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1918 Ladies Footwear

Updated on January 25, 2018
Virginia Allain profile image

I'm carrying on my mother's research into our family history. I've self-published some family memoirs & learned a lot about different eras.

$1.99 for a ladies shoe - WOW
$1.99 for a ladies shoe - WOW | Source

What the Well-Shod Foot Wore in 1918

I have a Spring-Summer 1918 catalog for clothes from the Lombard Mail Order Company in Baltimore, Maryland. It's fascinating to see what was the style for ladies shoes at that time. I've scanned in the photos from that catalog for your enjoyment and reference purposes.

This was just before the flapper era of short skirts, so picture these shoes with an ankle-length dress or skirt and blouse that was the style in 1918. These skirts are not the floor-sweeping dresses of the turn-of-the-century. They show the ankle and foot, so the shoes needed to be attractive.

White Shoes in 1918 - These are probably for summer wear

White Shoes in 1918
White Shoes in 1918

Where Would You Wear These Shoes?

I expect the lace-up shoes were for street wear, while the low-heeled slippers were for dress occasions like a party or for wearing around the house.

Check out These Prices for Shoes in 1918

Check out these prices for shoes in 1918
Check out these prices for shoes in 1918 | Source

The Style of the Toe

Buyers had a choice of a rounded toe or the longer pointed toe in ladies shoes. In most fashion pictures from this era, I see the pointed ones, so that's probably more trendy in 1918.

Here Are the Fashions from 1910 -1920 to Go with the Shoes

If you enjoy browsing fashions from an earlier era, take a look at these. The catalogs range from 1914 to the 1920s. They make great references if you are writing about those time periods or are interested in fashion history.


Seeing what women wore at this time, puts the shoes in perspective.

My Grandmother and Her Sisters in 1918

Unfortunately this photos does not show their feet. At least it lets you see the kinds of dresses they would have worn with the kinds of shoes I'm showing here.
Unfortunately this photos does not show their feet. At least it lets you see the kinds of dresses they would have worn with the kinds of shoes I'm showing here. | Source

Fashions 1915-1919

Russell's Standard Fashions 1915-1919
Russell's Standard Fashions 1915-1919

Check this book for more fashions for the 1918 period. Most libraries have books with the fashions over the centuries, if you want to look them up.

 

Labeled "Comfort Shoes" - Note the Wider Toe on These Shoes from 1918

Labeled "Comfort Shoes" - Note the Wider Toe on These Shoes from 1918
Labeled "Comfort Shoes" - Note the Wider Toe on These Shoes from 1918

1918 Celebrating the End of WWI - Check out the fashions in this video

This parade video of San Francisco shows the fashions of the day. People in the video are wearing surgical masks, as 1918 was also the great flu epidemic.

WWI Era - Vintage Fashion in Dresses, Hats, Shoes (Shoes are at the 3 minute mark)

My Grandparents in 1918

My grandmother Ruth is wearing white slippers in this photo. Her new husband, Clarence McGhee is heading off to France for WWI.
My grandmother Ruth is wearing white slippers in this photo. Her new husband, Clarence McGhee is heading off to France for WWI. | Source

Read More about the History of Fashion and of Shoes - Great Stuff on Amazon

Most libraries have books on clothing history in their reference section or you can buy the titles below from Amazon. Some of these are in encyclopedia format for looking up specific types of clothing or eras in fashion history.

Laced Boots for the Ladies in 1918

Laced Boots for the Ladies in 1918
Laced Boots for the Ladies in 1918 | Source

Great 1918 Stuff on eBay

You never know what you'll find on eBay. It's a unique marketplace. Good luck in your bidding on old ads about shoes, vintage catalogs or actual pairs of shoes from 1918.

© 2009 Virginia Allain

Can You Picture Yourself Wearing These Shoes? - Imagine yourself back in 1918 wearing the fashions of that era

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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Looking at some of those designs it becomes apparent that through the years many of these same elements (like the heels in particular as well as the toe areas) have been utilized over and over again in design elements of newer shoes. No stiletto heels however! I enjoyed seeing this. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Ibidii 3 years ago

      Some of those shoes are very nice! Beats those 1950s pointy toes and stilettos!

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I'm a shoe freak, so I'm always interested in shoes. There are some here I'd gladly wear today, isn't that funny? Thanks for this, it will be included on my FB page Hand in Glove With History and my blog.

    • heytoto profile image

      Karen Kolavalli 5 years ago from Lexington, Kentucky

      @Virginia Allain: I'll have to look for it--it's a fascinating topic. I'd recommend Purple Death: The Mysterious Flu of 1918 by David Getz. It's a children's book, written for grades 3-6. One of the most exciting developments during my years as a children's librarian was the upsurge in excellent nonfiction titles for children of all ages.

    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      @heytoto: I seem to be gravitating to 1918 topics lately. Just read the book, Enza, which was about the flu epidemic.

    • heytoto profile image

      Karen Kolavalli 5 years ago from Lexington, Kentucky

      My house was built in 1918, so I have an interest in that time period. Also, I collect Rose O'Neill memorabilia and this was during her heyday, too. I talk about her on my "Kewpies--or Not?" lens. Rose was a rebel though, so she may not have been into wearing such constricting shoes with her flowing gowns.

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 6 years ago

      I'm so glad you reminded me of this lens! I love it - style and education. Great combination. I just added this to my own Types of Ladies Heels lens! :)

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      I'm amazed at how restrictive the ladies footwear in 1918 was; I believe I'll stick with my tennies. :)

    • Coreena Jolene profile image

      Coreena Jolene 6 years ago

      Clothing is a great way to date old photos. Unfortunately most don't show the shoes, but some do. I love looking at old ads and prices. Fun lens.

    • profile image

      tssfacts 7 years ago

      I really like the vintage look. I remember seeing similar shoes in my grandma's closets. I tried them on but they didn't fit me as they were too big. So my "dress-up" days had to be just the dresses and other accessories but no shoes.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 7 years ago from So Cal

      Added as a featured lens on my Rhea's of Sneedville, TN. Another way to make the letters more real.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Great look back in time 100 years ago. Lensrolled to my One Hundred Years Ago lens.

    • myneverboredhands profile image

      myneverboredhands 7 years ago

      Fabulous lens, well done and so well presented. I like those shoes and boots! I'd love to try on the clothes and shoes from that era.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 7 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I would love to wear the fashions of the 1918 era - occasionally. What a great lens idea!

    • pkmcruk profile image

      pkmcr 7 years ago from Cheshire UK

      Fascinating! It's slightly offbeat lenses which like this which make Squidoo so intriguing at times - especially when they are as well presented as this one! Blessed by a passing Squid Angel :-)

    • RickyRobi LM profile image

      RickyRobi LM 7 years ago

      Vintage footwear is an interesting topic. Many of the women's shoes shown here have similar lines and styles to what we would wear today as long as we didn't look for the latest fad.

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 7 years ago

      Footwear and fashion from previous eras are so interesting.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I really enjoy looking at Vintage Clothing and these 1918 Ladies Footwear from your catalog are truly fascinating. Especially the price tag.

    • profile image

      poutine 7 years ago

      Actually some of those shoes look pretty much like the ones of today.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Fascinating! Some of these shoes are really quite attractive.

    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

      @Kate Phizackerl1: Thanks, Kate, for reminding me to update this lens. I've added more pictures, expanded titles and subtitles, and included more books for viewers interested in 1918 fashion and life.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Love these old shoes!

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