10 / 1998

Ladies brocade shoe with jewelled buckle and patten * Rococo Period * 1729 - 1775 A.D.

Up to the 17th century shoes had been virtually identical for both sexes, although women wore theirs underneath long skirts. In the 18th century the difference between men's and women's footwear became more distinctive. Men increasingly wore boots and women were left with more decorative shoes with higher heels that made their feet look smaller. Women's shoes were made of fine silks and satins, richly embroidered in beautiful colours. Such shoes were hard to walk on and were meant primarily for indoor use. If a women had to go outside, pattens had to be fixed if conditions underfoot were poor. Pattens made shoes all flat at the bottom and walking a great distance became difficult if not almost impossible.

Research and text by : W.A.H.M. Habraken-Oosterhout-Holland
Illustration by : Colin Ball - Waalwijk - Holland