Saturday Evening Post, March 31, 1956

I love the way the old Saturday Evening Post covers told a story in one frame.  The mother’s look of sadness at her little girl all but grown.  The girl herself, awkwardly admiring her own reflection.  The salesman counting his commission.  The discarded penny loafers.

This was a rite of passage that passed me by.  I went straight from loafers and patent leather maryjanes to practical and comfortable knock-offs of Roger Viver’s Pilgrim pump.  Even when heels went back up in the 1970s, I tended to wear lower styles.  And today I’m strictly a Converse and oxfords type of woman.  I don’t think I’ve ever even owned a pair of proper stilettos.

But for that young miss in 1956, the heeled sandals were a necessary part of her dance ensemble.  I just hope she didn’t trip.

18 Comments

Filed under Shoes, Viewpoint

18 responses to “Saturday Evening Post, March 31, 1956

  1. Love the Illustration. I have some awesome stilettos but thanks to the bunion on my left foot I can’t wear them of late. Life sure was simpler back then!

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  2. This is darling. It represents so much.

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  3. Liz

    I love this. What’s also interesting to me is that the teenager was wearing what I’d call a dress coat, maybe camel-hair, probably mid-calf length, along with her loafers and jeans. I had such a coat in 1961; Mother made it, and although it was not perfect, I didn’t feel completely out of style. I can’t really remember when we stopped wearing such coats and turned to parkas and anoraks, except when wearing dresses.

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  4. Gorgeous cover illustration.

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  5. I’m fascinated with the handbags in the background!

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  6. I don’t know, I think the mom looks a little non-plussed. That was difficult time for American women like my mom, who was raising three kids but dreaming of a career. I wore the Roger Vivier knock-offs, too, but have probably owned every variation of footwear since then, from Earth Shoes to stilettos. And I still have a million in my closet!

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  7. I just with through this with my daughter. This illustration really does capture it all. Bittersweet.

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  8. I remember running in sandals that had about a 1 1/2″ solid heel during recess in about 1979. Thinking back, it’s good that I didn’t trip. Now I’m thankful that my husband’s favorite shoe to buy for me is the Haflinger, with its comfortable flat sole and felted upper.

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  9. Pingback: What’s Your Shoe Size? New Silkscreen Print! | Ian Phillips

  10. Love this! I just described this very scene and then found your post. There are things here we don’t see in shoe stores anymore — the little bench you place your foot on while the store clerk helps you try on your shoes, the brannock device peeking out from behind the empty shoe box, and the ash tray in front of the sofa (I don’t miss this last one). If you are lucky there still may be a helpful store clerk, and it’s still common to see shops that specialize in shoes and handbags together. Nice post!

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