Dressing Up

Why you should dress up every day
Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4

A few weeks ago at Lindy on the Rocks a fellow dancer made me think about the things we wear every day and why we wear them. So I was asked “why are YOU so dressed up?” and felt two things: a little embarrassed that it was pointed out and freaking proud as hell that I stepped up my game enough that someone noticed! I have not been known in the lindy scene for how I dressed, but after meeting a lady by the name of Sharon Davis, I finally was motivated to pick up my game. One can only spend so much time in the company of someone who dresses really well before you notice how unstylish you yourself are. 😀 And for the record, wearing something cute should never feel like a “strange” thing to do!

The long of the short of it, that comment got me thinking about dressing up and what that means. I like dressing up, but I don’t like the time it takes me. But just like anything, the more often you do it, the easier it gets. 🙂 Q: And really, why should “dressing up” be reserved for special occasions only? How about just because you’re done with work, or because it’s Tuesday, or because you needed something to wear with a fab pair of shoes? Ooh, or how about because you spend your life in sweaty rehearsal clothes and you’re over it! 😀

I was immediately inspired to create this list. More and more I am starting to believe in “dressing up” regularly (for no occasion at all) and I think you should too!

So why dress up? Here are 25 good reasons.

* Because life’s too short.

* Because we’re only young once. You’re more lovely than you know & have a rockin’ body and one day you’ll look back at yourself and wish you had! Don’t miss your chance!

* Fashion is a way to express yourself. What does your gear say about you? That you were rehearsing? That you’re into vintage?

* You might run into a totally hottie. You don’t want to look like a scrub, do you?

* Other people notice that you’ve got your “game clothes” on. Maybe they dig what you’re doing, maybe they don’t, but your effort is recognized.

* You might end up on a website (Swingfashionista anyone?)

* You deserve to look good!

* Perfect practice makes perfect, so if you want to look good, you have to practice putting outfits together until it’s a piece of cake. No need to throw the towel in.

* Gorgeous clothes and unique accessories are an awesome conversation starter.

* Saturday nights at a dance event aren’t the only time to celebrate.

* Because that fabulous party dress in your closet cost too much to only be worn once. Check out this blog about cost per wear. Quick synopsis: expensive jeans worn 3x a week for a year are a better deal than a $25 dress on worn once.

* It’s fun!!!

* Even if you live in a place like Pittsburgh and you live in a sketchy neighborhood to boot (cough, cough), cities don’t become stylish without someone taking the first step. Someone had to start wearing clothes from the 80’s again to make the chic!

* Dressing up helps you make fashion mistakes and get past them. Perhaps others can learn from your mistake. From me to you: check to see if your underwear stays in place by moving around a bunch. You’d hate to find out they gave you a massive wedgie at the US Open.

* It can build your confidence. Dressing unconventionally forces you to develop the self-assurance necessary to stand out from everyone else.

* Fashion is art. Don’t believe me? Check out this dress.

* If you’ve got it (vintage style, confidence, killer legs), flaunt it.

* If/when you have a 8-5 corporate job, you probably won’t have the freedom to wear whatever. If you’re not required to be in uniform, get crazy with it!

* Awesome clothes aren’t reserved for the rich and famous. That’s why there are knock-off and affordable stores!

* According to the Mayans the world will end on 12/21/2012 – that’s only 3 years and 102 days from now! Y2K was quite the let down, surely this will be too, but why not be on the safe side? Spend the next 3 years looking good!!

* Carrie Bradshaw and Derrick Zoolander would not approve of your cheap jeans and UGG boots. You can do better than that. And deep down, you know I’m right.

* Doing your hair (ponytails and basic braids don’t count) can give you a pass on the rest of your look.

* Nothing beats self confidence. When you look good, you feel good. It’s hard to feel crappy when you look at yourself and you LOVE what you see.

* It’s fun to have people ask you where you where you got your stuff.

* You want to. That’s the only reason that matters.

Every Man Should Carry a Handkerchief

I just finished reading an outstanding article written by Brett & Kate McKay from The Art of Manliness – a blog dedicated to uncovering the lost art of being a man – about why men should carry handkerchiefs. You should absolutely go to the site, read the article, and look around at the other awesome posts, and until then, here is my abbreviated take on it.

There are a few things that men should carry in their pockets, once thing being a (clean) handkerchief. If your ladies starts to cry, you have something you can offer her; if your nose starts to run, you won’t have to blow the mess on the sidewalk; and if you’re sweaty from dancing, you have something to dry off with.

