostly pregnant during the winter months and these would have been far more wearable in a warmer climate than Quebec City.


Wearing a Prestige maternity top at work (just about 7 months pregnant)


This one has pockets! But didn’t come with a skirt.

IMG_1952These two grey tops are both parts of Hildegard Geisler sets. The skirt never fit me for either top, but I loved details and quality of the design of the tops… and pockets! Lulu approves.


And lastly, two of my favourite, most wearable 1950s maternity dresses. Have you ever found a dress with an ADJUSTABLE WAISTLINE? incorporated into the design of a vintage dress? If you have, chances are this was once a maternity dress. I cannot believe how brilliant the design of these dresses are.

This black Fashionwise Maternity number has three hooks and one clasp on each side of the waist, and can be adjusted depending on how big your waist/belly is. This is one I will be able to wear belted when I’m not pregnant anymore, which makes me love it even more. On this black one, it really is “invisible” thanks to the pleats, but on the burnt orange one the buttons made it a little trickier. In fact… I may even prefer to wear the orange one when I’m not pregnant! I love it so much, these pictures do not do it justice.

Look at how not pregnant I was! 12 weeks! What a lifetime ago.

Next up, 1950s loungewear.

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1950s lingerie


Get ready for things to get very… pink and blue. It is the baby-boom era after all, and we’ve got to start imposing those gender roles on babies before they’re even born! I’ve got a lot of great slips and vintage lingerie, but I’m not about to post a million pictures of myself wearing it on the internet. Because… nipples. I have basically lived in these outfits for the last month of my pregnancy! And best of all? I had them all in my closet before I even knew I was pregnant.


This Pink Lady number is the best. A matching lace-trim coat to go with a sleeveless tent-style slip underneath. I feel very Betty Draper circa Season 1 of Mad Men when I wear this. I also have pretty much the identical set in… you guessed it… cotton candy pink.



This white one has beautiful embroidered red roses on the neckline.


Last but not least, the one I wear out of the house like nobody’s business. Yes, in this picture I have just woken up but if I brush my hair I look like a Serious Grown Up who wears vintage maternity lingerie wherever she wants.



On to the next best things: the 1960s and 70s.

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Chartreuse mod dress from The Little Shop (Mtl)

Ah, the 1960s. Post baby-boom, increasing numbers of women in the workforce, better and safer access to contraception… not to mention leaps and bounds in the world of fashion, fabrics and technology. I, five decades later, reap the benefits.

Let’s start with the fancier items. February! Month 5 of my pregnancy! I finally start to grow out of my non-maternity wardrobe, and am very pleased to turn to the side and rub my belly, à la Beyoncé. These are two of the non-maternity dresses that I was able to wear up until the beginning of my 3rd trimester.


A gorgeous – also still non-maternity – 1960s silk dress I found when visiting Morgan in Victoria this winter at a great shop called Duchess and Duke. Only wish I had found it earlier in my pregnancy! Will definitely keep in my closet and think I will be able to rock it. I even got to wear it with a cape since it was already feeling like spring in Victoria in late February/early March!

This grey silk cocktail dress was what I chose to ring in the new year, and what I wore to tell the Internet I was pregnant! I only wish I had had more occasions to wear it. How many dresses come with matching shawls? It feels as though it were custom made for someone for a very specific time in their pregnancy. It looks silly when you don’t have any belly at all, but very quickly no longer fits that ever expanding belly. There is zero give in the gorgeous fabric at all! It was one of the very first 3 dresses I snagged when I hit the vintage motherlode. Here’s the original tag as well:

This black and turquoise number was my go-to dress for December, January, February and I was so sad when it no longer fit come the month of March. I can’t really make the details of the design shine with these pictures, but it was so comfortable and adjustable and really made for my body type and size. No tags on this one, also suspect custom made.

A smiling pregnant woman looks at the camera as her sleepy partner hugs her and places his hand on her belly.Julia-0160fevrier72


Oh and how could I forget my coat. Being pregnant from September to June gave me an excuse to buy a new vintage coat! My biggest weakness! I knew exactly what I wanted – a 1960s swing coat – and knew I did not want to pay 100-200$ for it. I was lucky enough to find this one for 40 bucks in the fall, and got wear out of it well into April… and even once in May. Yes, it snowed twice in May this year.


And let us end with the late-spring outfits! Yay warmth! Stretch fabrics! Comfy cotton blends!


1970s, here we come.

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1930s/40s Maternity Wear


Wearing a 1940s black crepe dress in January (at 20 weeks pregnant)

Look at how happy I was! Most of the 1930s or 1940s clothing I ended up wearing was during the first and second trimesters of my pregnancy. I was lucky enough that some of my vintage dresses fit me for quite a long time; mostly those that weren’t fitted at the hips. The items that got by far the most wear were looser slips, like this 1930s bias-cut one I love so much. So comfortable, the next best thing to being naked. I would wear an even older piece of vintage lingerie over top to be a little warmer in the winter months. These photos don’t show either item off in the best way, but gives you an idea… and shows you my guest room/walk-in closet which has now evolved into baby’s room!


