Types & Styles of Vintage Shoes

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    Mary Jane

    • The Mary Jane was popular with dancers in the 1920s.shoes image by Deborah Durbin from Fotolia.com

      Much of women's fashion of the early 1900s reflected the troubled times of war and critical socio-economic issues. As the flappers of the "roaring twenties" emerged, dresses grew shorter and the focus on the foot became all the rage. The Mary Jane is a classic-style shoe with a t-strap or a strap over the top of the foot, buckles and bows. Dancers chose this style of shoe, mainly for its t-strap support, to provide a solid footing for dancing. This shoe could be decorated in silk and brocade fabrics, with embellishments of bows and fabric shaped as flowers.

    Peep Toe

    • Peep toe shoes were a racy trend.leopard print shoes image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com

      The peep toe was introduced in the 1930's around the same time that slip-on and buckle shoe styles appeared. The Great Depression sent women into the working world and into more functional shoes, so the peep toe didn't really hit the fashion scene until the 1950's. Women liked pairing the open-toe shoe with furs and gloves. Exposing the first toe or two from the shoe was then seen as racy and tempting.

    Wedges

    • Wedge shoes have wood and cork soles.espadrilles brod??es image by Nath Photos from Fotolia.com

      Wood and cork materials were introduced in the early 1940's as shoe-making materials, paving the way for the wedge shoe. Originally, they were made more for function than style, serving as an orthopedic solution to heels. Wedge shoes became popular in the 1970's since they provided a casual look while still elevating the wearer to the same height of a traditional heel. The wedge style became a collaboration of elements from previous styles: closed toe, peep toe, strapped and then eventually, the sandal version of the wedge.

    Stilettos

    • Stilettos come in a host of styles and designs.high heels image by vincentphotos from Fotolia.com

      Fashion mogul Christian Dior first introduced the stiletto in the 1950's, setting it to become the staple in shoe design throughout the decade. The four-inch stiletto heel was and still is marketed as the ultimate in sexy shoes. They were made using silk, leather, bamboo and metals for embellishments and overall shoe construction. Stilettos have come in every shape and style, including boots, sandals and pumps.

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