The Shoe Snob Blog

February 20, 2010

Written by , Posted in News

The Return Of The Classics Part 1 – Spats

There was a time when dress codes very much encompassed our societies. A time where almost everyone dressed elegantly and cared about how they presented themselves whether it was for a job interview or to just take a stroll in the street. Many of the most original and intriguing designs came from these time periods, classics that set themselves apart from the norm of what we see today yet that are somewhat forgotten in time and rarely seen anymore. One of these styles was ‘The Spat’.

The term, spat, was derived from an accessory that attached to the shoe, covering the instep and ankle to protect people from soil and mud, back when there wasn’t much concrete. This accessory then developed into a fashionable article of clothing that denoted the likes of the wealthy and stylish. You often saw spats in either white, gray or some sort of tan/beige. A gentleman wearing high-polished black shoes accompanied by white spats, a black cane and black top hat was usually a gentleman of wealth as this was their staple uniform. This style of fashion lasted from the late 19th century until about the 1920’s where it slowly faded away from its hold on society as an elegant form of dress and sifted its way into the likes of the military, being worn by soldiers of all kinds.

Its rare today that you see people wearing spats or even brands making any but there still are a handful of shoemakers that have preserved this style. However, it is now done in a more modern look. There is still the option of this two piece type set, as you see Johnny Depp utilizing, but now a spat boot all in one shoe is more common (as shown below). There are also versions of shoe spats where the shoe is low cut and does not have the buttons but has the idea all the same (also shown below). A return to this look would be a pleasant surprise. It is tiring seeing so many people out there dressed like bums, not caring about their appearance. Not that everyone needs to be vain but at least they should give a shit especially if they want to be taken seriously. This idea of comfort has made us all lazy and it shows! If we don’t see a sudden surge in the return of spats in modern day society you can believe that I will make a whole line of these when I start my company!

(Clockwise From Top Left: Dimitri Bottier, John Lobb, Anthony Delos, & Marc Guyot)


  1. Anonymous
  2. Anonymous
  3. Beemer
  4. Jeffery Brown

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