Why Carry a Handkerchief?

Handkerchiefs are pretty handy items. We ladies carry a purse filled with various item (often more than necessary) where most men carry the bare minimum. And yet your noses run just as often as the lady’s do. However, if you carried a hankie, you wouldn’t have to go wipe your nose with a piece of your clothing or pull a Texas nose blow. Here’s another scenario: it’s summer time, you’re wearing a light colored linen suit, sitting on the porch, listening to some blues drinking a mint julep and you’re feeling moist. Do you grab a paper towel? No way; you take an embroidered hankie out of your pocket and dab your brow. Mainly this is what a handkerchief for. Ben Morris tends to carry them with him while he’s dancing and instead of sweating on his partners, he dries himself off and doesn’t sweat on his partner any more than necessary.

Remember leaders, it’s not just about you, it’s about your follow too. Think of what a man you’ll be if you come prepared to something that might make a girl cry: a chic flick, an amazing routine, or a breakup. Girls, just like your fellow dude, feel vulnerable on occasion, and if you can come to their (my) rescue, they’ll not only appreciate it, but also remember the offer. According to the article this post is based off of, “It’s a gallant and chivalrous gesture; there’s just something comforting about it.” McKay, Brett and Kate. (2009, March 26). Post about Handkerchiefs. Message posted to
http://artofmanliness.com/2009/03/26/every-man-should-carry-a-handkerchief/

It’s not icky

We are a very germaphobic culture these days, so no wonder why popularity of the handkerchief has decreased so significantly. Don’t believe me? Do you or anyone you know have hand sanitizer? Do you own Febreeze or a similar product? Do you have something in the bathroom to cover up smells? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Heads up: you need more than one hankie; a clean one for every day of the week and at the end of the week, they should be thrown into the laundry. And this should go without say, but just in case, if you offer you handkerchief to someone, please make sure it’s unused. That’s just nasty.

Maybe you’re not still not convinced. Maybe you feel like like it’s gross. Well guess what, it’s YOUR grossness. Man up and deal with your snot (and if you’re a lindy hopper, you shouldn’t be afraid of sweat otherwise you’re doing the wrong dance). Another bonus: it’s Earth-friendly.

How to Carry a Handkerchief

Typically a handkerchief is carried in your pants. There’s a party in your pants, and I’m invited (to use it…..maybe). FYI, and handkerchief isn’t a pocket square which is that bit of flash that adorns your suit pocket. The can be plain, basic cotton ones or be a little flashy, flashy. You can also personalize them by having your initials embroidered onto them.

So that’s my synopsis of of their post. Make sure you head over to their website, read the real post, and enjoy their other amazing posts! Here are some of my other favorites.

Wearing your Legs

Aside from how fun tights and leggings can be, I think all lindy hopping ladies should have a nice pair of skin colored tights, a good pair of black hose, and a hot pair of fishnets in their wardrobe. You can buy your basics at a Nordstroms, Victoria Secret, Target, etc or for an emergency pair run to your local drug store. And if you feel like your underwear should go the extra distance of keeping your wobbly-bits in place, then you should get a pair of Spanx. No only do these body-shapers smooth everything out, but they hold you in!

So after scouring the internet for tights that I thought were super classy (and scandalous), here are some hot commodities:

From Free People

Cuban Heel Backseam Hose Flower Tattoo Fishnets

From ASOS

Falke Sexy Cotton Coloured Contrast Back Seam ASOS Spider Net Tights (+)

From Babygirl Boutique

From Urban Outfitters

Sheer Diamond Tights Tuscan Floral Tight

Katie Anderson had some pretty amazing tights on while in Como, Italy. Total hotness. If you have any pictures of you in tights or have other favorites, let me know!!

Bow-tastic Fascinators

As a kid I hated bows, but for some reason I just love them now. Some of the bows below clip in and some are on headbands (or alice bands if you are British). Well priced at £7-£20, except for the last two are over £130. Hopefully this will at leave give you ideas so that you can make your own if you have the time and means.

Chapeau Claudette Best Of British Bow

ASOS.com has expanded into one of the most comprehensive shopping destinations online and is the no. 2 player in the UK online clothing market. They’ve got some incredible pieces that are sampled from celebrities as well as their own unique designs. Here are some of their fun hair accessories that are all on sale!

