40’s and 50’s Blouses

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

50's novelty print blouse

50’s novelty print blouse

In my recent quest for just work-wear in general (but also/always work/dance clothing) I came up pretty empty handed this fall in the blouse department. What will I tuck in to my trumpet skirts and high waisted trousers? Up until now, I haven’t had much difficulty finding vintage-inspired, ladylike, professional tops to go with suits and work-wear at the mall, but this year was a total bust or was just more of what I already had in my closet.

Am I becoming one of those people who feels the need to wear vintage every day? Maybe. At this point, only out of necessity so that I don’t look like a sack or a lawyer in pajamas.

My solution to this problem has become vintage blouses – I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before, probably because I prefer to wear dresses for dancing and don’t seek out blouses, but there’s a great selection of vintage blouses on Etsy and I was able to find several in brick and mortar stores (with a specifically great haul from Amalgamated Classic Clothing and Dry Goods). Price-wise, they are comparable to or less than what I would pay for a nice work blouse at a mall retailer.

Most of the ones I found that I loved were from the 1940’s or 1950’s. I really like the ones that have darts in the torso so that the fit is flattering – emphasis on flat, and not “blousy” (pun intended), which also appears to help the shirt stay tucked in, so long as you are wearing skirts and pants that sit at your natural waist, i.e. the narrowest point on your torso.

Here are some lovelies for the office or the dance floor, courtesy of Etsy:

40's blouse with pocket detail and contrast Peter Pan collar

40’s blouse with pocket detail and contrast Peter Pan collar

40's blouse with cutwork lace

40’s blouse with cutwork lace

Neck detail on 40's blouse

Neck detail on 40’s blouse

Sweet collar on this 1950's blouse

Sweet collar on this 1950’s blouse

Double collar with lovely detail on this 40's blouse

Double collar with lovely detail on this 40’s blouse

1940’s Color Block Dress

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I have an unhealthy obsession with this 1940’s color block dress, posted this week by Raleigh Vintage, in that I can’t stop going back to the website to look at it (even though I will never fit into it). It must be admired and, perhaps, worn by one of you? Don’t forget that 10% off code for LS readers… ;)


Vecona Vintage

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Embroidery on a sailor collar

Embroidery on a sailor collar

I have another tip on a German reproduction/vintage inspired clothing source, thanks to Florian Kremers, who messaged me to tell me about Vecona Vintage. From the website:

“Inspired by the fashion of the 1920ies to 40ies Vecona Vintage combines former glamour with the wear comfort of modern textiles. High class materials and accurate craftsmanship make every item become a very personal piece of fashion history you´ll take much pleasure in for sure…Vecona Vintage garments are hand-made high quality products. Every single step is executed professional and accurate by a highly qualified and experienced master tailoress.”

As an added bonus: “The high quality materials not only feel great further they are easy to clean so that you don´t have to get them dry cleaned after every dance. You can wash your new treasures in your washing machine at 30°C.”

Vecona Vintage really shines with its menswear and women’s separates. The menswear selection boasts traditional pants and vest combos, along with knickers and work pants for a more casual-but-not-quite-as-casual-as-modern-jeans look. The women’s collection features a selection of high waisted trousers, pencil skirts, 1920’s-style dresses, and some lovely blouses. Here’s what I’m digging:

Rusty Dusty work pants

Rusty Dusty work pants

Lacy Daisy blouse in mint

Lacy Daisy blouse in mint

Casablanca linen vest and pants

Casablanca linen vest and pants

Marlene pants in red

Marlene pants in red

Girl Can’t Help It Sweater

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Pale topaz, anyone?

Pale topaz, anyone?

I’ve been on the prowl lately for more clothing that can double for work and swing, especially tops. I was delighted to see an email in my inbox this evening from My Baby Jo, a shop I blogged about early on in the history of Lindy Shopper, with some seriously superb reproduction sweater basics for fall. Their “Girl Can’t Help It” sweater looks like a great cropped shell, not too short, but not too long, with a simple weave and colors that are easily embellished with vintage jewelry. Definitely work-safe, and the email also said that matching cardigans would be coming out soon! Available in black, hunter green, lilac, baby blue, and pale topaz.

Aaaaaaand….cue obligatory dance scene opening credits:

OcTieBer 2013

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

The only thing better than OcTieBer is a Christmas with bow ties under the tree.

The only thing better than OcTieBer is a Christmas with bow ties under the tree.

