Tag Archives: review

Deodorants, Antiperspirants, and Vintage Clothing

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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Dearest dress, I never meant to hurt you.  It’s not you, it’s me, and the terrible way I’ve treated you.  Photograph by Frank Myers.

Don’t you hate it when you’ve been doing something your whole life and later discover that this thing you’ve been doing is harmful to something you love?  My heart sunk to the bottom of the Marianas Trench when I read that my deodorant/antiperspirant, which I thought was great because it didn’t streak on my vintage clothing, was actually full of aluminum.  Said aluminum not only made my dress shirt armpits sparkle with the most resistant strain of glitter herpes I’ve encountered to date, with an accompanying foul odor when the heat of an iron was applied, but it also caused a chemical reaction that made the armpits of some of my vintage clothing start to yellow/stain.  How do I know this?  There were casualties.  Then research to determine the cause of said casualties.  I never go down without a fight.

From Howstuffworks.com:

“Deodorants prevent odor-causing bacteria, while antiperspirants prevent sweat. To do so, antiperspirants rely on aluminum-based compounds, such as aluminum chloride, to cause cells in your sweat ducts to swell and block sweat from escaping. When these active ingredients (which also happen to be quite acidic) bond with your sweat, they’re prone to stain clothing.”

OH. MY. GOD.

Perhaps I’ve been lucky thus far with my antiperspirant not staining my clothing until recently, but I feel like this news should be broadcast, warnings posted in vintage clothing store dressing rooms, shouted from the rooftops.  Maybe people don’t keep their clothing as long as I do, so it just doesn’t come up.  Whatever the reason, I’m here to raise awareness of this issue and present some information on my journey to aluminum-free deodorant and stain/sparkle-free clothing.

DEODORANT

We sweat a lot when we dance.  We have to wear SOMETHING or our dance spaces will smell even more like locker rooms and foot cheese than they already do.  I decided I could deal without the antiperspirant component of my underarm regimen, as I tended to select clothing for dancing that already doesn’t show at lot of soaked-through sweat, but the smell had to be UNDER WRAPS.  But I had to change my deodorant fast, or suffer the consequences of damaging even more clothing.

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I headed to the Internet to read reviews of aluminum-free deodorants and I found most reviews to be incomplete, overly-optimistic, and not descriptive enough.  There were also options other than stick and roll-on, which sounded like a pain in the butt.  Then I came across this article titled “Do Any of These Hippie Deodorants Work?” by Kat Stoeffel that was exactly what I needed – one person’s journey through a myriad of recommended deodorants with different applicators, brands, pros, cons, daily conditions, duration of effectiveness, and a ranking from worst to best.  As everyone’s body chemistry is different, I went with her top two and was prepared to try others down the line if necessary.

Kat’s second highest recommendation, Le Couvent de Minimes Everyday Deodorant, is a French cologne which has alum stone as its active ingredient and dates back to 1862.  True to Kat’s assessment, it did smell like a fancy Williams Sonoma hand soap, and would work as a nice unisex scent.  Unfortunately, my skin had a sensitivity reaction to this deodorant.  It did work well and I may try it again in a different season.

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The deodorant with Kat’s highest seal of approval was Lavilin, an Israeli deodorant that featured images of athletes on the cardboard packaging around the bottle, which looked promising.  I had to get used to wearing a roll-on, but it was usually dry by the time I finished drying my hair and I haven’t seen evidence of it leaving residue on my clothing when I remove it.  It’s been working like a champ on regular office days for the past month.  While it boasts 72 hours of coverage, I’d err on the side of caution when going to a swing dance – I would always reapply my old deodorant/antiperspirant before attending a dance, just to be safe, and that reapplication was needed with Lavilin if I wanted to continue to smell fresh at the end of the dance (per a self-sniff).  Lavilin is my winner of the two.

Thankfully, it was just that easy, trying two and coming up with a winner.  I am so relieved to have found a deodorant that has less of a negative impact on my wardrobe!  If you have stories, recommendations, or other information about what works for you, please feel free to post it in the comments.

