Tag Archives: swing

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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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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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:

American Duchess “Claremont,” Reproduction 1930’s Oxford

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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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.

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Vintage Make-Up Guides

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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Getting specific about period make-up tends to default to whether or not I decide to wear red lipstick, but I admit that I have been curious about the more specific make-up trends from each decade. Glamour Daze has put together four make-up guides – one each for the 1920’s, 1930’s, 1940’s, and 1950’s – compiled from period manuals and magazine articles and made available to you as an ebook. Content covers things like the right colors for your hair/complexion, makeup techniques, skin care, and some decade-specific beauty norms and, perhaps, some not-so-norms by today’s standards. Each ebook is $9.99, or you can get all four for $19.99.

Indiegogo: Yehoodi Live Stream From ILHC

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Let's do 2013 even better!

Let’s do 2013 even better!

Last year was the first year that Yehoodi live broadcasted all of the competitions at the International Lindy Hop Championships. The broadcast garnered over 23,000 views and had an international audience. This is no small feat! I had the pleasure of being a part of this landmark broadcast as a commentator during the Open Balboa competition and marveled at how dedicated the Yehoodi staff was to putting out a quality broadcast in spite of their small crew and minimal equipment. It was a lot of work, for sure, and I am excited to report that they are planning on doing it again this year.

But they need a little help to do it right. From their Indiegogo page:

“For 15 years, Yehoodi.com has been providing, free of charge, an online home for the lindy hop community. We’ve run discussion forums, live events like the Basie Centennial, streaming online swing radio, and audio/video podcasts like the Yehoodi Talk Show, Hey Mr. Jesse and SwingNation.

In all of that time, we have never asked for a dime from our members and viewers. Today is the first time on all those years we are asking the lindy hop community for support.

ILHC logoLast year, we went to the International Lindy Hop Championships in Washington DC and produced our first live on-site dance competition show. Using basic production equipment and a skeleton crew, we were able to put on a high quality production that had 23,000+ views over the weekend, with viewers logging in from Korea, Sweden, Australia and many more countries. We heard from hundreds of you how much you enjoyed the live broadcast and the video archive later.

This year, we think we can do even better. We have an opportunity to create a television-quality, high definition video production from ILHC. But we need your help.

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Here’s what we need:

– bad ass equipment

– a killer production team…

(insert description of bad ass equipment and killer production team)”

FURTHER:

If I'm not attending this I want to be watching this!

If I’m not attending this I want to be watching this!

“We have already been approached by several event organizers to stream their competitions and showcases live to the internet. In particular, the team behind the Frankie100 Centennial Celebration have said that they would love for Yehoodi to be there in May of 2014 to stream some of that historic event to the world. With your support, that can happen.

Also, if we reach our goal, we will be able to provide the lindy community with a much higher quality version of our weekly lindy hop based show, SwingNation, the only weekly live streamed video podcast that delivers news, events, interviews and featured dance videos for our Lindy Hop audience. The SwingNation show archive will be in the best quality possible for future generations to come.”

MORE BROADCASTS. We will be in a whole other realm of hobby at this point, with potential for a broader international reach, not to mention the ability to bring the events to people who aren’t able to attend them, to see MORE AWESOME DANCING.

I am super excited about the prospects. As with any worthwhile endeavor, it takes blood, sweat, tears, and cash to make things run. Drop a few dollars their way, this is definitely one project that we can continue to benefit from well into the future. Click here to invest in your Lindy Hop future. :)

What’s Old is New: Groovie Movie

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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I’ve been meaning to seek out the items for this post for a couple of years and Memorial Day seems like a good time to share – following my last What’s Old is New featuring outfits from A Day at the Races, I’d like to look at some of the costuming choices in Groovie Movie and note where you may find similar items in modern times to hone your 1940’s-inspired dance pieces. As this was a film made during World War II and the film features some the male dancers at the end wearing military uniforms, this appears to an excellent film to highlight, in the spirit of Memorial Day. Jitterbugs, veterans, and those who served our nation with honor – we salute you!

I’m going to focus on some of the followers’ outfits at the end of the film because some of the earlier outfits were more…to prove a point or to further the narrative. :) For military garb, that’s a bit of a can of worms. Visit your local army/navy surplus for inspiration, talk to your grandpa, or delve into the potentially very expensive (and very specific) hobby of collecting vintage uniforms.

Onward, ladies!

Jitterbuggin has a great jumper/pinafore that's similar to the one Irene Thomas is wearing in the clip.

