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Opera Pumps - What's the Deal?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Augusto86, May 10, 2007.

  1. Augusto86

    Augusto86 Well-Known Member

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    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.

    It's just the bow. If not for that it would just be a low-pro loafer. But BOWS. Bows are for women. Would you wear a dress? A bra? A bow? It's the same thing.
     
  2. LabelKing

    LabelKing Well-Known Member

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    Do you prefer the bow to be pinched or unpinched?
     
  3. Tarmac

    Tarmac Well-Known Member

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    it just has to do with tradition. I find it curious but not necessarily offensive. I probably wouldnt do it. But heck, maybe I might... I wouldnt have been caught dead in chelsea boots as recently as 2 years ago.
     
  4. Sartorian

    Sartorian Well-Known Member

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    It's just the bow. If not for that it would just be a low-pro loafer. But BOWS. Bows are for women. Would you wear a dress? A bra? A bow? It's the same thing.
    Don't you tie your shoes with a bow? What about [​IMG]s? And don't forget bows are for clowns, too.
     
  5. A Y

    A Y Well-Known Member

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    It's just the bow. If not for that it would just be a low-pro loafer. But BOWS. Bows are for women. Would you wear a dress? A bra? A bow? It's the same thing.

    I think you're just trying to be difficult now, but just in case not, make sure you wear that long-tie the next time you wear your tux if you think bows are so inappropriate for a man.

    --Andre
     
  6. Ivan Kipling

    Ivan Kipling Well-Known Member

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    First time I hear of grosgrain men's shoes
    **********************************
    Gdl203 . . . I haven't got any photos, handy. I'll have to take a few. Haven't worn my grosgrain oxfords, for quite some time. They're by Charles Jourdan. Old as the hills. Just like me.
     
  7. lee_44106

    lee_44106 Well-Known Member

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    This rush of attacks on the sexual preferences and antiquity of the wearer of a pair of opera pumps has been uncalled for.

    You may not be inclined to wear them with your tuxedo, but you cannot argue that it is traditional. Myself and a few others prefer this, you do not. It's a style difference of opinion, and let's just leave it at that.
     
  8. LabelKing

    LabelKing Well-Known Member

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    Maybe the people who are doubting the sexual orientation of pump wearers are a bit unsure of themselves as well.
     
  9. Sator

    Sator Well-Known Member

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    Aren't these women's shoes??? Do men actually wear them? They seem painfully 19th century.

    Pumps were originally men's court dancing shoes. Women adopted them only much later - centuries later to be exact. In fact far from being merely 19th century, pumps are the oldest wardrobe item still worn by men, as they date back even further in time all the way to the 16th century. When you compare the subtle bow to the extravagant rosettes worn on court shoes back then, they are the last word in understatement:

    [​IMG]

    For me, it would be a shame to lose this extraordinary continuity with the past just because women has usurped the right to wear them. As such I consider them de rigeur with evening full dress. I also agree that they look extremely understated and no courage is required to wear them. Just do it.
     
  10. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    This rush of attacks on the sexual preferences and antiquity of the wearer of a pair of opera pumps has been uncalled for.

    There is a strong possibilty that none of these comments has been meant seriously. We're sort of on a gay bender around here lately.
     
  11. lee_44106

    lee_44106 Well-Known Member

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    Tongue in cheek only, Manton. Tongue in cheek.

    I feel like as a dinosaur who would dare to wear women's shoes, that I must express my indignations like a proper gentleman.
     
  12. Augusto86

    Augusto86 Well-Known Member

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    Don't you tie your shoes with a bow? What about [​IMG]s? And don't forget bows are for clowns, too.

    Not the same thing at all. I mean, I suppose the bow tie - although honestly, my favorite part of a bowtie is leaving it untied at the afterparty.

    Are you seriously claiming shiny pumps with bows aren't girly?

    I think you're just trying to be difficult now, but just in case not, make sure you wear that long-tie the next time you wear your tux if you think bows are so inappropriate for a man.

    --Andre


    I'm not wild about bowties either. I think that they look awful 90% of the time. That may be a function of clip-on ties or general in-expertise, I don't know. IN any event...I genuinely think the pumps look silly. Not gay, just silly. I'm not trying to be difficult, I'm trying to imagine a situation in which they wouldn't look like a joke. I'd be happy to see pictures that prove me wrong, but for me, I would look ridiculous, perhaps because I would be so self-conscious about them.

    Pumps were originally men's court dancing shoes. Women adopted them only much later - centuries later to be exact. In fact far from being merely 19th century, pumps are the oldest wardrobe item still worn by men, as they date back even further in time all the way to the 16th century. When you compare the subtle bow to the extravagant rosettes worn on court shoes back then, they are the last word in understatement:

    http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/images/...EDorset)01.jpg

    For me, it would be a shame to lose this extraordinary continuity with the past just because women has usurped the right to wear them. As such I consider them de rigeur with evening full dress. I also agree that they look extremely understated and no courage is required to wear them. Just do it.


    That's quite a picture. The heels on those are something. I don't know - I understand the continuity thing, but...sometimes, there's a reason things stopped being popular.

    There is a strong possibilty that none of these comments has been meant seriously. We're sort of on a gay bender around here lately.

    Is it gay if it bends to the left or to the ri...

    Oh, I just can't do it.
     
  13. Sator

    Sator Well-Known Member

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    Come to think of it, probably sleeping.

    No longer. But if you do sing in the countertenor range, you will surely share with me the amazement that a wardrobe item has survived the fickle changes of fashion all these centuries. Indeed 'opera' pumps are even older than the history of opera itself - which dates back only as far as the 17th century. So you can argue that they are the non plus ultra in the story of the persistence of style in the face of fashion.
     
  14. Tarmac

    Tarmac Well-Known Member

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    okay I fully accept this now.

    Now I would like to see a man with an opera pump collection. Minimum 50 pairs please. [​IMG]
     
  15. juniper

    juniper Well-Known Member

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    Tongue in cheek only, Manton. Tongue in cheek.

    Oh, cheek as in the side of one's face? Now I see.
     
  16. Augusto86

    Augusto86 Well-Known Member

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    No longer. But if you do sing in the countertenor range, you will surely share with me the amazement that a wardrobe item has survived the fickle changes of fashion all these centuries. Indeed 'opera' pumps are even older than the history of opera itself - which dates back only as far as the 17th century. So you can argue that they are the non plus ultra in the story of the persistence of style in the face of fashion.

    That is pretty impressive, I have to admit. The best argument I have seen for them.
     
  17. Sator

    Sator Well-Known Member

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    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 love Oxford boots. However, historically I have only ever seen them worn with morning dress. The late 19th C practice is to wear patent leather button boots with evening full dress:

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Augusto86

    Augusto86 Well-Known Member

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    While we're discussing these sorts of things, Sator, could you explain what an ascot is and how it ought to be worn?
     
  19. Sator

    Sator Well-Known Member

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    While we're discussing these sorts of things, Sator, could you explain what an ascot is and how it ought to be worn?

    An ascot, or cravat in British English, is either a dress cravat or a more casual day cravat. They are descendents of the older more elaborately tied cravats of the past:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Cravats are worn at weddings as part of morning dress. A proper self tie cravat is as rare as hen's teeth but you could get David Hober for example to make one:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Augusto86

    Augusto86 Well-Known Member

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    Funny thing is, as much as I hate the opera pumps, I like the look of the cravat/ascot(the lower two, anyway), much more than a bow or long tie. In fact, I like the whole morning dress. It appears much more elegant.

    It's just the funny little bow shoes. Go figure [​IMG]
     

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