The Mary Jane shoe – a style of shoe with a strap and buckle over the instep – first appeared at the turn of the 20th century. The style was named after a comic book character and is one of the few shoe styles to have endured for almost a century. They were celebrated in the Roaring Twenties when they were worn for dancing, in the 60s they were popularised by supermodel Twiggy, and they re-entered fashion thanks to rock star Courtney Love during the 90s.
Coming in multiple styles including flat, high-heeled and platform versions, these versatile shoes can be worn in casual through to smart settings. We’ve scoured the net to find the best pairs – from fun and playful designs like the pair by Koi Footwear, to elegant, timeless designs such as those from Asos, there is something to cater to every taste.
Need some outfit inspiration? Don’t worry – we’ve put together three looks with the Mary Jane as hero:
LOOK 1: The Swinging Sixties look
Pair chunky Mary Janes with a denim mini and patent backpack for a look straight from the 60s.
The Mary Janes: Koi Footwear Sai vegan mary jane heeled shoe in pink
H&M denim dress – Use codes MM205 or HH605 for upto 25% off
H&M small quilted backpack – Use codes MM205 or HH605 for upto 25% off
Collusion unisex logo T-shirt in off-white
New Look gold twist hoop earrings
LOOK 2: The dressed-up look
Yes, you can wear flat Mary Janes with your favourite stylish midi dress! Add chunky gold jewellery and a roomy tote and you’re set to impress.
The Mary Janes: ASOS DESIGN Wide Fit Willing mary-jane block heels
New Look olive frill high neck dress
Botkier Highline large leather tote
Riva geometric chunky choker necklace
New Look gold hoop earrings
LOOK 3: The Boardroom Look
Walk in looking like the boss you are with high-heel Mary Janes and a feminine pencil skirt and blouse combo.
The Mary Janes: Asos Design Strallen mary-jane mid heels in black patent
Ann Taylor sleeveless essential shirt
Ann Taylor front slit pencil skirt
Kurt Geiger London mini shoreditch cross body
Lady Vintage cushion cut stone bracelet