Practice Swing – A New Book from Swungover’s Bobby White

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.


International swing dance instructor, prolific writer of the Swungover blog, and regularly the most dapper man in the room Bobby White has written a book titled “Practice Swing,” which launched today and is available for purchase online!  Practice Swing is accompanied by this sage description: “Since every great swing dancer has followed their own path to greatness, this book gives dancers as many choices as possible to find their own way, including in-depth explorations of skill-building, what makes exceptional dancers exceptional, and the variety of ways dance skills can be honed in studios, groups, or on the social dance floor.”

I’ve seen a lot of historical and biographical books about swing dancing and dancers, but I don’t recall many/any books on methods of study published during our modern swing era – since we are talking about dancing, it’s more obvious to use videos to learn steps, but what about going deeper than visual/physical movement and mechanics?  I imagine Bobby takes us on a journey that answers some of the deeper questions that can’t be covered in an instructional video and, as he always does with his Swungover writing and research, will give us lasting food for thought.

Bobby has written a great FAQ about the book on the Swungover blog that goes into much more details about “Practice Swing,” check it out and feel free to report back once you’ve had a chance to read and digest the book!


Ains & Elke Style Haus on Etsy

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.


I still need this in my life.

I’ve been on the hunt for elusive vintage and reproduction knitwear and came across Alixis Lupien on the Oooh La La! Vintage Swap and Sell Facebook group, as she was selling the most adorable sweater with parrots on it.  At first glance it looked vintage, but then I looked again and she made it!  People who knit clothing are magical unicorns in my book, it looks like so much could go wrong, but here was this darling multi-colored knit sweater that I could see instantly enhancing my summer wardrobe.

I followed her progress on Facebook to her Ains & Elke Style Haus Facebook page and then to her Etsy shop, where she posts her incredible novelty knit sweaters and an array of sewn clothing options that you can order custom to your fabric, color, measurement, etc. specifications.

Here are some of my favorites from the shop:


Fishy sweater!


Heart and Dagger sweater


Pastel rainbow 50’s style skirt


Coretta 40’s style jacket


Esther 40’s sarong dress

Deco Polo by SJC


This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Among the rarest of the rarities of pre-WWII clothing is knitwear – like today, they probably wore the crap out of it until that ratty shirt became a dust rag or bedding for a pet.  Simon James Cathcart, he of the superior summer spectators and Balmoral boots, has launched his Deco Polo, a wonderful addition to the scarce vintage reproduction men’s knitwear offerings available today.  Did I say men’s?  This is totally a unisex garment, I’m definitely getting one of these!

I love SJC’s descriptions – if this doesn’t sell this shirt to a bunch of sweaty dancers, I don’t know what will:

“After a year in development we think we’ve created the ultimate summer polo shirt. Made from the truly remarkable bamboo plant. This magic fabric was circular knitted in the old school style and is very slubby giving the shirt a distinctly raw 1930s look.  Why is it magic?  Well, bamboo miraculously wicks away sweat and odour whilst retaining its dryness and shape. The shirts are cool to touch, super soft on, and @ 230 grams they have a nice weighty feel on the body.”

For a limited time, SJC is offering some price breaks for people getting in on this shirt at the beginning and the more you buy, the better the discount.  Available in 6 colors (Navy. Milk Chocolate. Stone Grey. Bottle Green. Carmine Red. Cream.) and sizes XXS through XXXL – order now to get the discount!


Lindy Shopper Turns 6



If only Myrna Loy and I could celebrate together.😉

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

It’s hard to believe that 6 years ago I started this blog, thinking it would only take a couple of months to share all of my sources and enthusiasm with my fellow dancers, but here we are and it’s been a wonderful ride.  Know that even when I’m not posting as regularly, there is still a backlog of topics and sources that I want to share with you, I’m just waiting for that time to sit down and write.  Until then, cheers!

MerriWeather on Etsy

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.


Three cheers for the red, white, and blue!

Craftspeople offering wonderful reproduction Bakelite/Lucite-esque reproductions in modern plastics have been popping up with shops on Etsy in the past few years and the offerings are fantastic.  MerriWeather is another of these shops, honing in on some signature WWII costume jewelry items, such as the V for Victory and the MacArthur heart design.

From the shop’s About page: “Specifically with the MacArthur Heart Brooch, with prices continuing to climb it became harder and harder to collect bakelite. So, one day I thought – I should try to make one myself, I can’t be the only one that would like to have a MacArthur heart. So I started to carve from clay the original pieces that would be the foundation of my collection.

I carve all of my pieces from scratch, and then create my own molds of my original parts. This is the only way to have a truly unique piece. Each piece is poured and cast by hand. Each piece is then sanded for hours to get a polished finish. Then each is assembled with great care to give them an original and authentic vintage look. My first MacArthur Heart was finished in September 2013.”

