Jul 132010

Granted I have only been to RollerCon once before, I am definitely expecting to see some core derby essentials sported around my favorite desert oasis. These are the best and must have fashions of RollerCon. So get your checklist out and your suitcase open – We’re packing for RollerCon!!

*Bandannas Galore – worn around neck, on the head and occasionally even the wrist (that’s one of my favorites). The derby bandanna is like derby fashion 101. It ranks right up there with booty shorts and knee socks. I will be packing more bandannas then I will be bringing underwear – he he.

*Awesome Scrimmage Shirts – The RollerCon challenge bout is sorta the heart of the festivities that go on at the convention. They bring together guys and girls of all skill levels from around the globe to participate in great match ups like: Bacon vs Faken Bacon, Android vs iPhone, Team World vs Team USA and the highlight of my personal RollerCon: Star Wars vs Star Trek.

One of the best things about these challenge bouts is the shirts! Wicked Skatewear (as usual) is producing a few of the scrimmage tees and highly recommend visiting their site to check them out.

*Hot Booty Shorts – Dang Vegas is HOT. RollerCon is the best excuse to trot around in booty shorts for a week. I expect to see some cheeky-humor (I’m hilarious – just admit it) great displays of derby names, nicknames, favorite sayings and whatever else you can fit on that round bum.

*Great Displays of Socks and Leg Wear – Sure it’s 100 degrees outside, but what would derby be without a great pair of socks and some killer tights? I will officially call anyone my personal hero if they have enough resistance to the heat to sport a pair of leg warmers! I might squeeze a pair into my suitcase, but I have no delusions of actually being able to wear them.

*Headbands – This is newer, but growing trend I have noticed in the last couple years. I bleeping love the narrow 70s style headband!! I would wear one and booty shorts to work if I could. It’s my required after party accessory – It holds your hair in place while you get down.

*Mustaches – Last but certainly not least is the derby mustache! As I reported in an earlier column mustaches in general are all the rage, so I am forecasting the appearance of mustache everything: Actual fake mustaches, mustache socks, necklaces, tattoos . . . whatever else you can think of.

*Honorable Mention: the Fanny Pack – My pal Lulu recently enlightened me as to the benefits and convenience of sporting the fanny pack: it frees your hands up! Great for after party dancing and RollerCon amazingness.

So that about covers the basics. Drop me a comment if it looks like I forgot anything. Next up: fitting it all (and my gear) into my suitcase!

May the Con be with you : P

Images courtesy of: RollerCon, Wicked Skatewear, Roxy Scarmichael

Apr 152010

I can’t remember the first time I saw them in action, but there is something SO RIGHT about leg warmers and derby. One of the coolest things about this sport is the room for individuality amongst organization – you see a lot of players who have their signature flair, be it face paint or accessories, the leg warmer is FOR SURE on that list.Photo By Adrian Valenzuela

According to Wikipedia, leg warmers were first worn by dancers to keep their muscles from cramping after stretching. It wasn’t until the early ‘80s that the leg warmer became a full-fledged trend . . . that quickly faded out with the likes of stone washed denim and wedged haircuts.

Enter roller derby in the 2000s and the rebirth of many throwback fashion trends, including leg warmers. I’m not sure if there is a legitimate connection, but from my seat it seems like I see certain fashion trends start on the track and move into real non-derby life. Leg warmers, once hard to find outside of dance shops, are more accessible and available in way more options. Shops like American Apparel (aka derby central) have helped to re-birth the leg warmer back into accessible existence.

What Girls Are Wearing

Derby leg warmers take many forms. From the traditional cable knit solid color leg warmer, to the fuzzy and colorful Sasquatch-style warmer – and everything in between.

Photo by PitchitI chatted with B Train from Wicked Skatewear about the leg warmer phenomenon to see if there were any solid trends that she could share. She said that she probably gets more orders for black warmers because more often then not black matches everything, including uniforms.

Wicked Skatewear is also the maker of the famed Sasquatch warmer that occasionally makes an appearance on the track. B Train does not just make and sell them, she sports them too. I have yet to try out these fuzzy delights, but I foresee it in my future. You can check them out here.

For the last couple of years I have stuck with the classic dancer-style leg warmer but have recently upgraded to a longer warmer with snaps at the foot, which are great for pulling it over the top of my skate boot. What I like about these is I can wear really basic / ugly running socks underneath, which feel great on the feet but are ugly on the eyes. What I dislike about these is that you are making your commitment to the warmer and not the sock . . . I heart cute socks, so I usually go back and forth in the decision making process. Silly yes . . . but I swear I skate better when I’m content with my ensemble. I know I’m not alone in this theory ;)

So for now it looks like the leg warmer is here to stay as track fashion – I’m not sure if I would ever sport warmers to a non-derby event or in a non-derby manner, but I do love to see them rolling!

Photo by Raven Von Kaos
Photo Credits: Adrian Valenzula, PitchIt, Raven Von Kaos