Women's Fancy Shoes From the 1920s

Written by dayla corcoran
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Women's Fancy Shoes From the 1920s
1920s women's dress shoe (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

It is not necessarily difficult to find women's shoes from the 1920s. Finding fancy women's shoes from that era should not be difficult either; however, finding a vintage pair in great condition for a great price could prove a little more difficult. But like anything worthwhile, a little more time and money is probably be worth it in the long run if you are going to keep the shoes and wear them on a regular basis. Considering this era of women's dress shoes was nearly 100 years ago, the style of shoes is not so far off from the styles women are wearing today.

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The Style of the 1920s Women's Dress Shoe

Closed toed bar strap and T-strap heels were most common in the 1920s and worn with dresses, gowns or skirts. These were popular as dancing was big in this era and with the strap designed into the shoe, the shoe was safely fitted on the foot while moving about. All the same, pumps with no strap were worn too. The heels on these dress shoes ranged as the decade progressed from 1 to 3 inches and the were much thicker and sturdier than most women's heels today.

How to Distinguish a Fancy Shoe From a Casual Daytime Shoe

While woman wore heels and T-straps in the daytime as well as in the evening, the amount of detail that went into the shoe constituted what would be deemed fancy. For instance, many backs of the heels were adorned with decoration, such as beading. Another way the shoes were dressed up was with the types of materials and fabric used or with embroidery.

Finding Vintage Women's Dress Shoes

Searching for vintage women's dress shoes from the 1920s on eBay or Etsy will certainly pull up some vintage items at reasonable prices, but what will also come up in your search are current styles emulating the look of the past. This is helpful if you are looking for the style of the 1920s in a new pair of shoes that needs to hold up for years more, rather than a used pair with lots of wear and tear.

1920s Fancy Dress Shoes vs. Costume or Character Shoes

When you need 1920s dress shoes at a decent price, or if the exact look is not available, it is also possible to purchase what are called character shoes. Dance shoe companies, such as Capezio, have been outfitting dancers for years with the same T-strap look, and you can paint the shoes or adorn them in jewels to match a photo of something appealing from the 1920s. This works well if you need the shoes for a costume.

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