The Great Dickens Fair

‘Tis the season for great merriment and a ho ho ho, so off to a Victorian London I go!

The annual Dickens Fair is a holiday party that takes place in Victorian London in the 1800s. Although I am a vintage lover, I admit my knowledge only goes as far back as the 1920s. Anything in the century before that I am quite clueless, so even I had to brush up on the era of dress that bears my name.

The Victorian Era refers to Queen Victoria’s reign in the United Kingdom, from the 1830s-1901. Boned corsets, layers of petticoats, décolletage revealing necklines, and bonnets are just a few hallmarks of womens’ Victorian style dress, while the Victorian gentleman often sported a top hat, frock coat, and walking cane. Attending the Dickens Fair was like a fashion history lesson, because not only are the characters and entertainers are decked out to the Victorian nines, but attendees are also encouraged to dress the part. Who can’t refuse being outfitted in period dress? Certainly not I! A hoop skirt I do not have, but I’ve got the tulle time for Yuletide.

Stepping into the arena, I felt transported through time. A stomping river dance performance to my left, sounds of British English in my ears, and the smell of roasted chestnuts – crikey, it was a Victorian sensory overload! The Grand Concourse was festooned with Union Jack flags and strings of lights, while the streets were dusted with freshly fallen fake snow. Pubs, eating establishments, theaters, music halls, and purveyors of Victorian wares lined the streets of old London into a merry holiday fanfare that never ceased to entertain.

I curtseyed to her majesty Queen Victoria as she made her way through the streets, sang along with carolers to my favorite Christmas songs, and oogled at just about everyone’s Victorian outfits, taking note of how I could improve my ensemble for greater vintage precision next year (a bonnet is a must!). And just as accurately as it would happen in old Victorian London, I attended a riveting reading of A Christmas Carol by Sir Charles Dickens himself.

Nevermind the Ghost of Christmas Past, this has to got be the best Christmas Present yet. God save the queen!

Vintage blazer (similar) | Vintage faux fur stole (similar) | Vintage blouse (similar) | fascinator (similar) | Anthropologie skirt (similar) | vintage oxfords (similar) | vintage dooney & bourke (similar)

Plus None

In the days leading up to Christmas, you can bet that water cooler chats across the nation will consist of one topic only: the office holiday party. This prompts a multitude of questions: Are you going? What are you wearing? Who are you bringing?

For the youngins out there, this is the working adult’s version of a winter formal. Unfortunately I won’t be a plus one to any holiday parties this year – nobody asked Chic Vic to be a date! On the plus side, my company’s throwing a Gatsby themed party – and I already know what I’ll be wearing.

In case you don’t have a 1920s holiday party to attend yourself, you can still bring out all the glitzy, shimmery, shiny, and fancy things you’ve neglected in your closet all year. If a pine tree can be decked out in lights and tinsel, why can’t you? Whether you choose a dress or opt for pants, just make sure you don’t let that tree outshine you.

A Holiday Affair


Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

Jack Frost nipping at your nose.

Company holiday party time is here.

Rhyming isn’t my best suit. But I love a holiday party where men must wear suits. Anybody need a plus one?

The holidays are upon us, which means it is time to be a plus one to company holiday parties galore. Normally I find it quite awkward partying it up with other people’s co-workers, let alone my own colleagues. I often think back to my past experiences at conference room potlucks with the obligatory White Elephant gift exchange. However, when the occasion calls for “black tie optional,” that changes my perception quickly. This party went from awkward social gathering to an off the chart fancy soiree topped with bubbly champagne and delectable hors d’oeuvres. Time to bring out my shiny number.

I found this maxi romper suit at my local Buffalo Exchange. “New and recycled fashion” is their mantra. Although Buffalo Exchange mostly offers a lot of contemporary pieces, I would say that out of all the chain resale-clothing stores, you are more likely to spot an authentic vintage item in their racks for a very reasonable price. This one-piece was in great condition and fit as if it was custom made for me. I couldn’t have been more elated, especially when it was only $17.

I had a blast at the company party, and couldn’t get enough of the delicious appetizers, the bubbly, and of course, the elegantly dressed ladies and dapper gentlemen. Unfortunately as the night went on, my photographer/date’s beer goggles started fogging up. The pictures don’t do this classy onesie justice; you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Now, go on and get your fancy pants out there. It’s time to get drunk and say some inappropriate things to people you will never see again. Oh, the joys of being a plus one. Cheers!

The Holiday Party