STAINS

The guilt is immense.  I’d like to say I have all the answers for my recovery plan, but I don’t.  I’ve soaked the damaged red gingham dress in Oxyclean twice and the armpits are still yellow.  I’ve used vinegar on a cranberry colored dress shirt and I can still see the glitter of aluminum embedded in the fabric.  I did, however, manage to eradicate all glitter and stains from several white dress shirts following the advice of this video, using a paste of water, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide:

I probably need to try this on my cranberry shirt and gingham dress, but the peroxide has me worried it will bleach the color…need some more confidence…please feel free to insert confidence in the comments section, as well. 😉

CONCLUSION

I realize there are all sorts of warnings and cautionary things we can do to protect our vintage clothing (like not wearing it – but where is the fun in that?), but a change of deodorant was a fairly easy lifestyle change for me to make and it’s also made with an eye toward protecting the lifespan of my modern clothing, as well!  Hopefully, I’ll never have to make a peroxide and baking soda paste again.

 

 

 

Field Trip: Vintage Shopping in St. Louis

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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St. Louis has legs!

A couple of weeks ago I had the wonderful opportunity to visit St. Louis, Missouri and perform at the Nevermore Jazz Ball with Michael Gamble and his Rhythm Serenaders.  I was particularly eager to visit St. Louis because there are some very dear dance friends in my life who moved there after living with or near me in North Carolina and I heard there was amazing vintage clothing there – knowing that St. Louis had a lot of money/industry during my sought-after clothing periods and seeing the amazing wardrobe of Miss Jubilee in photographs online, I was beyond excited to take my first trip to this Midwest city.

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I picked Saturday of Nevermore to embark on my shopping adventure, meeting up with Athena Moon and Lian Tarhay for a quick stop at The Vintage Haberdashery and then brunch at Rooster.  The Vintage Haberdashery is part vintage store, part costume shop and had a small, but respectable selection of pre-WWII clothing and some great 1920’s reproduction beaded gowns glistening from the rafters.  The store was well-organized with lots of quality items, and a particularly nice display of shoes and hats.  I spotted a bunch of great 40’s day and cocktail dresses, some 1940’s oxfords, and a nice selection of menswear, both dress and sportswear items.  Definitely worth a stop!

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After brunch, we went to Cherokee Street to take in the Cherokee Street Jazz Crawl, which happened to include a vintage shop as a venue and be down the street from another vintage shop – bliss!  Imagine shopping in a stacked vintage clothing store with a live hot jazz band playing just outside on the back patio, and you could take a break, dance, shop, dance, shop – that was my experience at Retro 101.  Seriously, a luxury!  Retro 101 had so many special pieces, I can’t even articulate everything, delicious sheer 1930’s dresses, beautiful rayon print 1940’s dresses, wonderful gowns, hats, gloves, leather, and a case of amazing bakelite!  Feathers!  Beading!  I didn’t even get to the menswear, but I spotted some usual suspects with great garments and accessories in hand, so I know there was good stuff!

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Finally, we visited Ruth’s Vintage Clothing, a little shop on the corner just a few blocks from Retro 101.  Almost as soon as we stepped into the store, we heard the second line start up outside and ran back out to see the parade.  At this point I’m thinking St. Louis and this event definitely have really unique offerings for the dance community – dancers joined in, people were drawn out of shops and restaurants to watch, adding to the magnetic and magical SOMETHING in the air that made this event distinctive, local, and inviting.  We went back into Ruth’s, which had a few 1940’s dresses and some great accessories, including an Art Deco belt buckle and brooch set that combined distinctive rhinestone angled shapes with early plastic (bakelite or celluloid, not sure) flowers blooming from the stones – VERY tempting, can we create a dress or gown around this?

We followed the second line back down to Retro 101, took another gander (so much to take in!), then ended up at Melt for a cider and to hear Mike Faltesek and Chloe Feoranzo play their last set of the day.  An all around very satisfying day of shopping in a wonderful city!

