I was chatting with author Marie Bilodeau at the Sweet & Spicy convention in 2006, and she said something like, I buy at least one new piece a year to rejeuvenate my wardrobe.
This is a very French thing. She’s not buying all sorts of garbage just because it’s on sale. She’s not kicking her entire wardrobe to the curb, which is wasteful. She has a wardrobe she likes, that she refreshes periodically with the intelligent addition of a few pieces.
Now I am that French (or at least Montreal) thing. Every April and October, I buy directly from the designers at la Braderie de mode québecoise. Cheaper for me, but I also love meeting the actual designers and people who love fashion.
I even wear a certain outfit for the Braderie, so I can try things on and off easily, without lining up for a change room:
Boots I can walk in and shuck on and off (NOT fashionable zip boots—I can take the hit now for the glory later)
A fitted black dress
Layers on top
It gets meta. As soon as I stepped into the melow corner at the Braderie, a salesperson welcomed me and said, “Are your leggings from La Fete?” She did a project on La Fete at fashion school. And yes, these are Fete de Montreal leggings that I got for $15—my favourite leggings in the entire world.
Here are pics of me wearing melow from a previous Braderie. I bought this when I was 8 months pregnant with Anastasia. I delivered her three days after this yoga class.
I’m still wearing it. Does it get any more fabulous? The designer, Melissa Bolduc, was a figure skater, so she really understands fabric’s stretch and lines.
Stay tuned for pics of what I bought at the April 2013 Braderie!
Also, one of my many to-do projects is The Cheap and Lovely Guide to Montreal, so like this or comment if you want to hear more about it.