Ride on

Vogue magazine Clarks shoes advert May 1945

I really see nothing wrong with this image. At all. It’s from Vogue May 1945.

I have come over a bit Margaret Howell recently. And I helped a friend purchase some classic Howell trousers – very like these here – last week. So, I thought to look back to the designs behind her designs – indubitably the Second World War time.

I also like a bit of a Clarks shoe, too. Clarks still seem to walk a pretty good line between keeping ladies in comfortable shoes comfortable in safe and sound footwear and releasing classic designs from the archive. In some ways their shoes have very little to do with fashionable shoes. And in a lot of ways I like them the better for that. Added to which, I have an abiding weakness for historic clothing brands still going today.

This is a beautiful pair of hinged wood-soled sandals. Where has the hinged shoe gone, you might ask? Since the clompy, clacky Scholl slip-on became acceptable, most wooden shoes we see have a one piece sole. But it makes an awful lot of sense to hinge a wooden sole, if you think about it.

All the better to zip around town on your bike, in your nice wide fitting, turned-up trousers and smart jacket. All the better for an ingénue actress to pause her bike outside a bookshop, smile for the camera, then ride on by.

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