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Vintage illustrations and small shoes.

HitMan009

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I have been struck by something weird. In all those vintage illustrations of suits such as this one:




Have anyone noticed how small the shoes seem in relation to the person? I understand that from my readings of old English ideals, big feet was considered coarse. Gentlemen and ladies alike were to have feet of smaller dimensions.
 

LabelKing

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In my readings on vintage ideals of masculine elegance, it was written that big feet were considered coarse and lower-class. Indeed, whenever middle-class types would rise up in wealth, as it were, they would have their shoes made so as to make the foot appear small. I suppose that's why a lot of the traditional bespoke shoe models are all rather graceful looking.

This held true for hands as well. Men--especially nouveau-riche men--would wear exceptionally tight gloves that required tools to take on and off to give the appearance of small, dainty hands.

Small appendages--like large amounts of rings--told the world you didn't manually labor.
 

LabelKing

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Originally Posted by yfyf
Good point re: bespoke shoes, isn't one of the hallmarks of a bespoke shoe that the waist is tighter and narrower than the average ready to wear?
Good bespoke does have that nice tight waist. Also, a lot of those English bespoke shoes tend to look odd when they are done in larger sizes. --- The 19th century ideals were small feet, hands and waist with broad shoulders and lean shapely but not skinny legs. Vainer men would wear calf enhancements.
 

Zenny

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and I thought I had small feet.
 

lee_44106

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What an interesting observation. If true, this Western ideals of the upper-class and how people chose to exhibit them (small shoes, lots of adornment to distinguish the workers from the master), are very similar to the Chinese ideals of old.

It's very similar to the old feet wrapping that was outlawed after the inception of the Republic.
 

SoCal2NYC

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Ask Sator as the lure of a bygone era and Fedora Lounge group think has enthralled him.
 

babygreenspots

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Originally Posted by lee_44106
What an interesting observation. If true, this Western ideals of the upper-class and how people chose to exhibit them (small shoes, lots of adornment to distinguish the workers from the master), are very similar to the Chinese ideals of old.

It's very similar to the old feet wrapping that was outlawed after the inception of the Republic.



Did the Chinese prize small feet on men as well?
 

lee_44106

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Originally Posted by babygreenspots
Did the Chinese prize small feet on men as well?

Don't know, but small feet probably comes with smallish stature.
 

babygreenspots

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Originally Posted by lee_44106
Don't know, but small feet probably comes with smallish stature.

I certainly can't find shoes that fit here. Of course I can't find shoes of decent quality either.
 

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