I found them, at last! Ever since HBO’s Boardwalk Empire TV came about I have drooled over Nucky Thompson’s shoes in the opening credits. It is very rare to see shoe advertisements or photographs from the 1920s showcasing black and tan wingtip oxfords. Usually 1920’s mens shoes were solid brown, brown on tan, or brown and off white combinations. The rarity of the black and tan combination at first made me doubt the authenticity of the shoes. I do however trust that the historical costume designs of Boardwalk Empire have far more resources than I do and surely they did their homework.
Sparing no expense, the shoes featured in the opening credits are new, hand-made Italian leather If I could afford to cough up $600 on a pair for myself I certainly would. However I am all about “close enough” costuming so I keep my eyes out for a pair of two tone wingtips that would give the same overall look without the high price tag.
Here are some 1920’s style men’s shoe options I found online: