For something different, over the next couple of weeks, I'll be posting a series of "Never Seen" clothing posts, showing all the cool things that are lurking in the back of my closets: hats, clothing, accessories and yes...some really crazyass stuff too.
I'm also going to delve deep into my photo albums for a retrospective of my own fashion evolution (get ready for shoulder pads and perms!).
Also, my dear brother Dave turned 40 this year...so I'm going to do a tribute to him. There will be lots of pictures (and fun fashion from the past 4 decades!) of him and me.
And finally, I wanted to do a little tribute post to our dear Othello, who we lost last week to cancer. Thanks for your indulgence. I'll be back to daily oufits again in a few weeks.
Anyway, let's jump right in!
It's occured to me a few times over the past two years that I don't wear all of the clothes I own. The reason for this is that I've been thrifting and shopping consignment stores since I was 17 years old (that's 25 years for those of you keeping score), and I've gradually built up a collection of odds and ends of beautiful items that I just don't wear anymore, but I can't bear to give them up.
And why should I? Maybe one day I will, but for now, I like having special vintage pieces or vintage-in-the-making (since some of it was new when I bought it...and now it's vintage!). I call them my archive, and I keep most of the pieces in a separate closet or stored way up high in my main closet.
So today, let's look at the shoes I never wear.
Pair number one:
I actually got these at a Payless about 8 years ago. I adore the crazy sculpted heel and the peep-toe. I call them my "Betty Boop" shoes. They were cheap (around $20) and I never wear them anymore because they look very costumey. Maybe one day...they were a lot more outrageous 8 years ago than they are now!
Pair number two:
As I have big feet (size 9-10, depending on the brand), it's really tough to find real vintage shoes that fit me. I remember when I bought these (about 15 years ago) and took them into work, my boss Evelyn said she remembered this brand from when she worked in theatre costuming when she was younger. I don't know what era they are - anyone? They look very "Mad Men", so I'm guessing 50s.
It says "Red Carpet" invitation/To a new way of Life/HAND SCULPTURED SHOES. Wow, isn't that cool?
These are a size 10 (but they are still really tight on me) and they're a AAAAA - Heel, which I guess means the heel is really narrow.
Check out the gorgeous shape: They are a caramel colour trimmed in a smoky black. I love how the sole wraps slightly up the sides of the shoe and is edged in a zig-zag.
Look how it comes up at the back of the heel:
That is a skinny little heel!
And look at the lovely toes:
They have a teensy bit of wear, but otherwise they are in gorgeous shape. I've worn them maybe 6 times since I got them - always when I don't have to walk or be in the weather.
I think they were around $40 in a vintage store - I wouldn't have paid more than that as I was working retail back then.
Pair number 3:
These are from the 1940s. Again, I wouldn't have paid over $40 for them. I've worn them about 6 times as well.
These are by "Matrix, your footprint in leather". Check out this old ad from 1948. I also found a Life magazine ad from 1941 that touts them as "the only shoes that match the natural curves of the bottom of your foot" - I guess that was a big deal! I can't imagine how uncomfortable shoes that don't match the shape of the foot would be!
They sold for $8.95-$10.95, which must have been a lot back then.They have a lovely shape, and pretty detailing of stitching and a leather loop on the toe.
They have a bit of wear, but otherwise the black suede is still lovely. They kill my feet to wear. Not a comfortable shoe, by any means!
And those are my never seen shoes! I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my archive.