As I mentioned in my seasonal trend report, Mary Jane footwear is making a comeback. Mary Janes are low-vamped shoes with one or more straps running across the instep of the shoe. The style is very distinctive, and here’s a collection that is hot off the press for Fall. 

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Mary Janes can be dressy or casual, heeled, wedged or flat, solid, patterned, or colour blocked, and dainty or chunky. The strap(s) that runs across the instep can be positioned higher or lower on the foot, and can be narrow or broad. Toe boxes run the gamut. Pointy, almond, square, round, or rounded and square. 

Mary Janes have their pros and cons. Let’s start with the pros:

  • The low vamp looks fresh after five years of ultra trendy high vamps. 
  • The straps secure the pump to the foot. 
  • They have a Retro appeal. 
  • The straps are fun maximal details. 
  • They can look quirky when worn with socks. 
  • They can look gorgeously ladylike and slightly playful. 

Here are the cons:

  • They can look juvenile and too “school girl”.
  • The straps can create an unflattering horizontally cutting line across your leg line (although a low-contrast strap will minimize that effect.)
  • The aesthetic can be prissy, ladylike and twee. 
  • The style is hard to fit on feet with high insteps (straps are often too short.)

I have mixed feelings about Mary Janes, although I love my Tokyo wedges because they are unique. I wore flat, round toe Mary Janes with socks and tights daily for twelve years as part of a school uniform, so I sometimes have a negative reaction to the silhouette. That said, their ladylike and Retro integrity appeals to me. If I come across a pair of dressy and heeled darlings that look sufficiently “grown up” to my eye, they will earn their spot in my closet. 

Over to you. How do you feel about Mary Janes, and will you wear them?

MARC JACOBS Lexi Glittered Patent-leather Mary Jane PumpsLANVIN Patent-leather Mary Jane PumpsMIU MIU Crystal-embellished Velvet Mary Jane PumpsGUCCI FOR NET-A-PORTER Floral-print Textured-leather Pumps

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