Tag Archives: leather

Deck the Halls with Vintage Shoes

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Fa la la la la, la la LA LAAAAAA! *ahem*

I’m in a spirited mood this week and perhaps some more lovely shoes will get you feeling merry and bright. Here’s a bevy of vintage beauties from Etsy. Enjoy!

Burgundy 1930's shoes with crazy cutout details

Plum 1930's peep-toe shoes with lovely cutout/zig-zag design

Brown 1930's Mary Janes with embossed detail and tone on tone textures

Bone leather heels with cutouts in a wide (EE) width!

1930's/40's cornflower blue/salmon pink peep toe heels

1940's two tone black/tan platforms

Red 1940's perforated oxfords

Oh, love the detail on this shoe, like eyelet lace...

1940's lace up, sling back heels

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Stacy Adams Shoes

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Yesterday morning, Lithuanian swing dancer Mindaugas Bikauskas reminded me about Stacy Adams shoes, as he posted on Facebook that he had just received two pairs (it IS so exciting to get a new pair of shoes). I remember a time when a brand new pair of Stacy Adams shoes was all that Dirk from Big Bad Voodoo Daddy wanted for Christmas…but I digress. 😉

‘Tis the season for giving and a lot of guys I know seem to perpetually need new dance shoes. Stacy Adams is great for providing both standard, classic colors and some non-traditional color options for shoes. If you’d like for people to notice your footwork amongst the sea of white cap toes, check out the line from Stacy Adams.

Here are some viable options from the Stacy Adams website:

Gah! These are gorgeous! Someone please buy them and ask me to dance. Also available in black/white combo.

The Madison, available in 7 colors

The Faith - classic cap toe in black patent leather

For those who have always wanted spats...available in four colors

The Dayton - a different take on the oxford, in four color combos

Festive red oxfords to go with your Santa suit. 🙂

Dance Shoes for Wide or Narrow Feet

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

My most recent article for Yehoodi:

If there’s one thing we need to wear as dancers, it’s appropriate and comfortable footwear. Shoes that fit you well can make a positive difference in your dancing; conversely, shoes that are ill-fitting can negatively impact your dancing and potentially cause health problems. So what do you do when you can’t find a pair of shoes that fits because of the width or shape of your foot?

I’ve had a couple of requests about dance shoes for irregular feet widths, specifically dance Keds and Balboa shoes. While I wear a regular width shoe, I just barely missed the genetic gift of narrow feet from my father and paternal grandmother, who both have very narrow feet (Granny wears a AAAA). Finding narrow shoes in retail stores seems to be an extinct possibility for them, so both of them have had to order shoes from catalogs that offer narrow and wide width shoes. This can get pretty expensive, considering my dad had to wear a suit and dress shoes every day to work and my grandmother loves to dress up.

However, these shoes do exist! I’ll start with the Keds, because that is easy – Keds makes narrow and wide widths of their Champion Oxford, the quintessential Lindy Hop shoe of the past few years. Keds makes them in AAAA (super narrow), AA (narrow), B (medium), D (wide), and EE (extra wide) widths. You are a bit limited in the colors available, but the classic white and black are there, as well as navy, blue, red and tan.

The process to get them to dance shoes is the same – buy Keds and either glue the suede/leather sole them yourself or take them to a cobbler to be sueded/leathered.

You can buy the different widths from the Keds website, but I found that finding the different widths was easier and they were cheaper on the Maryland Square website (which is the catalog my Granny uses). Also, the EE width did not appear to be available on either website, but was available in the paper catalog, so if you are looking for this width you will probably need to place a phone order with Maryland Square.

Men, you can have these in two-tone or one color, with 13 different colors to choose from.

My suggestion for different widths of Balboa shoes and for men looking for an oxford for dancing is to buy a custom pair of tango shoes. Tango shoe makers tend to offer vintage-inspired styles of shoes and will create a custom pair for your feet using actual measurements of your feet. The cost is more than a pair of Aris Allens, but generally less than a pair of Re-Mix Vintage Shoes. I ordered a custom pair from Mr. Tango Shoes a few years ago and had a very positive experience. The fit of my custom shoes was unparalleled. On top of the width/shape, you can also customize the colors in both two-tone and mono-tone, the heel height and width/shape, the type of sole, the arch support, cushioning at the ball of the foot, and whether or not you want a platform. Another friend has had a good experience ordering custom shoes from Guaranteed Fit Tango Shoes.

Kind of digging this pair from Mr. Tango Shoes, maybe with a silver metallic and a wider, shorter heel

If you have narrow feet, the vintage shoe world is your oyster. I would encourage you to look for vintage shoes on eBay and in vintage stores. Always ask whoever is working in the vintage store if they have narrow shoes because they don’t always put them out, and ask your local vintage store to be on the lookout for your size – often, stores will turn down shoes that are narrow because they don’t believe they will sell. Let them know you are the person who will buy these shoes!

