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Opera Pumps - What's the Deal? - Page 6

post #76 of 93
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiecollector View Post
Wow, a lot of lurkers coming out to defend the opera pump. Personally, I think with a flattened bow they are elegant, understated and oddly diplomatic (in a Thomas Jefferson kind of way).

I just showed a picture to my girlfriend and she cringed. So now I definitely need to get a pair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Countertenor View Post
Exaaaaactly.



Wait, what?
post #77 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Augusto86 View Post
Why can't we just wear Oxford boots. Sator posted a pic the other day and they look amazing. I would happily wear some everyday.
I wear jodhpurs, but my semi formal wear is a little bit unusual, as you've seen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by epa View Post

Bullfighters? Even with the SF trending a wee bit lavender lately...bullfighters?
post #78 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre Yew View Post
That may be the case historically, but I think they're unsuitable for dancing since they tend to slip off.

--Andre

If they are slipping off your pair doesn't fit you.
post #79 of 93
So far from being unsuitable for dancing, pumps were worn by boxers back in the bare-knuckle era. I learned this from George MacDonald Frazer's excellent novel "Black Ajax." If you look up the Wikipedia article on Tom Cribb, there is a painting of him, stripped to the waist and ready for the ring, with classic opera pumps on his feet.
post #80 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Will View Post
If they are slipping off your pair doesn't fit you.

That's probably true, but don't casuals tend to stretch out over time anyway? So if they fit at one point, they may not after a while.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel View Post
So far from being unsuitable for dancing, pumps were worn by boxers back in the bare-knuckle era.

Modern boxers wear lace-up boots, and I think they're quite a bit more functional. Lace-ups, even my ill-fitting ones, don't slip off either.

About the closest shoe to a pump still used for dancing are ballet slippers, and they usually have one or two elastic straps across the instep, as well as elastic around the topline to hold the shoe in place.

--Andre
post #81 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre Yew View Post
T

About the closest shoe to a pump still used for dancing are ballet slippers, and they usually have one or two elastic straps across the instep, as well as elastic around the topline to hold the shoe in place.


You must be quite some dancer with your pirouettes on the dance floor.
post #82 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sator View Post
Or if you really can't stand the bow:
I like these, as I am wary of the bow. Just how acceptable are bow-less pumps? And in calf or patent?
post #83 of 93
No matter how traditional these pumps may be there's something unsettling about showing that much sock and the same goes for any kind of low vamp slip on.

In the same way that black tie derived from white tie and tails but made several concessions to comfort/practicality/modernity (shorter jacket, no tails, turndown collar, double cuffs etc. ) I think opera pumps are best left to white tie and thus black tie footwear offers a man a little bit of latitude in an otherwise prescribed uniform. Patents, whole cuts, slip ons, Chelsea boots etc. could all conceivably be pulled off depending on one's level of preference and the formality of the occasion. Probably my least favourite option is shined up AE park avenues.
As I've said here before, you're gonna wear a suit, shirt, bowtie, possibly cummerbund or waistcoat, studs, cufflinks, braces all kept exclusively for high days and holy days, and pair them with the shoes you wore to work last Wednesday?
For the record I kicked around possibilities on this board last year and ended up with patent lace ups. They are very comfortable and fit the bill. YMMV.
post #84 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Wang View Post
I like these, as I am wary of the bow. Just how acceptable are bow-less pumps? And in calf or patent?


I personally would never wear ones with a bow. But I still would never wear pumps, PERIOD! Black patent leather is the way to go.
post #85 of 93
My fiancee just asked me why I was reading a thread about women's shoes. 'Nuff said.
post #86 of 93
So far, I haven't worn pumps. Mainly because I am not really invited to white tie events not that I have anything against them. In my opinion pumps are better with white tie than with black tie. And since we're on the subject of clothing tradition, formal breeches are still correct with white tie. Wearing lace-ups with breeches would look awful.
post #87 of 93

LOVE 'em. Try wearing with red socks, tie, cummerbund and pocket square. Always got compliments!! And you look great on the dance floor!!

post #88 of 93

If anyone's still interested (know this is an old topic, but ever-relevant), then see here for an article about opera pumps (court shoes) and where to buy!

post #89 of 93

Opera pumps are the correct shoe for white tie and optional for black tie. It is the only remaining item of clothing in formal dress that hasn't changed since its (alleged) introduction by Brummell which for all ye faithful gentlemen of sartorialism holds a deep symbolic affection and nod to continuous style and heritage as well as a direct link to the past. For those who wear breeches with white tie as part of alternative court dress in the UK, they are the only acceptable shoe. 

 

Also, it has to have a bow, or it isn't a proper opera pump (in fact, a lace-up would look better, especially with ribbon laces). 

 

They are not everyone's cup of tea, hence why Oxfords are also acceptable for white and black tie. One should not begrudge those who choose to wear opera pumps. Having such a choice is what makes formal dress exciting and stops it from being cake-mould cookie-cutter everyone-in-the-same-shoes boringness, etc. 

post #90 of 93
The appropriate formal mens hose for opera pumps are sheer black silk with their elastic tops or worn with garters.
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