1930’s Collegiate High Waist Pants

$_57

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Fab Gabs has posted a fantastic pair of mint condition 1930’s collegiate style high waist pants on eBay, that I am sharing here in hopes that someone from our community will pick them up (and take them for a spin) or derive inspiration for your tailor, seamstress, or perhaps Chloe Hong to make you a pair. Interesting features include zipper pockets and fly, a 3 inch waistband with 8 exposed buttons, and are made from “fantastic woven wool suiting in deep teal with black and subtle accents of of pale blue and red in a fine stitch running up the herringbone section of the stripes.”

Perhaps the best quote of the auction: “Balboa and collegiate shag were made for pants such as these. The crotch is gusseted for ease of movement.”

Enjoy! I’d be bidding on them myself if they were my size – let me know if a dancer snags these trousers!

Wearing History Review: Smooth Sailing Trouser and Norma Jean Blouse

This is what 5:00 a.m. at RDU looks like.

This is what 5:00 a.m. at RDU looks like.

I see that Wearing History will be one of the vendors at Cal Bal (the California Balboa Classic) and thought this would be a good time to review the clothing I received from Wearing History as a result of backing their Kickstarter in August. It’s been fascinating following the manufacturing process after funding, with owner/designer Lauren Maringola giving frequent updates on the status of the fabric, printing, and the manufacturing timeline for each garment, among other details about working hands-on producing her made-in-the-USA line of 40’s-inspired clothing.

I backed Wearing History at the level where I would receive a pair of the Smooth Sailing trousers in denim (yes, I bought pants! Also available in plus sizes.) and the Norma Jean blouse in a must-own-or-perish musical note print. The package arrived in the mail and was waiting for me when I got home from the holidays and Lindy Focus. It was my intent to wear the outfit dancing, but the Lindy Focus plague (née the flu) and my cat getting sick prevented me from attending any local dance nights between then and now – but I wanted to make sure my Cal Bal ladies and all of you could know about this great line of clothing!

So instead of dancing, I decided to put my Wearing History outfit though another intense experience – a whirlwind trip to Hot Rhythm Holiday in Austin, Texas, where my band, the Mint Julep Jazz Band, would fly in, perform, and fly out in a period of 32 hours. 4 airports, 4 flights, shuttles, carrying baggage/equipment, eating my weight in Tex Mex food, and touring a bit of Austin before playing the Fed that night.

A close-up of this adorable print!

A close-up of this adorable print!

Just in case the glockenspiel case and traveling with 6 dudes carrying odd-shaped instrument cases wasn’t enough, the eighth-noted Norma Jean blouse would let everyone know that I was a musician and this was a band flying to a gig (and I was so excited, I’m sure I annoyed the crap out of everyone nearby). The blouse was actually a great travel piece and I imagine, for similar reasons, would be for dancing – it stayed tucked in with the darted waistline and high waisted trouser combo, the arm holes and slight dolman sleeve allowed for a wide range of movement, the tencel fabric was soft and durable, and the blouse could be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion.

Trousers and blouse dressed up a bit more

Trousers and blouse dressed up a bit more

The Smooth Sailing trousers got the double travel treatment – I only wore the blouse on the first day, but wore the trousers for both traveling days. The weight of the denim is just perfect – not too thick, not too thin, and soft without losing its denim qualities. The cut is flattering, and I love the way a high waisted trouser makes your bum look. After two days on airplanes and sleeping on planes and in the airport, the trousers managed to retain their shape really well, with no stretch bubbles at the knee, and the only noticeable change was perhaps a little loosening at the waist, which may have been a casualty of my Tex Mex food baby. Two days in these pants and they performed like champs. I even slept in them when I got home – after a 23 hour day and 3 hours of sleep (with intermittent airport/plane sleeping) there was really no need to get into pajamas when the trousers were just as comfortable.

And there you have it – Cal Bal ladies, do go by the Wearing History booth and check out this wonderful new collection of clothing and remember that Wearing History is just getting started! Everyone else, please visit the Wearing History website, where you can order these lovely garments, plus some other adorable garments from Wearing History’s first clothing line. I can’t wait to see what else Wearing History has up its sleeve and would back another Kickstarter in a second. Quality goods with great style!

