Photography by Polina Osherov

I love this look! It is very indySwank with vintage and current items pulled together perfectly! This is the result of styling by Nikki Sutton, who is a talented creative pro.

Part of the reason this works so well is because Nikki doesn’t skip on the little things that make a difference. The vintage taj mahal skirt has a crinoline petticoat underneath, giving it the perfect amount of fullness. If you do not have a crinoline in your closet, you should get one soon. I purchased this one on line and thought it was too “poufy” so I cut out a layer and now it is perfect!

The green 317 t shirt from PUP (People for Urban Progress) is current, but has a little bit of a vintage look. With a skirt that flares a bit, I prefer the look here created with a simple stylish t shirt. A crisp white button up shirt would also look great, but for our photo shoot we were going for a youthful urban look.

The bow was created from a vintage designer scarf and is super cute! Thanks to Philip Salmon, the fabulous hair stylist who made it work!! Also, notice soft pretty make up which is the right complement to the entire look (credit MUA-Kathy Lynn Moberly!!).

It would have been great if we had stopped there, but what makes professional styling worth every penny is Nikki insisting there needed to be a pop of color on her arm. Not finding exactly what she had in mind from our jewelry, she took a belt and fashioned it into a bracelet.

I realize we all don’t have a professional stylist available when we get dressed! I often take inspiration from photos like these when picking an ensemble. It does take time and thought, but what worthwhile thing doesn’t?

Finally, you can have the best look in the world from a fashion perspective, but it will back fire if you don’t carry yourself with confidence. Model Paulina does that in this photo and she owns the street doesn’t she??


Photographer-Polina Osherov, Stylist-Nikki Sutton, Hair-Philip Salmon, MUA-Kathy Lynn Moberly, Model-Paulina

Construction of the Cultural Trail descended upon Fountain Square recently, causing some challenges for indySwank. We have temporarily lost the street parking directly in front of our shop.

I have never faced an obstacle I didn’t think I could market my way out of, so I came up with an idea for an ad campaign and contacted my favorite fashion photographer, Polina Osherov. Polina did the original photos for indySwank’s web site and captured the look of indySwank before I could even communicate it. I was equally happy to learn that Nikki Sutton had agreed to style the shoot. Nikki understands the indySwank brand and has been around since the beginning. I was in good hands!!

My goal was to create an ad campaign that would keep indySwank in the forefront of people’s minds and educate customers that it is still easy to access indySwank; by using the free parking behind our building and our back door entry.

On a rainy Monday, Polina shows up in her combat boots (purchased at indySwank, BTW!) ready to shoot in the mud. She brings  her intern and a professional crew in tow, stylist Nikki,  model Paulina,  hair stylist Philip Salmon and make up artist Kathy Lynn Moberly. All amazing professionals that turned out great work on a challenging day!

Behind the scenes photo by Stephen Simonetto

This was a day of creative reunions, with photographer Stephen Simonetto showing up to help out and take behind the scene shots. Stephen did the photography for my Nuvo cover and I really like working with him. IndySwank appreciates all of the creative professionals that help make us stand out in the crowd!!! The end result were beautiful photographs that were exactly what I had in mind!

We tweaked our store hours for the spring months and are now open, Wed thru Sat 11-7 and Sun 12-5. We plan to be open seven days a week after the construction is over, which is scheduled for July.

Thanks for supporting indySwank and hope to see you this First Friday! We have held over Critters and Cretins by Mamus James Judd and will have a new paper dress window display. James will be moving to Austin soon and I am sad to loose such a talented artist. If you have been waiting to buy one of his pieces, there is no time like the present!

Art by Mamus James Judd

I found myself at a department store last night wandering around, clueless as what to buy those last few people on my list. Two floors worth of merchandise and I couldn’t find a thing that worked.

I left happy though, reminded that IndySwank fills a void in the retail world. I view it as an alternative to the mass produced merchandise that often lacks creativity.  For example, the department store had authentic ugly Christmas sweaters which made me cringe with fashion disgust.  No ugly Christmas sweaters here, but we do carry ugly Christmas sweater t shirts by a small local company called Vardagen.

Ugly Christmas sweater t shirt

So back at my shop this morning, I created a list of unique gifts found at IndySwank. I chose items  from a wide range of prices, $12 to $168 to offer something for everyone. Hope this helps someone save some time and energy!

IndySwank Gift Ideas For Her

Book necklace from the Binding Bee

I’ll bet you have a book lover on your list! These are also great for the eco conscious as they are made from recycled leather.

Typewriter key necklace from Retro Care Art

Typewriter key necklaces by Retro Cafe Art

A necklace with someone’s initial is a pretty personalized gift. Not to mention that these are made from vintage keys and who doesn’t like old typewriters?

Vintage beaded bag

As mentioned recently in MetroMix, IndySwank’s vintage bags make great gifts! Our collection is from the 1920’s and really reflect the fashion of that time. Perfect for fans of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire!

Stop Staring dress

I have yet to see a woman try on one of these and not look amazing! Chances are she’s heard of the Stop Staring line and will squeal with delight when she opens the package.

Stop Staring Dress

IndySwank Gifts For Him

PUP journal made from Hoosier Dome roof

Dome material journals by PUP

This is a gift that is  both nostalgic and green. Great for the aspiring writer, poet or maybe the guy who is always looking for paper when he needs to write something down.

Wooden cuff links by CaseMethod

Cuff links by CaseMethod

Yes, cuff links are hot right now and what could be better than these that are locally made from wood?

Vintage skinny tie

Our skinny tie collection secured IndySwank a position in Indianapolis  Monthly’s Best of Indy 2010. Nothing says cool like a skinny, skinny tie!

