Cat Lady with Sandals, 1930s

These days, wearing socks and sandals is often considered a fashion faux pas for women, but this wasn’t always the case.  The older woman above is happily wearing the combination while playing with (or torturing?) her cat.  Using the wisdom of fashion history bloggers, I identified the sandals as coming from the 1930s.  They have many cut outs, a signature of the era, and have heels.  By the following decade sandals were more likely to have platforms.  Her dress is still quite long, so she hasn’t yet switched to the shorter lengths that came into style at the very end of thirties.  Of course it’s always possible that she wore this look well into the coming decade.

Chicago Mail Order Company, 1938. From Wearing History

How common were socks and sandals? The blog Wearing History features a catalog rendering of the combination in 1938, with the shoes looking very similar to the ones my happy cat lady has on.  In the words of today’s fashion magazines, I would even say that the cat lady does it better with her cheerful stripes.

I think we should take this as a style lesson—wear socks and sandals if you want! You could even practice at home during lock down before you take it outside.

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