Lindy Focus 2014 Vendors

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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Lindy Focus is always such an incredible experience, almost indescribable, yet eloquently described by trumpet player and dancer Gordon Au as “transcendent.” Almost everyone I spoke with had some sort of experience that sent them to the moon and back – perhaps it was the stellar dancing, the world-class instruction, or the unparalleled live music…for some, I’m sure it was all three!

At an event like this with 1,000+ people in attendance, taking over the entire hotel and then some, one would think that this would be a great opportunity for vendors – yet, the vendor pool remains small and the shoe vendor spot is a noticeable vacancy as people scramble to take advantage of the limited sueding service, snatch up all the consigned shoes, or make quick repairs to their ailing shoes.

The Lindy Focus merchandise generally sells out quickly and by the time I arrived the afternoon of the 27th, several items were out of stock in all sizes. I snagged the last gray baseball henley, but pined for one of the adorable long sleeve shirts with athletic stripes around the bicep, in a nod to early football jerseys.

Pretty sure this dress, and any other dress that graced the mannequin last week was snapped up!

Pretty sure this dress, and any other dress that graced the mannequin last week was snapped up!

The Savoy Shop, a consignment and vintage clothing shop set up within Lindy Focus (attendees can either shop or consign), was expertly run by dancer Michelle Morrison, who collects items dancers may find useful throughout the year. Gads of leather soled shoes, cute dresses, vintage accessories, and even some glamorous items for New Year’s Eve purposes. My favorite was the stack of black bow ties available for purchase (insta-tux?).

My favorite blooms from Forties Forward are always on this mini dress form :)

My favorite blooms are always on this mini dress form :)

Forties Forward was in attendance and I wish I had asked them how many years they have done this – some of my very first hair flower I bought were from Forties Forward at Lindy Focus and I still wear them, they are solidly constructed blooms with nice details and colors. They also add a few other varied hair accoutrements, vintage bags, and vintage ties to the mix, rounding out the selection of accessories.

This little jewel box of felt flowers made me so happy!

This little jewel box of felt flowers from Dapper Designs made me so happy!

The new vendor this year (but not new to this blog) was Margie Sweeney’s Dapper Designs. She had a cheerful selection hand-made bow ties and continental ties, but my favorite items were the floral felt boutonnieres/hair flowers – just large enough to show up in your hair, just small enough not to overtake a lapel. I bought three and I’ll share them with the hubs. :)

Here’s some more views of the vendors’ items:

Dancer, vocalist, and happy face at the registration desk Lindsay Kelly shows off the adorable shoe bag someone made as part of the Lindy Focus merchandise - she didn't know who provided them, so if someone knows, please let us know!

Dancer, vocalist, and happy face at the registration desk Lindsay Kelly shows off the adorable shoe bag someone made as part of the Lindy Focus merchandise – she didn’t know who provided them, so if someone knows, please let us know!

Fuzzy vintage coat at the Savoy Shop

Fuzzy vintage coat at the Savoy Shop

I want to know who picked up this smoking jacket!

I want to know who picked up this smoking jacket! At the Savoy Shop.

Vintage suitcases at great prices - the front suitcase came home with me; the one in the back has a garment bag mechanism inside!

Vintage suitcases at great prices – the front suitcase came home with me; the one in the back has a garment bag mechanism inside!

A gorgeous orchid by Forties Forward

A gorgeous orchid by Forties Forward

A selection of bow ties at Forties Forward.

A selection of bow ties at Forties Forward.

Do the continental with Dapper Designs

Do the continental with Dapper Designs

An array of hand made ties by Dapper Designs.

An array of hand made ties by Dapper Designs.

Wollarium on Etsy

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Alpaca!

Alpaca!

Continuing my foray into vintage/reproduction knitwear, I’ll highlight the Wollarium on Etsy, which is both swoon-worthy and holiday wishlist-worthy…and when I say holiday wishlist, I mean that the Wollarium (Emma Sommerfeld in Berlin, Germany) produces hand-made reproduction sweaters from vintage patterns and said hand-made items are priced accordingly. Have you ever knit something yourself? That scarf I made once took forever, I can only imagine the love and craftsmanship that goes into these gorgeous knits. Knit-to-order, so you can have your choice of yarns and colors! Great items for both ladies and gents.

Commence swooning in 5…4…3…

40's style cardigan

40’s style cardigan

1930's style men's sweater vest, with a great V shape and clever zip top

1930’s style men’s sweater vest, with a great V shape and clever zip top

Desperately in love with this cardigan...

