Chopines

Pair of Chopines

Another opportunity for a woman to demonstrate her high rank was through her foot wear. While a lady might wear simple cloth slippers around the house or wooden clogs on the streets, for special occasions or when at court upper class women often wore elevated platform shoes called chopines. “Not only were they often covered in fancy cloth or embroidered, they could raise a woman as high as twenty-something inches off the ground!” and were designed so that only a small portion of the shoe connected with the floor, “while the rest protruded ostentatiously from beneath their gowns.” This was another direct indication that the wealthy woman in question did not need to be physically active, that they were a lady of luxury. “Many women’s shoes were so impractical that it was reported they could neither stand nor move without the support of their servants.”