For Milaine Astride, the holiday season is synonymous with sparkles. “It’s the time to have fun and dress a little extra,” says the Paris-born, Ottawa-based content creator. When getting ready for festive soirees, take a cue from Astride and picture yourself as the star of the show. “I like to create a story in my mind around each outfit,” she explains. “When I dress for the day, I imagine that I’m the heroine of a TV show or movie.”
Her go-to party outfit is a jumpsuit (this one is from Eloquii) with a cute purse (like her bubbly-inspired Aldo bag from a few years ago) and statement shoes. “It’s so easy,” she says of the one-and-done look. “I feel like I’m ready to take the stage—it gives me a mix of Elvis Presley and Harry Styles vibes.”
Here, she shares the style lessons she learned from her mom and the secret to an eye-catching holiday look.
What is your approach to fashion?
I like dopamine dressing with lots of bright colours, and I believe in dressing how you want. Often, you hear things like “you shouldn’t wear stripes if you’re a certain size.” Forget the rules! A lot of people are scared of wearing different silhouettes and colours. That’s one of the reasons I started posting my outfits on Instagram—I wanted to show people that you can dress in any way you want, no matter your size or your age. I hope that when women see these looks on me, it inspires them to try something new. I want people to go for it. Fashion is supposed to be fun, it’s okay to try something new and not like it.
How did you develop your personal style?
I grew up in Paris, but when I moved to Canada I became more daring with fashion, more willing to experiment. I don’t think I would ever have worn a crop top or tried a short skirt back in France, for example. Or, I would have covered myself with a sweater. No one knew me here, so I wasn’t afraid of being judged.
I learned about style from my mom. She went to school for fashion, so for the longest time she was the one dressing me. As a teenager, I would have just worn black all the time, but she introduced me to colours. She instilled in me how to dress, how to mix colours together. I remember I used to think my bum was too big, and I’d try to cover it. And my mom would tell me to “show what you got.” So I learned how to wear colours, and I learned to embrace my curves from her.
In magazines, I didn’t necessarily see models that looked like me. But on Instagram, I found more and more inspiration from content creators who were my size. There was a shift in my mind because I saw people wear clothes I had always been told not to wear.
My hair is also something I play with. I pick my hairstyles by picturing myself on magazine covers. I’m always looking for something unique. A big hair inspiration for me is Tracee Ellis Ross. When I was younger, I wanted straight hair; I embraced braids and their history later in life. Technology has really given me a chance to see more hairstyles and the creativity that goes into them, and I found pride in my hair.
What is your process when picking an outfit?
I like to create a positive vibe. An outfit can change your mindset, so I’ll try to pick something that makes me happy or puts me in a good mood, like a lucky charm.
When I dress for the day, I imagine that I’m the heroine of a TV show or movie. I like to create a story in my mind around each outfit, based on my mood or the weather. Say it’s raining, it’s like a romance movie. I’m going to dress with cute boots and a rain jacket, as if I’m going to meet a stranger in the street and it’s going to be love at first sight. Or, I’m dressing to go the the spa, and I picture myself meeting my girlfriends and we’re all dressed up and we go to a café and I’m basing my outfit on those Sex and the City vibes. Even when I shop, I think about the stories I can create with the outfit, and where it can take me.
How is your holiday season style different than what you would wear on a typical day?
It’s the time to have fun and dress a little extra, to get into the joyful spirit. To me, the holidays mean sparkles, but I know it’s not for everyone. If you’re someone who wears a lot of black or grey, maybe try a little bit of red, a little bit of green—it doesn’t have to be a whole outfit. Wear that little red skirt you’ve been waiting for the perfect occasion to wear. Put some sparkles in your hair and your outfit.
For occasions, I love dresses and jumpsuits. It’s so easy because you don’t have to think about matching a top and a bottom. You’re dressed up for the night with just one piece, and all you have to add is a cute purse and shoes.