Presenting the American Duchess Shoe Coloring Pages

Lauren, the American Duchess, is a widely respected historical-costumer-for-hire and shoe designer.  When she started making shoes, I was fascinated.  She learned how to design and produce shoes because she couldn’t find shoes she liked to wear for historical events.  I respect that- if you can’t find what you want, do it yourself.  These shoes are designed for comfort and durability.  Comfortable, pretty and hard-wearing?  Yes, thank you!

I watched each new release, debating with myself about its wearability in my wardrobe.  I don’t go to historical re-enactments, but I do wear more or less whatever I please and finding durable, interesting shoes with a low heel is hard.  I hate shopping.  That’s why I sew.  Enter- The Astoria.

Have you seen the Astoria shoe?  It’s wonderful.

Now, for most of my adult life I’ve always had a pair of red shoes.  I like them and wear them, consistently.  The Astoria looks great in black or white, but I see them for me in red.  Sometimes it’s really difficult to picture something like that without seeing it.  Luckily The American Duchess posts what I took for coloring pages:

Yes, I think this will do quite well for me.  Helpfully, Lauren posts about dyeing your shoes.  I do so much of that kind of thing, I’m not worried about trying it.  I can always just take them to the steampunk gentleman cobbler in the basement of the Myer Center downtown who always resoles my shoes- he’d dye them in no time.  Now it’s just a matter of saving my pennies so I can have some lovely red Astorias to pair with my vintage-inspired work wardrobe.

Lauren is taking reduced-price pre-orders ($25 savings!) through her site now for black or white colors.

This saddle-shoe t-strap, 23Skidoo, is coming out soon.  I’m already fantasizing about two-tone blues or reds.


Have you seen her shoes before?  Do you own a pair?  What are they like?  More importantly, do you own any red shoes?


  1. I’ve been eyeing off the Astoria and wishing I had more money (and could figure out what size I would need) for a while now.. but the 23Skidoo.. WOO my heart just skipped a beat. No red shoes here, but I do have a hot pink pair. Which never get worn because nothing matches hot pink.

    • I have some bright aqua shoes. Bought them to wear with casual stuff, I rather enjoy the pop of unexpected, sometimes jarring color with my most ordinary outfits (and it works with the less ordinary stuff, too…).

  2. I have a pair of red suede wedges, one of my favourite pairs, soooo comfy as they have a nice low heel, and they go with everything! Thanks for the link, these shoes look lovely! X

  3. Red suede court shoes, red alligator print peep toes, red mock-croc cowboy bootee (purchased in Shiprock, New Mexico), red furred ankle boots, red patent leather high heeled pumps and yes even a pair of red ballet flats. I love a red shoe and I can definitely see you (and me) in these shoes in red. I haven’t seen these shoes before and I am now going over to stalk Lauren’s blog. I have a dress that needs some Astorias.

    • Oh *swoon*. One day I’ll have a proper collection of red shoes. :)

      Do you ever pair the bootees with something inappropriate, like a silk cocktail dress?

  4. I’ve been umming and ahhing so much about these shoes since she posted the first pictures. I know I would love a black pair – hello new work shoes but I’m just so indecisive about size, do I go a 10 or a 10.5, le sigh.

    I do agree though, those shoes would fantastic in red be it a deep almost burgundy or be it a fire engine red they would be divine.

    • I should imagine she’d allow returns for sizing…

      Yes, the more I think about it, the more I like the red. I’m saving up!

      • The return policy is quite liberal – I’m really impressed with Lauren’s shop policies in general, and trying to figure out if I can possibly justify buying the Astorias on the grounds that I’m making reproduction 1912 clothing as an academic project in honor of New Mexico’s centenary (and, you know, everything else that happened 100 years ago). I’m already planning to order a pair of the regency low-heeled slippers to dye red and wear with my red-accented wedding dress next year! They’re just the ticket, to go with a 1950s style dress, look fancy, and um, avoid towering over my fiance, who is about half an inch shorter than I am. He’s a perfectly reasonable height; I just don’t feeling like a giant. I’m 5’9″, so in 3″ heels I end up six feet tall, which feels a little unnecessary to me. I don’t particularly need any help in the height department, but I like pretty shoes. It’s so encouraging to see these lovely low-heeled, *leather* shoes from American Duchess! So tempted….

  5. I love red shoes too; I just recently had to toss my flats (that I’d had for forever!) and I haven’t found a good replacement yet. I’m definitely interested in the Astorias – they look like good dance shoes!

