My 18th century shoes and stockings

I thought I would do an entry about my shoes and stockings since I have been getting so many compliments about them!

It took a while to decide

I wasn’t sure at first, before I had really looked around the online shops, what I would use for my stockings.  I thought I might just have to use some regular long socks, or attempt to make my own.

As far as the shoes, I have known since I started planning to sew 18th century garments which ones I would get.

I still get pretty nervous ordering online.  I like to see and feel a product to get a better idea of what I am needing.  When it’s something that is sized, I am definitely nervous.  It can be hard finding the right fit even when I am trying something on!

The stockings

I went with the cotton clocked stockings from Jas. Townsend.  Actually, I asked for them for Christmas and was happy to receive them as a gift from my mother-in-law.

I wasn’t sure how they would fit, but they work well.  I have muscular calves that are just big enough to annoy me when I’m shopping for tall boots.  The stockings are a little tight around my calves and only go up to just-under-knee for me (I’m just under 6 feet tall).  They stay up and look good, though, so I’m very pleased.

I’ve already washed them and there was no shrinkage or anything like that, so I hope they last me for a while.

They’re very comfortable, and add a nice pop of contrast under my petticoat with my black shoes.  For the price, I’m happy, and would definitely order another pair.

The shoes

The shoes I bought are from Fugawee, and they are the Martha style in smooth black.

I wanted to stick to dark leather, since I will be wandering around outside and am nervous about damaging anything cloth or light-colored.  At the same time, I wanted something that would look fancy, and with the height and shape of the heel, the Martha shoes continued to be my favorite as I kept checking the website out over time.

I contacted them to ask about the sizing, and they replied quickly, explaining to just use the modern shoe sizing I normally would.  They told me the C width was the widest.

I tried on some of my own modern shoes (my size can vary, depending on the shoe type or even brand), and decided which size I would order.  I also ordered the Vine and Leaf buckles in white bronze.

Once we ordered Wednesday night, the auto-reply came through quickly, stating the order was received.  I’m not sure which day the package was shipped (I forgot to check the shipping label), but I received it quickly on the following Wednesday. It actually took me by surprise, and I was thrilled to have them that soon.

The shoes were still in their box and then placed in the shipping box.  The buckles, in a plastic bag, were carefully placed with the shoes.

Also included were instructions about returns in case the shoes did not fit.  There were also instructions for putting on the buckles, as well as velcro (also included), in case you wanted to wear the shoes with a tie or ribbon instead.  I ended up using Jas. Townsend’s video showing how to put buckles on shoes since I had already seen that before I’d ordered and was familiar with it.

My feet were a little cramped in the toe area, but that’s normal.  The rest of the shoe fit well, although I have to work my foot in the shoe carefully past the heel.  I had a silly moment, and when I thought I saw the tongue getting caught in the shoe with my foot, I pulled on it — gently, I thought — and I accidentally ripped part of the tongue from the base where it is connected.  No problem, the latchets cover it and I will be careful with it.

I wore the shoes for a couple of days to help stretch them out.  By the time of the event, they felt just fine.  I still have a slight toe squeeze issue, but it’s not as bad as when I first put them on (again, this is just me… sizing shoes can be very frustrating for me).  I need to be careful walking, because the soles are still new and slick.

I did have a bit of the black dye bleed onto my white stockings inside.  This is pretty typical for leather shoes in my experience, so I expected it and didn’t mind.  The stockings cleaned up enough with a wash, and I don’t think anything will show.

Happy Customer

They look great, and I have been getting a lot of compliments on them!  Paired with the stockings, I’m very pleased!

We hope to order one of the men’s Colonial Fugawee shoes, and Thistle buckles when the time comes.  I’m sure he’ll be pleased with his purchase when we do.

Vine and Leaf buckles from Fugawee

Vine and Leaf buckles from Fugawee.

Martha shoes from Fugawee

Martha shoes from Fugawee, before I added the Vine and Leaf buckles.


18th century shoes from Fugawee

18th century shoes from Fugawee, with clocked cotton stockings from Jas. Townsend.

About Cynthia Griffith

I have way too many interests and hobbies, and continually cycle through them -- paying attention to some, while others wait for when I can get around to them again. My main interests are sewing and costuming (I enjoy historical clothing, such as 18th and 19th century, as well as fantasy costumes like elves and hopefully someday even dwarves), as well as getting back to art by drawing fan art of Thorin Oakenshield and Company. My husband Christopher and I spend a lot of time together, enjoying the outdoors and shared hobbies such as juggling. This blog and website is my way to share what I'm up to with friends and family.
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4 Responses to My 18th century shoes and stockings

  1. Seeing the shoes and stockings poking out beneath the petticoats really adds something to the costume. Everybody at the Wine and Whist evening seemed to love them!

  2. I had a few comments when people saw the photos online, too. I think it adds a nice contrast.

    Also, the mitts are making people mad (in that good “must have!” way, I mean). Accessories really are important — even if you don’t think people notice! I noticed Kaycee’s bows on her shoes and loved them, too 😀

  3. steven says:

    I love these shoes. They are so authentic looking and elegant! I am wondering if these shoes would look good with scottish attire. I’m looking for the right shoes to go with my montrose doublet(that has cuffs anf jabot). I’m trying to figure out of these shoes would look silly with the outfit or not..should they only be used for 18th century reenactment purposes? Thanks!

  4. Hello, Steven! My particular shoes (Martha’s I believe they are called) are probably their least authentic, if I remember my research well. I wanted something really fancy, but sturdy… and at the time there weren’t as many options available for historical costumers. I am assuming you mean Fugawee’s men’s line of shoes, like the Franklin or the court-shoe Leslie? I’m honestly not sure what I would recommend. Traditionalists would say, stick to what is usually worn with specific modern kilt-dress looks (black tie, white tie, etc)… but then there are also traditionalists who dislike the wearing of the commonly worn white hose, so it really is up to the wearer’s tastes. There are so many different takes on what is appropriate or not (and it’s been a long time since I’ve kept up with those conversations). I would suggest contacting Fugawee, and seeing what they recommend. Please keep in mind comfort as well…. some shoes might be more comfortable than others (court heels, compared to flatter heels — even if you aren’t intending on walking around a lot, if you will be standing, that still counts as a bit of stress on the feet if you’re not used to the heel height or shoe-shape).

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