April 25, 2019
Last Updated on December 7, 2023 by Dominique de MerteuilHome » Vintage Outfits »
Best Ideas for Styling Saddle Shoes
In this article you will learn;
- How to style saddle shoes
- A brief history of saddle shoes
- The best modern reproduction of saddle shoes
Saddle shoes – definition
Saddle -Piece of leather on a shoe, usually in contrasting colour, stitched from forward shank, at one side, over vamp to the other side.A Dictionary of Costume and Fashion: Historic and Modern by Mary Brooks Picken
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and a collaboration with the SPITZ Germany brand. All opinions expressed here are mine. I’m a huge fan of SPITZ and wholeheartedly recommend their stylish sneakers to everyone who appreciates craftsmanship, elegance and comfort.
In the pictures, by Gregory Michael King, I’m wearing:
- The 1952 Handmacher skirt
- 1940s-inspired blouse from House of Foxy.
I replaced the modern buttons with Art Deco ones.
- SPITZ shoes and patent leather sock belts.
- Gerbe Bobby socks were designed exclusively for SPITZ.
The History of Saddle Shoes.
A brief history of the saddle shoes.
- In 1906 A.G. Spalding, the American sporting goods company introduced saddle shoes as athletic footwear. The All-American shoe was first advertised as a tennis shoe but gained more popularity among golfers before finally reaching mainstream fashion.
- In the 1920s and 1930s, golf and tennis became extremely popular among the middle class in both America and Europe. This led to a demand for more casual attire in these sports. A reporter for the New York Times described the phenomena as follows;
Sports shoes and clothing are popular because they spell ease and freedom of movement and in name associate themselves with luxury and relaxation from the daily grind.
- In the 1930s the white shoes with contrasting black leather saddle became such a huge hit among American University students, both male and female, that they were immortalised on the June 1937 cover of “Life” magazine. I don’t think, that the sporting goods company could have foreseen such phenomenal success for their sporting shoes outside their intended environment.
- The shoes had to be of course redesigned to make them more comfortable for everyday use. New colour combinations were also introduced. While white and black, as well as white and brown colour combinations, continued to be popular, the new addition in the form of white and blue canvas saddle shoes became ubiquitous. A trend that was there to stay, at least for a while.
Saddle shoes on the cover of LIFE magazine, 1937. Credits: LIFE. Source: Google Arts & Culture.
Saddle Shoes & Their Popularity
- During the 1940s and 1950s, saddle shoes became increasingly popular, thanks in part to famous names in the music and film industry such as Elvis Presley, Katherine Hepburn, and Marilyn Monroe. Teenagers particularly enjoyed wearing these two-tone shoes with white bobby socks, whether it be with a full circle or pencil skirt or blue jeans. In truth, saddle shoes were suitable for any occasion and could be worn with any item of clothing.
- The sales of saddle shoes dropped in the 1960s although students and teenagers continued to wear them as part of their daily uniform.
- In recent years saddle shoes came back into favour thanks to the revival of TV shows such as Twin Peaks and Gilmore Girls. The hugely successful film Stoker (2013) starring Mia Wasikowska also helped to put saddle shoes back on the fashion map. Although anyone in the vintage community would say, that saddle shoes never really went out of style and will always be a part of the wardrobe of every vintage aficionado. They are part of mine!
Where to Find the Perfect Modern Saddle Shoes!
And if you are looking for the perfect modern saddle shoes, look no further!
I’m thrilled that I recently discovered the incredible 1950s-inspired black and white saddle shoes from SPITZ. The German brand is synonymous with superb quality and sleek design. Vintage style with a modern twist is how I would describe their glorious saddle shoes, which make them the ideal footwear.
One that will go beautifully with true vintage, as well as the “inspired by” garments. The brand’s signature pointed-toe sneakers are incredibly comfortable due to their shock-absorbable insoles.
Comfort aside, the shoes look like a real work of art! In particular when you pair them with SPITZ luxurious Bobby socks designed for them by the luxury brand Gerbe, and my absolute favourite accessory, the patent leather sock belts!
Now that I’ve found my perfect saddle shoes, here is how I styled them!
Ideas for How to Style Saddle Shoes
Saddle shoes are the perfect footwear for a casual vintage look.
- The 1950s Handmacher skirt
- The 1940s-inspired blouse from House of Foxy. I replaced the modern buttons with Art Deco ones
- SPITZ saddle shoes
- SPITZ patent leather sock belts
- Gerbe Bobby socks designed for SPITZ
- 1950s purse
- POPORCELAIN necklace
Photography by Gregory Michael King
Vintage fashion outfit with a modern twist.
- Late 1950s purse
- Poporcelain necklace
- Megumi O Sunglasses
My favourite SPITZ saddle shoes paired with SPITZ patent leather sock belts and Gerbe Bobby socks.
MAKE YOUR SHOES LAST LONGER!
The Elegant Vintage Look with Saddle Shoes
- The 1940s dress
- 1950s Koret wicker purse
- SPITZ saddle shoes
- Original 1940s dress
- SPITZ saddle shoes
- Late 1950s Koret wicker purse
THE CASUAL LOOK WITH SADDLE SHOES
For the very casual look, I paired my saddle shoes with a 1940s shirtwaist dress, a 1940s belt and a 1930s belt buckle.
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