Saturday, July 14, 2012

Dresses, Shoes and Random Ballroom Dance Divinity

Last night attended not one, but TWO dance parties.  I started out at Gotta Dance, a studio I frequent for social dances.  It was a great time, but I left early to attend an 'alumni party' at Premiere Dance, the studio I took lesson at before I switched to my current coach, Marcel.  It was so good to see old friends and dance with people I hadn't danced with in a very long time. Of course, I danced myself into a satisfying, sweaty dance frenzy.
I also made a quick trip yesterday to the newly opened Ross store.  They have racks and racks of cute dresses. Can't wait to go back.

I fell in love with this dress; it was priced at $13.99!

OH, I thrifted too...between my lesson, seeing my 'ward' and the dance parties.  When I started thrifting, I said I would NEVER buy shoes.  I guess I lied.  I found these lovely Eurosoft shoes at an 'upscale' consignment shop for $12.00.  I don't think they have even been worn.

Manas, Lea Foscati
I also found these palpitation inducing Italian made sandals for $12.00!  I adore the style.  I looked up the brand online and found similar styles for around $150.00.  The sizing on the bottom is international sizing and they are stamped "made in Italy".  I love them...I feel so European chic in them.

Ross, $7.99
I wore this last night to the dance parties.  So comfortable!  I paired it with a wide black belt.

$16.50!
Not a thrift purchase, but deeply discounted New York and company dress. Went in to pay my CC bill, walked out with this dress.  I DID pay cash for it...as I have vowed not to use credit cards anymore.  A couple months ago, I had been eyeballing this dress at full price. 

Jones Wear, thrifted, new with tags, $20.00.  Original price marked  $80.00
This was also thrifted at the same consignment shop where I found the shoes.  Still had the tags on it!  I don't usually visit consignment shops, because they can be overpriced on some items.  Since I often find items at the Goodwill that are brand new, brand name and in excellent condition, it makes more sense to shop there.  This shop drew me in though, with a lovely window display filled with beautiful dresses.


I've made a commitment to wear a dress every day for the rest of the until it's too cold to wear dresses.  I may end up wearing trousers more often than I intend to when the semester begins again...especially on teaching days...but I'm going to wear dresses as much as possible.

Now for the Dancing Divinity!

I thought I would share some of the lovely jewelry I wear for dancing.

http://www.designsbylyn.com/
Ballroom jewelry is not typical jewelry.  It is preferable that there is no metal on any piece.  It lies flatter, is lighter and more comfortable and holds up to sweat and action without irritating the skin like metal can.

Danceshopper.com

I made these earrings and the barrette...if you look closely, you can see hairspray residue on the barrette.  Dancers frequently re-spray their hair between dance heats.  

purchased from a competition vendor
My favorite necklace; I wear it with my green competition dress.

I wear this for showcase performances
This necklace does have metal as it is not true ballroom jewelry.  I wear it for showcase performances and keep my competition pieces strictly for comps

This picture represents a decision I am most proud of.  My new friend Stacy is wearing a dress that I had purchased for myself a couple of years ago.  The dress really did not flatter me and was too long.  It also needed to be taken in at the waist and shoulders.  It needed a lot of work to fit me.  More than I was prepared to have done.  I purchased the dress because I loved the color, and another of my professional favorite dancers wore a dress this color.  You can see that dress in the video link below...the dance and the dress are breathtaking!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2qGMeXd5c8

It's a striking color, but it's not a good one for me.  The dress was a mistake for me.  It hung in my closet and I felt terribly guilty for buying it.  I purchased my pink dress and my green dress and was happy with them...but felt awful about this purchase that just didn't suit me.  I toyed with selling it but hadn't decided which venue to use to sell it.  Then I was approached by a male dance friend who's amateur partner was looking for a blue dress.  He knew I had this dress.  She tried it on and it fit her perfectly.  It looks so beautiful on her, doesn't it?  She's buying it and is so excited to have her first ballroom dress!  I'm selling it for 25% of what I paid for it.  That's the decision I'm proud of; I wanted to help make it possible for her to buy her first real ballroom dress, without gouging her budget. Quality ballroom dresses are very expensive.  It's not an easy task to buy a ballroom dress!  I have made many, many dress mistakes before I figured the whole thing out.  There are many things to consider; color, fit, comfort, appropriateness for the dancing, noticeability on the dance floor.  The dress must fit like a glove and stay put.  It has to have a built in body suit to accomplish this.  It has to have movement on the floor..the bottom has to twirl and swirl and float when dancing.  And, a proper fitting and beautiful dress allows the dancer peace of mind on the comp floor...when it's right, it's one less thing to be distracted by.  There's so much more to consider than I can write here.  It's a big decision, and it's hard to find a first dress...at an affordable price.

http://www.designsbylyn.com/
This is Stacy.
Doesn't she look lovely?  She is so thrilled to have found this dress.  It looks so much better on her than it does on me.  It belongs to her.  I'm so happy to have been able to help her with this.


I am an encourager.  I enjoy encouraging people to achieve their goals.  I love sharing information I have gleaned from my mistakes and experiences.

Can I encourage any of you to dance?

33 comments:

  1. You look great in dresses and I sure love those brown sandals in particular. I'm following!!

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    1. Hi, Thanks for following! I love the brown sandals too. They were a good find. I'm digging this thrifting thing!

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  2. So I went thrifting yesterday and used your tips. My daughter got a really cook skirt and top. I had my hands on a great white felt hat that had an ugly shape and thought of remaking it. I put it down and decided to think about it. It was GONE the next day. I keep thinking about it...argh.

    Love the ross dress. Sounds like you had a fun night.

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    1. I'm glad that your thrifting trip was more productive than in the past. The think about thrift is that if you see it you have to buy it...its usually gone the next day.

      If you shop at Goodwill..keep the receipt and the keep the tag or barb on it and they will exchange or give store credit within a specified period of time.

      You hat making hobby seems like a fun thing to do. Where did you learn to do this?

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    2. I know that now. Good to know about the exchange policy. I learned at fashion institute of technology in their millinery program. I was only able to take a few. Courses but it got me hooked.

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    3. Well...it's a great skill to have! Wish I could do that! Maybe someday.....

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  3. You have such luck in the thrifting department. What a great idea to wear a dress every day.

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    1. I have had some great luck thrifting lately. It wasn't always like that. I had to change my mindset about thrifting...then I looked at things differently and became more productive.

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  4. I'm falling in love with the first dress too!

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    1. Thank you...I'm on a dress kick lately! All I wear is a dress.....

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  5. So nice to see inside your wardrobe, really like your monochrome dresses but have to say the sparkly jewels win my heart!! x

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    1. Thank you for stopping by my blog! I have to agree with you on the sparkle....its all part of the fun of ballroom competition.

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  6. I love the jewelry. So bling bling-y!

    http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

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    1. Ballroom jewelry is really blingy....at the ballroom competitions there is more bling than you can even imagine in one place....

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  7. It is so awesome that you go to these dances. Are you a swing dancer? I'd love to hear more. You got some awesome finds!! I was also like you with the shoes but now I really love the vintage shoes. My problem though is that I need to find 40's and 50's shoes in person. I'm having bad luck on the internet. I forgot to try on these shoes I bought on ebay(my mother was in town and I got distracted:) and I went to try them on today. There is NO WAY I'm going to be able to wear them haha. These women had some narrow feet!!! Anyways, you win some you lose some:))) You look lovely in dresses:))

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    1. Joanna, I do swing socially, but my area of focus is traditional International Standard ballroom, which consists of waltz, foxtrot, tango, viennese waltz and quickstep. I also do American Smooth which consists of all the above dance except for quickstep.
      Swing is very fun..but since my dance dollars are limited, I stick to the two styles of dance (standard and smooth) that I love.

