In the Wizard of Oz movie, even before Elvira Gulch morphed into the Wicked Witch of the West, she scared me. Her very clothes were pinched and painful, and pedaling furiously on her bicycle she wore those antiquated, tortuous-looking high-laced shoes. Exactly like these from a Sears sales catalog of about 1919.
OK, maybe the two-toned varieties have some style. But so Skinny! So Tall! So much Lacing! The eyelets go 16 or 17 high. Was the quality of a shoe once measured by the sheer length of shoe laces you had to deal with?
No change of catching a man’s eye by coyly revealing a bit of ankle. No Jimmy Chu styling either. On the other hand, nothing was priced more than five bucks. Well, five bucks was definitely five bucks back in 1918.
In contrast, boys will be boys. The boy’s sale shoes look, well, comparatively modern. A little clumpy, but you could probably get away with wearing them today without a second glance.
Men – no slaves to fashion. But comfortable.