Those of you who have been following the development of my historical footwear line will know that we have plans for a Regency era slipper. This begs the question, though, which part of the Regency? I’m partial to the 1790s, which shows a pointed toe and a small heel, whereas later, closer to 1810, the heel has completely disappeared, and the toe begins to square off. Slippers also had various manners of ties and ribbons, like ballet slippers, becoming popular in the later Regency, and continuing on through the 1830s.
So let’s look at some Regency shoes. At the end, I would love your vote on your preferred style…
1790s (sorry, not sure where I got this image)
1800 – 1809, from the Met. Very soft construction, no heel.
1810-1829, from the Met. Definitely a more solid shoe than the one above, rounder tow, ribbon laces. Quite cute.
1790-1800, from Shoe Icons. Probably closer to 1800, as there is no heel.
1790s, from the V&A. This one has a very small heel, and is made of leather. Colored leather, with painted on designs, or cutwork, were very popular in the 1790s.
1790s, from Shoe Icons, with sequins and embroidery. Also, no heel.
1790-1800, from Manchester Galleries. A good example of the tiny heel still seen in the 1790s.
1780s – 1790s, from the Met. A great example of the low, thick heel. The dates put this early, but it’s very indicative of styles in the 1790s.
1780-1799, from The Met. Another pointy toed, kitten heel.
1795-1805, from The Met. Quite interesting shoes, these take the ballet slipper styling that we see a little later in the Regency, and combines it with the pointed toe of the 1790s. Also, very small, flat heel just to raise the foot a little bit.
1790s, from Vintage Textile. These are Italian. Aren’t they gorgeous! They have the small heels at the back.
1800-1810, from the Museum of Welsh Life. Great example of the painted leather mentioned earlier, and the blunter heel.