Tag Archives: two tone

Simon James Cathcart Review: Spectators and Deco Polo

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.


I had already backed the Kickstarter for the navy/cream spectators and ordered my Deco polo when I started to see the Simon James Cathcart apparel on others, first the polo on Nicholas Centino while vintage shopping in Cleveland for All Balboa Weekend, then on Glenn Crytzer on Facebook, and then on just about every vintage-loving gent I ran across in person. That the Deco polo was so prevalent and widespread so quickly speaks to its necessity. Vintage clothing isn’t always about being dressed up for fancy affairs, we want to look sharp in casual-wear, with all those nice vintage details that are missing from modern clothing.  Unfortunately, not a lot of vintage knitwear survived, so we’re lucky SJC decided to do something about it.

My navy spectator shoes arrived in the mail week before last, so of course I have gigs all weekend and then it rains all week so I can’t wear them. I had already seen their glory on Facebook, through SJC’s posts of customers who shared their first ensembles with these glorious shoes.  It was so inspiring that I couldn’t help but plan an ensemble of my own. Who am I kidding, I already had my outfit planned out, maybe three outfits…

The first sighting of the canvas and leather spectators in person on another person occurred at Classic City Swing in Athens, Georgia – a pair in acorn/cream on the feet of Augusta, Georgia dancer Keith Beckman. He came over to show them to me, I squeed a bit, he thanked me for posting about the shoes, and he had good reviews for their danceability – the leather sole is top notch, you can tell just by looking at it, but Keith was worried about the small rubber bit on the rear outside of the heel. What he discovered is that the rubber didn’t get in the way of his dancing, spinning, or sliding, but he could use the rubber as a stopper depending on how he distributed his weight. Of course they looked impeccable, I had already spotted him across the room in them before he came over to talk to me, because they are SHARP AS HELL.

I finally got to wear my navy and white spectators this Friday, with navy trousers and a striped shirt.  It didn’t take long to break them in and by the end of the day they felt comfortable, even though I had worn them at my standing desk all day and walked around downtown during lunch for about 20 minutes.  They are men’s shoes, but they fit well – my heel is a regular size, but the ball of my foot and toes can err on the side of wide and I had plenty of room in the toe box without feeling like I was wearing shoes that were too big for me.  I wear a 7 in women’s U.S. sizes and I took a size 4 in SJC’s U.K. men’s sizes.  I received several compliments on my shoes during my lunchtime walk and some dude in the parking deck was definitely checking out my shoes when I got out of the car that morning.


On Saturday I went out to lunch at Monuts in my green Deco polo, which was perfect for a fall transitional day – it was a season-appropriate color and matched my 1940’s Wild West scarf, but it was also good for the weather, which was sunny and 80-something degrees.  It was comfortable and easy to dress down with jeans and Keds, but I have seen this paired with jackets for a more dressy look.  I really struggle with that sort of in-between look that so many Americans seem to gravitate toward, not dressy, but not too casual – it seems I’m either in a fancy dress or in my pajamas, so the Deco polo is filling a bit of that in-between niche in my wardrobe.  For sizing reference, I typically wear a U.S. women’s size 10 and I took an XS in the SJC polo.  I’ll leave you with this description of the polo from the SJC website:

“Beautifully tailored and made from the truly remarkable bamboo plant.  It is circular knitted in the old school style and thus very slubby giving the shirt a distinctly raw 1930’s look.  Super soft feel and at 230 grams these polos have a nice weighty feel about them.”

I am so pleased with my Simon James Cathcart purchases.  It’s important to remember that these items are limited batch specialty items and some are based on Kickstarter/pre-orders, so it doesn’t give you a lot of time to ponder, “Do I need this?”  The spectators and polo were an easy choice for me because I almost never find good navy shoes (much less vintage two-tone navy flats) or green shirts and these are things I want in my wardrobe. There are only the acorn/cream spectators left on the website and some of the Deco polo colors have sold out, so be sure to act swiftly to secure what you like.

I can’t wait to see what SJC comes up with next, he seems to have a knack for finding these “holy grail” vintage items and then reproduces them for us to enjoy today.

SJC Spectator Crusade: Women’s Sizes & Small Men’s Sizes

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.