Helene Berman Fluorescent Big Bow Head Band Eugenia Kim Silk Bow Headband Johhny Loves Rosie Exclusive to Asos Lilac and Blue Heart Fascinator

Philip Treacy Neutral Blossom FascinatorPhilip Treacy Asymmetric Neutral Bow Headpiece

Here are some other bow accessories that I liked:

From Top Shop

From Urban Outfitters

From Modcloth

Shoes from ASOS

ASOS.com is the UK’s largest independent online fashion and beauty retailer. With over 19,400 branded and own label products available and 1000 new lines added each week, ASOS.com is rapidly becoming the market leader in the UK online fashion world. Here are some of their cute shoes on sale!

size chart conversion

Fornarina Platform Peep Toe Slingback Sandal

Fornarina Platform Peep Toe Slingback Sandal

I feel the staple shoe for a female lindy hopper is a comfortable flat shoe. These shoes have a little more pizazz than the basic canvas ones, yet are still simple. I’ve ordered from ASOS before and they were easy to work with and returns were super simple if I ordered the wrong size.

ASOS Leather Lace-Up Flat Shoes ASOS Lace Up Jazz Pump

ASOS Leather Brogue Shoes KG By Kurt Geiger Contrast Lace Up Shoe

Kg By Kurt Geiger Laurel Lace Up Shoes ASOS Patent Brogue Fringe Flat Shoe

For more shoes, visit a similar post on Swingfashionista!

Fashion predicting the economy?

For all those who laughed and criticized “Devil wears Prada” and “Legally Blonde” here’s a piece of news: fashionistas already predicted the crashing of the world market!! Shocked! Don’t be. Apparently if the citizens had paid a little more attention to fashion markets and less to the stock market our economy would be having a ball instead of bawling its way to bankruptcy! Here’s how, the 2009 collections that walked the runway this September not just in Paris but New York and London all had a similar theme “depression”! The models were seen walking up and down the runway in 1930’s style of black or white and common working women’s attire!

An article by Rachel Syme.

How did fashion designers predict the recession while financiers got caught with their pants down?

It seems none of the usual lookouts—not the Treasury’s watchdogs, not Wall Street’s six-figure soothsayers—foresaw the fiscal calamity now threatening to return soup to its glory days as an entire meal.

Well, almost no one. Were the Fed run by Miuccia Prada instead of Ben Bernanke, it might have been on the ball, judging by the spring 2009 fashion collections recently trotted down the runways in New York, Paris and London. Of the Marc Jacobs show last September, New York Times fashion journalist Cathy Horyn wrote, “[It] recalled not merely the common threads of working women, black or white, but also their drift through the dirty ’30s from country to city.” Indeed, several of the outfits reflected a stylish wealth-gap Depression-era garb, perfect for pushing a shopping cart full of worthless Benjamins down Fifth Avenue. Just remember: fingerless gloves or a tattered scarf. Never both, darling.

Click here for the gallery.

DIY Friday: Doo.Ri Inspired Embellished Tights

I saw this post on Leann Peterson blog and loved it so much that I wanted to post it (and give her credit). You rock Leann!!

Cocorosa embellished tights main

I came across this cute DIY, which reminisces of the embellished tights seen at the Doo.Ri F/W 09 runway show, from style blogger Cocorosa. And if like her, you enjoy prancing around lower Manhattan in poofy white tutus, these tights are perfect for you, too.

Cocorosa tight4

What you need:

Plain sheer Tights– I used the Duane Read “Silken Mist” from Leggs, they consist of 87 percent nylon and 13 percent spandex. It is a cheap synthetic blend that doesn’t run as fast. Regular yarn, needles and scissors.

Trims: I got lucky looking at bridal trims. You should make sure to check the back of the trim to see if there is any stitching which is holding the trim together. Otherwise if you cut randomly you may loose beading or embellishments.

Embellishments: Sequins, pearls, etc

Cocorosa, tight3

Start cutting out the shapes of flowers and Patterns from the trims and laces, try to be different in how you cut out the patterns and the sizes so it doesn’t look too symmetrical.

Cocorosa, tight5

It is best to wear the tights when you are stitching so you can see the exact positioning and make sure the applicants will be neatly attached.

Cocorosa, tight2

Start by stitching on the bigger patterns; holding it down with one hand while stitching around the pattern, I love the loose threads but you can cut it off as you please, when the biggest embellishments are set its easy to fine tune with finer details like sequins and tiny pearls:) Try mixing and layering different patterns together for a richer feel of design.

Cocorosa Embellished Tights

Two other great ideas from her can be found here: Diamond-cut Leggings and a Fringe Zipper Necklace.