MerriWeather is based in Austin, Texas, which begs the question as to whether MerriWeather is a swing dancer.  If anyone knows, please chime in!  In the meantime, here are some of my favorites from the shop.


The elusive MacArthur heart.


Good luck!


Queen of Hearts necklace

Dipsy Doodlers Jacket

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.


File this under “I need this in my life but can’t justify spending $400 on it,” BUT LOOK AT THIS JACKET from 1939 on eBay, some organization or sports team decided that they were going to take a tip from Ella and Chick and name their group the Dipsy Doodlers.  I am so in love with this!  Comes with a matchbook and napkin from Hamilton High School class of 1939, along with a bit of history:

“The Dipsy Doodlers were a group at the Hamilton High School in Trenton, New Jersey, circa late 30’s.  This belonged to Lillian Crabtree, who went on to become secretary to General Claire L. Chennault, Commander of the “Flying Tigers.”

FROMChloeHong Dance Shoes for Men and Women

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.


Men’s wingtips and captoes by FROMChloeHong

PRE-POST NOTE:  Facebook, you have failed me if you are not showing me every update from Chloe Hong.  I had to learn about these shoes MONTHS after their debut from the amazing and wonderful Ramona Staffeld, via Facebook, you know…whenever you got around to it, FACEBOOK.

THAT SAID, my favorite trumpet skirt designer and South Korean menswear designer Chloe Hong has thrown her hat into the dance shoe ring, offering classic oxford wingtips and cap toes for men and a t-strap dance heel for women, available in an array of colors to coordinate with all of Chloe’s lovely clothing.  Leather shoes with leather soles, and women can customize their heel height.  I’m not seeing these sold on Chloe’s website, but they are available with more information on her shop’s Facebook page, so shoot her a message via the Facebook page to grab a pair!



A delicious array of colors!


A close-up of the black oxfords – divine details…

Trashy Diva Updates: The Obsession Continues

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

There’s been so much going on in Trashy Diva land lately, it’s past time for an update.  I’ll try to keep it brief and the drooling to a manageable minimum:


  1.  New print: Crimson Clover – a beautiful 1940’s inspired floral along with solid navy coordinates.  Seriously, this is just screaming SPRING and I am READY.  Available in some classic TD styles and what looks to be a newcomer, the Dolores.
  2. March Madness – you know that thing about how Trashy Diva does limited runs of prints and once the dresses are gone they are gone forever?  I can only think of one reissue since I’ve been a customer in the past 7 years, but this time TD is getting democratic about it and there are BRACKETS.  Here’s a blog post showing the brackets thus far:  – we still have 3/4 of the way to go!  The only way to vote is on the TD Facebook page, so get to following and check in every day to see which prints are battling it out to be reissued.
  3. Possible new print – the 1930’s are my favorite decade for fashion, so when TD posted on their Facebook wall that the inspiration for their new print was this 1930’s dress I died in my shoes.  DYING FROM JOY.
  4. Desperately Seeking Trashy Diva Facebook group – I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this incredible Facebook group devoted to all things TD: discussions on new prints and styles, discussions on old prints and styles, how each style fits in terms of sizing, reselling or trading old TD garments, the classic “desperately seeking” posts (pleas from people looking for garments/prints), photos of group members styling themselves, and one of the most supportive group of women on the Internet.  Divas from the store are also on hand to answer questions and the women in this group are devoted, attentive, and full of helpful information.

SJC Spectator Crusade: Women’s Sizes & Small Men’s Sizes

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.


As you may have read in a post earlier this week, I wept tears of infinite sorrow that there were no Simon James Cathcart spectators in my size that I could order through SJC’s wonderful summer shoe Kickstarter, BUT THROUGH THE MAGIC OF THE INTERNET I have spoken with SJC and he has offered to make this shoe available to us sizes 7-8 US women’s/sizes 5-6 US men’s/sizes 4-5 UK men’s (I wear a US women’s 7) on one condition: he needs 8 of us to back the shoe at each size in order for it to be cost-effective for the factory to produce this size as a part of this run.

I wasn’t sure if could rustle up enough support from people wearing these shoe sizes, but this is such a quality, unique shoe that I thought there might be enough lady dandies or gents with smaller feet that we MIGHT be able to pull this off.  It can be any of the three colors, we just need 8 people to back the SHOE at each SIZE.


Can I find 16 people who love this shoe and need it in their lives?  I know you’re out there!

