How to Use a Victorian Button Hook – Video!

Those of you who costume for mid-Victorian through Great War will be familiar with side-buttoning boots. They’re iconic and beautiful, but can be a little tricky to get closed if you don’t have the right tool.

That tool is a button hook. This handy implement was common in the 19th century – every lady had one – and was available in myriad styles, from simple looped designs with name brands stamped in the steel, to intricately tooled silver and gold plated designs, sometimes with ivory handles.

Often in re-creating historical shoes, there’s a bit of a domino effect. For instance, in making 18th century latchet shoes, it only makes sense to then make the 18th century shoe buckles to fit them. Same goes for Victorian button boots – of course there needs to be a button hook to go along with them. If shoe shops in the 19th century had them, so must we, which is why we offer a free reproduction button hook with Tavistock and Renoir button boots.

Tavistock Victorian Button Boots c. 1890 – 1920s

I hope you find the video helpful, if you’re having a bit of confusion over how to button your boots up. Button boots are fascinating – as much an experience to put on and wear as anything, and a part of “living history” we historical costumers love.


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