Tag Archives: swing dancing

Thinx: Smart Underwear

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I often write about undergarment options for coverage when we wear skirts, but what about what we wear under our bloomers or our pants? What about the material? What about all that gross sweating we do? Where dudes bring multiple shirts to a dance weekend, I bring multiple pairs of underwear because there’s nothing worse that sitting around or dancing in a puddle of your own sweat (along those lines, there’s nothing better than putting on a fresh pair of underwear after you’ve danced, especially between a main dance and late night – file that under my body odor commentary).

Cotton breathes, but it also soaks everything up. Synthetics can be icky in terms of odor and I usually don’t like they way the feel against my skin. Can we get some technology in here to engineer us some undies?

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Montreal dancer Alisha Ruiss sent me a link to this great Indiegogo campaign for Thinx: Change Your Underwear, “where technology and fashion intersect to solve a global problem.” How is this underwear smart? You can check out the diagram to the right, and then listen when I tell you that it

1) Is leak/stain-resistant, anti-microbial, moisture-wicking and lasts for several years

2) Acts as back-up to traditional methods of leakage prevention during your period (but will not replace these during heavier days – they are working on creating this style next!)

3) Completely replaces liners on light days

Thank you for the different coverage options!

Thank you for the different coverage options!

Whaaaaaa?! So this is obviously super practical in real life, and in your dance life having that bit of extra protection there for potential leakage (because we move around a lot, just like athletes, and we sometimes lose track of time…) or just sweat absorption could make the world of difference in your comfort at a dance, on any day of the year.

They had a previously successful Kickstarter campaign, but due to the nature of Kickstarter they were not able to raise money for a cause, which is the intersection of this project.

From the Indiegogo page:

For more information on AFRIpads, visit afripads.com

For more information on AFRIpads, visit afripads.com

“Beyond our own desire for the smartest underwear for our drawer, we found out that there was an even bigger problem for girls and women in the developing world.

Girls in the developing world are missing up to a week of school per month and using unimaginable things to manage their monthly cycle like twigs, leaves, newspaper, plastic bags or dirty rags. In Africa alone, 67 million girls have dropped out entirely which overwhelmingly leads to early marriage, pregnancy and a greater difficulty in raising themselves out of poverty.

THINX is part of the solution. For every pair of THINX you buy, you help fund the production of a 7-pad washable kit for a woman or girl in the developing world via our partnership with AFRIpads. This kit helps create local jobs and empower the economy while also helping keep girls in school during that time of the month.”

Can you imagine what these girls have to give up? I know I can’t – and I’ll remember this every time I take my ability to leave the house during my period for granted.

I am excited that smarter solutions are being developed, with women all over the world in mind. Looking forward to seeing more from this company.

The Original Inspiration and the Reproduction

The reproduction

The reproduction

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I often wonder what inspired certain reproduction dresses – shapes and motifs are obvious, but what about the specifics? I love finding those rare inspiration pieces and found what I believe to be Trashy Diva’s inspiration for their fall collection Lilian Dress (which I immediately began panting over upon seeing it) – this wonderful 1940’s dress on eBay. The embroidery is spot on. While the dress has undergone some Trashy Diva modifications, I think they made some great choices like moving the embroidery closer to the shoulder, changing the embroidery colors to more peacock blues and greens, losing the hip seaming/detail, and giving it an overall sleeker, more Asian-inspired silhouette. The charm is not lost, though, as the embroidery in the original is just as magnificent as the repro, and that little row of buttons is divine on both.

The original inspiration?  What say you, Trashy Diva?

The original inspiration? What say you, Trashy Diva?

Swell Farewell Vintage

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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I am happy to announce that Lindy Shopper has a new supporter in the form of Etsy store Swell Farewell Vintage – owner Kate Blank has put together a lovely little shop with items from all of our jazz age and swing era decades, and beyond. Kate’s love of all things vintage began early in her childhood and she even ran her vintage clothing business out of her dorm room in college! You can see her experience in her collection, which includes quintessential items from each decade represented. I also love that she has clothing items listed by waist size, which is so helpful in initially narrowing down what will fit from the shop.

Right now the shop features mostly women’s clothing, but Kate has plans to add more men’s ties, as well as more inventory overall. Not everything is listed, so if you are looking for something specific, Kate encourages you to message her with your sought-after items to see if she has anything in her inventory that would fit the bill.

At the moment, Swell Farewell Vintage is running a 15% off coupon – enter the code 15OFF at checkout – it applies to all items!

