When looking for a shoe that’ll instantly spice up a casual outfit, Mary Janes are a no-brainer. First introduced around the early 1900s, the school girl-inspired design has remained relevant in the fashion zeitgeist for over a century. And more recently, the latest wave of Mary Jane outfits demonstrate just how timeless and versatile (not to mention, grown-up-approved) the shoe is. Another bonus? The silhouette is appropriate for year-round wear, making them worthy of a permanent spot in your wardrobe rotation.
Indeed, Mary Janes often conjure up childhood memories. But thanks to cool-girl labels like Nicole Saldaña, Brother Vellies, Ganni, and Zou Xou — the latest iterations probably don’t resemble the navy, single-strap Mary Jane style you wore for class pictures in second grade (complete with a painfully tight headband, of course). Opt for edgy buckles or ladylike bows for a modern take on the century-old style. Or, if extra height is what you’re after, plenty of new options include chunky heels and platform pairs, which are much comfier than a skinny stiletto.
From date nights to casual weekends, look no further than the chic footwear. And as for how to style them? Scroll on to find five elevated ways to wear Mary Janes, as shown by fashion girls.
Give your go-to work loafers the day off, and slip on a pair of Mary Janes with a blazer and plaid mini skirt for a desk-to-dinner look. Pro tip: On frigid winter days, fleece-lined tights are a wise addition to the outfit.
Playful Yet Elevated
If you own too many black shoes to count, go for a rich maroon style. Then, for even more fun, add a striped shirt. And if you’re worried about the vibe skewing too twee, mix in understated, sleek pieces, like a long jacket and slouchy trousers. (The above example is giving Alexa Chung energy.)
Paging all maximalists — this combination is calling your name. Here, influencer Simone Noa went for a tonal blue ensemble featuring punchy prints and playful embellishments. The outfit is sure to spark conversation, no matter where you wear it.
Loyal to your pumps? Consider a platform Mary Jane with a chunky heel. Elevated and on-trend, the silhouette is perfect for cocktail parties. As for the rest of your night-out look, you can never go wrong with a sparkly mini skirt.
Try pushing outside your comfort zone by following stylist and writer Michelle Li’s lead. Here, she wears an of-the-moment double buckle flat with tights and various floral prints. The result is eye-catching but not overly in-your-face.
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