Monday, February 2, 2009

Spats or Gaiters?

Spats are a shoe accessory worn in the late 19th and early 20th century. Traditionaly they are still an accessory in many marching band uniforms in the United States. Internationally they were used and are still to this day being used in various militaries. Today they are also used in various industries for safety reasons. Such as welders and chainsaw operators.

Gaiters are used over the leg and boot lacing they are worn by equestrians. In Latin America, gaiters extending over the knee are traditional. I found it interesting that, until the middle part of the twentieth century, they also formed a part of clerical clothing of bishops and archdeacons of Anglican Communion. The purpose was for riding horses to various parts of a diocese.

One difference I found between the two is that, spats are primarily used for display, and they tend to be shorter, around the ankle mainly. Gaiters main purpose are for practial use and tend to be longer.

I actually find them intriguing. I also found it exciting that they are being used presently. One can actually change the look of one's shoe collection they are also a nice fashion statement. They are reminiscient of the costume of history, design elements of the past can be transformed into the present.

So I just draped my first spat pattern. For me it is a piece of fashion that is constructed by utilizing tailoring and corseting skills. Then embellished as a milliner embellishes a hat.

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