4 Ways to Dress Ethically for Holiday Parties, Weddings, and Other Special Occasions

Dressing ethically and sustainably for special occasions doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are 4 ways to find outfits for holiday parties, weddings, and other formal events.

1. Buy Secondhand Luxury

What I like about buying secondhand luxury is that they are usually items from past seasons. Instead if snapping up trendy designer items you may think you need now, you’re more likely to choose items that have survived seasonal trends.

My favourite place to buy secondhand designer clothes is online at TheRealReal.com. Their selection is vast, and I trust them with authentication and quality control. It’s where I bought this blue Self-Portrait dress. I don’t think Self-Portrait is an ethical brand since they don’t release any info about their overseas factories, but buying anything secondhand is the ethical and sustainable option. I avoided the popular styles I always see on Instagram and opted for the less common Fantasia dress. It’s from S/S15, I believe. It pops up every so often on The RealReal. (Shoes are Aquazzura’s Sexy Thing Cutout Booties, made in Italy.)

The choices on The RealReal can be overwhelming. There are 12,000+ cocktail dresses alone. I usually just search things by brand, but you can filter by size, colour, style, etc.

2. Rent

I wrote about my experience with renting dresses from StyleLend and Rent the Runway a while back in this post. If you want to try styles outside of your comfort zone without committing, renting is a great option. I’d use these services more often if I were based in the States—I would be all over Rent the Runway’s Unlimited wardrobe.

If you have a stylish friend about the same size, you can always swap/borrow clothes from each other.

3. Go Vintage

I’ve been acquiring more and more vintage pieces lately. They’re just so special. The black wool dress is vintage Erreuno from the ’80s, I believe. It’s kind of my go-to black dress. I got it from The Cat’s Meow in Toronto. The purse is also vintage, probably from the ’60s, from Stella Luna. I also have this classy red dress I found at the Salvation Army, although going that route requires a bit more digging. Sometimes that’s fun when you’re in the mood.

4. Buy Ethical Luxury

Check out Maison de Mode, a luxury online retailer with all ethical/sustainable clothes and accessories. I also like the ethical luxury labels  Amur (hey, they are also on Rent the Runway!), Edun, and Tome. Reformation has dresses for weddings/holiday parties as well.

4 Ways to Dress Ethically for Holiday Parties, Weddings, and Special Occasions

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