Tag Archives: ModCloth

What’s Old Is New: Keep Punching

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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There is a lot of documented history about the creation and performance of The Big Apple line dance in the 1939 film “Keep Punching” – if you don’t know this story already, take a gander at Wikipedia, The Lindy Circle, and Savoy Style.  It’s the story of a dance within a dance craze!  I love this clip for its energy, the individual style (dancing and clothing) of each of the dancers, and also because they keep it simple and functional – this clothing is obviously their own normal street clothing, with the exception of the coordinating Whitey’s Savoy Lindy Hoppers tee shirts.  I imagine this is a snapshot into what they might wear on any given night of the week out at a dance (compare to the more fancy street clothing/costumes in Hot Chocolate (Cottontail) or the outright dance costumes in The Harlem Congaroos clip).  There is an array of interesting clothing in this clip – from the dancers to the more fancy daywear/cocktail attire of the actors/extras to the orchestra in tails.

 

There are so many pieces of clothing worn by the dancers in this clip that are accessible today, so let’s dig in:

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First, those custom Whitey’s Savoy Lindy Hoppers tee shirts – we don’t have the light background with the darker graphics, but Chloe Hong has reproduced this graphic on dark blue and dark red tees that you can order from her website.  Since none of us hold a candle to the original Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers, we can view these shirts as aspirational/inspirational, a tribute to these original dancers and innovators.  I love that some of the tee shirts in the clip are worn as-is and others are worn over another shirt, as layers.  This makes me think of the ever present battle of sweat management – if that tee shirt has to last through a day of many film takes under hot lights, you might need that base layer to keep things fresh on the outside.

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SJC spearpoint in check

Since men’s reproduction knitwear is still a bit of an outlier, your best collared “undershirt” solution to get the look from the video is to pick up one of Simon James Cathcart’s short sleeved polos with that distinctive spearpoint collar – they are also made of wicking bamboo fabric, so extra helpful with sweat management.  Available in nine colors and I wouldn’t be surprised if SJC was going to release some more in the future.  Even though the men in this clip are wearing the spearpoint collars, these polos are also great for women, I have a few and I love them.

A few of the women in this clip looks like they may be wearing either some sort of collared or uncollared blouse underneath their tee shirt or they may be wearing a scarf tied loosely around their neck and tucked in a bit at the tee shirt collar.  The House of Foxy’s 1940’s shirt in crepe would give a similar effect to the pointed collar blouses in the clip, with just the top points peeking out and the crepe being flexible enough to work around the tee shirt collar and lay right.  One of the women is wearing a belt with her flared skirt and it looks awesome, but the video quality is such that I can’t tell if the belt is leather, fabric, or some other material.

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Heyday’s A-line skirt

While there is one woman in a flared skirt (and I say that relatively, as we’re not talking Dior “new look” volume, just a bit more twirl than the other women), rest of the women in this clip are in A-line skirts, something with a more streamlined profile, but with enough radius at the hemline to allow for kicks and movement.  This skirt silhouette and just-below-the-knee hemline shows the fashion transition to the 1940’s silhouette, when you contrast with the calf-length skirts from the film A Day at the Races that came out just two years before Keep Punching.

UK brand Heyday has a nice A-line skirt, available in several prints and solid colors, I love the quality, wearability, and washability of their pieces.   If you are going for the more full skirt, it looks like the House of Foxy’s Whirlaway Skirt fits the bill of being not to full, not too A-line, but just right in terms of fullness for the purposes of this clip.   It’s also available in 7 colors and ditto on the quality coming out of this UK brand.  Would wear both of these skirts for dancing and for work and for anything, really.

Men’s bottoms look like your standard fare for trousers, tucked in shirt or not tucked in – I mean, whatever’s comfortable for you after umpteen takes, right?  If you are looking for something high waisted, I can’t say enough good things about SJC’s 1930’s chinos, which can handle belt or braces.  Or just go and buy whatever lightweight, breathable trousers you can find and wear that shirt untucked!  The exact right pants are usually hard to find, but for this look it’s not an absolute essential, the devil is in the other details.  For the tucked-in crowd, note the dancer with the skinny belt – how skinny is up to you and your pants loops.  Google was an absolute failure at looking for skinny belts (“no, Google, I mean REALLY skinny, 1.5 inches wide isn’t skinny!”), so dive deeper into your internet searches and/or go to the women’s section of a department store to buy one because nobody cares where it comes from.

