What did they wear in the way of practicality, on a railway journey, say, or going to town?
Why, boots! Delicious, delightful boots!
Just like the re-emergence of the heel on slippers in the late 1850s, boots of this period also begin to have small heels applied. By the 1880s, heeled boots were the norm, sporting either front lacing, or side-buttons, and a variety of interesting stylings.
|Shoe-Icon Museum, 1850-60|
|LACMA, c. 1860|
|The Met: boots, 1863|
|The Met, 1863|
|Rare Robin's Egg Blue button boots, c. 1870 - 1880s, Etsy|
Within each decade, different characteristics emerge. For instance, you will notice low, knock-on, kidney heels on 1850s and 60s boots, and side-lacing or elastic goring was in use. By the late 1860s, and into the '70s and '80s, the scalloped fly on the side-buttoning boots was all the rage, and heels began to move from knock-on kidney shapes to French heel construction.
|The Met: boots, 1883|
|Manchester City Galleries, 1875-85|
So what would a lady be wearing on a train journey? Why, most likely a pair of fashionable leather, heeled boots with a nice sturdy heel. :-)
Originally publish January 6, 2013