Tag Archives: dresses

Nancy Mac

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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I want this on my body right now…I mean, I don’t have anything in THIS shade of green velvet…

It’s about time to start planning what to wear for New Year’s Eve (or, if you are me, you’ve been planning since you knew you were going to Lindy Focus months ago) for Lindy Focus, Snowball, or perhaps your local scene has a special event.  This may be the trickiest night of the year to dress yourself because you want to look like you’re on a red carpet, but you also need to be able to move and sweat like you’re running a marathon.

I took one look at Nancy Mac‘s collection of dresses and immediately thought these would make great NYE dresses for swing dancers – luxe fabrics in movement-friendly cuts with vintage silhouettes.  This U.K. based company (if anyone was in doubt, the UK is KILLING IT with the repro brands) was founded by two sisters, Hannah and Sarah McMahon, and their about page reads like music to my ears and my closet: “Designed to flatter, Nancy Mac dresses and stand-alone separates are cut with care from luxurious fabrics and unique prints.  Every piece in the range is inspired by the belief that true style stands the test of time. We love making beautiful yet affordable clothes that you will want to wear and keep in your wardrobe forever.”

Did I mention that I have a velvet problem, in that I can’t resist it?  Specifically vintage silk velvet?  Because it feels like buttah on your body, inside and out, but then come the rips I seem to be forever repairing…with a newer garment (which I also own in silk velvet, because problems) fabric deterioration becomes less of an issue and I’m just over the moon about Nancy Mac’s velvet dresses because they look so wearable, on top of that silk velvet feeling.  Other fabrics look almost as enticing, such as viscose crepe, silk viscose, and just plain silk.  Do you feel fancy?  Because I feel fancy talking about all these fancy fabrics.

Let’s not forget that it gets cold in the mountains of North Carolina and in Sweden in December – Nancy Mac also has gorgeous coordinating jackets, shrugs, and coats to go with their dresses.  There’s also a collection called Mint Julep…it’s like they knew I was coming…

Here is what I am loving from the Nancy Mac website:

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This chevron burnout velvet makes me weep with joy.

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Blue lace, beautifully done.

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For New Year’s…or every day for tactile bliss…

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This velvet and crepe jumpsuit is brilliant

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This emerald crepe would be easy to dress up, just add sparkles

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Ains & Elke Style Haus on Etsy

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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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:

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Fishy sweater!

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Heart and Dagger sweater

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Pastel rainbow 50’s style skirt

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Coretta 40’s style jacket

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Esther 40’s sarong dress

Lazy Bones

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This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

While I was perusing the racks at Bygones Vintage Clothing while attending The Process in Richmond, VA, I happened upon a new-to-me brand of reproduction dresses called Lazy Bones. It appears to be a sort of Australian-based Anthropologie-type shop, with vintage-inspired clothing and home goods. From the website:

“Lazybones takes a fresh and whimsical approach to designing clothing and homewares for modern, relaxed living. Inspired by vintage, Lazybones clothing has become well known for its quirky signature prints, delicate embroidery and jacquard knitwear. Our homewares including bedding, ceramics and wallpaper inspires a fresh and playful approach to creating unique spaces within our homes. Our aim is to continually evolve each season designing products that surprise and delight our customers who have grown to love our brand across the world.”

With a name like Lazy Bones, there’s a great sense of humor here, along with an ease in the clothing that suggests you could still be lazy and look fabulously lazy. A lot of the pieces do remind me of comfy vintage finds, things that I buy to lounge or dance in, because of the fabric choices, prints, and easy shapes. Here are some of my favorites from Lazy Bones:

(Edited to add that there’s a USA website with better shipping options for those of us in the states at http://lazybonesusa.com/ – thanks for the tip, Jenny!)

Alice Dress in the Port Fairy print

Alice Dress in the Port Fairy print

Allegra Dress in Sorrento print

Allegra Dress in Sorrento print

Alanna Dress in white with blue embroidery; also available in white with red embroidery

Alanna Dress in white with blue embroidery; also available in white with red embroidery

That elusive 20's day dress reproduction!  The Matilda Dress in indigo; also available in silver.