The footwear is all over the map.  I see white Keds-like sneakers with dark socks (that may color-coordinate with the collared shirt under the tee shirt) and in other colors (Gray? Black? Oh, wait, we’re not in Technicolor), or maybe even a shoe with a  more substantial sole closer to Vans’ classic shoe (or their newly engineered more flexible/lightweight version).

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OHAI PRETTY SHUEZ

I see a couple of pairs of saddle shoes thrown in the mix and, though most modern associations are with the 1950’s, the saddle shoe’s popularity boomed in the decades prior to the 1950’s, as well.  Most saddle shoes I see today have a crepe sole, which isn’t my favorite for dancing, but Re-mix carries them with a leather sole.  I’d consider giving this Restricted pair from ModCloth a whirl because they have leather interiors (for my sensitive feet), what appears to be a flat synthetic sole, and because the blue/brown color combo is awesome.   Then I go and find this yellow and white Chelsea Crew pair…I need to stop while I’m ahead.

One of the dancers wears a pair of low heeled sandals with an ankle strap, akin to Saint Savoy’s Eden shoe or Chelsea Crew’s Nadia sandal – she’s also sporting them with some ankle socks, which may be part fashion-forward, part blister/sweat management.

Finally, one dancer has some classic leather oxfords on, which previous discussions on my blog have covered everything from buying them used at thrift stores to getting your first pair of Aris Allens to splurging for a pair of Allen Edmonds (or finding them used on eBay).

To recap: classic dance shoes of your choosing, socks, comfy pants/skirt, signature tee shirt, optional undershirt/collar/scarf action.  One might say this is not too far from what we are wearing on the dance floor today.  Now, time to go practice the second half of the Big Apple that I never seem to remember….

 

 

 

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A Rainbow of Slips on ModCloth

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I love finding interesting undergarments to wear under my dancing clothing, and I particularly love slips for all the reasons outlined in this earlier blog post.  In perusing ModCloth I noticed a number of slips in lovely colors, both full slips and half slips, and they are certainly worth mentioning here.  I like the idea of these brightly colored full slips doubling as a camisole for the top (perhaps with a V-neck or wrap dress), and the same color poking out under a twirly skirt when you spin.  Here are some of ModCloths under-goodies:

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Foundation Fascination Full Slip in Sea – love the detail at the neckline and the accordion pleats at the bottom to allow for extra movement just under your bum.  Also available in a rose pink and plummy purple.

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Give Me Gracefulness Slip in Rose – this blush color would look lovely under just about anything and give a bit of lift to your skirts with the tulle bottom.  Also available in black.

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If you can’t be bothered with spaghetti straps (I know I’ve safety pinned many to my dress to keep from slipping while dancing), perhaps this slip is a better fit for you.  I like the idea of layering this with a dress of a different cut for interest and for function.

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The name says it all – Dream It, Dance It Slip is divine in this steely gray tone, with some feather-light lace to peek out from under your dress and an opaque top to keep your bum covered.  Also available in rose and navy.

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Can’t Stop Dancing Slip in Ivory – your basic half-slip, also available in classic bronze and black. All these references to dancing and slips…ModCloth, are you reading my blog? 😉

ModCloth’s Bugle Joy Skirt

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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While we’re talking about skirts, I’d like to talk about Mod Cloth’s Bugle Joy Skirt, one of the great basics that ModCloth offers that I picked up for work, but then spotted on dancer friends as we all independently discovered the wonders of this skirt. Chicago dancer Lindsay Longstreth sported a plum Bugle Joy at the Knoxville Lindy Exchange and I spotted its signature shape and spin- she learned about the skirt from St. Louis dance instructor Jenny Shirar, who has one in olive. Within the month I spotted one on Philadelphia dancer Caitlin Farthing in the OcTieBer group. After such compelling evidence, it’s safe to say that the Bugle Joy skirt is a success amongst Lindy Hoppers.

Why is this skirt great? Here’s the rundown:

– A full skirt that is a nod to the New Look without being costumey

– It twirls nicely for a full skirt, without too much bloomer exposure

– The polyester fabric drapes nicely and is super durable

– It doubles for work-wear – in fact, I initially purchased one in red as a work skirt.

– It comes in some great basic colors and not-so-basic colors, like black, red, gray, rust, burgundy, olive, teal, and plum

– At $54.99 it’s not too hard on the wallet for a quality skirt

I hope ModCloth continues to carry this skirt or even expand its colors offered – what a great, versatile piece to add to your wardrobe!