As you may have read in a post earlier this week, I wept tears of infinite sorrow that there were no Simon James Cathcart spectators in my size that I could order through SJC’s wonderful summer shoe Kickstarter, BUT THROUGH THE MAGIC OF THE INTERNET I have spoken with SJC and he has offered to make this shoe available to us sizes 7-8 US women’s/sizes 5-6 US men’s/sizes 4-5 UK men’s (I wear a US women’s 7) on one condition: he needs 8 of us to back the shoe at each size in order for it to be cost-effective for the factory to produce this size as a part of this run.

I wasn’t sure if could rustle up enough support from people wearing these shoe sizes, but this is such a quality, unique shoe that I thought there might be enough lady dandies or gents with smaller feet that we MIGHT be able to pull this off.  It can be any of the three colors, we just need 8 people to back the SHOE at each SIZE.


Can I find 16 people who love this shoe and need it in their lives?  I know you’re out there!

A few more details on this marvelous shoe:

  • They are made by hand in Northampton (the shoe capital of England) on 1930’s lasts, so the shape is there from the start.
  • They will last a lifetime. How? They are “Goodyear Welted” (the gold seal of quality) which means as the soles wear out they can be easily replaced while the shoe remains totally intact.
  • The shoes are lined in soft calfskin for comfort, with a super comfortable cork footbed so your feet breathe.
  • They come in three gorgeous shades; Navy, Oxblood and Acorn – order whatever color you like, we only need 8 people to order a particular SIZE.
  • The real bargain here is they are going to be 2.5 times this price out in the real world and if we don’t do this, the real tragedy will be they will never be in our size.  NEVER AVAILABLE TO YOU EVER AGAIN.

As per usual Kickstarter, you don’t pay until the end of the project and you only pay if the project is funded.  If you are ordering a size 7  US women/ 5 US men/ 4 UK men OR for size 8 US women/6 US men/5 UK men, SJC has added a special early bird spectator reward/pre-order option just for us – you can see it if you scroll down “Lindy Shopper Deal” – click HERE if you want this shoe as much as I do!


Simon James Cathcart Spectators

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.


SJC spectators in acorn.

I keep seeing Simon James Cathcart pop up in my newsfeed and in Facebook groups and everything I am seeing is just fantastic, not only for classic menswear in general, but also for swing dancers.  In September I blogged about his 1930’s jeans, something that dancers could wear for everyday and for a more casual dance look with or without vintage styling.  All of his stuff presents as carefully crafted, quality goods and I am all about those things!  How fancy is SJC?  This fancy: “For the past 12 months SJC has been quietly delighting dedicated devotees and attracting new fans from far and wide with limited edition runs of hard to find, high-end, vintage inspired pieces. More than a brand, this is a movement made up of over 200 of the earth’s most discerning menswear’ collectors. Led by Simon James Cathcart we have moved forwards with the meticulous design and construction of otherwise unobtainable pieces.”

We’re here to talk about these glorious two tone spectators, which are presently being sold through a Kickstarter (only 23 days left!) along with some equally sweet reproduction boots.  I’m going to lead with the fact that SJC has made these spectators in a wide range of sizes to fit both men AND some women (but not quite small enough for my feet *weeps*). UPDATE:  My size, US women’s 7/men’s 5 and US women’s 8/men’s 6 will be available – read the post here and then select the Lindy Shopper reward to get these sizes!

But why Kickstarter?

“Your pledge is going to help fund the production, materials and tooling costs involved with bringing back to life these historical classics. In return, you receive footwear at easily half of the retail price and will walk away wearing hand-crafted pieces of British footwear history.”

The price for these spectators via Kickstarter is around $223 USD (depending on the exchange rate) and that’s only slightly more than Remix and less than those holy grail Allen Edmonds you’ve been eyeballing.  Retail price is quoted at $600.  JUST LOOK AT THEM, this is a beautiful shoe.  I’m wiping away the drool from the corners of my mouth right now.  And can we talk about how you can never find a good looking navy shoe?  It’s kind of like the shrimp and grits rule, if the stellar navy shoes are on the menu, you get them.

