Many of us are familiar with the story of how the "Teddy Bear" came to be. If you aren't here is a refresher. Long story short, a toy producer started selling plush bears linked to former president Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt. My question is how did these children's toys become rather hilarious slippers?
Slippers themselves have a history; being worn in many different cultures over many different decades. Slippers have been worn as both indoor and outdoor wear, but in the west we tend to think of slippers as a comfortable at home shoe unless wearing them for pajama day at school.
My first clue as to how long these bear slippers have been around was a Simplicity pattern I saw on sale on Etsy. Based on the printing and graphics of the pattern I placed it roughly in the 1980s. After cross referencing the item on a few different Etsy shops the vast majority sold it as a 1980s pattern. While there I also found a pair of Yogi Bear slippers from the 60s and a few versions of Care Bear slippers also from the 1980s. My favorite pieces of research to find are home photos or magazine ads. This is because they can give context to an item or fashion trend.
-Good Housekeeping (Linked in article)
-Various Etsy shops
-The Chicago Daily Tribune