Georgian England was a contrast of frivolous, extravagant fashion, and the serious political, economic and scientific thought which dominated the Age of Enlightenment. London became the largest city in Europe, and its large population growth led to changes in how people manufactured goods in the city, and how people shopped for them.
London shoemakers began to outsource parts of the shoemaking process to areas in the outskirts of the city or to other parts of the country, but the most skilled parts of the process were still completed in the London workshops. Some London ready to wear shoe manufacturers moved production to Northampton for its cheaper premises and workforce, but London remained the centre of high quality footwear manufacturing.
Shoe shops began to open as separate premises from shoemaking workshops, splitting people's experiences of making and shopping for shoes for the first time. Savile Row developed out of the Burlington estate, and became a centre for tailoring by the end of the century, developing alongside the many shoemakers already in the area.
Huguenot silk, most famously woven in Spitalfields, became a popular choice for shoes for both men and women in the early eighteenth century, while later styles tended to be plainer, square toed and buckled.