Jitterbuggin has a great jumper/pinafore that’s similar to the one Irene Thomas is wearing in the clip.

A jumper similar to the one worn by Kay Vaughn (Smith) in the clip, courtesy of Time Machine Vintage on Etsy - adorbs!

A jumper similar to the one worn by Kay Vaughn (Smith) in the clip, courtesy of Time Machine Vintage on Etsy – adorbs!

Jitterbuggin has Irene's number - this blouse style is so close.  The cat print is great, but you could probably convince Kim to make you a white one to complete your Groovie Movie look. :)

Jitterbuggin has Irene’s number – this blouse style is so close. The cat print is great, but you could probably convince Kim to make you a white one to complete your Groovie Movie look. :)

And it looks like Time Machine Vintage has Kay's number - Kay's shirt is a little harder to discern, but it looks like a button-down with some sort of tie at the neck.  Request in white sans lace for your Groovie Movie homage.

And it looks like Time Machine Vintage has Kay’s number – Kay’s shirt is a little harder to discern, but it looks like a button-down with some sort of tie at the neck. Request in white sans lace for your Groovie Movie homage.

This bow looks like it's about the right size. :)  Courtesy of Whispy Love on Etsy.

This bow looks like it’s about the right size. :) Courtesy of Whispy Love on Etsy.

Jean Veloz's fitted V-neck shirt with ruching on the front is the most difficult - I still can't find a good reproduction, or even a pattern I feel comfortable identifying as "close."  In terms of closeness, this pattern is about as close as I could get.  Find a seamstress friend or Etsy seller for hire and get to work.

Jean Veloz’s fitted V-neck shirt with ruching on the front is the most difficult – I still can’t find a good reproduction, or even a pattern I feel comfortable identifying as “close.” In terms of closeness, this pattern is about as close as I could get. Find a seamstress friend or Etsy seller for hire and get to work.

I've looked at the blurry image of Jean's brooch on her blouse long enough that I'm fairly certain it's a flower (though witch on a broomstick was a close second) - search eBay for "1940 flower brooch" and the options are plentiful!

I’ve looked at the blurry image of Jean’s brooch on her blouse long enough that I’m fairly certain it’s a flower (though witch on a broomstick was a close second) – search eBay for “1940 flower brooch” and the options are plentiful!

Trashy Diva's gathered mini skirt looks like the junior version of their high waisted 1940's skirt - perfect for the Groovie Movie look, as Jean's skirt was definitely above the knee.  Available in teal, purple, green, red, and black

Trashy Diva’s gathered mini skirt looks like the junior version of their high waisted 1940’s skirt – perfect for the Groovie Movie look, as Jean’s skirt was definitely above the knee. Available in teal, purple, green, red, and black

Wedges for everyone!  Get yours before Dancestore.com discontinues them - available in the sale section, in black and brown.

Wedges for everyone! Get yours before Dancestore.com discontinues them – available in the sale section, in black and brown.

I couldn't find ankle tie wedges, so these ankle straps will have to do - from Cruisin Australia.

I couldn’t find ankle tie wedges, so these ankle straps will have to do – from Cruisin Australia.

Where Are The Trumpet Skirts?

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Bonnie Parker wants to know where the hell her trumpet skirts are, it's time for a new one.

Bonnie Parker wants to know where the hell her trumpet skirts are – she’s long overdue for a new one.

It’s been over a year since my Ode to a Trumpet Skirt, the subsequent crusade, and Dancestore.com‘s response that, yes, we should bring this product back because there is a demand for it. Given the manufacturing process and understanding that these things take time, I figured I’d check back in on Facebook and see how things were going.

Lindy Shopper: Still waiting on that trumpet skirt…

Dancestore.com: Hi Laura! Are you waiting on an order to arrive?

Lindy Shopper: *bangs head against wall*

Lindy Shopper: (actual response) Waiting on fulfillment of this promise: http://lindyshopper.com/2012/04/24/the-holy-grail/

I’m not sure what else we can do, ladies – over a hundred of you personally posted on Dancestore.com’s wall saying “YES! We would buy this skirt” even “instantly” and, in some cases, “in every color!” I guess it’s time to start looking for another source. I have a lead on something, which I hope to write about very soon after a purchase and a test run…we shall see.

Johnston & Murphey Holbrook Linen Cap Toe

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

BEHOLD! I give you this glorious new shoe from Johnston & Murphey – the Holbrook Linen Cap Toe! I can’t think of many other shoes more worthy of a linen or seersucker suit. Gents, this is one snappy shoe.