Here’s what I love from the store:

1950's plaid peep toe heels

1950’s plaid peep toe heels

1940's dress with peplum and sequin applique

1940’s dress with peplum and sequin applique

So this is adorable...

So this is adorable…

This beyond sweet 1920's dress...

This beyond sweet 1920’s dress…

Black 1940's shoes

Black 1940’s shoes

The use of the fabric print on this 1950's dress is pretty fascinating - excellent neckline, as well

The use of the fabric print on this 1950’s dress is pretty fascinating – excellent neckline, as well

Maidenform Boyshort

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

This week has, for one reason or another, been full of undergarment ideas. I’ll start with the tip I got from Micki Schultz, who was sporting a pair of Maidenform boyshorts as bloomers at the TSDS dance on Saturday with Acme Swing Mfg. Co. With just a touch of lace to give a nod to vintage slips or tap pants, they didn’t look out of place under her wonderful vintage 1940’s suit.

These might also be a good option if you’d like some additional help with smoothing things out under your dress. According to the Maidenform website, these boyshorts

- Provide everyday control
– Smoothe and shape your body
– Eliminate bulges
– Looks great layered with ready to wear (not sure what this means, but OK)
– Can be worn under all types of outfits
– Soft and silky against the skin
– Lace adds femininity (indeed)

They come in the basic wardrobe colors of black and nude. Also of note, the waistband is high enough to smooth over your muffin top and the bottom is full coverage to keep everything snug.

Aerosoles

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Aerosoles, often associated with comfortable and practical footwear, has stepped into the swing realm. I spotted Aerosoles on Laura Keat at The Experiment and on Nelle Cherry at DCLX, and wondered how they were dancing in these rubber soled shoes. The secret, according to Nelle, is to get the soles dusty and the rubber becomes the perfect consistency of slippery and sticky when you need it. Who knew? I wear Aerosoles to work for comfort, but I never thought about taking them out on the dance floor. This is great news for the people who dance in flats or heels or both – there’s a little something for everyone.

There are several things that make Aerosoles comfortable, but dancers specifically will notice the highly flexible sole, the cushioned footbed, and the soft leather interiors of the shoes. There are also some nice vintage-inspired shoes in their lineup.

Here’s what I like from the Aerosoles site:

Gingerroot shoe in pink, gray, or black leather

Out of Controle shoe in gray, tan, or black patent leather

Saprolite shoe in black suede combo or black leather combo

Ginerous shoe in purple, gray, or black suede

Field Trip: Dolly’s Vintage, Durham, NC

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

This is less of a field trip and more of a weekly lunch break ritual, usually on Fridays, to a destination two blocks from my office in downtown Durham, North Carolina – to Dolly’s Vintage, a confectionery of a vintage store that is more like a trip to Candy Land than a trip back in time. And, like the board game, Dolly’s is timeless, adorable, and nostalgic at the same time.

You can’t help but smile when you walk by the store, with its vintage bathtub flower bed and cheerful wooden sign welcoming you in. In fact, much of Dolly’s business is foot traffic now that the store has moved from a small space in Brightleaf Square to its expansive new location on Main Street. The store is like a magnet, drawing both men and women into its cheerful interior, with owner Jennifer Donner ready to welcome everyone with a smile and delightful conversation.

What’s inside Dolly’s Vintage? An array of vintage clothing and accessories, mostly ranging from the 1940’s to the 1970’s. The men’s section has a great selection of ties, sport coats, dress and casual button up shirts, tees, and some miscellaneous accessories, like tie clips and cufflinks. The women’s section is a rainbow of awesome dresses, slips, aprons, bathing suits, rompers, skirts, and tops – no losers here, even the 70’s stuff is adorable. A vintage dress will set you back $20-30, which makes it easy to feed the addiction. ;)

Dolly’s carries custom items, like crinolines and ruffled bloomers that Jennifer orders especially for the store, as well as adorable gift items (Hello Kitty, Pucca, Demeter fragrances, and a ton of cool stuff you’ll want to take home with you) and a candy table worthy of Wonka’s chocolate factory.

Jennifer also works with local tailors and seamstresses to mend and repurpose vintage items with flaws to sell in the store.

Location:

905 West Main St # 20G
Durham, NC 27701

(919) 682-1471 ‎

Open Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Take a look inside!

The view from the front door - ahhh...

Looking up at the wheel-o-crinolines suspended from the ceiling

The glorious purple velvet couch, with the women's section in the background

Massive tie rack

I've mentioned 70's does 30's before and here is a good example - yes, the fabric is synthetic, but it's gauzy enough to look like a chiffon, and the shawl collar is so 30's

This one came home with me :)

I died a little when this dress with an adorable purple bird print and purple trim wouldn't zip up my rib cage

A closeup of the bird print

A rack of vintage slips...love

Live your Pretty in Pink fantasy with these 1950's prom dresses

Sportcoats!

