U.S. First Communion Footwear: Types

Figure 1.--Here we see a portrait of two unidentified American children wearing white First Communion suits. Notice the saddle shoes and white, or light-colored, strap shoes. THe portrait is undated, but we would guess was taken about 1950.

We see boys wearing a range of footwear worn with First Communion suits. We were high-top and low cut oxfords. We also see specialized types like strap saddles shoes. They appeared basically with chronological changes in footwear styles. Boys wore formal styles or at their best shoes. This continued into the 70s when we begin to see more informal First Communion outfits. As high-tops declined in popularity, we see boys wearing strap shoes and oxfords, but after the mid-20s we see mostly oxfords. Boys wore many different types of oxfords, mostly lace up conservatively styled ones. Here there were a range of styles. Many girls wore strap shoes, but they were less common for the boys. We are unsure why saddle shoes became so popular for boys. They were initially sport shoes for teenagers and young men. We suspect that they wre a mostly white shoe that could be worn for other occassions. The girls wore both black and white strap shoes. The black shoes were worn even though their First Communion outfits were white junior wedding dresses. Even after First Communion suits began to become less common and more informal in the 70s, boys continued wearing leather oxfords.


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Created: 8:47 PM 4/30/2013
Last edited: 8:47 PM 4/30/2013