May 8, 2012

Whom the shoe fits...

Whom the shoe fits, wears it. Is that even an expression in English? I may just have translated that fairly litterally from a Dutch expression which basically means that a comment (usually but not per se a negative one) should be listened to by those it applies to, while the others are free to ignore it. 

In this case however, it's not meant to be an expression...
I found these last Saturday at the market: vintage shoes. And they were in my size and after some deliberation, the sellers agreed that they were 2 euros a pair. Of course, at that price, I had to take them home.

I went for these lovely things first. They've been worn but not a lot. They're still in very good shape. Leather shoes, with cute bows and a wooden heel. Very pretty, although that elegantly shaped heel is quite unstable (I think that's down to its placement. So far forward). The text on the insole is in Dutch, so I guess they were at the very least sold and maybe even produced in the Netherlands. No idea about the date though.

There lovely black sandels with their dainty ankle straps were next. Their shape looks similar to what I've seen in early 50's magazines, the stitching has discoloured a bit with age (old black thread often goes brown-ish). 

The insoles look a little worn, but they also contain quite a bit of information. I loved this: 'lasted by hand' Wow.
There's also a brand name in one shoe and a store name in the other, both American, both unknown to me (A'mano Californian Bootier and O'Connor&Goldberg of New York and Chicago respectively, just in case you were wondering)

And last but not least... I was look at these before I even considered buying. I was marvelling at their outrageous look. Of course they had to come too. These  exotic slippers have definately seen better days. I think all the colours have faded and browned a little and the insoles have warped and cracked (I've put a bit of fabric inside, otherwise the weight of those rosettes pushes the front of the shoe flat). They're slippers with a low vamp so I don't think anyone would have liked to walk in them for a longer distance. But what a look...
I can easily imagine how the first two pairs might have been worn. The tan ones with a neatly tailored suit in spring (because of the light colour), the black ones with a dress. But these? Lavish home parties? The opening night of 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Raincoat'? 

Oh, and this is a store name I have read about (over at Couture Allure): Bonwit Teller, Chicago. I'm still not familiar with the brand, created by Jerro, New York.

If anyone has any idea about the dates of these shoes or any suggestions about their original habitat (occasion, outfit etc.), please speak up. I only know they all came from the same house.


  1. Sorry, no idea about the shoes, but the expression does exist in English.

    Generally it is 'If the shoe fits, wear it' and is mostly used if someone is complaining about something someone has said. I suppose the idea is that they wouldn't be complaining if the comment didn't touch on something related to them.

  2. Lucky shoe score! They are all lovely and unique.

    I'm in California and have never heard of Californian Booterie but Bonwit Teller was a fancy department store in NY. If you watch old 50s movies, sometimes Doris Day would go shopping and you'd see the name ;-) Wikipedia has an entry about the store, but it's out of business and seems to have diminished by the late 70s.

    Those fabulous flower sandals could be any age, but the heel has a slight 70s shape to my eye, so perhaps they're late 60s/early 70s based on Bonwit Teller's dates?

  3. Wow, those are some beauties! What a lucky find! You are going to look fabulous in these!
    As anon said above; the expression is common in English speaking countries too. So, as an example: say if someone says "my mother in law said my house was like a pigsty!" and then a good enough friend might be able to say "Well, if the shoe fits....!" meaning a lighthearted joking acknowledgement that that person IS well known for being messy and they probably know it themselves too! Usually, the "wear it" bit is left off of the end, because that is just understood to follow...!!

  4. All of these are beautiful but those last shoes are amazing! Very old Hollywood. Vintage shoes always seem to run in smaller sizes than I am so I would have a hard time resisting, too! As the others said, that's a very common phrase, meaning pretty much the same thing.