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Days of the Spectators

April 13, 2010

I can remember as far back as when I was a little girl and my mom used to wear nothing but the most classiest shoes; Mary Jane’s were her favorite, and there were the snazzy high heels shoes she’d wear along with wedges, and then there were the Spectators.  Remember those?  I sure do born in the classic black and white, with nothing more than a 3-inch heel, or at least that what my mom wore.

My first pair of Spectators that I paid for were black and white with a 4-inch heel, and I found the black and white ones that were identical.  Very classic, very business like. 

Spectators  are both a men and women’s shoes, notable for their two tone color.  They are very similar to saddle shoes.  However, where saddle shoes have a strip of color across the instep (and often another at the heel), spectator shoes have white as an accent color in various parts of the upper. While spectators are typically wingtips, some are cap toe shoes, and yet others are loafers.

In the modern day they are predominantly seen in black and white, but other colors, particularly brown and white, are not unheard of.  John Lobb, the famous English boot maker, claims to have designed the first spectator as a cricket shoe in 1868. 

In the days of shoe designers, the rules have been curved just enough to outwardly change the look of Spectators, as well as getting away from the traditional design.  While Spectators have been fashioned in other colors, particularly the blue and white, they are mostly keeping to the original trend of the black and white, thus giving them somewhat of a face life at the same time.

For women, spectator pumps have been considered, during certain periods, to be very high fashion and a kind of dress shoes.  After their loss of popularity in the early 1950s, when sling-backed and sandaled, thinner pumps became stylish, they returned to fashion in the early 1980s.  This was when I embarked on my first pair.  Perennially favorite in England, their high-fashion appeal went with the polka-dot and black-and-white, red-and-white, navy-and-white, etc. combination dress ensembles trendy during this time.  Joan Collins frequently sported them on Dynasty, with her dramatic hats and black and white suits and dresses.  Julia Roberts wears a low-heeled version to the polo match in Pretty Woman (still a good movie to date). 

Their popularity for women, again, comes and goes — they are most suited for high-fashion or British-inspired clothing, and with their white color, most appropriate for women’s spring and summer wear.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 14, 2010 4:21 pm

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    http://seedofhappiness.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/stars-of-this-heaven-thank-you/

    Thank you…

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