A few more details on this marvelous shoe:

  • They are made by hand in Northampton (the shoe capital of England) on 1930’s lasts, so the shape is there from the start.
  • They will last a lifetime. How? They are “Goodyear Welted” (the gold seal of quality) which means as the soles wear out they can be easily replaced while the shoe remains totally intact.
  • The shoes are lined in soft calfskin for comfort, with a super comfortable cork footbed so your feet breathe.
  • They come in three gorgeous shades; Navy, Oxblood and Acorn – order whatever color you like, we only need 8 people to order a particular SIZE.
  • The real bargain here is they are going to be 2.5 times this price out in the real world and if we don’t do this, the real tragedy will be they will never be in our size.  NEVER AVAILABLE TO YOU EVER AGAIN.

As per usual Kickstarter, you don’t pay until the end of the project and you only pay if the project is funded.  If you are ordering a size 7  US women/ 5 US men/ 4 UK men OR for size 8 US women/6 US men/5 UK men, SJC has added a special early bird spectator reward/pre-order option just for us – you can see it if you scroll down “Lindy Shopper Deal” – click HERE if you want this shoe as much as I do!


Simon James Cathcart Spectators

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.


SJC spectators in acorn.

I keep seeing Simon James Cathcart pop up in my newsfeed and in Facebook groups and everything I am seeing is just fantastic, not only for classic menswear in general, but also for swing dancers.  In September I blogged about his 1930’s jeans, something that dancers could wear for everyday and for a more casual dance look with or without vintage styling.  All of his stuff presents as carefully crafted, quality goods and I am all about those things!  How fancy is SJC?  This fancy: “For the past 12 months SJC has been quietly delighting dedicated devotees and attracting new fans from far and wide with limited edition runs of hard to find, high-end, vintage inspired pieces. More than a brand, this is a movement made up of over 200 of the earth’s most discerning menswear’ collectors. Led by Simon James Cathcart we have moved forwards with the meticulous design and construction of otherwise unobtainable pieces.”

We’re here to talk about these glorious two tone spectators, which are presently being sold through a Kickstarter (only 23 days left!) along with some equally sweet reproduction boots.  I’m going to lead with the fact that SJC has made these spectators in a wide range of sizes to fit both men AND some women (but not quite small enough for my feet *weeps*). UPDATE:  My size, US women’s 7/men’s 5 and US women’s 8/men’s 6 will be available – read the post here and then select the Lindy Shopper reward to get these sizes!

But why Kickstarter?

“Your pledge is going to help fund the production, materials and tooling costs involved with bringing back to life these historical classics. In return, you receive footwear at easily half of the retail price and will walk away wearing hand-crafted pieces of British footwear history.”

The price for these spectators via Kickstarter is around $223 USD (depending on the exchange rate) and that’s only slightly more than Remix and less than those holy grail Allen Edmonds you’ve been eyeballing.  Retail price is quoted at $600.  JUST LOOK AT THEM, this is a beautiful shoe.  I’m wiping away the drool from the corners of my mouth right now.  And can we talk about how you can never find a good looking navy shoe?  It’s kind of like the shrimp and grits rule, if the stellar navy shoes are on the menu, you get them.

To be clear, this is a summer shoe – the cream portions of the shoe are canvas, with the most of the rest of the shoe (including the lining) being made from leather.  The canvas is treated with Scotchguard to prevent marks.  Though, now I’m thinking of how cool it would be, once a pair of these did get scuffed up, to get an artists to custom paint the canvas portion of this shoe…a life and an afterlife!

I’m going to post a bunch of gorgeous photos of these shoes now – enjoy, and don’t forget that the Kickstarter ends soon!


1930’s Style Collegiate Trousers from Heyday!

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.


I was elated to receive an email in my inbox this morning notifying me that Heyday!, my favorite place to buy high waisted women’s trousers, had launched a new men’s trouser, based on a vintage pair of 1934 trousers made by a tailor and found in Paris.  More details from the website:

“The wide belt loops are a celebration of what was new in style…belts! These are a real fashion forward trouser, and, most likely a young man’s trouser. (Older men were slow to trust a belt, and for awhile some men would wear both the fashionable belt and the trusty braces)  We found a really similar pair in the Sears catalogue, it’s youthful design suggested in the name. Another point to note is that they are drawn very wide, like Oxford bags, but in fact the measure at the hem matches our pattern.  Our pattern has been tweaked to fit better, as the original had some quirks, and now we have them available in our sturdy, medium weight fabric that has proved so popular with our dancers.”


All the little details add up:

Wide belt loops and waistband.
Side buckle adjusters
Back pockets
Button fly with bar and hook fastening

Available in practical black and (brace yourselves) ivory – I have heard your complaints about menswear and summer pants and here is your modern reproduction that you can sweat in and not worry about ripping the seat.  Pair with a colorful lightweight jacket and a boater for a lawn party or a striped tee for a more casual look.



Swingz Begoña Cervera – Lindy Shoes

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.


