Vintage shoe shopping: 1940s shoes update

Miss Thrifty6 October 28, 2008

In last week’s vintage shoe shopping guide, I argued that 1940s shoes weren’t worth bothering with. Here’s the evidence.

It may have been different in other countries, but in Britain clothing was strictly rationed during the Second World War. By the time the war ended, there weren’t many pristine shoes left sitting in closets. Everything – including footwear – was taken in a bit here, turned out there and worn to death. Quality and luxury were low on the priority list.

The photograph above was taken in Mayfair at the turn of 1940s/1950s. It’s deliciously Mad Men though, isn’t it? The bright young thing on the end of the row, clutching her glass of champers for all it’s worth, is my Frugal Grandma. Anyway, they all look glam and stylish, from their hairdos

down to their ankles. And then….

ARGGGH! It’s the Attack of the Saggy Wedges!

Here’s another one taken in 1945. It’s my Frugal Grandma again; I’ve zoomed in on her feet.

I mean, what are those things? They look like Cornish pasties. Avoid avoid avoid.

Mind you, I reckon my foxy young Gramps was able to rise above the heinous footwear after all.


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6 Responses to “Vintage shoe shopping: 1940s shoes update

sharon rose says:

Hi there-what fantastic photos, a treasure to have! Yes, shame to agree, the shoe situation is rather dire!!

sharon roses last blog post..Day In London

October 29, 2008 at 8:43 am

sharon rose says:

Hi again-I’ve just given you an award my dear!!

October 29, 2008 at 7:00 pm

kenny says:

These were very cute shoes!

January 23, 2009 at 12:25 pm

aileen says:

i think you are so lucky to have pictures of your gran she is lovely but i agree her shoes do look as if they went trough the war !!!! thank you for sharing your pictures

October 3, 2009 at 10:53 am

Mhairi says:

I totally disagree! I have five pairs of 1940s shoes and they are all adorable. There are ones in crap condition on the market, but then again they’re 70 years old… so just ignore them and buy the nice ones!

Real vintage shoes are particularly good for those of us with slim ankles, their neat cut prevents that Fido Dido/golf club look that modern, all-too-clumpy shoes give.

October 15, 2010 at 12:23 pm

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