It’s Terminology Tuesday (well actually it’s Wednesday! sorry.) again and this week in the spotlight is…
“shoes with stout leather soles and knee high cloth uppers, or leggings, fastened with lacings, worn in Europe in the late 14th century and again by American colonists in the 17th century. Similar to start ups.
Well, when I read “American colonists” my brain went Laura Ingalls Wilder, you might think of it as “Little House on the Prairie” but I didn’t watch the TV show, I was a bit too young. But I did read the whole series of books, over and over and over again! I loved Laura’s gumption and independence, the honour of Almanzo, had compassion for Mary’s blindness and sweet nature and I loved the strength and merriment of Pa. And so I fell in love with the notion of sharing with you the history of the Buskin.
But… of course not it was not simple as that. Whilst I could find lots of images and information of colonial America, everything I found was formal, military or Sunday best. Buskins were working shoes, shoes that would have disintegrated from use and largely not depicted in recordings of the time. However I was determined, and so I’d like to share with you what I found.
I dug out my old treasured books and searched through the pages to find illustrations of buskins. This series of books in an account of Laura’s childhood, growing up in a pioneering family on America’s western frontier. Laura lived from 1867 to 1957.
So they look the part these boots, but they don’t have the lacings or fastenings, and they sit straighter on the leg, less baggy, that the dictionary mentions. So I looked up startups…
also startop, styrtop, and stertop.
high shoe reaching above the ankle, worn by country men, american colonists, and sometimes by women in late 16th and early 17th centuries. Frequently laced or buckled on the outside of the leg, made of untanned leather, and worn for sports. Sometimes had velvet or silver trim (really?) for women. When loose fitting, it was called a bagging shoe.
So in fact if they were looser they were a bagging shoe?
Hmm. So far we have mention of the late 14th century, the late 16th century, and the early 17th century and pioneering Americans in the late 19th century.
And then I found these…
Below note the sentence:
” The Chieftain, whose figure…and buskins or hose over his trousers…”
Truly kick ass.
Happy Tuesday (or Wednesday as the case may be!)
To read more Terminology Tuesday posts click on the Culture tag in the “Let’s Talk” cloud top right of the home page.
OR click here to read my previous post.
* Bibliography: The Fairchild Books Dictionary of Fashion 4th Edition by Phyllis G. and Sandra J. Keiser
FASHION: The Ultimate Book of Costume and Style. Dorling Kindersly
Ancient Costumes of Great Britain and Ireland. From the Druids to the tudors. By Charles Hamilton Smith.
Shoes: Fashion and Fantasy by Colin McDowell.