The author has graciously shared with readers of the Victorian Web this passage from the second edition of her Fashion in Costume, 1200-2000 (2000), published by A & C Black (Publishers) Ltd., which retains copyright. Readers wishing to obtain the book can e-mail the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heels were added to boots in the late 1840s and the 1850s and to slippers between 1860 and 1865; on both they were small, 1-11 inches high, straight on the inner side and curved in from the back; the toe might be squared at the tip, rounded or pointed. Coloured satin or fine kid was used for formal slippers and boots, and kid, sometimes combined with cloth uppers in white, black or bronze for informal. Elastic-sided boots continued, but lacing on the inner side of the boot increased. The tops of boots might be decorated with bows or tassels, enchantingly glimpsed under the spreading skirts, passernenterie braid, ribbon or lace; for winter, little jackets of fur, fur and velvet, or sealskin, and full-length coats in broadcloth and moire' or velvet trimmed with Russian sable; for evening, coats with dolman or loose sleeves in rich fabrics richly trimmed, or sweeping full-length cloaks with shoulders adapted to contain the huge sleeves of the dresses and collars flaring out around the face. The restraint shown in men's dress was certainly not practised by fashionable and wealthy women, who had no hesitation in flaunting their wealth, both in lavish fabric and trimmings and in the extraordinary number of garments they required for different occasions and activities.
Nunn, Joan. Fashion in Costume, 1200-2000. 2nd edition. A & C Black (Publishers) Ltd; Chicago: New Amsterdam Books, 2000.
Last modified 11 June 2001