Saturday, July 16, 2011

How to Decorate Your 18th Century Shoes

I'm very excited, my shoes from American Duchess (link on the photo) are in! I was in the process of moving when I ordered them and wasn't 100% sure what the new address was going to be, so I had them sent to my parents house where they are waiting for me to pick them up tomorrow.

The question is, how to decorate them? Below are some extant shoes from the site which is a lovely resource for close-ups and information on shoes throughout the century, and the Bata Shoe Museum.

I could tie mine with a little bow in a contrasting color and applique some embroidery on them, like this little yellow pair. The ribbon could even be changed out depending on the outfit I wear it with.

Or maybe buckles are the way to go. I have a pair of paste buckles from a previous pair of shoes that are just waiting to be re-used. Simple, effective, iconic.

Then there are my favorite shoes in the world; these lattice-embroidered yellow shoes from the late 18th century. The buckles are huge and ornate, and the heel is a different color than the body of the shoe. Of course there are always rosettes, cockades, wide trims down the front of the shoe, fringe even, anything you can imagine! What would you do?


  1. Olympe - ooo! I can't wait to see what you do with them. Please just try them on first; it looks like the sizes are running big, and I can exchange them for you quickly if they don't fit.

  2. Definitely! Thanks for the tip, it'll be tough for anyone to keep me from putting them on the instant they are in my hands.

  3. the shoes are awesome wish i had a pair

  4. They're still available on the American Duchess website, along with the new leather version.