Just a gentle reminder that OcTieBer starts tomorrow – if you are a gent or lady with a super collection of fashionable neckwear or you aspire to be, perhaps participating in OcTieBer is for you – a chance to cultivate excellent ensembles, highlighting neckwear, each day for the month of October. How do you participate? It’s easy – from the OcTieBer Facebook group:

“With the arrival of fall, men (and a few fashionably adventurous women) of style and good taste will once again bond together to demonstrate their embrace of dapper design and finely tailored fabrics.

In short, a month long sartorial celebration of quality neckwear worn in a traditional style.

How to participate? It’s simple:

1. Wear a collared shirt and tie each day (be it a long tie, bow tie, ascot, cravat, bolo, western double string tie or any other traditional neckwear that expresses your personal style). Preferably your outfit will be paired with a jacket, sweater, vest or other accessories that suggest why you’ve chosen that day’s tie.

2. Find the folder with the appropriate date under “Photos” and upload your image of finely attired “dudeness” wearing said outfit with an optional description of the designer, type of knot, fabric, etc.

3. Share the love by encouraging your friends to admire your statement of personal style.”

Ladies may obviously take liberties with the collared shirt requirement. :)

Happy OcTieBer!

Darcy Clothing

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.


This menswear resource tip is from Christine Hall of the Decophile group on Facebook – Darcy Clothing, previously The Vintage Shirt Company, has expanded from shirts to include a much broader range of reproduction menswear and accessories from the 18th century to the early 20th century. This is a huge span of time, but there are plenty of 20th century goodies from this UK company to place in your closet.

From the website:

“The clothing is largely made specially for us and is taken directly from original garments. The shapes and fabrics are uncompromisingly genuine. We only ever use natural fibres in any pre C20th garments. The construction methods however take advantage of modern mass production techniques which means that we can supply costume designers with the authenticity they require at an affordable price.”

Here’s what I’m loving from their collection:

Spearpoint Collar Shirt

Spearpoint Collar Shirt

Working men's striped braces, available in 11 colors

Working men’s striped braces, available in 11 colors

Military ties - for your Buck Privates tribute routine

Military ties – for your Buck Privates tribute routine

Fair Isle socks - like stripes, but subdued...but more intricate...

Fair Isle socks – like stripes, but subdued…but more intricate…

Replica ollar pin, if you'd like to get your Boardwalk Empire on

Replica collar pin, if you’d like to get your Boardwalk Empire on

Cricket trousers - "perfect for any period cricketing attire"

Cricket trousers – “perfect for any period cricketing attire”

Cotton Work Jacket - a nice summer weight jacket option

Cotton Work Jacket – a nice summer weight jacket option

Wearing History 1940’s Panties & Bloomers Pattern

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.


In my always-present search for swing dance undergarments, I am particularly (still) fond of tap pants, especially under short skirts. I love vintage tap pants cut on the bias, like silky dreams, they are! However, I find that they tend to take a beating from my dancing and start fraying because the material (and sometimes the elastic) are so old. Newer tap pants are less likely to be cut on the bias, or at least the ones I can afford to put through the wringer.

Then I saw that Wearing History had issued a 1940’s panties and bloomers pattern – of course you could make them, but I think that was a little out of mind until I saw that there was an actual pattern and they didn’t seem so complicated that they’d be some big undertaking – maybe more along the lines of craft project, in terms of skill level and time commitment. Yes? Maybe? They look adorable and just think – you could make them in any fabric you want!

You can order a printed pattern or an e-pattern – if you have some fabric, you can get started immediately. :)

Re-Mix Guys and Dolls


This post was written by Lindy Shopper.


Re-Mix Guys and Dolls is the name of a new Facebook group that you may be interested in…from the group description:

“Do you want to find out if a certain model is good for dancing, what model fits a narrow/wide foot, what experiences other people made, do you want to sell a pair in good condition or are you looking for a shoe courier…. here is the group for you!!!”

Yes…yes…yes…yes, and I want to buy pairs….all of this is yes, this sounds like a great potential resource. I have acquired about half of my Re-Mix shoes on eBay, some of them used and in excellent condition. I also have questions about the danceability of some Re-Mix models, given certain foot issues, and I’m sure I am not alone.

Since the group is fairly young, I’m hopeful that it will grow into a useful resource for dancers and a potential feedback mechanism for Re-Mix to learn more about how their shoes wear for people and what they can do to improve certain models (if applicable – arguably, the Balboa t-strap is my perfect dance shoe of the moment). Join today!

American Duchess “Claremont,” Reproduction 1930’s Oxford

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.


I first heard of American Duchess from my fellow blogger Beth Grover at V is for Vintage – I was excited that another reproduction shoe company had come along to give us more options for dance shoes, even customizable options via dye/paint. American Duchess focuses on earlier eras of women’s footwear and, until now, their latest time period of footwear offered was the 1920’s.