Follow the yellow brick road…

By now you probably think I am a broken record posting about new  swing dance shoe companies, but take a second to consider the history of our options over the past 20 years and how bananas this is right now that within the past year so many new shoe companies have emerged focusing on shoes for swing dancers and who made their presence known all over the world via social media.  It’s awesome!  I have another company I’ve yet to blog about after this post, as well.

I first heard about Swingz Begoña Cervera from swing dance instructor Jenna Applegarth, who posted a photo of her feet on Facebook in a most delicious pair of red glitter dance heels from this company.  The company appears to be based in Spain and owned by Lindy Hop enthusiasts, whose  “aim is to express the beauty and feminity through hand-made shoe-manufacturing, achieving a perfect mix of music and dance, and allowing you to personally and uniquely choose the shoes you most like to wear in your performances.”

More from the website about what makes their shoes special:

“Our shoes have a wide toe box for your greater comfort, providing the space you need to stretch and flex your feet easily. They are also reinforced with both, a protective heel and toecap to prevent being hurt while you are dancing. Swingz are firm-looking and well-fitting to help you keep balance when you dance, but also soft and comfortable inside to carefully protect your feet at all times.

From the minute you order your shoes until you receive them, we commit to a creative manufacturing process which involves the selection of details, such as the choice of materials, colour, style and heel height. Always supported by our personalised advice, we want your shoe to be unique and able to fit you as you deserve.”

The 2016 collection is online for you to view and customize, but Swingz also has a selection of in-stock items if you need some shoes ASAP.  US buyers, the exchange rate is looking good right now…

Here’s what I’m loving from their 2016 collection:


Plisado, in a gorgeous gold leather


Calado in black patent leather – sharp!


Estrella – this is a luxe combo and imagine how good this would look in many other combos…



Your Vintage Style Leather Shoes

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.


The She Goes

The latest contender for a slice of the ladies swing dance shoe market is Your Vintage Style Leather Shoes, which I learned about via a Facebook photo featuring Texas dancers Kelli Hawthorne, Jennifer Reed, Joanna Lucero, Ginny Min, and Kate Menz wearing the company’s first style, a t-strap called the She Goes, in an array of candy colors.  This still looks like a fledgling operation, but we all have to get started somewhere – I ordered my first trumpet skirts from Chloe Hong via Facebook and it looks like a similar process applies here:

1. Select Style, Size, Color and Height of Heel (4cm/ 5cm/ 7cm)
2. Private Message in Facebook or Email to with personal info (Full Name, Shipping Address, Zip Code, Mobile Phone No.)
3. Paypal to my shoe tailor

To get a more complete idea of the offerings and custom colors offered, sizes, and pricing, visit their Facebook page’s photo album, there’s information there on what is offered and the information on ordering is under the “About” tab.  The prices are VERY reasonable, between $75 and $85!  If anyone has a review they’d like to share, feel free to post in the comments!


She Turns is very similar to Remix’s Balboa shoe, only it appears that you can customize the colors and the heel height.

Keds Celebrates 100 Years

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.


According to Wikipedia, Keds as shoes were introduced by the U.S. Rubber company in 1916, so 2016 marks 100 years of canvas on rubber athleticism.  Through the decades this classic shoe has remained a constant, falling in and out of fashion, but seems to be prevalent and lasting in the Lindy Hop community as a staple shoe.  Its efficient shape, versatile rubber sole, and array of colors help continue that legacy, whether they are selected to be “period-appropriate” or just a reasonably-priced dance shoe.

I got an email in my inbox celebrating this anniversary and touting three new collections, inspired by the 1940’s, 1970’s, and 1990’s – the 1940’s shoe is an espadrille in a washed cotton, a nod to both casual elegance and a worn, vintage look, as though these shoes had been washed and loved for years.  The colors available are spot on for the 1940’s – a patriotic navy, classic white, and coral that was so popular during the 1940’s.


New Shoes from Charlie Stone

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.


Peta by Charlie Stone.

Since the launch of their not-quite-flat-not-quite-heeled wedge over a year ago, I’ve seen Charlie Stone’s signature t-strap pop up at dances in the U.S., with solid reviews and a supply of dancers looking for that shoe that’s dressier than Keds, but still as comfortable as their flats.  For their second collection, they polled Facebook for feedback and votes on the new shoe designs (I love a Facebook poll) and the results are not only in, they are ready to launch two new shoes, the Peta and the Marisa.  The Marisa is a white ankle strap shoe with adorable cutouts, while the Peta is closer in design to their sigature shoe, with some modifications to design and a two-tone color scheme.  They are offering a presale with 10% off starting this Sunday, February 14, 2016, here are the details from their Facebook page: “From 14.02.16 to 29.02.16, use the discount code PRESALE at checkout to get 10% off Peta or Marisa.” Enjoy!


Marisa by Charlie Stone.