Rago Style 919 – Bloomer Brief with a Little Lace

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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In the never-ending quest for full coverage swing dance undergarments and bloomers, I have come across many athletic options and, for a short time, we had some fun My Heinies, but for the most part finding something feminine in the undergarment department that would meet the athletic requirements of the dance limited my options to tap pants. ModCloth, in the infinite wisdom of its buyers, unearthed what they call the “Properly Layered Undies,” which is Rago Style 919 – a full coverage brief in a sateen finish with just a touch of lace at the top of the leg. Just the RIGHT about of lace in the right place. Order from ModCloth (which has been sold out twice and restocked twice since I started watching these) or from another Rago distributor – don’t be scared of the intense looking shapewear on the Rago site, these undies just have enough shape to hold everything in place, no more than that, no miracles, just a solid pair of full coverage undies. Available in white, black, beige, pink, mocha, black, or red.

Speaking of Jumpers…

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

…this denim jumper popped up on ModCloth.com – On The Double Dutch Jumper, a bit more casual, perhaps a nice modern update of this classic shape? Denim goes with everything, or so I’ve heard…

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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?

Bernie Dexter Clothing

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

If you’ve been to just about any website that sells rockabilly clothing, you’ve probably seen Bernie Dexter, a lovely model who looks like Bettie Page reincarnated and makes every dress she models look flawless. I was trolling Mod Cloth the other day (who isn’t? every day? 😉 ) and happened upon a wonderful green and white dress with a distinctly 1940’s shape, which happened to be designed by Bernie Dexter. Until then I hadn’t put a face with a name, but I was delighted to discover that Ms. Dexter has a whole line of 1940’s and 1950’s-inspired clothing, in addition to her illustrious modeling career. Unfortunately, you can’t order her clothing directly from her website, but through a number of other online and brick-and-mortar retailers (including stores based in the USA, Germany, Australia, France, Canada, England, and Austria) you can piece together the wonderful garments from her collection. Here are my favorites:

Wizard of Awesome dress available on ModCloth.com - poppies, anyone?

Landscape dress available at UniqueVintage.com

High waisted pencil skirt, available at UniqueVintage.com

Oh, the gingham! There's a dress, a romper, and a bikini in this fabric, available at UniqueVintage.com

Sweetheart neckline dress, available at UniqueVintage.com

Sailor shorts, available at bearflagrepublic.com

Aloha!

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Anyone else wishing they were in Honolulu instead of at their office desk on a Monday morning? I ran across a few adorable tropical dresses, both new and vintage, I thought were worth sharing – enjoy!

ModCloth's Too Much Fun Dress in Paradise

ModCloth dress to-be-named - you can submit your idea for a name and possibly win this dress!

eBay 1940's Hawaiian dress, comes with matching bolero

Another lovely 1940's-1950's sarong-inspired number on eBay

Forever 21 Hibiscus Surplice Dress

Keds Saddle Sneakers

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Given the number of people searching for “saddle shoe sneakers” on Google (which get directed to my post about said sneaks from last year), I had to post the Keds verson of saddle sneakers I ran across today at ModCloth.com. The are slightly different, with the classic, slimmer Keds shape and scalloped detailing that’s a nod to brogueing. Nice!

Mod Cloth 50% Off Sale

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

While not as epic or as extensive as the 70% off sale, this latest discount endeavor from Mod Cloth is no less worth mentioning. Use the code JUST4U between now and Friday, June 3, to get 50% off any of the items in their sale collection called You and Retro Too Sale. Here are some goodies from the sale:

Rare Variety Heel

Picnic Knack Dress

Proper Bows Dress

From the Heartland Heel

Expect Excellence Heels

On the Carousel Dress

Chic Shenanigans Shorts

On the A List Dress

First Name Basis Heel

One, two, button your shoe…

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Hazelwood Dress

You know you’ve looked at the Remix Vintage Shoes website too many times when you spot a cute ensemble and know exactly which pair of Remix shoes you’d pair with it. This time, I’ve spotted a dress that would look good with two styles – this brown and tan/gray “Hazelwood” dress from ModCloth may be vintage-inspired, but the clean lines on the dress also look very modern to me. This could also be the jump start for your Fall dance and/or work wardrobe, no?

However, without great accessories, this dress falls short of stellar. Two pairs of Remix Vintage Shoes came to mind: depending on how well the color blends, both the “Beverly” and the “Zurich” look like they would pair well with the Hazelwood dress. Now that I have this pairing together, I’m thinking maybe one of the brown on brown combos would look good as well…so many shoes, so little disposable income. 😉

Beverly Shoe

Zurich Shoe