It’s fun to look at old books about fashion and etiquette. One rule that’s always puzzled me is why alligator and other exotic skins are only supposed to be worn during the day, not after dark. Genevieve Antoine Dariaux, French author of the book Elegance (1964) wrote that “Alligator is strictly for sports or travel, shoes as well as bags, and this respected reptile should be permitted to retire every evening at 5 PM.”
With all due respect to Madame Dariaux, I disagree – my alligator pumps are pretty and elegant, and wouldn’t be much fun to play badminton in. I’d certainly wear them to work during the day, but I’d be just as likely to wear them to an event in the evening if they matched what I was wearing. Not a formal event, but if I were going to a board meeting or out to a nice dinner, why not?
I found these amazing shoes at Living Threads Vintage, a small little vintage store across the street from the Multnomah County Central Library. Older shoes often come in narrow sizes, which have become much harder to find in physical stores. The skins are in great shape and the shoes fit really well. They are likely from the 40s, looking at the toe box and heel. I think they’ll go very well with one of my tweed skirts! Oh, can one wear tweed in April?!