Monday, January 12, 2009

Slippers and Roses

In the later 16th and early 17 century men’s shoes were low heeled and decorated with bows and huge sparkling rosettes of spangled ribbons. By 1641 shoes were tied with a ribbon rather then rosette. Merchant’s wives wore high-heeled shoes trimmed with modest rosettes (compared to the male). In 1661 men wore linen garters tight leggings and high heeled shoes with narrow toes, and tied with bows. Women’s styles were similar shaped but with a lower heel. Later after the French Revolution (1789–1799) gentlemen became more conservative. A new fashion for indoor slippers (mules) saw men wearing soft covered, comfortable heel less mules with which to relax. For a time square-toed shoes were fashionable then the Macaronis wore flat-heeled dancing pumps with round jewelled buckles. Ladies wore neoclassic styled white silk shoes crossed with ribbons in imitation of classical sandals. In the early 18th century satin pumps with high spoon heels and very pointed toes became fashionable for women. Bows and elaborate ties were less fashionable and toes were rounded and the heels lowered. Later in this century women started to wear an adaptation of the Grecian sandal as the classic fashion took over. Low cut slippers replaced high heel pumps during the last years of the century. Women wore high heeled slippers of brocade, kid and velvet in light hues. They were often embroidered with gold and silver threads. Buckles of gold and silver were decorated with imitations or precious gems were attached to the instep. Satin pointed toed, pumps with high spool heels became vogue in the middle of the century. Later the shoe became less decorative and was made of plain kid or satin. Rounder toes and lower heels were all the fashion between 1740-1790. Men's slippers were made of soft black leather or striped fabric. Ladies slippers were little more than leather shells laced over the instep and up the legs to the calves. Slippers gaiters were worn to protect shoes/stocking outside. By the early nineteen hundreds the Turkish style was in fashion, men wore pointed vamp slippers with long smoking jackets. Square-toed boots became vogue and were worn with light coloured gaiters.

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