Ruffled bloomers

Get your costume wigs here!

Nibble on some candy while you shop

Staying Dry

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Recent events have me thinking about male leads and sweating, specifically how leads deal with keeping themselves dry during dances so their partner doesn’t have to get into closed position with Swamp Thing. I see several methods in play: changing tee shirts multiple times during the night, athletic shirts that are supposed to wick the sweat away from your skin, and men dressing in layers with an undershirt, dress shirt, and sport coat. Of these three methods, the most effective that I have noticed is the man wearing layers. The sport shirts always feel damp even though they aren’t wet and the tee shirts, depending on the wearer, can have a pretty short life span before the lead is drenched again. Every lead I’ve danced with wearing a sportcoat feels dry, at least from the outside. And I thank them for that.

I found an article called “Why You Should Wear an Undershirt at All Times.” It certainly made for an interesting read and I wonder how many of you employ an undershirt as a tactic for dryness. There’s even an entire website devoted to undershirts, The Undershirt Guy, with reviews of undershirt brands and debates on comfort and dryness.

This is less of an informative post and more of a musing – I’d like to hear your thoughts on this topic, as what works for one may not work for others. How do you stay dry? I might know some leads that need your help…

ZaSu Caps

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Are you looking for that perfect vintage-looking cap, one that’s less Kangol and more newsboy circa 1932? Look no further than the eBay store ZaSu Caps, a treasure trove of vintage style hats and caps, including newsboy caps, alpine caps, railroad engineer caps, a pith helmet, and some WWII reproductions.

The maker of these hats, Ralf Reynolds, is also one of the Reynolds Brothers, a trad jazz duo from that packs a mean, swinging punch. Further, “Ralf has the distinction of being the only person ever to have a 30 year career as a professional washboard player.” Check their website - how adorable are these guys?

From Peter Loggins, via Facebook (who tipped me off about the hats): “These are the cats that seriously influenced my dancing, practicing every day to their Futuristic Junglism CD, songs like Pigmeat stomp. Fun, down to earth, historical knowledge, John Reynolds also played in Mora’s Modern Rhythmists, and is a hell of artist, and Ralf Reynolds makes the hats I wear!!! Zasu Caps…I remember the night I first met Ralph, he had just moved back to California, and went to the Derby, with a duffel bag full of hats. I can’t remember how many I bought, but it was every one that fit me…”

Find ZaSu Caps on Facebook and become a fan! Watch the video below, and you’ll become a fan of the Reynolds Brothers as well. :)

Here’s a sampling from the eBay store:

Newsboy cap

Alpine cap

Railroad engineer cap

Brimless newsboy cap

Open Toe Spectator Wedge in Pink and Black

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Continuing with the shoe theme and the pink theme, I’m posting this eBay auction for a pair of Remix Open Toe Spectator Wedges in pink and black, size 7-8. I’ve never seen this color combination before, but I like it. The shoes are a size 8, but the seller says she wears a 7 1/2 wide and that the size felt more like a 7 to her. Starting price is $20, but the buy-it-now is $50! $50 for a pair of Remix shoes? You know what to do.

Contrast Buttons

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I’m heading up to DCLX this weekend, but before I abandon the blog for another dance weekend (you understand, right?) I’ll leave you with these two dresses. Red with green, green with red, but the real detail here is the contrast – most dresses try to match buttons, but I love these solid dresses with contrasting buttons. It really makes the buttons pop and becomes even more of a decorative detail than a functional necessity. This is definitely something I’d like to see more of (paging ModCloth, Anthropologie, Trashy Diva…).

Further, check out the neck detail on the green dress – it’s two dresses in one, with a keyhole neckline or a v-neckline. So in love…I was definitely one of the losing bidders on this auction.

Solid Gold

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

This pair of 1940’s gold heels is about as glamorous as it gets – seller FrauleinMarlene has restocked her shop to include this amazing specimen of vintage footwear. Now that we’ve seen the sparkle, consider the practicality of such a pair of heels – gold is a metallic neutral so it can go with many things, and the mesh insets on the outside of the foot allow for breatheability and a little give on the side for your pinkie toes. I bet that gold leather is super soft…and the price? This gold will only set you back $59. I’d have snatched them up myself, but I already own a similar pair. That said, if you don’t snatch them up, I may reconsider. ;)