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Trend Spotlight: Mary Jane Shoes

This year, Mary Jane shoes are making a comeback, infusing classic nostalgia into trending fashion. From their classic charm to their modern adaptations, they are set to make a statement on runways, streets, and social media feeds alike. Featuring delicate straps and timeless silhouettes, Mary Janes radiate a timeless charm, making them a versatile must-have for your outfits.

Join us as we shine a spotlight on one of SS24’s latest shoe trends, discovering the origins of Mary Janes, the array of styles, sizing and how to incorporate this iconic style into your wardrobe for the season ahead.

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What are Mary Jane-style shoes?

Mary Jane shoes are a type of footwear known for their closed, rounded toe, low-cut vamp, and characteristic strap that fastens across the instep with features such as a buckle, button, or hook-and-loop closure. What distinguishes Mary Jane style shoes from other types of footwear is the presence of the strap across the instep, which adds an element of charm to the overall look. Favoured by individuals of all ages and genders, they are ideal for both casual and formal occasions. Coming in various designs, materials, and colours, there's a variety of styles that feature either flat soles or low heels.

Mary Jane Ballet Flats

This style combines the classic charm of Mary Jane shoes with the comfort and flexibility of ballet flats, making them a versatile choice for everyday wear. With their closed, rounded toe and signature strap across the instep, they offer a timeless look that pairs effortlessly with both casual and dressy outfits.

Mary Jane Heels

Mary Jane heels add a touch of retro-inspired elegance to any look. Both stylish and practical, they offer a secure fit and comfortable support for a range of occasions, from office meetings to evening outings.

Mary Jane Chunky Soles

Chunky soled styles blend the timeless Mary Jane style with the on-trend chunky sole design, creating a fashion-forward statement piece. Featuring the classic closed-toe and iconic strap, these shoes offer both comfort and style, perfect for adding a contemporary edge to any outfit.

Why do they call them Mary Jane shoes?

The term "Mary Jane shoes" is believed to have originated from the comic strip character "Buster Brown" created by Richard F. Outcault in the late 19th century. Buster Brown's sister, Mary Jane, was depicted wearing shoes with a similar style, featuring a strap across the instep. The popularity of the character and his sister's shoes likely contributed to the widespread use of the term "Mary Janes" to describe this style of footwear. Over time, Mary Jane shoes became synonymous with the distinctive design characterised by the strap across the instep, and the name has stuck ever since.

Why are Mary Jane shoes so popular?

Mary Jane shoes are popular due to their timeless design, comfort, versatility, and universal appeal. With a classic silhouette and a range of styles, colours, and materials, they offer both style and practicality for various occasions.

Are Mary Janes comfortable for walking?

Mary Janes can be comfortable for walking, with many designed with comfort in mind, featuring supportive soles, cushioned insoles, and adjustable straps that help keep the shoes securely in place. Certain styles such as Mary Janes with low heels or flat soles tend to be more comfortable for extended periods of walking compared to those with higher heels.

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Should you size up or down in Mary Jane shoes?

Depending on the brand, style, and your individual fit preferences, it's often recommended to go with your usual shoe size when purchasing Mary Janes. Keep in mind that factors such as the shape of your foot, the material of the shoes, and whether you plan to wear socks or stockings can also influence the fit. Choose the size that feels most comfortable and secure on your foot.

Styling Mary Janes

Styling Mary Jane's is effortless, whether paired with a vintage-inspired dress for a retro look or with tailored trousers for a modern twist on classic elegance. Their versatile design allows them to transition seamlessly from day to night, making them a wardrobe staple for any occasion. Take a look at some of our favourite looks.

vagabond mary jane shoes


dr martens mary jane shoes


vagabond mary jane shoes


dr martens mary jane shoes

Hannah Needham
Hannah Needham Writer and expert

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