To be clear, this is a summer shoe – the cream portions of the shoe are canvas, with the most of the rest of the shoe (including the lining) being made from leather.  The canvas is treated with Scotchguard to prevent marks.  Though, now I’m thinking of how cool it would be, once a pair of these did get scuffed up, to get an artists to custom paint the canvas portion of this shoe…a life and an afterlife!

I’m going to post a bunch of gorgeous photos of these shoes now – enjoy, and don’t forget that the Kickstarter ends soon!


La La Land, Starring Aris Allen


Emma Stone, modern Lindy Hopper?

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

After spotting Aris Allen’s white mesh oxford in The Help, it comes as no surprise that their two tone mesh oxford and wingtip would make an appearance in a new film called La La Land, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as a jazz pianist and aspiring actress in Hollywood respectively.  Thanks to Ben Beccari for the tip, via Jive Junction.🙂

But what are Aris Allens doing on the feet of these actors? Will there be dancing? Big arms? Stay tuned!


Saint Savoy Riviera – My New Favorite Dance Shoe

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

The regal profile of a perfect pair of dance heels.

The regal profile of a perfect pair of dance heels.

I swear I’m not saying this because they are the juiciest shade of green this side of a Granny Smith apple, I’m saying this because they are all of the things I am looking for in a dance shoe. The new Saint Savoy Riviera, a gorgeous t-strap dance shoe, is all of these things and more: something low enough that I can Lindy Hop all night, but high enough that I can benefit from a heel for Balboa; something that I can dance in all night without hurting the balls of my feet or causing blisters (on the first night of dancing, no less! No blisters!); soft, flexible leather, yet with enough support to withstand the stress of the dance; did I mention the perfect heel height (3.5 cm, which is about 1.4 inches)? And the soft sueded sole? And the pristine finishing on the shoe? And the divine two tone color? And the cutouts allowing for even more movement? And the sweet vintage styling? I haven’t been this excited about a pair of dance shoes since my first pair of Remixes 8 years ago, I’m in love…

The Riviera is so new that it’s not even on the Saint Savoy website yet, but will be in late November, just in time for the gifting season. They are taking orders, though, so contact them about placing your order. The green Rivieras are almost sold out already (I’m looking at you, Castle Camp)! Also available in light blue, brown, and a sassy tan/red color combo.

Here’s a collection of photos of my love affair with this dance shoe:

Top view

Top view – I can neither confirm nor deny that they are the same color as my ’64 Vespa 90.😉

Side view

Side view – can my entire life be this technicolor? It’s always good to have goals.

Rear view

Rear view

Inside view

Inside view

Casual view, aka recovering asthmatic view.

Casual view, aka recovering asthmatic view.

Charlie Stone – Swing Dance Shoes

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.


I can thank Raleigh dancer Tiffany Linquist for the tip about Charlie Stone Shoes, which is presently a placeholder “coming soon” website, but the corresponding Facebook page for this business indicates that this is a swing dance shoe company – “Swing dance shoes designed for comfort, support and good old fashioned style. Online store coming soon!” Further inspection of the Facebook page shows a single style of footwear – a flat t-strap shoe with cutouts/overlays at the toe, in either black or red/cream. A new dance shoe company for swing dancing that makes flats is very promising news, indeed!

Via Tumblr, I find that the company is is based in Australia and Singapore and run by a dancer named Samantha Szetu, who also has an adorable blog called Style and Swingouts. Charlie Stone is set to launch in September/October 2014, with the signature t-strap style – check out the specs on this sweet dance shoe:

– Free shipping worldwide (what what!)
– Handmade with 100% quality leather
– Hidden heel elevation
– Wide bottom sole for maximum traction
– Soft leather bottom sole
– Supportive insole

One of the most common shoe questions I get is where to find dance flats that are dressier than Keds – I think Samantha had a similar issue, based on this statement from the FB page: “I love lindy hop and adore fashion, but often the two don’t get along, particularly when the songs are fast and the night is long. So I decided to make a shoe that worked for me, so whatever the floor type, my fashion choice, song speed or time of night, I would always feel confident and comfortable.”

