Tag Archives: quebec city

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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Filed under maternity, Uncategorized


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!


Filed under fashion, personal, vintage, what i wore today

a love letter to québec city: salon nouveau genre 6

it’s hard to believe, but it’s been three years since québec city became my home. since then, i think it’s fair to say we’ve had our ups and downs: bouts of unemployment, hard to find friends who end up leaving for greener pastures, not to mention finding a balance between french and english with a dash of culture shock. there have been moments when i’ve doubted whether we were right for each other…  but this past sunday was definitely one of those days where i was reminded why i feel in love with this city in the first place.

now i’ve been to nearly all of the salon nouveau genres over the past few years, but i have to say this one went above and beyond. olivier, the organizer, really hit his stride finding a great balance with the location, space, and variety of craftspeople showcasing their work.

many of my favourites were still there, like velvet typo, water loup, and tomates d’epingles. but what really blew me away were meeting many new creative people who live and work in the same city as i do! i like to think of myself as quite “branchée,” comme on dit en français, going to gallery openings, having worked in the arts community, and being pretty social. i sell alongside church clothes and many other folks at boutique lucia f. even so, it’s refreshing to find i am still constantly meeting and discovering new artists. here are just a handful of the people i met on sunday.

julie of why not coconut

julie is one of the people i’ve met during my visits to morgan bridge in downtown québec city. she sells a handful of postcards and things there, but i had only seen her lovely jewelry, namely necklaces, online as of yet. but at salon nouveau genre, she flaunted her creative wares by incorporating vintage with newer pieces. what really takes my breath away are her handmade display cases. i’ve made my own using an old letterpress drawer, but if i was in the market for one i would definitely head towards why not coconut.

across from julie’s stall was something that immediately caught my eye: bowties, photos of kitschy motels, and a jackalope. i was soon chatting up one of the creators who is based in bromont, and we talked about our affection for motels and casse-croutes across québec. my knowledge is pretty limited to the eastern townships and la beauce, but her book chronicling abitibi’s selection really drew me in.

as i headed for the door, i stumbled upon yet another great discovery: Studio METHOD(E).

Founded by Emily Lewis and Marie-Hélène Bélanger, two graduates of NSCAD University in Halifax, Studio METHOD(E) is a contemporary jewellery studio that specialises in the use and teaching of alternative techniques and materials. Pushing the boundaries of traditional jewellery, the founders explore many possible avenues using concepts and materials that fascinate them.

i was swooning for this pair of earrings in particular:

aren’t they a gorgeous modern take on turn of the century jewelry? there’s something about them that really harkens back to art nouveau to me, for some reason. i could link pair after pair that i would love to own, but it’s not simply the aesthetics i can get behind, but their creative approach. i just love their approach to jewelry making.

they invited me to stop by their studio in limoilou sometime, and i can’t wait to take them up on their offer when my wallet has fully recovered from this weekend’s events.

i know i have readers from many corners around the world, so to make this a wee bit less quebec centric i leave you with these thoughts. i’ve already expressed my distaste of shopping “events” like black friday. i personally am really not a fan of commercializing everything possible and making things into “sale” days. however, events like craft fairs, zine expos, and the like make it possible for craft lovers like myself to meet the people who make the things we wear, read, and enjoy. and every time i go to a good one like sng6, i leave completely reinvigorated and inspired… as opposed to when i leave a shopping mall, where i feel overwhelmed, frustrated and broke.

i can’t say i’m 100% sold on the idea of radical ideas being able to take root via capitalistic endeavors (since so many social justice issues stem from capitalism being the model of “every man for himself”) but i definitely think it’s a step in the right direction.

in short: if you celebrate the holidays and want to give thoughtful awesome gifts to your loved ones, check out your local craft fair. you never know, you might make some new friends and learn something new while you’re at it. how often does that happen in a mall?



Filed under craft, quebec city

september: fresh start

a photo of julia, a young femme presenting person, standing next to a silver graffiti that reads SMILE. she is not smiling.

i’ll be the first to admit, i’ve fallen off the wagon. i promised myself i wouldn’t become one of those bloggers who starts off every blog post by apologizing about how they haven’t been blogging lately… but looky here. i have valid excuses, however. i’ve been working full-time (researching, writing, and reporting for a local radio station that i love) and i’ve let myself get wrapped up in it. not to mention a whole bunch of other summer adventures i won’t mention quite yet.

poster by flexib, for the “something from the meatcase, linda?” tour

since i last posted, my life has changed a whole lot; namely for the good. scratch that, namely for the exceptional. august brought nearly everyone i hold near and dear to me to one of my favourite places in the world. i caught up with old friends, the wonderful salima and helped throw together an event for the amazing karol who was on tour with a bunch of friend. two of my best friends in québec city moved to greener pastures (guelph and yarmouth, respectively), and i’m starting to miss them lots. hurricane irene hit me surprisingly hard, breaking my camera and ripping the electrical wiring out of my house. eleven days without power helps put things into perspective, let me tell you. not to mention, since i last posted i’ve lopped off 14 inches of hair and gotten a new pair of specs. i’ve got a lot of thoughts i want to put to paper (what’s new?!) but in the meantime i felt like i should assure you the dead air is not a bad thing. it means things are good.

without further ado, here’s some photos of how i look these days!

photos of julia walking down a staircase, and smiling in the sun

– slip worn as a dress thrifted from emmaüs, 5$
– vintage (deadstock) blue cardigan, free from le vestiaire. i would bestow upon it the title of BEST cardigan ever if only it had pockets. it’s got these great scallopped edges
new glasses from clearly contacts which set me back a whole 10$. best sale ever.

a close up portrait of julia wearing large cat eye glasses looking at the camera

earrings by anne-louise laflamme snatched at le coeur de loup flea market. i’ve always enjoyed her designs but it wasn’t until i spotted her latest record ones that i found a pair i felt suited me to a t. similar ones here.

bag thrifted from value village in ste foy, summer 07. if only i had one in every colour of the rainbow!

the buttons are both gifts from wonderful friends: typewriter from karina and hand reading pin from sves.



Filed under hair, vintage, what i wore today