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1940’s heels with potential at The Vintage Haberdashery – those waves!

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Adorable!  All the details!  At The Vintage Haberdashery.

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This wonderful confection of a hat, at The Vintage Haberdashery.

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A menswear display at The Vintage Haberdashery.

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The serious goods hanging from the ceiling at Retro 101.

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The bakelite case in all its glory, at Retro 101.

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This purple plaid 1930’s dress at Retro 101 is EVERYTHING.

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Beaded detail on sleeve of 1930’s dress at Retro 101.

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A snapshot of the men’s section at Retro 101.

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A carousel of accessories at Retro 101.

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A lovely neckline on this 1940’s dress at Ruth’s Vintage Clothing.

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A wall of accessories at Ruth’s Vintage Clothing.

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A closeup of a 1940’s floral rayon dress with these interesting ruched scallops down the seam, at Ruth’s Vintage Clothing.

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Following the second line down Cherokee Street.

 

Saint Savoy Jitterdoll Shoe Review

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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In October I wrote about Saint Savoy, a dance shoe company that had just come across my radar. The owner, Rani Patricia, was kind enough to send me a pair of Saint Savoy’s Jitterdoll shoes to give them a test run and tell you about it here!

The Jitterdoll is a low-heeled oxford shoe – not quite a full oxford in terms of top of foot coverage, but definitely more coverage than a pump. The heel height is 3.5 cm/1.37 inches and the heel itself is of a substantial width, giving the shoe a balanced feel and appearance, which I find tends to be lacking in some shoes with lower heels. The Jitterdoll laces up, which could lend itself to some fun options with laces. The shoe features both brogueing and contrast trim, giving it a unique appearance, but the overall effect is subtle.

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The best part of this shoe is the foot bed around the ball of the foot – there was ample room to acommodate my swath of toes, bone spurs, and bunions, with a soft interior, and a ridge at the base of the toes/top of the ball where everything just fit into the groove and felt supported. The leather sole at the ball of the foot was ample enough to take the pounding of a night of Lindy and Balboa, without sacrificing the feel of the floor. The heel height is just perfect to go back and forth between Balboa and Lindy Hop and I would recommend this shoe for people who are looking transition from flats to heels without making a giant leap.

Aesthetically, the shoes are very pleasing – I got a ton of compliments on the appearance of the shoes (I opted for the tan shoes with white brogueing and red piping, though that green pair is calling my name) and I think the idea of more subdued and detailed oxford is a brilliant idea. I also like that they are closed toe shoes – so many of my heels have an open toe and it’s nice to have the option of tights or hosiery in the winter without worrying about my toe pushing through my hose to freedom through the peep hole in my shoe, and also to avoid the hosiery toe seam poking out. We’re not always in the mood for fishnets, right? OK, maybe we are, but variety is the spice of life and these shoes are great, bare-footed, with fishnets, or with close-toed legwear.

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The only downside of the shoes for me was that my heel slipped out of the back, but I must explain that almost all of my dance shoes do this because I have a narrow heel. I noticed it the first night I took them dancing, so for the second dance night I added the Pedag heel grips and they stayed right where they needed to stay.

The Jitterdoll is a wonderful addition to our dance shoe options and I also think that they would make stellar street shoes, based on their comfort, style, and leather sole. Saint Savoy is offering free shipping worldwide, so if you’d like a pair of these under your tree (or as a treat to yourself), you’ll save a bit there. The Jitterdoll is available in black, early green, and the sand colored pair I received, which will be available soon. Quality construction, comfort, and a great low-heeled shoe for your dance shoe wardrobe!

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Your Vintage Hair Shopping List – Hair Product and Styling Tools Recommendations from Lisa Freemont Street

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

The hair spray of choice?  It's called Vintage Glam, of course!

The hair spray of choice? It’s called Vintage Glam, of course!

