Shopping Locally for Swing: The Triangle, NC

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

The Triangle Swing Dance Society has requested a post about where to shop locally for vintage or vintage-inspired swing dance clothing in the Triangle area of North Carolina (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill). In the spirit of shopping locally, there are a few places I would recommend to find garments, but keep in mind that this is never a sure thing – vintage shops have one of a kind items and you may have to visit a shop several times before finding anything; similarly for retailers, things that may be in stock one season will not be carried for another season. I’ll list some of the more consistent producers and some general ideas about where to look for these things.

Dolly’s Vintage

Dolly’s Vintage is in the forefront of my vintage shopping right now because my office is two blocks away from this delightful shop and I often (read: 2 or 3 times a week) stop by the shop to chat with Jennifer Donner, the amazing and talented owner of Dolly’s, and to soak up some of the cheerful atmosphere of the store. Dolly’s is also the most reasonably priced vintage store I have ever encountered. Where other vintage stores would charge $40-$100 for garments, or even more, Dolly’s keeps everything just below that range, with most items between $20 and $30. Jennifer stocks decades from the 1920’s through 1970’s (with a few choice items from more recent decades), but keep in mind that 1920’s, 30’s, and 40’s garments will be much rarer and she may not have anything in stock, but you should still ask so that she knows how many people are looking for these garments. She will be more likely to purchase these items from people clearing out estates if she knows there is a demand. I can usually go into Dolly’s and find a few 1940’s items, and definitely a lot of 1950’s day dresses that are perfect for swing dances. For men, Dolly’s has a great selection of sport coats, pants, shirts, and an entire rack of 1950’s skinny ties. If you see something you like, you should either buy it immediately or ask her to hold it if you need to think about it or find something to match it – the clothes fly off the racks in that store and she stocks new items every day just to keep up with the demand. I know some of the Triangle dancers are already a fan of Dolly’s, as I’ve seen Elizabeth Tietgen pick up a 1920’s cloche, Holly Owens bought an adorable polka dot dress that she wore to a dance at the Century Center recently, and Jason Sager purchased a wig here for RDU Rent Party’s role reversal night.

For more information, here is an older blog post I did on Dolly’s Vintage: https://lindyshopper.com/2011/05/03/field-trip-dollys-vintage-durham-nc/

Beggars and Choosers

While not technically inside the borders of the Triangle, Beggars and Choosers should not be overlooked. It is a bit of a drive to Pittsboro and they are only open on some Saturdays, but this is the only place I know of in the Triangle that stocks clothing from the late 1800’s through the 1970’s and consistently has a few items from the jazz age and swing era. I see a lot of conflicting information about when this store is open, so it’s best to call ahead before you decide to make the trip. This is a gold mine for men’s and women’s vintage clothing, so I promise it will be worth the effort!

For more information and photographs, here is an older blog post I did on Beggars and Choosers: https://lindyshopper.com/2010/04/30/field-trip-beggars-and-choosers-pittsboro-nc/

Raleigh Vintage Collective

While they have no brick and mortar store, the Raleigh Vintage Collective has a lot of swing era clothing and accessories available for purchase through the web. They are a group of ladies who periodically have trunk shows around Raleigh and list their wares on Etsy (Raleigh Vintage and Time for Vintage). Most notably for dancers, they will have a trunk show at this year’s Eastern Balboa Championships, back by popular demand after last year’s trunk show, which featured only items from the 1920’s through the 1950’s – no digging through polyester to find what you want and no question about the garment’s decade of origin.

For more information about the Raleigh Vintage collective, see my post about their activities at EBC last year: https://lindyshopper.com/2010/11/08/ebc-vendors-the-vintage-collective/

There are a few other vintage stores in the Triangle, but my experience with them in finding garments for swing dancing has been unsuccessful, as they stock 1960’s or later garments. Men may find them more useful, as menswear has changed fairly little over the past century. For example, The Clothing Warehouse in Chapel Hill had a rack of men’s vests that looked promising.