Check out this video of some of the Singapore dancers giving the shoes a test-run (or test-swingouts!). Looking forward to the launch! If you’ve already tried a pair of these kicks, please leave us a review in the comments section.🙂


Brown and White Aris Allen Wingtips on eBay, Size 12

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Because men’s dance shoes so rarely appear on eBay, I’m passing along this gently used pair of men’s brown and white Aris Allen wingtips, size 12. Starting bid is $25, but you could buy them now for $32 (plus a very reasonable $4.50 shipping).


DIY Wingtip Keds

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.


One of the first things on my Facebook feed this morning was a photo of a pair of red and a pair of green wingtip Keds, made by St. Louis dancers Beccy Aldrich and Kayce Maureen. I love a DIY project and the shoes were so adorable I couldn’t resist posting them here.

They got the idea from Pinterest, which linked to this site in a language unknown to me. However, the photographs take you step by step through the process so you can make a pair of your own! Beccy adds that they used fabric pens to create all the patterns on the shoe, and supplemented with white fabric paint to highlight the dots in the brogueing. We’re not sure what the turquoise pen is in the photo.

If you’re going to Lindy Focus, you’ll get to see the green pair and red pair in person – nice job, ladies!

Lady Dandy: Etienne Aigner’s Kimber Oxford

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Veteran elegant-lady-shoe-and-handbag producer Etienne Aigner has a great women’s wingtip oxford out right now that they are calling Kimber (Jem and the Holograms?) – it’s a solid looking wingtip that comes in four color combinations: black, a reddish brown, two tone caramel and brown, and two tone olive green and dark brown. This is exactly the kind of shoe I would pick up if I actually wore pants on a regular basis. It also appears to have that half rubber, half fabric sole that the Payless shoes have, which means this shoe has a high dance potential. The price isn’t bad at $78.99, but if you register for Zulily, they are on special for $54.99 through August 18.

eBay Seller qbiffa: Men’s and Women’s 40’s Staples from the UK

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

The pattern…

…the result.🙂

Every once in a while I will come across an eBay seller that I can’t quite figure out – does the seller make the clothes? Hand-knit the sweaters? Is this small batch, but manufactured? How can they sell these garments at such good prices?

I came across eBay seller qbiffa’s store when one of their lovely reproduction 1940’s sweaters popped up in one of my searches. I saw that the sweater, which was not in my size, could be ordered in other sizes and, to my delight, there were many other colors and styles of these little short sleeved sweaters available. Then I saw wide leg pants for men and women, men’s button down short sleeved shirts, and 40’s repro jackets, with nothing costing over $120.00. Even better, the seller posted a photo of the original pattern for the sweaters and men’s items, so you can see the origin and maybe get some ideas about what to pair each garment with and how it would have been worn.

The items show can be made in different sizes and colors, simply contact the seller if the item you like is not in your size or colors.🙂 I wonder why this particular seller picked eBay, it seems like Etsy might be a better forum for this kind of transaction…

I considered this find so good, I almost waited to post until after I bought what I wanted from the store…but there were too many things I wanted and I was too excited! Here are my faves:

WANT this color combo

Blue high waist jumper

High waist trousers for women, available in a number of colors

Men’s short sleeved dress shirt

Repro men’s 1940’s trousers

Adorable shawl collared sweater

Men’s reproduction 1940’s jacket

Love this repro 1940’s plaid jacket

Purple, rainbows, and a rosette? SO HAPPY


Another great variation on the casual jacket

Ski bunny variation

Newsflash: Aris Allen Mesh and Leather Oxford

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Since I didn't snap a photo of the Aris Allen prototype, here's a version by Allen Edmunds, their "Strawfut," to give you an idea of the mesh and leather combo, but with a $300+ price point.

This past weekend at DCLX, amidst discussions of trumpet skirts, Dancestore.com owner Gay Santelmann showed me
her prototype of an Aris Allen
mesh and leather oxford, set
to go into production and be available for purchase in, approximately, 4 to 6 months. Excited! I’ve been looking for
a vintage pair for my husband and it’s just not happening…
but now it is!

I’m a big fan of the Dancestore.com mesh and leather heeled oxford for its comfort, flexibility, and breatheability. I can imagine that the same concept will translate well into an oxford for men. Kudos to Dancestore.com for picking up on this functionality.

