1940’s Holiday Dress

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to think about what to wear to those holiday dances or, perhaps, Lindy Focus or Snowball for New Year’s Eve. I am in love with this 1940’s dress in fuschia – an unexpected color, but close-to-red and festively bright, with trimmings of sequins in the shape of…macaw? It looks like an eighth note at a distance…regardless, this dress would be the topic of conversation at any fête. It’s 20% off until the end of today when Fab Gabs’ sale ends!

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Jitterbuggin 25% Off Sale!

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

It’s a week of sales that I can’t resist – 25% off at Jitterbuggin’ until Sunday!

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Re-Mix Vintage Shoes Sale

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

On the heels of the Dancestore.com sale comes a Re-Mix Sale! Some particularly danceable models are reduced drastically – I’ll let the graphic below explain more. :)

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Dancestore.com Sale

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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Just got word that Dancestore.com is having a sale – items of note:

Aris Allen wingtip oxfords (in white and two-tone black/white) are $69.95 (marked down from $84.95).

Men’s wide leg trousers in brown for $14.95 (marked down from $39.95).

Brown and tweed/plaid saddle shoe for $34.95 (marked down from $49.95) – I have these and they are adorable and comfortable.

Aris Allen Loafers for $6.99

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I came across this pair of Aris Allen loafers today on eBay, with a starting bid of $6.99 – this is how you do it, folks, to sell your used dance shoes you should price this stuff to move. Size 11.5, they look to be in good condition – used, but not worn out baked potatoes. If you were thinking about trying the Aris Allen loafers, this is a low-cost commitment. The seller also indicates that this pair is the older version of the shoe with the “hard sole” (as opposed to the raw sole), which means it’s easier to do floor slides. :)

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Malco Modes Ribbed Cotton Stretch Belt

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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I have written in the past about belts, specifically “wide swaths of leather, elastic, and metal making an orbit around the waists” of dancers, especially noticeable in competitions. I am guilty of this on the social dance floor as well – but so many belts can be hard to secure, especially the plastic/pleather ones that come with those reasonably priced wash-and-wear dresses.

After securing one of these reasonably priced dance dresses recently, it arrived with an unfortunate waistline that could only be remedied with a belt. I wanted something with elastic, but also something that was plain, but not too plain, resiliant, thick enough, and with an interesting buckle. I basically create the impossible in my head and then try to find it – it hones my hunting skills, but can be frustrating at times.

Fortunately, after a quick search on Amazon.com, I arrived at a belt that I think a lot of Lindy Hoppers may appreciate – Malco Modes Ribbed Cotton Stretch Belt. It met and exceeded the requirements – 100% cotton, simple-but-not-boring buckle, wide enough (but not too wide), elastic, durable, and available in 24 colors. I will be back for more colors, you can be certain of that.

Some of the reviews said the belt looked cheap and the fabric was cheap, but I think that depends on your point of view and the purpose of the belt. I wouldn’t wear this with shantung silk, clearly, but I would say the fabric is more durable cotton than “cheap” – think cotton work-shirt or uniform. With that durable, ruched cotton I feel very comfortable sticking in as many safety pins as needed to keep that belt securely in place.

EBC 2013 Vendors

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

The Eastern Balboa Championships, in its final year, brought out the best in everyone who attended – there was so much positive energy at this event, plus the usual shenanigans, that it was radiant with awesome. Way to go out with a bang!

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The vendors added to the shine, as the vendor area showcase several local businesses with a serious fan base. Creations by Crawford has become a staple of swing dance events in the southeast and beyond, known for her custom hair pieces, but perhaps most brilliantly for her lapel art, which elevates and distinguishes the lapels of men’s jackets, with metal, feathers, fabric, and touches that are elegant without being femme. Sharon had a truly delicious selection of jewels to choose from, as the basis for her designs.

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Raleigh Vintage, whose online fan base has reached international proportions, returned, with a large vendor space filled with 1930’s and 40’s dresses, separates, menswear, accessories, shoes, and a 1933 World’s Fair tie clip for everyone. They always curate a superbly appropriate collection to bring to EBC, with an eye for durable vintage to withstand the tests of the dance floor. Of particular note was a collection of men’s socks with fantastic colors and details. This year’s display also featured a sale rack of items with minor flaws and majorly discounted prices. And there was much rejoicing.

