Gain a Foothold at Home: Slippers

The new-found adaptability of the slipper has seen it embraced by a mixture of groups, and is playing a comforting and timely role in the home.

Robert F. Kennedy with his children (Photo by Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Ravaged by a potent virus, which still grips the UK; it rapidly changed the course of the ground on which we walked in 2020. A tough year for many types of footwear, the new year hasn’t exactly set a premise for the duty of an Oxford shoe or brogue to be reinstated. Everything is cyclical of course – and through sombre circumstances the popularity of the slipper has surged. It’s not a new phenomenon, the appetite for a slipper of vaunted finery has evidently taken off in the last decade, as people have found different uses for it; primarily using its credentials as a style statement.

Opulent slippers – adorned with symbols of power, such as dragons were worn in Chinese courts as early as 4700 BC, but it would take until Victorian times for the discerning gentleman’s house shoe to gain wider prominence. Thought to have designed it himself, The Prince Albert slipper as it’s otherwise known became synonymous, by being the preserve of courtly figures in velvet smoking jackets, propping up fireplaces in stately homes or reclining in armchairs in Pall Mall’s gentlemen’s clubs. Effectively smoking shoes, matching them to velvet smoking jackets is one modus operandi, but with dinner suits they add a soupçon of playboy élan with a whiff of dandy elegance; especially if monogrammed to good taste.

Contributor

Freddie Anderson

Published

January 2021

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