Tuesday, October 9, 2012

American Duchess Shoes

When I decided to get serious about historical costuming, one of the first things I knew was that I was going to need at least one pair of American Duchess shoes.  In fact, it was the American Duchess blog that really inspired me to delve into the world of historical costuming in the first place.  I ordered the last two pairs of size 8.5 Ivory Devonshires in June, used the 3-month payment plan, and they arrived on September 19:

Like my lovely anachronistic socks?

I of course immediately tried them on and they fit beautifully!  I don't have any buckles yet, so I grabbed some ribbon from my stash and tied a couple of sloppy bows through the looped latchets, and snapped these quick pics.

They look like they're gapping on the sides because of the loose loops, but the fit is actually very good!
Now I'm even more excited than before to start on some 18th Century gowns!  Before now I have done Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Renaissance costumes, but these were all because I actually had events to make them for.  Now I want to get into the 18th Century, and not because I have any particular costuming events to attend - I just want to make them because they're pretty.

I've been collecting fabrics and patterns to support this hobby for several years:

Can you feel the inspiration?  
Now I have a dilemma.  I'm a terribly indecisive person, especially when it comes to creative endeavors.  (This is part of the reason I love the 18th Century so much - lots of mix & match potential!)  I bought two pairs of shoes so that I could leave one plain and dye or paint the other.  But now the question is - What color?

With the fabric pictured above, I have planned:

  • Blue floral robe a l'anglaise
  • Pink petticoat
  • Light blue petticoat
  • Yellow petticoat
  • White point d'esprit petticoat
  • Black floral cloak - possibly red velvet lined hood

And with fabric I have yet to purchase:

  • Striped robe a la francaise - to match yellow and pink petticoats
  • Floral caraco jacket - to match yellow and pink petticoats
  • Floral robe a l'anglaise - to match yellow and light blue petticoats
  • Red & gold striped robe a la francaise
  • Red petticoat
  • Gold petticoat
  • Purple floral caraco jacket
  • Purple petticoat
I also have a stash of trims for hats and such.
So whatever color I choose, I'll want the shoes to coordinate with the largest number of outfits possible.  I'm leaning towards either gold or blue at this point.  Any thoughts?

More pics of my new shoes:

This little gift came with the shoes!


  1. Tough decisions! You have really cool fabrics and trims already, and I can't wait to see what you end up doing with them. :-)

  2. I have these shoes too and they're super comfy! I'd suggest you paint them light yellow and then put a ribbon depending on the other colours of your dress. Light yellow goes with all your petticoats, right? You'll choose obviously, it's just a suggestion. Excited to see the finished stuff :D

  3. I like the way you think, Lizzie!