Thursday, June 16, 2011

Velvet Slippers vs Patent Court Shoes

Del Toro size test slippers, 9 and 9.5
I recently ordered Del Toro's 'size test', wherein you pay a comparatively small sum of money to try on two sizes of slippers and then return them. What I discovered about the sizing... is that their website happens to be conservative about how small the sizes are... based on my experience, you may wish to consider starting with a whole size up, not just a half size.

The packaging is amazing... beautiful cardboard and it even has a magnetic closure!

The slippers are gorgeous, made in Spain, and actually rather comfortable. I tried walking a short distance in them and I'm fairly pleased with the results. The 9.5 was a bit tight on one toe, but I'm told the shoes will expand as they are worn. Additionally, as you can tell in the pictures, they may be monogramed. The monogram on this pair is not mine, but probably a surplus item. That said, it was well executed.

The shoe looks regal. Seriously.
Now, after reading the title of my post... you must be curious as to whether or not they really are that similar. The construction of the shoes is very much alike... the differences are obviously there; however, considering the velvet slipper (aka Prince Albert Slippers) was invented around the Victorian era, which was not terribly long after the Regency where we saw Brummell placing bows on shoes to create modern court shoes or dress pumps, they are to the casual observer, minimal.

While the Del Toro shoes are not lined, they were very comfortable... it's definitely a soft interior. 

And of course, you all are dying to see what they look like when I'm wearing the different shoes:

You can tell I've worn the court shoes a bit, because they're worn somewhat... 

Another thing about trying shoes out, is that you always want to do it on carpet, so that the soles do not get scratched. Many people are used to rubber soles on shoes, which do not really show wear in the same manner as leather soles. Leather soles are preferable in all situations that require a truly dressy shoe, excepting when it is raining. The advantages of leather are many... but I'll mention in passing, that dancing works better, as does the elegance of the shape of the sole as it wears. Rubber soles wear uneavenly, creating a 'hull-like' shape to the bottom of your shoes. Leather, on the other hand, is thinner to start with and wears in a relatively flat manner (in the sense that a common observer doesn't observe the shape of your sole completely mutate.) The downside is that it does wear through faster than the rubber equivalent.
You'll notice the pumps don't really have a tongue... whereas, the slippers do... the difference is noted here by how much is visible of the shoes/socks based on the trousers resting normally.