Category Archives: Shorts

Beggars and Choosers Sale – 50% Off

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

ATTENTION: This post formerly advertised a sale where if you wear it out of the store, it’s yours for free. I went to Beggars and Choosers today and they were very embarrassed that their printer and local media had mis-advertised the sale – the free sale was only for Thursday and only for clearance items from the basement. So sorry for the confusion! That said, there were still tons of great vintage items on sale for 50% off – my friend George Knott left with a $7 sportcoat and I left with a $15 1930’s hat.

Here are the contents of the old post:

File this under local news for Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill: Beggars and Choosers in Pittsboro, NC is having a sale this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday where if you find an outfit at the store and wear it out of the store, you get the outfit for free! This is the only vintage store conceivably near the Triangle that has actual swing era vintage clothing and a great section of menswear as well – definitely worth the trip to come get a free outfit!

If you are interested, I know their hours have changed since my last blog post on this shop, so call and confirm the hours they will be open. If you are planning on coming to Pittsboro’s Mardi Gras Carnival on Saturday (to dance to the Atomic Rhythm All-Stars! yeah!), consider coming a bit early to catch the sale.

Beggars and Choosers
38 Hillsboro Street
Pittsboro, NC 27312
(919) 542-5884

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Mod Cloth Cabin Fever Sale – 70% Off!

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I’m having palpitations because several dresses I have been eyeballing, as well has hundreds of other items, are now 70% off at Mod Cloth’s Cabin Fever Sale. As I am placing things into my shopping cart they are flying off the website – literally! One dress in my cart went out of stock before I could check out. Here are some of my favorites from the sale:

Gala Life Dress, now $72.99 (was $244.99)

Fiery Personality Frock for $20.99

Releve Dress for $22.99

That's Amore Dress for $21.99

Beach Picnic Dress for $29.99

Know-how Romper in Grace for $14.99

Urban Outfitters Early Spring 2011

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

The catalogs keep coming in the mail and, while the title says early spring, the Urban Outfitters pictorial actually wants to whisk you away to a tropical locale, not unlike the newest Shabby Apple collection. Urban Outfitters gives vintage a twist, of course, pairing new with old and doing some great reproduction basic accessories to enhance your dance, vintage, or vintage-inspired wardrobe.

For the ladies, I am loving the shoe selection, which features an array of awesome oxfords just begging for some heel slides, as well as some more practical Keds style sneaks for sueding. A pair of high waisted sailor shorts (pictured at right) might have to make a home in my closet, as well as a pair of their chunky wedges and a wonderful floppy, wide brim straw hat (to keep the sun off my face at the DCLX Dupont Circle dance!)

Note: The pair of oxfords I really love are not available online yet, but keep your eyes peeled for tone on tone brown leather and straw oxfords, as well as some strawberry print Vans (SO CUTE). C’mon Urban, get this stuff up and available!

Here are the goods:

Add a ribbon or flower to gussy it up a bit, or wear plain - available in four colors

Laser cutout oxfords, in three colors - cutouts mean sweaty feed can breathe!

I like this skirt's subtle nod to Art Deco

A sturdy arrival wedge to pair with a lovely sundress - available in three colors

Strike a pinup pose in these round sunglasses that are a nod to 1930's sunglasses

Delia*s Makes Me Wish For Summer

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

As most of the United States is blanketed with snow and ice, the Delia*s catalog arrives in my mailbox, bearing good tidings of warm weather that we won’t see for a few more months. I see cork soled wedges and sundresses and I want the temperature to go up 40 degrees so the sheet of ice covering my driveway will evaporate and I can emerge from the cocoon of winter coats into the warm glow of a summer sun. Is that too much to ask for?

Delia*s is one of those stores/catalogs that I think most people associate with teenagers, but every year I find something in the Delia*s catalog that becomes that thing that everyone asks, “Where did you get that? It’s so cute!” It’s definitely worth a look. Here’s a preview of some good things to come from Delia*s:

Polka dot dress, only $44.50

Nautical stripe knit dress

Polka dot short

Yellow polka dot bikini - hehe

Two tone oxford, also in black and white

Peep toe espadrille flats, also in navy

Yang wedge, in 4 colors...not danceable, but we still need arrival shoes, right?

