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Posts Tagged ‘John Lobb’

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Spectators were my go-to shoe for Gatsby Summer Afternoon.

I like spectators. They’re very … mmm … get out of my way, here I come!

Lucinda Marshall, fashion follower, retired antique jewelry dealer, my mother.

This was Mom’s response when I told her what shoes I planned to wear to Gatsby Summer Afternoon.

Well, I didn’t really want to send a “get out of my way” message. My choice was more about comfort since I would be doing a lot of walking and the color combo of blue and white was a good match with my dress. But I know what Mom meant. Spectators are a statement.

Spectator shoes were originally designed for men in 1868 by British shoe maker John Lobb. They were a two-tone Oxford style and intended for playing cricket. In the 1920s the style grew in popularity for casual daytime wear but thought of, by British gentlemen, as rather flashy and therefore a tasteless choice. Edward, Prince of Wales was a big fan in the 1930s and wore spectators often. His approval eased the way for other men and soon the “tasteless” label faded.

The style became an option for women in the 1930s in Oxfords or pumps and have been around ever since. Aside from the two-tone (in white and black, tan, or navy) what distinguishes a spectator is the brogue decoration around the edges of the shoe.

Today spectators are still a stylish choice. Not in or out of fashion, but a vintage classic appropriate for spring and summer.

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