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Posts Tagged ‘retro’

…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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Happy New Year!

feather&shoes
Nope, I haven’t been going naked, I’ve just been too lazy to snap pix. Here is a fun outfit I wore to cheer myself up in the face of the return to work this past week; I love the chance to wear polka-dots, and if I can mix in a floral it’s even better! It’s cobbled together from a couple of nifty little sale items I snagged at Anthro.

polkadottights

Blazer: H&M
Necklace Pendant & Dress: Anthropologie
Tights: Hue (gift from Santa!)
Shoes: Le Chateau

redeyefeather

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Back in the day, the day in which I wish I lived– you know, when ladies wore girdles, crinolines, gloves and hats– a girl did not have pairs of shoes numbering in the (ahem) three digits.
No.
A girl had one pair of everyday shoes and one pair of “smart” shoes. If she needed to switch it up a bit, she added a pair of shoe clips to her smart shoes.

I have been lucky enough to have had a few pairs of clips donated to me by my Gram and I wear them from time to time. Last week, though, I was commissioned to make a pair for my former boss. So I did. And now I am hooked– can’t stop making shoe clips!

I made these ones because I love the pom poms, but then remembered my cute new polka dot shoes– they match perfectly! How cute are these shoes with the pom pom clip?!

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Not that I wore this out dancing. Alas.
But here are my new glitter-icious shoes in a summery ensemble.

When I sat down to do this post, I realized that every single item of clothing EXCEPT the shoes came from H&M. Sad, I know. In my defence, the tunic is several years old. The necklace is a recent purchase and I got it because it reminds me of this amazing string of crystal beads I used to borrow from my mum in high school. (Where did it go, Mum? I miss it!) The clutch…. well, Gentle Reader, I have no excuse for the clutch. Other than, “Isn’t it shiny?!”

Tunic, Necklace, Clutch: H&M
Shoes: 9 West, via DSW

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Interwebs, sit down. No, really. SIT DOWN.

The unthinkable, yea, verily, the Dream Scenario has happened.
I was approached by……(are you sitting down?) a STREET STYLE PHOTOGRAPHER!
Yes! It’s true! Some people dream of being movie stars or basketball stars or winning Olympic medals, but I am a simpler sort, Gentle Reader. I dream of being recognized for my sartorial sensibilities. By Total Strangers. While Out and About.

Is it possible that Daniel Goodbaum chose me to photograph/film because he wants to put me in his website’s equivalent of Glamour’s “don’t” column? Yes. Yes, that is possible. But for now, I am going to just enjoy the fact that my 15 seconds of potential fame (Andy Warhol only said 15 minutes because he hadn’t met the the Internet…) might be imminent.

Here is a link to the site, in case you are interested in stalking it to see whether I make the cut or not.

Oh, also, he gave me his card and it was a Moo mini! Yay!

Also, I was wearing vintage.
I met more people today because of my vintage outfit than I normally meet in a month.
More on that later.

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LHR: London Flashback

My cousin, Scott, has been scanning in old slides of my Aunt Barb and Uncle Ken – yes I have the coolest relatives in the world. My Aunt Barb and Uncle Ken loved England and made many trips to Jolly Old over the years. The best thing about sifting through their photos is seeing places I’ve already visited looking EXACTLY the same, but the added bonus is the clothing flashback that provides context to East London style today.

Check this photo out. I think my Aunt was in Carnaby Street  but I’m not 100% sure. While the accompanying couple is clearly from another time, they’re not that far off people you might see today.

I absolutely love this woman’s hair. And, Paris Hilton can eat her heart out re: dog accessory. Cool. Cool. Cool. LOVE THAT COAT. YOU?

London Hipster Set

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I think I found this amazing photo at this wonderful blog.

As BMad would say, “Pretty great.”

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