A more danceable option, Keds Champion Oxford in silver, also available in metallic blue

Mod Cloth Sale

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Well…everyone is having a sale today, but I’ve been particularly smitten with Mod Cloth‘s recent offerings, especially their holiday dresses. That’s one of the beautiful things about swing dancing, is that there’s always a dance party to attend, with a little sparkle added during the holidays.

Mod Cloth also has some great gift ideas for guys and gals – I found some great things to stash under my Christmas tree for friends and family.

Here are some goodies to make your Black Friday bright and cheerful:

Classic Beauty Dress

City of Lights Dress

Dream a Little Gleam Dress

Blumengarten Dress

Peppermint Pansies Dress

Cocoa Cozy Dress

Proscenium Dress

Under the Dark Sky Dress

Oberek Romper

All Aboard Heels - actually a pair of divine Remix shoes, on sale for $100, size 9.5 - last pair!

My Baby Jo

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

My Baby Jo has a little bit of everything to help you embrace your inner pin-up girl, and some essential menswear clothing and accessories for the swing era gent. My Baby Jo has a retail store in Los Angeles, CA, but thankfully they also offer their excellent 1940’s and 1950’s-inspired clothing, shoes, and accessories online.

The website has a great selection of women’s dresses, swimwear, undergarments, hair flowers, jewelry, shoes, handbags, cosmetics and men’s jackets, shirts, pants, shoes, hats, pomade, ties, and vintage watches. The vintage men’s watches are especially good, with watches from the 1920’s through the 1950’s that look like they are in sturdy, wearable condition. Their swimwear selections feature the best of Esther Williams’ swimwear line. The site also offers some fun pieces that may fill gaps in your wardrobe or Halloween costume (like that Rosie the Riveter jumpsuit – where else do you find that?). They also have an extensive selection of men’s hats and hat-care items, including brushes and felt cleaner.

There’s so much goodness here, I’ll try to narrow down my favorites:

Mrs. Moore Day Dress, comes in 5 colors

V-cut Plaid Jacket - lots more of these on the site in different fabrics

Alika dress, also comes in red and in a pencil skirt style

Motorcycle sweater

Marilyn eyelet tie top, also in blue

Leading man two pocket shirt with topstitching

Riveting jumpsuit, also in blue stripes and black

Melton captoe by Johnston & Murphy

How cute is this sailor outfit?

Tailored double pleated trouser - available in 13 different fabrics

So many hair flowers, but the orchids are my favorite

There are tons of hats in traditional colors, but this green fedora was my favorite

Love the face on this 1937 watch

Groupon for American Apparel

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

The Groupon for Raleigh/Durham today (and for the next three days) is $50 worth of American Apparel goods for $25. The best part? It’s for online sales only, so technically you could live anywhere and use this 50% discount. Huzzah!

(Edited to add that the link takes you to the main Raleigh/Durham Groupon page for the day, but on the right side of the screen there’s a box that says “More Great Deals Nearby” and the American Apparel Groupon link is at the bottom of that box)

Time to stock up on the basics. Here are a few of my faves from the site:

Shirt Dress

Classic stripe sweater

Wrap dress

Striped socks

Round collar shirt

Eastern Balboa Championships

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I’m writing about the Eastern Balboa Championships early in the week because I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to write later on, living in the host scene for this event and organizing certain tangential events that occur this week; also, the event starts on Thursday and once I am sucked into the vortex of madness that is EBC, I may not return until Monday. 😉

Last year at EBC I organized a vintage shopping trip to a couple of local vintage stores in and around downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. The main conquest was a giant warehouse of a vintage store called Get Dressed. Unfortunately, this past May, Get Dressed closed its doors for good, leaving Raleigh without a source for vintage clothing of the swing era. The remaining store, Father & Son Antiques, has an impressive collection of mid-century furniture, but lacks in the clothing department. I still wanted to have a vintage shopping experience for the EBC attendees, after the success of last year’s shopping outing – 20 people signed up in advance and even more carpooled over to Get Dressed the day of the outing.