Did I think to take a photo of the prototype? No, of course not, but the shoe I saw was two tone, with dark brown leather and tan mesh, and was copied from a 1940’s pair of the same coloring. Gay said they would also be available in black leather/white mesh, and possibly a black and navy combo.

Deck the Halls with Vintage Shoes

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Fa la la la la, la la LA LAAAAAA! *ahem*

I’m in a spirited mood this week and perhaps some more lovely shoes will get you feeling merry and bright. Here’s a bevy of vintage beauties from Etsy. Enjoy!

Burgundy 1930's shoes with crazy cutout details

Plum 1930's peep-toe shoes with lovely cutout/zig-zag design

Brown 1930's Mary Janes with embossed detail and tone on tone textures

Bone leather heels with cutouts in a wide (EE) width!

1930's/40's cornflower blue/salmon pink peep toe heels

1940's two tone black/tan platforms

Red 1940's perforated oxfords

Oh, love the detail on this shoe, like eyelet lace...

1940's lace up, sling back heels

Stacy Adams Shoes

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Yesterday morning, Lithuanian swing dancer Mindaugas Bikauskas reminded me about Stacy Adams shoes, as he posted on Facebook that he had just received two pairs (it IS so exciting to get a new pair of shoes). I remember a time when a brand new pair of Stacy Adams shoes was all that Dirk from Big Bad Voodoo Daddy wanted for Christmas…but I digress. 😉

‘Tis the season for giving and a lot of guys I know seem to perpetually need new dance shoes. Stacy Adams is great for providing both standard, classic colors and some non-traditional color options for shoes. If you’d like for people to notice your footwork amongst the sea of white cap toes, check out the line from Stacy Adams.

Here are some viable options from the Stacy Adams website:

Gah! These are gorgeous! Someone please buy them and ask me to dance. Also available in black/white combo.

The Madison, available in 7 colors

The Faith - classic cap toe in black patent leather

For those who have always wanted spats...available in four colors

The Dayton - a different take on the oxford, in four color combos

Festive red oxfords to go with your Santa suit.🙂

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

My Heinies, Part Deux

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I noticed yesterday that the My Heinies website has officially expanded their line of dancewear to include the shoes, hosiery, and hair flowers I mentioned in my previous post on My Heinies and their creator, New York dancer and instructor Carol Fraser. This certainly calls for another post highlighting these goodies, because now we have pictures.🙂

Before we get to the goods, I want to point out that Carol does her homework. At week one of the Balboa Experiment, Carol brought in samples of everything and held a focus group to talk about what Balboa dancers look for in a shoe – heel shape, heel height, colors, styles, straps, where the shoe falls on the top of your foot, suede v. hard leather, and everything in between. The shoes now available on the My Heinies website represent the results of this group discussion, most of which Carol had overnighted to the Experiment house so that we could try them on in person, give further feedback, and have the option to purchase. The sample shoes remained at the Experiment house for weeks 2 and 3 to try out as well, and I’m sure she’s solicited feedback from a number of other dancers. Another great thing about using the Experiment as a testing ground was that it gave Carol an international perspective on what dancers would want to wear, not just dancers in the U.S.

Here’s what I love from My Heinies’ new selections of shoes, hosiery, and hair flowers (and don’t forget to check out the bloomers, I think Carol’s ordering a new batch very soon):

I'll start with my favorite shoe, which I helped create during the focus group - Melina in Pure Pewter with a 2 inch heel. 2 inches means comfortable Lindy Hop height for me and being able to Balboa for longer periods of time; pewter color means it goes with everything

This shoe encapsulates the elements that spoke for the majority - solid pair of basic black shoes, t-straps, slightly open toed, slightly lower heel, with pretty detailing - you've seen this shoe before, from Tara Tango, but this model has a 2.5 inch heel instead of 3 inch

Sonrisa in Vanilla Biscotti - this was a really popular shoe with lovely two tone details

Mirage in Fresca Blue - one of the colors that came up was purple and I love this bluish purple - knowing Carol, there is more purple to be had, so stay tuned

Love these nude fishnets with a contrast seam

Sheer hosier with seams, bows and tassels...I am intrigued

Sheer hosiery with seams, bows and tassels - I am intrigued

Petite gardenias

A pair of lovely green orchids