I’m excited to see more vintage inspired men’s trousers popping up from reproduction/retro brands on the Internet – as you may or may not know, the most searched for item on Lindy Shopper is men’s high waisted pants. The latest offerings are from Chester Cordite, who I featured on this blog in January of 2017 with suits and spearpoint collar shirts, but they have since added even more clothing options to their stock. However, I’m focusing on this particular pair of 30’s/40’s inspired twill trousers because they will likely be the most versatile for dancers in most seasons, depending on where you live – these are the most basic of basic men’s pants, but with all the little vintage details that make the difference: high waist, light pleat in the front (for mobility/movement, y’all, don’t get scared), braces buttons, machine washable, 2 inches to let out in the rear, and comes in five colors (khaki, cream, light gray, dark gray, and navy). Again, the UK is killing it with the repro trousers – if you’re like me and you simply cannot find pants to fit you in the US, the shipping cost and risk of a return are worth it.
The newest contender in the swing dance shoes and apparel market is Swing It, based in Krakow, Poland. A quote from their Facebook page caught my eye, so we’ll start with that: “We believe in slow fashion philosophy – natural materials, quality and comfort.” If this quote had the word adorable in it, it might be directly targeted at me. I’m seeing this term “slow fashion” come up more often and, as I become the old lady I was always destined to be, I find myself drawn to this idea that fashion should slow down a little – as a vintage clothing wearer, this seems innate, but in terms of buying new garments made now (but in the vintage style – we’re full circle), this is a new term that applies to a very old concept, of buying quality things you love to last you for a long time. I think slow fashion is easier for people who have developed their own sense of personal style, but then you’re here, reading this blog post, so maybe you have that or maybe you aspire to that more permanent sense of style. Perhaps you’re here to augment your current style. If you’re comfortable in yourself, comfortable in your quality clothes, and are sweating it out on the dance floor in natural fibers, what more do you need from a garment? Whatever the reason, I’ve digressed far afield, so let’s return to Poland where this new swing dancer-focused brand resides.
I always try to start on a company’s about page, to get a flavor for what the company goals are and what makes it tick. Swing It produces reproduction clothing and shoes from the 1930’s through the 1960s, based on original patterns, with all of the clothing made in Poland. Goals are quality, great appearance, and customer satisfaction, but also personal satisfaction, as the owners of this company, Basia and Greg, design things they want to wear. I believe in this concept – if you like it and are excited about it, certainly there are others who will/are, too.
The men’s shoes are cap toes or classic brogues, with your basic brown tones as well as a more adventurous color/combination for each style (I see you, dark green cap toes!).
The women’s shoes are also oxfords, in lovely suede in two of my favorite colors – purple and green. It’s almost like they called me…
I will continue to sing Simon James Cathcart’s praises – his fall releases thus far consist of matching separates in salt and pepper or Dutch blue chambray, inspired by nineteen teens, 20’s, and 30’s workwear, and I think the concept of purchasing mixing and matching pieces you like is brilliant, not to mention all of these could be worn separately or together as a suit. And all the pieces are great – two jackets (belt back or Norfolk style), two styles of trousers with proper buttons at the fly and for braces (narrow or wide leg), a waistcoat in each color, and a dart cap in each color.
But what to wear with your new workwear? How about a work shirt in 4 different colors, two stripes and two solids? SJC gives you a great jumping off point for many different workwear inspired looks. Add some work boots or oxfords, add a tie to dress it up, add a henley to dress it down…
ALSO, there’s a 40% off sale on those magical chinos that everyone keeps looking for on my blog (high waist, wide leg, breatheable, danceable), as well as the summer weight flannel trousers (which I think would be more perfect for fall around these parts), the signature zig zag neckerchief, and the vintage style polos in bamboo fabric that every dancer needs as part of their wardrobe of comfort and style.
A quick note to note that you should be following Heyday! on their Facebook page because they will be posting a different sale offer every day, from December 1 until Christmas! This advent calendar of sales is great if you’ve been eyeing something in their shop and I can’t resist stocking up on their impeccable wide leg trousers. It’s brilliant, really – it keeps you checking in every day to see what will be on sale! Today’s special: take 10 pounds (roughly $15.00) off their adorable Judy dresses.
This year’s International Lindy Hop Championships were a little topsy turvy for me – instead of competing and commentating on the Balboa Strictly competition and ILHC trends for Yehoodi’s broadcast, I was DJ’ing the Balboa competitions and singing with Jonathan Stout‘s bands. I ALMOST thought I wouldn’t have time to gather information for a blog post, but then I found myself going “OK, I have 5 minutes before sound check, let me just run over here…” So, you see, I have a post for you after all – two, even. 😀
Let’s start with trends! Here’s what I saw this year:
– Women’s high waisted pants with tapered leg, optional pleat – if they had gotten them at the GAP, it would be a new era of khakis swing because these pants were everywhere. I counted at least 10 pairs on follows in one of the Lindy Hop prelims heats, plus scattered sightings elsewhere. NYC dancer Jessica Miltenberger reported that American Apparel was a prime source here, offering said pant in a recent sale for a great price and versatile colors. It looked like a casual scene in a 1950’s technicolor film, with all the tucked in shirts, high waisted pants, and skinny belts…but that’s probably a different GAP commercial…
– Men’s suits in non-traditional colors – I saw lovely shades of deep burgundy, purple, and different blues, all elegantly done and tastefully accessorized, but with that extra pop that makes you notice them – which is exactly what you want in a dance competition, to be noticed.
– Stockings with detail on the lower thigh – yes, Jo Hoffberg has been doing this for years, but this year people must have Googled hard enough to find all her elegant stocking sources. The beauty of the lower thigh detail is that you don’t have to wear a super short or flyaway skirt to see all that glorious detail, and it emphasized swivels in a really cool and different way.
– Men’s purple dress shirts – were rampant! Light, medium, dark, all the shades. See also coordinating follower outfits.
– Remy Kouakou Kouame & Vincenzo Fesi – holy mother of *insert expletives of joy*, those white suits…all their ensembles from the weekend, really, but their powers combine in this magnificent routine for sartorial and jazz dance sublimity.