The Claremont is American Duchess’s 1930’s oxford, done in classic fashion – not too fussy, with elegant details. Available in black and brown (for pre-order right now), suede with patent leather accents and a 2 3/8 inch heel. The pre-order price is $115, $20 less than what you will pay when they are in stock…or, you could win a pair for free in the giveaway they are having right now. :)

Military Uniform Shirt Stays

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

One of the most annoying things about wearing shirts tucked in while we dance is that they tend to come untucked while we dance (one of the main reasons you will see me in dresses v. pants/skirts). One solution is to wear things untucked, but not every shirt was meant to be worn untucked and sometimes we want to look a little more polished. Aside from tucking things into your underwear (which isn’t foolproof), what other options do we have to keep our shirts tucked in?

For example...

For example…

I was scanning my Facebook news feed a few weeks ago and noticed that Philadelphia dancer and instructor Sascha Newberg had posted about military shirt stays as a possible solution. If you are not familiar with stays, they are elastic bands that attach on one end to your shirt tail and on the other end to your pants. They serve the dual purpose of keeping your shirt tucked in and your socks pulled up. If you are going for military precision, some sloppy shirts and droopy socks aren’t going to cut it.

I remember seeing these for the first time when my friend Joanna went to the U.S. Naval Academy. I commented on how impeccable she looked in her white uniform, how everything was just so, and she pulled up her pants leg to show me the stays. She said they took a little getting used to, that certain “spring” in her step, but after a while they just became part of the uniform.

What say ye? Shall we add a spring to our Lindy Hop steps? In the name of keeping shirts tucked in!

A Beginner’s Guide to Swing Dance Wardrobe Basics

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I’ve written a guest post for Raleigh Vintage on what a brand new, never-been-to-a-swing-dance-before, dancer might want to know before heading to their first swing dance. I know there are tons of these, written for every swing dance society/group ever created, but I figured these things can’t be said enough – the more resources, the better.

Check out the post on the Raleigh Vintage blog.


Trumpet Skirts Triumphant! Meet [ From ] Chloe Hong

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

At last...my love has come along...my lonely days are over...and life is like a song...at last!

At last…my love has come along…my lonely days are over…and life is like a song…at last!

After what seemed like an exercise in futility, my trumpet skirt crusade has returned a winner that I hope will take off like gangbusters. Like every good crusade there’s a story and mine begins with a Facebook message from Valerie Salstrom.

Val messaged me in May that she had a great lead on trumpet skirts in Korea, a tailor named Chloe Hong who had a shop called From. She raved about the quality and construction of the skirt and, knowing Val’s extensive knowledge of vintage clothing and construction, I started to get excited. “They have a little more weight and a little more “slip” to them. They move like a dream.” I was sold.

I messaged Chloe about the skirts and after some discussion of sizing I ordered one in brown and one in black. She was so helpful and gracious – she also made arrangements to have a Korean dancer, Jade, bring the skirts to ILHC for me so that I could save on shipping. It was well worth the wait and after I picked them up from Jade (thank you for transporting them!) I ran back up to my hotel room to try them on and twirl in front of the mirror.

Chloe Hong's store in Korea

Chloe Hong’s store in Korea

This is a superior skirt for several reasons:

– The fabric has this wonderful weight to it – it’s 100% polyester, but it almost feels like a soft faille, with the drape of a crepe silk.

– The fabric has a slight stretch, which helps with fit and movement.

– The waistband is substantial enough to stay put and not roll over.

– The cut is superb – flattering to the tummy, hips, and bum, it starts to go out from the waist from the waistband, rather than hugging the hips too tightly and then flaring out (which can create several fit issues and give the illusion of gut or hip bumps). It just lays so nicely!

Oh, the lovely drape!

Oh, the lovely drape!

– The skirt is lined in a way that creates a mini-slip at the top of the skirt, from the waist down to just below your bum. The lining also helps in terms of smoothing things out (like your top that’s tucked in or the elastic line from the top of your bloomers) and helps with the movement of the skirt, so that it doesn’t catch on whatever you have underneath the skirt. Because the lining/slip hits just below your bum, you still get all the benefit of showing off your legs during the twirl, without having to worry as much about what is covering your bum (or what may have shifted).

– Machine washable!

– Travels well – it came from Korea to ILHC to North Carolina, I hung it up for two days, then wore it to work without having to iron it.

The price is a mere $52 for what I would consider to be the best trumpet skirt I have put on my body. If Chloe does not carry your size, a custom skirt would cost $80, which is really not terrible considering the quality of these skirts. Colors available appear to be black, brown, steel gray, mauve, and red.

