What to wear Lindy Hopping -1930s/1940s Real-Life Vintage Images

As the big Lindy Hop weekend in NYC (and around the world) “Frankie 100” in honour of Frankie Manning quickly approaches (May 22nd it starts), I’m looking at my wardrobe and trying to decide what I will be bringing for each of the nights of dancing (there are 5 nights). I need outfits that are good for dancing but also showcase my love of Vintage and Reproduction of the late 1930s and 1940s.

I have lots of options as I have been collecting for a few years now but when I’m undecided I usually like to turn to magazines, books and the internet for inspiration.

So lets see what real life dancers from the 1930s and 1940s would have worn on the dance floor because just like some of my outfits not all of the clothes are conducive for a night of dancing.

Note: for a  much more detailed post on 1940s fashion please check out a past post I did on what to wear swing dancing.

1940s dancers lindy swing

The dress looks perfect for dancing (lots of movement) and it is also gorgeous with its matching head scarf


Frankie Manning Lindy Hop

Here is Frankie Manning, looking very dapper in his suit. I love the shoes on his partner, they look good for dancing.

1938 Lindy Hoppers

What I love about late 1930s and 1940s dresses is the ability to move easily in them, like in this picture. BTW..I love the trio to the right.


Frankie Manning Lindy Hop

Frankie Manning & Ann Johnson. Her jumper is something you see often on the dance floor especially with competition groups. I have seen longer versions that are very nice for dancing.

Lindy Hop 1930s 1940s

Here is a good example of the Jumpers again in this image from the Movie “Groovie Movie”. The Wedges are awesome!

Jean Veloz Jitterbuy 1940s

Jean Veloz simple blouse and skirt (actually it could be a dress) is another example of a simple piece that looks lovely and can be danced in. Rays suit is 1940s style to the max.

Lindyhoppers 1930s and 1940s

Sometimes simple pants and a simple top are all you need to get your dance on.

1940s jitterbug dancers

Swivel skirts (A line, circle) are really fun to wear as you can see on these ladies. The gentlemen are looking very handsome in their suit jacket, cardigan and dress pants combinations.

1940s lindy hop

Now that is a swivel dress!


1940s Jitterbug

Every outfit seen in this picture would be a good choice for dancing. Now the jackets might possibly get in the way or get hot on the ladies but those can always be removed as needed.

1942 jitterbug dancers

When your “Trucking” you should be wearing the cutest swing dresses on the planet! And with some gentlemen in uniform as your accessories.

1940s swing dance

I have a very similar vintage dress to the one worn here and it’s marvelous to dance in.

1940s Fashion

If sitting around look like fashion plates is your thing at the dance, then take a cue from these well dressed ladies of the 1940s. Style to the max!


Well I think I have enough ideas to start packing my suitcase. I hope to get some pictures from the Frankie 100 event (May 22nd-26th) because I’m sure there will be lots and lots of wonderfully dressed men and woman so stay tuned for a future blog post. You can also follow me on Instagram to see instant images as they happen, like my outfits and the venues etc.

If you are attending a frankie 100 event in NYC or elsewhere, do you know what your wearing?

Liz 🙂

16 thoughts on “What to wear Lindy Hopping -1930s/1940s Real-Life Vintage Images

  1. Awesomely fun, energetic, and just plain fabulous post and set of images! If these don’t make you want to slip on your dancing shoes and cut a rug, I don’t know what will! 🙂

    Have a terrific long weekend, dear gal!
    ♥ Jessica

  2. Pingback: 1940s Floral Dresses-Understated Elegance | The Vintage Inn

  3. Pingback: 1940s Women’s Fashion Ideas For Your Next Vintage Dance | The Vintage Inn

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