Photo by Amélie Laurence Fortin



Now, for something I’d wear outside the comfort of my home. I was really surprised to find how comfortable this outfit was, up until maybe month five of my pregnancy. The dress was something I thrifted ages ago, just a simple black 1940s dress. The jacket was designed by Hildegard Geisler, someone who I have found absolutely nothing about in my online searches. If you look at the picture of the tag, you see the amazing texture of it. The quality of the garment! I love it. I’m not sure what year it is from, it could be from 50s, but I’m lumping it in here.

Next up: this coral top is way “cuter” than what I normally go for, but come on! Look at the collar! The buttons! Sadly, this one got a little ruined in the wash but I got a lot of good wear out of it. In these pictures I’m wearing it with pyjama pants, but I wore it with a black skirt in the earlier months, and maternity pants later. This is one that still fits, even now at 41 weeks pregnant… because pleats! Betty Hartford, thanks for designing this gorgeous top ages ago.


Lastly, we have this dreamy dreamy dressing gown. I only found it around month 7 of my pregnancy, and it’s not necessarily exclusively “maternity.” It does make me feel really glamourous, which I definitely needed some days. Maybe a bit Veronica Lake? Femme fatale goes goody-two-shoes?

I must admit, other than the nightgown, I’m not super into the 1930s/40s maternity wear… because it was all about concealing. This post at Just skirts and dresses goes into more detail about what the dominant discourse was around how pregnant women were encouraged to dress. Witness to Fashion also outlines the impact wartime fabric rations had on the way mothers-to-be dressed, which is fascinating.

I also recoil at the idea of maternity girdles… Today, it is strange to think of how much pressure there was to avoid making others uncomfortable by being “visibly with child.” Personally, I wanted to show off my belly as soon as I had one, so the idea of emulating the style of this era wasn’t terribly appealing to me. As you’ll see in the coming posts, I think the 1970s works for me best!

I leave you with this terribly condescending fashion advice from 1944:


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Garçonnière is Pregnant


7 months pregnant on the Plains of Abraham. Photo by Amélie Laurence Fortin

I’m pregnant. In fact, as I write this, I am very pregnant. 41 weeks to be precise. To say that I am looking forward to meeting this baby is an understatement, and I am suppressing every exclamation mark, every all caps, every desire to underline and bold these words. I haven’t written about it much online, but given that baby is proving to be pretty happy in utero and in no rush to come out, I have a bit more time on my hands than I expected. This means an unexpected (perhaps temporary) revival of this dormant blog with some outfit photos.

I feel like I’ve forgotten how to “blog,” or rather, how people blog has changed so much in the two+ years I’ve stopped posting here, so I’m channelling the early ‘oughts and going back to how we used to share outfit photos in the early Internet days – think newestwrinkle or thriftwhore on livejournal, or dailywear on Flickr.


Before we get to the eye-candy, some caveats. I have been reticent to write about this for many reasons, namely because I have been overwhelmed by the massive amounts of judgemental, condescending information out there targeted at pregnant people and every element of their pregnancy. What to eat, what not to eat, how to feel, what is normal, and of course what to wear and how one should look. In my experience, the multiplicity of experiences that the women I know who have been pregnant is hardly reflected at all online, even if it has changed a bit with blogs and message boards.

Do not consider this a “what to wear while pregnant” guide by any stretch of the imagination. Wear whatever the fuck you want while pregnant! That’s about all the advice I have to offer.


A tag that reads “Service prénatal Colette Québec”

There are a lot of things I’ve really loved about getting dressed while pregnant: namely, it gave me a reason to revive my thrifting, which had all but come to a halt. It’s the first time my body has dramatically changed in shape or size in over a decade, and I love the thrill of the “hunt.” Plus, thrifting for maternity clothes meant I also started checking the racks of baby clothes… and I have found some phenomenal little vintage baby outfits, quilts, and toys while looking for clothes for myself.

That said, I shouldn’t have been surprised to leave so many stores and websites… angry. Angry at the high cost of modern mainstream maternity wear, angry at the lack of ethically or locally-made options, and angry at the fact that I often fit into the largest size available. Every person’s body changes differently while pregnant, which is why I have been baffled by chain stores like Thyme Maternity whose salespeople claim certain pieces will last you your “entire pregnancy.” I’m also angered that the few pieces of modern maternity wear I did buy was overpriced, made in shitty conditions, and not made to last at all. Not to mention sizing – I’ve been wearing their XL pants for my last trimester, and I’m a 12. XL is their largest size. Where does that leave anyone bigger than me? What a joke. And do not get this dress-wearing tall person started on maternity tights.

