Thanks to reader, Karen, I was reminded of how I am glad vintage men’s Oxford shoes were re-designed for women. In the 1920s the trend of sport shoes for women emerged as women started to get outside and play leisure sports like tennis and golf. The need for comfortable shoes without high heels, points, and fancy decorations became a necessity.
The oxford shoe trend continued into the 1930s where women’s Oxford shoes were worn for casual wear around the house or when out running errands. In the 1940s and 1950s, teenagers picked up on the Oxford shoe fashion and made them their own with two-toned saddle shoes (although saddle shoes had been around for decades before).
Today, many people think of women’s Oxford shoes as “old lady” shoes. Indeed, they were the primary shoe worn by your mothers and grandmothers. Working women such as nurses, waitresses, military and volunteer organization uniforms all wore Oxfords in matching colors. Most were plain black, brown or white shoes with low 2-3 inch heels. Some fancier versions had small holes perforated in decorative patterns, cut-outs on the top or sides, unique laces, or buckles. Toe shapes changed, too, from narrow and pointed to round or blunt squares over the years. The flat sole Oxford came about at the end of the 1950s.
Oxford shoes in solid colors or two-tone combination (brown and white Oxfords, black and white Oxfords) are making a comeback now. Regardless of if you are going for the authentic vintage look or you just want comfortable shoes with some style, a pair of women’s vintage style Oxfords should be on your shopping this for this year.