One thing that really makes the clothes and accessories of the years immediately following WWII is color. During the war the limitations to fashion went way beyond rationing. Because they were made from chemicals, many dyes were in short supply due to their usefulness in the war effort.
In the US, shoes were pretty much limited to six colors: black, three shades of brown, navy, and white. Some writers have suggested that part of the limitation of colors might have been an effort to make shoes less desirable, and to make women less likely to want to buy the new shoes. There may be some truth to that, and I might suggest that the styles were not exactly attractive either. They were sturdy and made to last. Aesthetics were an afterthought.
But after the war ended, color exploded across fashion. Some of the very best prints ever conceived were printed on post WWII rayons and silks. Color didn’t end there, though, and shoes and handbags were also full of fantastic colors.
I found these super wedge shoes last weekend, and immediately fell in love with the color combination of purple, light yellow, and pale sky blue. Just that little touch of blue turned these shoes into something really special.
The wedge hell was introduced by Ferragamo in 1936, and it remained a practical heel through the war years. It allowed for easy walking, and the stability make wedges more comfortable than a conventional heel.
After the war ended, the wedge heel remained popular. For the most part, it was used for more casual shoes or shoes for work. Sandals often had wedge heels during the postwar period.
I spent an hour or two this afternoon researching when wedges were popular. What that means is that I lost myself in copy after copy of magazines from the 1940s and early 50s. Judging by the frequency of wedges featured in ads and editorial content, starting about 1952 the wedge heel started to lose popularity. A devotee of the wedge could still find them in 1954, but the style was fast waning as the stiletto came on strong.
The brand is Delson Dash Abouts, a label I don’t remember ever seeing. My search through my magazines did not produce an ad for the company either. I did find a very few online references, the earliest being a newspaper ad in 1950. There was also a note in a book on copyright holders that the label belonged to Bird & Son, Inc. The last mention I’ve found was in a 1960s ad.
The Scottie on the label had absolutely nothing to do with the purchase of these shoes.
As I said, I did not turn up an ad for Delson Dash Abouts, but advertisements for colorful wedge shoes were common from 1946 through about 1952. An example is this 1951 ad from Buskins.