Tag Archives: California

Wearing History Review: Smooth Sailing Trouser and Norma Jean Blouse

This is what 5:00 a.m. at RDU looks like.

This is what 5:00 a.m. at RDU looks like.

I see that Wearing History will be one of the vendors at Cal Bal (the California Balboa Classic) and thought this would be a good time to review the clothing I received from Wearing History as a result of backing their Kickstarter in August. It’s been fascinating following the manufacturing process after funding, with owner/designer Lauren Maringola giving frequent updates on the status of the fabric, printing, and the manufacturing timeline for each garment, among other details about working hands-on producing her made-in-the-USA line of 40’s-inspired clothing.

I backed Wearing History at the level where I would receive a pair of the Smooth Sailing trousers in denim (yes, I bought pants! Also available in plus sizes.) and the Norma Jean blouse in a must-own-or-perish musical note print. The package arrived in the mail and was waiting for me when I got home from the holidays and Lindy Focus. It was my intent to wear the outfit dancing, but the Lindy Focus plague (née the flu) and my cat getting sick prevented me from attending any local dance nights between then and now – but I wanted to make sure my Cal Bal ladies and all of you could know about this great line of clothing!

So instead of dancing, I decided to put my Wearing History outfit though another intense experience – a whirlwind trip to Hot Rhythm Holiday in Austin, Texas, where my band, the Mint Julep Jazz Band, would fly in, perform, and fly out in a period of 32 hours. 4 airports, 4 flights, shuttles, carrying baggage/equipment, eating my weight in Tex Mex food, and touring a bit of Austin before playing the Fed that night.

A close-up of this adorable print!

A close-up of this adorable print!

Just in case the glockenspiel case and traveling with 6 dudes carrying odd-shaped instrument cases wasn’t enough, the eighth-noted Norma Jean blouse would let everyone know that I was a musician and this was a band flying to a gig (and I was so excited, I’m sure I annoyed the crap out of everyone nearby). The blouse was actually a great travel piece and I imagine, for similar reasons, would be for dancing – it stayed tucked in with the darted waistline and high waisted trouser combo, the arm holes and slight dolman sleeve allowed for a wide range of movement, the tencel fabric was soft and durable, and the blouse could be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion.

Trousers and blouse dressed up a bit more

Trousers and blouse dressed up a bit more

The Smooth Sailing trousers got the double travel treatment – I only wore the blouse on the first day, but wore the trousers for both traveling days. The weight of the denim is just perfect – not too thick, not too thin, and soft without losing its denim qualities. The cut is flattering, and I love the way a high waisted trouser makes your bum look. After two days on airplanes and sleeping on planes and in the airport, the trousers managed to retain their shape really well, with no stretch bubbles at the knee, and the only noticeable change was perhaps a little loosening at the waist, which may have been a casualty of my Tex Mex food baby. Two days in these pants and they performed like champs. I even slept in them when I got home – after a 23 hour day and 3 hours of sleep (with intermittent airport/plane sleeping) there was really no need to get into pajamas when the trousers were just as comfortable.

And there you have it – Cal Bal ladies, do go by the Wearing History booth and check out this wonderful new collection of clothing and remember that Wearing History is just getting started! Everyone else, please visit the Wearing History website, where you can order these lovely garments, plus some other adorable garments from Wearing History’s first clothing line. I can’t wait to see what else Wearing History has up its sleeve and would back another Kickstarter in a second. Quality goods with great style!

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Flapper Flock on Etsy

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

One of the few Etsy shops I revisit regularly is Flapper Flock, an Etsy store focused solely on 1920’s and 1930’s clothing, accessories, and other odds and ends from the jazz era. Flapper Flock is a division of the seller’s brick-and-mortar store in Redlands, California called Hobo’s Vintage. While her selection is usually small, there are always one or two really choice items to fall in love with.

Couple of distinct things about Flapper Flock 1) all prices include the cost of shipping, so what you see is the total cost you will pay for that item and 2) the seller will sometimes include “throwback” items, like a 1960’s does 1920’s drop waist dress. Other sellers try to do this and fail miserably, but with the items I have seen her post in this fashion it really is hard to tell, at least from the photos. I don’t see any throwback items listed right now.

Right now, Flapper Flock has some most excellent vintage shoes and some other odds and ends:

Navy 1930's dead stock shoes, size 6.5

Glorious pair of 1920's dead stock oxfords, size 6.5

White perforated leather dead stock 1930's oxfords, size 6.5

1920's beaded drawstring purse

1930's black camisole - in my opinion, older slips are almost always more beautiful than the ones you find being made today

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

Second Article for Atomic Ballroom as Guest Blogger

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Lindy Shopper is doing a series of articles for Atomic Ballroom, based out of Irvine, California. Check out the Atomic Ballroom Blog for my second blog entry “Lindy Shopper: Advanced Course in Shoes,” which discusses selecting dance shoes and some of my favorite places to get dance shoes!

Guest blogger for Atomic Ball Room!

Lindy Shopper is doing a series of articles for Atomic Ball Room, based out of Irvine, California. Check out the Atomic Ball Room Blog for my first blog entry “Lindy Shopper 101,” which discusses how to build a good swing dance wardrobe foundation. Excited! I’d like to thank Kyle Smith for inviting me to be a guest blogger. 😀