During the 1920's, women's fashion experienced a time of incredible change. Women's shoes changed quite dramatically. You could even say that there was a revolution in shoe style that happened during the 1920's. There was a sudden, radical, and complete change that occurred with the footwear that women wore. For centuries, shoes and boots served the same functional purpose. They were simply to protect the wearer's feet. Sure shoes prior to the 1920's were designed to look reasonably attractive or even somewhat eye-catching. It wasn't however until the 1920's that women's shoes became a fashion statement. For the first time, American women were showing off their feet. Shorter skirts exposed more of a woman's leg and shoes became an important fashion accessory. During the 1920's women went a little crazy for shoes and manufacturers responded to their madness. They manufactured women's shoes in a wide variety of designs, shapes, materials, and colors. Function took a backseat as the focus shifted from protecting the wearer's feet to instead decorating and beautifying the appearance of women's feet. Function was important but not at the expense of beauty or decoration. Heeled shoes with straps that ran across the top of a woman's foot became fashionable. The more straps the better. The straps buttoned on one side of the shoe. The buttons on these new stylish shoes that held the straps in place were often rather utilitarian or plain.
During the 1920's, it became a growing trend to cover the plain shoe buttons on a woman's shoe with ornamental shoe button covers. Button covers were used to dress the shoes up. They fastened onto the side of a woman's shoes over where the button was positioned. Shoe button covers can be easily identified by their attachment feature which is located on the backside of the button cover. They frequently have an omega or letter u shaped bar on their back side. The omega shaped bar on their reverse allows for the cover to slip into place on the strap and around the button. Some shoe button covers have spring type mechanisms that allow the cover to be directly applied to the button without it having to slide onto the strap.
Shoe button covers brought more attention to the shoe's a woman was wearing and her ankles. They were designed solely for the purpose of decoration. They added an extra special little touch that really helped to dress up a woman's shoes. They were simple to attach and also removable so they could be changed out and used on different pairs of shoes. Shoe button covers came in a wide variety of different designs and materials. Art Deco styled designs were particularly popular, specifically triangular lines, zig-zag patterns, trapezoidal forms, angular lines, chevron patterned forms, circular designs, and highly stylized and simplified flower designs and animal representations.
The shoe button cover pictured above was found by Vic Tucker. Its symmetrical pattern is quite pleasing to the eye. It's bold and delineated geometric design would have added a nice little extra decorative touch to a woman's strapped shoes during the 1920's. The attachment band on its back is marked with the date 1922.
Luke Elgin Smith dug the shoe button cover pictured above. It's another great example of the symmetrical, geometric patterned designs that frequently appeared on shoe button covers. Many shoe button covers featured precise and boldly delineated lines and patterns.
Timothy Rall found the shoe button cover pictured above. Repetition played a significant part in the designs on many different shoe button covers. Timothy's button cover features a repetitive diamond shaped design. Its clean simplicity is rather striking. It is marked on its reverse side with a patent number.
Lauren Paschal Puls dug the shoe button cover pictured above. There is an elegant simplicity to its design. It's sleek, geometric design would have added beauty and appeal to a woman's high heeled shoes. I imagine that women liked using shoe button covers on their shoes because they added an element of uniqueness and originality to their footwear.
The shoe button cover pictured above was found by Derick Huggins. Its geometric shaped design is aesthetically appealing to the eye. Its attractive design would have added a nice dressy touch to an otherwise simple shoe. It really is a work of art.
A.J. Hinnant dug the shoe button cover pictured above. It's bold pattern with its stimulating contrasts make for an impressive look. Its design is showy but not in an overly flamboyant manner. Its splendid design is simple and yet striking all at the same time. It is marked on its back side with a patent number and the date 1927.
Kelly Stewart found the shoe button cover pictured above. It has a simple geometric design of classic elegance. In its heyday, when used, it would have added great beauty to a woman's shoes.
The shoe button cover pictured above was also dug by Kelly Stewart. Its decorative design is a figure of a dog. You don't always find shoe button covers with animal representations. The dog figure is highly stylized and simplified which is a pretty typical element of Art Deco style.
Jim Lahey dug the shoe button cover pictured above. It has the image of a flower on it. Floral designs were popular on shoe button covers. The flower design is simple but quite elegant. Who wouldn't love wearing a shoe button cover that looked like this one? Its design is truly breathtaking.
The shoe button cover picture above was found by Andre Lumley. Its luxurious design gives off the impression of wealth and sophistication. The most attractive designs never have too many different colors. The stimulating contrasts and solid blocks of black and gold color add beauty to the button cover. It really is a piece of art.
I dug the shoe button cover pictured above. Its rounded edges and curves evoke a natural feel of elegance. I'm sure it's sleek and simple design was pretty appealing in the 1920's.
Buttons tend to often get overlooked by the general public. When was the last time you told someone you liked one of the buttons attached to an article of clothing they had on? I don't think I have ever paid anyone a compliment regarding the buttons they were wearing. Little things often get overlooked or go unnoticed. No one would have paid all that much attention to the plain buttons on a lady’s shoe. However, when you go and add a beautiful, decorative button cover, well then they might just get a little attention. Shoe button covers found their way into fashion during a time period when women were all about expressing themselves through their clothing and stylish accessories. The economy was quite healthy during the 1920's and many women were fortunate enough to be able to spend their money frivolously on fashion accessories. Women's shoe button covers were only in fashion for a very short period of time. They faded rather quickly from popularity. During the 1930's companies seemed to stop manufacturing them all together. I'm sure that some women probably still continued to wear them during the 1930's. Their period of popularity, however, was quite brief. If you have ever dug a shoe button cover I would love to see it. You can post pictures in the section below. I hope you have a wonderful week!