      Ballroom dance is hands down the best thing I've ever done for myself. It makes me happy; it makes me forget anything that's troubling me at a given moment. From time to time I will make an informative post about ballroom styles and post some videos of professionals. There are a couple of links to pro dances on some of my posts.

      I tried on some gorgeous dark green suede vintage pumps the other day...I should say tried to try on...had the same problem as you; they were way too narrow. I have narrow feet, but it just seems unreal how narrow ladies feet must have been!

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    2. This is so awesome that you do this for yourself. Do you have a specific partner? I've thought about taking swing dance lessons but I'd have to do it solo as my husband works a lot and I don't think swing is his style like it is mine:) I've been looking around my area for retro events. They have a couple of them. I'd like to go to a retro event where everyone dresses in period styles. I was entranced by the movie Swing Kids in the 90's. I think I'd like to watch this movie again now that I'm thinking about it:) I also should dust out the CD that went along with this movie. I love hearing your posts about your dancing:)

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    3. Joanna, right now, my only partner is my coach. We compete pro-am, which means a professional and an amateur. That's the most popular means of competing ballroom. It's so much fun and brings me so much joy.
      I used to have an amateur partner but he was a single guy and met his now wife at the ballroom studio so now they compete together. My husband does not really dance. I am currently searching for an amateur dance partner...but it's not easy to find someone at the same level of skill, the right height and who wants to focus on the same dances.
      Swing is fun, although at this time I don't compete in it. I think a retro swing dance would be lots of fun!

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  8. Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm very happy that got over my hesitation to buy thrifted shoes and purchase these; they were just to pretty to pass up.

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  9. Nice! I love the dresses! Ross opened recently in my area too and the dress selection is awesome!

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    1. I'm so glad that we finally got a Ross here; they have a wonderful dress selection; so perfect for summer!

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  10. Those jewelry pieces are all fantastic -- and you've recently made some great shopping/thrifting scores, I'm impressed!

    Courtney ~ http://www.sartorialsidelines.com

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    1. Thank you Courtney, I have gotten really lucky lately with the thrifting.

      Thanks also for the compliment on my ballroom jewelry. Im looking at this jewelry thinking I can make it the necklaces myself and save a load of cash...I just need to figure out what the backing material is made of!

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  11. Oh, the blue dress just looks perfect on Stacy and what a kind deed you have done. I wonder if there is a connection between your kindness and the fantastic finds you're coming up with at the consignment shops. That's a type of shopping I haven't sampled.

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    1. Terri...what a nice thing to say! I just really relate to her difficulty in finding a good dress at a fair price. She just started dancing this year and will be doing some showcases and competing next February. It felt good to help, since I wasn't using the dress.

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  12. I love the green pistachio dress. Thrifting is always such a thrill.
    Such a heart warming story behind Stacy's dress.

    **New follower**

    - Muthoni
    FashionBeautyInsight

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    1. Thanks you for checking out my blog! I also stopped by your blog...it's really beautiful.

      Thrifting is the best way to find great new things. I love it. I like the green dress too and I could not find the word to describe the color, but you just nailed it...pistachio. Perfect.

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  13. So fascinating to read about the ballroom dancing. Seriously. I would love to take dance lessons, but I SWEAR I have NO rhythm! So sad :(

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    1. Katie...technically, you don't have to have rhythm..YOUR male partner does! He's the one who has to count the timing, initiate the movement, you just have to follow. Which is an entirely different skill. It's not easy, but very learnable. It's so much fun..usually you can try out ballroom at a local studio by taking an introductory class that has some private lessons or even just a couple group classes. And of course if you have any questions, I am always willing to share what I have learned. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  14. so marvelous!

    http://fashionhandglide.blogspot.ca/

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    1. Thank you Stacy.....the glitter and glamour of it all can be very intoxicating!

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  15. It is really great information for sharing this. Ballroom dancing competition is held all around Us. It is having so much fun and is excellent for your physical fitness.

    Latin Dress

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"When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect"--Mark Twain