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1918 Ladies Footwear

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

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

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.

Fashions 1915-1919

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.

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

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2009 Virginia Allain

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

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 27, 2014:

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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!

Ibidii on June 02, 2014:

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

Nancy Carol Brown Hardin from Las Vegas, NV on February 18, 2014:

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.

Karen Kolavalli from Lexington, Kentucky on February 09, 2013:

@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 (author) from Central Florida on February 09, 2013:

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

Karen Kolavalli from Lexington, Kentucky on February 09, 2013:

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 on March 16, 2012:

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 from Land of Aloha on February 08, 2012:

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

Coreena Jolene on October 16, 2011:

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.

tssfacts on April 09, 2011:

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 from So Cal on February 24, 2011:

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

Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on February 07, 2011:

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

myneverboredhands on October 29, 2010:

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.

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on October 02, 2010:

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

pkmcr from Cheshire UK on October 02, 2010:

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 on October 01, 2010:

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 on October 01, 2010:

Footwear and fashion from previous eras are so interesting.

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on October 01, 2010:

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

poutine on October 01, 2010:

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

Jennifer P Tanabe from Red Hook, NY on July 18, 2010:

Fascinating! Some of these shoes are really quite attractive.

Virginia Allain (author) from Central Florida on July 18, 2010:

@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.

anonymous on March 18, 2010:

Love these old shoes!

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