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Posts Tagged ‘belt’

…if it ain’t got that swing!

LINDY-HOP-e1302691178364photo source

Hello, Gentle Reader. Both LHR and I have been missing in action for many months. Life gets busy! I’ve been pretty occupied blogging over here recently, and LHR is up to her ears in work and puppy training.

BUT, in the meantime, I have also taken up a new pursuit, something I have always wanted to learn to do. Yes, at the ripe old age of (mutter mutter mumble), I have started swing dancing.

And. I. Love. It.
Seriously, I might be addicted.

destacada-lindy-595x360photo source

How I got into swing dancing is a long story, one I promise to share in another post, but you won’t be surprised to learn that it was clothing that got me started. Tonight I am off to my weekly Lindy Hop class with the amazing Natalia and Luis of Lindy Hop Revolution and I am going to trial run a new outfit. Yes, I am keen to learn to dance well, but I’d be lying if I said I do not spend a lot of time planning my swing dancing outfits.

Here is the thing that no one really mentions about the swing scene:
dancing that hard is Mighty Sweaty Work.
Which means that wearing the kind of original vintage clothing that got me started on this whole journey is simply not an option; you do NOT want to be working up a sweat in a 1940s frock.
Nor do you want to expose fragile fabric and seams to vigorous physical activity.

So, I am always on the hunt for outfits that are cute, have a bit of a retro flair (if possible) and are comfortable for dancing. Tonight’s outfit is the following:

swinglesson3

1. I quickly learned that wearing my hair up is critical; it is marginally cooler to keep my hair off the back of my neck. Tonight, I am borrowing a look from Rosie the Riveter— 40s girls wore headscarves to protect their pin-curl sets while they worked. Mine is not a full headscarf because I don’t want to be too warm; I left the top open and just tied the scarf around my usual messy up-do. That way, I get a retro vibe, but don’t have to go to all the work of setting pin curls.

2. I prefer skirts and frocks to trousers– first of all, they twirl nicely and (I hope) can serve to distract from the fact that I am frequently busy making a mess of my footwork or forgetting to listen to the music and losing count… Secondly, as long as one chooses breathable fabric (cotton!), they are cooler for dancing; I am all about trying to remain ladylike despite being all sweaty. This little frock is a cheapie from H&M– I don’t feel  bad about making it work hard.

3. Flats. Yes, I know. I have had to leave my beloved heels on the shelf lately, Interweb. Lindy Hop can be very fast. Heels and learning to dance do not mix. At all. So, I am always on the lookout for cute, flat (ish) shoes that look cute with dresses and skirts. They also need to be comfortable. For this evening’s lesson (for most of my lessons, actually), I opt for my Chucks. They are comfy and they are flat.

swingclass1

Headscarf: Ardene
Dress: H&M (I went a size up for comfort while twisting, hopping and twirling.)
Belt: Winners (also a size up)
Chuck Taylors: SoftMoc

swinglesson2

I’m hoping the hairdo holds up– I have plans to match an outfit to a buddy’s this weekend and I want to wear my hair like this. If it works for class tonight, I know it will work for my weekly Saturday night dance, too!

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Are you addicted to Instagram? I am. It leaves Twitter in the dust, as far as I’m concerned. Instagram is all about the pretty. I am sure there are people somewhere who are using it for great social good, but I am not one of them and, sadly, I do not follow any of them. No sirree, my IG feed is all about the fluff. Pictures of cats (LOTS of pictures of cats!), pictures of pretty things, of food, of decor, of outfits. Yes, Interweb, I am as deep as a petri dish and Instagram allows me –nay, encourages me– to embrace that fact.

So, one of the folks I follow on IG is the very sweet Timnah of Created and Collected. Lots of ladies who sell vintage post pics of their lovely wares on their feeds. And the other day, Timnah posted the cutest, 1950s, bustled, bombshell, cotton dress. I casually inquired what size it was. Gentle Reader, it was MY SIZE.
Now, you know my #1 Vintage Shopping Rule: if it is your size, it is your dress. Period. The end.
There can be no dilly-dallying– a vintage frock is truly one-of-a-kind. A girl has to strike while the iron is hot. So I did. About a week later, this sweet little item arrived in the mail.

fashionisdanger

It’s home-made and I will need to do a bit of work to get the bustle (heck, yeah– I said bustle!) to sit properly, but I love the tucks in the bust region and, since it is vintage, the bodice is short-waisted, just like me. I know it’s a bit risky and probably not very smart to wear a bustle– who needs more junk in the trunk? But I am gonna do it anyway. I love that some girl made herself a bombshell dress with a BUSTLE!
I bet she had a great time in this dress.
I bet she was a total dish.

fashionisdanger

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A Blondie song— more to do with my hair than with my outfit, really. Although, I wore these trousers with different shoes than I usually do and realized/remembered (I haven’t had them on in two years, due to late, lamented sabbatical year…), that they are too long. So maybe there is a tide/flood sort of connection to the song?

