Monday, January 13, 2014

Vintage Style Showcase: Scrumptious Late 1930's Scamparoos Oxfords

What's cuter than a pair of shiny vintage Oxfords with heavy detailing and original laces? Well, not much, that's for sure! These are "deadstock" shoes which means they were kept, unworn, until I purchased them. Their leather soles were unscuffed, their laces uncreased. They had little wrinkles on their tops as if someone may have tried them on, perhaps to walk across the carpeted shoe shop and back, but beyond that they were immaculate!

I had one heckuva time researching these shoes, so I'm hoping this blog post will help someone out some day, just in case there is another pair of Scamparoos out there. Apparently Scamparoos is a division of "Star Brand Shoes" which is nearly as obscure. Scamparoos appears to be their children's line of shoes, as the only pairs I can find (very few) are all sized in vintage children's sizing. Star Brand Shoes was originally a division of International Shoe Company which (it sounds like) simultaneously launched Poll Parrot shoes. It's all very confusing to read up on, since I'm gleaning information from old scanned newspaper articles and whatnot.

I've gleaned some really fascinating information through several snippets about Star Brand (often just image captions or bits of info on ebay auctions!) that in the 1940's, during the second World War, there was a leather shortage because Uncle Sam was buying all of the leather up for military use. During that time, Star Brand and Scamparoos Shoes were manufactured with wooden heels and/or molded rubber soles, despite their claim to only ever use leather.

After the war, they put out ads in several national news resources stating that they would offer a $5 reward, as well as complete re-soling to anyone who brought in their wartime inferiorly made Star Brand shoes. Isn't that cool? Companies really stood by their principles back then! :)

So anyway, these shoes in particular are a bit mysterious. They have leather soles, but with a molded rubber heel that has a label on it that is associated with military-wear. All I can imagine is that they were likely a young ladies' shoe designed for use in military offices and field. They are very practical, and incredibly well made. Despite being made with a utilitarian practicality, I just love the details on old oxford shoes from this era.

They're also the most comfortable shoe I own, and I own a lot of shoes! Between their comfort, aesthetic and mysterious backstory, these are my absolute favorite shoes!

 Do you have any footwear, new or old, that seems to have been made just for you?

Until next time, adieu!
xoxo Emily