I have recently been very interested in researching the history of things. It started with a desire to know exactly why I *need* to have round tables at my wedding, a flower girl, a veil, bouquets of flowers…basically anything involved with a traditional wedding that people continue to tell me that I need to do or have. In case you’re curious, the veil worn by the bride exists because historically, marriages were arranged and therefore the groom didn’t know what the bride looked like until he raised her veil at the end of the ceremony. “WHAT?!”, is exactly what you should be thinking. Why do women keep wearing veils? Am I the only bride-to-be who asks these questions??
Anywho. My post today is about oxford shoes, so I’ll get back to that topic. I started doing the research on them because I was reminiscing the other day about how much I loved the pair of black and white saddle shoes I had as a child. Visual:
Definition: The Saddle shoe is a low-heeled, oxford, casual shoe characterized by a plain toe and distinctive, saddle-shaped decorative panel placed mid-foot. Saddle shoes are typically constructed of leather and are most frequently white with a black saddle, although any color combination is possible.
And here are some fun facts about the history of oxford shoes:
The word Oxford is derived from the Oxonian, a half-boot with side slits that gained popularity at Oxford University in 1800. The side slit evolved into a side lace that eventually moved to the instep, as students rebelled against knee-high and ankle-high boots. The toe cap can either be lined with two narrow rows of stitching, perforated holes along the end cap stitching (quarter-brogue), perforated holes along the end cap stitching and on the toe cap (semi-brogue), or a semi-brogue with the classical wingtip design (full-brogue).
Oxfords first appeared in Scotland and Ireland, where they are still occasionally called Balmorals after the Queen’s Balmoral Castle in Scotland (I haven’t been able to figure out why though).
Thank you wikipedia for the info and the picture of saddle shoes!