Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Never Seen - Shoes!

I'm going to take a bit of a break from the blog for a while - it's been a couple of years since I took more than a couple of days off.

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 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.


  1. I'm gonna loooove this series!

    Also wanted to send you BIG hugs. My heart goes out to you, lady.

  2. Enjoy your break! I look forward to seeing what you consider to "far out" not to wear! (grin!)

    Also, been busy, but sorry to hear about Othello. Losing a beloved frend is always hard. We adopt older dogs, so I am usually caring for an ill one or losing them. Its hard, but the older guys need love too.

    Take comfort in knowing he had a great life with you and that when you are ready, it opens your love/life for another kitty in need.

  3. I look forward to more! I'm glad you are taking a break, enjoy it! Take care!

  4. I love this idea! I can't wait to see more. I have a ton of stuff in my closet that I never wear. I keep thinking about getting rid of it but I swear to myself that I'll make it work or that its worth it to keep them. I cant wait to see more of the unworn goodies from your closet :)

  5. Oooh I'm definitely looking forward to seeing these posts. All those shoes are gorgeous and super unique.

  6. This was fun !
    I really enjoyed it.
    I ONLY have one pair of vintage shoes - they are about 40 years old and belonged to my great aunt.
    I have not thought of keeping stuff that I do not wear elsewhere as I think my husband would panic... and I would probably go out and shop more and more as I would have more space. SO I try to keep it all together with a tiny exception - the guest room closet!

  7. Shoes! The #2 pair are indeed gorgeous! Have you seen the book Shoes by Judith Miller? Centrefold worthy pairs on many pages.

    Take all the time you need.

  8. Those are some very cool shoes. That back black detail on the tan ones are amazing.

  9. Honey, I'm so sorry about Othello. Big hugs to you guys and Inigo.

  10. Pair number 2 are too divine for words ... I love shoes with detail and the colours are right up my alley ... I'm a wee bit envious ;-)

  11. I understand not wearing the last pair, since it hurts you, but the other two are gorgeous and there is no reason for these babies not be in rotation.

    The first pair is great and I don't think they are costume-y. Maybe you should give them a try with an outfit of clean lines, without much fuss.

  12. This is so much fun! Thanks for giving us a peak into the hidden parts of your wardrobe.

  13. Thanks, Sal, I hope you did! The hugs are appreciated. *hug*

    Lain, thanks! I hope you enjoyed the posts. Thanks so much for your kind words about Othello - it is strange around here without him.

    Thanks, Alison!

    K, it's just the stuff I really can't bear to get rid of.

    Thanks, Megan!

    Lorena, those sound cool. I am glad that my husband indulges me (he also has a love of fashion, which helps!).

    Thanks, Jen, no, I've never heard of that book - thanks!

    Kristen, those are my favourites of the 3.

    Tanya, thanks, sweetie.

    Wendy, yup, those are the best ones.

    Thanks, R. I hesitate to wear's more an issue of preserving the vintage ones, in particular. I might try the first ones at some point.

    Thanks, Tina!


Comments are so incredibly special, and I love them and hug them and treasure them forever. Please feel free to tell me what you think!

I'm not currently able to respond to comments, but I will make every effort to answer questions. I do read every single one, and appreciate your comments.

Please note that comments containing affiliate links spam-y sites, spam comments and anything I deem inappropriate will be deleted.