• "Woman trying on shoes." Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Digital Commonwealth.

    More info
    Select an item:
    Woman trying on shoes
    • Date
    • 1940-1949
    • Creator
    • Jones, Leslie, 1886-1967
    • Description
    • Title and date from information provided by Leslie Jones or the Boston Public Library on the negative or negative sleeve.
    • Rights
    • Copyright (c) Leslie Jones. All rights reserved.
    • Partner
    • Digital Commonwealth
    • Contributing Institution
    • Boston Public Library

  • "Various Types Of Shoes And Shoe Buckles For Women, 1910s." Courtesy of The New York Public Library.

    More info
    Select an item:
    Various Types Of Shoes And Shoe Buckles For Women, 1910s
    • Date
    • 1914
    • Creator
    • Manuel, Henri.
    • Description
    • Written on border: "Feb. 1914" Printed on border: "Cut-steel buckles will sparkle on the low shoes and slippers this spring, but in new designs.
    • Standardized Rights Statement
    • http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/UND/1.0/
    • Partner
    • The New York Public Library
    • Contributing Institution
    • Art and Picture Collection. The New York Public Library

  • "Stetson Shoe Co - finished products - samples." Courtesy of Weymouth Public Libraries, Tufts Library via Digital Commonwealth.

    More info
    Select an item:
    Stetson Shoe Co - finished products - samples
    • Date
    • 1874-1982
    • Description
    • Title from item. Date supplied by cataloger.
    • Rights
    • Rights status not evaluated. This work is licensed for use under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License (CC BY-NC-ND).
    • Partner
    • Digital Commonwealth
    • Contributing Institution
    • Weymouth Public Libraries, Tufts Library

As stockings became more attractive and fashionable after 1910, dressmakers began to raise hemlines, putting the female shoe on full display. The idea of the shoe as a fashion statement drastically changed the way that female consumers thought about shoes. Women sought out shoes not only for practicality, but also for variety, expanding shoe wardrobes. To meet the demand of changing fashions, the production of women’s shoes increased by almost thirty percent between 1914 and 1919.

In order for larger collections of shoes to be made available to the average female buyer, shoemakers had to make styles more affordable. Regardless, the early twentieth century saw an overstocking of product as new styles replaced older ones. Stores would, by contract, return unsold merchandise to factories. While some factories developed factory outlets to serve as a retail space for “old” fashions, most shoemakers were not equipped to deal with this influx of returning product.