Giselle Anguizola in the shorter version of the "flare skirt"

Giselle Anguizola in the shorter version of the “flare skirt”

Chloe also has some other great skirts for dancing, including a shorter version of the trumpet skirt and a pencil skirt with a front slit that Laura Keat has been sporting (and rocking out with her dancing) for competitions. Chloe also does custom work, which Val has attested is simply beautiful.

Chloe’s website is set to launch very soon, so you may wait until that occurs, or you may want to go through the Facebook page for her shop, From. I was able to order by waist size – measurements and sizes are available on Facebook. Also, Valerie says that Chloe will be at All Balboa Weekend in 2014 and that she is bringing a bunch of ready made skirts with her from Korea! Looking forward the website launch and seeing more from Chloe Hong. :)


Raleigh Vintage *hearts* Lindy Shopper – 10% Off for Our Readers


This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

One of my lovely supporters, Raleigh Vintage, is offering 10% off to Lindy Shopper readers for the foreseeable future. I’ll keep the reminder in the side bar to the right, in case you forget. Enter the code LINDYSHOPPER at checkout. ;)

ILHC 2013 Vendor and Style Report

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Forties Forward at ILHC

Forties Forward at ILHC

The International Lindy Hop Championships proved to be a truly inspiring event this year, with performances by top dancers, of course, but there was also an electricity, a sense of community, and mutual love and understanding that seemed to permeate the room. Am I getting on a hippie tangent? Maybe. But I shared some pretty awesome moments with hundreds of my fellow dancers.

My ONLY disappointment this year was the vendor area. I used the word “vendor” (singular) in the title because, aside from the ILHC tee shirts, I only saw one vendor table set up, which was the always charming Forties Forward, with their bevy of hair blooms and accessories. They were the bright spot in an otherwise empty hotel hallway/foyer.

I think the vendor area is important for a few reasons:
– Dancers get products they need
– Dancers can try things on
– Foreign dancers can buy things without having to pay for shipping
– We want to support businesses that cater to our specific needs/wants
– Many of the vendors are dancers themselves, so we like to invest in this micro-economy of dance events

I’m sure there are more. For whatever reason, I hope that the decline in vendor attendance is not permanent.

That said, I hate to leave a post like this, so I’m going to share with you some of the trends I noticed this year at ILHC, some of which I reported during my commentary on Yehoodi’s ILHC broadcast:

Head bands/scarves – the hair flower has reigned supreme for a long time as the hair accessory of choice for swing dancers. This year I saw many more things encircling dancers’ heads (including things with hair flowers attached), as well as creative use of colorful scarves. My favorite was Baltimore dancer Brandi Ferrebee using a head scarf as a snood to cover her curl set during prelims so that her set would be fresh (and dry!) for the dance that night.

The fabulous Anne Williams models a pencil skirt with a slit on the front left leg.

The fabulous Anne Williams models a pencil skirt with a slit on the front left leg.

Skirts with a front slit – the skirt slit or vent can be an essential if you aren’t wearing a full skirt. A larger slit or opening can increase your range of motion, which is always helpful in Lindy Hop. The options ranged from the sexy offset front slit to A-line skirts to tulip skirts to a pieced/sectioned skirt that managed to have an awesome slit and twirl at the same time. The effect was functional and lovely, though add a bit of caution when securing or selecting one of these skirts – that slit can migrate, either from side-to-side or up the seam. Give it a test run and make sure the top of the slit is sewn securely or reinforced to prevent splitting.

Double breasted suits – I saw several gentlemen in competition looking very sharp and put-together with their buttoned-up double breasted suits. Certainly, giving men more clothing alternatives for competitions is an excellent thing.

TweedRamona Staffeld and Todd Yannacone set the tweed tone with their matching plaid suits – Ramona’s a vest and skirt combo, while Todd’s was a three piece suit. They looked so sharp and were able to use pieces from this uniform for several competitions. I noticed other competitors in tweed-looking fabrics ranging from an oatmeal fleck to large plaids. The effect was definitely classy, with a nod to fall.

Sequin bloomers – ladies, your sequin bloomers were fabulous and timely, because ILHC is the time to sparkle. :)

1940’s Dress with Detachable Skirt

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.


I couldn’t resist posting this 1940’s dress with detachable skirt because I think it’s such a clever design. It seems that any time buttons are involved the cuteness is magnified, and when you make a skirt detachable it appears to require a lot of buttons. The dots with the solid fabric is a great combo, and I love the contrast collar on the shirt as well as the inset panels on the skirt. Wear with skirt attached or pair with pants for a cute cropped top…maybe without skirt for prelims, with skirt for finals? That’s smart packing, too. :)