Other random notes: Someone who designs for Urban Outfitters must have a penchant for vintage hats because I always seem to find great vintage-inspired hats at this store. I always make sure to stop in at the Southpoint Mall, Durham location when I am there to browse through the accessories. Also at Southpoint, Anthropologie is a store that has built its brand around vintage-inspired clothing and accessories. The prices may set you back, but they always have a good sale rack and, if you find something on the sale rack or in the store that is not in your size, they will locate your size in another store and have it shipped to you.

Gents, the best and cheapest place for you to look for things are your local thrift stores. When my grandfather passed away, most of his suits went to a thrift store – jackets and suits from the 1950’s forward, most of them only worn on Sundays so they were in great condition. I see a rack of suits and sport coats and every thrift store I go to and this can be a great place to pick up something cheap that you don’t mind sweating in. You may also want to check shoe repair places for vintage dress shoes, as people leave shoes or bring them there to sell them. Men’s shoes, for the most part, are easily repairable and able to be shined up to look as good as new. Main Street Shoe Repair in Durham always has several pairs of cap toes and wingtips that look dance-ready, at a fraction of the price of a new pair of shoes.

Finally, Remix Vintage Shoes, a company based out of California that makes gorgeous reproduction shoes, sells their shoes in a couple of stores in Durham – Magpie, a boutique in the West Village tobacco warehouses, and Cozy, on Ninth Street. Neither store carries the entire Remix line, but if you find a pair locally that you like it will save you about $20 in shipping from Remix in California.

Dear Golden Vintage on Etsy

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

1930's perforated peep-toe oxfords - only $58!

There are vintage stores that seem like they have everything but the kitchen sink; then, there are vintage stores that are “curated,” full of carefully selected items that may evoke an era or perhaps only carry the choicest items. I could tell that Dear Golden Vintage on Etsy was one of these stores, even before I read the store description – the collection of items in this Etsy store is truly choice, and selection of things more lovely than the last.

Dear Golden Vintage sets a beautiful scene with clothing and accessories and you should definitely peruse all the online offerings, but here are my favorites:

Blue 1920's cloche
1920's silk chemise
1940's chocolate curl heels - WANT
Blue suede and brown leather two-tone shoes
Cotton eyelet 1930's dress
I'm a sucker for a chevron dress
Adorable plaid 1940's dress
Blue peplum dress with cutouts - HOTTTTT
1950's party dress with giant pockets

Field Trip: Richmond Revisited

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

It was another wonderful year at Richmond, Virginia’s Jammin’ on the James, both the dancing and the shopping. Some of my favorite vintage shoppers – Lily Matini, Elizabeth Aldrich, Bill Speidel, and, a new addition to my vintage cavalry, Josephine Stewart – made cameos at the event this year and it made Saturday an exciting and bustling day at the vintage shops in Richmond. I reported on my trips to Richmond’s two best vintage shops, Halcyon and Bygones, after last year’s Jammin’ on the James, but there’s always new inventory to scout.

Step into Halcyon!

Halcyon is my favorite Richmond store because it is so inviting – beautifully decorated, not too large/too small/too crowded, with a carefully chosen selection of garments that leaves you with the feeling that the entire store is filled with the “good stuff,” no filler. This year was no exception and I left with one beautiful 1930’s dress, but there were several other things I probably could have taken home if the budget had allowed. After we expressed interest in ties, Angelica from Halcyon pulled out the hidden rack of beautiful 1930’s ties, including one with circles and butterflies that Bill and I both claimed, but, ultimately, Bill won out because my husband wouldn’t answer his phone to tell me if he would wear the tie. Bill also scored a vintage Alexander Calder inspired tie by Carnival Jones, Elizabeth left with a lovely black faux fur jacket, and I left with a 1930’s silk dress. There were some really lovely pieces from a Richmond estate, including a 1920’s dress that must have had over 100 green bakelite buttons down the front and both sides.

Next stop was Bygones, which is famous for its window display and top of rack displays. This season’s display did not disappoint, with an Egyptian revival-themed window-dressing and an inside display of furs and faux animals that just begged for some taxidermy or, as Bill said, the barrel of a shotgun peeking out from between the furs. Josephine had great luck here, asking for tiny sized clothing and they definitely delivered. Favorite pieces included two 1940’s suits, one in light aqua velvet with quilting detail on the jacket and another in green silk velvet with amazing trim detail on the jacket.

Check out the goods from the photographs below!

A lovely coat from Halcyon
The dress of 100 buttons at Halcyon
Halcyon's bakelite offerings
Bill, the tie snatcher
A 1940's dress with shoulder pads fit for a linebacker...still a gorgeous dress!
The winner!
Step into Bygones...
The fur display at Bygones, complete with Mr. Fox
Bakelite at Bygones, including a set of strawberries, with necklace and earrings
The Bygones display cases
The pale aqua suit with quilted detail at Bygones
A lovely 1940's dress at Bygones - the photo doesn't do the color justice
Bygones carries reproductions, like the rack of Leluxe dresses shown here
The menswear section at Bygones
Which smoking jacket?
Josephine in a glorious green velvet suit at Bygones

Oc-Tie-ber: A Month Long Sartorial Celebration of Quality Neckwear

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I don’t know why I didn’t post this earlier, but Virginia DJ and Southside Stomp/Be My Jazz Baby organizer Bill Speidel has declared October as “Oc-Tie-ber,” “a month long sartorial celebration of quality neckwear.” The challenge (similar to Floweruary) is threefold:

1. Wear a tie each day (be it a long tie, bow tie, bolo, ascot, western double string tie or any other neckwear that expresses your personal style)
2. Upload a photo of your finely attired dudeness wearing said tie.
3. Share the love with your fellow man

It’s not too late to participate! Join in the sartorial fun via the Facebook invite: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=197234120345121

H&M Floral Jumpsuit Search

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

My search results have been futile, even with the help of my wonderful friends via Facebook, for this fantastic jumpsuit from H&M, which appears to have come out sometime just prior to August, 2011. The jumper, pictured here and modeled by the stylish author shown as SP in this article, is identified as part of a trend towards 1970’s clothing, but the cut and design of this jumper, with the floaty sleeves, cinched waist, and, wide legs is more 70’s does 1930’s beach pajamas. Beach pajamas at H&M in an adorable print? Yes, please!

Can anyone help me find this jumpsuit in my size? The H&M here only had a size 6 left and I’d probably need a size 10, or could alter a size 12. Your assistance would be much appreciated! If you find it in your size, I’d love to see someone else wearing it as well. 🙂

The Devil’s in the Details

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

A close up of this great rayon print and the button detail are the eye-catchers

I was scanning through my eBay search emails today and came across a listing for this 1940’s rayon print dress that showed a detailed photograph of the fabric and a button, rather than a photograph of the entire dress. Some sellers choose to do this, but don’t always capture the detail in a way that is compelling, the way the a photograph of the entire dress would. This listing, however, caught my eye because of this fantastic punctuation-themed print and the butter-colored buttons with metallic trim. On closer inspection, there were even more details in the dress, like smocking at the shoulders and what looks like smocking on the bodice just above the skirt. This seller, mir.a, is smart because just looking at the dress by itself, at a distance, it appears nondescript on its own and somewhat shapeless without a model – but showing off the dress’s fantastic details is enough for me to give this dress a further look (to discover it’s not in my size). Laid flat, measurements are 38 waist, 43 bust, free hips.

The smocking detail at the shoulder.
The details become lost because the dress is a puddle on the ground - the smocking can't cinch a shoulder or waist without a shoulder or waist to wear it!

Jumper and Blouse Bliss

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I’ve highlighted the adorable reproductions made by Etsy seller Jitterbuggin in the past, but I think she’s really hit her stride with these new (since my last post) matching 1940’s jumper and blouse sets in blue and green. I’m linking to the jumpers, as the blouse must be purchased separately, and all are available in multiple sizes.

Everything about the sets is just fantastic, the pocket details on the jumpers, the line of the skirts, the fabric choices for both the jumpers and the blouses (especially the airplanes!), and the contrast collar and sleeve bands on the green blouse. On top of that, Jitterbuggin shows you how to wear it by styling her models to the hilt, with period hair, hosiery, shoes, red lips, hair flowers, and bakelite accessories. Very Groovie Movie!

Taking Care of Your Vintage Clothing

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I’m excited to announce that the Yehoodi staff has invited me to contribute featured content to the Yehoodi website. This is my first article for Yehoodi, which I am also publishing here on Lindy Shopper for your use and enjoyment.

Following the Why I Wear Vintage post, Evan Philips requested an entry on how to take care of your vintage clothing and I am happy to oblige. Taking care of any wardrobe requires some maintenance if you want to keep it looking nice. Vintage clothing sometimes requires a little more effort to keep it looking fresh, but if you are careful in your choices for maintaining your vintage garments, you can enjoy them longer and with less worry.

For this article, I consulted with the all-knowing Movie Diva, Laura Boyes, who has experience working with the costume collection at the North Carolina Museum of History. I’ll share my observations from experience, but Laura will be providing the pro tips!

CLEANING

So you bought an article of vintage clothing, wore it to a dance, sweated in it for three hours, and now it’s a little ripe. You’d like to know how to clean it, but there’s no convenient garment tag telling you if it’s dry clean only, hand wash, or wash cold/tumble dry low. Think about what you have in your closet that is in the same fabric – what instructions for care are on that garment? Now, consider that this garment is vintage and, as a precautionary measure, what method of cleaning would be a bit more delicate than that, just in case?

Identifying the fabric is very important. Unless a garment is made of cotton, I will be sending it to the dry cleaners, and even the cotton garments sometimes get sent there if I’m particularly squeamish about hand washing the garment or putting it into my washing machine on the hand wash setting. If I am washing a garment myself, I always hang it up or lay it flat to dry, rather than putting it in the dryer. Laura recommends washing your vintage clothing in a gentle detergent, such as Orvus WA Paste, “a synthetic anionic detergent with a neutral pH which will remove most common dirt and stains.” You may be able to find this at farm supply stores, as it is used to shampoo show horses.

Finding a dry cleaner you trust is worth its weight in gold. You want to find someone with years of experience – don’t cheap out on this just because the $1.99 cleaner is near your house. Do some research, make calls to find out how long they have been in business, if they have worked with vintage and antique clothing, and be willing to sign your life away for them to clean it because most of them won’t want the liability of having to deal with you if the garment deteriorates. Usually if a place has been in business for a long time, they will have a good reputation and will also have older clientele who may have some of these older fabrics and older items that need some extra care when cleaned. I feel truly lucky to have found an amazing dry cleaner in Chapel Hill, NC, Plaza Dry Cleaners. Not only are they the oldest dry cleaners in town, one of their cleaners has taken classes in clothing preservation at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. I’ve been using their services for 6 years now and they have yet to ruin one of my vintage items; in most cases, the garments come out looking even better, with fewer stains and a fresher look to the fabric.

When you take a garment into the dry cleaners, you will need to make a few declarations about the garment so that they know that you are educated about the garment, so they have the information they need to make an informed decision about cleaning the garment, and so they are on notice that this is a special care item. If you know the decade, tell them how old the garment is, note in advance the flaws you are aware of (spots, holes, etc.), indicate whether or not you want them to try to get the spot out, and tell them what you believe to be the correct fabric. If you don’t know what kind of fabric you have, someone there will be able to identify it.

They may not want to clean the item for fear that the process will do something to the fabric or that something on the garment will be harmed in the process. I will say that this situation is pretty rare and limited to uncommon garments, like a 1920’s velvet dress with a jeweled piece or a 1930’s rain coat. In this situation I usually ask if there is some other way I could clean the garment myself or ask if hand-washing would damage the garment. If I really want the item cleaned and do not care if the garment could be harmed in the process, they will usually have me sign a waiver stating that I have been informed of the potential consequences and waive their liability.

Unless you are wearing vintage every day, the cost for your vintage dry cleaning shouldn’t be prohibitive. I might have two items per month that I take out for cleaning.

In those extremely rare cases where the garment can’t be cleaned, don’t wear those garments dancing or in places where you will sweat a lot. Hang them up after you wear them and let them air out for a few days before storing them again.

MENDING

Almost everything can be fixed. Many times, if you look closely at a vintage garment, you can find places where it has already been fixed or altered by the previous owner. Earlier generations mended holes in garments, rather than discarding them, because resources and clothing were more limited. I find that vintage garments tend to take a mending much easier than newer garments because of the way the garments were constructed.

Order of operations number one is to find a tailor who has either worked with vintage clothing in the past, works with fine fabrics, and/or has been sewing for longer than you’ve been alive. I once made the mistake of handing over a silk 1940’s suit in a strawberry print for my mom to reinforce the seams on the sleeves and, having never worked with silks, made the mistake of putting the suit under the needle of her Singer sewing machine on the regular setting. She might as well have put it under the knife, because the silk shredded into a million pieces. I should have told her to hand sew the sleeves, but this is a lesson in assumptions – don’t assume that every tailor will know how to fix your garment. Ask lots of questions and err on the side of caution.

I found my vintage tailor through a locally owned fabric store that sells fine fabrics and other fabrics for clothing. The had a list of people they recommend for people who want custom made items, with a description of each person’s areas of expertise. After talking with the ladies in the store about what I was looking for, they were able to make recommendations as to which tailor(s) would be best for the job.

You may have noticed that article of clothing purchased new that you wear frequently for a period of several years may begin to fall into disrepair, or even fall into disrepair after one season if not well made – remember this when you are cursing that newly discovered hole in your 1940’s pants or dress. The tendency for modern clothing is to get rid of it – throw it away or donate it to a thrift shop, because there will always be something to buy new. The approach to wearing vintage clothing is entirely different and is rooted in that era’s sensibilities. There may be more vintage clothing, but the supply is not replenishing, so repairing a vintage garment becomes an act of preservation.

To preserve your vintage clothing, you sometimes have to think outside of the box, or ask your tailor to be creative. If a button falls off, there’s no little plastic baggie with an extra button for you to sew on and finding a matching button is impossible. So, you find new button and use this opportunity to make the garment even better – something as simple as buttons can change the entire look of a garment, and you can update the garment with new buttons or find vintage buttons on Etsy, eBay, or a few other online resources. I had a 1940’s dress with terrible buttons on it and just switching out the buttons took the dress from matronly to swing-worthy with just a few stitches.

What if there’s a giant hole? Your tailor may be able to harvest some fabric from a hem or inside part of the garment to create a seamless patch, or come up with another way to cover the hole.

What if the seam split? Get your tailor to sew it up and perhaps reinforce it.

You get the idea. 🙂

STORING

Enemy target: eradicated

Moth balls smell like old people. Vintage clothing was once worn by old people and stored by old people. Why is vintage clothing still around? I’m not going to credit moth balls with saving all vintage clothing from moths, but I am going to credit it with maintaining a good portion of my wardrobe and the portion of my wardrobe inherited from others who used moth balls to keep their clothing free from holes. I initially shunned moth balls because of my mother’s over-use of the moth ball when I was growing up – she would toss a whole box into a closet and stuff them in drawers, until every time you tried to wear something that hadn’t been just laundered, you’d come out of the house smelling like a great-aunt. When I went to college I stayed far away from moth balls until I pulled my favorite red wool dress out of the closet to wear at Christmas and discovered two large moth holes in the shoulder; a deeper dig into my wardrobe and I discovered even more casualties. In tears on the floor of my bedroom, I vowed that the moths would never claim another victim from my closet.

Moderation is key. I don’t need moth balls to protect everything, so I have a moth ball section in my closet. I use a hanging moth ball basket I got at the grocery store, which initially came with moth cakes, but I can also fill with moth balls. The moth cakes/balls dissipate over time, so you do have to refill them from time to time. The hanging basket allows me to group my most vulnerable clothing (wools and other natural fibers) in one section of my closet and hang the basket in the middle of that group. It has limited the extreme moth ball smell to a smaller group of garments, which I then air out a few days before I plan to wear them.

Let’s talk about hangers – next to moths, wire hangers are your clothing’s worst enemy. Wire hangers are too sparse to hold clothing without almost penetrating it and, over time, the wires begin to rust and that rust is corrosive to clothing. I’ve seen countless casualties created by wire hangers, where the rust stains have eaten holes in the garment and you can see exactly how that garment was hung on the wire hanger. Please invest in plastic, wooden, or fabric covered hangers for your clothing. Plastic and wooden hangers are good for everyday clothing. If you have a more delicate item, such as mesh, chiffon, or other sheer fabric, pick up a few padded, fabric covered hangers.

If an items is particularly fragile or the weight of the garment is too much for the straps or shoulder of the garment, consider storing the garment folded in a drawer, with ample space and nothing stored on top of it (i.e. don’t cram it into an already full drawer). According to Laura, it’s also a good idea to have some acid free tissue paper on hand to line drawers, separate layers, stuff hats, or pad hangers, as needed.

If you have clothing that is from the 1920’s or older, Laura states that these garments should be stored flat. “If you buy one of these boxes (and keep it under your bed, or on a closet shelf) and layer in between with acid free tissue, it will preserve your dresses from the stress of hanging. You would probably want to store items this way that you wear only occasionally.”

The rest is common sense: Don’t leave things where your pets have access to them; men, hang up your ties, don’t leave them on the floor; don’t store things where they might get soiled; etc.

If you have any further questions about this topic, please feel free to ask! We want to keep these articles of vintage clothing alive and wearable as long as possible.

Heyday! Revisited

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

It’s been a while since I checked on Heyday!, my favorite UK retailer of heavenly high waisted trousers, but I see that they have been busy. They have expanded their line of women’s and men’s clothing and have some pretty impressive and hard-to-find pieces at not unreasonable prices. Men can pick up some more casual style jackets, like the gab jacket or the Hollywood jacket, or some elegant 1940’s trousers. Women who are looking for separates will find several styles of adorable reproduction blouses, 1940’s style suits, dresses that are great for dances and work, as well as those famous trousers that make everyone’s bum look like a million bucks.

Here are my favorites from the website:

How sharp are these! Get your Gene Kelly on in the Anzac trousers, available in 9 colors
You just can't go wrong with these swing trousers - available in 14 colors
Fleur wrap dress, available in 6 prints
Hollywood jacket, an alternative to the traditional blazer
Olivia blouse - stinkin' adorable, in 11 colors
Want this suit!

Looking Forward to Fall

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I was not prepared for the cold weather we had over the past weekend. North Carolina’s typical Indian summer that lasts well into October appears to have abandoned me this year and I’m disappointed to be sitting here in a sweater typing this blog entry. Shouldn’t I be in a sundress for at least another two weeks?

Then I see this lovely vision of fall, a gorgeous brown silk 1930’s dress with an accent print along the neckline, a beaded belt buckle, wonderful detail at the shoulder, and *gasp* long sleeves. Perhaps if this dress were my size, fall would be a less chilly, more fabulous? Bust 44, waist 38, hips 52.

Two 1930’s Three Piece Suits, 40R

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I came across two black 1930’s suits in the same jacket size, 40R, on eBay this week that look to be in great condition! The first has a double breasted jacket with the following description:

“This is a vintage 1930’s, three piece, double breasted suit in good, vintage dry cleaned condition. There are no holes or stains. This suit measures 21″ across the chest from armpit to armpit. The upper shoulder area at the back is 16 1/2″ across from arm seam to arm seam. The sleeves are 25″ long from the shoulder seam to the end of the cuff. The pants are 36 x 30. They have interior buttons for suspenders and a button front closure. They are flat fronted with cuffs.”

The second suit is a regular three piece suit, dated 1933, with the description:

“It is 22″ across the chest from armpit to armpit. The upper shoulder area at the back is 17 1/2″ across the back from arm seam to arm seam. The sleeves are 25″ long from the shoulder seam to the cuff. The pants are 35 x 30. They are flat fronted with cuffs. There is a watch pocket.”

Starting price is $199.00 for each suit – you’d run the same at Men’s Wearhouse for a three piece suit, but something tells me this vintage suit would be more of a standout. 🙂

Remix Sale and New Styles and Colors

Eva shoe

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

When it rains, it pours, and it’s pouring gorgeous shoes this week. Remix has launched two new styles: the Eva, a Picasso-esque work of art for your feet in green and black; and Amelia, a late 1920’s/early 1930’s Mary Jane heel with three straps in black. The Amelia is cute and sturdy, but the Eva is to die for…they should be paired with that villainess dress I found and wreak havoc on a small city with their sheer awesomeness.

Ava shoe

The Ava shoe is on sale, a versatile pump that could work for dance floor and for work, originally $190.00 and now on sale for $98.00. This shoe comes in camel with orange inset, brown with dark brown inset, gray with black inset, and white with kiwi inset.

Finally, there’s a limited run of the spectator wedge in a gray patent and white combo, priced at $112.00. Gray is such a great neutral, these look fantastic!

Gray and white spectator wedge
Amelia shoe

Red-y For Anything Dress at ModCloth

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

One of my shopping challenges this year was issued by NashPhilly dancer/instructor/DJ/blogger, Breanna Perry, to find her a vintage red dress with a peplum. This is a fairly tall order, given that most of the vintage dresses I come across with a peplum are black, not a color. I found one older dress (was it ’80’s does ’40’s?) dress that fit the bill on eBay, but the auction was lost in the end.

There have been a few modern dresses with peplums popping up on ModCloth, but today’s dress really fits the bill. The Red-y For Anything Dress looks like a fabulous contender, with a lovely rounded neckline, nipped waistband, cheerful peplum, and a clean-lined pencil skirt. This dress is super hot! My only complaint is that, in the item description, ModCloth refers to the peplum as a “dainty ruffle” – in my opinion, there’s nothing dainty about something that changes the entire silhouette of the dress; let’s call it what it is.

Breanna, do we have a winner?

Three Piece Suit at Men’s Wearhouse

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

The Men's Wearhouse three piece suit in brown pinstripe

It is not often that my husband contributes ideas to this blog, but I must give him credit for this find. We’ve been looking for a vintage or new three piece suit for him for a while now and, with his birthday coming up, I guess he kicked his part of the search in gear and found this three piece suit at Men’s Wearhouse to add to his wishlist. It looks pretty nondescript in terms of era, but could easily be enhanced with details, like a vintage tie, pocket square, or tie clip, to give it that swing era feel. It could also double as just a regular suit by removing the vest and adding modern accessories for work, job interviews, or whatever else you may need a suit for. At $199.00, the price is right for this versatile three piece suit, which comes in black, a fine black/white pattern, brown pinstripes, a fine brown pattern, and charcoal gray.

Miss L Fire Fall 2011 Collection

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

OH. MY. HAWT. It’s been a long time since I came across a shoe that I couldn’t get out of my head, that I was so distracted about that I couldn’t focus on anything else until I figured out how to make it mine. Miss L Fire‘s fall 2011 collection has this shoe, and several other shoes with a distinctly jazz age styling that are simply amazing. Miss L Fire always has some really quirky and amazing shoes, and this goes for the fall collection as well, but there are a few pairs that just defy awesome and somehow become…art. And do you see all these mid-height heels?! OK, I’ve talked this up enough, check out the shoes!

Goddess shoe - I don't usually post what I plan to hoard for myself, but these were just too good not to share. IWILLOWNTHESE
Clara shoe - a wonderfully detailed t-strap with a wide, low heel - also in green, red and black, and brown
Edith shoe - an adorable oxford heel with a wonderful perforated design in the leather - also available in brown and royal blue
Gabrielle shoe, studded with Swarovski crystals - perfect for your holiday outings and dances - also available in red, blue, and brown
Mamie shoe - so cute! Also available in brown, black, and blue and tan combo
Mabel (she's the bomb?) shoe - a great option for a stylish flat shoe - also available in black and white combo and brown and white combo