"His patent-leather brogues were covered in white spats"
Spats, originally a contraction of spatterdashes, are a footwear accessory covering the instep and ankle. They were primarily worn in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. French infantry wore white spats for parade and off duty wear until 1903. Italian soldiers wore a light tan version until 1910 and the Japanese army wore long white spats or gaiters during the Russo-Japanese War of 1905.
Spats remain a distinctive feature of uniform of many military bands, including Scottish Highland pipe bands. Traditionally, Highland regiments in kilts have worn spats reaching halfway up the calf. In popular culture the wearing of spats is associated with wealth.