When I tried to get these trousers shortened (because I do not trust myself to do it properly/well and they cost a LOT of money, so I don’t want to risk ruining them), no one would do it PROPERLY. That is to say, all the “seamstresses” refused to take the time to measure and pin each leg separately, preferring to take the easy route and just jam a pin in one cuff and approximate the hem length on both trouser legs based on that one pin. Um, no.
Why, Gentle Reader, does no one take pride enough in their craft to want to/be willing to just DO IT RIGHT?
So, unable to get the trousers properly hemmed, I decided to only wear them with my super-high shoes. Which decision I forgot. As you can see from the photos, they don’t look super-swell with the shoes I chose. Dang– the über-high ones KILL my feet….  Fashion, it would seem, is not only danger, it is also pain.

Top:  Jacob
Belt: Winners
Trousers: Theory
Shoes: 9 West

Also, if you are at all interested in seeing what the other side of the bedroom looks like, I have posted some photos of it here. There are also some of the autumn/winter mantle-scape, with which I am quite pleased. 🙂

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YYZ: Rebel Yell

Yup, I dunnit.
In flagrant violation of the Guidelines for Professional Attire, I sported (gasp!) leggings.

Let me explain. There is a revolt in progress around the banning of said sartorial item; there has been a lot of flouting of the GFPA this past week and, emboldened by my comrades in chic-ness, I decided to join the revolution.

Since I spent a large portion of my day hauling desks and giant computer tables around, hefting chairs over my head and clambering up on chairs, stools and tables in the noble pursuit of making bulletin boards look pretty, leggings and flats seemed like the only practical choice.  And they were.

Couldn't resist leaving S in this one! (and M's pile of laundry on the bed. Sigh.) Also, what is on the mirror? It looks like I have schmutz on my face. I don't-- it's on the mirror, due to my slovenly housekeeping.

Dress: (it was a dress, before I laundered it–  now it is more of a tunic-y thing) Femme de Carriere
Belt: Still can’t remember, prob’ly Aldo
Leggings: Nicole Miller
Flats: Office
Necklace: H&M 

Attempting to show you the interesting draping of the skirt-- not to show you a shot of my armpit...

AND, She Who Is Highest On The Food Chain, pronounced my outfit not only “gorgeous,” but also “perfect.”
And she is right; I mean, if they were good enough for Audrey Hepburn, if every single Parisienne worth her ballerines considers them a wardrobe staple, who are we to argue?

I rest the case for leggings, Gentle Reader.

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YYZ: Brr! It’s Cold In Here!

Last week, I went to my first millinery class at the fashion design faculty of a local college. I wore skinny jeans, a cute retro-inspired sweatshirt (yeah, I said “sweatshirt”) from José Fresco, as YVR calls it, a sparkly leather cuff and my hot pink ‘tween boots and ski jacket.

The fashion students were not dressed like that.
At all.
It was snowing. A lot.
But, despite the snow and slush and salt, there were cute, fashion-y, knee-high suede boots and there were high heels and there were ensembles. The kind of ensembles that clearly involved a LOT of time and effort in order to look effortlessly cool.  When I went to university, back when the earth was still cooling, people did NOT dress up. Ever. For anything. This was true even despite our proximity to Montreal and a large number of Montréalaises in our midst. Then again, I did not go to fashion school, so I suppose it is a horse of a different colour.

My girlfriends asked me what the kids in my class were wearing and I mentioned that they were all very stylish and that I looked, it turns out, very “Soccer Mom.” (Now, I am not a mom, but if I were, I’d be aiming more for classy MILF -is that an oxymoron?– than Soccer Mom, if you know what I mean…)
I knew I’d have to bring my A-game this week.

Bring. It. On.

The photos are even crappier than usual (did you even think that was possible??) because I took them in the space of about 30 seconds, but here is my back-to-school outfit:

 

Best shot of outfit, minus weird shadow in foot region...

Cardi & Skirt: Jacob
Vintage Fur Collar: handed down from my mum
Cami: Smart Set
Tights and Belt: H&M
Boots: Winners

 

Hard to see the fur collar--too bad, as it looked very cute! Super-grainy photo due to attempt to "enhance" lighting... Fail!

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YYZ: The Call Of The Wild

Racing out the door in the middle of a snowstorm, on my way to see Priscilla*with my mum (part of her Christmas present), I managed to snap a couple of shots of my deal of the day– 40% off!

Thing is, I bought a size too big. Again.
I believe it did fit me in the store, but I think it is made of that fabric that g-r-o-o-o-o-w-s once you put it on.
(Who invented that stuff? What were they thinking?!)
Had I known, I would have bought the smaller size. Right, no time to chat– must head to the sewing room to take in my new dress...

Weird shadows in foot region--??

Dress: Jacob
Belt & Cuff: H&M
Necklace: Ardene ($5!!!)
Boots: I can’t remember, but you have seen them here.

No lipstick!

*Yes, I could have used a song title or lyric from the show, but how could I possibly pass up the chance to use the lyric I did, thereby enabling me to post the following video?!

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YYZ: Black is Black

Yet another attempt to make Frank and the schlubby shoes look work-appropriate.
My strategy this time?
Smoke and mirrors: distract people with my lovely new earrings!

You can tell it's getting hot here: I am SHINY!

Dress: H&M
Belt: Vintage, gift from Grama
Cuff: Aldo
Earrings: TenThings
Shoe: SoftMoc

And, for your viewing and listening pleasure, a little trip back to 1967:

How about those special effects? How about those skinny trousers?!

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