Desperately in love with this cardigan…

Another great sweater vest option

Another great sweater vest option

I could see a great 30's look be inspired by this beanie/beret

I could see a great 30’s look be inspired by this beanie/beret

American Duchess Reproduction Shoe Democracy – Vote For Your Favorite to be Produced!

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Aren't they gorgeous?  Sadly, the Harlow has come and gone...

Aren’t they gorgeous? Sadly, the Harlow has come and gone…

If you aren’t following American Duchess on Facebook, I would recommend jumping on this train immediately – they are posting photos of fabulous shoes from the past and allowing people to vote on them to determine which pair(s) go(es) into production! Once the votes are tallied, you can pre-order these shoes. How cool is that!?

They are calling these vote-and-order shoes “exclusives” and are running votes in “cycles.” Cycle 1’s winner – the Harlow pump – has already come and gone in terms of pre-orders (oh, but LOOK at them!). Cycle 2’s winner is a reproduction of a gorgeous Edwardian triple strap shoe called the Belleclaire that could definitely lend itself to dancing. Imagine all those bows in a solo jazz routine, drawing attention to your lovely feet! You can pre-order the Belleclaire on the American Duchess website through December 15.

DAT HEEL - go vote for this shoe!

DAT HEEL – go vote for this shoe!

Cycle 3 is up for vote right now and I’m excited to say that a shoe idea I submitted is up for vote! I submitted the 1930’s/40’s two tone pumps in white and brown with the swoop on the front (go vote for them, please, this shoe is gorgeous with an amazing sculpted Art Deco heel!), which is up for vote alongside a pair of Marie Antoinette’s shoes, some sweet 1870’s two straps, and several other delicious jazz age/swing era shoes. Whatever wins will be made in 3 different colors. This is so exciting – cast your vote for fabulous footwear today!

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Saint Savoy Jitterdoll Shoe Review

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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In October I wrote about Saint Savoy, a dance shoe company that had just come across my radar. The owner, Rani Patricia, was kind enough to send me a pair of Saint Savoy’s Jitterdoll shoes to give them a test run and tell you about it here!

The Jitterdoll is a low-heeled oxford shoe – not quite a full oxford in terms of top of foot coverage, but definitely more coverage than a pump. The heel height is 3.5 cm/1.37 inches and the heel itself is of a substantial width, giving the shoe a balanced feel and appearance, which I find tends to be lacking in some shoes with lower heels. The Jitterdoll laces up, which could lend itself to some fun options with laces. The shoe features both brogueing and contrast trim, giving it a unique appearance, but the overall effect is subtle.

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The best part of this shoe is the foot bed around the ball of the foot – there was ample room to acommodate my swath of toes, bone spurs, and bunions, with a soft interior, and a ridge at the base of the toes/top of the ball where everything just fit into the groove and felt supported. The leather sole at the ball of the foot was ample enough to take the pounding of a night of Lindy and Balboa, without sacrificing the feel of the floor. The heel height is just perfect to go back and forth between Balboa and Lindy Hop and I would recommend this shoe for people who are looking transition from flats to heels without making a giant leap.

Aesthetically, the shoes are very pleasing – I got a ton of compliments on the appearance of the shoes (I opted for the tan shoes with white brogueing and red piping, though that green pair is calling my name) and I think the idea of more subdued and detailed oxford is a brilliant idea. I also like that they are closed toe shoes – so many of my heels have an open toe and it’s nice to have the option of tights or hosiery in the winter without worrying about my toe pushing through my hose to freedom through the peep hole in my shoe, and also to avoid the hosiery toe seam poking out. We’re not always in the mood for fishnets, right? OK, maybe we are, but variety is the spice of life and these shoes are great, bare-footed, with fishnets, or with close-toed legwear.

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The only downside of the shoes for me was that my heel slipped out of the back, but I must explain that almost all of my dance shoes do this because I have a narrow heel. I noticed it the first night I took them dancing, so for the second dance night I added the Pedag heel grips and they stayed right where they needed to stay.

The Jitterdoll is a wonderful addition to our dance shoe options and I also think that they would make stellar street shoes, based on their comfort, style, and leather sole. Saint Savoy is offering free shipping worldwide, so if you’d like a pair of these under your tree (or as a treat to yourself), you’ll save a bit there. The Jitterdoll is available in black, early green, and the sand colored pair I received, which will be available soon. Quality construction, comfort, and a great low-heeled shoe for your dance shoe wardrobe!

