23 Skidoo Shoes!


My birthday shoes arrived this morning!  It’s the 23 Skidoo shoe by indie designer American Duchess (aka Lauren).  I’ve been drooling over this design since she first posted them last year and now they’re mine!


For those who don’t know, the American Duchess is a costumer/designer.  She began designing shoes a while back because she couldn’t find good shoes to wear to historical re-enactments.   I love that: can’t find what you want, so you invent it.  Wow, what an inspiration.


I mean that literally- Lauren’s shoe pre-sales inspired me to try something similar with patterns.  I picked her brain thoroughly when I was preparing to pre-sale Tiramisu.  She was really helpful and encouraging to me as a start-up designer.


Now that I have her work in my hands, I’m more impressed.  These shoes are nice.  The leather is soft and pliable, the stitching is gorgeous, and- they fit.  My instep often spills over the sides of cute shoes, but I suspect Lauren had wide feet in mind when she designed the gracefully curving sides.  Thank you!


sorry it’s blurs-ville, but once my shoes are painted I’m sure you will see many, many, many photos of them on me…

In fact, I was so delighted with my 23 Skidoos that I wore them to teach beginner’s sewing tonight!  That’s three hours on my feet, and I’m still impressed.  The heel is well balanced, and they are comfortable from the first wear.


Now it’s time to customize the color!!  I think I may go fully traditional with black toe and heel caps and a white instep or I may have them painted/dyed with deep red caps and a pale red instep.  Or maybe something else!  Either way, I’m sure I’ll wear these constantly.  Gibson Shoes | American Duchess

Meanwhile, Lauren is just about to pre-sale her Gibsons.  I’m seriously considering picking up a black pair for the “black sensible shoes” hole in my shoe-wardrobe.  My old “black sensibles” are tattered and completely disreputable.

What do you think?  Traditional or red two-tone?  Blues perhaps?  Do you like T-straps?  How about those Gibsons?  Please talk me into them…


  1. I recently bought a pair of Miz Mooz shoes in a medium blue color and have been wearing them with everything, including all three of my new Tiras!!! Perhaps blue would be a good “neutral” for your wardrobe. Although, two tone red sounds quite sexy!

    • Ooooh, blue. I had some blue shoes a while ago, loved them… Maybe a dark blue as a sort of neutral, I’ll think about that… But I do love red shoes… ;)

  2. I have the 23skidoo shoes too and they are awesome! Mine are the precolored tan on white and they look so sharp! I really want a white pair of the Gibsons as I already have a black pair of Astorias. A girl can never have too many shoes!

    • Well- they don’t look wide. In fact, when I opened the box I was a bit upset about how much narrower than my feet they looked. Maybe a cm or so. But the sides of the shoe help disguise the wideness, and like I said, I stood on my feet for three hours for a “first wear” and it wasn’t torture. No pain to speak of. So… I’m going to keep them.

  3. The Gibsons are to die. The bow is killing me. And I can’t see you not living in those, just like you do the ones you bought today. (Which are fabulous!)

    • They really are everything I’ve been looking for an not finding in a sensible black shoe, for sure. I bet she’ll sell stacks of that style, so very very wearable… And thanks! I can’t wait to get them dyed… I have a crazy idea I might have them dyed to match my red bag. A shade or two darker than the back for the caps, and lighter for the instep…

  4. I’ve had my eye on these for a few months now, but have yet to make the plunge. With spring heading out way in the northern hemisphere, i fear that i am about to lose my resolve and be about 100 bucks less rich! Its great to hear that they are super comfortable of slightly wider feet, that was one of my major reservations about the purchase.

    • I want to be clear- I don’t think they’re specifically designed as wides. However, as a wider-footed lady I find that the side of my foot almost always spills over the edge of “cute” shoes, and it’s often ugly and painful and means I have to say no. In this case, the sides of the shoe keep my foot contained and comfy. :)

  5. Love the shoes! Love red! I would go with the red dye job! You wear a lot of red so I can see them working well in your wardrobe.
    The Gibsons, cute and sensible, how can you go wrong?

  6. Trying hard not to hate you! Filled with envy here!
    These are gorgeous. Please show us how you decide to colour them in the end. Red on red sounds stunning. I’d also be interested in how you go about colouring them.

    • Aw. Thank you?

      AD has leather paints and tutorials for use on her site. Unfortunately, she can’t ship the paints outside the US. Regulations. I go to a cobbler in the City to have my other sensible shoes re-soled (over and over again), and he’d be able to dye them for me. I trust him because he’s done great work for me in the past, and also he wears a battered top hat and watch fob in his waistcoat. Sounds odd, but on him it looks like his clothes, not a costume… He looks like a 19th century cobbler, and somehow that gives him a little more “cred” with me… ;) But definitely will post the dyed shoes. Definitely.

      • Sounds good, I am definitely looking forward to seeing the final results. I like the idea of two clashing reds. When I was involved in Irish Dancing costumes, I saw how a bit of clashing colour can add energy and interest if done well.

    *ahem* Sorry. I got carried away. I’ve looked at a couple of blogs Lauren has linked to featuring these shoes tarted up, and they look wonderful no matter what. Red and White would be awesome. For more color combos, check out http://www.fluevog.com/ He has some really fresh-yet-vintagey looks.
    ps- I received my sewing kit packet yesterday. Looking forward to making it up!

    • *meekly* Ok Kathy, I think it has to be done… ;)

      Yes! I want some Fluevogs too, someday! They have such interesting designs…

      Yay! I don’t think the bamboo will be a problem, it went through my machine and another one I tried quite easily, and my machine can be really particular about “fabric” weights. Let me know how you go!

  8. What amazing shoes! I often haunt the Duchess’ site, but I’ve yet to order any shoes. Aren’t they just so gorgeous? I think you should keep them impractically white. They look so darn smart!

    • I like to read her posts, too… When I bought the shoes, I was pleased beyond shoes because I knew I was supporting an indie designer and a friend. :)

  9. They are adorable. I also KNOW you should get Gibsons. A quality pair of comparable shoes cost me three times the price! They really are a wear anywhere pair of black sensibles!

  10. Those are really lovely shoes! I don’t know what size shoes you have but they look very dainty. As a Bigfoot, I find T bars are very flattering and feminine. I like the idea of black and red, but why not buy more and have every colour combo you fancy – good shoes are an investment, dammit!

    • I got a size 8, they are just right.

      Hahaha! I don’t think I could possibly justify a rainbow palette of 23Skidoos, but it’s a lovely thought. :) Enabler!

  11. Knowing the kind of palette you wear, red would be a good choice. They are beautiful shoes. I’m not overly fond of a tstrap on myself (although I like Mary Jane’s for some reason) but they are lovely. I don’t know that you could go wrong with any of her shoes.

  12. I bought a pair of the Astoria’s and I love them; they are my go-to dancing shoes. Those are beautiful shoes on you, if I might add. :)

    • Hehehe. I think they’re called butterscotch? ;) At any rate, they’re so cute. And I love the parts of the production process she showed- a modernized shoe from an actual historical one. Neat.

  13. Ooo so pretty! I say totally go for the red. :D I love the shoes, but it’s just not practical for me. Those little Pemberly shoes though…

  14. I love my T-straps (not Skidoos), though some people who saw photos of me in them have told me that they’re not so good… still want the Skidoos. Want others from Lauren’s collection, too. Almost all of them, come to think of it…
    I love the cognac Gibsons – even though it’s not quite my colour, I love them. And the black ones would certainly make most delightful sensible shoes.

  15. Pingback: Hummingbird Presale Begins with a Naming! « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

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