Also, if you have wide or narrow feet and have found something that works for you, please feel free to share your experience or source here – I know there are others who would like to have this information. 🙂

1930’s Athletic Shoes

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

File this under curious goods, as I’m not sure these shoes are in a condition to be worn. First we have two pairs of Keds, but these Keds are not your everyday canvas dance shoe – the first pair looks a bit like a pair of Chuck Taylors, made with leather accents and some traction on the rubber soles. The second pair is a pretty straightforward pair of canvas high tops, but with a dress heel instead of a flat rubber sole. Interesting…

Finally, this same seller, who found these old athletic shoes at an auction for a shoe store that had closed in the 1930’s and was finally liquidating its inventory, has a pair of “Ball-Band” rubber soled sneakers, which look like an elegant hybrid between a pair of Chuck Taylors and a pair of two tone cap toed oxfords – very cool! I’d like to see this style in reproduction.

The "Ball Band" athletic shoes

Dead stock 1930's Keds

Keds with heels!

New Old Stock White Leather Oxfords

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

EBay seller 4 Birds Vintage may have hit the motherload: “This is just the one of a 50-pair shoe collection ~ mostly new old stock from a family shoe store ~ that will be available within the next week. Most shoes are from the years 1890 – 1940 and include original boxes and store price tags. Brands include Star, Poll Parrot, Florsheim, and more.” I’ll definitely be checking back to see what this seller adds to his/her eBay page!

This pair of white leather oxfords is the first of this collection listed and they are in fantastic condition. You’ll have to get a ruler out to determine the size, but the seller says, “These shoes measure 10″ in length on the inside, 3 1/2″ wide on the bottom, with a 1″ heel.” Buy It Now is at $125, a bit more than your Aris Allens, but definitely less than a pair of Remix oxfords.

Magnoli Clothiers

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

It’s back to reality, post-Experiment, but while I was away I did have a chance to chat with instructor Bobby White about some of his impeccable garments. He directed me to Magnoli Clothiers as a great source for vintage reproduction three piece suits. I must agree with Mr. Whi-te on this one, as the tailoring and fabrics look spot on.

Magnoli Clothiers is more than just menswear, it “is dedicated to the reproduction of vintage clothing, historic garments and popular film costumes. These reproductions, however, are not costume pieces, but tailor-made, high-quality clothing…any piece of mens clothing that you can provide images of can be reproduced. We can copy a garment you already own, or, by analyzing various images, we can reproduce any article from photograph or film stills.” The sky is the limit, or you can choose from their impeccable sample suits, pants, leather jackets, sport coats, shirts, vests, shoes, hats, and accessories.

The prices are no bargain, but for custom pieces…consider this an investment in looking awesome. Reasonably priced vintage repro menswear is hard for Lindy Shopper to find, but I am on a reproduction kick right now so I thought it best to share. Did I mention shipping is included in the price? That helps a bit.

Here are some of the great pieces you might want to own:

Cagney suit

Dillinger suit

Fairbanks suit

Marshall suit - more awesome belt-back action

Princeton tweed suit

Boardwalk linen blazer

McCoy jacket - with pockets and belted back for maximum sportiness

Highway jacket - because the Rocketeer is HOTTT

Hughes jacket

Joker vest

Hollywood pants

Oxford Bags

Joseph Abboud Dress Oxfords

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

As mentioned in my last post, I went to an outdoor wedding in June, with the oppressive North Carolina humidity and heat in full effect. A gentleman at the wedding, serving as both emcee for the wedding, friend of the family, and fashion inspiration for all of the aspiring Southern gentlemen present, was wearing a tan seersucker suit, a glorious coral dress shirt, a candy colored necktie, a coral pocket square, and a most amazing pair of tan linen and brown leather shoes that perfectly complimented the ensemble. It was great to see a variation on the traditional white bucks. The gentleman said the shoes were Joseph Abboud for Florsheim (if I remember correctly), purchased a few years ago. I almost asked if I could photograph his outfit, but decided that would be too creepy, under the circumstances.

I searched for these shoes online, wanting to find these stylish shoes that looked like they would be great for dancing, but came up empty handed. I’ve had searches running for these shoes on eBay and nothing close to these shoes has come up. I will continue my mission for these shoes, but in the interim…

…eBay searches have yielded another Joseph Abboud linen and leather combo, pictured here. They are more casual than the other pair I’m looking for, but perhaps more functional for dancers who aren’t the seersucker suit wearing types?

They just aren’t as great as the ones worn by the Southern gent. *sigh* I will keep looking.

Navy and cream oxford heels, size 5/5.5

These navy and cream oxfords with perforated leather and scallop detailing are delicious! The eBay seller says these are a size 4, but my friend Sharon Ferris with a size 4 foot says the measurements are more in line with a 5 or 5.5.

Leather and mesh shoes for men

I know a lot of swing ladies who have this pair of Aris Allen heeled oxfords. They are flexible, comfortable, and breatheable and I know I love my pair.

So when I came across these shoes on eBay, I was wondering: do the same principles apply to men’s shoes? Would this pair of oxfords have the same mesh benefits as the Aris Allen oxford heel? Regardless, they are a sharp looking pair of vintage shoes. Gents, feel free to weigh in with your feedback.