T-Bar Shoes

AKA: T-Strap

How to say it:  tee-bahr

Traditional Features: 

T-bar Shoe

  • low-cut
  • two straps across the foot forming a T
  • fastened with a buckle
  • comes in various styles

21st Century T-Bar Shoes

21st century T-bar shoes come in all shapes and styles. From sophisticated heels to strappy flats, the style can be feminine and elegant or chic and casual, making it the perfect summer shoe for the modern woman.

Burberry Kenneth Cole

Burberry, Kenneth Cole

Miu Miu ASOS

Miu Miu, ASOS


…of the style: The T-bar shoe entered women’s fashion in the early 1900s. Originally a variation on the Mary Jane style, the shoe became popular with women in the 1920s as the straps held the shoe securely to the foot while dancing.

Rising hemlines in women’s fashion around this time created a focus on footwear, and women began to choose their shoes with more care. This allowed shoes to become fashion statements in their own right and T-bars from this era were often decorated with bows, sequins and trims. As the decades progressed T-bar shoes evolved from the fine, feminine styles of the 20s to chunkier designs in the 30s, followed by wedge heels and platforms.

In the 1950s the T-bar shoe became a popular option for young children, and flat leather versions with cut-outs were often worn as part of a school uniform or for formal occasions. The style fell out of fashion in the 1960s as fashions changed, and for a time, the T-bar shoe dwelled solely in the realms of ballroom dancing. However in 2012 the T-bar returned to the fashion stage, appearing on catwalks in heeled, flat and wedge versions. The 21st century T-bar began to pop up in modern, feminine styles that updated the look whilst maintaining a connection to the early decades that made it popular. T-bar shoes soon became a favourite of the celebrity fashion set, before trickling down to street level and becoming a staple on the footwear marketplace, where it remains to this day.

…of the name: The two straps that sit perpendicular to each other on the top of the foot form the shape of a T, hence the name.

For more info on T-Bar Shoes try Wikipedia, Fashion Era, Head Over Heels History, The Independent or the Fairchild’s Dictionary of Fashion

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