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Chatterblossom made its EBC debut this year, with a collection of hand crafted hair accessories and jewelry, with a vintage-inspired aesthetic. With a welcoming and eye-catching display, it was hard to resist the rings, necklaces, blooms, and flapper head bands in the collection. Already a successful blog and Etsy shop, I hope to see Chatterblossom at future swing dance events, well stocked with tons of goodies, especially red flowers (there are never enough in red!).

Here’s a glimpse of what you missed:

Part of Chatterblossom's vendor area

Part of Chatterblossom’s vendor area

If your name is George, this is your lucky day - at Chatterblossom

If your name is George, this is your lucky day – at Chatterblossom

Earrings made from cute buttons, by Chatterblossom

Earrings made from cute buttons, by Chatterblossom

Ridiculous socks at Raleigh Vintage

Ridiculous socks at Raleigh Vintage

Adorable dress at Raleigh Vintage

Adorable dress at Raleigh Vintage

Ties at Raleigh Vintage

Ties at Raleigh Vintage

Raleigh Vintage always has a few good sweater vests!

Raleigh Vintage always has a few good sweater vests!

This neckline!  At Raleigh Vintage

This neckline! At Raleigh Vintage

Yellow men's shirt with top stitching, at Raleigh Vintage

Yellow men’s shirt with top stitching, at Raleigh Vintage

Miss Sharon Crawford, busy with a custom piece.

Miss Sharon Crawford, busy with a custom piece.

A box of jewels, which can become the basis for a Creation by Crawford.

A box of jewels, which can become the basis for a Creation by Crawford.

1930’s Capezio Tap Costume

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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Happy Halloween! Speaking of costumes, I came across this 1930’s Capezio tap costume on eBay today, complete with matching bloomers. I am always fascinated by dance costumes of the past and this one appears to be fairly simple in terms of fabrics, but has some lovely details – trim, pocket, and sash – I wonder what routine and song went along with the costume wearer’s performance? Alas, we’ll never know who she is because the place to write the name on the dress tag is blank. I could see someone doing a nautical-themed Lindy Hop routine in this, accompanied by a sailor in white and blue, or maybe replicated by a troupe of chorus girls…

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Eastern Balboa Championships 2013 – 10th Anniversary

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

This weekend is the 10th and final Eastern Balboa Championships – I am sad to see it go, but have so many great memories from this event. I’ve worked with the organizers to bring in some great vendors and this year I am very excited about our local vendor offerings! Stay tuned for a report, but I do hope to see some of you this weekend!

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Review: Petrunia’s Diamond Dot Annie Dress

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I may be the worst model ever - is the photo over yet?  But check out this dress!

I may be the worst model ever – is the photo over yet? But check out this dress!

After I blogged about Petrunia’s lovely reproduction dresses, I was contacted by the sales manager this line of clothing, Lucy Carey, about reviewing one of their lovely dresses! I happily selected the initial dress that had caught my eye in Bygones, the Diamond Dot Annie dress, and it was shipped to my doorstep.

I saved the dress so I could wear it this past weekend at Jammin on the James, a Lindy Hop workshop weekend in Richmond, Virginia, so that I could give it the full dance treatment of wearing it to dinner, social dancing, competing, and singing with the Blue Crescent Syncopators. It survived all of these activities without incident and remained fresh, from late afternoon through the late night dance with Naomi and her Handsome Devils.

The fabric is rayon, which has that wonderful “cold,” silky feel, with a bit of a textured sheen. The color is rich and the dot pattern on the fabric provides just enough decoration that it doesn’t compete with the little details in this dress that make it pop, like the wide collar and the pleating on the bodice. The dress zips up the side with a metal zipper (bonus vintage points!) and the skirt is cut on the bias, so it will lay nicely on the hips without hugging or bagging. My only complaint would be that the arm holes were a little low on me, but this is a common problem I have with garments – someone taller than my 5’2.5″ will be fine – and it didn’t noticeably inhibit my movement while dancing. I finished the look with Re-mix wedges and a fakelite rose pin to complete the repro ensemble.

I hope this Ithaca-based shop will continue to create reproductions, in addition to tending their vintage clothing shop – years of being around vintage clothing will make you want to re-create it and Petrunia has done so with all the right details.

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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… ;)

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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!