Saturday, August 6, 2011

Fashion Flashback: Saddle Oxfords

Sweet Baby Graves recently became the proud owner of two sets of the most adorable little shoes.  The best part is that together they came in at under ten dollars. Buying them reminded me of the Fashion Flashback series I started.  You may remember way back, almost a year ago, I blogged about the history and cultural significance of Jon Jons.

Well, today, we're on to shoes.  Some people call these saddle shoes, but my mom always refereed to them as saddle "oxfords". So first, a brief history on Oxford shoes.  This type shoe is "...a style of laced shoe characterized by shoelace eyelet tabs that are stitched underneath the vamp, a construction method that is also sometimes referred to as 'closed lacing'".  In other words, in contrast to a Derby shoe, an Oxford has the little round eyelets on the inside of the shoe.
[Oxford style shoe]
[Derby style shoe]

Oxfords first appeared in Scotland and Ireland, where they are occasionally called Balmorals, after the Queen's castle in Scotland, Balmorals.  The Oxford is derived from a shoe called the Oxonian, a half boot style that became popular at Oxford University in the 1800s, thus the name.  Oxfords were traditionally formal shoes, but now they have many variations, some more casual than others.

The saddle oxford is an oxford style shoe characterized by a plain toe and a unique, saddle shaped panel placed mid foot to add interest.  They are typically white with a black saddle, but there are many other color combinations.  They first came to prominence in the 1950s, when teen girls, especially, would wear them with their poodle skirts.  They were considered "sporty" and worn in lieu of loafers, before sneakers became popular. By the 1960s, the shoes became fashionable for boys to wear with their letterman jackets.

Saddle shoes can be worn by both men and women and are also frequently seen as golf cleats and children's shoes. They have enjoyed a recent resurgence in the United States in males in their teens, twenties, and thirties, especially in big cities like Los Angeles and New York City and in the Southwest.  And in the Herrington house!

I think Graves will look just dashing in such a classic shoe!  

Sources: Wikipedia and
Images: my personal collection, 2, 3, and 4