Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Time for a T-bar? This season's shoes

Whether they have chunky heels, spindly stilettos or are sober flats, this season shoes are adorned with straps galore, says Rebecca Gonsalves

There was a time when T-bar shoes were worn only by the very young – who wore them with ankle socks and the uniform of their infant school – or the more mature who found the heeled versions just the thing for evening foxtrot classes.

This season though, the T-bar, along with its cousin the Mary-Jane, makes a timely return.

Flat versions are almost scholarly, and work well with trousers and a bright pair of contrasting socks for an alternative to the ubiquitous brogue for a smart yet casual look. A patent finish is even more reminiscent of childhood trips to school outfitters, although frilly white ankle socks are best avoided.

Heels are where the trend comes into its own this season, though, with block heels channelling the Forties, and Seventies references that flooded the catwalks.

At Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs' intrepid train travellers' square-toed Mary-Janes came embellished with a double strap, while at Prada a slick of matte rubber gave a two-tone effect to flat and heeled versions. A stacked heel and chunky platform will add height and balance out a lady-like outfit, as seen at Roland Mouret. Mouret's first collection for Robert Clergerie also features an assortment of barred and buckled styles which offer an elegant way to wear the trend.

Marios Schwab's sharp leather versions were embellished with metal, inkeeping with the designer's sexy signature.

Spindly stilettos benefit from the addition of a well-placed strap too, especially if these are ear-marked as dancing shoes for the upcoming party season.