The day has finally come! You can now pre-order from our Wide Collection, which features seven of our most beloved styles, spanning three centuries of historical footwear. Pompadour, Kensington, Paris, Bernadette, Londoner, Lilith, and Claire are now available for pre-order in D-width, in an array of beautiful colors!
The standard for American Duchess ‘women’s’ shoes is B width, which is considered ‘average’ in the shoemaking world. As we are a small company, making all of our styles in a variety of widths simply hasn’t been possible for us. We have made a few attempts at selling wides several years ago, but they weren’t very successful, and therefore not maintainable. However, our community has been growing, and we have been getting more and more inquiries about making shoes in wide. With more resources at our disposal, we decided to create the Wide Collection!
If you have been following us for a while, you’re probably familiar with how our pre-order system works; we design and release styles for pre-order, and then depending on how successful that pre-order is, and how those styles sell once we have them in stock, we determine if that style is going to be restocked or retired. That’s why the pre-orders are so important! This is the case for the Wide Collection as well. The more successful this pre-order is, the more likely it is that we will be able to pursue developing other styles in wide in the future, and the more likely it is that wides will be restocked!
We have been working on the Wide Collection for several months now; we wanted to make sure we checked all the boxes for a cracking collection. First, we determined which styles we wanted to develop in wide. This curated selection was decided based on two main factors: firstly, which styles are the most popular, beloved, and best-selling. Secondly, we wanted our Wide Collection to be representative of a variety of historical eras.
Once we had narrowed it down to seven specific styles, we launched into the development phase. This involved getting lots of samples made in D-with, fit testing the samples, sending in feedback, and rinse and repeat until we felt the D-width styles were right. In addition to making sure the shoes were all comfortable on a wide foot, we ensured that the lines of the shoes were balanced to maintain the aesthetic of the style. It’s not as simple as simply making the toe box wider! In the end, we think the Wide Collection has come out beautifully!
Without further ado, let us introduce the styles that you can now procure in D-width:
For those seeking early 18th century footwear with a wider fit, we’re now offering Pompadour in D-width! Pompadour has been an American Duchess favorite since 2012, when it was released for the first time. Beloved by costumers, costume designers, and performers alike, this beautiful shoe is closely based on extant early 18th century tie latchet shoes. Accurate for the 1680s all the way through the 1760s, the Pompadours feature an all-leather construction, our custom reproduction Louis heels, pointed toes, and a characteristic white rand. Get yours in ivory or black!
For those who prefer the stylings of the late 18th century, Kensington is now available in D-width too! This lovely latchet shoe is another American Duchess mainstay, as we have released and re-released this style since 2012. Kensington features our custom, perfectly balanced French heels, and pairs perfectly with any of our 18th century buckles. Kensington in D-width is available in black, walnut, bordeaux, and forest green.
For the boot-inclined, we’re so excited to be releasing one of our most popular boots of all time, Paris, in D-width. This gorgeous lace-up boot is accurate to the late Victorian era all the way through the 1930s and 1940s! With an attractive almond-shaped toe, sturdy soles, and lovely 1.6”/4 cm Cuban heel, Paris is comfortable for long hours of wear, even when traipsing over cobblestones. Select from classic black or duotone tan/brown.
What would this pre-order be without our best selling style of all time? That’s right, Londoner is now available in D-width! Londoner Edwardian oxfords feature beautiful broguing, an adjustable lace-up closure, and a custom Louis heel. Carefully fit-tested for wider feet, Londoner in D-width can be pre-ordered in black, brown, tan, and cherry.
Edwardian enthusiasts will rejoice, because Bernadette is also now available as part of our Wide Collection! Designed in collaboration with Bernadette Banner, this eye-catching oxford is another one of our most beloved styles. Built on the same last as Londoner, Bernadette has welted leather soles and a perfectly balanced Louis heel. Contrasting stripes on all-leather uppers make this shoe inimitable! Pre-order Bernadette in D-width in navy/ivory, burgundy/black, cognac/black, and ivory/black.
Those seeking a touch of glitz and glamour can now bedeck their feet in our super-popular Lilith 1920s T-strap sandals, now pre-order-able in D-width. Luminous satin paired with metallic leather and a rhinestone buckle makes for the perfect evening shoe. Accurate to the 1920s-1940s, Lilith in D-width comes in six beautiful colorways: wildcard teal/copper, black/silver, burgundy/gold, gold/gold, green/silver, and black/gold.
Last but definitely not least, Claire 1940s oxfords are now being offered in D-width! This classic oxford is one of our most popular vintage offerings, as we have restocked it again and again over the years. Complemented by tasteful broguing, Claire is a direct reproduction of an original CC41 compliant “Academy Girl” brand shoe, and fits the bill perfectly for a solid oxford that doesn’t compromise style. Claire’s 1.6”/4 cm Cuban heel and wide, round toe-box makes for an extremely comfortable, attractive, and versatile vintage shoe. Pre-order your Claires in D-width in black or brown.
There you have it, friends. Our Wide Collection pre-order is on from September 22-October 6, in our US and EU stores. For these two weeks, you will save $20/€20 off each pair when you pre-order! We can’t wait to see you in your lovely new Wide Collection styles!