A smiling pregnant woman looks at the camera as her sleepy partner hugs her and places his hand on her belly.

But let’s get to the good stuff! I’ve broken down my outfits into eras, all an approximation based on what I could gander from tags and styles and the little bit of information out there. 

I promise this doesn’t mean à l’allure garçonnière is necessarily becoming a Mom Blog! If you want to follow more of my pregnancy-related and baby-related content, I’ve been sharing a lot on Instagram and a bit on Pinterest.

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2015: Year in Review

The round rear-view mirror of a 1963 Mercury Meteor

This year everything changed. The way I write, the way I think, the way I see the world. I say this with authority partly due to the fact that I spent the better part of the last week of 2015 going through all of the photos I took this year, and that’s what they tell me now. What struck me most was how few of them I had even looked at again since I first took them.

Which leads to my next big 2015 change: I purchased a smart phone mid-year, which completely changed the way I communicate with my loved ones and altered my relationship to the Internet. It changed the way I take photos (IN SHORT: I take far more pictures, far less interesting ones, and never take the time to delete/edit). It wasn’t until I started searching for online traces and hints of what my life was like this past year, how I recorded the year in photographs or words, that I realized I hadn’t shared much; hardly anything at all. In all of 2015, I posted two photographs of myself to Tumblr. I posted in my livejournal account 6 times. Twitter, suprisingly, was the space that most reflected my realities, my ups and downs, mon quotidien en 2015.

This winter was the longest, with record-breaking cold snaps. This summer was the antidote, a joyful sun-filled summer which I celebrated from June 21st through ’til September 21st, fully. The digital documents reflect that: I took twice as many photos in the month of June as I did in the entire preceding five months. #calmdownparty was my mantra, and Instagram was the place where I shared selfies of my shadow, the view from our 1963 Mercury Meteor, the moments I chose to relish in after a winter and spring filled with (useless) anger and stress.

I did not leave the country once, after years filled with at least one plane trip and many, many long drives. I embraced my membership in the stay home club, socializing almost exclusively on my own terms. I made few new friends, but cherish the ones I did. I tried to not spend too much time pining for the wonderful friends I have across Canada/the world and instead made plans to see them. Montreal, 3 hours west of my home, 3 hours closer to many people I love, became a place of reunions in 2015. Travellers from Ottawa, Petawawa, Aurora, Seattle converged there.

Professionally, I accomplished things that would have seemed outlandish and absurd to me even just a year ago. Simultaneously, I dealt with the reality of an institution I love being slowly – and often, not so slowly – chipped away at. I cried a lot. I tried to channel my anger into productivity (keyword: tried), and learned to accept things as they were, and more importantly, slowly learned to let go. I thought of escape routes, but didn’t take action. I adjusted.

I indulged myself. Said fuck it, decided *I earned it* instead of steeping in old guilt-soaked habits. I became harsher, more demanding, of myself but more importantly of others. Ten years ago these thoughts and actions would have been unheard of. I think this could use some softening but overall I think this has been an evolution in the right direction.

Things will change even more in 2016, which I will only allude to in vague terms because that’s how I roll these days. I am fucking excited.

You know the drill: here’s a selection of key moments, readings, and music I experienced or enjoyed throughout the year. Since there are so many, you’ll often find a broken link or two, so please let me know if you encounter one. If you’re feelin’ like woah, holy shit Julia, that’s a lot of links, can you select just a handful for me? Check out the entirely bolded selections. Recommended readings in italics are audio/radio. Without further ado:


01 - jan

  • I can’t remember much.
  • Was blown away by Selma.
  • Was sick, read this book in 3 days.
  • Discovered and became obsessed with Geneviève Castrée, her art, her music.
  • Hosted/produced a one-hour radio show.
  • Read a lot.

Recommended reading:

On repeat: Ô Paon – Fleuve


02 - feb

  • Maddy invited me to be a part of Femina Ridens, one of the best things I decided to do in 2015.
  • Simon et moi, nous avons tenu salon.
  • Played with robots at Mois Multi.
  • Started reading Sontag’s diaries.
  • My eyelashes froze.

Recommended reading:

On repeat: Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love

Kendrick Lamar – The Blacker the Berry

War on Women


03 - march

Recommended reading:

On repeat: Courtney Barnett – Pedestrian at Best

Laura Marling – Short Movie

Young Marble Giants – Brand New Life


04 - april

  • CBC cuts, again. They never get easier.
  • By virtue, got sadder. Saw people lose their jobs. Lost mine, but ended up replacing other people. Hard.
  • Mourned the loss of Taueret.
  • Had a nervous breakdown.
  • Did some pretty nice journalism with some cool kids.
  • Was angry about racism in America, in Canada.
  • Was sad about movie theatres/drive-ins closing.
  • Saw my friend Jaime, too briefly.

