Sunday, November 20, 2011

Shoe Story: Spectators

Spectators, also known as Co-respondent shoes in British English (though I think Spectators sounds cooler), have been around for along time.

Early incarnations of the style came in the shape of an Oxford shoe with heel and toe welt, in the late Victorian era.

1899

A recognisable Spectator style with contrast heel and toe - recommended "for spectator sport" - turned up in the early 30s.

1931

1931

1931

1937

By the early 40s the "Spectator" was an established style, and dominated the smart-casual shoe market. Spectators were available in pump, lace-up oxford, elasticated, sling-back and wedge variations.

1940

1941

1941

1942

1942

1942

1946

The spectator's star faded during the 1950s and 60s, but returned with the 1930s revival in the 70s, and remained popular through the early 80s. Having again fallen from the fashion scene during the 90s the style has resurfaced once more in recent years, labelled as Brogues (often incorrectly, since the term actually refers to the pierced decoration of true brogues).

7 comments:

  1. Interesting, I know the style well but didn't know what its name was. You learn something every day :) Are the men's version also called spectators? I always (no doubt unfairly) think of them as brothel creepers!

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  2. oooh - I looooove spectators! I could live with them all (except the 1899 one - they're a bit weird and pointy) - the 30's and 40's to-tone spectators are the best!

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  3. That's really intersting. I also didn't know the name of this style of shoe. The old adverts are great!

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  4. Those shoes *.*! They're too lovely.

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  5. Am I the only one mourning the lack of beautifully made yet affordable shoes? The quality of these practically jumps out of the ads. My kingdom for a fine shoe.

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  6. Corespondent shoes hints at the -ahem- racy nature of those who wore them, which I quite like!

    Personally I prefer the slightly masculine style of corespondent (as opposed to courts) and it is definitely a look you can find in modern shops, which is nice. I bought a blue and lilac pair at the weekend...slightly wacky colours, but lovely with a rich coloured winter outfit.

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I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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