The 1940s in Shoes – Black Platforms (With Studs!?)

In my new endeavor to provide the costuming and vintage fashion world with the best of 1920s, 30s, and 40s footwear, I am constantly studying style trends of those decades.

Sometimes I’m surprised by what I find, thinking, “gosh, that looks so modern!” But what that really means in this crazy fashion world is, “gosh, modern looks so vintage!”

Take platform shoes, for example. What looks ’70s may actually be ’40s. It’s amazing how popular black leather with studs was in the ’40s – what a modern “rock and roll” style! But check these 1940s shoes out…

FabGabs – 1940s platform peep toes with studs (SOLD)
(source) – Leather and studs and HUGE platforms with a daytime suit. Yes. This is ’40s
Antique Dress – 1940s beaded black velvet peep toe slingbacks. Disco inferno? Nope, just your average pair of 1940s shoes.
VintageVortex on Etsy – studs, cutouts, platform, AND and ankle strap. Zowie!

This kind of shoe is common in the ’40s – it’s the rule rather than the exception, if you can believe it. Of course, black platform shoes of varying heights and lifts went with everything – day, evening, work, play, which fits in perfectly with the thrifty ’40s ideas of versatility in the wardrobe. Here are some more black platforms:

lovestreetsf on Etsy – ’40s black suede platforms with floral cutout and ankle strap.
villavillavintage – black suede and leather platforms with decorative stitching
Kickshaw on Etsy – 1.5″ platform on these gorgeous suede ’40s shoes.

The interesting thing about platform shoes is that they *look* killer, but it’s an illusion. By elevating the ball of the foot, you get the height but not the pain of a super high heel. A platform shoe with a 4 inch heel and a 2 inch platform feels like you’re wearing just a 2 inch high heel.

I’ve been hunting for shoes like any of the above for Royal Vintage. The best repro designs I’ve found come from Miss L Fire:

Miss L Fire "Betty" 1940s Platform Shoes - $165 -
Miss L Fire “Betty” platform slingback sandals in black suede – $165
Miss L Fire "Lupita" 1940s Platform Shoes - $155 -
Miss L Fire “Lupita” black suede platforms with embroidery and cutouts – $155
Miss L Fire "Lila" 1940s Pinup Girl Platform Shoes - $120 -
Miss L Fire “Lila” 1940s velvet and studded suede platforms. These are epic and SO ’40s – $120

Gorgeous shoes, and perfectly period. For tons more examples of 1940s shoes – platforms, slingbacks, peep toes, sandals, and oxfords – check out my 1940s Shoes Pinterest board.

Plus, here are a few more makers/sellers of ’40s style platforms:
Remix Vintage Shoes – “Veronica” – $188
b.a.i.t. footwear – various designs – around $70 each
Pinup Girl Clothing – various designs – $60 – $200


  • MrsC (Maryanne)

    September 25, 2015 at 9:41 AM

    Jeez they are fabbo!! the 70s did 40's big time, of course – empire lines, tulip sleeves, fit and flare, snoods, and platforms. Honestly those shoes are amazingly wearable. Would you make them yourself? They are so much more stylish than today's platforms ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Lauren Stowell

      September 28, 2015 at 9:13 PM

      We might ๐Ÿ™‚ Platforms nowadays are popular, but they lack that nice '40s styling. I have quite a few in my collection that are just amazing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • PinhouseP

    September 25, 2015 at 2:11 PM

    Gah! I love all of those 40s shoes! I don't know why, but repro 40s platforms never have that elegant shape that the oldies have. Something about that curve of the shank, and again at the back of the heel. They are gorgeous ๐Ÿ™‚ studs an all!

    • Lauren Stowell

      September 28, 2015 at 9:16 PM

      I agree! There's no reason those tall Spanish heels can't be made today. Miss L Fire and Remix do a pretty good job. I hope to add our new brand, Royal Vintage, to that list in the near future ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Lauren Stowell

      September 28, 2015 at 9:16 PM

      Right!? Now I'm wishing I'd been more aware of historical fashion in the '90s – might've snagged some 90s-does-40s shoes ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Montell Elaine

    October 8, 2015 at 2:34 AM

    I love that about fashion though!
    I just showed this to my boyfriend and asked "What seems out of place in this photo?"
    "The Shoes"; no second thought.
    But that happens all the time!! I work in retail and see things that are "new" trends but I've seen in historic clothing from multiple periods.
    I remember I found an ombre, chevron, 1890s gown on Pinterest 4-5 years ago and felt as though the Circle of Fashion had appeared to me and weirded out every person who dared shop with me for about 2 months.
    "Did you know that this is a recycled trend…?"
    We just got "new" trend in… spoiler alert- it'd be perfect for a belle epoch costume if not for the designs- the materials are familiar though, I saw very similar items when working with jewelry and buttons at Musee Galliera.


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