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Be my little Baby

October 24, 2010

I don’t get rained out from work that often (it doesn’t rain much here…) so you can imagine my glee when my services at one of my places of employment was not required due to inclement weather.  Multiply that happiness by about a million percent when I found Dirty Dancing on the television.

Yes, we ALL love us some Dirty Dancing and most of us probably rattle off the movie’s memorable lines (like “I carried a watermelon?”) without abandon.  However, during this viewing I noticed something previously under appreciated: the wardrobe.  Jennifer Grey’s outfits are the perfect marriage of the early 1960s (when the movie takes place) and the 1980s (when it was actually made) so you get all the greatest hits.  Below are just a few crucial items to embrace from Baby’s closet and a few thoughts on how to wear them now.

The Tied-up Men’s Shirt

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Baby rocked this look throughout the movie.  The crop top has definitely been making a comeback but to keep from looking too sexy, do like they did in the olden days and wear it with high-waisted jeans, shorts, or a pretty circle skirt (nearly to the belly button) to avoid too much skin showing. Death to the hip huggers!

KEDS!!!!

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This is one of those items that can easily tread into “mom” territory.  To look hip instead of frumpy, keep your ankles exposed.  This kind of shoe looks adorable with Audrey-esque cigarette pants or skinny jeans.  Also, no thick, platform sole.  Just the classic Keds work best.

Pedal Pushers

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They’re not for everybody, but doesn’t this great vintage photo of an amazing leopard pair make you wish they were? The pedal pusher should vary for different heights, since you want to avoid truncating the length of your legs.  Show more calf for a short leg.  Flats look cute with pants this length and keep the style casual and easy.

The Ubiquitous (vintage) Jean Shorts

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In Silverake, where I live, you can’t throw a rock out of your window without hitting a girl in some vintage cutoffs.  The beauty of this look is that otherwise unwearable jeans (unsettling stains, rips, ungodly tapered legs, etc) don’t matter when you convert them into their shorter counterpart.  “Mom” jeans tend to make a great cutoff.  They’re not too low or tight, which keeps you from looking skanky.  Leave the frayed edge, a la Tobias Funke or roll them for more of the Jennifer Grey look.  And if your weather allows, just pair them with black tights and boots or ballet flats for fall.

Dancewear/Bodysuits

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These aren’t your mama’s bodysuits.  Well, actually they could be.  Deadstock and vintage leotards and bodysuits are the perfect thing to wear with bottoms that have a higher rise…no tucking in required! The result is sleek and sexy but also really pulled together.  If vintage isn’t your thing, American Apparel has many, many options of this versatile piece to suit different needs.  Since a lot of leotards tend to have low backs or fronts, its nice to try wearing one with other pieces that are less revealing.  70s inspired bell bottoms look great and the contrast of a wider pant with a tight-fitting top provides a good balance.  And while dancewear can be a cool look, no one wants to look like they just got out of aerobics class, right? So make sure to mix it up.

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