I have been in touch with one of the vintage collectors from Get Dressed, Andi Shelton, who also runs an Etsy store called Raleigh Vintage. Andi has been keeping the dream alive of Raleigh having a vintage clothing retail store, looking for a location to have a less sprawling store with a carefully selected stock of good vintage clothing. It seems that North Carolina may need the assistance of The Rent is Too Damn High Party so Andi can find some reasonable retail space; until then, Andi and several other vintage collectors operate under the name The Vintage Collective, making appearances at various local events and offering their wares for sale.

I have arranged for the Vintage Collective to appear at EBC, during the day and into the evening on Saturday – specifically, 12:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Brownstone, the hotel hosting EBC. Andi wrote this about The Vintage Collective:

“The Vintage Collective is collaborative of three vintage clothing enthusiasts who have a passion for collecting and sharing special pieces. Just for the EBC, we’ll be sharing our collections of 1920s-late 1950s clothing for men and women, as well as accessories to complete the look. Offerings include dresses, tops, sweaters, skirts, lingerie, pants, suits, vests, hats, gloves, jewelry, ties, and shoes….a little bit of everything!

We’ll be accepting cash and paypal (if wi-fi is available in the hotel lobby).”

I know the ladies of The Vintage Collective have been saving up their good stuff for EBC, so I’m very excited to see what they will bring. Actual location in the hotel is TBA, until I can get over there and work with Chris & Holly Owens, the organizers of EBC, on the best location for the Collective to set up.

I’m looking forward to some vintage shopping without leaving the venue! I am also looking forward to seeing what Andi pulls out of the vault…we all know they keep the good stuff in the back. 😉 If you are planning on attending EBC and have any questions about the vintage shopping, please post your questions as a comment to this blog entry. Thanks!

Swing Outfits: Custom 1930’s and 1940’s Clothing for Men, Women, and Lindy Ensembles

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Amapola dress

Someone posted on Yehoodi this week asking about where to find skirts for a dance team, either to be made or to order. This post jogged my memory and I immediately thought of Swing Outfits, a website that sells custom, made to order clothing for men and women from 1930’s and 1940’s patterns. Swing Outfits offers some wonderful options for just about any basic swing garment you could think of in an almost endless selection of fabrics.

Swing Outfits has a section of their website devoted to dance team shopping. I understand that selecting an outfit that everyone agrees on is nearly impossible; however, Swing Outfits offers some sound advice on selecting a team or couple’s costume:

“For couples that dance regularly in competition or performance it is especially important to have a costume. It is one thing to dance at a party, and a different thing to dance on a stage before an audience. It is not enough to just have nice clothes on each individual performer – you need to look like a unified couple.

What makes a good stage costume for a couple? First of all, your costume must be tailor made for you – we will need measurements from both dancers. You will also need to select a fabric and a design for your costumes. Pictured below are three sets of costumes: Silk, Polka Dots, and Plaid/Stripes. Within each set are a number of elements that you can select for your costume, and each will be made from the same material you have chosen.”

The website then walks you through three easy steps to select pieces for your performance outfit. The beauty of these pieces is that they can be mixed and matched with anything – with each other or with something you might find at Target or H&M.

Another great thing about having team costumes made for the team members is that you avoid the one-pattern-fits-all problem that you encounter when purchasing something from a retail store. Having personally experienced the pain of not fitting into the mold of a chosen team costume, I would personally rather pay more and get something that fits perfectly, that I don’t have to pay someone to alter, and that I might actually wear again dancing.

Which leads to my next point – you don’t have to be on a dance team to wear and enjoy an outfit from Swing Outfits! Make sure to browse their selection of patterns, then their selection of fabrics, and think of the endless possibilities. The Libra in me may never be able to decide…

Here’s what I love from Swing Outfits:

Classic trumpet skirt

Knickerbockers - yes, this is the photo from the web page - why hide those pretty socks when you can do them justice with a pair of knickers?