Recommended reading:

On repeat: Fiver – Dayton

Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell


05 - may-edit

  • Bare legs! The snow finally left!
  • Turned a corner emotionally, work wise.
  • Rewarded myself by surviving winter 2015 with the most gorgeous, wonderful bicycle. First new bike of MY LIFE!
  • Discovered No Better than Apples, the best zine I’ve come across in years.
  • Went to see DEERHOOF at the FIMAV and cannot put it into words how fucking awesome that was.
  • My best friend Karina got married! It was amazing! I was the officiant! We spent a whole week together beforehand!
  • Montreal was a nice distraction but I was still sad, as you can tell in these photobooths.

Recommended reading:

On repeat: Yamantaka/Sonic Titan – Hoshi Neko

Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj – Feelin’ Myself

Adult Mom – Survival



  • Lilacs, love and laziness

Recommended reading:

On repeat: Frazey Ford – Done

Leon Bridges – Coming Home

The Weather Station – The Way It Is, The Way it Could Be


07 - july

  • Did my final arts report, a weekly look at contemporary art across Quebec, which was my favourite journalism/what I think I am/was best at. I think I’m the only one who misses it, though.
  • Interviewed Douglas Coupland which was fun
  • The aforementioned cuts slowly came into effect.
  • Said some goodbyes, and good riddance.
  • Saw Future Islands/Operators and Owen Pallet. Samuel Herring is a BEAST. Amazing dancing.
  • Spent every weekend in the summer sun, dodging thunderstorms.
  • Lost my glasses while swimming in a river.
  • Simon bought a 1976 Dodge Tradesman camper van. She is named Nuage. She has her own hashtag.
  • We went on a 10-day roadtrip through Quebec and Ontario, with nice stays in Prince Edward County and good quality family time.

Recommended reading:

On repeat: A Tribe Called Red and Buffy Ste. Marie – Working For the Government

Rihanna – Bitch Betta Have My Money


08 - august

  • Saw belugas, whales and seals. For real. I gasped aloud.
  • Met up with Iris and Duncan in Montreal
  • Admired sunsets, skies, clouds, late night bike rides.
  • Hosted the morning show I’ve been working for for nearly 5 years. Did it for a whole week. Surprised myself.
  • Was sad to hear of the untimely death of Svetlana Boym
  • Was the happiest I had been in a long time.

Recommended reading:

On repeat: Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats – I Need Never Get Old

Hell You Talmbout featuring Janelle Monáe, Deep Cotton, St. Beauty, Jidenna, Roman GianArthur, and George 2.0.


09 - Sept

  • Went swimming in rivers, lakes, in September.
  • Saw Garbageface on the last super hot day of the year.
  • Read a lot of poetry.
  • Tried to adjust to big changes at work.

Recommended reading:

 On repeat: Katie Moore – Fooled by the Fun


10 - oct

  • Was “diagnosed” with stage 3 burnout. Started working 4 day weeks. That ended up lasting… a month. And didn’t change much.
  • Went to see Roxane Gay in Montreal with Rachel.
  • Rachel made her cookies. They were amazing. We gave them to her. She loved them.
  • Elections elections elections all the feelings thank god its over.
  • Started contributing to Songs You Need to Hear, stretched my writing muscles.
  • The world lost Chantal Akerman.

Recommended reading:

On repeat: The Burning Hell – Fuck the Government, I Love You

Laura Sauvage – You’ve Changed

Lianne LaHavas’ Tiny Desk Concert


10 - october

  • Shared joyful news.
  • Took a much-needed break from Facebook.
  • Visited my family in Petawawa.
  • Contributed to this.

Recommended reading:

On repeat: Steve Lambke – Days of Heaven


12 - dec

  • My friend Steph came back to Quebec City briefly, after spending most of the year in Chile. So good to have a friend in the city.
  • Really enjoyed Spotlight, which featured one of the best representations of a female journalist I’ve ever seen onscreen (which is kind of fucking sad)
  • Maddy came to Quebec City!
  • I took time off (aka demanded, insisted) during the holidays for the 1st time in FIVE YEARS.
  • Celebrated by 30th birthday.
  • Contributed to this.

Recommended reading:

On repeat: Arlt – Deableries

Anna B. Savage

C’est tout. Maybe I’ll have more to share in this space in 2016. Thanks for reading.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/ycbTni][img]https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5733/21130021951_b389440d68.jpg[/img][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/ycbTni]Grange fest, août 2015-21.jpg[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/106805210@N03/]Simon Dumas[/url], on Flickr


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