  6. Oh sweet shoe temptation! Red would be fabulous. I am lamenting the death of my red ballet flats as the replacement sandals I got just aren’t as good. I can so see you with red Astoria’s.

    I would dearly love to learn to make shoes but have never found a course on offer in Brisbane (mind you it needs to be outside of work hours as well). I think it would be incredibly fun and perhaps very useful for someone like me who has what podiatrists and doctors have described as two feet which don’t belong on the same body because they are so at odds with eachother in terms of shape, size and bone structure.

    • Yes— I think the Astorias would really stand out here, red or otherwise… You know how you ALWAYS see someone with nice shoes, ask them where they bought them and they say something like “Berlin” or “Vancouver”.

      I don’t know about shoe-making classes… I never heard of any. There’s the odd millinery class. I’ll keep my ears open and let you know.

  7. I’m so jealous of the people on here who own more than one pair of red shoes. I was feeling all smug for my one pair (which never fail to give me a boost of confidence so are my go-to for work meetings!). The Astoria shows are beautiful, and would be a whole step-up once they’re red! My red-shoe longing is for a pair of red cowboy boots (damn you Carol! So jealous!!).

  8. I do own red shoes and I do want more! For something so zingy, they are surprisingly versatile. Red shoes seem to go with just about everything. I’ve seen these shoes before. They are so lovely, I am trying to think how they could realistically fit into my wardrobe. They would be a nice substitute for trashy too-high heels at a dressy evening event, I think.

  9. I have a pair of ruby red heals that are a bit sparkly so they are my Dorothy shoes. And I’m definitely buying a pair of the Astorias in black!

  10. I have seen these shoes before. I’ve been tempted but so far I have been able to find good enough shoes for my costumes in my stash or in thrift stores. I have one pair of flat red shoes but I never think to put them on. They are practical for work but they don’t go with a lot of my clothes. I have a sensible pair of black flats that go with everything “dressy” that I wear to work and a pair of runners for when I wear jeans. Every day I decide between two shoes…the black ones and the runners. Boring I know. But in the summer I occasionally decide to wear sandles…if I’m not going to work.

  11. Love me red shoes. I have burgundy boots, magenta boots, bright red courts and red sandals, and I’ve always had some kind of red shoe. I don’t think red shoes need to go with your outfit, they are outside the rules. :) You are definitely a Red Shoe Woman.
    I love the Astorias too, and the Devonshires, but have the same angst, I have no idea really what size I am and postage from here to US is so high, it would be an expensive mistake. I buy shoes in 42-45 size so who would know really. Lesigh.

  12. For the last few years my summer go-to shoes have been a succession of red ballet flats. Before that, I had a great pair of red sandals, but they weren’t very durable and didn’t last long. I love red shoes. :)

    • Thanks for the link… :) They are cheaper, but I would wonder if the quality is there…? It’s so hard to tell on the internet.

    • Thanks, KhristieB! I love everything on that link! Have you ordered anything from there yourself yet?

  13. I have turquoise shoes, and red shoes. But I mostly wear black or the turquoise (Fluevog Hope Dream) because they have the lowest heels. I LOVE the 23Skidoo style. Wow. I’ll have to save some money for a pair! Maybe I’ll dye them orange.

    I do have friends who do later period reenactment, and the word is those shoes are very nice.

      • I think I’d pair the orange shoes with bright blues or something. Wearing bright colours in the summer always makes me feel cheerful, especially since most of my wardrobe is black!

  14. Pingback: Sneaky Sewing Savings: Laundry Soap « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

  15. I am all about red shoes! And pretty much any brightly coloured shoe. Yellow shoes are my current fixation but I haven’t found the right pair.

    I’m torn on the 23Skidoos. 20s T-straps are one of the style trends that has become a bit of a cliche. Her design is particularly nice, but I still can’t get past ALL the other T-strap shoes that are called 20s.

    • Well— Sure everyone and their dog is making and wearing T-straps right now. Sure. Maybe some of them are vaguely 20’s and some aren’t… I can’t let the preferences of other people put me off a style I rather like. I hope they’re passe soon and I look extra hideous wearing them…

      Lauren’s are the best I’ve seen, and I can customize them. So I’ll be finding the funds for a pair of those, too…

      Have you seen Midnight in Paris yet?

  16. Pingback: Design Inspiration: Vintage Casual Wear « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

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