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Collectif Clothing – 40’s and 50’s Inspired Clothing from the UK

Keyhole cable knit with a bow?  YESPLS

Keyhole cable knit with a bow? YESPLS

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I have been on the hunt for knitwear to pair with my Chloe Hong trumpet skirts to transition them into winter and fall. My conclusion is that most of the great knitwear I am finding is coming from the UK, so let’s start with one of my new favorite knitwear sources, Collectif Clothing. What’s this all about? From the website: “Established in the year 2000, Collectif is an independent 1940s and 1950s inspired vintage reproduction brand based in London. We create garments and accessories that are inspired by genuine vintage patterns, knitting patterns, and fabrics from our extensive archive.”

Of course there’s much more than knitwear here, and I’ve seen a few pieces pop up on other vintage/retro retail websites, like ModCloth and Miss L Fire (US shipping!). From blouses to knitwear to gowns to overalls, I love the variety available here – there’s lots of really good everyday basics to work into your wardrobe, casual or dressy, and you could put together an entire ensemble here or just pick up a few special pieces. Also, plaid…keep it coming, I can never get enough!

Here are some of my favorites from Collectif Clothing:

Perhaps the perfect holiday dress?

Perhaps the perfect holiday dress?

GEEZ, THIS COAT

GEEZ, THIS COAT

A lovely full "swing" skirt in red

A lovely full “swing” skirt in red

Where was this ivory blouse when I needed it years ago?

Where was this ivory blouse when I needed it years ago?

Flirty + sailor

Flirty + sailor

My mostest favorite!  This wonderful green Fair Isle sweater. :)

My mostest favorite! This wonderful green Fair Isle sweater. :)

#speenteam Sweater Vests – Taking Orders Through Sunday, November 30

#speenteam in effect, with Adam Speen and Tiffany Linquist

#speenteam in effect, with Adam Speen and Tiffany Linquist

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Prompted by friends, followers, social media, and adoring fans of Adam Speen, I am taking orders for #speenteam sweater vests. First debuted on November 2, 2014, the sweater vests are just the next phase of # love for all things Adam Speen, the wearer of the sweater vests, a champion and bearer of many Balboa titles, and just a really nice dude. Anyone can be a part of #speenteam, we’re just excited about Balboa, sweater vests, and dancing like a badass.

Vests are navy blue viscose, very soft, with white embroidery – scroll to the bottom of this post to see a closeup photo of the embroidery on the vest. I will only be taking orders through Sunday, so make sure to get your order in by 9:00 p.m. EST on November 30.

COST

TOTAL IF I SHIP TO YOU IN THE USA: $38.00
(for international shipping, please email me at caab241@hotmail.com for a shipping quote)

TOTAL IF YOU PICK IT UP FROM ME IN DURHAM, NC OR AT LINDY FOCUS: $32.00

ADD $1 to both of these totals if you are ordering a men’s XL

Please PayPal your payment to caab241@hotmail.com and include the size you are ordering in the comment box.

SIZING (in inches)

Women’s XS – bust 32-33, waist 24-25
Women’s S – bust 34-35, waist 26-27
Women’s M – bust 36-37, waist 28-29
Women’s L – bust 38.5-40, waist 30.5-32
Women’s XL – bust 41.5-43, waist 33.5-35

Men’s S – chest 34-36, waist 28-30
Men’s M – chest 38-40, waist 32-34
Men’s L – chest 42-44, waist 36-38
Men’s XL – chest 46-48, waist 40-42

Tiffany Linquist, Skyler Hinkel, Andrew Wilson, and Laura Windley (with Anna Bryant and Jason Sager present in spirit)

Andrew Wilson, Tiffany Linquist, Laura Windley, and Skyler Hinkel (with Anna Bryant and Jason Sager present in spirit)

A closeup of the embroidery

A closeup of the embroidery

Trashy Diva 30% Off Everything

Let us give thanks for rayon prints, designer Candice Gwinn, and the city of New Orleans

Let us give thanks for rayon prints, designer Candice Gwinn, and the city of New Orleans

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Well, I’ve died and gone to heaven – not only did my favorite dress company, Trashy Diva, just come out with a green “kimono print” made of green and candy and marshmallow fluff and everything I love, they are offering 30% off EVERYTHING on their website (sale, new, jewelry, Re-mix Vintage Shoes *COUGHCOUGH*) with the code BLACKOUT30. Dress and matching head scarf acquired as we head into the Thanksgiving weekend, leaving me with much to be thankful for!