That elusive 20’s day dress reproduction! The Matilda Dress in indigo; also available in silver.

I love that they offer slips!  The Undressed Slip, also available in black, to go under everything!

I love that they offer slips! The Undressed Slip, also available in black, to go under everything!

Verity cardigan, also available in blue and green - I love a patterned cardi!

Verity cardigan, also available in blue and green – I love a patterned cardi!

Collectif Clothing – 40’s and 50’s Inspired Clothing from the UK

Keyhole cable knit with a bow?  YESPLS

Keyhole cable knit with a bow? YESPLS

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I have been on the hunt for knitwear to pair with my Chloe Hong trumpet skirts to transition them into winter and fall. My conclusion is that most of the great knitwear I am finding is coming from the UK, so let’s start with one of my new favorite knitwear sources, Collectif Clothing. What’s this all about? From the website: “Established in the year 2000, Collectif is an independent 1940s and 1950s inspired vintage reproduction brand based in London. We create garments and accessories that are inspired by genuine vintage patterns, knitting patterns, and fabrics from our extensive archive.”

Of course there’s much more than knitwear here, and I’ve seen a few pieces pop up on other vintage/retro retail websites, like ModCloth and Miss L Fire (US shipping!). From blouses to knitwear to gowns to overalls, I love the variety available here – there’s lots of really good everyday basics to work into your wardrobe, casual or dressy, and you could put together an entire ensemble here or just pick up a few special pieces. Also, plaid…keep it coming, I can never get enough!

Here are some of my favorites from Collectif Clothing:

Perhaps the perfect holiday dress?

Perhaps the perfect holiday dress?

GEEZ, THIS COAT

GEEZ, THIS COAT

A lovely full "swing" skirt in red

A lovely full “swing” skirt in red

Where was this ivory blouse when I needed it years ago?

Where was this ivory blouse when I needed it years ago?

Flirty + sailor

Flirty + sailor

My mostest favorite!  This wonderful green Fair Isle sweater. :)

My mostest favorite! This wonderful green Fair Isle sweater. 🙂

Trashy Diva 30% Off Everything

Let us give thanks for rayon prints, designer Candice Gwinn, and the city of New Orleans

Let us give thanks for rayon prints, designer Candice Gwinn, and the city of New Orleans

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Well, I’ve died and gone to heaven – not only did my favorite dress company, Trashy Diva, just come out with a green “kimono print” made of green and candy and marshmallow fluff and everything I love, they are offering 30% off EVERYTHING on their website (sale, new, jewelry, Re-mix Vintage Shoes *COUGHCOUGH*) with the code BLACKOUT30. Dress and matching head scarf acquired as we head into the Thanksgiving weekend, leaving me with much to be thankful for!

The promotion ends Monday, December 1, so get your orders in for your holiday dresses now before the postal service gets bananas!

Love you, Trashy Diva!

Congratulations to Leluxe Clothing for a Great Showing at the Oscars!

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I’d like to extend my congratulations to Leluxe Clothing, an official supporter of Lindy Shopper, whose gorgeous reproduction 1920’s dresses were featured in The Artist, which brought home not only the Academy Award for Best Picture, but also the award for Best Costume Design. Mark Bridges, costumer for the film and the recipient of the Best Costume Design Oscar, used several of Leluxe’s dresses when costuming the cast for the film. Here’s a great article on Leluxe’s “Rags to Riches” story and its involvement with the film. Bravo!

Actress Berenice Bejo wears Leluxe's Tango dress in the film The Artist

Sequin Queen

Kristen Minksy's lovely flapper-inspired costume

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

One of the biggest challenges for me this year has been finding costumes for The Carolina Fascinators, an all-girl jazz performance troupe that I organize. When I started thinking about costumes I contacted Casey Schneider of Sister Kate to find out where they had been finding costumes, because the Sister Kate girls always look so put together – and by that I mean, from head to toe, each girl looks like she is in a professional costume with a well-thought-out thematic that goes with the routine and the music. Casey agreed that this was not an easy task and that the Sister Kate girls were lucky to have some really creative and talented seamstresses in their ranks.

