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Oh, To Wear Spats Just Once

Updated on June 11, 2019
kenneth avery profile image

I was born in the south. I live in the south and will die in the south. This is only a small part of the memories I share.

Learn How To Hook Your Spats

I Simply Cannot Believe

that what I am publishing today (for your information) still exists. Men's fashionable spats. Sounds a lot like those rubber shoes with the one piece of rubber that connects on the toe and through the big toe and next toe. Only the die-hard beach bums could get by with wearing spats, but I am talking about another type of spats, the uptown, high-end, fashionable spats made famous when elite, upper-crust men of taste and breeding began to see how popular they were and the fad took off like a flock of blackbirds.

More in-depth were the spats. These fashion luxuries were worn by men and, less commonly, by women in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They fell out of frequent use during the 1920s. Made of white cloth, grey or brown felt material--their intended practical purpose was to protect shoes and socks from mud or rain, but also served as a feature of stylish dress in accordance with the fashions of the period. NOTE: if you will think about it, women who tried to look stylish ended-up looking stupid and silly when they tried to wear spats like their husbands.

Still, I still think that I am missing a large section of information and maybe some trivia that was spawned by spats and spat-wearers. I mean, the highly-successful men of the Gilded Age only wore spats in public—could be as their calling card that said, “I Am Successful. Look At Me,” to anyone who met these rich guys strolling down Fifth Avenue. Personally, I wish that I had been born during (this) time so I could know how success really tastes.

Men's Overcoat And Spats 1914.
Men's Overcoat And Spats 1914. | Source

Aside From The Fashion Statement

I have to approach you, the hub-reader, and ask, “If protecting the man’s ankles from mud and water, what else were spats good for?” Puzzling. That is how I view spats today.

But, I am not that removed from loving spats. I do think that the following men wore spats and yes, just that one fashion move, made them look and act more-successful:

  • Marvin Hamlisch – musical arrangement. Famous for adapting ragtime legend, Scott Joplin’s jazz selections and used them for the hit film: “The Sting.”
  • Cornelius Vanderbilt – business magnet. Made his wealth by buying railroads and shipping.
  • Glenn Ford – movie idol and looked pretty sharp in spats.
  • John D. Rockefeller – became the first billionaire in 1946. He wore spats frequently along with the male members of the Rockefeller Family.

I know that this list is short, but I think that you get the idea.


Men's Socks Cannot Compete With Fashionable Spats.
Men's Socks Cannot Compete With Fashionable Spats. | Source

I Would Like To Publish

this random thought about spats: if spats helped to shape the men who wore them, then “why” would spats protecting the ankles make the guy live in a category in a class by himself. So I thought that the Lone Ranger would make The Ideal folk model simply because of his black mask.

Sure The Lone Ranger (The Late Clayton Moore)

  • TV’s Lone Ranger; William Conrad, on radio) fought evil in the west and took up for the people who had suffered from someone’s greedy injustice, but look carefully. Without his mask, his character was not that intimidating. The Lone Ranger was just another cowboy wearing white.

Then Came The Very Stylish

  • black patch made famous by most pirate (actors) in the early days of Hollywood. And you have to admit that most guys who take to wearing an eye patch has to be respected. But know the truth. Not every pirate stood six-foot six and weighed 190 pounds and was in excellent physical shape. But those pirates (with the patch) made those leading ladies swoon on and off the screen. Now you have a dilemma—you must choose which of the fashion fads are more-famous, the Lone Ranger’s mask or the pirates who wore black eye patches?

And Now For The Fly In The Ointment

  • and I mean every word of this introduction. I mean no disrespect, but if I mention the ONE hero that the world loves, then the Lone Ranger, the Vanderbilts, and the movie pirates will just have to ride in the backseat.

  • Superman. Does the man of steel cause chills to run all over your spine? If you do, that is okay. But let’s talk about the ONE small change that if Superman’s creators, Jerry Siegel‎ (writer); ‎Joe Shuster‎ (artist), were around today and decided to make the Man of Steel look more dashing, to have him fight crime without wearing his famous red cape. Be honest. Superman without his cape. He would look plumb stupid. And there is no use to sugar-coat the obvious.

Men: Do You Think That Spats Will Make A Comeback?
Men: Do You Think That Spats Will Make A Comeback? | Source

Summary

I do hope that you have enjoyed my talk about spats and other fashion notes because I found spats very interesting. I hope that one day I will be able to find more facts about “Men’s Socks”: America’s Unknown Secret.

June 11, 2019_________________________________________


© 2019 Kenneth Avery

Comments

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    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      5 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Thanks.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      5 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      DW, yes, you are right. I wish that I had included the valet into my hub. Thanks for the idea. I appreciate you.

    • DWDavisRSL profile image

      DW Davis 

      5 months ago from Eastern NC

      Ken, back in their heyday, I imagine the men who could afford to wear spats could probably afford a valet to clean them.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      5 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, there, Rochelle -- "I offer you my sincere thanks for all of your comment. I am humbled by your thoughts about spats. It is comments that keep me going when I feel like just staying in bed."

      Love you, Rochelle. Write me soon.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      5 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Carolyn -- how are things in your part of the USA? I appreciate the fact that you were in the Marching Band. We had a Marching Band in my high school, but I was more interested in girls than the band.

      Forgive me and my memories.

      Thanks, dear friend, for your comments and please write soon.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      5 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      DW, you have a good point about a pain to keep spats clean. Looking back, I do not think that I expounded on that idea enough in the hub.

      Sorry.

      Write me anytime.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      5 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Venkatachari M --- your comments are much-appreciated. I mean that. Thanks so much for coming by.

      Write me again anytime.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      5 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very interesting topic here about the wearing of spats. I like those spats just above this comments section and your summary.

      Spats protect your pants too from mud and the rainwater when you are walking in the rain.

      Thanks for sharing this wonderful information.

    • DWDavisRSL profile image

      DW Davis 

      5 months ago from Eastern NC

      Part of our Drill Team uniform in high school JROTC was white spats. They were a pain to keep clean but looked sharp when we marched.

    • Carolyn M Fields profile image

      Carolyn Fields 

      5 months ago from South Dakota, USA

      I wore spats in Marching Band. Since we frequently marched behind equestrian units, they were useful in protecting our boots. Those were fun times. Thanks for prompting the memory.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      5 months ago from California Gold Country

      This is the most interesting article I have ever read about spats.(Well, actually the only one.)

      I actuay thoght they were either to hide or to protect shoelaces, and had not really realized that they were a status symbol. If the spat- wearers were so wealthy, couldn't they just buy new shoelaces? Maybe they were ot even using shoeleces, but who would know?

      ...And Sperman ithout a cape?... yes, that would just look silly.

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