Skip to main content

Holiday Picks with Amanda

November has been an insanely busy and tiring month. Personally, I've been tied up with work (gotta pay the bills and put cat food into Rocky & Molly's bowls!) but also feeling kind of down-trodden by the gloomy and dreary weather. Despite the holiday cheer and decorations in all the malls and stores, it all feels kind of over-the-top and artificial to me. I've been swamped trying to edit through wedding photos from last month but also feeling creatively stifled in that the weather and lack of energy after work prevented me from going out and shooting more. I was in desperate need of some quality bonding time with close friends, so how lucky for me that Amanda recently moved to Montreal, cutting the distance between us in half!

Photos in this month's fashion post are from our hangout in Montreal over Black Friday weekend. Since we spent a lot of time in stores (and most of Amanda's things were still back in Toronto), I wanted to try a different approach from the other posts. While some of the pieces featured are from Amanda's wardrobe, I also wanted to share some of her picks from our favourite local boutique, in order to showcase the different occasions throughout the November-December season. Check out the photos and outfits below!

Tie top from Forever21
Tartan skirt from Dynamite

Q: What’s a foolproof combination to get out the door when you’re running late in the morning?
My foolproof combo when I'm running late is a nice skirt and top. In winter, I like to add stockings as well. This is easy enough and still professional. This combo can easily be worn with boots, flats, heels, etc. Depending on the season, I like to play with colour combos to really accent the season. For instance, the berry and tartan are both warm and gives me a Christmas-y/holiday vibe.

Q: What are some of your wardrobe staples to stay comfy and casual?
My staple “comfy and casual” item has to be a flannel. Maybe it's the Canadian in me, but flannel is an easy go-to piece. It's a nice pop of colour that is still cozy to wear for any outfit (lounging at home or going out). Bonus with flannel is that if you're not wearing it, you can easily tie it around your waist as an accessory.

Plaid flannel shirt from Uniqlo
Plaid poncho scarf from Dynamite

Q: How do you add a festive vibe to more casual outfits?
For regular outfits, to give it a more festive vibe, I like to tie in one or two more dressy pieces. For instance, this tulle skirt is not an everyday piece, but it adds a little flair. This is perfect for a holiday hangout with friends or a date night.

Cream sweater, Tulle Skirt, and Suede pumps from Boutique 1861

Q: What do you look for in pieces for special events? 
I like pieces that stand out, especially for the holidays! Usually this means one "stand out" item that adds a special touch to the outfit. This can be bling-bling -- small touches like jewelry, or bold like a sparkly dress! I've always been a sucker for some sparkle so what better time to shine than the holiday season??? I love that this time of year (the most wonderful time of the year) is the perfect excuse to dress up. Christmas, New Years, whatever you choose to celebrate, you have the option to really go all out. I find these occasions are a great opportunity to show off another element of your personality (and style!) that you normally can't share in your day-to-day outfit.

Sequin dress from Boutique 1861

Q: What would you wear to your holiday party? 
This year my company holiday party is on a smaller scale. As fun as the sequin dress is, I would feel more comfortable in this silver dress from Anthropologie. The longer length makes it more work appropriate, and the pleats give it a more formal vibe. The strappy upper body and shimmery material adds another level of festivity and gives the dress a more “special occasion" look. The silver still has a shine to it, but is much more toned down compared to the sparkly sequins. All in all, it's better suited to a small dinner and gift exchange with colleagues.

Silver dress from Anthropologie

Thanks Amanda for sharing your picks! Really love how you bring holiday cheer into your outfits without going overboard and costume-y. I appreciate your well-thought out explanations for your picks, which makes fashion so much more accessible to those it doesn't come to as naturally.

On a separate but related note, I can't believe there's only 1 more post left to this project -- time really went by! Compared to my 2016 vintage project, I feel like this one went by a lot smoother, with only a few minor hiccups here and there. I definitely never felt the same stressful "oh I might give up!" panicky moments that I had in the 2016 project. Hopefully that's a sign of growth?  It's not the end of this project yet but I don't have any ideas at the moment for 2018 and I strongly suspect that I won't be able to stop doing fashion photography!

Hope you enjoyed the photos, thanks for reading :)