I’m no great seamstress, but I was determined to find costumes that would evoke the swing era and not fall prey to the “sexy” Halloween costumes or gaudy modern “jazz” costumes. Where do I find that Busby Berkeley-inspired costume today and not pay an arm and a leg for a custom costume?

I later ran into Kristen Minsky, of the Minsky Sisters, at an event she organized in Durham for her cabaret, Chifferobe. For one of her performances she wore a fully sequined dance costume that was very 1920’s and looked like it was custom made for her. In a way it was, and it wasn’t – she ordered it from Sequin Queen, an online retailer of sequin dresses and costumes, who have samples you can choose from, but then everything else, from the fit to the sequin color, is customized for your needs. If this looks like drag queen garb, that’s because it is (even RuPaul gave this place a nod on her show, Drag Race) – but if you push aside the Suzanne Sugarbaker pieces, you can find some gems here. The prices are amazing for custom, sequin dresses and some of the samples are made with a stretch base, to allow for less-restrictive movement. I’d love to see more sparkle in swing dance performances and I think some of these costumes would work well for performance teams as well as solo jazz and Charleston.

Here are some of my faves from Sequin Queen:

A more modest neckline, but keeping that 1920's look with the beaded hem

I like the boldness of the red and the contrast of the flower - I think this would show up well for a performance

Don't hang me for this one, but I could definitely see a circus themed routine using this costume

Shimmy and sparkle!

Add a strand of beads and t-straps and you've costumed your Charleston routine

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

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.

More Shabby Apple Madness: Roamin’ Holiday

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

The crew at Shabby Apple are turning out new collections so fast, it’s hard to keep up! Their latest collection is inspired by one of my favorite destinations, Rome, Italy, and features not only some fantastic dresses, but also a sweet red Vespa in the photo shoots – truly a collection after my heart!

Here’s what I’m loving from the new collection – ciao!

Spanish Steps Dress - the skirt on this has wonderful ruching and embroidery. Vespa and Trevi Fountain not included. 😉

Primavera Dress - love the shape of this dress, the color, and the shot

Bernini dress - this floral looks like clouds in the sky

Gondola Dress - my absolute favorite, definitely wearing this one for Vespa rides

Target GO! International Designer Collective for Spring 2011

Alice Temperley dress, $34.99

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I have followed Target’s GO! Designer series over the years, intrigued at the concept of bringing high end designer goods to the masses. While obviously there are some compromises in fabric choice and construction, overall the series has been welcomed with open arms by me and countless others who show up at Target on the day a new designer’s collection is released. This latest collection, to be released online and in stores this Sunday, March 13, 2011, is not tied to one designer, but is a celebration of many of the designers, featuring popular dresses from the individual collections. The collective also marks 5 years of designer collaborations with Target.

This sort of thing is brilliant for the fashion conscious dancer, who needs to save as much money as possible to go to as many events as possible. Also, the fabric choices, while not high end, are much more practical for dancers, so you can feel OK about getting the dresses sweaty and then throwing them in the washing machine.

Here are some of my favorites, but no links, as the collection isn’t out until Sunday:

Tucker dress, $34.99

Tracy Feith dress, $39.99

Richard Chai dress, $39.99

Erin Fetherston chiffon dress, $39.99

Thakoon dress, $39.99

Zac Posen dress, $39.99

Proenza Schouler dress, $39.99

Luella Bartley dres, $39.99

Libertine crepe dress, $42.99

Libertine dress, $29.99 - I used to have this in off-white - it's the perfect combo of cotton sundress and flapper, with a slight drop waist, but enough room in the hips that it's not confining

Rayon Dresses from Trashy Diva

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

It seems that every clothing source I obsess over is doing something wonderful this week – Leluxe samples, 70% off at Mod Cloth, and – to put the cherry on my week-long clothing smorgasbord sundae – Trashy Diva has posted new dresses and some reissues of some of my favorite dresses, all in period-perfect, dance-perfect rayon prints. The pièce de résistance is one of their new fabrics, a charming fan print in Mardi Gras colors!

Love, love, love…and there’s many more than these styles on the website!

Bustle Betty Dress in the Mardi Gras print

Sadie Ruffle Dress in a tropical print

Reissue of the cherry print Sweetie Dress

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

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!