‘Tis the season for all things Christmassy, and I need you to know that I know that. I do. And I love Christmas. I do. Just … maybe not as much as your average blogger, if my blog feed is anything to go by. I don’t do a lot of home decorating, I have an old plastic tree, and I try to avoid cooking as much as possible. Most of all, I’ve grown to hate gift shopping. All of the people in my life, with the exception of the kids, are difficult to shop for; they exhaust my resourcefulness, and leave me with no desire or ideas for putting together gift guides for your edification. And, let’s face it, you don’t need my gift ideas anyway.

So, how can I bring some seasonal flavour to the blog? How about a walk down memory lane with the ghosts of Christmas parties past?

By way of background, let me start by saying that this year marks my 6th work Christmas party at my current firm. The event is always a classy affair at Edmonton’s ritziest joint, which makes it a perfect opportunity for dressing up. Alas, I always seem to end up wearing boring, expected black. Or pretty darn close to always.

Black is safe, of course, which is why I wore a plain, black Elie Tahari dress for my first Christmas party. This was in the pre-blog days, so I don’t have a full length picture of my outfit, but you can see the dress in the middle photo. I used a ginormous necklace as a bit of visual interest. (For the record, my cleavage looks more scandalous here than it really was. Honest.) Three years later, I re-wore the dress, substituting a different necklace (a nod to that year’s party theme, “Bollywood”). No one noticed.

office christmas party outfit
Left, 2009; right, 2012 – same dress, different necklace

For my second Christmas party, I tried to get a little more fashiony, with red lips and a DIY-ed necklace. The dress was a literal last minute find – and how rare is it to actually find something at the last minute, amirite? The silhouette combined with the mushroomy colour made it feel like a fashion risk. Go figure.

office christmas party outfit
2010: in retrospect, the shoes were a mistake

Ok, this was my least favourite Christmas party outfit ever. EVER. The party theme was Mad Men, and in principle, this should have worked wonderfully. But the dreaded first-time mom pixie cut was a drag, and I just ended up feeling dowdy. Let’s blame this one on postpartum hormones.

office christmas party outfit
2011: my least favourite Xmas party outfit, ever

After wearing black again in 2012 (see above), I was all set for … more black last year. I had planned on wearing this dress, but then found this cream Tibi number. Y’all probably remember the story. The party theme was “Winter Wonderland”, so it seemed appropriate. I didn’t hate this outfit.

office christmas party outfit
2013: hey, it’s not black!

Which brings us to 2014, and this year’s theme: Alice in Wonderland. Now, if you know anything about me, you know that I have a little bit of an obsession with AiW. So you can imagine how excited I was when I got the invite. I can’t wait to see how the organizers put it all together – it’s sure to look (and taste) amazing. However, picking an outfit was not easy; in fact, the theme made it harder, because Alice gives me all the ideas, and my budget is, like, “lol, nope”. Sigh. Stay tuned next week to see how it worked out.

And I hope you have a fabulous (and chic) holiday season!

15 Comments on Ghosts of Chrismas Parties Past

  1. Loved the dress retrospective! I wish I had a fancy holiday party to dress up for and wear my ever growing collection of sparkly bracelets to. I guess I will have to live vicariously through you. 🙂

    On the subject of gift guides, my favourite part of holiday blogs/magazines is not the gift guides, it’s seeing the fancy/sparkly holiday wear people come up with for parties. So you’re on the right track!

    • Thanks, Laura! Hey, you can wear all your sparkly bracelets at the BCRL brunch ‘n shop next week. It won’t be a fancy party, but we can write our own dress code 😉

  2. I’m surprused the Mad Men-esque one is your least favorite, looks great in the pic. You must have a great photographer I guess if that was dowdy in person. Can’t wait to see an AIW-themed outfit!

    I’m jealous too, no parties to dress up for here either except for the one I’m throwing and there will definitely be no heels at that one.

    • Aww, thank you! The AIW party was fantastic – my fave one yet. My outfit was okay, although nothing super special; on the plus side, I used pieces from my closet, so it was a “cheap” party look.

      I do enjoy having one big, dressy party every year, although I would also love to go to some smaller holiday gatherings, and we rarely do. Maybe once the kids are older …

  3. I like all your outfits, including your least favorite. Can’t wait what you’ll wear this year.
    As for the gift guides, I usually skip them. I find them unrealistc, and the presents too expensive. Besides, this will be the second year we’ll go for a donation instead of presents, with the exception of kids. I find spending money this way much more satisfying…

  4. Last night was my 8th Christmas do with my current work place! I’ve worn the same dress twice as I recall and six others. I never buy new though, just wardrobe dive.

    We too have a plastic tree (because real+ kids = bald by mid December), minimal decoration, no cooking & no crafts!

    Your short hair was sassy!

  5. This has nothing to do with Christmas parties, sorry! Instead, I had to share that I took a cue from your book and went to a consignment store this weekend…and walked out with a pair Lanvin ballerina flats for $37. I had to share and say thanks for the inspiration! There was a gorgeous pair of Stella McCartney heels that were half a size to big for me that I so badly wanted to take home as well. I felt so bad for them, shoes of all things. The consignment store is to shoes like the Humane Society is to dogs. I just wanted to rescue all of them!

  6. I love this blog post!! Great idea! I’d have to say that the black dress fits you like a glove and that’s my fave. Can’t wait to see the Alice in Wonderland inspired getup.

    • It fit, past tense *cries hot, sad tears*

      It was a very handy dress for parties, but it’s been purged now. The Audrey dress from a few weeks ago is my new go-to LBD.

  7. I liked the Mad Men look! You rocked the short hair 🙂 I’m also a fan of the Elie Tahari looks too. I’m looking forward to checking out the AiW look. I’m guessing prints will be involved?

    Also, yay for ritzy hotel parties!