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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?

Corn Applique Dress

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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That’s right, I said corn – I found this great 1940’s sequin applique dress, but instead of the typical bows or flowers, this one features what could either be corn or yellow grapes. For our purposes, I’m going with corn and this is the sparkly equivalent of a novelty print. If I were heading to the Hawkeye Swing Festival or the Heartland Swing Festival, I would pick this up in a second. Adorable!

Assaulted by Breasts

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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As the trombone player stared into the distance, waiting for the next set to begin on New Year’s Eve at Lindy Focus XI, the trumpet player next to him prodded “Are you looking at what I’m looking at?” The trombone player followed the trumpet player’s gaze to the row of dancers lining the front of the stage and saw a girl who had come out of her dress on the top, exposing most or all of a breast.

While some guys would be delighted at this sight, and agree that this is awesome, in actuality it becomes an issue because something very private has become very public. And when something very private has a very public reaction that could be detected, that brings out even more issues. Yes, guys, I know you want to see attractive women at dances; however, the consensus has generally been that most guys don’t want to be a horn dog at dances, distracted by so much cleavage or full boobage that it becomes ogling and/or pushes them into creepy territory. Generally, guys who want to respect boundaries are going to be uncomfortable being pulled between instinct and decorum and are probably just less likely to dance with a potential wardrobe malfunction.

When the girls are in full display, or perhaps spilling out of one’s top or dress, the movement of Lindy Hop could turn pulse into a full trampoline bounce. I have seen this and been intimidated by watching someone dance like this. It is at that point that the dance becomes something else entirely for those within view – bystanders find themselves watching a car falling off the precipice of a cliff rather than watching an enjoyable aesthetic. It’s the apprehension that makes it so distracting for me – consider that the scope of the apprehension can go further than your dance partner.

For Lindy Focus, this was probably more of an issue on New Year’s Eve (as retailers notoriously only offer sparkle in cleavage-friendly shapes), but I did notice other things throughout the event, like sheer shirts over darkly contrasting bras (camisole, anyone?) and ill-fitting strapless dresses that looked as though the top were Hoover Dam about to burst from a flood of chest. Much of this goes back to buying clothes that fit you well (but not tightly – there is a distinction), but also shapes and necklines that are complimentary to your shape. If you have a smaller chest, you can get away with showing more skin – this is an inversely proportional relationship. Likewise, the larger your chest is, the less skin you can get away with showing, because there is more of it. I am all for cleavage, but proportion, fit, and security are certainly factors to consider.

Another consideration, for the burgeoning nudists among us, were the children present at Lindy Focus. I almost tripped over sleeping children near the stage on a couple of nights, but there were also children running around at the main dances. Let’s try not to scar these kids for life.

The trombone player in the story is my husband and I really don’t want to come home and hear stories like this. Thus, when you are dressing yourself for an event, consider the fit of your clothing, the risk of certain necklines, the athleticism of swing dancing in general, and the proportionate amount of cleavage that will be attractive without becoming a nuisance to you or to others.

EDITED: To add that this post has sparked an extensive discussion in our online Lindy Hop community – Dogpossum sets forth a timeline of the discussion (relevant blog responses and social media) mid-way through her blog post, if you’d like to follow and/or join the ensuing discussion as of February 8, 2013.

M.G. Baker Co. Bow Ties

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Red Tartan - can't post of Christmas Day without a Christmas tie!

Red Tartan – can’t post on Christmas Day without a Christmas tie!

Thanks to a tip from North Vancouver dancer Sarah Vincent, I am now apprised of the existence of M.G. Baker Co. Bow Ties, handmade in the U.S.A. and christened with names like Foxtrot, Lindy Hop, Bunny Hop, Charleston, Boogie, and other vintage dances. The funny thing is, this guy is not a dancer…which means he must be very clever to know the names of all of these dances. :)

These ties are 100% cotton, which means they are friendly for the inevitable sweat that accompanies your dancing. It also means you could probably throw it in the wash (but air dry, lest your tie shrink to mini-tie).

From the website: “All M.G. BAKER CO. Bow Ties are the traditional “Self-Tie” variety; meaning they are the kind you tie yourself. But don’t fret! Each and every one is uniquely packaged in a keepsake box complete with illustrated tying instructions to help teach even the most inexperienced beginner how to tie a bow tie to perfection.”

Faves:

Charleston

Charleston

Polka

Polka

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