Tabis Are The Fashion-Forward Luxury Shoe Of The Ultra-Hip. Here's How To Style Them

Released in 1988, Maison Margiela Tabi shoes are undeniably iconic footwear. Their split-toe design, which gives the shoe the appearance of hooves, continues to cause a rift among consumers and fashion lovers. The toe-split design has roots in 15th-century Japan. In Fact, Margiela devised the Tabis after a trip to the country. Margiela later explained (via AnOther Magazine), "I wanted to create an 'invisible' shoe, the illusion of a bare foot walking on a high, chunky heel." Now, Tabis are beloved by Gen Z and TikTok. Per W Magazine, the shoes have even inspired art, with several artists creating vases and ceramic versions of the Tabi.

With that said, Margiela makes Tabis in various colors and styles, including sneakers, boots, pumps, loafers, Mary Janes, and more. They can cost anywhere from $560 to $1,720. In an article for Marie Claire, Bella Khoshaba noted that she loves that her Tabis are a conversation starter. 

She wrote, "I find it refreshing that this statement piece sparks people's curiosity about fashion, especially in a place like New York City, where everyone seems to be on-trend 24/7." If you're looking to purchase a pair of Tabis, you may be surprised to learn that styling this diverse shoe is relatively simple.

Wear Tabis with jeans

Although Tabis are a high-end fashion staple, you don't have to wear them with a runway-ready outfit. You can rock your Tabis with your favorite pair of jeans. TikTok user @nazjaa wore her white Tabi ankle boots with trendy baggy jeans, a white mock-neck long-sleeve shirt, and a fuzzy gray sweater. Similarly, Instagram user @meme21_____ wore black Tabi ankle boots with a fitted moon print top tucked into loose jeans. Both of these outfits are timeless yet incredibly stylish and perfect for going shopping or dinner.

A business casual look

Tabis have a streamlined and graceful silhouette that pairs well with a business casual dress code. Instagram user @__ko__ts__ wears her nude Tabi ankle boots with blue slacks, an oversized blue blazer, and a gray and blue T-Shirt. The result is an elegant look that is ideal for every day. Likewise, TikTok user @sydneybmichelle wore black slingback Tabis with a blazer, black shirt, and a white skirt for the office. If you have an edgier style,@jacquelineyschiu demonstrates how black Tabi ballerina flats can complement an all-black look with a leather jacket.

Pair Tabis with a pleated skirt

Tabis are the ultimate accessory with a pleated skirt to emulate a preppy style. TikTok user @tzeshinn sports a mini pleated skirt, a white long-sleeve tee, and white socks with her black Tabi Mary Jane shoes. @chxarl wears a similar outfit with the same shoes in a looser style. @kajsaellen wore a long pleated skirt paired with a dress shirt and sheer knee-high socks with her brown Tabi Mary Jane shoes. Each of these outfits features elements of the coquette aesthetic and 2000s trends, both of which are making a comeback in mainstream fashion.

Flaunt the balletcore aesthetic

Balletcore is a trend that exudes femininity and nostalgia. Styling advisor Jason Stolch explained to InStyle that balletcore is "all about embracing the dreamy, ethereal aesthetic of the dance world while striking the perfect balance between elegance and ease." One way to achieve this look is to pair a silk skirt with leg warmers, such as Instagram user @camillemartinot. Her white Tabi pumps accentuate her outfit but doesn't detract from it. Instagram user @eto.eka wore Tabi shoes with lace tights and white leg warmers for a simple balletcore look.

Dress up your Tabis

Despite their controversial look, Tabis are hailed for their versatility and comfort. Whether casual or formal, you can wear Tabis with any outfit you desire, especially dresses. TikTok user @bananashrooms wore white tabi heels with tights and a 90s-inspired button-up dress. Another user, @catwurld, styled pink tabi slingbacks with a short floral silk dress. @cookiecat.herine tried on white and black Tabi slingback pumps with a long white dress that conjures summer vibes. However you style Tabis, one thing is for sure; they will capture people's attention and get them talking.