Monday, December 10, 2012

Vintage Winter Shoes

It's a dilemma which presents itself around this time each year: what makes a good 1940s/50s style winter shoe - one which will look cute and stylish but will also be appropriate for wet weather, or frosty mornings and icy pavements. As always, I turn to the Sears catalogues for inspiration.

The chunky-heeled Oxford certainly rules as king of the sensible shoes, in plain leather, mock croc and classic saddle variations - sturdy enough to face any weather. The "Authentic Norwegian Casual Style" loafer also looks like it could face down a slippery pavement or two, and is still a classic style today.


1942


1943

For most of the winter I usually end up in either high heel lace-up Oxfords or in my Mary Janes, although the low front isn't very wet weather friendly. I could rather go for those Victorian-esque lace-up ankle boots with their sturdy medium heels. Shearling lined, better still! Chelsea boots are also widely available today.


1942


1942

Knee boots seem to be quite the thing for country walks, although they wouldn't normally be appropriate for town wear. These on the right look very modern, a bit "biker boot" - right on trend for 2012 (I think my sister has a pair just like them!), exactly 70 years after this catalogue was published.


1942

Most of the boots in the 1940s catalogues seem to be galoshes-type "over-boots", worn to protect one's shoes from the rain and snow - there's a "heel guide" to help find the right height heel to fit over your shoes. Some of the styles are easily glamorous enough to be worn in their own right, though - I love those buttoned-over styles, both the boot (which again has a slightly Victorian air) and shoe versions.


1949


1949

Finally, though the heels might not be the best for the odd snow day, the higher throats on these pumps at least make them a bit more "splash proof" for rainy outings.


1942

9 comments:

  1. As much as we like to feast our eyes on these vintage catalogues, the "real" question, in my humble opinion, could be what follows : where could we find modern shoes that are sturdy, non-slippery, weather-proof, affordable?And appropriately vintage-looking to boot?(haha...sorry for this bad pun)
    Speaking of boots, I had no idea such knee boots were already worn as soon as in the 1940s...This is good to know!
    Thanks very much for this post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I posted these to show various styles of winter footwear worn in the 40s, to help people find appropriately vintage shoes in modern shops - check back tomorrow for my high street picks...

      xx Charlotte

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  2. Finding the perfect winter shoes for London, where cold, rain and snow are involved is such a mission! I love those alligator shoes in the last picture, and the very first brown pair in the first picture. I just bought some Miss L Fire winter shoes that remind me of them, although being suede, I don't think I'll be wearing them in wet weather...

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  3. You and I are in the same boat (or should I say "boot" :D), let me tell you. We get scads and scads of snow here in Canada most winters, and year after year I'm left trying to find vintage appropriate footwear to see me through until spring (I have frequent dreams of one day finding an affordable pair of 40s or 50s winter boots in my size, but until that happens, I still need a way to keep my tootsies toasty from November to March/April, while snow is on the ground). Usually, if we're not talking full on blizzard weather, I tend to go for classic (somewhat Victorian-ish) boots in a dark hue like black or brown, saddle shoes (on the milder days), or Oxford-esque shoes with good grip to the soles. I sure would love to track down some of the more heavy duty boots in this fantastic post though!!!

    ♥ Jessica

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  4. i'm working on a post with the same topic as well. i'm really looking for a pair of knee hight lace up boots in black ... and i have to get a pair of saddle shoes ... i'd love to order them from one of your catalogues ...
    life would be so easy.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for sharing these as a very helpful guide and to know I'm more sorted than I thought, and to wear my boots, although I had a pair of those lace up knee-highs a few years ago and got rid of them - slaps forehead - D'oh! Never mind...

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  6. I am eagerly awaiting the "high street" companies who make any fine shoes. I can find nothing but "junque." I was practically in one of my "why can't they make anything good anymore" crying jags, but have hope you will direct us tomorrow! Thank you for an interesting post!

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  7. I wish manufacturers would take it into their heads to make copies of some of these, it's about time they realised that not everyone wants insanely high heels, some of us want lower and older looking styles, not to mention wider fitting. Come on, wake up to the fact, I'm sure you'd sell them! Looking forward to your post tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  8. i lend two of the pictures you've posted here in a little post about inspiring vintage shoes, i hope you don't mind. everything is linked back to your amazing blog.
    thank you.
    wardrobe experience
    http://wardrobexperience.blogspot.de/2012/12/vintage-style-and-winter-shoes.html

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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