On a recent vintage outing I found the brown shoes in the photo above. Actually, it was the shoe box that caught my eye, and the brown shoes were the prize inside the box. I immediately thought of the orange shoes which I bought about ten years ago, which I was pretty sure were the same style. With the exception of the laces and the color, the shoes are identical.
I love that the colors of the box are the orange and brown of the shoes.
I’ve tried to find an ad for the B.F. Goodrich Velvetie, but so far I’ve not found one. My guess is that these shoes date from the mid 1950s to the early 60s. (See update below)
Many times I see vintage items advertised as “unique” or “one of a kind.” But unless a garment is couture, or is made by a seamstress or a tailor, then chances are the item was made in great quantities, and chances are that more than one example of any given garment has survived to the present time.
A good example of this is the novelty border prints that were so popular in the 1950s and early 1960s. These prints were commonly made into gathered or pleated skirts, and it is pretty easy to locate multiple examples of the same print made into similar skirts.
Another example is the 1940s figural sweater. These have become quite popular in recent years, with people looking for specific sweaters that they know exist. Many of these are well documented in ads by makers such as Jantzen and Catalina, and collectors even find vintage photos of the sweaters being worn. There is a wonderful thread on the VFG forums where these sweaters and ads are shared.
When I first started buying on eBay in 1997, I’d be really distressed to lose out on an item to a higher bidder. But as time went on, I realized that if an item surfaced once, chances are there were lots more of them out there. In my early ebay days, I was the runner-up bidder on a Dalton Scottie doggie intarsia sweater. I would have bid higher, but the sweater was green, a color I rarely wear. Ten years later, the very same sweater finally resurfaced, this time in black. I bought it and wore it a few times, but now it sits safely in the Vintage Traveler collection.
UPDATE: My favorite vintage researcher, Lynne, has emailed an ad for these shoes dated 1968, though she also found them mentioned in 1967. I think it was the box that threw me, along with the soles of the shoes, which are that ridged crepe one sees so often on late 50s and early 60s casual shoes. The shoes also came in black. Many thanks to Lynne!