A new word has entered our dictionary. This time we aim to know what is a gaiter in fashion and to my surprise new other words came up like spat or spatterdashes or puttee. Is anyone of them familiar? To me, no.. not even in Spanish!. These words have their history and I find them very interesting indeed.
What is a gaiter?
A gaiter is a piece of fabric worn over the shoe, extending to the ankle or the knee. They are worn over the shoe and lower pants leg, and used primarily as personal protective equipment. Originally, gaiters were made of leather. Today, gaiters for walking or hiking are commonly made of polyester or similar.
Think that before people used to horse ride and walk on the mud all the time. This was a way to protect the shoes and the legs form getting wet and dirty or hurt from the stirrups. On top of that, I think it gives a very nice silhouette to the leg.
Do you recall those gorgeous victorian shoes?.. Well, in your mental image you have the gaiter. Check these beauties. I like both for men and women.
Whats is a spat or Spatterdashes?
Spats, a shortening of spatterdashes, or spatter guards are a type of classic footwear accesory covering the instep and the ankle. Spats are not the same as gaiters. They cover different areas. It was an accesory very en vogue in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They fell out of fashion in the 1920s with the cars and concrete and asphalt streets. The wearing of spats is often used as a symbol representing wealth, eccentricity, or both. Lol! I just have Scrooge McDuck in my head!! Well, still I find the spats very interesting and so did Chanel for the Summer/ Spring 2014.
What is a puttee?
According to Wikipedia… A puttee, also spelled puttie, is the name, adapted from the Hindi patti, bandage, for a covering for the lower part of the leg from the ankle to the knee. It consisted of a long narrow piece of cloth wound tightly and spirally round the leg, and serving to provide both support and protection. It was worn by both mounted and dismounted soldiers, generally taking the place of the leather or cloth gaiter.
The puttee was first adopted as part of the service uniform of foot and mounted soldiers serving in British India during the second half of the 19th century. Originally comprised of long strips of cloth worn as a tribal legging in the Himalayas. The British India Army found this garment to be comfortable and inexpensive, although it was not as smart as the gaiter.
Eventually it stopped being used for hygienic and medical reasons (varicose veins). Also I can imagine it was not the fastest piece to be adjusted, imagine in case you are attacked by surprise. They have recently found an Austrian Soldier frozen in a glacier with a spoon inside his puttee. Looks like it was frequent when soldiers used to eat from a common pot to keep their spoon with them.
I hope you enjoyed the post as much as me researching about this cool garments. Do you think they will have a comeback to our fashion scenes? Some are starting to show already…
Lots of luv,