Review: 1930s Sylvia Pumps from Royal Vintage Shoes

1930s vintage outfit

This post has been a long time coming and I’ve been dying to tell you about it. At the end of last year Lauren from American Duchess blog was looking for brand ambassadors for her gorgeous online store Royal Vintage Shoes and I was chosen amongst a few other select bloggers. I cannot tell you how honoured I feel! I’ve loved Royal Vintage Shoes for quite some time now and am a big fan of all Lauren does, including her blog, especially her 1930s posts, and American Duchess Historical Footwear store.

Royal Vintage Shoes offer a wide range of vintage inspired shoes from my favourite periods, the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s and there is so much to choose from. They stock well known brands such as Miss L Fire, Chelsea Crew and B.A.I.T. as well as a small range of their own brand, American Duchess. As you can imagine it was incredibly hard for me to choose my first pair to order but eventually I decided on a green pair of 1930s style Mary Janes from B.A.I.T. Unfortunately when they arrived they were too small so they had to be sent back :(.

At this point I will say I am a UK size 4.5 and always find it hard to find the correct size in just about every shoes I buy and, of course, different brands have slightly different sizing. With this in mind I should’ve checked measurements first before ordering but I was just too excited and charged on ahead blindly! However, Lauren and her team were very helpful when I explained my problem, but unfortunately the size we worked out I should’ve ordered were now out of stock. That’ll teach me! Anyway, all is good because I ended up choosing a fabulous replacement pair which have very quickly become a go to pair of shoes.

Chelsea Crew Sylvia Shoes

And here they are! These are the beautiful Sylvia 1930s Two-Tone Pumps in Nude & White by Chelsea Crew and I love them! I have been after a neutral pair of shoes for a while, something I can wear when I just don’t have the right colour to wear with an outfit and these are just perfect, they go with everything. And, what’s more, they’re two-tone! Yes, I have a real thing about two-tone shoes and already had two pairs of black and white ones. The Sylvia Pumps also come in a stunning red and white version, which I was extremely tempted by, and a classic black and white version.

In terms of sizing I knew exactly the size I needed to order this time (UK size 5/US size 7)  having bought a pair of Chelsea Crew shoes before and these were spot on. They fit like a glove and just like my other pair they are incredibly comfortable. In fact the day after I did this shoot I wore them all day at an antiques fair where I walked around for a good 6 hours. Not many of my shoes would take that kind of beating and still be comfortable at the end of the day.

1930s vintage outfit

1930s vintage dress

This shoot was a great excuse to show off my new-to-me genuine vintage 1930s dress I bought from Vogue Wanderlust, a new seller on Etsy that has the most incredible range of original 1930s pieces. I literally want everything in her store! This dress was both an impulse buy and a risk because the measurements listed were just a little bit on the tight side, but as you can see, it was a risk worth taking.

It’s handmade in a navy blue cotton voile and has a beautiful polka dot print on it of both large and small dots. The neckline and sleeve cuffs are trimmed with a cotton polka dot broderie anglaise in matching white. The buttons, which have yellowed, are original and are made of plastic with tiny diamanté dots embedded into them, miraculously none of them have fallen out. You may also notice my cloche hat has a ribbon around it which is navy blue with white polka dots, so of course, this was the only hat I could team with it.

It is classically 1930s with a slightly loose top half, fitted hips (I’m wearing a girdle underneath to narrow mine slightly just as women did back then) and a fluted bottom, which is created by a large number of triangular godets inserted just above the knee. I cannot tell you how much I love this dress! However, I’m going to make a navy underslip as I think it would look better than white and I’m going to make a more authentic white belt than this cheap eBay one.

Sylvia Shoes in Nude & White

But back to the shoes! The colours are very much an off white, not brilliant white, and the nude is what I would describe as a light tan and it actually mixes very well with other tan accessories. Both sections have the perfect 1930s brogue detailing around the edges to give them a more authentic look.

The ribbons are a light tan grosgrain with proper plastic ends that you find on normal shoes laces and are the best ribbons I’ve had on a pair of shoes as they don’t loosen at all. I have another pair of ribbon tie shoes and I’m constantly having to tighten them and re-tie them.

The heel has a natural stripe wood veneer which matches the sole colour and is a very comfortable height of just under 3″. I find this height is high enough to give you a little lift (something I need at 5ft 3ins!) but low enough that you can wear them for more than just a few minutes. I’m finding myself drawn to this sort of heel more and more for an everyday shoe.

1930s vintage dress

My advice, particularly if you’re not in the US, is to email Royal Vintage Shoes first before ordering if you have any doubts whatsoever. Their customer service is spot on and they will happily measure shoes for you or discuss particular issues in quick time (just remember the time difference as they may be in bed!).  Also, get to know you’re own shoes and measure a pair that fit you well to do a comparison. I did this recently and have stored my measurements on my phone so I always know I can check even if I’m not at home.