Splanky dress

Student pants - 1930's style

Splanky blouse

Single-breasted cashmere vest

Sailor pencil skirt

A nod to classic ensemble Lindy Hop performances, your ensemble can also sport silky jumpers for the ladies with matching silk shirts for the gents

Vest and Knickers

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Polish up the nine iron because it’s time to get your knickers on and hit the links…or the dance floor. EBay seller hotclubduparis (location: Savoyville, Italy) has posted a matching vest and knickers set in a lovely menswear stripe with a little red in the stripe. Knickers are perfect for showing off your clever socks, no? Whoever wins this auction will be my hero.

Tucker for Target

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Unlike the highly anticipated Zac Posen collection for Target, I had never heard of Tucker by Gaby Basora, so I was not planning on showing up at Target at 8:00 a.m. the day the collection debuted to get first dibs on the goods. However, after I saw an ad in VOGUE for the Tucker collection featuring an Art Deco print dress paired with a wide brim hat and flapper stockings, I changed my mind and set my alarm for 7:40 a.m. this morning to go check it out.

Target was blissfully empty at 8:00 this morning and I had a fantastic time rummaging through this fall collection that has a little something for everyone and some great pieces for work, fun, dancing, and evening. Some of my favorites from the collection are a burnout velvet dress, an orange polka dot blouse, an orange herringbone skirt, a sparkly boucle cocktail dress, several floral dresses, and a pair of herringbone shorts. The fabrics are obviously not the designer’s usual silks, but the fabrics chosen for the collection didn’t feel or look cheap, they draped well, and are much more washable and wearable from this dancer’s practical perspective.

The clothing from the collection is shown in “looks,” but I was more inspired looking at Tucker’s official web site. The intro video was delightful eye candy, with vintage-inspired looks featuring Tucker’s fall collection with vintage jewelry, hairstyles that ranged from Gibson Girl to Marie Antoinette, crocheted gloves, flapper headbands, red lips, hair flowers, and dessert. 🙂

Here are some potentially dance-worthy pieces:

I bought this whole look, work appropriate and danceable - the fit was fantastic

I'm wishing this burnout velvet dress had fit me better...or, better yet, that the collection had a 1920's-inspired dress in this fabric

Black boucle dress

This dress looks painfully short on the Target model, but was not terribly short and would be comfortable for dancing

These shorts are awesome - I'd pair them with suspenders and a newsboy cap or a girly blouse

Jitterbuggin on Etsy

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I love the initiative and creativity of those seamstresses and tailors who take vintage patterns and make them come alive again. Etsy seller Jitterbuggin is one of these talented people who create garments of the past in the present, and adds her own bit of whimsy through her pattern and fabric selections.

Of particular interest is Jitterbuggin’s profile: “I am a dancer and stage performer with an enthusiastic interest for fun clothes. I make quality ready to wear ranging in eras, styles and sizes. I use vintage materials when I can and often substitute with vintage reprints. Almost every garment is a one of a kind creation. My garments are made with “danceability” and modern comforts in mind while staying true to the glamor of the eras.” Dancers making clothes for dancers is always a good idea, especially when considering cut, construction, and fabric selections.

Here are some of my favorites from the Jitterbuggin Etsy site:

Red jumper and sailor blouse

1930's blouse

High waist pants

1940's Hollywood style skirt

Anchors and stars playshorts

1930's style halter top

RetroSpect’d Clothing: Reproduction 1940’s and 1950’s Clothing for Guys and Girls

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I first happened upon RetroSpect’d Clothing at All Balboa Weekend 2009, as it was one of the vendors setting up shop outside the ballroom. I heard that a contingency of Australian dancers had come with garments stuffed into each of their suitcases so that the company could sell clothing at ABW. As usual, I was waiting with anticipation as the garments were put onto the racks and quickly made my selections, then headed to the bathroom to try things on.

1943 Dress

I left the bathroom with one of the most universally flattering dresses I own – Retrospect’d’s 1943 dress in red crepe. Several other girls, of varying sizes and shapes also tried this dress on and it was simply the most flattering dress on everyone, giving the illusion of or accentuating a tiny waist. A flirty skirt, expert fit, cute tucks and gathers, a simplicity of form, crepe material, and sleeves make this dress easy to wear for a variety of occasions year-round.