I’ve been preparing for a WWII/D-Day themed gig and am elated to be borrowing a friend’s grandmother’s WWII nurse’s uniform for the day – the only thing I am missing is a hairstyle that will work with the uniform’s service cap. The obvious choice is a pin curl set, with curls peeking out from under the cap, since I have so little hair and an elaborate victory roll configuration just is not possible. I had experimented with a pin curl set pattern I found online through a video tutorial from Lisa Freemont Street, “the Gene Tierney,” and was very pleased with the results, though I only did a trial run without product and didn’t leave my home with the ‘do.

I began following Lisa Freemont Street’s Facebook page and this gal is a wealth of information, and timely at that – just as I was needing a pin curl set with some staying power (i.e. the right hair products), she posts an updated video of her styling tools and hair products recommendations. Since this blog is all about where to purchase the things we want and need for dancing, I thought I’d share her vlog post recommendations. She covers everything from products for finger waves to pin curls and talks about different types of hair. I made a list of things I will need for my pin curl set (both wet and dry, we’ll see what works best) and I was able to find everything on my list on Amazon.com. The hair products and tools are now on their way to my front door – voila! Thanks, technology! Check out Lisa’s recommendations in her vlog below and her YouTube channel is a wealth of how-to information:

Re-Mix Guys and Dolls

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This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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Re-Mix Guys and Dolls is the name of a new Facebook group that you may be interested in…from the group description:

“Do you want to find out if a certain model is good for dancing, what model fits a narrow/wide foot, what experiences other people made, do you want to sell a pair in good condition or are you looking for a shoe courier…. here is the group for you!!!”

Yes…yes…yes…yes, and I want to buy pairs….all of this is yes, this sounds like a great potential resource. I have acquired about half of my Re-Mix shoes on eBay, some of them used and in excellent condition. I also have questions about the danceability of some Re-Mix models, given certain foot issues, and I’m sure I am not alone.

Since the group is fairly young, I’m hopeful that it will grow into a useful resource for dancers and a potential feedback mechanism for Re-Mix to learn more about how their shoes wear for people and what they can do to improve certain models (if applicable – arguably, the Balboa t-strap is my perfect dance shoe of the moment). Join today!

Warby Parker Follow-Up

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

A few months ago I wrote a post on Warby Parker, an online eyeglasses retailer offering $95 glasses (including frames, lenses, shipping, and try-ons), and for every pair of glasses purchased, they would donate a pair to someone in need. I desperately wanted some new frames so I could have a fun pair of glasses, rather than my only other pair of glasses that scream “practical” and “responsible.” After browsing the selections at the Warby Parker website, I diligently narrowed down my favorites to five styles (using their virtual try-on tool), then placed my order for free try-ons. The five pairs I selected arrived in a neat little case with five compartments, each pair pristine and wrapped in plastic. After about 20 minutes in front of the mirror I settled on the Harper in Summer Green. Green glasses!

I put these glasses on my Christmas and Birthday list, which I email to my mother in the fall of every year, and included the link and my prescription. Surely this useful, cost effective gift would be appealing to my practical parents and I would get either a box or a card with a Warby Parker gift certificate for one of these occasions. No dice. Birthday and Christmas came and went and the glasses were still out of my possession, so it was time to take matters into my own hands.

I went to the website to place my order and realized I did not have my pupillary distance, so I called my optometrist, who, after some struggle, gave me this information. After placing the order I was contacted by Warby Parker customer service and informed that North Carolina law required them to either have copy of the written prescription or verbal verification of my prescription from my optometrist. After more shuffling involving a medical release, faxes, more phone calls to my optometrist, and emails to Warby Parker customer service, my order was finally given the green light. Throughout the process, Warby Parker was very communicative about what they needed from me and my optometrist.

My glasses arrived yesterday in a tiny little box that included my green Harpers, a glasses case, and a cleaning cloth. The fit and prescription are perfect and I knew they would look good on my face, thanks to the try-ons. Overall, this was a fairly painless process and I couldn’t ask for a better result – great looking glasses and money leftover in my pocket.