The promotion ends Monday, December 1, so get your orders in for your holiday dresses now before the postal service gets bananas!

Love you, Trashy Diva!

The Lindy Shop

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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Because there will never be enough clever tee shirts in the world and certainly never enough of anything that identifies us as swing dancers, there’s The Lindy Shop, a line of clothing founded by graphic designers who couldn’t stop thinking about swing dancing and wanted to create a brand for dance lovers.

Maybe you’ve always wanted to go to Herrang Dance Camp, but no one’s ever even brought you a tee shirt back from Sweden? Done.

Maybe you’re busking with a local band and you keep getting confused for a spectator and need a “WILL SWING FOR FOOD” shirt? Done.

Take a look around, there maybe be just the tee shirt you need!

Vecona Vintage Lookbook

I'll take a sidecar, yes, please.

I’ll take a sidecar, yes, please.

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I wrote about Vecona Vintage about a year ago and it seems that they have been as busy as ever, not only making lovely vintage reproduction and inspired garments for men and women, but also putting their looks together in a gorgeous, not-to-be-missed lookbook, titled “Rasant & Kurvenreich.” It’s eye candy of the best sort, so sit back, get a nice warm cup of tea, and enjoy the beautiful clothing, models, vintage vehicles, and scenery.

Keds Kate Spade Champion in Glitter

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This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Thanks to Megan Bowen of Lindy Hop Problems for posting about these great glitter Keds, a collaboration with Keds and Kate Spade. If you’re worried about dancing in heels for New Year’s Eve, why not grab a pair of these glitter Keds and you’ll still sparkle in flats. Or wear them all the time and make everyone smile. :) Available in navy, gold, black, silver, multi-pink, and rose gold glitter.

Chloe Hong Trumpet Skirt Update

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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Because you all need the trumpet skirt play-by-play (because I need the trumpet skirt play-by-play), I’m here with three updates about Chloe Hong:

1. Her website is live, so you can order the flare/trumpet skirts directly through the website, rather than through the FROMChloeHong Facebook page. Click into your shopping cart and GOOOOOOOOO!

2. Three new colors – light green (!!!), light purple, and beige. Two of my favorite colors and a neutral, I approve.

3. Three colors will be discontinued once the current stock is sold out: vintage green, vintage purple, and brown. If one of these colors has been on your wishlist, you know what to do.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled twirling!

Downton Abbey Jewelry Collection

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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I realized tonight that I haven’t written about the Downton Abbey Jewelry Collection, even after purchasing a pair of earrings, but it took me wearing them last night to realize that you might also want to know, with Lindy Focus and other New Year’s Eve swing dance events coming up! So here it is, in all of its ornate Edwardian-moving-toward-Art-Deco glory. As far as costume jewelry goes, the pieces are intricate and are at a reasonable price point, in my opinion, for what you are getting. The earrings I purchased mix very well with the vintage Art Deco costume jewelry I own and I only wish I needed more excuses to buy all this fancy jewelry. There are bracelets, earrings, necklaces, barrettes, brooches, and the line is EXTENSIVE, almost overwhelming how many lovely pieces there are. Begin the drooling in 5, 4, 3…

This "starburst" necklace (which looks like a lovely snowflake to me) is part of a lovely collection-within-a-collection - I love a jewelry set!

This “starburst” necklace (which looks like a lovely snowflake to me) is part of a lovely collection-within-a-collection – I love a jewelry set!

I bought these drop earrings to clear the end of my bob near my jawline - they got the job done with style!

I bought these drop earrings to clear the end of my bob near my jawline – they got the job done with style!

Good gold tone jewelry is so hard to find, and there's a lot of goodness in the collection!

Good gold tone jewelry is so hard to find, and there’s a lot of goodness in the collection!

A gorgeous barrette

A gorgeous barrette

Zutiste – Bow Ties and Pocket Squares

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

We are in the throes of fall and OcTieBer and I thought it apropos to share the lovely wool bow ties and pocket squares of Zutiste, thanks to a tip from dancer Daragh Regan, who tweeted at me the other day about their wares. Hand-made in Paris from English wool, this collection represents some stellar staples in neutral colors that you can add to just about any ensemble.

Valade