Vintage Leather Jacket

We have a rack full of men’s vintage leather jackets that appeal to the hipster of all ages.

We are open today 12/22 and tomorrow 12/23 11-7. IndySwank will also be open this Friday,  Christmas Eve from 11-5 for those very last minute shoppers.

Happy Holidays!

Stop Staring Bombshell Dress

Have you ever received a complement from a stranger on what you were wearing?

Now, I am talking about a sincere complement and not a come on line.

I can say I have and you know what, it feels nice.

I want all women to be able to experience those types of complements and often. Because after all…


IndySwank has racks of vintage clothing that can make you feel that way and our new Stop Staring dress line is sure to get you noticed.

So what is Stop Staring? Stop Staring is a company based in California that creates vintage clothing inspired by the 1930’s, 40’s & 50’s. From 1940’s film noir to fashion reminiscent of the “Madmen” era, these dresses are unique and sexy.  They accomplish the sexy part without being overly revealing, which I find refreshing.  Stop Staring dresses celebrate the female form and flatter women of all sizes. BTW, they are also made in the USA.

Sometime last fall, the suggestion was made that I should bring in Stop Staring dresses. I did some research and fell in love. I tucked the idea away, because it wasn’t even a remote possibility at the time financially.

Stop Staring continued to haunt me.  I envied the way my fashionable friend Shauta Marsh dressed for various art events. Nearly every time I would complement her on her dress, she would say it was from Stop Staring.

IndySwank debuted the line at our one year anniversary event last night. I knew I had made the right decision, after receiving about 10 complements on the Stop Starting dress I was wearing.  We currently stock a preview of Stop Staring dresses with three different styles in store and more coming soon!

Speaking of right decisions, I also know I made the right one with indySwank. Starting a retail business in our current economic climate has been challenging at times, but indySwank has become a little engine that could. I realize this is due to a loyal base of customers who have helped spread the word about this “really cool shop in Fountain Square.”

Dear customers, thank you so much for all of your support this year!! I cherish you for sharing a vision that there is more to shopping than what you find at a mall.

I would like to give a shout out publicly to my husband for all the times he’s helped me move displays, install lighting, engaged in countless hours of conversation on how to make indySwank better and for believing in my business.


New Line at IndySwank!

B Trousseau Couture unveiled the Picnic line at Midwest Fashion Expo this summer. I spotted the soft fabrics and feminine colors from across the room and it was love at first sight!  The Picnic line incorporates several elements that I hold dear; such as, reuse of vintage fabric and attention to detail.

The Hankie Pankie skirt (photo above) is one of my favorite pieces. The skirt was created from vintage handkerchiefs and showcases the quality construction typical of B Trousseau Couture’s designs. Details like the trim on the waistband of this skirt are something you won’t find in mass retail garments. Yet the $70 price tag makes this an affordable designer addition to any wardrobe.

B Trousseau Couture is Beth Bennett, a featured local designer at IndySwank.  So if these aren’t enough reasons to rush to my shop for a Picnic, here is another….you can’t wear these pieces and not feel pretty!

IndySwank was voted Best Clothing Boutique for the MetroMix 2010 Best of Awards! Thanks to everyone who voted!  This win meant a lot and is a nod of approval to not only our store, but also to Fountain Square. We happily share “Best of Status” with fellow Fountain Square establishments Siam Square and Radio Radio!

A winter storm did not keep art lovers away from the Murphy on First Friday Feb. 5th! The Fresh show at IndySwank was a success and it was fun to see a new artist sell first piece. The show is still up if you weren’t able to make it out last Friday.  

Collage Art by Fresh artist Stuart Cecil

So what is next for IndySwank? We are launching a relationship with local fashion designer Bernie Martin. Bernie’s Catou line will be in the store by the end of the month. I worked with Bernie on selecting pieces that are affordable and fashionable.  Catou will be the perfect addition to our line of products and also pairs well with the Cheeky Couture jewelry that we now carry.

Cheeky necklace with Bernie Martin jumpsuit

IndySwank remains committed to vintage clothes, but have always planned to select one or two clothing designers to showcase in the store. Fashion design is an art and it is part of our mission to support local artists.  We knew we had met our match in Bernie! Check out this link for a preview of the 2010 spring collection,

I hate this frigid part of winter, where dressing becomes more about surviving than fashion. I sigh as I scan my wardrobe looking for layers of warmth to face the day. As I pull on my Ugg’s, I long for strappy sandals and wonder if I will ever feel sexy again. Feeling sexy for me is a state of mind that relates to what I see in the mirror and come January it seems looking good requires more of an effort.

I have a few tricks in my bag that can bring back that feeling of looking hot without waiting until spring. I decided it is time to implement them! Here they are:

  1. Off the shoulder sweaters. Victoria’s Secret clothing catalogs always have several of these that are both warm and sexy.
  2. Red. Lipstick. Heels. Nail Polish. Sweater. I don’t care. Adding something red always makes me feel alive.
  3. Work the hosiery. I love the trend of pairing tights with cutoff jean shorts.
  4. Black boots baby!! 
  5. Wear a hot bustier or teddy underneath those layers. It isn’t about who sees it, but how it feels!
  6. Leave the marshmallow down coat in the closet (saving mine for a nuclear winter) and wear a vintage faux fur instead.
  7. Wear a fashionable vintage hat.
  8. Sparkle–a little goes a long on any piece of clothing.
  9. Fingerless gloves, they add a little edge and can be worn indoors.
  10. Wear scented lotion if nothing else!! My favorite is coconut body butter that makes my skin glow and reminds me of summer.