Guys always seem to be looking for pants and Retrospect’d has two pairs of reproduction pants to choose from: the New Yorkers and the Californias. The New Yorkers feature (and pardon my lack of menswear knowledge, Lindy Dandy might correct me later 😉 ) a tab front pant with pleats, cuffs, and buttons for suspenders and comes in 5 classic menswear fabrics. The Californias have a similar wide leg and cuffs, but accommodate a more relaxed, belted look.

There are lots of other fun things for sale, including vintage repro jeans, adorable 1940’s shorts, ladies’ pants, a bevy of colorful dresses, men’s shirts, full skirts, wrap tops, ladylike blouses, and the infamous ski bunny knit top.

The New Yorkers

Californias

Viva Dress

Wrap Top

Ski Bunny Knit Top

40's Shorts

High Waisted Jeans

40's Double Button Pants

The J. Peterman Company

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

By way of Lindy Dandy, today’s featured retailer is the J. Peterman Company. Although I can’t help thinking of Seinfeld when I see this name, the J. Peterman Company is anything but a parody, offering “high-quality men’s, women’s, home and one-of-a-kind merchandise,” “traveling the world to find uncommonly good stuff.” Sounds like a fantastic job, right? Where does Lindy Shopper sign up?

There are definitely a lot of items with a nod to vintage in the catalog, made to look even more so with the help of the catalog’s hand-drawn illustrations of the clothing (which, themselves, look like a nod to vintage pattern drawings in the way that they are shaded). I’m trying to decide if the hand-drawn illustrations of the clothes are helpful or not. Generally, clothes are modeled by someone who is tall and rail thin, so it’s hard to tell how it will fit in that instance as well. In any case, the clothes are beautifully sketched and it is a novel way to present them.

I am particularly in love with the 1947 plaid dress and the seersucker sailor pants for women and their men’s pants and striped shirts.

Picasso shirt

Seersucker Suit

Russian Navy Shirt

Linen Herringbone Pant

Italian Linen Suit

Cricket Jacket

Classic English Blazer

Wellworth 1940's Blazer

Owner's Hat

Italian Spectator Shoes

Short Sleeve 1947 Dress

Silk Crepe-de-Chine Dress

1940's Linen Dress

Embroidered Cummerbund Dress

Seersucker Sailor Pant

Mod Cloth: the democratic republic of vintage-inspired fashion

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

When Mod Cloth was discovered online by one of my friends, news of the web site spread like wildfire in my circle of friends because we were starved for a place to get modern retro-inspired clothing at a reasonable price. Variety is the spice of life and Mod Cloth takes this to heart by offering clothing from many different sources, including Trashy Diva, Stop Staring!, and Tulle, thus, giving you maximum exposure to brands offering what you want to wear. The really great clothing items sell out quickly, but I find that if they include the brand or maker in the item description, that the item that is out of stock on Mod Cloth may be in stock at the source web site.

Perhaps the reason Mod Cloth is so great is in large part due to the philosophies of its founders:

“Founded by high school sweethearts, Eric Koger and Susan Gregg Koger, and built on a foundation of love for vintage and retro clothing, ModCloth.com is an online clothing, accessories, and decor retailer that aims to provide a fun and engaging shopping atmosphere for you, our customer. We do this by interacting with you via social network sites like Twitter and Facebook, requesting your feedback through the ModLife Blog and product reviews, and asking you to vote on potential inventory with the Be the Buyer program, all with the intention of running a fashion business in a democratic style. Supplying you with the opportunities to have your voice heard is what keeps our company fresh, relevant, and growing by leaps and bounds. This is what allows us to continually accommodate your pioneering passion for modern trends. We invite you to comb through our clever product descriptions, flip through our stylebooks, shop our vast assortment of indie designs, find some unique one of a kinds, and get in touch with one of our friendly customer care representatives if you have any questions. We want to be the fashion company you’re friends with!”

A fashion democracy? Hear, hear!

The web site is so full of goodness that I’ll limit my favorites to the most recent arrivals: