Tag Archives: men

1930’s Athletic Shoes

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

File this under curious goods, as I’m not sure these shoes are in a condition to be worn. First we have two pairs of Keds, but these Keds are not your everyday canvas dance shoe – the first pair looks a bit like a pair of Chuck Taylors, made with leather accents and some traction on the rubber soles. The second pair is a pretty straightforward pair of canvas high tops, but with a dress heel instead of a flat rubber sole. Interesting…

Finally, this same seller, who found these old athletic shoes at an auction for a shoe store that had closed in the 1930’s and was finally liquidating its inventory, has a pair of “Ball-Band” rubber soled sneakers, which look like an elegant hybrid between a pair of Chuck Taylors and a pair of two tone cap toed oxfords – very cool! I’d like to see this style in reproduction.

The "Ball Band" athletic shoes

Dead stock 1930's Keds

Keds with heels!

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.

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!

Men’s Aris Allen Pants on eBay

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

In my haste to get out of town this weekend, I forgot to post links to two pairs of Aris Allen men’s pants in black that I found on eBay, high waist with a wide leg, three pleats, and cuffs. The first pair is a size 32 long and the second pair is a size 34 long – if you lack a tall inseam, they can always be hemmed. Both pairs of pants have never been worn and, at $19.99 starting price for a pair of dress dance pants, this is a crazy deal.

Auction ends tomorrow! Bid swiftly!

Aris Allen White Wingtip Oxford

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Aris Allen is on a roll this week, this time with the debut of a new men’s shoe (a rare occurrence, indeed) – a lovely white wingtip oxford with classic broguing detail along the seams and on the toe. Aris Allen has been the go-to for affordable men’s swing dance shoes and I’m happy to see this welcome addition to their men’s footwear line. Now, you just have to decide if you are a white wingtip man or a white cap toe man…

Straw Boaters

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Continuing with the nautical theme, I thought I’d post some straw boaters, so the gents can order them in time for Independence Day festivities. According to Wikipedia:

“Boaters were popular as summer headgear in the late 19th century and early 20th century, and were supposedly worn by FBI agents as a sort of unofficial uniform in the pre-war years…Being made of straw, the boater was and is generally regarded as a warm-weather hat. In the days when men all wore hats when out of doors, “Straw Hat Day”, the day when men switched from wearing their winter hats to their summer hats, was seen as a sign of the beginning of summer. The exact date of Straw Hat Day might vary slightly from place to place. For example, in Philadelphia, it was May 15; at the University of Pennsylvania, it was the second Saturday in May.”

I have heard that boater hats were generally considered disposable, a hat that someone purchased new every year – now, a vintage boater and new boaters will set you back a pretty penny ($100+), but some deals can be had if you dig for a bit. Here are some boater hats for sale in the more reasonable range:

A vintage straw boater from my neck of the woods, 21 inches circumference

Vintage Stanhope Brothers hat, size 7.25

Vintage boater, circumference 22 and three eighths inches

1920's Stetson straw boater, size 7 and three eighths

Brand new boaters in sizes small through XL

Cap Toes Galore

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I’m not sure how eBay seller justin711 came into this many pairs of men’s cap toe shoes from the 1920’s through the 1940’s, but he has listed eight pairs of them, all in wearable condition. My favorite pair are the two tone brown and white, with the scuffed up boots coming in a close second. Here are the goods, in sizes ranging from 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 and a $19.99 starting price:

1930’s Men’s Suits on eBay

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Usually the vintage suits come one or two at a time on eBay, but here’s a few more than the usual, including three white linen suits!

1930's White Linen Suit, Palm Beach Label

1930's Belted Back White Linen Suit

1930's/1940's Herringbone Stripe Suit

1930's White Linen Suit

Just for kicks - Anchor Swimsuit

1930’s wool vest

While this may not be appropriate for the upcoming season, it is always appropriate to snag the perfect piece at the perfect price, regardless of season. This 1937 wool vest is listed on eBay with a $9.95 starting price!

Waistcoat

I really like the lines, the lapel, and the placement of the buttons on this men’s wool vest. There’s something a bit formal about it, but you could get away with wearing it with just about anything…except those acid wash jeans the seller has it pictured with…