On shoes I found this great info on Collector’s weekly website, quick version: the reason why men stopped wearing high-heels and make up in the 18th century was they became educated or at least wanted to give the appearance of. Most of the men in my office can’t believe men wore heels and makeup at all. – more below.
“men were deemed rational and educatable; women were irrational, sentimental, and uneducatable. Dress became an expression of these two different modes of gender-specific behavior. Men began to wear more dour clothing. They gave up makeup and highly ornamented clothing and heels. Those accoutrements became signifiers of femininity—especially the high heel, since it’s an irrational form of footwear, unless you are on a horse. So it became associated with femininity, and then was eventually linked to female desirability.”
I like the ‘unless you are on a horse’ bit. So it’s perfectly ok to keep your manliness in tact whist wearing heels and lippy so long as you are saddled up. Yep, got it.
More about shoes: Rosina Lee did a great piece on Vintage shoes last week.
My favourite goofy vid about shoes by Liam Sullivan