Once you’ve taken the plunge and purchased, you’ll receive helpful emails to let you know the status of your order and you’re parcel will arrive wrapped in a sturdy box for protection. Oh, and you get the most scrumptious lolly in your parcel too! Seriously I went online to find some to buy for myself they were just so good.

Royal Vintage Shoes Sylvia

Outfit Details

1930s Navy Polka Dot Dress – Vogue Wanderlust
Straw Cloche Hat – Marks & Spencer
White Leather Belt – eBay
Vintage White Leather Gloves – Dig for Victory Show
Ivory Lace Parasol – Shepton Mallet Flea Market
Nude Seam Stockings – What Katie Did
1930s Style Sylvia Pumps – Royal Vintage Shoes


Disclaimer: Royal Vintage Shoes kindly provided me the Sylvia Pumps at a discounted price, however all views expressed are my own and reflect my honest opinions. This post contains affiliate links, however, if you would prefer not to use these please click here to be taken directly to their site.


Just a vintage gal suffering from the Golden Age syndrome. A lover of all things old, especially the 1930s, seamstress, crocheter, maker of hats and enjoys rummaging at flea markets.


  1. Oh my gosh, you look AMAZING! That dress is incredible and works perfectly with the shoes. Splendid indeed! It looks like it was made for you!

    • Thank you Lauren! I love how this outfit all tied together with the shoes, they really are the perfect pair for this dress. I’m already considering which pair to get next! xx

  2. Oh my gosh! I love these shoes! I also had to buy a size smaller (7) in the black and white ones but the ones my husband bought me on Amazon in the neutral shade in 7.5 were a perfect fit I usually wear just 7’s though. I like to change out the ribbons in different colors to suit some other frocks I have.
    I love this beautiful blue frock you’re wearing! The different spots contrasting are just such a lovely touch!
    Keep it up sis! You’re looking great!

    • Thanks honey! I love the idea of changing the ribbons to match your outfit, I may have to steal that one. I can see these shoes are going to get a lot of wear out of them xx

  3. What gorgeous shoes – and a fabulous dress too! Overall – a perfect vintage outfit… Kx

    • Thank you Karen! I love how everything just went together so perfectly. It wasn’t meticulously planned! x

  4. you look absolutely stunning here. Like you stepped right off the set of a poirot or an episode of jeeves and wooster. I adore every part of the look and the shoes are great too Im definitley checking out vogue wanderlust

    • Thank you Kate, that means so much! You should definitely check them out. They have varying costs but mine was at the lower end and it was in amazing condition, so don’t be put off by the cheaper stuff. xx

  5. Like you’re on the set of Poirot – just incredible! The dress is lovely, I checked out the shop and like you love pretty much everything in it, but blimey it’s the most expensive Etsy shop I’ve ever seen!! I had to blink and check my eyes were working properly. Goos choice on the shoes too, they work really well. I too have realised the need for a neutral shoe and am on the hunt xx

    • Really? I’ve seen much more expensive ones! Needless to say I didn’t pay the earth for it, with postage it was £90. However, the quality was still very good, I haven’t actually found anything wrong with it. xx

  6. You’re looking truly stunning in that dress. The shoes are lovely and seem to be very comfortable. xxx

    • Thank you Ann! I’m actually really impressed with how comfortable Chelsea Crew shoes are and I’m already eyeing up another pair now because they’re just so good. xx

  7. Drooling over your outfit…drooling over your shoes 🙂 lol! What a great review and what great shoes!

    Liz 🙂

    • Hehehe! Thanks Liz, they really are fabulous shoes and I’ve already worn them loads. xx

  8. Well, this is such a glorious outfit! It really suits you, that dress was a great buy. I love all the little details and I am now perfectly clear on what a godet is, having watched the Sewing Bee yesterday. Do you watch it? Great shoes, I see they have potential for so many outfits.

    • Yes, I did! I was quite surprised to hear Esme say that godets were tricky as I’ve never had a problem. The lady who made this dress did them absolutely perfectly! xx

  9. Marvelous, really, really, marvelous ensemble from head to beautiful shoe adorned toe. I like this frock with white slip underneath and think it will look fetching either way (dark vs light).

    Many hugs,
    ♥ Jessica

    • Thank you Jessica! I did try a black slip underneath the dress but it just was too dark. The white one I had was a modern polyester one but I think a white rayon, silk or even a lightweight cotton would be better and wouldn’t be so obvious. I’d love to see it with a navy one too though. xx

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